Univox U-45 Tube Amplifier (1965)

Univox  U-45 Tube Amplifier (1965)
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Item # 11220
Prices subject to change without notice.
Univox U-45 Model Tube Amplifier (1965), made in Japan, serial # 4943, speckled charcoal fabric covering finish.

Long dismissed as unworthy of serious musicians, the interesting and often well-designed products marketed in the 1960s and '70s under the Univox brand have lately garnered much more attention from players and tone connoisseurs. Univox was a braid name of Unicord, a long-island based operation, so their products are particularly familiar to players hailing from the NY Tri-state area. The U-45 is a fairly obscure all-tube amp from early in the company's musical history.

This fabulous little tone monster is the original version of one of Univox's first early-to-mid 60's creations. The U-45 is the "junior" of two similar models; the U-45B was a more deluxe version. Both of these were built with chassis sourced from Japan using Japanese caps, pots and transformers, but assembled here in the US with RCA tubes and Jensen speakers. The slightly higher-powered U-45B was optimistically cataloged to as a bass model, though the only difference is the use of multifunction 6BM8 tubes allowing for a typical push-pull arrangement yielding around 10 watts of power.

This U-45, the single ended version sporting one lone EL84 power tube, puts out approximately 5-6 watts of power, much like its contemporary of the day, the Fender Vibro-Champ. Unlike the smaller speaker of the Champs this little beast comes with a 12" Jensen ceramic C12R in a bigger cabinet, offering surprising depth and low-end response for such a low-powered amp.

The simple control panel has three identical instrument inputs, volume, tone and tremolo controls. The tremolo is very nice and smooth, fixed depth with the control varying the speed. It otherwise has a tube compliment of two 12AX7s for preamp/tremolo/phase-inverter duties and a 6X4 rectifier; overall a similar compliment to another fantastic sounding little amp: the Kalamazoo Model Two! The u-45 is very lightweight super for recording or a smaller sessions where you need crisp cleans or a nice overdrive at low volume.
 
Height is 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm.), 15 in. (38.1 cm.) width, and 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.) in depth at deepest point.

Cosmetically, this little amp is in great shape for its age and for being a fairly cheap student-grade amp back in the day. The black sparkle Silvertone/Sears-esque fabric covering is showing some minor wear mostly at the edges and corners, and a bit of the covering is missing on the bottom. The front facing piping has been replaced and touched up to match the old rear facing piping. The grille cloth is in great condition; taut and no tearing or fraying. The original somewhat fragile plastic handle is present and intact. The handle mount and chassis mounting screws are showing some age and corrosion, otherwise the faceplate is clean with no notable wear. The amp even comes with the original unfilled warranty card and an old printed schematic.

Electrically, this U-45 is all-original. The original Jensen C10R speaker bears the code 220-513, dating it to the 13th week of 1965. Both the power and output transformers appear original, as well as all three pots. The amp has seen our typical maintenance and servicing including a grounded 3-prong power cord, replacement of all electrolytic capacitors, cleaning of all sockets, pots and jacks and biased to spec.

With a great smooth overdrive with crisp highs and woody, warm mids and lows, this little amp allows for plenty of spongy tone and singing sustain at reasonable volume. This little dark horse gem is one of the sweetest and most versatile small amps we've had in our showroom in a while! Overall Excellent - Condition.