Vox Ultrasonic restoration - IT'S HERE!

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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Pacafeliz
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Vox Ultrasonic restoration - IT'S HERE!

Post by Pacafeliz » Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:04 am

Well I managed to pick up a Vox Ultrasonic project in Mexico, my brother is going to post it to me these days and if all goes well it'll be here in about two weeks.
Dunno how much it works or else.

What I do know is it needs a bridge and a fancy tuner.

Image

Now, does anyone here know what bridge I can use on this one? Don't care if it's not original, as long as it works.

Thanks! I'm thrilled to start this one!

Pat.
Last edited by Pacafeliz on Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by Steadyriot. » Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:40 am

I’d wait for Porkyprimecut to chime in, as this is his terrain but you could shoot Brandoni Guitars a message. They used to have NOS Vox parts in stock.
www.guitarage.nl often also has vintage Vox / EKO parts in stock.
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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:08 am

Hey Pat,

Great find!! These are getting harder & harder to get hold of & the ones that are available are often listed for silly money! I'm curious to know how much you paid for it & if it came with the original case.

They originally had floating rosewood bases with an adjustable roller bridge, like this...

Image

There's polarised opinion about these bridges (as there is with the Jazzmaster). I found mine to be rattly - even with the cloth wedged under the saddles (that was there when I bought it). Also, even with plenty of lubricant the rollers never really worked smoothly. So, I switched it out for a Gretsch-style bar bridge...

Image

I found it made quite a difference. No more rattle & slightly better sustain.

I guess, if you're wanting to find something close to stock, you should buy a base with 74mm bridge post spacing (not completely necessary but that's the width of the original). From there you could get any kind of roller bridge, bar bridge or even one of those solid, compensated bridges in chrome or wood.

Oh, and good luck finding a spare tuner. I've only spotted these tuners listed once before & that was for a full & very expensive set.
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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:15 am

I just took a closer look at your picture. Has part of the effects circuit been taken out?
You think you can't, you wish you could, I know you can, I wish you would. Slip inside this house as you pass by.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by Gavanti » Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:21 am

If it ends up needing electronics work, it would be worth talking with Jon at Acid Fuzz. It’s probably not worth sending across the pond and back to fix, but he can likely point you in the right direction. I ended up bypassing the effects while I had one (I’d already built an outboard version). They’re fun guitars though, with a cool tone. Congrats!

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by Pacafeliz » Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:23 am

PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:15 am
I just took a closer look at your picture. Has part of the effects circuit been taken out?
Image
I have no idea. Seller said he thinks it all in there, just screws missing, but I think I see the switch on the bottom horn missing etc. Maybe it's inside the body...

Btw, I paid around €470 for it, plus the shipping from Mexico. Surely well worth it... 😅
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by Pacafeliz » Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:25 am

PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:08 am
Hey Pat,

Great find!! These are getting harder & harder to get hold of & the ones that are available are often listed for silly money! I'm curious to know how much you paid for it & if it came with the original case.

They originally had floating rosewood bases with an adjustable roller bridge, like this...

Image

There's polarised opinion about these bridges (as there is with the Jazzmaster). I found mine to be rattly - even with the cloth wedged under the saddles (that was there when I bought it). Also, even with plenty of lubricant the rollers never really worked smoothly. So, I switched it out for a Gretsch-style bar bridge...

Image

I found it made quite a difference. No more rattle & slightly better sustain.

I guess, if you're wanting to find something close to stock, you should buy a base with 74mm bridge post spacing (not completely necessary but that's the width of the original). From there you could get any kind of roller bridge, bar bridge or even one of those solid, compensated bridges in chrome or wood.

Oh, and good luck finding a spare tuner. I've only spotted these tuners listed once before & that was for a full & very expensive set.
Thanks! Ok I'll try to find something fitting in the meantime. You happen to know what the radius of the wood bottom part must be?
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Pacafeliz
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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by Pacafeliz » Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:28 am

Gavanti wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:21 am
If it ends up needing electronics work, it would be worth talking with Jon at Acid Fuzz. It’s probably not worth sending across the pond and back to fix, but he can likely point you in the right direction. I ended up bypassing the effects while I had one (I’d already built an outboard version). They’re fun guitars though, with a cool tone. Congrats!
I do have an EKO Multiman pedal... Just in case... 😅
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by Pacafeliz » Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:30 am

Image
...the back pad is there too.. :whistle:
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:03 am

Pacafeliz wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:23 am
...Seller said he thinks it all in there, just screws missing, but I think I see the switch on the bottom horn missing etc. Maybe it's inside the body...
Maybe. Even if it's not, that's just the e-Tuner (a simple effect that emits an e-note that you can tune the guitar to). I don't know for definite but I'm thinking the circuit will still function fine without it, unless it's all in series, in which case you'd have problems). I have a schematic somewhere that I can give you, in case you or your tech need to refer to it when troubleshooting things.

Pacafeliz wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:23 am
Btw, I paid around €470 for it, plus the shipping from Mexico. Surely well worth it... 😅
Amazing! The pickups & neck are probably worth that alone.

Pacafeliz wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:25 am
...You happen to know what the radius of the wood bottom part must be?
Sorry, no idea. I think you can literally buy them either flat or radiused. Obviously don't get the flat one.

Pacafeliz wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:28 am
I do have an EKO Multiman pedal... Just in case... 😅
You mean the EKO Multitone? I had one of those. It looked brand new & I absolutely hated it!! ;D I was expecting it to sound the same as the Ultrasonic circuit but it was awful in comparison.
Honestly, if you can get the Fuzz (which is silicon, not germanium) and Treble Boost running you'll know what I mean. It's just incredible!!
You think you can't, you wish you could, I know you can, I wish you would. Slip inside this house as you pass by.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by Pacafeliz » Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:33 am

Image

...I guess nobody knows where to get the wah hook? Or how it works, to make a replacement...?
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:01 pm

That part will be hard to find. I've read of several people looking for it over the years & never heard of anybody actually finding it.

You may be able to make something that does the job. How does the part that's still there look? Does anything look like it's been snapped off? It's not uncommon to see that whole part removed (check out some Brian Jonestown Massacre live clips & you'll probably spot one or two guitars without it).

I removed mine too as I rarely used it & have a Wah pedal that is way easier to use. If you want I can take some close-up photos so you see how it's constructed. It basically looks like a bottle-opener.
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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by GAZINGUK » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:32 am

Love the guitar and a great project for you. Just a quick question. I'm in the UK, but I've stayed away from importing vintage guitars in recent years due to the whole CITES restriction on rosewood. I know most of that was lifted in 2019, but it still applies to Brazilian rosewood. As this is a vintage guitar, did you have any problems bringing it over from Mexico? Do you know what type of rosewood is on it or did you have to get any import/export certificates? I'm only asking because I've had my eye on some guitars recently, but I wasn't sure about the resrictions. You may have a different system in Gemrany though. However, I just thought I would check to see what the process could be.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by Pacafeliz » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:25 am

GAZINGUK wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:32 am
Love the guitar and a great project for you. Just a quick question. I'm in the UK, but I've stayed away from importing vintage guitars in recent years due to the whole CITES restriction on rosewood. I know most of that was lifted in 2019, but it still applies to Brazilian rosewood. As this is a vintage guitar, did you have any problems bringing it over from Mexico? Do you know what type of rosewood is on it or did you have to get any import/export certificates? I'm only asking because I've had my eye on some guitars recently, but I wasn't sure about the resrictions. You may have a different system in Gemrany though. However, I just thought I would check to see what the process could be.
My brother in Mexico will be shipping it out tomorrow, but I don't expect any problems because of CITES... I hope :bored:
Isn't that over now, anyway?
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

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Re: Vox Ultrasonic restoration (need help/input)

Post by GAZINGUK » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:45 am

No Brazillian rosewood is still banned I'm afraid. It will be stopped if you don't have the correct paperwork. I know the following is for the UK, but I believe the same rules apply for Europe:

https://www.nottinghamcityguitars.com/cites-guitars/

I've been looking at this recently and I've been told from a number of sources (with regards to old guitars) that if you're not sure what type of rosewood was used on the instrument then assume that it is a type that is banned. You need to be able to prove what type of rosewood is used on the guitar in some way. I'm not trying to worry you, I actually thought you already had the guitar (I didn't notice you said your brother was going to send it to you, as I was too busy looking at the pictures) and I was contacting you to find out how you got it through customs. I want to do it the same thing, so I was going to copy your methods ;D . I see that you haven't imported it yet, so you best check. If it gets stopped you can't apply for the correct paperwork retroactively, they just keep the guitar or destroy it. They could send it back, however that may not happen. I keep hearing reports that customs are keeping instruments. The same applies if you try to bring it in to your country in person e.g. if you get someone to bring it over for you. ::) Be aware of real tortoise shell on guitars and abalone too, as they will also be stopped.

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