Thursday, 27 November 2014

Orfeus vintage electric-acoustic guitar from Soviet-era Bulgaria

guitarz.blogspot.com:
This Orfeus electric-acoustic is a guitar in a very similar vein to the Russian guitar we looked at in the previous post. Like that other guitar, the Bulgarian-made Orfeus (circa 1970s) looks for all the world as if it is an old acustic guitar that has been latterly modified by someone into an electric guitar. However, there are various indicators that it was created this way back in the factory, the most compelling of which is the correct Orfeus pickup mounted in the soundhole bracket (which you'll notice is painted in the same finish as the rest of the guitar - another clue to its originality). For comparison check out this other 3-magnet Orfeus pickup where you can see the similarites in their crude design and construction.

Interesting also to note the treble-side cutaway (cutaway acoustics were much less common back in the 1960s and 70s - it's only in recent years that they seem to have become the norm) and the six-in-a-line electric-style headstock.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $149.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Cobbled-together looking but intriguing Russian electric acoustic guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
At first when I saw this photos of this Soviet-era Russian-made electric acoustic guitar, I thought that someone had customised an acoustic guitar in order to electrify it. But looking more closely, it would appear to have been designed this way; I'm pretty sure that this guitar was conceived this was in its Leningrad factory.

It looks for all the world like an old nylon-strung Russian-made acoustic we used to have in the house when I was a kid. I'd be surprised if it had anything as sophisticated as a truss rod; the action doesn't look too healthy in the photos. Remembering the old Russian acoustic we had, the neck angle could be adjusted via a large square bolt located inside the heel of the neck.

It's certainly a curiosity and one I feel myself drawn towards, partly because of the sense of absurdity I feel emanating from it. But what easier way for a Soviet-era guitar manufacturer to produce an electric model than to modify an existing acoustic model? I think you have to applaud their inventiveness (and bear in mind too that none other than C.F. Martin used the same approach when initially dipping their toes into the world of the electric guitar). Note also that it has TWO pickups for increased tonal options - they could have played it easy and just had the one pickup.

Currently listed on eBay with a starting bid of £39.50.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 17 November 2014

1967 Japanese Sekova Mentor 4-pickup wonder

guitarz.blogspot.com:
This Sekova Mentor guitar looks almost Italian with its four pickups and metal-covered banks of switches above the pickups. It also has a 26 3/4" scale length and an unusual body shape with a very deep cutaway on the treble-side of the body which is then negated by the inwardly scrolling horn.

Currently listed on eBay with a optimistic Buy It Now price of US $1,500.

For more info see Drowning in Guitars.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

80s Elektro Heavy Metal Balalaika (allegedly)

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Well, here's something a little bit ... different. The Russian traditional 3-string folk instrument gets a heavy metal makeover. Although in the demo video (below), it's playing 1980s electro-pop. I think for a metal sound it'd need a meatier pickup than a Tele neck-position unit.



Available from Folk Friends (in Germany) priced at €359,00 (approx US $478,67).

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Japanese-made Apollo violin bass with scroll headstock

guitarz.blogspot.com:
When it comes to violin-styled basses (and guitars come to that matter) I am usually quite ambivalent in my enthusiasm for them, but I think that this Apollo violin bass is just glorious. Something about the shape and the execution of the build is just right. I also really love the traditional scroll-style headstock.

The eBay seller gives some interesting background information:
The best information on these basses that we could find is this "Apollo was an import line of St. Louis Music from 1967 to 1972. Apollos were made in Japan by Kawai, which had taken control of Teisco in 1967 and adopted some of Teisco's designs. Matsumoko also supplied guitars to St. Louis Music, but those were under the Electra trade name. There were EKO violin basses, but I assume they are all copies of the original Hofner bass.
I think he's wrong about this being a "copy" of the Eko violin basses. They were hollow-bodied and quite a different shape from this Apollo; nowhere near as elegant. As for them all being "copies of the original Hofner bass", that's not quite correct as - of course - the Hofner violin bass was inspired by Gibson's original bass guitar, the EB-1.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $550. (I'm trying to resist temptation... I need to sell a few guitars, not acquire more!)

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Wandre Davoli Cobra 2 ... sadly one for the collectors only at this price

guitarz.blogspot.com:
I think it's high time we had another look at another guitar from our favourite eccentric vintage Italian guitar manufacturer, namely Wandre. This Wandre Davoli Cobra 2 is one of their later models and is nowhere near as barking mad as many of their earlier designs. In fact, the offset body design is somewhat reminiscent of Fender's Jaguar and Jazzmaster models. But checkout that headstock design; that's got to be a contender for our Top 10 of crazy headstocks.

Here's what the eBay seller has to say about this guitar (translated from Italian, I believe):
Perfectly Working! Imagine Wandrè’s discouragement in contemplating the Cobra model, so traditional and inspired to other people’s designs. A restyling was necessary... Wandrè did not follow the Vox and Eko fashion of generally giving to guitars animal names (condor, lynx, cougar etc.)

Wandrè believed the name Cobra meant to draw inspiration and energy from the animal itself. That’s why in the second version a bizarre headstock imitating a snake’s hood with glasses and a snake scale finish for the pick-guard and for the headstock itself. Ready to leap and bite. The swan song of a production with no more raison d’etre in the market. An intoxicating bass version also available.
Note that the guitar still features Wandre's trademark metal neck construction. Notice how the headstock is attached to the neck by means of a bracket.

Wandre guitars now fetch silly money among collectors. Which is a shame because it means they are often languishing in collections rather than being used and played by working musicians.

This example is currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of €3,200.00.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Could this be the earliest production model acoustic bass guitar?

guitarz.blogspot.com:
I have on this blog previously queried what might have been the earliest production model acoustic bass guitar. Surely this Regal Bassoguitar circa 1937 must take the prize, even if it does look as if it was designed to be played upright like a traditional double bass. Note that it has a double bass style bridge and gut strings. Also in keeping with the double bass, the fingerboard is fretless, albeit with lined fret position markers.

It's quite a huge beast of an instrument and was apparently advertised in Regal's own catalogue as being "the biggest guitar in the world". However I suspect that the guy in the illustration opposite (possibly from the Regal catalogue?) is a boy or small adult, making the bass look all the bigger.

This example is currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $3,999.


G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

1960s Migma Favorit hollowbody teardrop electric from Germany

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here's an intriguing German-made guiar currently listed on reverb.com with a Buy It Now price of US $1,400 + shipping. It's a Migma Favorit, according to listing made by Heinz Seifert (?) if I am reading that correctly. It's supposedly from 1960, in which case it would have pre-dated the Vox Mark IV (a.k.a. Teardrop) by three years. I guess the shape might have been based on that of a lute - it would seem to be the obvious genesis for this design.

The example being sold here is obviously missing a pickguard, which would have hidden the enlarged part of the lower f-hole. I'm guessing it was made that way as an easier way of getting the pots in place during assembly. And just to prove that this is a playable guitar, here's a video of Linas Pečiūra playing "Corcovado" on this very instrument.



G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Legendary Cream bassist Jack Bruce passes away, aged 71

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Legendary CREAM bassist/singer Jack Bruce died today of liver disease. He was 71 years old. His family said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that we, Jack's family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts." More...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Japanese oxymoron of a guitar: Pignose 12+6 doubleneck travel guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Regular Guitarz readers will know of my fascination for doublenecked guitars. They will also know of my fondness for the absurd, and when it comes to travel guitars what could be more absurd than a doubleneck guitar? This rare Pignose 12+6 Doubleneck Travel Guitar, built solely for the Japanese market, features the now legendary Pignose amp built into the guitar body plus TWO speakers. I admit that I never saw the point of a doubleneck combining 12-string and 6-string necks (realistically, how often would you want to play both on the same song?); as I have commented elsewhere I don't understand why there aren't more bass + guitar doubleneck combinations, or for that matter, doublenecks featuring a pair of six-string necks which would allow for alternative tunings. Despite all that, if you did actually want that 12+6 combination, this Pignose does look like it has a nice compact body and shouldn't be the backbreaker that certain doublenecks are known to be.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $775.00.

G L Wilson

© 2014, 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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