Vox Ace, original UK model, 1965
By 1965, when this great Vox Ace was built, the worldwide guitar boom, kicked off by the Beatles, was headed for its first massive peak. With a backline of Vox amps clearly visible at every show they played, the fab four, and later the Rolling Stones and others, helped generate sales figures the homegrown brand could never previously have imagined. At their peak Vox were running two factories in the UK, while across the channel in Italy, Eko were also furiously churning out Vox guitars.
But, as evidenced by the headstock logo, this Ace is all British, an early 1965 product of the Vox plant in Dartford, Kent. (Body dated Dec ’64, neck Jan ’65) There had been an earlier budget Vox model bearing the Ace name, around 1960-62, but when the Ace reappeared in 1964 it was clearly reflecting the design lines of Fender’s Stratocaster. The Standard Ace came with two single coil pickups, while the Super Ace went the whole Strat hog with three pickups.
Reinforcing the impact the British Invasion had around the world, despite the global domination of the big American brands – Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Martin, etc – this outstanding Ace found its way into our hands in Portland, Oregon, during our most recent US buying trip. . (The picture to the right shows the Ace against Portland’s evening skyline)
Along with the pair of fantastic sounding pickups – hot, beefy and reasonably Strat-like in the mid-position – you also get a particularly nice 19-fret Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard, the original Vox tremolo system, original Waverly-style tuners, and Vox’s original, thick lacquer finish. Often quite heavily cracked, (quite desirable that way, too), there’s only a handful of very fine lacquer cracks here, which you’ll have to look quite closely to see. The most obvious are one straight out from the low E side of the bridge, (see pic # 7), and others originating at the screw-holes at the lower and two upper points of the scratchplate, (pics 1 & 8).
As well as the stylish body lines, the short scale Ace also features the incredibly cool scimitar-shaped headstock that is just a great bit of design work! The headstock flows ergonomically down into an equally well-shaped Sycamore neck, with a very ‘modern-C’ profile that plays very, very smoothly.
The finish is very swish – start at Fiesta Red and move maybe a shade and a half towards Coral or Salmon. And the famous, thick lacquer adds a real touch of sixties class. Nice.
The great-sounding pickups give the Ace the makings of a fantastic surf guitar, but, as noted earlier, it’s dead easy to get a good Strat tone in the mid selector position. Roll the volume and tone controls back a little and discover nice jazz tones, too. A highly versatile little axe!
There’s not a lot of genuinely historic, famous name, vintage guitars that look and sound this good for only $1290… we can’t see the Ace being here for long, so we suggest you don’t dilly-dally. And remember, all Just Guitars instruments include FREE COURIER DELIVERY to any address in Australia!
Price: AUD$1290.00 GST Included