Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Bringing your older offset back to life.
Post Reply
User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:26 pm

For anyone interested in the neck, here are plenty of pictures. My description: the neck is straight. Wonderfully so. The finish on the backside is in very very good condition with no cracks and no exposed wood. It looks nice and glossy when you catch the glare. The fretboard, as I have detailed earlier, has ample wear in the rosewood from play. The frets have similar wear with visible dishing directly under the strings but there are no jagged edges and I never had any problems playing on it [aside from my issue with it's size]. There is a chip in the bone nut at the A string but that string never slipped or popped out of position. The truss cover and screws are included as are the tuning machines, the string guide, and the logo. One of the tuners' bushings is not original and looks a tad different from the others [see pics]. All told, the neck is still quite playable although it isn't ideal. The downside is the wear. The upside is that all of the problems are wear-related and [aside from the chipped nut] not from damage. No cracks, no warpage, no lifting frets...you get the picture.
Open to offers for this almost 50 year old guitar neck.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:50 pm

So, while y'all were sitting in Thanksgiving weekend traffic, I was doing this:

Image

It's not done, because its not perfect and I didn't realize, until I mounted it with all the tuners, that the symmetry was just a bit off. So, I still need to shave down the right side before permanently affixing the applique. This I may do with 2-sided tape rather than setting more screws but, I could do either. A metal "Univox" badge will then be secured atop the plastic piece to finish off the look. Here's how it all sits presently (*the applique is loose and just resting on the head in all of these photos.)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
adamrobertt
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1158
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:28 am
Contact:

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by adamrobertt » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:28 am

Nice work, but that new neck just doesn't look right on that guitar. The old neck is completely beautiful and I still don't quite understand why you aren't using it...

User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:57 am

Because 1 9/16th at the nut.

User avatar
quarterpound
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:08 am
Location: HK

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by quarterpound » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:51 am

honestly I also love the old neck but I say, cheers to you for having the balls to do what needs to be done, to keep a piece you love perfect for you. I think I'd keep the neck around were I you, though.

User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:21 am

quarterpound wrote: I think I'd keep the neck around were I you, though.
No need. If I start feeling nostagic for the original...I have that second UC-2 to beat on. Once I refinished the body, there was no longer any point to trying to preserve any part of this simply for the sake of it being "original" thus, no reason to tolerate anything I could change if I felt it needed changing. I've been playing Carvins almost exclusively since '89 and find their necks quite comfortable and of high quality.

But let no one feel like they can't kick-in their two cents, good or bad. Its a public forum and by putting the project online I know I'm inviting scrutiny and that's fine. Either way, I appreciate the interest and respect people's passionate response to things like the old neck. I just happen to have majority share in the decision making process.

Cheers!

User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:48 am

Update:
Here, for those of you who've been curious, is a reproduction logo courtesy of eBay seller EZPZ-parts. He is a guitar guy with an affinity for the old Japanese axes like Univox and Teisco and manufactures replacement bits for these guitars. The only difference I see is that the original one is polished whereas the repro unit has a duller finish. This could, I'm sure, easily be polished up to look just like the original.

Image

And, here it is affixed to my headstock applique.

Image

Image

Wife is dragging me away for the day so stringing her (the guitar) up will have to wait until this evening. :(

User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:40 pm

Ah....nirvana. I can actually play this! Can not believe what a difference the jump from 1-9/16th to 1-11/16th actually makes. And...minus the strings still stretching a bit, she holds tune quite well. Perfectly well if you don't exercise the trem but even then, it seems to be holding up fairly well with slight vibrato action.

No buzzes. No shorts or open circuits. No humming of any sort and I even held it up to my computer's tower (a known source of headaches for some of my other guitars) and there was zero EM interference creeping in. I am a true believer in copper shielding! Lastly, there was not a single trace of microphonic squealing. Try that with stock UC-2 pickups. In short, the QC check was a success.

All is not sunshine and roses, however, and that's a good thing or this thread would be dead as of tomorrow. No, I'm not much in favor of the bridge pickup. It is just not a good match for the neck pickup (how odd?) and continues to sound weak and useless. Thinking of something along the lines of a JeffBeck Jr. but that's going to take some surfing youtube.

User avatar
quarterpound
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:08 am
Location: HK

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by quarterpound » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:04 pm

Lookin good and I'm still digging this project. Btw, ai certainly have no probs if you reject my opinions; they're just opinions and it's your baby. I only just noticed you'd replied ^^; You know SD has most of those popular humbuckers recorded on sound clips for comparison purposes on their website. Sure they have JB's, not so sure about JB Jr...

User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:07 am

I had surfed the Seymour D site a few weeks ago and found all of the necessary clips but those can still be very frustrating to interpret. Probably going to go off of popular consensus and DC resistance value. The H60s just aren't well matched OR the bridge pickup is too close to the bridge in this guitar. Bottom line: need more heat in the bridge position.

As for opinions, really I don't mind at all. Not everything is for everyone but here's the deal on this particular project...
.....you guys (generalising) have only one perspective regarding the Surf-O-Vox and that is what it looks like. So that becomes the sole consideration for evaluation. While that is important, and a significant motivator for this undertaking, I have to actually play it or it becomes nothing more than a painting. No disrespect to the original neck, it is well built of good material and embodies some styling elements found on no other guitar ever but the fretboard is simply too skinny at the nut for me and, apples to apples, the new neck blows the 40-year-old unit away.

Having said all that, the insane internet reaction to the neck/headstock issue motivated me specifically to do something fancy and not just slap a common plastic trussrod cover at the end of the neck.

At the core of the project is the fact that I love the shape of the UC-2 body but, little else. Lousy tone, unplayable neck, lots of noise and archaic hardware. Once I got deep into this thing, I realized I really just wanted that shape.

User avatar
croatan
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:01 am
Location: Charlotte, NC
Contact:

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by croatan » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:31 pm

i still think that diamond headstock looks ugly as hell on everything but a flying v.
"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

User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:30 pm

croatan wrote:i still think that diamond headstock looks ugly as hell on everything but a flying v.
Thank you, sir!

User avatar
kdanie
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2959
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:07 am
Location: The house in the woods, for now

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by kdanie » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:17 pm

I love what you've done. I hope you find a bridge pickup that suits your needs. The UC-2 is one of my favorite shapes.

ken
Life is an adventure, not something to be suffered through. Don't like your life? FIX it!

User avatar
Phantom Surfdaddy
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:34 am

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by Phantom Surfdaddy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:00 am

Oh I don't know what to make of this. The Univox isn't exactly a guitar close to my heart but I kinda feel like it's been butchered.

To start with I didn't mind the colour, Not the prettiest sunburst ever but it suits the ratty steez of a garage rock instrument. Which is what those Univox's make me think of. Surf is more about offset Fenders and Mosrites. And humbuckers don't exactly make me think surf music either. The colour is now pretty surfy though, for what its worth.

I think those guitars are best used in space rock bands like Spacemen 3, jangly psych bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre, or sleazy garage rock like the Cramps or something. And for all of those genres I think that crass, tacky sunburst would be ideal. Maybe if it was a little more thrashed it would look even more the ticket.

Doesn't look too shabby in the green though, so I didn't really take to much offense to the refinish.

The neck however, I just don't understand what the thinking is behind that. I personally think the replacement neck is really really really ugly.

And considering how attractive the old neck is by comparison it just doesn't make any sense.

I guess its just a personal taste thing. But that said, I'd probably be willing to offer more money for the old neck than I would for the whole restored guitar.

If all you did was change the electronics/routing and left the guitar aesthetically as it was then maybe I'd think you were on to something. I think the modification of the pickup switch is probably the most worthwhile change you've made to the guitar.
No offense though hopefully, its just a taste thing, we probably wear different clothes and listen to different music too. Discussion boards... what you gonna do?

User avatar
vr6pilot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
Location: New Mexico!

Re: Univox UC-2 resto ~ custom

Post by vr6pilot » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:00 am

As stated earlier, the looks of the neck mean nothing if I cannot play it. I would sooner pull one of those neon green necks off a Dean Custom Zone (look it up) if it meant I could play the darn thing.

Post Reply