Other Guitars

Eko/Vox guitars


Well there were dozens of models... the '66 Thomas Vox foldout shows over 30... of course some were slight variations. But apart from the effects of 50 years, when new, or good survivors, how good do you think Italian Eko Vox guitars were. I sure like Phantoms etc. We know the thick finishes split, anchored pickguards shrunk and broke, and I have heard of truss rod problems also.


Well, you don't see too many of either anymore.


Eko was hit or miss, like most things produced in Italy, but, having shot across the bow, a lot of Italian manufacturing is Art.


I have a pair of Vox Tornados from the mid 60's. I bought the first one around 1992 and gigged it unmodified for a decade. I was playing 60's Garage punk so if you didn't have a Vox guitar or a fuzzed out Farfisa, or BOTH you just didn't fit

It is still in fantastic shape, despite the modifications. The finish is still flawless, The color vibrant and unfaded. The binding work, especially around the F-holes is stellar. Nice maple neck with a wedge shape lamination separated by rosewood veneers, It made me fall in love with zero frets. While the necks are bound they were slotted during fretting at the factory. Every Eko I have seen is like that. The only issue is a slight backbow in the neck that happened while filming a video in 1994. I tripped and fell and the headstock stabbed into the ground. I have to keep 11's on it to keep enough tension on the neck to stop the buzzing.

It has a narrow nut width that people love to complain about but I don't mind it at all. I love the tornado shaped headstock and the original tuners had spiral shaped keys to continue the theme.

The second was a husk I got cheap on ebay and rebuilt with parts I still had when I modded the first.

Whenever I see another Eko/Vox I pick them up and they are instantly comfortable to me. Like a slipping on a pair of Chuck Taylors. I still want a phantom, but those are well out of "impulse buy" price range anymore.


The little bracket to hold up the pickguard is a gem and nicer than I have ever seen on most higher end guitars


The shape of the original tuners showing the wedge shaped neck lamination


I had a super cool Vox Starstream XII (tear drop with all the onboard effects) which I sold last year. It had the best fuzz sound I've ever heard, including from vintage pedals.

The only problem with it was that the pickups really squealed. I suppose they should have been wax potted but I didn't want to make any modifications to the guitar.

I also have a Vox Cougar bass. The neck may have issues, but I like how thin the nut is --totally a guitar player's bass. My brother also has the Vox Apollo IV which has built in fuzz. Cool Florentine cutaway. Also a great guitar player's bass.

Register Sign in to join the conversation