Introduced in 1962, the iconic shape and Strat like features of the Phantom guitar made it an instant hit for Vox.
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Vox expanded the marketability of the Phantom franchise by introducing numerous variations of the guitar. In addition to twelve string, bass, and guitar organ versions, Vox introduced two new six string versions: the "Phantom VI Stereo" featuring three offset split coil pickups and the "Phantom VI Special."
Like the standard Phantom, the Phantom VI Special featured three single coil pickups, a rotary three position pickup selector, and a vibrato arm. The Phantom VI Special added six onboard battery powered effects operated by push buttons mounted to the pick guard. These buttons actuated the Treble Boost, Bass Boost, Top Boost, Mid Boost, Fuzz and Repeat circuits. A second three position rotary switch toggled between three mid boost frequencies. Additional rotary controls adjusted the Fuzz Sustain (level), Repeat speed, and volume while another enabled a "E" reference tone for tuning your guitar. The volume control also served as an on/off switch.
The neck on this Phantom VI Special was probably made for Vox by Stuart Darkins, a UK based furmiure maker that acted as a guitar part subcontractor for JMI. UK made necks had a truss rod cover located on the head stock. Italian (Eko) necks had the truss rod adjustment located at the pick guard. The Phantom VI Special neck also included individual tuner keys and an aluminum nut.
My thanks to Martin Kelly, author of the forthcoming book "Vox Guitars - The JMI Years," for sharing photos of his Vox Phantom VI Special with the Vox Showroom.