Sadly, the funding campaign for the Unlimited travel guitar with built-in speaker that we covered late last month was unsuccessful, but fear not because VOX Amplification has come to the rescue in impressive retro style. The company has dipped into the past to bring back two of its most iconic guitar shapes as modern travel/practice instruments. The beautiful VOX Teardrop and Phantom have been reborn as the Apache Series, each featuring two speakers, built-in effects and rhythm patterns, and the ability to jam along to favorite tunes via direct input from an external MP3 or CD player.
As the Rolling Stones celebrate 50 years in music, VOX Amplification has dusted off the blueprints for an iconic guitar body shape which I will forever associate with Brian Jones (Stones founding member and guitarist until shortly before his death in July 1969): the Teardrop. Another classic shape from yesteryear is also being resurrected for the new Apache travel series, although it's the fantastic skull and cross-VOX logo of the Fuzztones from the 1980s that links my synapses to the Phantom.
Both guitars feature basswood bodies and maple necks with 22-fret rosewood fingerboards. They've been enhanced with onboard effects and 2-channel amplification, a built-in tuner and a rhythm generator with 66 included patterns, including six extended song patterns. Tempo for the latter can be selected from anyway between 40 to 240 beats per minute.
Players select tone, volume and effects using classic chicken-head VOX control knobs and output is via two 3-inch speakers (4 ohms each) that sit between the bridge and the single coil pickup at the neck. Amp output is given as 0.7W RMS at 8 ohms.
The Apache travel guitars are powered by six AA-sized batteries, which are claimed to offer up to 26 hours of continuous practice. Plugging some earphones in the 3.5-mm headphone jack will mute the speakers and there's an auxiliary input to allow players to jam along with MP3 tracks from an external device. The guitars also feature a 6.4-mm output for connection to an external amp.
Availability is yet to be revealed but VOX says that the street price for each model will be US$299.99. Each model is available in four colors.
Source: VOX Amps
For a quick rundown of the main features of these stunning travel guitars, have a look at the following demo video from VOX: