Magazine article Guitar Player

The GR-OX

Magazine article Guitar Player

The GR-OX

Article excerpt

THIS GUITAR STARTED OUT AS A LATE '60s Vox Starstream XII 12-string. However, the previous owner decided it needed to have a different neck and pickups on it. Ouch I As such, the guitar was in pretty bad shape from the perspectives of a both player and a collector. But--and in the words of the great philosopher Pee-wee Herman, this is a BIG but--the onboard, totally freaky electronics were still intact. This was a guitarworth saving--even knowing that I could never get it back to stock condition.

WEIRDO FACTOR

The Starstream XII's "Sandhurst" finish isn't exactly weird--nor is the lute-inspired body. The weirdo factor for this guitar is definitely the built-in effects. The Starstream came stock with Distortion, adjustable Treble or Bass Boost, an echo-like Repeater, and a built-in palm-actuated Wah-Wah. Oh yeah--it also came with a tuning tone. Hit the E-tuner switch, and the guitar produces an E note that you and your bandmates can tune to. Pretty clever!

PLAYABILITY & SOUND

This obviously hybrid and customized guitar--which I renamed the "GR-OX"--is, in large part, all Vox. But as I gave up looking for the correct replacement pickups, Mike Fox and Dave Stein at The Starving Musician suggested that Gretsch pickups would sound cool, as well as be large enough to cover the holes cut by the previous owner. So the GR-OX now sounds much more like a Gretsch than a Vox. The vintage 6-String neck and bridge came from Ronni Sargent of Dinette Guitars. …

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