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N/OBD! Vox Phantom IV

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by infiniteposse, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. infiniteposse


    Feb 7, 2008
    Hi all-

    I just traded for this old Vox Phantom IV bass and I had a few questions.

    Does anyone know of a source for NOS or repro pick-guards for these basses? This one is slightly warped and the bridge sits directly on top of the guard, so it seems like it may be pitching the bridge forward slightly, although that may be an illusion. Besides the guard, the bass is in pretty good condition and sounds great. Amazing pickups. It's fretting out a little and probably just needs a truss rod adjustment, but that'll be sorted out soon.

    Also, the bass has some old black flatwound strings on it that are likely 15+ years old. Anyone have any idea what these might be? They sound pretty amazing on here so I'd like to get a new set if these need to be retired at some point.

    Lastly, just a note about how cool I find this thing to be. Not an easy lap player, but with a good leather strap with some grip to keep it where you want it, it rocks. Rings like a bell acoustically and it just reeks of cool. I'm a big Velvet Underground fan, so this was sort of like a minor holy grail for me:) Also, note the killer original case which came with the basses name on it - Pig has come home.








  2. I LOVE Phantom basses.

    I would shoot an email to Phantom Guitarworks about the pickguard. I think he has a ton of spare old parts and such. If not shoot an email to Rhoads Music he may have a source for you.

    The stings are probably Pyramids.
  3. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    +1 for Phantom Guitar Works. That's your best bet.
  4. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    The Phantom Guitar Works pickguards do not fit the original Vox basses. Especially the Phantom IV.

    There are no NOS pickguards out there, trust me, I started looking 15 years ago for one. If you want a replacement you'll have to have one made. Which means you'll have to remove the current one on the bass and very accurately trace it. Then send the trace to who ever's making you the pickguard.

    Phantom IV's are very cool looking and sounding basses, but you'll discover that you can only play it while standing up with a strap and you'll have to keep your hand on the neck at all times because they suffer from serious neck diving.

    Good luck trying to find a Vox bridge cover. If you find one, it will cost you a lot to buy it. Like $100 + minimum.


  5. Agreed but from my understanding he has a bunch of old Vox parts. As does Jim Rhoads of Rhoads Music. That is why I mentioned those two sources.

    Otherwise getting a custom guard like you suggested would be the easiest.
  6. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Another Phantom IV fan. I own a very early white one. My cousin owns a white Phantom VI. What a visual effect when the two of them are together. A couple of questions for you infiniteposse - what does the sticker on the back of the head say and the one on the pick guard? Can you tell if it's a refin? The reason I ask is, all of the ones that I've ever seen with the 3 piece neck have the pad on back to prevent buckle rash etc. It covers a large section of the back and snapped on. The very early ones didn't have it but soon did. I discovered this several years ago after a lot research and an hour on the phone with Rhoads checking everything possible to determine age. No exact date, but Rhoads had never heard of, or seen one, until mine, that didn't have it, unless it had been removed during a refin or something. He was a great source for knowledge and some parts as well. Very COOL basses. :cool:
  7. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I wouldn't touch it. Don't disturb the mojo. Just play it. Vox actually had black tapewound strings made for them by Tosca in Italy.

  8. infiniteposse


    Feb 7, 2008
    Thanks guys. I'll check out these 2 sources and see what I can find. I've had custom guards done before, so it won't kill me if it comes down to that.

    Re: the bridge cover, luckily it also came with this:


  9. infiniteposse


    Feb 7, 2008
  10. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Thanks for the link to the bay. Just goes to show that nothing is definite except - well - you know what. :cool:
  11. infiniteposse


    Feb 7, 2008
    Well, it seems nobody's got an NOS one, so the options are to either try and slavage mine, which is pretty darn warped, or get another made. I'm going with the latter. http://www.pickguardian.com/pickguardian/ is up for the task I guess. I'm going to do a 3-ply mint green guard, which is as close as I can get to what I think it might have started out as in the beginning. Regardless, it should look cool.

    Thanks all!
  12. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    getting one made is your best bet. Nice vox BTW, I have a 68 Sidewinder myself that I love
  13. This makes me want to pull out my 68(so-called)Bill Wyman Teradrop hollow body.
    On the PG, I wonder if putting it in hot water(not quite boiling)for a bit- until it gets just slightly pliable, then placing it under a stack of heavy books or something until it cools, hopefully flat. BE CAREFUL, of course- and if doing this ruins it, we never had this conversation. ;)
  14. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    Love these old VOX's!
  15. El Tookay

    El Tookay Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Vox Phantom basses are screamin' cool. I still want a Fang bass (white on white Phantom IV, as played by Phil "Fang" Volk of Paul Revere and the Raiders) :D .
  16. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    Didn't they make a reissue one or something?
  17. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    I own an original British 1964 Phantom IV, Ebony fretboard, no binding, no wheel trussrod (which never worked on my Banana necked later model Italian Vox) but a Fender style one piece flame maple baseball bat profile neck. Ebony thumbrest. Fender style threaded bridge Much thicker pickguard with no warpage (says only VOX, Phantom is on the Headstock) and pickups modeled on original single coil Precisions.

    Vox couldn't make any money on the Phantom line so they sent the production to EKO in Italy. They used a lighter wood for the body, the Brit ones have much less neck dive. Also a rectangular "Cheney London" case.

    IMO Phantom Guitar Works makes a very poor short scale imitation. They have NO Vox parts. The Italian Phantoms are infamous for PG shrinkage. The later Italian ones did not have the back pad. None of the Brit ones did. Mine is dated on the back of the headstock and neck. I would happily pay $100 for a bridge cover!
  18. THat's awesome!
  19. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    They Sent production to EKO because EKO made better necks than anything british at the time. Its all the my VOX book.

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