For Univox portable keyboards, see Vox (musical equipment)
In the early 1960s the Unicord Corporation, a manufacturer of electronic transformers purchased the Amplifier Corporation of America of Westbury, New York. They began marketing a line of amplifiers under the name of Univox. The company was purchased by Gulf+Western in 1967. Guitar making operations moved to Japan in 1975 where they continued making guitars until 1982. Production under the Univox name was halted after a fire at the Matsumoku factory. After this time instruments were made in Korea under the name Westbury. The Unicord Corporation was purchased by Korg in 1985, effectively ending the line for good.
Univox was best known for making copies of instruments from better known companies such as Mosrite, Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Ampeg/Dan Armstrong, Epiphone and others. These copies are often referred to as lawsuit copies among collectors. The Univox Hi-Flier was largely based on the Mosrite "Ventures" guitar; it was popularized in the early 1990s by Kurt Cobain, almost two decades after original production had stopped.
Change from "Univox" brand to "Stage" brand
Per Frank Kosinsky, Unicord's Chief Engineer in the late 1970s, as told to Rick Reinckens, a short-term employee, the brand name developed a market reputation as "cheap" because Unicord copied designs from companies like Shure and Electro-Voice instead of doing major original research and development. However, Univox used time-proven electronic circuits and quality components. To avoid this market perception, Unicord developed the Stage brand. However, the only difference between Univox and Stage equipment was the nameplate, attached prior to shipping from Westbury.
Relationship to Marshall and Korg
A number of tube and solid state amplifiers were produced by Univox over the years. These ranged from small practice combo amps to powerful heads with separate cabinets. Some models had built-in spring reverb and tremolo effects. In 1971 Univox introduced the "B Group" amplifiers, covered in two-toned blue or gray Tolex with distinctive ovalesque cosmetics. These amps were famously used by The Jeff Beck Group and Led Zeppelin.
Around 1967, Unicord merged with Merson, an importer of various headstock-brand guitars such as Tempo, Giannini and Hagström. This new company was called "Merson Musical Products, A Division of Unicord Incorporated, A Gulf + Western Systems Company." Around 1968 they started producing the Univox guitars. In 1975 Unicord and Merson split. However, Unicord continued to make Univox guitars until around 1978, even adding some newer models. * Univox.org
- Limited Edition Series
- Mother/Rhythm and Blues
- Westbury Performer
- Artist Series
- Univox Stringman (see link)
Univox had many effects, but perhaps their most famous was the Super-Fuzz Pedal, used by Pete Townshend.  As of 2009[update], Univox Super-Fuzz pedals are selling in the $400 – $500 range. Univox also produced the Uni-Vibe, a Leslie speaker effect made famous by Jimi Hendrix.