Wednesday, 30 October 2013

1950s Stratosphere Twin - doublenecked 12+6 string monster guitar!

guitarz.blogspot.com:
One thing that you can guarantee about this lumpen-shaped 1950s twin-necked behemoth is that were it being marketed today they certainly wouldn't be allowed to use the name "Stratosphere". A certain American guitar manufacturer would nip that in the bud with threatened legal action as soon as they heard about it.

Of course there is nothing "Strat"-like about it; the nearest it comes to any Fender is that the bolt-on maple necks are rather Telecaster-like aside from the design of the headstocks, of course. Incidentally, it's nice to see that the headstocks are slotted and fitted with rear-facing machine heads. One some doublenecks, the tuners on one neck get in the way of those on the other - and you can just forget about using a string winder!

The eBay seller tells us that Stratosphere guitars were:
...made by a pair or brothers in Missouri, there were probably less than 200 made and who knows how many remain, it is the guitar used by Jimmy Bryant to play and record "Stratosphere Boogie" in the mid 1950s, it was the first electric 12 string guitar, and most importantly, the 12 string neck is tuned in major and minor thirds, unlike a normal 12 string. It really is a rare piece of American History, albeit an obscure one.
This example is currently listed on ebay with a Buy It Now price of $15,000.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

MotorAve Fastback - gorgeous contemporary American guitar design

guitarz.blogspot.com:
We've previously looked at another guitar from MotorAve, namely their BelAire model (as used by Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme). The above pictured guitar, however, looking like nothing else on Earth is a MotorAve Fastback. The guitar was designed and built from solid mahogany by Mark Fuqua in Los Angeles and is one of the earliest that he made with a serial number of 0004.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of £2,000.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Two vintage 1966/67 Yamaha SG-3 solidbodies listed on eBay recently

guitarz.blogspot.com:
I make no apologies for the claim that some may make that Guitarz is the unofficial Yamaha SG2/SG3/SG12 Fan Blog. Regular readers will already know that I am the proud owner of a 1966 Yamaha SG3 and indeed it has become one of my favourite ever guitar designs.

The three-pickup SG-3, along with the two-pickup SG-2 and 12-string SG-12, were Yamaha's very first foray into the world of solid body electric guitars and it is rare that they turn up for sale. Imagine my surprise recently when TWO examples, both seemingly in excellent condition, were offered for sale on eBay.

The red example, pictured top, looking not unlike Link Wray's "Screamin' Red" (which was actually an SG-2) is currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $1,948. The listing for the arctic white version also pictured has now finished with the guitar being sold for $1,100.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sad news: Lou Reed dies aged 71

guitarz.blogspot.com:

Very sad news: former Velvet Underground main man Lou Reed has passed away, aged 71.

Known throughout the world for songs such as "Walk On The Wild Side" and "Perfect Day", both from his hugely influential 1972 album "Transformer", Reed was also a keen experimentalist in the world of music.

He was a keen user of cutting edge guitar designs such as early versions of the Klein headless ergonomic guitar, and the Moog guitar as designed by Paul Vo.

His 1970 double album "Metal Machine Music" - a wall of "elctronically generated audio feedback" was interpreted by many as a comptempt-fuelled attempt to break his contract with RCA Records, but Reed insisted that it was a serious work and it was even adapted for orchestral performance in the 2000s by the German ensemble Zeitkratzer.

For myself, one particular Lou Reed innovation that I have enjoyed playing around with is Ostrich tuning, named after a pre–Velvet Underground song "The Ostrich" by Lou Reed and The Primitives, and which requires all six guitar strings to be tuned to the same note (effectively creating a guitar with a single course of six strings).

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Fender special factory run Rattlecan Stratosonic - a Strat that thinks it's a Junior

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Fender fans will probably be aware of the Fender Stratosonic models from a few years ago. They were essentially Stratocasters given a Gibson Junior-esque make-over. This particular example is currently listed on eBay as a Fender Stratosonic Rattlecan Stratocaster Junior, and the seller describes it as a:
...factory special run guitar [featuring] a sleek mahogany body finished in Peacock Green, a 24-3/4" scale length 22-fret maple neck with rosewood fretboard, pearloid dots, single P-90 bridge pickup, amber tone and volume knobs, chrome plug where toggle switch would go, Tec-Tonic adjustable bridge, chrome tuners and a brown shell pickguard.
It's certainly quite a looker, and with its Junior-like configutation it ought to be a real player too.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $839.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 25 October 2013

1992 Ibanez 540 P II Alex Skolnick Signature


I'm not a fan of pointy guitars but I do love too-pointy guitars such as this Ibanez 540 P II Alex Skolnick Signature (I have no idea of who Alex Skolnick is, he seems to be renown as a fast guitarist, not an enviable skill in my opinion).

That's really a talent of Japanese guitar designers to be able to take a concept to its limits while always staying on the right side of the edge…

The extra long lower horn is perfect - and the neon pink finish is the killer detail… Still I wonder if I'd play this guitar!

Bertram D

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Micro-Frets Signature one-off short-scale fretless bass from the early 1970s

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here at Guitarz, Micro-Frets is one of our favourite "forgotten" American guitar manufacturers. We've written plenty about this innovative company before (and their most innovative guitar must surely be the Orbiter) but we haven't previously looked at any of their bass guitars.

This particular example is a one-off Micro-Frets Signature short-scale fretless bass made for an employee of the company in the early 1970s. Note the compensated nut in the above photos, an original Micro-Frets innovation from long before Earvana "re-invented" it and claimed it as theirs.

Currently listed on eBay with a possibly optimistic Buy It Now price of $1,750.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Custom shop Guild M-75 Bluesbird


Guild's M-75 model was released as the Aristocrat in 1952 - the same year than Gibson's Les Paul - and has a hollow body despite its lack of sound holes. It's been discontinued and re-issued over the last decades in different versions - switching to its new name Bluesbird in 1968.

This recent (I don't know the precise date, but it doesn't look vintage) custom shop seafoam green model has DeArmond pickups and cool looking pickguard and knobs - and an elegantly slanted hardtail replaces the usual Guild stoptail. These guitars have quite good reputation, and I like their simplicity. 

Bertram D

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 21 October 2013

1960s Orpheum violin-bodied guitar from Italy

guitarz.blogspot.com:
At first I mistook this guitar for a Russian-made Orpheus or Orfeus (they seemed to used the different spellings inter-changably), but of course it is a 1960s Italian-made Orpheum violin-bodied guitar with three pickups and a vibrato. Look at the position of the bridge practically in the centre of the body and the sheer distance between it and the point where the strings are anchored on the vibrato. Those who like modding guitars with pickups behind the bridge to capture those Sonic Youth-style overtones would love a guitar with that extra length of string, but it would be such a shame to modify a 1960s vintage Italian guitar such as this.

The seller insists that it is a player too:
Pickups sound amazing. Super warm and punchy. There are a ton of different tones that you can dial in, from warm and mellow "jazz tones" to super bright and jangly treble tones that would make any garage rockers dreams come true.
Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $895.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Bauer Guitars "Death Of Decency" hand-carved Telecaster (Aaaarrrggghhh! More skulls!)

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Regular readers of Guitarz will likely already know that of all the terrible guitar clichés, my absolute pet hate is skulls on guitars. This hand-carved monstrosity from Bauer Guitars has hundreds of the bloody things, plus tombstones, and even the figure of Death himself with his scythe. I don't know what more I can say about this guitar. It's certainly not my kind of thing despite the artistry and many hours that must have gone into its creation; however I'm sure there are other folks out there who'll go mad for it.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $2,000 (I guess that's to reflect the time that went into making this piece but I think it's mightily optimistic).

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Japanese-made Lew Chase / Azumi Bass with hidden pickup system

guitarz.blogspot.com:
I freely admit that I know nothing about this Lew Chase / Azumi Bass other than the French eBay seller tells us that it is Japanese-made and dates from 1975. The design is reminiscent of the Gibson Grabber and Ripper basses from the same period, but most obviously it does not appear to have any pickups. Maybe it has magnetic pickups beneath the over-sized pickguard, or maybe this is an early example of a solidbody bass fitted with a piezo system and pre-amp - the unusual slider controls would lend credence to that possibility. If anyone knows anything about this bass or the Lew Chase and Azumi brands, please let us know via the comments below.

Currently listed on eBay France with bidding currently at £201 at the time of writing and five and half days to go before the end of the auction.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Yasuki 1980s Japanese-made Les Paul-style guitar with built-in effects

guitarz.blogspot.com:
We've previously looked at other Japanese guitars with built-in effects, drum machines, etc. The LP-style guitar with built in FX that we most commonly seen is the Univox-made example loosely modelled on the original Roland GS500 Guitar Synth Controller. However, the above pictured Yasuki LP-style guitar with built-in FX is modelled on a more traditional LP design, although the addition of the effects unit seems to be almost an after-thought. You would have thought that it would have been more elegant if the effects had been rear-mounted. The least they could have done would have been to put the battery compartment cover on the rear.

You'll notice that this picture showing the effects unit removed from the guitar betrays the ultra-cheap construction method of Les Paul copies from this era; the arched top of the guitar is achieved with bent plywood on top of a solid (plywood) body - and with a big pocket of air between the two! You just know that this guitar is never going to sound like a real Gibson.

Currently listed on eBay UK with a Buy It Now price of £399.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Vintage 1960's MEAZZI Dynelectron Longhorn Fretless Bass

guitarz.blogspot.com:


Back in the late 70's, when I first left home, I lived near a street that was famous for being chocablock with second hand shops. I spent many a Saturday morning rummaging through the treasures there, picking up amazing records from bands I never heard of, dilapidated furniture and bits and bobs to decorate my freezing hovel. Ahhh! Such memories.
Amongst all the bric-a-brac was the occasional guitar. A green Microfrets was in the window of a shop that I never saw open. There were Silvertones galore, with and without amp-cases and ghastly Teiscos with nasty flower motifs on the scratch plate and strings like cheese wires.

It was in one of those shops, I first saw one of these Dynelectro guitars. That got me a bit confused as I then thought they were the originals and Danelectro were copying them. It's hard to imagine now but, in 1965, a company copied another's product, even down to the almost-the-same name, and sold it openly. What is now known as "passing off" or back then "ripping off".

I never did buy a guitar from that street but I did, eventually, buy a reissue, late '90s Dano U2 and it sounds and plays really well but I've never had the opportunity to play a Dynelectron. From what I've read about them Dynolectrons were at least as playable as the originals and this seller agrees.
The pictures also seem to support that pretty well, as does the fact that it was once owned by Walter Becker.



A rare 1960's Meazzi Dynelectron fretless longhorn bass(copy of Danelectro) - previously owner by Walter Becker of Steely Dan and also used on David Lynch's production of Lux Vivens (can be seen on the Lux Vivens youtube video) - comes with signed papers as to its authenticity - bass is set up and very playable, has stress/finish cracks at neck pocket(see pic), and some small dings and wear as shown, bass has an awesome growl and is very light weight - comes with non-original newer tweed hard case - this bass is also featured on FetishGuitars.com under Meazzi


This is obviously a well made instrument and probably, given it's provenance, is priced about right. But, it has a fairly specialised appeal, I'd say (although I wouldn't say no) and, as the seller has put it in a long-term listing, I don't think it'll be a quick sell.
That means we can drool over it and imagine if we had the cash/space for even longer.

One last look...







Ooooooh!

David In sunny but autumnal Barcelona


© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Gibson Les Paul / SG Special - very rare 1961 three-quarter scale model

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here's a rare doublecut 3/4-scale Gibson Les Paul / SG Special from 1961. Note the position of the bridge nearer than usual to the base of the body, plus the extrat length of fingerboard beyond the point where the neck meets the body. According to the eBay listing, which in turn quotes the Vintage Guitar Guide, ther were only 61 of these guitars shipped in 1961.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $3,000.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Custom handmade short scale bass - Alembic meets Danelectro!

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Guitarz reader Paul H. writes:
I'm an old Deadhead, so I love me an Alembic-style bass. This one is weird. Love the rosewood tailpiece/bridge, but I'm not too sure about the Dan-O headstock.
The eBay listing tells us that:
This is a custom/proto-type hollow body bass. It is short (30.5") scale and was made as a test platform by a custom luthier to work on ideas for a line of instruments. The body, as stated, is hollow. It's got massive bracing, so there are no issues with feed back, and the tone (when using the recommended "Pyramid" brand strings) is somewhere between a Hofner and a Guild Starfire. (Listen to the bass on Lucy In The Sky or Baby Your A Rich Man and that will give a good idea what this sounds like.)

The body has a Yellow Heart core, with laminations of walnut, quilted maple and the stunning birdseye maple faces. The neck is a Dan Electro that has been modified with peg-head laminations and re-finished in nitro lacquer. The tuning machines are locking Sperzels. The peghead emblem is a slice of English walnut (the actual nut).

The pickups are Duncan BassLine units. The bridge and tailpiece are hand-carved cocobolo, the saddles are hand-cut brass.
Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $1,400.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

James Trussart Steel-O-Matic leftie - steel-top Strat in Satin Black finish

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here's one for the left-handed player with a bit of cash to splash, and preferably someone who's in the market for a boutique S-type guitar.

This James Trussart Steel-O-Matic is the first time I've seen a Strat-style guitar from Trussart, who normally favours the Telecaster design, although he has dabbled with LP and Jazzmaster-derived guitars too. This Strat-styled Steel-O-Matic could be the companion model to Trussart's Jazzmaster-styled Steelmaster, both featuring steel-topped wooden bodies and being somewhat reminiscent of guitars made by legendary British luither Tony Zemaitis.

Personally, I think that Trussart's all-steel bodies have more of the cool factor about them, but can understand they might not be to everyone's tastes. (I realise that the slab-bodied Telecaster design lends itself to production in steel, whereas more contoured designs such as the Strat and Jazzmaster are more easily replicated in wood).

Currently listed on eBay by leftyguitarsonly.com with a Buy It Now price of $4,740. I wonder what the Fender Custom Shop would charge for a steel-top Strat?

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul guitars in unique tie-die finishes

guitarz.blogspot.com:
While Fender have over the years produced a number of "love 'em or hate 'em" finishes (Paisley, Blue Flower, Antigua, Splatter, Bowling Ball, etc), Gibson by comparison have been known more for their sober "tasteful" guitar finishes.

However with these Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Tie-Die limited editions from 1996, we witness a slice of Gibson history in which they delved into the Fender-dominated territory of questionable taste. Apparently only 103 such Les Pauls were created, each one being a unique design individually hand-signed and numbered by the luthier George St. Pierre. Above we see numbers 42, 47, 66 and 84 respectively.

Each of the above four is currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $2,000. Note, guitars are currently located in Italy.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Tikanta Benincaso featuring three necks, 34 strings, Fernandes Sustainer, GraphTech Ghost acouctic/MIDI system...

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Well, this is certainly a very eye-catching instrument. I'll allow the luthier responsible for this remarkable creation tell you more:
My name is Michele Benincaso, born in 1976 , I'm an Italian luthier and I live in Stockholm since 2007.

My interest in instrument making started more than 20 years ago, when I was 16 years old and after I listened Jaco Pastorius I pulled off the frets from my bass. After I was studying jazz and classical music on bass and double bass and I decided to move to Cremona, the city of Stradivari where the violin was born. There I studied at the international school of violin making Antonio Stradivari, and I worked on violins for couple of years before moving back to my first love: the guitar.

But that wasn't enough and I started searching something in the past for looking in to the future, and here you can see my latest instruments: http://www.benincaso.com/index.php/trikanta.html

The wood I used for the Trikanta is the same that Stradivari used for his violins (Italian Spruce, Bosnian Maple and on top of it I used 8000 years old oak tested with Carbon 14), melted with electro-acoustic system, midi system and Fernandes Sustainer. The tools, hand curving, varnish process come from the traditional violin making school.

Kind Regards from Stockholm

Michele --- www.benincaso.com
The Trikanta features a harp neck with 20 strings, piezo system with acoustic chamber, a 7-stting guitar neck with Lundgren Pickups, Fernandes Sustainer, GraphTech Ghost acoustic/MIDI system, and a semi-fretted lower neck with 7 strings, 3 on the fretless side and 4 arranged in two courses on the fretted size, and a piezo system.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Rare Vline guitar by eccentric luthier Vincent Berton offered for sale on eBay

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Currently listed for sale on eBay with a starting price of $8,000, here's a Vline sword guitar, built by avant garde luthier Vincent Berton in the early 1980s. Unlike the previous example we looked at on this blog, this example is not quite so literal in the sword analogy, and even has something of what we might call a "body".

Sources are still undecided as to how many guitars Berton actually made, with numbers varying from "two dozen" to 100 depending on who you choose to believe.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Eko B4 N fretless acoustic bass from 1982

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Although it wasn't the first acoustic bass guitar, and not even the first production model acoustic bass guitar (it was pre-dated by the Ernie Ball Earthwood and, I believe, by a Guild acoustic bass), the Italian-made Eko B4 was for many the first affordable and readily available acoustic bass guitar. These basses started cropping up everywhere in the early 1980s. The example pictured here is a Eko B4 N lined fretless acoustic bass, and even appears to be fitted with either the original plastic-coated tone-robbing strings or else a very similar modern replacement set. Anyone wishing to get a half decent fretless sound out of these basses pretty quickly ditched the horrible plastic strings and replaced them with a decent set of roundwounds.

In many ways Eko led the way with these distinctive looking basses (the oval sound hole was a nice design touch, whereas the trapeze behind the bridge was pure common sense given the tension created by a set of bass strings). The "Unplugged" craze following MTV's series of the same name was just around the corner (the first MTV Unplugged act was Jethro Tull in November 1987), and very soon many of the major guitar manufacturers were offering acoustic basses.

These Eko acoustic basses were purely acoustic, although I believe they did later offer versions equipped with piezo pickups. Unlike many modern acoustic basses which rely on on-board electronics to even be audible, the body was large enough to allow proper acoustic playing without need to amplify to be heard above your mates playing acoustic guitars.

Currently listed on eBay UK with a starting bid of £150. Includes a supposedly prototype never-went-into-production hard case.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Music Man Sting Ray II guitar from 1977 (back when they were cool)

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Music Man had as one of its founding members a certain Mr Leo Fender, who had sold his previous eponymously named company to CBS in 1965. They started out in the early 1970s producing hybrid solid-state/tube amps, but by 1976 had started production of guitars and basses. This particular Music Man Sting Ray II guitar dates from 1977, their second year of guitar production. Its Fender pedigree is quite apparent in the design - you can see how this instrument could represent the next logical development following the Telecaster and the Stratocaster.

The original Music Man guitars were not as well known or as popular as their basses; some would say that this was because they weren't particularly good instruments, but I can't believe this to be true. I've personally seen one in the hands of Doggen Foster (sometime guitarist with Julian Cope and Spiritualized) and he certainly made it sound incredible. Of course this guitar dates from well before Ernie Ball got their mitts on the Music Man brand; their later guitars would become very popular, endorsed by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Albert Lee, Steve Lukather, and John Petrucci. Note how this pre-Ernie Ball Music Man features a headstock with six machine heads in a line a la Fender, as opposed to the later ridiculously small headstocks with a 4+2 tuner arrangement that Ernie Ball nicked from certain Gretsch and Teisco guitar design from the 1960s and then claimed was their own copyrighted trademark.

Currently listed on eBay with a starting bid of $1,090.

G L Wilson

© 2013, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis