The Bluesbox Collection

Early '70's Univox Coily (ES335 copy)

Although this would technically be referred to as a "Gibson ES335 copy", in fact, to my eye, this guitar's design appears to owe more to the Guild Starfire double cutaway models. Of course, the Guild could also be referred to as a 335 copy, so there you are. I really bought this guitar because of it's color. The fact that it plays great and sounds like a million bucks didn't hurt either. This back view reveals the bolt on, 7 piece rock maple neck, which, surprisingly (for a budget guitar), has a heel. The Univox line first appeared in 1968. The company was American, although the guitars were built in Japan at the Matsumoko guitar factory, the same company that produced the Aria, Epiphone and Fender Japan lines. Univox was later (around 1978) put out of business when Gibson and Fender launched lawsuits against Japanese guitar makers for copying their designs. Those suits mostly centered around the fact that the Japanese guitar makers copied the headstock shapes of their American counterparts. This guitar, for instance, has a distinctly "Gibsonish" looking peghead. The clue to it's vintage is the horizontal script-style logo, which was replaced in 1973 by the more familiar vertical logotype. This close up view shows the dual humbucking pickups, which have plastic covers, painted silver. The guitar had a "Bigbsby-style" tremelo on it when I bought it, but wouldn't allow it to stay in tune. I replaced it with another Univox tailpiece that I just happened to have. The pick guard is an aftermarket Gibson Les Paul model that I just took a shine to. After the lawsuits, Univox changed their name to Westbury and continued to market an original line of guitars, but never regained a real foothold in the American market. Their Univox effects were always much more successful then their guitars, and eventually evolved into the KORG line of electronic music effects which are still a big player in that market today.

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