1970’s Univox Hi Flyer Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Johnny_Paps, Jun 23, 2021.

  1. Johnny_Paps


    Jan 27, 2019
    Hey all,

    I just picked up this cool Univox Hi Flyer bass for a buck-fifty. It's pretty rough but I think it has potential to live on!

    The worst damage is a split at the bottom of the body near the control cavity. It looks like maybe a 3 piece cap that has split both ways.

    I'm trying to decide whether I want to glue n' clamp and just leave it beat up cause it looks really cool aesthetically or should I start stripping the finish off completely to really restore the body properly and have it refinished another color..

    I'm also trying to date this thing properly if anyone has any insight.

    Check it out!!!

    image0.jpeg image1.jpeg image2.jpeg image4.jpeg image5.jpeg image6.jpeg image7.jpeg image8.jpeg
    Qlanq, Green Knight, Blazer and 22 others like this.
  2. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA

    I’d glue down that veneer, then stabilize any active cracks. I’d clean away all the dirt, them leave it be once I’d convinced myself I wouldn’t get schmutz all over my hands every time I touched it. No way would I refin that. It’s a turd anyway; it looks best unpolished. LOADS of mojo. That’s a great find.

    School band bass.

    To date it properly, I’d call its parents first. Then I’d suggest a movie, and an eleven o’clock curfew. Improperly? That’s different.
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Always thought these were cool...nice ones are selling for $700 and up...and if you bring it back to life, you might really have something.
    (I'd leave the back of the headstock as it is, though.)
    DJ Bebop, Bass V and Johnny_Paps like this.
  4. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

    Good luck! Keep us informed... :bassist:
    Johnny_Paps likes this.
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I'd give it a clean then stabilize the damaged areas and leave it at that.

    Maybe call the NYC Board Of Ed and see if they can tell you anything about it.
    Bill Whitehurst and seedokebass like this.
  6. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    When you say "a buck fifty" I hope you mean $1.50. That would be a good deal.

    Do what you can without spending significant money. My first non-homemade electric guitar was a Univox I bought in 1969 from a mail-order catalog. It was pretty but of ... dubious quality.

    Your playing that bass on stage would really be a statement.
  7. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    full resto! re jd, save the 'stock etching, then trace it's origin. could have a Manny's connection.
  8. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    Really cool! I have one of these, but under a different name, possibly Sekova. I would glue and clamp for stability and everything else @Picton said. 60's Japanese pickups and pots usually suck intensely (apart from some goldfoils and some others), but can still work well for weird vintage sounds.
    fleabitten and Picton like this.
  9. That bass probably retailed from Jimmy's Music on 48th St and 6th Ave NYC for less than $100. Those were the days my friends.
    GreaserMatt, Pauly 4001 and Peteyboy like this.
  10. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    Cool bass. Will be a fun project for sure.

    As for its age, it is a 1977. It’s a black pickguard “Phase 4” model, introduced in 77. Also, schools don’t typically buy used gear, and they mark equipment immediately, so, 1977 was the year that bass started its band service… Looks like maybe a rough service :)
  11. ardgedee


    May 13, 2018
    Had one but could never warm to the neck, which was very baseball bat-ish. The pickups can growl with the best of them though -- they're keepers even if everything else has to be scrapped.
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  12. smurfco

    smurfco Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Norwalk, CT
    Super cool! I have no advice on fixing / stabilizing the crack but it's probably a good idea to make sure it isn't about to split apart.

    I used to have one of these in natural finish with the same pickups. I miss it!
    GreaserMatt and Pauly 4001 like this.
  13. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    creaturegods likes this.
  14. This was my second bass bought new in about 1972 or so. I miss it too. It was a zippy little bass.
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  15. Hey Johnny P - I've posted this pic before, but here it is again - Univox Hi-Flyer.jpg my first bass ever - Univox HF, back in 1974. I loved it - certainly not a high end bass, but for a first one, it did the trick. Long gone - still wish I had it, a fun bass! I was 17 in this pic!!
    JIO, GreaserMatt, Gunga Din and 13 others like this.
  16. jam.majors


    Mar 24, 2009
    Louisville, Ky
    What he said. That thing looks awesome
  17. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I'll chime in and recommend repairing the cracks and separations properly. Otherwise, they will inevitably get worse.
  18. No electric bass guitar in my band room in high school. I got to play the bull fiddle.:cool:
    Old Blastard likes this.
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I'm very into aesthetics so I say do a full restore.
  20. I'm guessing Jimmy's Music 48th St, judging by its modest pedegree.
    Bass V likes this.