Univox 'Ventures' copy


Univox was another company that made inexpensive copy guitars in the 70s. They've long been out of business. This guitar was not strictly a copy, it was more of a 'look-alike.' The inspiration was the Mosrite Ventures-model guitars, manufactured during the 1960s. Here you can see a picture of some way cool surf dudes with their Mosrites. These guitars are highly sought now and incorporate some interesting features: 'zero' frets, a distinctive Mosrite-designed vibrato and, of course, the distinctive 'reverse cut-away' (the cutout on top is deeper then that on the bottom), a shape that was supposedly designed by tracing around the body of a Stratocaster and then flipping it upside down.

The Univox interpretation of the theme was not nearly as sophisticated, and shared with its inspiration little beyond the basic shape and the reverse-angled pickups (single-coil 'soapbar' style on mine, replaced with humbuckers in later production.) The body was much lighter and lacked the carved profile of the top and the binding on the body. The vibrato was a Fender Jazzmaster/Jaguar type. And, of course, it was just plain cheaper. Mosrites were premium instruments in their day. The Univox was an inexpensive beginner's guitar.

This was my first electric guitar. I bought it (used) for about $80 in 1978 (?) and later spent about $40 to have the horrendous tuning machines replaced with Schallers. That was probably more than it was worth. I don't think that style of vibrato is all that great... not nearly as functional and stable as the Stratocaster type... or even Bigsby vibratos for that matter. Breathe on it and it'll go out of tune! The neck and fingerboard were really nice, though. I only kept this instrument for a few months.