NAMM 2016 VIDEO: Is Vox's Starstream Type-1 modelling electric "the ultimate modern guitar"?

NAMM 2016: Brandishing perhaps the most distinctive guitar outline we're likely to see from a major manufacturer at NAMM, Vox's Starstream Type-1 takes a new approach not only to modelling guitars but electric guitars in general.

Reviving the name of Vox's 60s teardrop-shaped electric, the Starstream offers 27 instrument models that use the company's AREOS-D system, including electric, acoustic and synths, as well as banjo, sitar and resonator sounds, accessed using a control module on the lower part of the guitar's body.

The guitar's unconventional construction is a result of "advanced ergonomic considerations", with three-dimensional contours, easy upper-fret access and a mango body tonewood - Vox reckons it "conforms to your body in a way that no wooden guitar shape can".

To achieve the range of sounds on offer, the AREOS-D system includes magnetic pickups, a piezo pickup system and a DSP engine, serving up nine banks of instruments with three variations in each, including onboard overdrive and reverb effects - the whole system is powered by four AA batteries.

The Vox Starstream is available from May 2016 in Black and Red body finishes for £718, while Black Frame, White Frame and Red Frame options hit the shelves in June, priced at £790 - look out for more on this unusual beast in our coverage from the NAMM show floor.

Full specifications

  • Onboard System: AREOS-D System, incorporating the Control Module, Magnetic Pickups, Piezo Pickup, Volume, Tone and Pickup Selector Switch
  • Body: Mango
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Neck: Fingerboard Radius: 310mm, Neck Shape: "C" Shape, Scale Length: 25 1/8" (638 mm), Number of Frets: 22, Fret Size: Medium jumbo, Nut Width: 43 mm
  • Pickups: VOX XLM x 2, Piezo Pickup in each Saddle
  • Bridge: 2 Post Tremolo
  • Controls: 3 position model switch, Group selector, VOLUME knob, TONE knob, DRIVE/REVERB knob, POWER button and LED, FX (effect) /CANCEL button and LED, WRITE button and LED
  • Number of Sounds: 27 (9 banks x 3)
  • User Programs: 6 (2 banks x 3)
  • Outputs: Guitar output jack (1/4" phone type), Headphone jack (1/8" phone type)
  • Power: Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4, or Rechargeable Ni-MH battery (AA, HR6) x 4
  • Expected Battery Life under Continuous Use: Alkaline battery: 11 hours, Rechargeable Ni-MH battery: 15 hours * These figures will vary depending on the actual conditions of use.
  • Colour Options: Starstream Type-1 Black (VSS-1-BK/Black Frame with Semi-Gloss Black body), Starstream Type-1 Red (VSS-1-RD/Black Frame with Semi-Gloss Red body), Starstream Type-1 Frame Black (VSS-1-FBK Metallic Black Frame with See-Through Semi-Gloss Black body), Starstream Type-1 Frame White (VSS-1-FWH/Metallic White Frame with See-Through Semi-Gloss Black body), Starstream Type-1 Frame Red (VSS-1-FRD/Metallic Red Frame with See-Through Semi-Gloss Black body)
  • Accessories: Tremolo Arm, Adjustment wrench, Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4 (for checking the instrument purpose only), Gig bag
Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.