NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by Mechanical Birds » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:35 am

1. Did you buy this in person because
2. Then we live in the same town

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by SignoftheDragon » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:27 am

Sadly, no- I lowball offered for it on Reverb and had it shipped to me in Utah.

(No Dragon vs. MechBird offset-palooza jam session this week. :ph34r: )

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by FMD » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:44 pm

The trem cover will be impossible to source other than a vintage unit (there are no repros). Most have been lost over the years, and those that remain are still on functioning instruments. The 12 string version with a larger trem arm cutout and scallop towards the base is even more rare than the normal 6 string ashtray. I've *never* seen one come up for sale on its own.

While your pickups are fine [for now] you can find 3D printed replacement bobbins and both original style and single-piece covers on Shapeways if you need to in the future. Search for 1802T and ET-270 (full disclosure - a few of the designs are mine, and I get a buck if you order one).

On dating your specific guitar (or any of these)...

Looking for date codes will likely not help - I'm guessing your pots read "Nichion 500K" or something similar in ink. The pickups will also likely be unmarked.

The transition between metal to plastic roller saddles seems to be around 1970 (nothing is ever definitive with these guitars, as nameplates and specs changed production wise day-to-day) which is a clue to your guitar's likely age). No serial on the neckplate - even a nonsense serial - means that the guitar likely dates to pre-1972.

Your model did not appear in the 1966, 68 or 70 Univox catalogs. It is not likely a 1965 as Matsumoku wasn't listing anything close to matching body style (in 6 or 12 strings) at that time, and none of the other catalogs from similar years on other brands fit either. I think Franco's (drowninginguitar's) estimation of 1967 for this model is a likely candidate.

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by reserves » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:27 pm

FMD wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:44 pm
The trem cover will be impossible to source other than a vintage unit (there are no repros). Most have been lost over the years, and those that remain are still on functioning instruments. The 12 string version with a larger trem arm cutout and scallop towards the base is even more rare than the normal 6 string ashtray. I've *never* seen one come up for sale on its own.

While your pickups are fine [for now] you can find 3D printed replacement bobbins and both original style and single-piece covers on Shapeways if you need to in the future. Search for 1802T and ET-270 (full disclosure - a few of the designs are mine, and I get a buck if you order one).

On dating your specific guitar (or any of these)...

Looking for date codes will likely not help - I'm guessing your pots read "Nichion 500K" or something similar in ink. The pickups will also likely be unmarked.

The transition between metal to plastic roller saddles seems to be around 1970 (nothing is ever definitive with these guitars, as nameplates and specs changed production wise day-to-day) which is a clue to your guitar's likely age). No serial on the neckplate - even a nonsense serial - means that the guitar likely dates to pre-1972.

Your model did not appear in the 1966, 68 or 70 Univox catalogs. It is not likely a 1965 as Matsumoku wasn't listing anything close to matching body style (in 6 or 12 strings) at that time, and none of the other catalogs from similar years on other brands fit either. I think Franco's (drowninginguitar's) estimation of 1967 for this model is a likely candidate.
Wow, you know your stuff!

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by SignoftheDragon » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:24 am

FMD wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:44 pm
The trem cover will be impossible to source other than a vintage unit (there are no repros). Most have been lost over the years, and those that remain are still on functioning instruments. The 12 string version with a larger trem arm cutout and scallop towards the base is even more rare than the normal 6 string ashtray. I've *never* seen one come up for sale on its own.

While your pickups are fine [for now] you can find 3D printed replacement bobbins and both original style and single-piece covers on Shapeways if you need to in the future. Search for 1802T and ET-270 (full disclosure - a few of the designs are mine, and I get a buck if you order one).

On dating your specific guitar (or any of these)...

Looking for date codes will likely not help - I'm guessing your pots read "Nichion 500K" or something similar in ink. The pickups will also likely be unmarked.

The transition between metal to plastic roller saddles seems to be around 1970 (nothing is ever definitive with these guitars, as nameplates and specs changed production wise day-to-day) which is a clue to your guitar's likely age). No serial on the neckplate - even a nonsense serial - means that the guitar likely dates to pre-1972.

Your model did not appear in the 1966, 68 or 70 Univox catalogs. It is not likely a 1965 as Matsumoku wasn't listing anything close to matching body style (in 6 or 12 strings) at that time, and none of the other catalogs from similar years on other brands fit either. I think Franco's (drowninginguitar's) estimation of 1967 for this model is a likely candidate.
Great info- thanks!

- The pots are actually stamped with a little octopus-looking logo (spells out 'Tokyo' I think) and B-500K(ohm) - no ink
- Pickups are unmarked
- Saddles are metal, a few screws in the bridge assembly appear to be non-original.
- I'll hold out hope to find a trem cover, but honestly I'm not terribly worried about it- this monster will play just fine with a nekkid trem!

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by SignoftheDragon » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:49 am

Update- FINISHED!

Plays great & smooth- frets are very small, but it's not at all an issue as I was fearing. Action is set a tiny bit higher than I am used to, so I may adjust that further in the future.

We did put in a new switch & output jack, as the vintage ones were corroded quite heavily. The pickups both work, and sound quite good! Nice and quiet wiring- I didn't notice any hum on any position.

The trem though- it's great! Returns true and is quite functional.

Here she is, in bad basement lighting, along side some other 12ers for company:

Image

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by SWFC68 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:28 pm

Ha! You're the guy who owns all the Surfcasters! I remember those from when they were new but when I recently had a look around to see if there were used ones around and how much they sell for I was surprised at how few there seem to be. How'd you like them? Presumably quite a bit since you have 2

-Andy

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by StevenO » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:27 pm

Man, I want that guitar...

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by Mechanical Birds » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:47 pm

SignoftheDragon wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:27 am
Sadly, no- I lowball offered for it on Reverb and had it shipped to me in Utah.

(No Dragon vs. MechBird offset-palooza jam session this week. :ph34r: )
Well still a small world situation. I held and tried to play this guitar but that was pretty hard to do. It looked dope as hell though. Hope you get a lot of inspiration out of it

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by SignoftheDragon » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:27 pm

SWFC68 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:28 pm
Ha! You're the guy who owns all the Surfcasters! I remember those from when they were new but when I recently had a look around to see if there were used ones around and how much they sell for I was surprised at how few there seem to be. How'd you like them? Presumably quite a bit since you have 2

-Andy
Guilty! Surfcaster 12s are my all-time favorite. Best looks, best sound, best playing guitars I've come across. At one point years ago I had 5 of them, but had to sell some off to appease the financial wolves... Now I'm down to the 2 originals and a surf-green Eastwood tribute version. My dream is still to own all 6 original factory colors.

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by BoringPostcards » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:19 pm

I remember when you were trying to get a Surfcaster 12 in every available colour. Did you succeed in that endeavour?
"Can you please pass me a jug of winter light?" - Lee Ranaldo 2000
Det er mig der holder træerne sammen.

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by SignoftheDragon » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:22 am

BoringPostcards wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:19 pm
I remember when you were trying to get a Surfcaster 12 in every available colour. Did you succeed in that endeavour?
I've owned a total of 8 surfcaster 12s, so technically I have, just not at the same time. The most I was able to get at once was 5 before having to sell some off. I'll get them all someday- just waiting for them to show up on Ebay (at a reasonable price, of course.)

The metallic burgundy one in the pic above is my First Lady, and the rarest color from the factory. Black is definitely the most common color, so I've got a decent start. Just need to fill in the middle!

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by BoringPostcards » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:45 am

SignoftheDragon wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:22 am
BoringPostcards wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:19 pm
I remember when you were trying to get a Surfcaster 12 in every available colour. Did you succeed in that endeavour?
I've owned a total of 8 surfcaster 12s, so technically I have, just not at the same time. The most I was able to get at once was 5 before having to sell some off. I'll get them all someday- just waiting for them to show up on Ebay (at a reasonable price, of course.)

The metallic burgundy one in the pic above is my First Lady, and the rarest color from the factory. Black is definitely the most common color, so I've got a decent start. Just need to fill in the middle!
Good stuff. I really love the design. I wonder, if Charvel would ever reissue them. I've never played the 12 string versions.
"Can you please pass me a jug of winter light?" - Lee Ranaldo 2000
Det er mig der holder træerne sammen.

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by antisymmetric » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:39 pm

8)
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Watching the corners turn corners

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Re: NGD! First TRUE Vintage Guitar- Univox "Mystery" 12-string

Post by electric hamburger » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:54 pm

That thing looks cool as hell, reminds me of one of the aliens from Space Invader

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