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1977 Univox Custom U1885 Black Beauty "Gimme" Vintage Guitar w/ Case, Japan


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Up for sale, a circa 1977 Univox Custom model U1885 in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, 100% original save for the knob set and complete with a hardshell case. This U1885 was produced sometime after the 1976 split between Univox’s parent company Unichord and their importer, Merson, and prior to the Univox brand’s demise/rebranding in 1978. Quite rare, even among “lawsuit” era guitars, this U1885 was built at the venerable Matsumoku factory in Japan, where guitars for Aria, Westbury, Greco, and several other brands were also produced.

This U1885 often gets lumped in with Univox's similar "Gimme" models and clearly takes its design cues from an LP Custom. It retains the original “Pat. Pend” humbuckers which faithfully capture an array of classic LP tonalities. The pickups are big and bold, taking gain notably well and offering good clarity and articulation. The bridge pickup has an authoritative growl and cut, while the neck has a fuller, sweeter sound. This Univox weighs 9lbs 5oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The neck has a slender '60s-style C-shaped profile carve with round shoulders, measuring .795” deep at the 1st fret and .955” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features pearl block inlay and medium-size fretwire that has been leveled and crowned in the guitar's lifetime, currently showing just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. This guitar plays cleanly in all registers up the 24 3/4" scale length with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The carved bone nut measures 1 11/16”. The headstock is framed by multi-ply binding and features a split diamond and distinctive Univox script inlay. The stock tuners are present; functioning as intended and holding accurate pitch.

All of the electronics function as intended, with the humbuckers wired to a three-way pickup selector and dedicated Volume and Tone knobs for each pickup. The circuit board wiring harness features untouched solder joints and full-size pots. The gold hardware has uniform surface patina, including the pickup covers, the "Tune-a-matic" [sic] bridge and the stopbar tailpiece. Plastics comprise the raised four-ply black pickguard and the replacement set of speed knobs, which have ridged grips for easy swells and on-the-fly adjustments.

The gloss Ebony finish is framed by multi-ply binding, and this is a well-kept example, with cosmetic wear limited to a few small dings along the lower bout body edge and a handful of faint scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss, with a pair of shallow marks on the treble-side shoulder behind fret 5 that have no impact on playability.

An Epiphone-branded hardshell case is included.