Friday, 30 November 2012

Here's one for all you bikers out there: Harley Davidson logo guitar
Motorcycles and electric guitars seem to irrevocably linked (see here, here and here), and here's another, the Harley Davidson logo guitar handcrafted by luthier Jean-Luc Bouthillier. The guitar features a solid mahogany body, bolt-on maple neck with a scale length of 25.5", a Seymour Duncan SM2 mini-humbucker in the neck position and a Gibson 57+ humbucker at the bridge. Note also the eagle headstock detail.

This guitar is located in Quebec and is being offered for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $4000 Canadian dollars.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Aristides OIO Aluminum Guitar

I love aluminium guitars. I was after an aluminium Strat body a while back but it fell through. Still, I did manage to snag a nice Tokai Talbo last year (the same actual one, coincidently, featured on these very pages a couple of years ago). It had a worn patch in the shape of Australia right where you rest your forearm.

Anyway... today I stumbled across this lovely music making metal machine. WOW! What a Beaut! It even looks like part of an engine. Air intake and exhaust and all. These guitars are made from "Arium", which sounds like some kind of composite material, which is then given an "Aluminium finish". I shall investigate further and post an update. Truth be told, I'm too excited to wait. What a NICE guitar!

At £1250 smackeroonies, it's a bit rich for me just before Xmas so I'm going to pass it up. If I win the Lottery, I may well change my mind.

The seller says:
It's an innovative new guitar design by Aristedes, the OIO model with an aluminum finish on an arium body and neck. Arium is a special material developed by Aristedes for a guitar with a loud tone with lots of sustain. It's got 22 medium jumbo frets for easy playability, and a push/pull pot so you can split the humbucker.
The specs as follows:

One piece Arium body and neck, ebony fretboard, 25.5" scale length, 10-16" fretboard radius, 22 medium jumbo frets, Seymour Duncan TB-5 humbucker, APS-2RWRP Middle Pickup, APS-2 Neck Pickup, master volume and tone controls, 5-way switch, Graphtech nut, Wilkinson VS100N tremolo bridge by Gotoh, and Sperzel locking tuners.

Great for Light Metal
David in Barcelona

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Another Orfeus thinline electric guitar from Communist-era Eastern Europe
Here's a Communist-era East-European Orfeus Thinline electric guitar currently being offered for sale on eBay, with bidding currently at $58 at the time of writing this blog post.

We've looked at similar Orfeus guitars before on Guitarz, but judging by the photos on the eBay listing this example has a glosssy black finish and what appears to be a lacquered fingerboard - which wouldn't be to everyone's tastes but that never stopped Rickenbacker! The radius of the fingerboard looks to be similar to that of my Jolana Disco (another Communist-era East-European guitar) and is something that takes a bit of getting used to. If you'd like any more info, last year Guitarz reader Martin Cater kindly supplied a review of his own similar Orfeus Thinline.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

1960s Selmer Freshman

Now this is a Guitarz guitar if ever there was.

After doing a bit of research, I found out this is 1964(ish) Japanese built, Selmer imported, Freshman. Despite what the seller says (and previous owners' "doing up"), it seems pretty much original including the bridge. Not surprisingly, this was a budget guitar among budget guitars in it's day, selling for the princely sum of £15.

It does have it's charm, two tone scratchplate and wood covered pickups being especially groovy. I don't image it plays well all that well but I'm sure it could be induced to cough up some sweet chunky funk in the hands of someone like Jamie Hince.

It's attracted some attention already and, as it's quite a pretty and desirable collectors piece, I think there'll be a bit of a scramble at the end, which is just 13 hours away, as I write.
Here's what the seller says:
This is an old late 1950's or early 1960's solid electric guitar.
I would say a collectors item, not for playing.
It is marked FRESHMAN and also Foreign.
When purchased at the car boot the previous owner said he had "Done it up".
He had given up when he had tried to modify the rhythm solo switch to a pick up selector and got in a mess.
He says both pick ups work but it needs sorting out.
I have tried it on a little amp and the only thing that works is one volume control.
The other volume, tone and solo/rhythm switch do nothing to the sound at all.
The paintwork is all original as are all the other parts except the bridge looks odd to me for an electric guitar.
A rough little guitar needing a lot of cleaning and sorting out. All beyond me.
By the way, I found this scan of a Selmer catalogue, thanks to Laszlo ℅ the indispensable Vintage Hofner web site.

David in Barcelona

  © 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Monday, 26 November 2012

the jaguaro-bisonesque Antoria 993

Here is a 1960s Antoria 993 that seems to combine the body of a Jaguar with the horns of a Bison (something that might interest also cryptozoologists, mythologists and readers of Jorge Luis Borges) for a unique feel. Antoria was an early British guitar company that started in the 1950s before shifting production to the FujiGen Gakki factory where they shared some models with Ibanez, as much as their cloning policy actually!  

Their guitars have been made visible by then by musicians such as Hank Marvin (I swear I will not make jokes about the Shadows on this blog anymore!) Since 2007 a new company took over the brand but they just produce Fender/Gibson copies (what's the point, really?)

Almost the same model was presented on Guitarz a couple of years ago, it was not a 993 model but a 994 - I assume the difference amounts to 0,01%...

Bertram D

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Squier goes Superstrat: the Stagemaster

This Squier Stagemaster is quite an unusual guitar, for it is both a strat and a superstrat: it has a classic Fender Stratocaster body (just a little but thiner though), but all the attributes of the superstrat - no pickguard, H/S/H pickups configuration, Floyd Rose tremelo, reduced electronics, 24-fret neck, contoured heel, neck-through-body construction, and even a reversed headstock...

The Stagemaster was shortly released in the early 2000s and is based on the mid-1980s Fender HM Strat (HM stands for Heavy Metal), a previous attempt at the shredding market of the post-CBS era, poorly received at the time. But it is different enough from the HM to be considered as an original Squier model. And the colour is unique!

Bertram D

Edit: a comment allows me to precise that this model is actually the Stagemaster HSH Deluxe - the regular Stagemaster had a bolt-on neck a just 2 humbuckers. A 7-string version of this guitar was also available. 

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

plastic semi-hollow body Lunacharki Maria Leader

When I first saw this semi-hollow Lunacharki Maria Leader (Луначарки Мария Лидер), I was stricken by how much its body looks like plastic - and in a pretty good shape for a 40-year old instrument... Well, it is made of plastic, in a typical modernist attempt in Soviet guitar making to shatter any tradition and create all new instruments like the famous and excellent Tonika (and contrarily to East-German or Czechoslovakian electric guitars that relaid on centuries old luthiery craft). 

When it comes to East-Europen guitars, is an inevitable starting point, but they make a terrible reputation for this guitar as being the ultimate crap - and I found other sources that are a little bit more positive about it - though my Russian is quite rusted (I gave up studying Russian at the fall of Soviet Union when I realised that there was no future in becoming a KGB spy).

There was a 12-string version of this model, and also a bass one, that have been showed on Guitarz a couple of years ago...

Bertram D

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Gretsch Spectrasonic G6144 C Melody Baritone by TV Jones

Another guitar I'd love to play before I die - preferably on stage (the playing - well also the dying if I come to this) - is this wonderful Gretsch Spectrasonic G6144 C Melody Baritone designed by luthier Thomas V. Jones - originally for Brian Setzer. Not only I'm more and more into baritone guitars (preferably with a very long scale like this one - tuned in C), but it is one of best designs I've ever seen - I just love that pickguard!

This model (with chambered body, Powertron pickups and Bigsby trem) - together with a regular guitar version and a bass one was short lived in the early 2000s but TV Jones' own company took over the production since - not for cheap I'm afraid...

Bertram D

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

From Brazil: It's the return of the Giannini Craviola solidbody electric
Guitarz reader Henrique writes:
The Craviola is back! Giannini starded to produce a reissue of the Craviola this season. It is a solid body mahogany guitar with a flamed maple top and set mahogany neck. Two Wilkinson humbuckers with coil split and phase inverter! More info on Giannini website. I have already ordered mine!
Thanks for the heads up, Henrique. It certainly is a very good looking guitar and a refreshing change from the same old designs that get trotted out time and time again from all the usual suspects and their myriad copyists (earlier today I was looking through a bunch of Gibson's new models for 2013; they were ALL variations of Les Pauls and SGs).

Shape-wise it's reminiscent of the Ovation Breadwinner but without the rear cutaway. Of course the design is based on Giannini's own now legendary Craviola acoustic guitars, which have to be the coolest design for an acoustic guitar EVER.

For those who can understand Portuguese:

Now, I defy you to deny that those are indeed some very TASTY guitars. (Wish we could have heard them in the video clip, though).

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

From France... the Daguet Dagrite 2
The guitar pictured here is a Daguet Dagrite 2 belonging to Guitarz reader Rhodri Kasperbauer (we've previously looked at another one of his guitars, an Austrian-made Andreas Fierce Shark). He comments that:
To be honest, it's many things I don't usually like in guitars - 3/3 headstock, truss rod at headstock end, binding, pickup selector switch position, style of controls, set neck, etc...

But, it is actually a superb guitar, great personality and quality. Note the 'German carve' on the body and pickup selector, the inclusion of Hallmark parts (great quality), the nod to Mosrite (maker Roger Daguet met him in the USA and acknowledges this) and (I feel personally) a Rickenbacker influence and maybe even that of Roger Rossmeisl.
Perhaps we don't feature enough French guitars on this blog. I have previously mentioned Daguet Guitars before, but that was just very briefly, so it's great to have these photos of Rhodri's own Daguet Dagrite 2 to publish here. You'll find the full specifications of this guitar on the Daguet website - make sure to check out their other stunning creations while you're there!

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Another look at the Electra X-610 MPC Outlaw Bass
Brady writes:
Hi, I think you should write about this [Electra X-610 MPC Outlaw Bass] on Guitarz.

I really like your blog. I have been educating myself on guitars, history and design for a while now but I know nothing about the Electra brand. I really like the odd shape of this bass. Also, what is the deal with the modules mentioned in the description?

Hi Brady, we looked at a bass just like this one in July of last year, but you are correct in that it is a fascinating instrument and I think that this late 1970s Japanese-made marvel is well worth a second look. Basically, the "Modular Powered Circuits" (the MPC in the name) are interchangable on-board effects that can be clipped into place in the two effects cavities at the rear of the instrument. By way of example as to what kind of effects were offered, the Outlaw we looked at last year had a Power Overdrive and a Phase Shifter.

Notice how the effect cavities are labelled 1: Input cavity and 2: Output cavity which illustrate the "chain" of effects in use, as putting one effect before another can have a very different result to chaining the same effects the other way around.

This auction for this bass finishes in under two days time, with bidding at $255 at the time of writing. For comparison, the example we looked at last year was priced at $999 although it did come complete with two effects modules which I'd imagine would be hard to track down and find these days.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Vintage & Rare Guitar of the Week: 1965 Huettl Beat King II thinline
Here we have a vintage 1965 Huettl Beat King II thinline semi-hollowbody guitar from one of Germany's lesser known guitar makers. Some Huettl guitars were so basic that they didn't even have a trussrod, although what appears to be a trussrod cover on this Beat King suggests that this model is equipped with one.

The shape is reminiscent of a guitar from another German manufacturer, i.e. the Hofner Verithin, although without such a "very thin" body depth. The 6-in-a-line headstock, however, may be a nod towards Sweden's Hagstrom Viking, although that model wasn't really popularised until 1968 and Elvis Presley's Comeback Special. As to the blackburst finish, it reminds me of Fender's "Antigua" in negative!

Currently being offered for sale by Germany's Wutzdog Guitars via Vintage & Rare for €690.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Yamaha AES 820's cool headstock

I have to admit that so far I've overlooked the Yamaha AES series to which this early 2000s Yamaha AES 820 belongs. OK, it has some typically Yamaha cool features, like a very special beveled German carve, a quite interesting stoptail, a certain elegance in the disposition of the knobs, but still it has something of a fat LP that made me look away each time I saw it - just not my type...

It's only today that I noticed its headstock and realized that it uses a tuner configuration that feels so obvious that I've been wondering for ever why it's not a standard feature, since it allows to keep the strings straights while connecting to 3x3 tuners. The headstock has a classic roughly rectangular shape, while the tuners form a triangle like on a Flying V headstock - and some tuners have longer stems to fit the shape: simple and I guess efficient. I will have to try this guitar one day - especially as I've learnt that there is a baritone version of it.  

Bertram D

PS. I always wonder why Yamaha has such a poor website, no online archives and so little exciting current models after their great history of electric guitar making...  

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Aluminium-bodied Rogue guitar on Craig's List is a mystery
Jack emailed us about this unusual "Rogue" guitar being offered for sale on Knoxville Craigslist.

The body is from an Abel Axe guitar, an aluminium-bodied guitar designed by Jeff Abel and built in small quantities in the 1990s. I wrote about the Abel Axe in the 500 Guitars book and there are a couple of very nice photos on pages 9 and 11. We also looked at an example here on Guitarz in October 2011. What's more, according to the Abel Axe website the guitar is being re-introduced.

Back to our Craigslist guitar, I notice the body appears to be bare aluminium whereas most Abel Axes had bright multi-coloured finishes. I'm wondering if this is a body that was unused from the factory and which someone has completed with hardware and a generic neck bearing the "Rogue" brandname (whoever they are).

This seller is asking $400 for this guitar, which doesn't seem unreasonable given the provenance of the body.

Additional: Please see the comments - several of you have pointed out that "Rogue" is a house brand of Musician's Friend. Just to remind you, Guitarz is based in Europe with Bertam being in Austria (I think... or is it France these days?), David in Spain, and me in Wales. We don't always know certain things that might be painfully obvious to those living in America. Anyway, apparently this model is a Rogue Aluminator which may or may not use a body made by Abel Axe. More info is available on this article by the Unique Guitar Blog (which manages to mis-spell the name "Abel" throughout).

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Whoah! Is that logo big enough? The ESP flag guitar
We've looked at various flag design guitars before, but here we have an ESP guitar that is based on its own brand's flag. The seller, meestursparkle, says that:
I picked this up from the ESP Craft House in Shibuya about 4 year ago. It had been hung near the ceiling unplayed.
I'd guess this was built as an example of ESP's custom work. It's probably one for ESP collectors only. I can't imagine anyone else needing to have the ESP logo quite so large on their guitar. Nevertheless, the design of a flag in flight, as it were, has been nicely realised.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $3980.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Fantastic video clip of Les Paul and Mary Ford
Tony writes:
Take a look at this clip of Les Paul and Mary Ford playing their Les Pauls. Les has a typical LP with P90s. Mary's bridge pickup is different, though. It doesn't look like a P90. Is it missing? I can't quite tell.


Tony Deafradio
Thanks for that. I can't tell either what the deal is with Mary's bridge pickup, but it's a great video clip all the same.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Eat my short(s)-scale bass: Mosrite Celebrity III Model 221 Mark X  
Most modern bass players wouldn't entertain the idea of a large-bodied hollowbody instrument with a short-scale length. I'd imagine it would produce quite a boomy tone. However, I can't help like this Mosrite Celebrity III Model 221 Mark X bass from 1969 (is that enough model designations already?). Apparently this was the rarest Mosrite colour (for some reason I often find green guitars appealing even though it's not a colour I am usually drawn to), and that there was only a single run of guitars finished in transparent green across several models in the range. Check out also the Bart Simpson machine heads!

With its close string-spacing and short-scale this Mosrite would probably be better suited to the guitarist who dabbles with bass occasionally, rather than a dedicated bassist. But then with a Buy It Now price of $3,495 it's most likely to be bought by a collector rather than a player.

G L Wilson

[Edit: I'd totally forgotten that we'd looked at one of these before. That particular example, in sunburst finish, was being offered for sale at $795, which makes the above pictured example a tad optimistically priced, I'd say. Even if it is a rarer finish. That's one helluva lot of money for a green finish. Note also, these are not just short-scale basses, but they are ULTRA short being just 24.5" in scale length.]

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Can you identify this unknown archtop guitar?
Ariel writes:
Hey, just discovered your site and I really admire it. I've had this beauty to call my own for around three months now. It has no labels, markings, or anything until I got a good look at it a few days ago and found a few numbers printed inside. I'm guessing it's what was left of the serial number. My closest guess is that it's some sort of Harmony. I added the pick gaurd with an attached pickup to it. Anyways, if you or anybody could figure out what kind of guitar I have, it would mean the world to me.
Any ideas? Those f-holes are certainly a distinctive shape and might provide some clues.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Unidentified Höfner Verithin

Despite my efforts - I must have checked 100 guitar models on the inevitable website - I couldn't identify this Höfner Verithin archtop guitar from the late 1960s. It has plenty of highly recognisable elements - the 3 Nova-Sonic 511 humbuckers, the oval control plate, the round single cutaway, the mother-of-toilet-seat contoured pickguard, the tremolo, the bicolor headstock - plus some less current, like the knobs mounted directly on the top instead of on an arched control plate (I guess that the flowers have been added later by an owner, they are really not höfnery), but I couldn't find the combination of all this in a identifiable model... It's frustrating but not surprising, Höfner released so many different models over the last 6 decades that it's not the first time this happens to me...

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Vintage & Rare Guitar of the Week: 1960s Hagstrom 8-string bass
This original 1960s Hagstrom 8-string bass in cherry red finish is currently being offered for sale via Vintage & Rare by New Kings Road Guitars in the UK who comment that as this model was the world's first 8-string bass, it's "probably Sweden's greatest contribution to popular music ... (YES, including A**A)."

The Hagstrom 8-string bass was probably most famously played by both Jimi Hendrix and his Experience bandmate Noel Redding (check here for further info).

This particular example is listed at £1995 / €2,500.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

What's up, Doc?
This guitar has a Kramer Baretta body married to a Custom Dreams neck (Custom Dreams being the name used by Garden State Music in New Jersey). It also features - as you may possibly have noticed - a Bugs Bunny graphic, possibly painted by Dennis Kline (who worked for both Kramer and Garden State Music) or possibly it's a copy of Kline's work; the seller isn't 100% certain. Unfortuately the finish is slightly marred by several surface cracks.

This guitar is currently listed on eBay with a starting bid of £999.99.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Friday, 9 November 2012

1982 Japanese Matsumoku-made Aria Pro II Urchin Junior model
We've looked at a 1980s-era Matsumoku-made Aria Pro II Urchin before, but I hadn't reaslised that they also made this 3/4-scale "Junior" version of the Urchin which the seller tells us was manufactured in 1982. (I could have done with a short-scale guitar like this recently for a piece that required playing in an A-a tuning).

This guitar is currently listed on eBay Uk with a Buy It Now price of £315.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

unidentified Hopf solid-body

You cannot have a full frontal picture of this beautiful Hopf guitar, because the mirror effect of its amazing chrome front plate would show the photographer - that is not the purpose (even if he/she is fully dressed). Hopf was probably the most creative guitar company - and my favorite - of cold war West-Germany - less conservative than its fellow companies and more in the spirit of the East-German ones... Their hollow-bodied Schlaggitarren are easy to spot - the Saturn 63 is a deserving star -, but the solid-bodies are less known and mostly still undocumented on the Internet.

This one looks like their most common model Telstar - with the Jaguar-based body en vogue in Europe in the 1960s - but the pickguard shape doesn't fit, though the chrome frenzy is typically Hopf. It's actually such in a good state that I've considered that it's been retrofitted - the body finish seems to have been changed too - but who would redo such a complex thing with all the (marvellous) knobs and switches?

I love this guitar, I should buy it - after all my kid doesn't really need snow boots and winter coat, and all these piano lessons, does he?

Bertram D

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

When is a Burns Bison not a Burns Bison?...
...when it's a 1960s Japanese-made Kawai Telestar!

These days it seems the only guitars that get copied are the same tired old designs from the likes of Fender or Gibson (and throw Martin into the mix too when considering acoustic guitars), but not too many decades ago the Far Eastern copyists (in those days, Japanese) were much more adventurous. This Telestar is a beautfiul recreation of the Burns Bison, complete with batwing headstock shape, TriSonic lookalike pickups, split pickguard (or should I say "scratchplate" seeing as it's a British design), and even Burns' trademark Wild Dog, Treble, Jazz, and Split Sound tone settings.

This guitar, which surely must be as collectable as the real thing, is currently listed on eBay UK with a starting bid of £249.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Shergold Custom Masquerader with extra pickup for stereo

After Sunday's lovely 60s Vox Grand Prix, we have another classic British guitar. This time from the 70s.

This beauty is currently on Ebay. The seller doesn't go into much detail except to say that this is a 70s Shergold Custom Masquerader with extra single coil pickup with its own output for stereo use. He doesn't say whether it's an original variation or a later addition but as it is a "custom", maybe that's its customisation.

Judging from the same (slotted) screws on all the plates and the (surprisingly still present) bridge cover, it may well have been done by Shergold themselves. Shergold were an offshoot from Burns and Hayman, and are similar to the Haymans of the early seventies. Check out the Shergold site for more info.

Anyway, the other thing he doesn't say is how gorgeous this instrument is. It definitely fits in the "cracking" category. I love that yellow colour. A little reminiscent of Fender's Monaco yellow Strat. The first time I remember seeing one was being played by Chris Salmon of Stump on their "Chaos" video and have had a hankering for one ever since. This Shergold seems to be in pretty good shape and with a starting bid of £395, is giving me a very sunny feeling and is quite tempting.

David In Barcelona (I've been a bit quiet of late but hopefully I can get back into the swing of posting).
© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Massive 1960s Ibanez Nashville 690-F dreadnought acoustic guitar
Never mind that this 1960s Ibanez Nashville 690-F dreadnought acoustic guitar has a 6-in-a-line headstock as more commonly associated with electric guitars, just check out the size of it! It's huge! See the more regularly-sized dreadnought guitar pictured next to it on the right hand side of the above photo montage. Soundwise the seller claims that it has a "deep, big, profound tone" that is "Morricone 'Once upon a time in the West' through and though"!

Currently being offered for sale on eBay UK with a Buy It Now price of £275.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

1967 Vox Grand Prix V286

There's been an interesting conversation about vintage Vox 
guitars in relation to this scary picture in a 2009 post, but it
was before Blogger had all the blog comments wiped off!
We've always been ardent admirers of vintage Vox guitars here at Guitarz - their instruments combined the genius of both British and Italian lutherie! Can you imagine a more dazzling vision than this Vox Grand Prix V286

It has everything a guitar lover can expect in a guitar: first a design that combines classicism with killer details - the trademark Vox anti-Fender headstock, the fierce claw-like florentine cutaway, the curved control plate... Then it offers several technical innovations such as a E-tuner, a hand-activated wah, other onboard effects such as a fuzz (labeled distortion but based on the circuit of the Vox Tonebender fuzz), a treble/bass booster and a superb repeat percussion (one of my favorite effects lately).

Onboard effects are really out of fashion nowadays but I have a softspot for them - must have been cool back then to just plug your guitar in your amp and still have a wide array of sounds at hand... There was no reason to be a purist in more innovative times!

Anyway, to help you to really get the point of this guitar, I add a scheme and a demo video - thank you Internet for providing all kind of documentation! And have a look at what instruments the new Vox proposes since a few years, their guitars keep the innovation and the good looks of the origins up to date, and a model like the HDC-77 is high on my wish-list!


© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

...and speaking of Indian instruments, Pete List plays the shahi baaja It's not a guitar but it is a fretted, stringed instrument of sorts. Sometimes referred to as the "Indian Banjo", the shahi baaja is like some weird amalgam of guitar, sitar and typewriter! That description makes it sound like some eccentric cobbled-together Heath Robinson contraption, but it does sound amazing, especially in the capable hands of someone like the above Pete List.

Thanks to David in Barcelona for bringing this video to my attention.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Mystery no-name red electric guitar, possibly Indian in origin
I find myself strangely drawn to this single pickup "mystery" red electric guitar, which the eBay seller describes thus:
This guitar is clearly vintage but I have no idea who made it as there are no markings on it. The previous owner told me he believed it to be made in India but again there are no markings so I cannot confirm this. I do know that the guitar plays fairly well and works fine. That said it is a relatively budget instrument. The single pickup sounds ok but not great. The tuners are sort of cheap and while it stayed in tune for light playing it went a little south when I banged on it hard. There are bumps and bruises from normal play wear. I have no idea what kind of wood it is made of. It comes with a gig bag.
So, it's obviously a cheapie in the Kay/Harmony mold, but I can't halp thinking it'd be great for banging out some of those old garage band tunes.

Currently listed on eBay with a possibly tad optimistic Buy It Now price of $375.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Piotrowski one-piece solidbody electric 12-string for sale in Canada
Rich H brought this hand-made one-off Piotrowski one-piece solidbody electric 12-string to my attention. I don't know who Piotrowski is and whilst I don't particularly care for the exaggerated body horns, I have to admit it does look to be quite a neat piece of work, being carved out of a single piece of wood. Note how the neck smoothly transitions into the body without any heel. Conversely, check out the headstock: that's quite some volute up there! The guitar features two humbuckers with coil taps - probably a good idea seeing as the sound produced by humbuckers on a 12-string could be way over the top. Currently being offered for sale for $1,000 (Canadian, I assume).

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!


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