1960s VOX Volume

Model Description:

In the early to mid‑1960s, English brand VOX looked to Italy (most notably Jen) for the manufacture of their early effect pedals. They started off with the simple volume/expression pedal, used for guitar or keyboard. The first ones were designed to match VOX’s Jaguar and Continental organs and came in the very cool smooth grey ‘hammertone’ finish with the cast and white‑painted VOX logo on the front face, which pre‑dated the more familiar black crackle and chrome finish of later models. The sturdy casings made an ideal basis for the classic early wah‑wah pedals that would follow, including the classic Cry Baby and VOX V846 Wah Wah. Originally, these volume pedals would probably have had one or two long captive cables with male ¼” jack plugs, but many have been converted over time to the more useful standard ¼” female input and output jack sockets. Curiously, perhaps because of its keyboard origin or the captive lead(s), the input and output jacks were designed the opposite way round (L‑R) to the standard used on most other pedals produced since (R‑L). Like most basic volume pedals (and guitar volume controls for that matter), the VOX volume pedal is passive and doesn’t require any power. English guitarist Brian May of Queen has been known to use vintage VOX volume pedals. VOX has a volume pedal (V860) in its modern range but it is far removed from these 1960s progenitors. These very early VOX pedals seldom come up on the vintage effect market due to the age and rarity, which is gradually increasing their collectability and pushing up values on the vintage market, although prices tend to vary considerably.

Pedal Description:

Well now, I was looking to fill a gap in the effect pedal ‘collection’, so I went on the hunt for a vintage volume (or ‘swell’) pedal… from the 1960s… by an English brand… These criteria narrow down the options quite a bit and this is what transpired; a rare mid‑1960s VOX volume pedal, probably manufactured by Jen Elettronica in Pescara, Italy. I do not usually advocate modifying vintage equipment but on this occasion it has already been converted at some point in time to use the far more convenient and reliable standard ¼” input and output jack sockets. The plastic strain relief loop that would have held the captive cable(s) is still inside. The cast chassis is in reasonably good but well‑used original condition for its age, as is the rubber tread and the baseplate complete with original rubber feet held in place by slotted screws. The 100Kohm volume pot is original but a tad scratchy, even after some TLC. Ideally, this could be replaced but that is for a future owner to decide whether originality or utility is their priority. Dating pedals from this era is often very difficult. Initially a serial number would have been printed in black ink on the baseplate but this has worn off over the years although, being realistic, it wouldn’t have helped much with dating the pedal anyway. Overall, this VOX pedal is a fascinating insight into the origins of the earliest effects being adapted for use with electric guitars.


  • Made by VOX in the 1960s
  • Foot treadle controls the volume of the output – no on/off switch needed
  • Standard ¼” input and output mono jack sockets (possibly modified from captive leads)
  • Passive effect – no power supply required
  • No on/off switch required
  • No box or instructions

Detail Gallery:

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