Friday, June 12, 2009

1970's Univox Gimme Les Paul Copy

I acquired this guitar in April 2008 and it has a market value of $112. I was told it was a Univox with natural finish that had been painted because of the "ugly" color that the finish had yellowed to over time. I was also told that the pickups had been replaced and were thought to be Seymour Duncan pickups now. I replaced the missing knobs with generic speed knobs in black to match the pickups. It really sounds good now and you might even be able to remove the paint to get back to the original finish.


Univox is a defunct American musical instrument and amplifier manufacturer. In the early 1960s the Unicord Corporation, a manufacturer of electronic transformers purchased the Amplifier Corporation of America of Westbury, New York. They began marketing a line of amplifiers under the name of Univox. The company was purchased by Gulf + Western in 1967.


Guitar making operations moved to Japan in 1975 where they continued making guitars until 1982. Production under the Univox name was halted after a fire at the Matsumoku factory. After this time instruments were made in Korea under the name Westbury. The Unicord Corporation was purchased by Korg in 1985, effectively ending the line for good.


Univox was best known for making copies of instruments from better known companies such as Mosrite, Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Ampeg/Dan Armstrong, Epiphone and others. These copies are often referred to as lawsuit copies among collectors. The Univox Hi-Flier was largely based on the Mosrite "Ventures" guitar; it was popularized in the early 1990s by Kurt Cobain, almost two decades after original production had stopped.


Jason said...

Hi, I have this same guitar and case. My father played it when he was in a band, and now I have it. Mine has not been painted or anything. Appears to have all original equipment, that is from the photos I've seen on the web. Thanks for the info.

Guitar Hunter said...

They are very solid guitars with a great tone and sustain.

Anonymous said...

A vintage Univox Gimme, all original, say 70% condition will list for $350 in Vintage Guitar Blue Book, and they are climbing.

Guitar Hunter said...

Price guides aren't the best method to establish a guitars value.

Anonymous said...


Chris Stock said...

I have a Black and Gold Univox LP copy that I acquired from my Dad in 1983 as my first electric. I remember him having it since 1970 or so. It is a clone of an LP Custom with a gold Univox decal on the headstock.

I replaced the pickups and constantly slipping tuning keys in 1984, and still play with it today. The action and feel shame my 2 American Gibsons. If only it had a little more life left in the frets...they are worn down to the fretboard almost.

I have taken it to Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands courtesy of Uncle Sam, and the road wear shows.

It's heavy as sin, but has a growl and feel that is unmatched by the hundred or so guitars that I have been through in my lifetime.

It's kind of like your first lay...usually not the prettiest, but it was available, and you never forget it.

Rock on Univox, you stole my heart a quarter century ago.

Anonymous said...

i have a univox guitar with flame maple top, i got it from my uncle,he said that it was his guitar when he was in a band back in the days. it is a really nice guitar, i have 3 other guitar,a modern guitar if i may say, but i always play that univox,cause i like the sound a lot. even when i play it unpluged to any amplifier. i think it hollow body cause it.and i already change the potensio for volume and tone,everything else is still the original. it is a very nice guitar,i think i'll never stop playing it.

Anonymous said...

The Seymor Dunkun pickups were original. Univox used the S D Super Distortions for the Gimme and the Deluxe. I have a 1974 Deluxe that plays as smooth as my Les Paul Studio and sounds better than my Washburn N4! I wouldnt trade the Uni for anything.

Anonymous said...

I have a Vintage Univox Gimmie Guitar, they are great. They were copy guitars of the Les Paul, but made so well that they were considered lawsuit copies. They even played as well if not better than many Gibsons. Mine is a quilted top, gold hardware model # UL1986 made between 1969-1974. Highly collectable now, if you find them. Many were destroyed in fear of being arrested of possession. I happen to think they are awesome, very solid and great sounding guitars.

Anonymous said...

had a rickenbacker solid body that would not stay in tune or intone right,have since solved the problem,so I borrowed on of these for about two weeks,heavy on the shoulder but awesome tone and volume,had to give it back but for two weeks I was raging.

Anonymous said...

I own a UNICORD (Yes, Unicord) Les Paul copy, I replaced all the pots and pick-ups.
I have one original pick-up and I save all the old hardware if I replace stuff.
This guitar sounds rich, especially with the Darkstar pick-ups I put in.
Over all the guitar is in great shape and sounds great!

I want a second guitar so I can abuse that one instead with Heavy Metal.

Anonymous said...

I wish to correct myself, the pick-ups I put in my Unicord Les paul copy were Entwistle's, An Entwistle darkstar and an Entwistle X3.

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