The V210J Vox Phantom Bass, made by JMI in the UK
The "Fang Bass"

Many thanks to Roger Tessier who allowed me to photo-
graph his Vox Phantom IV Bass for the Vox Showroom.

© 1996 - 2023 The Vox Showroom, all rights reserved. No use on online auctions, eBay or Reverb.

Photo Courtesy Phil "Fang" Volk

Few bass guitars have become so iconic that they are immediately associated with the celebrity that played them. When one sees a Hofner 500/1 violin bass, Paul McCartney comes to mind. A Vox Teardrop bass suggests Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones. The white Vox Phantom IV bass is indelibly connected to Phil "Fang" Volk of Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Phil Volk strengthened his tie to the Vox Phantom IV by taping his nickname, "Fang," to the back side of his bass. Phil often flipped the Phantom IV over to expose his nickname to the audience.

The unique "coffin" shaped Phantom body style was developed for Vox in 1961 by the London Design Centre and the bass was originally produced by Vox in the UK. A later version was manufactured in Italy for Vox by Eko. Phil Volk played the UK version.

The Vox Phantom IV Bass was offered in the 1962 "Precision in Sound," the 1965 "King of the Beat," the "1964/65 Vox Dealer" and the 1966 "Vox, It's Whats Happening" catalogs. A reprint of any of these catalogs is available at North Coast Music.

The Phantom IV bass featured two single coil pickups with four pole pieces. A rotary switch was used for pickup selection. A single volume and tone control were also included.

The 1966 US Vox catalog described the V210 Phantom IV Bass as follows: "Rugged and powerful solid body in striking Phantom design; fast neck with ebony fingerboard; two husky, 4-pole bass pick-ups; adjustable bridge for low action control; fast action pick-up selector switch; polyester finish in choice of colors."

The 1966 US Vox price list states that the retail price of the Phantom IV was $329.90 USD. Adjusted to today's dollars it would be $2195.

Phil actually didn't like the Phantom IV bass but he agreed to play it due to the Raiders' endorsement agreement with Vox. In a recent interview, Phil said, "The Vox Phantom was awful. The neck was as big as a two by four. If you look at some pictures you'll see that I put a Fender Precision neck on it. I had to have it custom fitted into the slot where the neck goes. And sure enough, after doing that, I could play the thing, and it really had a good feel to it. If you go to Seattle and go to the Experience Music Project Museum -- that bass is hanging there. And it has the Fender neck on it!"

Photo Courtesy Phil "Fang" Volk


The VOX Showroom!

Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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