Vox V.G 2 Bass Guitar - 1970-1971

Vox V.G.2 Bass Guitar

Gibson Les Paul Bass
In the years leading up to the introduction of the V.G.2 Bass in 1970, the number of guitar and bass models offered by Vox had grown to near epic proportions. The 1966 Vox catalog alone offered thirteen different solid body instruments, eight semi-acoustic models and eleven acoustic or "Spanish" guitars.

Some of the guitar models produced by Vox were original designs. These included the Phantom, Teardrop, Apache, Scorpion and Winchester guitars and basses. The balance of the Vox guitar line was modeled after popular models from Fender, Mosrite and Gibson.

Maintaining this large range of guitar models proved to be a financial hardship for Vox as their parent company, Royston Industries, was looting the profits from all of their subsidiaries to fund the development of the ill-fated "Midas" aviation flight recorder.

By the fall of 1967, precious little money was available for Vox to maintain an inventory of finished goods much less meet their current financial obligations. To make matters worse, Royston lost the contract to build the Midas aviation flight recorder. The financial losses sustained in the development of the Midas flight recorder dealt a crushing blow to Royston. By the end of 1967,
Royston and all of its subsidiaries (including Vox) were forced into into receivership.

Vox disappeared from the UK market for the first half of 1968. Eventually a deal was struck with the receiver bank that would allow Vox to again reopen as a new, independent company named "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" (VSEL)  Reg Clark, sales manager for Vox Sound Equipment, was interviewed about the new company in an article published in Beat Instrumental, a UK music magazine.

Reg Clark mentioned in this Beat Instrumental interview that the previous Vox guitar line had grown too large and he intended to keep only the best of the models previously offered. The results of this downsizing can be seen in the 1969 Vox "Giant Sounds" guitar catalog. All British made Vox guitars were discontinued, including the iconic Phantom and Teardrop models. Only three of the previous electric models made for Vox by Eko survived the cut: the solid bodied Vox Bulldog guitar, the semi-acoustic Vox Lynx guitar and the semi-acoustic Vox Cougar Bass.

In addition to pruning back the number of older guitar and bass models, the 1969 Vox catalog introduced the Gretsch inspired V.G.4 bass, V.G.6 six string and the V.G.12 twelve string guitars. Vox ceased to offer guitars produced in Italy in 1970, but the Les Paul inspired V.G.2 and V.G.2 Bass were added that year. The SG200 guitar and SG200 Bass arrived in the summer of 1971. All of the Vox "V.G" and "SG200" guitars and basses were most likely produced for Vox by Vibromatic in Japan and were significantly less expensive than the Italian made models they replaced.

The Vox V.G.2 bass was a knock-off of the Les Paul Bass introduced in 1969 by Gibson Guitar of Kalamazoo Michigan. Unlike the Gibson Les Paul bass which had a 24 fret "set" neck, the Vox V.G.2 Bass was equipped with a 22 fret removable or "bolt-on" neck. Like the original Les Paul Bass, the V.G.2 Bass had block neck inlays, dual pickups, volume and tone controls for each pickup, a pickup selector switch, an adjustable bridge and a scale length of 30½". The headstock of the V.G.2 Bass featured a diamond shaped pearloid inlay (a nod to diamond pattern of Vox grill cloth) but no Vox logo.

The Vox V.G.2 Bass did not appear in the 1969, 1970 or 1971 Vox product catalogs or price lists. To my knowledge, the only literature from the day that included the V.G.2 bass was the magazine ad below. The 1971 retail price of the Vox V.G.2 Bass was £53.65.

1971 Magazine Advertisement Including the Vox V.G.2 Bass


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