70's Univox Stereo Bass - Rickenbacker Clone Sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 25oclock, May 27, 2016.

  1. 25oclock

    25oclock

    Aug 25, 2014
    Sumware, Texas
    I love the rick sound. My fave, especially with flats. What does the Univox Stereo Bass (ric clone) sound like? I have the chance to buy one, but it's a good drive away.
     
  2. stacker

    stacker Inactive

    Feb 24, 2010
    scotland
    I wouldn't turn my nose up at a Univox. It'll be good build quality (I'd surmise) but I couldn't say much more until you show us some pix?
     
  3. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    I owned one of these briefly in the mid 90s. Mine didn't really get that Rick sound at all...to my ears, it sounded more like a generic P bass with the neck pickup only. The bridge pickup gave me nothing but a clacking sound, even when I wasn't using a pick. What gives?

    So, off came the pickguard and into the electronics I went, hoping to find some obvious reason why the bridge pickup sounded odd. What I found was a capacitor in the bridge pickup circuit that seemed to be bleeding all the lows off, no matter the tone setting. I unsoldered the cap and soldered a bit of hookup wire in its place to complete the circuit, and wouldn't you know things sounded much better? The bridge pickup actually sounded darn good just straight, and the bass began to sound Rick-ish with both pickups on.

    I guess the answer is that it CAN sound like a Rick if you're willing to do some tweaking under the hood. Just my experience.
     
  4. 25oclock

    25oclock

    Aug 25, 2014
    Sumware, Texas
    I went and checked it out today. I'd give the condition a B-. One of the mute screws was totally loose. The pickup selector switch was loose, but quiet. Biggest defect was what looked like a little piece had broken off the body, about the size of a quarter and half inch deep, near the neck, and had been re-glued like a puzzle piece. Odd. Very odd. And the truss cover is cracked because someone scraped off the word Univox. At any rate, I want it for the sound. Cosmetics are second on my list. On the positive side, the bass was lighter than expected. No boat anchor here. Surprisingly it has dual truss rods. Fireglow finish. Minimal fret wear. Great neck. Not a baseball bat at all, which was what I was expecting. Slim all the way down. And it's a neck thru design not a Michael Bolton. Didn't sound like a p bass to my ears. Seemed to have that aggressive Rick tone going on and was capable of that cool clear hollow sound a rick can do. While at the same time it seemed to lack some beef or something, couldn't tell for sure though. Wish I had a Rick with me to A/B the tone. I told the seller I was going to think about it . I might be able to snag it for 3.5 C notes. What do you think?


    you think? Univox - close.jpg Univox -body.jpg
     
  5. stacker

    stacker Inactive

    Feb 24, 2010
    scotland
    Had the trim been painted over or the red bled into it?

    What kind of tuners has it got? Are they oval clovers or wavy Grovers?
     
  6. 25oclock

    25oclock

    Aug 25, 2014
    Sumware, Texas
    No trim/binding. Tunners: univox headstock.jpg
     
  7. stacker

    stacker Inactive

    Feb 24, 2010
    scotland
    Wavy Grovers, then. The screwed-in versions.
     
  8. 25oclock

    25oclock

    Aug 25, 2014
    Sumware, Texas
    that good or bad?
     
  9. stacker

    stacker Inactive

    Feb 24, 2010
    scotland
    Better than the Rick poppovvs! Truly!
     
  10. stacker

    stacker Inactive

    Feb 24, 2010
    scotland
    Buy that bass, fella.
     
  11. I had a natural one a few years ago. It was beautiful and extremely well-made. I should have kept it, but I bought a second actual Rick and so it seemed a bit superfluous. It had a Bart replacement pickup in it that really did make it sound like a P-Bass.
     
  12. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member


    That's the way 4001's and early 4003's were, they had a cap in the bridge pickup circuit also, so Univox really did their homework. When i bypassed the cap in my 79 4001 it was a revelation.
     
  13. 25oclock

    25oclock

    Aug 25, 2014
    Sumware, Texas
    You think it's worth buying? Stacker thinks so. (thanks stacker for the feed back) I can't afford rick, but want the closest thing to it. Need to respond to the seller ASAP. Thanks.
     
  14. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    $300 is where I would start. That's fair considering there's some damage, although it probably won't affect the playability.
     
  15. 25oclock

    25oclock

    Aug 25, 2014
    Sumware, Texas
    Why are the grecos so expensive? Are they better than the Unibackers?
     
  16. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Yeah, try to get him down to 300 bucks, can't go wrong for that kind of money, then you can save up for a real one!