By Michael Wright The Different Strummer Back in the early 1990s I did a few “guitar shows” for my son’s primary school classes, basically a show-n-tell with half a dozen guitars in various shapes and colors. I’d conclude with “Swamp Thing,” the then-popular TV show theme adaptation of the Troggs’ classic. At the end, I’d ask […]
UNIVOX guitars were imported to North America from Japan in the late 1960’s to the late 1970’s. They had many different models – most popular of which is the Hi-Flyer – but also included an array of Les Paul copies, Hagstrom, Fender and others. UNIVOX guitars were built by the Matsumoko guitar factory in Japan, who also built guitars for Aria, Westbury, Westone, and several other brands at the time. This model, the Coily Bass is based on the Epiphone Casino.
Eastwood has released its new Phase 4 Hi-Flyer guitar model. The Phase 4 was the last generation UNIVOX Hi-Flier model that were made from 1968 to 1977. The model was used by Kurt Cobain in their Heart Shaped Box video. The song was released as the first single from the group’s third and final studio album, In Utero, in 1993.
I count myself among the many of you who have discovered just how good guitars made by the Matsumoku factory in Matsumoto City, Japan, really are. Or were. They still exist as artifacts but have not been made more than two decades now.
A few months back I talked about how great the Univox U-45 is. And I figured I’d talk about more vintage Univoxs this month—specifically the 305-B which is a really great amp with 6973 output tubes. And I will (promise) do a column about that model Univox, but I stumbled onto this rare Guyatone this month and wanted to share this rare bird with the My Rare Guitars world. So, while I am stepping away from the Univox models, I’m still stuck in Japan in the 60’s with this Guyatone GA-530A.
You dig oddball guitars and strange, rare equipment. Sure, a Fender Telecaster is a great guitar (I have a 1969, and I love it), but there’s something about the weird ones that pulls you in or you wouldn’t be reading this newsletter. Fenders, Gibsons and the rest of the big boys are fine, but if you want a guitar that looks like a kitchen counter, perhaps made out of something more…uh…interesting or futuristic than wood…or one with more buttons than your uncle’s accordion (and you know you do!), you are forced off the beaten path to find your treasure.
For the past few years I had been looking for a really nice Mosrite Ventures Model Vintage guitar. Prices ranged from $1,500 to $4,000 depending on the year and the condition. Last year an angel descended on eBay with 35 NOS Mosrite guitars that were built in 1987. These guitars were all brand new and were never sold. They were stored in a warehouse for 14 years. Unbelievable! They were auctioned off one by one, week after week, until they were all gone. I bought the 13th one that sold. I was not disappointed.
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