Univox Electric Bass Guitar Reviews 4

I got from the Bass Palace because I like my fretless Ovation Typhoon very much and this looked like a fretted knock-off of it. I cost $375, in an oversized case, and then I spent another $50 for decent tuners.

It a hollow f-hole dual humbucker bass. What's not to like ? Actually, I wish it were long scale, but my Typhoon is also 30" and they make a good pair of matched fretted and fretless basses. Tone with flatwounds is "thunKKee". Light gage roundwounds make it scream. I've not tried 1/2rounds, but obviously this is a chameleon bass, sensitive to string choice more than solid bodies. I like that it has a trapeze tailpiece so I don't get too much of the E-string main windings on the tuning peg. The 30" scale has some advantages, in tone it's percussive, and in size at least I can find a gig bag for it. Short scale is also very fast to play, and solves the usual problem of hollow bodies with long scales: neck heaviness is minimal. I like the vintage look and sound.

String choice is more limited than with long scale basses, but not severely. It's plainly more fragile than a solid body bass. String heights are not set individually. The original tuners were very awful. It's not particulary loud.

It has no interior purfling. The plastic binding is the only reinforcement of the joining of the top and back to the sides. So far so good, and it IS 30yrs old now. Original tuners are the old stamped-cover hidden-gear cheapo type. The "chromed" PU covers are plastic. It's hard to fit the string balls into the tailpiece with the wood insert in place [removed that]. That's about it for negative comments. The sunburst finish is attractive, the neck is nicely bound [no fret-ends to annoy me]. I like the thumbwheels that allow quick easy resetting of string height at the bridge if the climate has affected the action [hollow bodies are susceptible to that]. The humbuckers are the "staple-pole" style, sound like humbuckers should, and adjust easily for height. The bridge has thumbwheels to allow easy side-to-side leveling as well as overall height setting. It has "tunomatic" type intonation plus major changes are made by just re-angleing the whole bridge on the arched top. The neck is adjustable at the head. 2+2 tuners on a tilt-back headstock. Mine has Schaller tuners, which I recommend because 30" basses are picky about very accurate tuning. 18:1 or 24:1 Gotohs would be very good too.

I think if you can find an Ovation or Guild at a bit more money, that would be a better buy and better machine, but for economy's sake, the Univox is a very fine choice and is not exactly chopped liver. Mine is near mint, so I expect you could get a good example even cheaper if it has a few ugly spots. I'm rating it a "4". It's a 4 or 5 for tone and general playability, convenience etc [subjective obviously] but it's only a 3 or 4 for build quality, materials and hardware. Just to explain the "4" rating. It seems to be priced as what it is.

Golem rated this unit 4 on 2003-10-30.

Write a user review

© Gear Review Network / MusicGearReview.com - 2000