Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Vox Mark IX, vintage 9-string electric teardrop guitar

This isn't just any old Vox teardrop-shaped Mark series guitar. Just check out that headstock. Several manufacturers have dallied with 9-string guitars, that is, guitars with six courses, three of which are doubled. These have taken several forms. I have seen acoustic 9-strings which had the bass strings doubled (I believe Gordon Giltrap used such 9-string guitars), and of course there have been various electric models such as this Vox Mark IX from 1966 which have the higher strings doubled. The intention is to create a 12-string sound on an instrument that is a little easier to handle than a 12-string and on which you could also play lead lines or riffs, power chords or whatever, on the single strings depending on whether they are to the bass or the treble side.

Personally, I'd like to see a 9-string with the B, G and D strings in pairs. This is the way that some studios set up their 12-string guitars and does have a certain logic. The problem with doubling just the three higher strings as on this Vox, is that only the G has an octave string, as the E and B strings are merely doubled up in unison. I know from my own 8-string acoustic that adding octave strings to the middle most courses gives very good results.

The Vox Mark IX was not a particular success story, and examples are very rare. This example, in excellent condition, is currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $3,495.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!


  1. brilliant, it's actually what I need for the kind of stuff I'm playing lately, I will de-string my 12...

  2. Bertram, I'm considering doing the same to my Fender Stratocaster XII.

  3. Hi Bertram and GL,

    I have a Vox tear drop xii which once in a while string like this. I much prefer using my Yari Bob Weir 2 acoustic with a Nashville tuning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_tuning_%28high_strung%29. I don't do it often because its really hard on the guitar. It takes a week or so for it to find its normal shape once I retring it to normal strings/tuning. I will play a guitar part on my 1976 Applause and then over dub with the high strung Yari. It's time consuming because if I don't get the two guitar parts in sync, it can sound messy. Once done, it sounds great.

    GL - You gave me your email when I first commented on Guitarz but I cannot remember which post it was. Please send an email to david.cauthery@gmail.com because my Yari Bob Weir is unlike any I have seen on the web. Perhaps you would post the photos I will send on guitarz to see if any of your users have some incite into the genesis of the instrument.

    Keep up the best guitar site on the web!


  4. Mann was the name that Ibanez started building under when they were being sued by gibson and fender for making replica's of the top guitars, The authorities were
    seizing the Japanese shipments and sawing the headstocks off of guitars by the boat load. Ibanez did this to protect themselves from the lawsuit and preserve the
    main company name. When they lost the lawsuit Mann was forced to shut down and the inventory was confiscated and destroyed. Because of this the Mann
    versions Are very rare and hard to come by, Especially a set neck and a solid neck that's one piece, (not a laminated fretboard). With brass fret markers etc....
    Even to this day, try getting an Ibanez case or guitar into Canada for example........ Enter Mann, they were the simple answer to get these guitars into Canada and
    other countries as well. The Authorities got smart to that in The USA though and confiscated both the Ibanez and Mann versions but the Mann versions were rare in the US to begin with.... That brings the value of the set neck version up through the roof here. I have sold a couple of rare ones at auction in the USA for over
    two grand, but that's in mint condition with original case and paperwork.

  5. I own the same Vox guitar but with the original case!
    I have never seen another one here in the UK.

    1. Do you have any photos that you could share with us?


  6. Therefore dissertation web-sites as a result of online to set-up safe and sound ostensibly taped in the website. SparkyElectricians.org



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