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Thread: Vox Phantom IV bass pickups

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    Vox Phantom IV bass pickups

    I have one of these beasts in my possession and I think it sounds great. Any ideas on what wire gauge is likely to have been used? The pickups look to have been sealed in plastic. There's just a 2 way switch so you can't run both pus together but they seem dead quiet for unshielded single coils.

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    Hi Dave. Don't know what is up with this site but every jpeg I try and upload tells me it is not a valid file and then takes me to a message from tboy telling me it won't take long so summat is up the creek. The pups should be white square ended with the poles showing through the cover and all the ones I have seen and got, work the same as a strat bobbin and cover they should just lift off. Iv'e still got a few new pups for these basses in the cupboard so will have a look tomorrow and stick a mic on the wire and come back to you.

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    Thanks johnson,
    jpgs are not working for me either but those are definitely the pickups I have here. Thanks for letting me know all that good info. I was just thinking that the pickups would have been something Eko in Italy would have wound since as all the other components are Italian -pots, tone cap, and rotary switch. Oddly the jack is stamped "Switchcraft" but it's almost certainly a knock off, very crude looking.

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    Site Janitor tboy's Avatar
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    I think its fixed

    Quote Originally Posted by jonson View Post
    every jpeg I try and upload tells me it is not a valid file and then takes me to a message from tboy telling me it won't take long
    Thanks for mentioning this as I was unaware of the problem (I'm still mopping up after the move to a new machine). jpeg uploads should be working now if you want try it again.
    -tb

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    Hi Dave, This is getting bad. Still can't upload jpegs and the common one has just happened to me again. Logged in, wrote the post out, submitted it and was told I wasn't logged in again and lost the post. Sometimes happens 4 or 5 times and sometimes I give up, so, I'm gonna copy this and paste and copy and paste or go away.
    No pics but a bit more info on pups. When you remove the covers they scream USA Fender at you as they are apart from mag size and solder eyelets good copies of the first P Bass single coils ie: 50s slab body jobs.
    Black forbon oversize strat pups with all the same holes and construction. The UK at this time was mostly aircoil pups and Europe and the baltic countries were into small polythene bobbins but where these came from is a question I should have asked Bob Waite and never did. Bob Waite and his company Heathpoint Timber built most of these beasts along with the organ guitar in a factory about a mile from me. Same factory I built all my Hearts and Goodfellow basses in after Bob retired. He passed away recently so that info has gone with him. Shame as nowdays I do ask questions even if I get "piss off it's a secret" or we will lose all this stuff. I'm not a good judge of wire but a dark dull brassy orange colour I think makes it formvar and it mics up at 42awg. Ive got 6.82 from one and 7.24 from the other and there is short lengths of very thin green and red cloth covered hook up wire to the eyelets which also have small flat ringed terminals as well. Masking tape has been used as a wrapping and the mags are lower at each end to cater for the string radius but the mags are all the same length Alnico just pushed further out of the baseplate. What makes them quiet I don't know. Once this site prob has been sorted I'll post some pics as these are an easy made job and I have dimensions if anybody is up for making some retros to add to their armoury.

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    Supporting Member Dave Kerr's Avatar
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    testing...


    edit - jonson, I just upload my images to photobucket (freebie image hosting site) and insert the link using the image tool here.

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    Bit pc useless but I will give that a try. Cheers Dave.

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    Here we go.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails picture-003.jpg  
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    Site Janitor tboy's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Try ampix

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kerr View Post
    I just upload my images to photobucket (freebie image hosting site) and insert the link using the image tool here.
    We have our own photo hosting site at ampix.org if you want to try it.
    -tb

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    Took 6 goes to get them in but between you 2 guys that will make my life easier. Thanks.

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    Supporting Member Dave Kerr's Avatar
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    Some cool stuff there, thanks. I'm assuming that you want to restrict to on-topic stuff there to conserve bandwidth?

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    johnson, that's amazing, so you were the fellow responsible for Goodfellows? I built one once for a Danish kid, it's a great and elegant design. I guess I owe you there...
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    Here's the back of the pick guard.
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    Not seen those before so I guess they sourced other places.
    Goodfellow not mine Dave, I just built them for the guy that bought the company off Bernie. But built 95% of them till they dissapeared so quite happy with that.

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    The majority of vox pickups I have seen have been the ones in the 'guts' pic, molded white plastic(polystyrene, I think) bobbins, stuffed inside a molded cover, which is glued to the molded plastic baseplate with little sheet metal chunks crimped over the 'ears'. These were clearly made in the same factory as many of the EKO pickups. You cannot dissassemble these unless it was very poorly glued during manufacture. Usually the little ears break off and you have to glue a chunk of plastic to the bottom of the pickup, or carefully use a dremel to saw through the glue joint at the base and fabricate a new base.

    I have seen one of the other type of pickup which did indeed look like a dead on Fender copy underneath a crudely molded cover. At the time, I thought it was something that a previous owner had cobbled together because they were unable to source the real thing.

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    The story is that the Phantom started life in the Uk in 1962 and origionaly had chrome covered pups. these were redisigned very early on to resemble the fender pups of which I found a boxfull in the old factory. Got about 4 left now and all are new but been floating around in a cupboard for years.
    In 1965 it was moved to Eko as you said in Italy and they are the common ones to be found these days and bodies and necks and complete guitars fron origional stock are still to be had now from Brandoni's in the Uk. Eko also made the teardrop. These things do travelas I know there was also some made in the USA and I think that was by Korg but I cannot confirm it. I know the Brit ones were sycamore bodies and necks with rio rosewood fingerboards as I got a lot of that stock, but 100s of bodies and necks were sent to the heating furnace as nobody wanted them or wanted to store them but past history and lots of regrets about that one.

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    johnson, that's fascinating info. i think i'll build a 32" scale version for myself. I've even got some sycamore that's begging for a project like that. Were the Brit ones solid or hollow bodied. The italian ones are hollow and that's a part of the sound I think.

    What I really want is a Vox Apollo like Colin Moulding's. Any idea what the scale length and PU on those was?

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    The phantom was a solid body unlike the teardrop. and the Apollo was hollow with a very skinny neck pretty sure it was 30in scale but will check it out. Pickups were Vox ferro sonics but not seen them for years but will check if there are any bits still around.
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    David. Vox(eko)Phantom and teardrop guitar Bodies and necks are still available as are Phantom bass necks, also some 60s bass pups but would guess being Italian they are the sealed type as the ones you have there, but, hardware not around so down to cloning I'd say. No Apollo stuff around but the phantom neck should fit most Vox(Eko) basses.

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    johnson, that's fascinating info. i think i'll build a 32" scale version for myself. I've even got some sycamore that's begging for a project like that. Were the Brit ones solid or hollow bodied. The italian ones are hollow and that's a part of the sound I think.

    What I really want is a Vox Apollo like Colin Moulding's. Any idea what the scale length and PU on those was?
    David, are you an XTC fan too? They are one of my favorite bands. Colin gets a great sound on that Vox! I liked the Epiphone Newport he had too. I put a Gibson Sidewinder in my Ric to get that Black Sea tone.

    I had a stereo Phantom XII. It was Italian made, and was a solid body. I think it was a '66.

    It had the same style pickups, only they were split coil like a P bass because it was stereo. I had rewired it to put both halves in series, they worked like humbuckers and sounded really good. It was a bit thin sounding originally. These pickups were not sealed either. I was able to open them up.

    (this was taken with a really cheap digital camera before I sold the Vox)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails untitled1_003.jpg  
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    jonson,
    I'd be interested in getting hold of a replacement Eko Phantom body and pick-guard if it's not too unreasonable. This bass is not going to make it into the next decade the way it's headed. Please let me know how I would go about obtaining one. Thanks, David

    I guess I should explain that the plastic hollow body is slowly deforming under the string tension. The plastic resin is gassing off on the inside and from what I understand is not long for this world once that de-polymerization process gets started. Since all the other parts are original and in perfect shape I'd hate to just part it out.

    As far as building a second one, I discovered that someone in Oregon is importing an Asian copy of the Phantom that's all wood with the 32" scale for $600. http://phantomguitars.com
    Last edited by David King; 11-27-2007 at 06:04 AM.

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    Hi David let me make the ness enquiries and I will come back to you.

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    I will give the guys a call tomorrow as I'm sure its guitar bodies and bass necks but will find out for you. If they have them I will sort prices and get back to you.

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    johnson! do you still have any vox phantom bass pickups? I am searching for a bridge pickup and a pickguard. Thanks!

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    Pretty sure I may have one or two tucked away so will look this weekend. Scratchplate no but if I can find a pattern then not a difficult one to run off. Will get back to you.

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    In Need of Vox Bass Pickup for Bill Wyman and Phantom Basses!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonson View Post
    Pretty sure I may have one or two tucked away so will look this weekend. Scratchplate no but if I can find a pattern then not a difficult one to run off. Will get back to you.
    Hi jonson,

    I just came across this thread. I own 2 UK Vox Bill Wyman basses and now picked up one of the Vox 50th Anniversary Bill Wyman Reissues that came out 10 years ago. I also have a couple of Phantomguitars.com Phantom and Teardrop Copies.
    The Vox Reissue and the 2 Phantomguitars.com bass have an output issue. They have half the volume as my originals!! I am in dire need of those originals pickups or someone you can duplicate them. I tried Seymour Duncan and they refuse to help.

    Do you have any of these pickups left or know of someone who can duplicate them?

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvinbass View Post
    Hi jonson,

    I just came across this thread. I own 2 UK Vox Bill Wyman basses and now picked up one of the Vox 50th Anniversary Bill Wyman Reissues that came out 10 years ago. I also have a couple of Phantomguitars.com Phantom and Teardrop Copies.
    The Vox Reissue and the 2 Phantomguitars.com bass have an output issue. They have half the volume as my originals!! I am in dire need of those originals pickups or someone you can duplicate them. I tried Seymour Duncan and they refuse to help.

    Do you have any of these pickups left or know of someone who can duplicate them?
    Jonson my dear friend, Passed away I think, in April of 2015.
    He was a very helpful member, and speaking for the group, we all miss him!
    Maybe someone else can help that hangs out here?
    T
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    Sad News
    Last edited by big_teee; 08-17-2017 at 03:02 AM.
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    Oh No! Sorry to hear this. I know the last post was back in 2011. I came late to the party I guess. Thank You for your response. Cheers!

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    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvinbass View Post
    I am in dire need of those originals pickups or someone you can duplicate them. I tried Seymour Duncan and they refuse to help. Do you have any of these pickups left or know of someone who can duplicate them?
    I find hard to believe that the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop would REFUSE to do anything. Who did you talk to? Care to explain?

    Anyway, the next to contact are the following:

    Jason Lollar, Lollar guitars: http://www.lollarguitars.com/

    James Finnerty, Re-Wind pickups: http://www.re-wind.net/index.html

    Both are known to make and/or repair one-offs.

    HTH,
    Last edited by LtKojak; 08-17-2017 at 03:12 PM.
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
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    Just rereading this thread and feel the loss all over again. johnson had written to me privately several times to tell me about the huge collection of pickup data that he'd acquired in his lifetime and had hoped to post on our short-lived pickupedia.info pages. If you have history around you don't wait to collect it and write it down.

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    Thank You Pepe, for the referrals!! As far as Seymour Duncan, I spoke to Maricela who is the Custom Shop Manger. I've her to duplicate the pickup and she said they don't do that. I'm not Slash, Jeff Beck or Eddie Van Halen so the buck stops here.
    Currently I will be speaking with Curtis Novak who has expressed to duplicate it. I'll let everyone know if this takes place. He's done an improved version of the Gibson EB-O Mudbucker so he can do this if he wants to take the task.

  32. #32
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    It looks like it is just a single coil, like the old tele bass pickup, but in a cover.
    If you have the cover, nearly anyone here could make a pickup for it.
    See post 5.
    T
    Last edited by big_teee; 08-18-2017 at 09:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    It looks like it is just a single coil, like the old tele bass pickup, but in a cover.
    If you have the cover, nearly anyone here could make a pickup for it.
    See post 5.
    T
    Yes but the base is different and they are rectangle not rounded as the 50's P bass pickup. I do have those and they are not the same.

  34. #34
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvinbass View Post
    Yes but the base is different and they are rectangle not rounded as the 50's P bass pickup. I do have those and they are not the same.
    I agree.
    Can't rectangular flatwork be made from forbon?
    Do you have the white covers?
    Most of us here have made custom flatwork for one off pickups.
    Cut and drill the flatwork to fit the white cover.
    They actually look a lot like J-Bass Pickups with less magnets.
    Am I missing something?

    T
    Technicians Run the World, but Bankers, Lawyers, and Accountants, Take All The Credit!
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvinbass View Post
    Hi jonson,

    I just came across this thread. I own 2 UK Vox Bill Wyman basses and now picked up one of the Vox 50th Anniversary Bill Wyman Reissues that came out 10 years ago. I also have a couple of Phantomguitars.com Phantom and Teardrop Copies.
    The Vox Reissue and the 2 Phantomguitars.com bass have an output issue. They have half the volume as my originals!! I am in dire need of those originals pickups or someone you can duplicate them. I tried Seymour Duncan and they refuse to help.

    Do you have any of these pickups left or know of someone who can duplicate them?
    I'm not familiar with the Vox 50 year Reissue or Phantom Gutarworks pickups, but I pulled apart a Teardrop bass pickup made a couple of years ago. This was from a short lived run done by Korg/Vox. A very low output pickup. Construction was forban with steel slugs for poles and ceramic magnet glued to the bottom. Very weak magnetic field at the top of the poles, which I believe is the reason for the low output. I didn't bother checking the DC resistance, but can if anyone is interested. I unsuccessfully tried to remove the magnet with the intention of replacing it, possibly with neos. It was glued on so well, I felt severe damage would be done to the bottom. At that point it seemed a better idea was to remake the pickup from scratch using the Fender model (alnico as poles). The most valuable thing about the pickup is the cover.
    big_teee likes this.

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