Saturday, 25 June 2016

Hotflush Spaceking - Chinese Stratty thing from
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Here's another find from, something that the seller is calling a "Firebird" but which surely owes much more to the ever popular Fender Stratocaster. It's as if they've taken the design of the Strat, flipped it over, then started cutting bits out. Almost. When I first saw a thumbnail photo, I thought the guitar had an incorrect and far too large pickguard on it; I didn't appreciate the shape until I took a closer look.

You know what? I think I quite like it. Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in how it actually handles and plays. This example is listed at a price that equates to £131.32 here in the UK. However, it's always worth checking other sellers prices on Aliexpress because they can vary wildly.

The name on the headstock here, by the way, is Hotflush Spaceking, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same guitar was also being branded with different names elsewhere,

G L Wilson

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Chinese counterfeit super bizarrely shaped thing labelled BC Rich

Words fail me!

OK, I'll try harder.

I saw this earlier on (via Facebook). For those not in the know, Aliexpress is one source of Chinese-made counterfeirt guitars, copies of Fenders, Gibsons, Rickenbackers (often dubbed Chenders, Chibsons and Chickenbackers) amongst others such as Gretsch, BC Rich, Ibanez, etc. Occasionally they have an original design or two, perhaps a hybrid guitar based on a particular brand but which never existed. And then there are things like the above pictured guitar, mad designs of their own. In this case they've cheekily put the BC Rich logo on the headstock (yhe headstock itself has the barest amount of shaping from the basic paddle blank shape). You can imagine the thinking here: "Oh, BC Rich do some wacky shaped guitars, just put their logo on it."

Poor ol' Bernardo Chavez Rico must be spinning in his grave.

G L Wilson

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
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Monday, 6 June 2016

1979 MusicMan Sabre fretless bass guitar

Here we see a beautiful example of the rarely seen, and some would say more aesthetically pleasing, sibling of the Stingray bass guitar, the MusicMan Sabre. This fretless example features two of MusicMan's own now legendary design pickups as opposed to the Stingray's single unit and also boasts its own unique preamp design, with Bass and Treble EQ knobs for both boost and cut, as well as a bright switch and a phase reversal switch, making for an incredibly versatile instrument. According to the seller's blurb, "the classic alder and maple tone wood combination [gives] this bass has a bell-like upper midrange and warm pleasing low end that translates well through the pickups, while the preamp allows you to dial in plenty of treble zing, or as much warm pillowy low end as you'd need, while also allowing you to dial back the bass for a tight, cutting, well defined sound."

Dating from 1979 means that this bass probably pre-dates Ernie Ball's acquisition of the Music Man company which happened at around this time. Certainly the headstock does not have the Ernie Ball logo (see pics above). The Sabre would have been designed by Leo Fender and Forrest White, who also designed MusicMan's other early period instruments, and the Sabre bass itself was produced between 1978 and 1991, but apparently was not a big seller.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $2,299.99.

G L Wilson

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
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Friday, 27 May 2016

Amazing Tele-Strat hybrid 50/50 guitar from Rafael Villanova Bazaga
Can't decide between a Strat and a Tele? Maybe you want a guitar that's a bit of both? One answer would be this offering from Spanish luthier Rafael Villanova Bazaga which is quite literally half-Telecaster and half Stratocaster right down to the half-tremolo on the Strat side! The attention to detail is quite something. Check out his other guitar and bass creations on the Bazage Guitars website.

[Thanks to Antony Moggridge of Shonky Guitars for the heads up on this one!]

G L Wilson

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
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Monday, 16 May 2016

Fender So-Cal custom design Stratocaster from 2005

This is the first time I'd seen this Korean made So-Cal Fender Stratocaster.

It's not really something I'm into, but it is a unique piece worthy of mention here on Guitarz. I've not had the time yet to look it up, I wonder if they only did a Strat this way. Perhaps there's an offset or a Tele that could change my mind on the design.

R.W. Haller

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Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Bizarro 1960s Kingston 12-string solidbody electric guitar

Here's a real oddity, a 1960s-era Kingston 12-string solidbody, of a peculiar design that I certainly have never seen before. It is a very odd shape. It may just be me, but I fancy that if it were finished in yellow rather than black it might resemeble a certain submersible that The Beatles made famous.

So, it's Japanese made by Kawai. What else do we know? Well here's what the eBay seller tells us:
Electronics - All electronics are working including both pickups, on/off selector switch for each pickup, both volume controls and universal tone control have all checked out fine. All electronics look original and vintage. I have owned 100's of vintage MIJ guitars and this setup looks legit. The Pickguard is an interesting material however as it is not plastic. It looks like those faux wood pick guards used on Domino California Rebel guitars although the wood side is reversed. See pics.

Body - Solid wood (not plywood). Finish may or may not be original. It looks like it may have been painted black although my guess is it was painted many years ago as finish has a vintage look. I believe the guitar may have been all white judging from the front of the neck headstock which looks original. There are some light areas around the edge of the headstock that have black paint. Back of neck is black finish as well and matches the body. The body pickguard holes and tremolo tailpiece dugout area look original and not modified in any way. The bridge area however looks like it was modified to be cut into the body and pickguard instead of "floating bridge" style or screwed into top of body. Tremolo tailpiece is typical of Kingston / Kawai guitars of this age and the routing area in body looks all original (I have a Kingston / Kawai S-160 listed at this time with this tremolo tailpiece if you'd like to compare these). This tailpiece is actually machined with 12 string holes (first time I've seen that on one of these tailpieces). The tremolo has been blocked off and does not include the arm stem or arm. A 12 string guitar can be problematic enough to keep in tune, never mind adding a tremolo to the mix!!! Yowza!

Neck - Neck has Gibson type "open book" lawsuit design. Tuners all match and are vintage and all work fine. Truss rod cover has KINGSTON on it. Neck needs attention as it starts straight but takes a dive where it meets the body.

The main issue with this guitar keeping it from being playable is the neck. The neck is the main problem. It starts straight all the way until 10th fret or so then dives down to body. It's not a typical forward or back bow. Also, the bridge being set down into the body (presumably to lower action?) makes the string angle wrong and the strings slip out.
Sad that the guitar has some issues and will most likely end up being a wall hanging rather than a player, but it's a fascinating pieve nonetheless.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US$350.

G L Wilson

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 25 April 2016

1977 Burns "Jubilee" Flyte with faded UK Union Flag finish
As I have mentioned many times in the past on this blog, I am a big fan of the Burns Flyte guitar, even though the only time I have actually seen one up close and personal was last year when my band was playing a psychedelic festival and Nick Saloman of The Bevis Frond, who were also playing, let me have a look at his.

However, I'm not so sure about the patriotic finish on this "Jubilee" example from 1977. (1977 was the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, i.e. she'd been monarch for 25 years). Even though this is the original factory finish, the Union Flag - popularly known as the Union Jack but technically speaking it shouldn't be referred to as such unless flown from a ship - has been poorly rendered with very thin crosses and not enough of a pinwheel effect on the diagonals. It's made to look all the more bizarre by the process of ageing which has turned the blue background to green and the white to yellow - in fact when I first saw this I was trying to decide if it was supposed to be the Union Flag or not. If you didn't know it was supposed to represent the flag of the United Kingdom, then perhaps it'd be easier to think of it as an abstract design. Still don't think I'd like it.

Like it or not, it's still a very interesting piece. This particular example was being sold by Denmark Street Guitars in London but is marked "Out Of Stock" which implies that it has either been sold or else withdrawn from sale. Unfortunately this means I cannot give you a price or value. However, three years ago, a Burns Flyte with "supposedly" original rare red finish was being offered for sale in Germany with a price of €1444. My feeling is that this Jubilee edition would be more valuable. Burns experts please feel free to correct me!

G L Wilson

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Friday, 22 April 2016

Prince RIP

What the hell is going on this year? We've lost so many of our beloved creative geniuses from the worlds of music and entertainment. First we lost Motorhead's Lemmy in the very tail end of 2015 (as close enough to 2016 as damn it). Then David Bowie's death in January hit a lot of us really hard, and now Prince - another omni-talented highly creative individual - has also passed away.

Not to mention the sad demise of Merle Haggard, Maurice White (Earth Wind & Fire), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), Glenn Frey (The Eagles)... RIP, all of you.

Lonnie Mack
Now I hear that Lonnie Mack has passed away too. Sad times.

G L Wilson

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Dave Of England hand-built solidbody - Zemaitis related

Here's a stunning UK hand-built guitar from a luthier I was hitherto unaware of (hey, you can't know them all) and which has strong stylistic and heritage links to the legendary guitars made by the late Tony Zemaitis.

It's a Dave Of England guitar, currently being offered for sale on eBay. It'd probably be easiest just to copy the text of the auction rather than reinterpret what the seller has written so well already:

This is an unique guitar made in 2011, completely by hand, for me, by now-retired guitar maker (luthier!) Kevin Parsons. We made guitars using patterns and jigs supplied by Tony Zemaitis upon his retirement, and this is one of our last. Our guitars are/were all “Dave Of England” guitars, and we have built them for the likes of Ronnie Wood, Pete Townshend and many more. All by hand.

The body shape is one of Kevin Parsons’ original designs, it is quite slim when compared to a Les Paul, but has a similar tone, as the best quality mahogany and flamed maple are used. The top is an incredible flamed bookmatched maple set, and the back is 3 pieces of mahogany with reverse grain construction, as favoured by Tony Zemaitis. There is a smooth cutaway for easy access to the dusty end. The two-piece bound neck is mahogany, too, with a rosewood fingerboard and rosewood head face on the Zemaitis-shaped headstock.

The high quality Gotoh tuners are complemented by wooden buttons.

The bridge and tailpiece are hand-made, as well as the pickup surrounds, all from top grade aluminium. They too are made in the Zemaitis style, to get the fantastic sustain and tone that these instruments were noted for. The bridge and tailpiece are mounted into threaded brass inserts in the body, using galvanised steel bolts. The aluminium parts are all hand engraved by Kevin Parsons.

The pickups are from the Creamery, hand-made again in the UK, to order, just for this guitar. They sound powerful, and quite thick, in a nice way.

The finish is nitrocellulose over a very old stain, supplied to me by Mr. Zemaitis. The colour fades out after a year or two to give a very vintage amber look. Although shiny and glossy, the finish is very thin, again, a Zemaitis trait. It helps resonance and shows grain like antique furniture, it is not like glass or a Japanese instrument, you can see and feel the undulations in the grain.

This instrument is quite a bespoke affair, and won’t suit someone looking for a Les Paul lookalike. But if someone was looking for an easy playing modern hand-made, great-sounding unique electric solid body guitar, they should look no further.

It is a really excellent professional quality instrument, made from the finest materials by hand, here in England.

Scale length is 25” and the scalloped nut is approximately 1 11/16ths of an inch.

The case is a Hiscox.

Don’t confuse this with, or compare it to, a factory-made guitar. It is a complete one-off and took many, many hours to build.

This guitar was originally sold to a studio owner friend of mine, who took great care of it then traded it back to me for a vintage Telecaster.

A Dave Of England solid body guitar was listed recently at Sotheby’s of New York at $17,500 or  thereabouts. One of my old headstock badges with my name on it is currently for sale for $499! Grab this one while you can.

Currently listed on eBay UK with a Buy It Now price of £1995.00.

G L Wilson

© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.


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