Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Vox Standard 25

Vox Standard 25
I just saw this Japanese Vox Standard 25 guitar from the early 1980s on eBay and just had to blog about it as an identical guitar was the first ever electric guitar that I owned. You could say it was the first of many! (One day I'll make a list of all the guitars I have ever owned).

The design was obviously inspired by the Fender Stratocaster but it's not a straight copy. The smaller more-rounded body-shape was very attractive to my eyes. As I remember it was a very heavy guitar, but then the body and neck were made from solid maple. The pickups were DiMarzios so it was pretty pokey in that department. I used it on lots of early recordings and demos and it never let me down.

The seller of this example on eBay says that it "looks like a strat but is much heavier, more robust, and many people who've owned or played both, myself incuded, believe that the Vox is a superior guitar in almost every respect."

I'm sorry, but I have to take issue with this claim. In 1988 I fell in love with and bought a paisley pink Fender Stratocaster. The Vox guitar was a good quality guitar, but - in a side by side comparison with the Strat - the Fender was streets ahead of it in sound, feel and playability. Friends commented on how much better a guitar my new Strat was, and I believe that my own playing vastly improved as a direct consequence. I have to wonder what kind of Stratocaster the seller of the above Vox is comparing it to? If it's a basic Squier or - dare I say it - a Mexican-made Strat, I wouldn't be surprised if the Vox came off better, but compare it to a quality Fender (my paisley was one of the very early Japanese Fenders) and I bet there'd be no contest.

Owning the Strat, and later a Telecaster too, made my own Vox Standard 25 somewhat redundant. I kept it in Nashville tuning for a while (i.e. strung with the octave strings from a 12-string set) but about 12 or so years ago I decided it really was surplus to requirements and sold it to a friend and then used the money to buy a bicycle. Looking at the above pictures I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about this guitar. It was a good guitar, but the replacements were better. I made the right decision.

I'll try to find some photographs of me with my Vox guitar sometime.

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