Vox Phantom

Tailed bridge guitar

Some electric guitars have an extended bridge for their tremolo system, named a tailed bridge guitar because of its shape. Most of these tailed bridge guitars were designed in the sixties and used in surf music. The first tailed bridge guitars were designed by Leo Fender; the Fender Jaguar and the Fender Jazzmaster, both of which became popular among surf rock groups in the early to mid 1960s. It became popular again in the 1990s when it was used by a number of alternative rock players.

Behind the bridge

Surf musicians preferred this guitar because the resonance behind the bridge generates extra acoustic reverb based on string resonance. In addition, large "divebomb" tremolos played on clean guitars were a large part of many Surf guitarists' technique. In the nineties many shoegaze, noise rock and post rock bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Slint began playing on tailed bridge guitars for their special possibilities. When the strings are played behind the bridge, a chiming tone is created. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana played a Jaguar.

Experimental luthier Yuri Landman created a tailed bridge guitar called the Springtime for Laura-Mary Carter of Blood Red Shoes with a tailed bridge. The tail on this instrument has a mathematical relation of 1/6th of the string length of the open string. This distance causes a tone of two octaves and a major third higher than the open string, similar to the fifth harmonic.

List of tailed bridge guitars

  • Antoria 994 (1963)
  • Eastwood Delta 6
  • Eko 700 4V, a cutaway Eko was manufactured in Italy by Oliviero Pigini in 1964/5 and was the "modern" version (and now more rare) of their top of the range plastic covered solids - first marketed by Rose Morris in the UK in 1963.
  • Epiphone Casino
  • Fender Jaguar
  • Fender Jazzmaster
  • Fenton Weill Dualtone (19620 design from Jim Burns's ex-partner, Henry Weill, after their split.
  • Framus Strato Delux, built by Framus in Bavaria (Germany) in the mid 60s features chrome and tiger stripe scratchplates, a Bill Lawrence organ swell function and a bridge damper.
  • Hagstrom Futurama Coronado Automatic (1963) Only about 200 built specially by Hagstrom to the requirements of Ben Davis - owner of the Selmer company in London.
  • Hofner 172 (1963)
  • Musima Deluxe 25, a guitar from the DDR (East Germany) built in the late 70s and similar to the Eglita.
  • Rosetti Airstream 11, built by Egmond in the Netherlands, this Rosetti Airstream 11 was a starter guitar for 1960s UK musicians. The Rosetti Lucky 7 semi was used by Paul McCartney in his Hamburg days.
  • Rosetti Lucky Squir, dating from around 1960/1 and built in Holland by Egmond, this starter semi-hollow was marketed in the UK under the Rosetti brand name.
  • SX SJM
  • Tele-Star H1, originally Tele-Star hollow body guitars were built by Kawai in Japan between 1967-1970 and imported by Tele-Star Musical Instrument Company of New York.
  • Teisco Del Rey, built in Japan and dating from the late 60s.
  • Teisco EV-2T, a 1969 copy of the Vox Phantom. After Teisco was taken over by Kawai in 1967, the company concentrated on copies including of Vox and Burns guitars branded as Kawai, Del-Rey and Teisco.
  • Univox Hi-Flier
  • Vox Shadow (1962)
  • Vox Phantom
  • Springtime, Yuri Landman


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