Outwardly, the contemporary Vox Bobcat (based on the Italian-made Vox original from the mid-60s) looks like any other Gibson thinline clone. But, as we discovered in our review, it’s a different take on that hallowed design.
It retains the 416mm (16.38-inch) width of that classic style, but the scale length is increased to 635mm (25-inch) and the weight-relieved centre block swaps to spruce, narrower under the pickups and fuller widthed from the tune-o-matic bridge to the base and at the neck joint.
While that helped keep those original versions around the 3.2kg (7lb) mark, the addition of a Bigsby only marginally ups the weight and slightly changes the seated balance. The craft is faultless, if a little generic, with both bodies fully bound, including the f-holes – likewise, with the Indonesian ebony fingerboards and the classic-style headstocks.
The other differences are purely cosmetic: both colours come with flashier deeply coloured abalone-like block inlays and headstock logos, while the pickup covers and pickguards change from bright white to black.
The Sapphire Blue finish retains the chromed hardware – the Bigsby in its traditional polished-aluminium finish – although the neat knurled aluminium knobs change to a black finish. On the Jet Black version all the hardware, including the Bigsby, change to black.
The three single coils of the S66 make for quite the semi. There’s a volume control for each pickup, and a master tone, but only a three-way toggle pickup selector. In effect, it functions like a two-pickup guitar and you just roll in the middle pickup to any of the switch selections. Cross a Strat with an ES-335 and you get the picture.
There are some cool sounds and lovely sparkle with the middle pickup added or more direct without. The addition of the Bigsby adds perfect shimmer – and if you live for blues or rockabilly, you’ll be at home.
The V90 appears more standard, except the pickups feature rod magnets rather than the usual adjustable poles of the soapbar style. It’s a more direct drive, too; it has a slightly brighter, more percussive note attack married with a little more width. Like the S66 it really suits the Bigsby addition.
- PRICE: £1,514 (in Jet Black inc case); £1,414 (in Sapphire Blue
- ORIGIN: Korea
- TYPE: Double-cutaway centre-blocked thinline semi-hollow electric
- BODY: Laminated maple w/ weight-relieved spruce centre-block
- NECK: 1-piece mahogany, glued-in
- SCALE LENGTH: 635mm (25”)
- NUT/WIDTH: White synthetic/42.7mm
- FINGERBOARD: Indonesian ebony, block inlays, 305mm (12”) radius
- FRETS: 22, medium jumbo
- HARDWARE: Tune-o-matic style bridge with Bigsby B70 (Blue) or B700 (Black), Grover open-back tuners
- STRING SPACING, BRIDGE: 52.5mm
- ELECTRICS: (S66) 3x Vox S66 single coils, individual pickup volume controls and master tone; (V90) 2x Vox V90 soapbar single coils, individual pickup volume and tone controls
- WEIGHT (kg/lb): (S66) 3.42/7.5; (V90) 3.52/7.75
- OPTIONS: With trapeze tailpiece from £1,214
- LEFT-HANDERS: No
- FINISHES: Jet Black (as reviewed, S66);
Sapphire Blue (as reviewed, V90)
- CONTACT: Vox (opens in new tab)