The V244 Vox Harlem


Vox V244 Harlem Guitar




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1966 marked the announcement of two new Italian (Eko) made Vox "blues" guitar models, the semi acoustic "New Orleans" and the solid body "Harlem."

Both were included in the 1966 "Vox, It's Whats Happening - Beatles Cover" catalog, shown above. The Harlem was also offered in the 1967 "Vox, It's Whats Happening - Raiders Cover" catalog. A black and white reprint of either of these catalogs is available at North Coast Music.

Vox guitar expert Roger Tessier indicates that despite its appearance in Vox sales literature in 1966, there is no evidence to support that the New Orleans was ever produced. The Harlem was produced in limited numbers.

The "custom blues action" of the Harlem came from a recessed or "scalloped" fret board. Scalloping between the frets reduces the friction between the guitarist's fingers and the fret board. With a scalloped fret board, the fingers touch only the strings, and not the fret board. This facilitates note bending techniques.

The scallops on the Harlem neck were graduated with a deeper recess on the treble side of the neck than the bass (see photo below).

The 1966 US Vox catalog described the V244 Harlem guitar as follows: "Custom blues action, 6 string double cut away; 2 extended range pickups; 6 barrel type magnets in each pickup; bass, treble and volume controls; quick action toggle pickup selector; Sunburst and popular colors."

The Harlem guitar was produced for Vox by Eko in Italy.

The 1966 US Vox price list indicated that the retail price of the Harlem guitar was $329.90 USD. Adjusting the 1966 price for inflation, the Harlem would retail today for about $2250 USD.

My thanks to Roger Tessier for not only allowing me to take photographs of his Vox Harlem, but also for sharing his great wealth of knowledge about Vox guitars with the Vox Showroom.




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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music


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