Vox Phantom VI Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965)

Vox  Phantom VI Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1965)

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Item # 7998
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Vox Phantom VI Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Dartford, Kent, England, serial # 63984, white polyester finish, mahogany body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, grey hard shell case.

The Vox Phantom remains one of the 1960's most iconic instruments, at least in design and visual impact -- utterly distinctive then and now. Along with the equally striking teardrop-shaped Mark series, the abstract trapezoidal-shaped Phantoms were born at JMI in Dartford, Kent in the early '60's. The Phantom VI guitar, introduced in 1962-3 is one of Vox's most iconic instruments. Like most of the company's guitars the design is based on the Fender Stratocaster, in this case with the body reduced to the minimum, visually effective if not as ergonomic. The three 6-pole pickups provide a wide range of tonal options; in design they are most similar to the 1962 Stratocaster pickups, with a similar but more square-ended white plastic cover. Controls are also a ringer for the Strat: a master volume and two tone knobs, and a rotary switch for pickup selection. The Vibrato is closer to the Bigsby design, with an adjustable roller bridge.

This Phantom VI dates to mid-1965 and is a relatively well-preserved example. Unlike nearly all production Vox guitars originally sold in the US, this original JMI-made example was actually assembled at the Vox factory in Dartford, Kent. That facility there was overstretched even in 1964 supplying Vox product to the UK and world markets; instead of expanding their guitar-making facilities JMI outsourced the bulk of instrument production to EKO's facility in Recanati, Italy. This Phantom features a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard on a body of African mahogany, finished in white polyester. Eko-made Vox guitars are exponentially more common and lack the cachet-and the sound- of original JMI-built instruments. When Thomas Organ in California took over US distribution of JMI's products nearly all the Vox guitars they handled would be of Italian parentage so an original UK-made instrument like this is extremely rare here in America. The Phantom VI is garage rock classic, as well as one of the most visually striking of all 1960's guitars
 
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 11 in. (27.9 cm.) across at the widest point, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.). Overall a nice playable example of this rare instrument, better preserved than many. There has been some work performed over the years, but the guitar still looks and feels as it should. The original white Polyester finish has been oversprayed long ago with another coat of white (why we're not sure) but remains very original looking with a period patina, with some wear spots down to the older layer. The pickups and electronics are all original components, all hardware appears original except for the "tone I" knob and selector knob (period Vox parts but not original to the guitar) and some of the pickguard screws. The neck finish is the original relatively thin lacquer, the instrument has not been refretted so the original Vox frets have seen some typical work but are as playable as most of these. The "Phantom" silver applique headstock logo is fully intact, the company logo on the pickguard is partially worn away and the "Made In England" label on the headstock rear is flaked a bit. This iconic guitar plays well (as well as JMI's products ever did, anyway) with a nice snarly '60's sound. Includes a typical Italian VOX case originally for a bass. Excellent - Condition.