Vox Panther bass guitar, circa 1966. Serial # 264069. Italian.
At 41 ¾” end to end his bass is hardly any bigger than a Fender Stratocaster (which usually measure just slightly over 38”
not including the strap button. ) It has the tiny neck style found on certain other Voxes. The pickup is the same as those
found on Phantoms and other Vox basses, set at an angle to accommodate the closer string spacing. This was made for the
beginner market (the Panther Bass retailed for $139 in 1967) but it has a surprisingly big sound and is well made. The
pickguard shrinkage and crack is usual on Voxes of this age. A lot of these have necks and headstocks in a natural finish,
and there is some variety in the type of tuners used. This one has a rarer black lacquered headstock and neck, which is
bound in white celluloid. Complete with the bridge cover, which are often missing. Some dings and scratches on the body
and bridge cover but the neck is very clean.
Besides the original hard shell case, this one has all the case candy! A JMI Vox polish cloth, pouch, a hang tag with
information on the “double T reinforcement bar” and truss rod system, 5 year warranty card with picture of the Beatles
posing with Vox amps, a card with information on the “care of your Vox guitar," a mail-in warranty card and a little tag
with warnings about suitable amplification...wow! I have to think this was a one-owner bass before I acquired it.
I find that the small overall size and neck it is relatively easy to get used to, but then switching back to a more standard
sized bass neck initially feels odd. A female bassist friend of mine also has a Panther Bass and I could see how the small
neck would appeal to some players. Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones was a notable Vox player and he specifically chose
certain basses because of his smaller hands. For those curious about just how small the Panther neck is, here are some
measurements from mine.
Width at nut: 1 1/8”
Depth at nut: ¾”
Width at 12th fret: 1 ¼”
Depth at 12th fret: 1”