Reader Guitar of the Month: Vox Phantom XII

A PG fan refurbishes a prized but climate-damaged 12-string he’s owned for more than 50 years.

Name: Randall Weatherington

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Guitar: Vox Phantom XII

I purchased this Vox used in the ’60s and it’s been with me since. In the early ’70s, I removed the rotary selector switch, and put in individual pickup switches. I wanted the switches to be on/off/out-of-phase, but at the time, DPDTCO switches were too wide to fit between the volume and tone controls, so I settled for on/off miniature switches.

Flash-forward to the 2000s. At one point, the guitar was in a storage locker without climate control. The body expanded, and broke the pickguard. Interesting enough, the guitar was still very playable. Now that I’m retired, I have more time to work on my music, which this guitar is featured prominently on. I’m in the process of doing a music video, so I had to get the guitar ready for its close-up.

Chandler had a template for Vox Phantom pickguards, and recommended no screw holes be drilled. I could drill my own or use double-sided tape to keep the edges against the body. This was an excellent suggestion. I opted to go the tape route for a clean look. Apparently, all Italian-made Phantoms were handmade because the template Chandler had didn’t match my guitar exactly. I had to move some holes, and slightly enlarge pickup openings.

I also modded the string retainers, using the anchor beads from an old set of strings as rollers. Luckily, the beads fit perfectly over the shank of a 5/64" drill bit with about two or three thousandths of an inch clearance. The stock pickups give me the sound I desire, however, I updated the switching. From the jack, there is volume, treble, bass, three pickup switches, and an out-of-phase blend control. Each pickup can be blended from out-of-phase to in-phase.

This has quickly become one of my favorite guitars. It’s now the easiest 12-string I’ve ever played, and at one time I did try a Rickenbacker. My refurbished Vox Phantom XII is a keeper!

Send your guitar story to

Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.

Read MoreShow less

Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.

Read MoreShow less

The Generation Collection of acoustic guitars features the exclusive Gibson Player Port designed to offer a unique and immersive sonic experience.

Read MoreShow less

Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.

Read MoreShow less