NAMM 2008: New Vox electric guitar designs revealed

Virage series launched with contoured bodies and triple-coil pickups

Vox recently returned to guitar manufacture by re-designing its famed Teardrop guitars and basses. Now the company has announced its first completely new guitar designs in several years, in the shape of the new US-designed, Japanese-built Virage series semi-acoustics.

Two models are on offer: the ES-335-a-like Virage DC (short for Double Cutaway), and the Les Paul inspired Virage SC (Single Cutaway). Constructed from ash or mahogany (depending on the finish), the guitars are mostly hollow, except for two centre block strips onto which the pickups and bridge are mounted.

Both guitars are highly contoured, and the bodies are curved so they wrap slightly around the waist when in the playing position. Vox claims this gives the new models "perfect balance and unparalleled playability." This remains to be seen, but it certainly looks cool.

The innovation doesn't stop there; the Virage DC and SC are equipped with triple-coil pickups which, along with two pickup selector switches, offer humbucking, single-coil and P-90 sounds. There's also a new bridge design.

It's been a very long wait for fans of Vox guitars, but the company's first new designs for decades should be available in spring 2008. Prices are TBC, but lead designer Rich Lasner hopes the guitars will cost "about the same as a regular Gibson Les Paul or ES-335."

More info, including audio samples, available on Vox's website.

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