Finally someone is making a semi-hollow that isnt just a 335 clone. This Vox HDC-77 has a ton of unique features that most guitar players will never see because they are stuck playing Gibsons or Fenders. Vox is best known for their amplifiers but like many companies back then they made guitars too. Back then the Guitar and the Amp was seen as 1 whole instrument and were usually sold together. Fender sold amps first then guitars with them and Vox started similarly. The shape of the guitar is like a mix between a Gibson 335 and a Yamaha SG2000. The body is made from a solid peice of mahogany with two large sound chambers cut out instead of piecing it together with side and back pieces. There are two tone bars inside the guitar which the bridge is anchored to. The bright is a super lightweight one piece tune-o-matic style bridge. The lightweight bridge helps ensure that most of the vibration goes into the guitar and doesnt die in the bridge. The maple top and back are mounted to the mahogany frame . It has a 22 fret rosewood fretboard with block inlays. It has 2 vox Coaxe pickups which are like 3 pickups in one. I will talk about those later. It has a master tone and master volume knob with a 3 way pickup selector and 2 3 mode selectors for each of the Vox pickups.
This is probably the most playable semi-hollow guitar ever made. With the top being curved the body is curved also. If you hold the guitar up flat you can see that the end of the body opposite of the headstock droops down a bit. When you are playing this allows the whole guitar to contour to your body not just the top. The neck joint is also great. It is similar to the Stephens Extended cutaway Washburn used on some guitars. There is a large space for your hand to go the body does not join the neck until after the fretboard ends. This means you can reach every fret easily there is no heel to get in the way. The neck is pretty thin and the fretboard is pretty flat it has a modern feel to it.
The Coaxe pickups on this guitar are pretty unique. They are like 3 pickups in one. Each pickup has a set of rail magnets with a set of pole pieces inside them. This provides great noise cancelling but also gives great tonal variety. Each pickup has a mode selector 3 way switch. You can select what kind of tone you want from each pickup independently. The modes are clean crunch and dirty. You can get a single coil tone, a p90 tone or a humbucker tone. Having all these tonal options without modeling is something you dont see on many guitars. When playing you will naturally be able to select the combination you want. The single coil setting had a great bell like tone. While the P90 setting has angry and snarled like you would expect a P90 to. The humbucking setting was nice and smooth and sounded like you would expect a guitar that looks like this to sound. You dont really expect snarling P90 tone from a semi hollow but you can do it with this guitar and with a minimal amount of noise.
A guitar like this shows what the big companies could do if they werent so stuck in their ways and if guitar players were not afraid of change. Gibson is never going to put out a set of pickups that can switch from single coil to humbucking. They would rather you just buy two different guitars. They are never going to change their heel design or anything like that. If you want innovation you have to look at the smaller companies who are not set in their ways as much. If you want a super comfy super playable semi-hollow guitar with a tone of tones available this Vox is an awesome choice.