Vox V250 Violin Bass
Vox V250 Bass in Teardrop Case
|The fortunes of Hofner, Rickenbacker, Gretsch and Ludwig were forever changed after the Beatles hit the top of the pop charts in 1964. Not only were the instruments and drums manufactured by these companies suddenly in short supply, the prices spiked with demand.
The undeniable popularity of the Hofner 500/1 violin bass spawned a number of clones. Eko, an Italian guitar manufacturer, was quick to cash in on the popularity of the Hofner "Beatle Bass." Released in 1965, the Eko Model 995/2 violin bass was a less expensive alternative to the Hofner 500/1.
Eko was distributed in the United States by Lo Duca Brothers Inc. of my home town, Milwaukee WI. Founded by Guy and Tom LoDuca, LoDuca Brothers Inc. flourished in the fifties and early sixties by importing and selling Italian made accordians. Soon after the Beatles became popular the interest in accordians waned. The Lo Duca Brothers then secured the US distributorship for Eko guitars. My thanks to my friends at LoDuca Brothers, Mickey and Jim LoDuca, for supplying the magazine copy for the Eko 995/2 Violin bass shown above.
The Eko 995/2 Violin Bass featured a bound semi-acoustic body with two "f" holes, a removable neck, two humbucking pickups, a rotary pickup switch that featured three tone selections plus an "off" position, a single volume and tone control, an adjustable floating bridge, a lyre shaped trapeze tail piece and 30" scale. The bass also featured an oddly shaped head stock that resembled a periscope. Click here to see the catalog page from the 1967 EKO product catalog featuring the 995/2 Violin Bass.
As Vox sourced many of their guitars from Eko, it made sense that a modified version of the 995/2 violin bass would soon appear in the Vox catalog. The Vox V850 (shown at left) featured an unbound semi-acoustic body, a bound removable neck, two split "f" holes, two single coil pickups, twin volume controls, one tone control, a lyre shaped trapeze tail piece, a floating bridge and the traditional Vox paddle head stock. The V250 Vox Violin Bass had a three position rotary pickup selector switch in addition to volume and tone controls.
Like the Hofner 500/1 and Eko 995/2 basses, the Vox V850 had a 30" scale. The slender neck of the V850 Vox Violin bass included an adjustable truss rod and was reinforced with an aluminum double "T" extrusion (see illustration above). The neck included a "zero" fret for increased sustain.
The neck had a "C" profile and was 1 11/16" wide at the zero fret and 2" wide at the twelfth fret.
A plush lined, tear drop shaped hard shell case was included (see photo at left).
My thanks to Roger Tessier for allowing me to take photos of his V850 Vox Violin Bass. Additional thanks to Douglas Thayer for offering the photo of his V850 bass and case.