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Old January 10th, 2012, 03:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Univox Hi-flier, worth the money?

I love P-90 pickups and was scrounging through craigslist and found this guitar;
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/msg/2792031887.html
Good price? Anybody like these guitars?
Also my playing style is pretty rough, so can it take a beating?

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Old January 10th, 2012, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't know much about how the guitar plays, but I've seen a couple of them (and other brands from the same era) at my local store recently and the price seems fair.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If it's the same quality as the Univox LP copy that I had back in 1979, I wouldn't touch this, only the pickups were good, the quality of the wood was the worst I ever seen, I don't know what kind of metal was used for the frets but after may be 500 hours of playing they were already half worn. The tuners were horrible as well.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Go try it out. If I liked a guitar, and intended to play it, the price is not a lot of money.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have the bass, it's fun to play, and sounds pretty good, but durable is not a word that springs to mind.
It's very light, and the body appears to be some sort of pressboard, almost like molded sawdust, guess it made the German Carve easy to do lol.
Second, studio, alt tuning guitar? yes...main gig axe? no....probably not.
Keep in mind while those pu's may LOOK like P90's they are actually the earlier of the two styles of factory pu's that these came with.
That does seem to be a fair price I have seem them for as much as $500 although most of that is the Cobain hype, these are a cool $250 guitar,
Good lunch on find one for that >.<

Last edited by Warm Gums; January 10th, 2012 at 05:33 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have that exact same model Hi-Flier. I like it although I haven't played mine that much due to a bad nut that I haven't gotten around to replacing.
Many people believe these are made of plywood, but I can verify that mine at least is not. The body is solid wood(appears to mahogany) albeit with a thin veneer on top. The tuning machines are pretty bad as are all vintage tuning machines. My biggest dislike is the placement of the toggle switch. If you only strum chords in the bridge position it's not much of an issue, but it can be difficult to keep from hitting the switch in the neck and middle positions.
Every Hi-Flier I've ever seen has the trademark stress cracks at the neck pocket so I agree that durable is not an apt description(especially compared to a Tele) but if they were tough enough for Kurt Cobain they're not exactly going to fall apart the first time you play them.
I doubt you'll find one cheaper than this as Univoxes seem to be going up in price, so if you like it it's probably a good deal.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 04:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I was planning on just upgrading the PUP's and some other parts and just using it as a beater guitar, any info on the specs of the guitar?
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Old January 11th, 2012, 04:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had one with humbuckers, which sounded terrible to me. As for those single coil pickups, it may be hard to find a drop in replacement. They are not the same form as p-90's are. To add what's been mentioned, something that bothered me about it was that there are no side fret markers. IIRC the bridge saddles were plastic roller type. The hiflyer is typically priced way above what I think it's worth due to the Kurt Cobain image associated with it. It's a somewhat nice guitar but there are better guitars out there for that money.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 05:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lendryesky
I had one with humbuckers, which sounded terrible to me. As for those single coil pickups, it may be hard to find a drop in replacement. They are not the same form as p-90's are. To add what's been mentioned, something that bothered me about it was that there are no side fret markers. IIRC the bridge saddles were plastic roller type. The hiflyer is typically priced way above what I think it's worth due to the Kurt Cobain image associated with it. It's a somewhat nice guitar but there are better guitars out there for that money.
Will the slots still accept standard humbuckers? you could also always just change out the bridge to right? Yeah thats true with any guitar associated with cobain (or any famous guitarist for that matter). Any good suggestions for old beater guitars?
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Old January 11th, 2012, 06:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Will the slots still accept standard humbuckers? you could also always just change out the bridge to right? Yeah thats true with any guitar associated with cobain (or any famous guitarist for that matter). Any good suggestions for old beater guitars?
It's been a long time since I've owned it, and mine had humbuckers, so I couldn't tell you on either of the first two questions. You might have to do some modding to make it work.

As for old beater guitars... Hard to say really. I would prefer finding a used MIM Fender for $370 rather than a hiflier. If you're looking for something a bit more unique, old, and quality per that price range, then you may want to give it a go. If you can find a Westbury (which is what Univox turned into in the late 70's), then I'd get one of those. They had Dimarzios stock, set necks (except one model), and top notch quality. They are on ebay quite often and a Standard goes for around 200-300 USD.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Plagueskill View Post
Will the slots still accept standard humbuckers? you could also always just change out the bridge to right? Yeah thats true with any guitar associated with cobain (or any famous guitarist for that matter). Any good suggestions for old beater guitars?

I personally like the stock pickups, but everyone has different tastes.
The pickup cavities are about "1 9/16 wide and the ends are triangular like a dog ear P90. To mount a standard sized humbucker you would have to widen the cavity a bit and you'd probably have to make your own mounting rings(not terribly difficult) as a standard ring isn't quite long enough to cover the ends of the cavity. I don't think it would be too difficult to mount a standard sized P90 or a mini humbucker if you wanted to go that route. Probably also have to make your own mountings for those as well.
I plan on replacing the bridge on mine with a Wilkinson roller bridge. The stud spacing is approximately "1/32 narrower than a standard tune-o-matic, just enough to not work. I didn't want to redrill for new studs so I'm just going to file a bit off the insides of the holes on the bridge to get it to fit.
I wanted to keep mine pretty close to stock. If you just want an old beater to do some mods on this might not be your best option.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Those Matsumoku guitars are begininning to get a pretty good rep amongst fans of vintage guitars that can't afford the pricier stuff. I have a couple Matsumokus and they're decent instruments. When I was paying more attention, a 2-3 years back, it seemed like most Univox guitars were going in the $250-350 range. As noted earlier, the Hi-Flyers were going for an additional $100-150 due to the Kurt Cobain association. Looking at it that way, $370 is a decent deal.

Personally, I'm attracted to that particular model of Hi-Flyer, with the P-90s and Jazzmaster-stlye tremolo (as opposed to the models with HBs and stop tailpieces). If I ran across one for $250 I might pick it up, though I'm pretty of overcrowded with cheap guitars already.

Good luck,
-Scott
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Old January 13th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Those Matsumoku guitars are begininning to get a pretty good rep amongst fans of vintage guitars that can't afford the pricier stuff. I have a couple Matsumokus and they're decent instruments. When I was paying more attention, a 2-3 years back, it seemed like most Univox guitars were going in the $250-350 range. As noted earlier, the Hi-Flyers were going for an additional $100-150 due to the Kurt Cobain association. Looking at it that way, $370 is a decent deal.

Personally, I'm attracted to that particular model of Hi-Flyer, with the P-90s and Jazzmaster-stlye tremolo (as opposed to the models with HBs and stop tailpieces). If I ran across one for $250 I might pick it up, though I'm pretty of overcrowded with cheap guitars already.

Good luck,
-Scott
Only question is, can they take a beating?
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Old January 13th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have two of the p-90 versions and I like them. They take a beating fine but strings can pop out of the bridge. I did finally replace the bridge on one with a gibson type. They are thin bodied but aren't cheaply made. Pickups are raunchy and the neck is flat and thin. I am a lefty and these work because of the reverse body. $370 is a good price in that if you don't dig it you can get your money back on the bay.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Eastwood Hi-Flyer

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Old January 13th, 2012, 09:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have got to take a new photo of my Silvertone Mosrite copy!
Sheesh, I was in OK shape and had hair when I took this pic.

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Old January 13th, 2012, 11:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Cool guitars

I'm actually restoring one right now. Well it's a Pan branded one but same exact thing. It's a Phase 2 like the one you're looking at. Mine had a misaligned bridge, tuners don't turn that well but keep tune ok, build quality is not great (the pickup cover doesn't quite cover the pickup cavity for instance). I had to shim the neck, the frets were quite rough. I hope to get maybe $150 for mine. Still need to get one of the pickups working. Maybe this one is better. Kind of a learning project for me.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 02:48 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have two of the p-90 versions and I like them. They take a beating fine but strings can pop out of the bridge. I did finally replace the bridge on one with a gibson type. They are thin bodied but aren't cheaply made. Pickups are raunchy and the neck is flat and thin. I am a lefty and these work because of the reverse body. $370 is a good price in that if you don't dig it you can get your money back on the bay.
I always wished I was a lefty for some reason...
Do gibson bridges pop right in or is it a whole process?
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Old January 14th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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This is going back about 20+ years now but looking at it i think the spacing on the posts of the original bridge are fine but the original height adjustment thumbscrews are too big/wide for most replacement bridges and the thread size isn't compatible with the new wheels. So I had to remove the whole bridge and install the posts that came with the new bridge assembly. And of course notch the saddles. I have no idea what doing that does to the value though. Keep in mind this was pre Cobain hype and we both were probably attracted to the guitar for the same lefty reasons, it was cheap ( i think i paid $40? for my first one ),comfortable to flip over, and you could beat on it. There were basically no cheap options for lefties back then.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 07:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have got to take a new photo of my Silvertone Mosrite copy!
Sheesh, I was in OK shape and had hair when I took this pic.

What's the story on that Hagstrom Swede? I have a very similar guitar.
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