Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by croatan » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:39 am

i knew those necks were too tough to deny!
"To you whose souls are lured by noise to every treacherous abyss, for you do not feel for a rope like cowards, and where you can guess you hate to calculate. And where others would poison, you dismember." -Nietzche/Nation of Ulysses

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:15 am

Luck played a factor.

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:53 am

Here's the problem....

Image

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by croatan » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:15 am

there are worse problems to have, to be sure.
"To you whose souls are lured by noise to every treacherous abyss, for you do not feel for a rope like cowards, and where you can guess you hate to calculate. And where others would poison, you dismember." -Nietzche/Nation of Ulysses

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by UC3 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:28 am

there are worse problems to have, to be sure.
I concur

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:57 am

So I sat and played both UC's this past weekend for a bit just to A/B them and catalog the differences with an ear toward, "did I improve on the original or no?" Running thru the exact same signal chain and simply swapping the guitar cable back and forth, I was able to evaluate the guitars on their various pickup and pot settings. And, to keep things fair, I did a swapsy where I cut the preamp and treble a bit (tailored for single coils) on the stock UC2 and then compared that to the custom UC2 with amp settings tailored for humbuckers.

Bottom line: No matter how you slice it, Custom UC2 kills Original UC2.

Granted, sound quality is subjective but I truly believe that I've taken an unbiased approach to this evaluation. Sure, you may think that I want my custom axe to "win" but I own both of these and would be just as proud to keep or play either of them.

However, the total sonic evaluation is not complete as I still have this properly wound for bridge position H60T to put in. On that note, I did not invest much time comparing the bridge positions and had to keep in mind that the middle position was largely drawing from the neck pickup on the custom UC2. Even so, I preferred the Custom all the way around.

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by croatan » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:27 am

planning on another build or just parting out the stock UC2?
"To you whose souls are lured by noise to every treacherous abyss, for you do not feel for a rope like cowards, and where you can guess you hate to calculate. And where others would poison, you dismember." -Nietzche/Nation of Ulysses

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:22 am

Either part-out or put it back together with my older neck. Either way, it's a sell-off.

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Done pickin' and grinnin' on the old original so it's time to get back to work.
Pulled the necks off and moved the 'nicer' one to the green guitar.
Pulled the bridges off as the new one has a nicer chrome finish on it than the one I polished up.
Gonna swap the saddle assemblies since they look about the same and the one I cleaned up is already ready to go, lubed, and all that.
Swapping neck bolt plates. The new one just has no scratches on it whatsoever. Side by side, it makes the one I polished look like a turd.

I'll need to pull the tuners off the new neck. They has a nicer chrome but still need a cleaning.

In a couple o' weeks I'll post up pics of the reassembled original with details about what has been cleaned, polished, etc. as well as any known deficiencies. The sell off has already generated much interest - thanks to all - but I'll open up to offers once the whole package is ready to go. That way everyone will know exactly what it is they're making an offer on.

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:10 pm

Here are the two neckplates. In the first pic, they don't look much different and that's how they seem in your hand. In the second pic, I positioned the flash to bring out the finest details. The bridge main plates show similar differences in lustre.

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Image

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 pm

So I decided to put some energy into the case (started off in far better condition than most).
I felt a sanitizing was in order as it kinda stunk of that aged, musty smell. Started off by blasting out with the leaf blower, followed up by setting a dish of MMS inside over night, than left it open in an enclosed space with an ozonator for 8 hours, aired it out, and finished off with a dusting of Lysol. It is currently airing-out from that.

The exterior got a misting of Thieve's oil (look it up), towelled that off, then rubbed the whole exterior with Black Magic (yes the car stuff). This stuff is great on tolex and similar materials that you'll find wrapped around amps and cabs.

Lastly, I started (but have not finished) polishing the surface rust off the latches.

Just so you know there's still work going on. Haven't gotten to the pickup yet, tho.

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:52 pm

No real work on the Univox but I decided to test out the H60T in another guitar I have that's cut for singles. Had to try it out before I shaved and painted it like the others.

The pickup plays like it should but the test run didn't tell me much more than that because the guitar I wired it into has 250k pots...so even though it didn't seem 'weak', it did have lower output than the other pickups which were true single-coils.

It definitely sounds much more like a proper rock bridge pickup but still gives off some of that Fender spank. Kinda like Malmsteen's sound but with a lot less drive and sustain but with the right pots...

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:27 pm

UC-deuce complete. Test drive successful.

New neck swapped onto body. Found that the mounting holes did not line up between the two guitars. Suggests these were at least partly assembled by hand. Took a bit of sanding at the neck pocket to achieve proper alignment but I got it! Strung up with 10-52's.

New bridge was disassembled and polished. As expected, this bridge turned out a tick fresher than its predecessor. The saddle assembly I had previously cleaned and lubricated was tip-top so there was no practical reason to go through those paces again. It was transferred to the new bridge.

The H60T got shaved, painted, and mounted into the pickguard. Output between the two pickups is far better matched than before. Being a career humbucker player, I still find the signal from the bridge-only position to be somewhat anemic for any sort of hard rock but for clean playing, this setup gives three distinct and very useful tones.
-Neck: as heard in my audio clip it is full, loud with a rich bottom end and punchy overall character.
-Both: a tad less bottom, or perhaps more refined. The mid-highs are more pronounced, the tone more bell-like. A fair reproduction of an electric/acoustic guitar.
-Bridge: predictably, less bottom and fullness. Sounds more metallic than in the other two positions.

I do suppose a new round of audio samples is due given that replacing the one pickup alters 2/3 of the guitar's output. Perhaps tomorrow. Meanwhile, tip o'the hat to all who've followed the rebuild and for the many favourable remarks. Expect a fresh round of snaps to accompany new recordings.

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by antisymmetric » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:15 pm

Tip of the hat in return. Fantastic result. :-*
Watching the corners turn corners

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Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:17 pm

So I spent the better part of the afternoon twisting knobs. Seems I couldn't get a favourable sound out of it. Ah...those damn 10-52 ga. strings. The low E was just booming and overwhelming the pickups. One forgets how much string gauge affects tone. Guitar needs to be restrung with the 10-46's again. I truly enjoyed its tone that way. No worries, though, as the 52's were basically throw-aways. I wanted to be certain everything was right before commiting a set of proper strings to it. Wound up adjusting the neck on an all-koa guitar that was fretting out badly. Always something to do in the dungeon.

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