Gi85....Main Reviews....VOX Bobcat V90
VOX Bobcat V90
MSRP: (UK) £1279 / (US) $1399
Affordable/High End: 4
For fans of –
Classic mid-‘60s looks.
P90 honk and growl.
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The Bobcat V90 is a semi-hollow body guitar that features soapbar pickups. It has a vintage-inspired design that mostly stays true to the original Italian-made guitars but features some modern improvements. Here is Nick Jennison with the full review of the VOX Bobcat V90.
If I said “1960s Vox” to you, you’d be forgiven for thinking I was talking about an AC30 or another of Vox’s legendary guitar amplifiers. Perhaps less well known - but no less important - are Vox’s 1960s guitars. Their semi-hollow Bobcat and Lynx models were hugely popular among the “British Invasion” bands of the era, with lines that were very similar to Gibson’s ES335.
Well, what’s old is new again, and the Bobcat is back for 2021. Available in both the three-single-coil-equipped S66 (reviewed in a previous edition of Guitar Interactive Magazine) and two-P90-loaded V90 models, these guitars are very true to their ‘60s predecessors, but with all of the benefits of modern production methods.
The Bobcat V90 has the same classic silhouette, large headstock logo and block inlays as the original, but with a set neck construction rather than the bolt-on neck join of the older models - much more fitting for a guitar of this style, I’m sure you’ll agree. It sports a maple ply body with a large spruce centre block, a mahogany neck and a very attractive ebony fretboard. Interestingly, it has a 25” scale - slightly longer than the Gibson guitars that inspired the original models.
Electronics come courtesy of two Vox soapbar P90 pickups, with the familiar two volume/two-tone/three-way toggle control layout you’d expect of this type of guitar, with a very attractive set of vintage-correct metal knobs that feel very nice indeed. The pickups themselves are vintage voiced with tons of honk and character. They’re ideal for Lennon-Esque jangle, bluesy sting or classic rock grind, and if you can tolerate a little hum, they actually perform very well for higher gain styles too.
In terms of playability, the Bobcat V90 is every inch of a modern guitar. The fit and finish are excellent, and the fretwork is immaculate - definitely not something we can say about most guitars from the mid-‘60s! The result is a very comfortable action, paired with a neck that’s slim enough for rapid fretwork but still meaty enough for grabbing thumb-over chords if that’s your bag. Another notable upgrade compared to the original guitars is the hardware. The despite their cool vintage looks, the small oval-buttoned tuners are rock solid, as is the tune-o-magic style bridge. The floating tailpiece is an elegant addition and adds a metallic airiness to the tone. Bigsby models are available too!
The Vox Bobcat V90 has all of the best parts of a classic mid-‘60s hollowbody, but with none of the drawbacks. It’s aesthetically and sonically true to the original models, but with the benefit of modern playability and reliability. What’s not to love?