The Vox V.G. 6 Guitar 1969 - 1971

Gretsch Country Gentleman
In the years leading up to the introduction of the Vox V.G. 6 guitar in 1969, the number of guitar models offered by JMI 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. Five acoustics were also sourced from Eko.

In this same catalog, Vox also introduced the Gretsch inspired V.G.4 bass, V.G.6 six string guitar and the V.G.12 twelve string guitar. All three instruments shared the same body. These models were manufactured for Vox in Japan.

The Vox V.G.6 was designed to resemble the Gretsch 6122 "Country Gentleman" guitar. It was available in green sunburst, transparent red, triple sunburst and dark mahogany.

The 1970 Vox catalog described the V.G.6 as follows: "A six-string Semi-Acoustic guitar with double cutaway body. The cello style body style has masked "F" holes and in-built adjustable truss rod. Twin high-frequency single pole pickups, each governed by separate volume and tone controls, can be varied by three-way selector flick switch. Compensating bridge, and switchable on-off damper unit with an 'easy-action' tremolo arm. Individual shrouded machine heads. All fitments finished in gold. "

The Vox V.G.6 guitar also appeared in the 1971 Vox catalog.

The semi acoustic, double bound Vox V.G.6 featured two single coil pickups sourced from Welson in Italy. The tone of each pickup was shaped by a pair of toggle switches mounted on the upper horn of the instrument. A three position rotary pickup selector switch was mounted to the lower horn. The V.G.6 also featured individual volume and tone conrols for each pickup, a mute switch, painted "f " holes and a bolt on neck.

The Vox V.G.6 bass retailed for £38.00 in the 1970 Vox price list. By means of comparison, Vox charged nearly £64 for an semi-acoustic Italian made "Lynx" guitar in 1967.


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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