Tuesday 31 August 2010

John Mayall's sawn-off Strats

Latvis sent the above photo and comments that: "I know that John Mayall has many modified and odd shaped guitars. [In] 1990 he played this one at Kuusrock Festival here in Finland."

Indeed, John Mayall does seem to favour Strat-type guitars (in the above instance it's a Fernandes) with the body chopped down to the bare minimum. Quite why he likes such tiny-bodied guitars is anyone's guess. Perhaps it has something to do with the way he slings the guitar strap over his right shoulder?

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Monday 30 August 2010

Teddybears play Bo Diddley-esque Gibsons

I'm not sure if you've ever heard of the band Teddybears STHLM, or as they are nowadays known as The Teddybears. It's a Swedish band starting out as a hardcore/grindcore band back in the early 90s, but have since then changed their music in a completely different direction. Nowadays they are a lot more electro-influenced, etc, and outside of Sweden they are probably most know for their songs featured in Heineken beer commercials and such, or that they have been working with Iggy Pop a bit.

Anyways, Last night I went to one of their shows in Malmö, Sweden, and I just couldn't happen to notice the two guitars they were playing during the show. One of the guitars was a double neck (Bass+Guitar), and the other one a bass, and they were both wearing the Gibson headstock and logo.

One thing that I noticed was that the "guitar neck" of the double neck had the famous "SG" stamped on the truss rod cover.

Another very obvious thing about these guitars and basses is that they have the bo diddley-shoe box shaped bodies, with a mirror/disco ball finish.

I've tried to contact them via emails and telephone, but I've not gotten any response from them.

Anyways, I know the music is not really for everybody, but their shows are awesome, and I think you should check them out.

Well, I hope I've given you something that you'd might feature on the blog. If you don't find the info I've given you so far blog-worthy enough, I would suggest that you would check them out further. I've been to a few of their shows, and they are always improving more and more.

Sorry to bother you! Take care, and thank you tons and tons for this great blog!

Pelle Rydstern

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Sunday 29 August 2010

Alamo vintage guitar, made in the USA


Here's another that Bertram wanted to show you.

Has anyone out there heard of Alamo guitars? I'm guessing these are from the 1960s.

This example is a very crude looking, mis-shapen affair, and at first I thought it must be early Japanese. However - and you can't quite make this out in the above photo, but trust me - the trussrod cover bears the legend "Made in USA". The pickguard with cut-out lettering/design (I'm not sure what it's supposed to be) is an intriguing touch.

This guitar together with a recently overhauled Alamo Capri tube amp recently failed to sell on eBay with a starting price of $649. Probably a bit steep for curios such as these, even if they are rare. Rare doesn't necessarily equal desireable. If you're interested in buying, keep checking eBay, I expect it will be re-listed.

G L Wilson (on behalf of Bertram)

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Saturday 28 August 2010

Millennium #13 Prototype - aluminium body with on-board T-wah


Bertram is currently travelling and does not have internet access, but he wanted me to show you guys this intriguing Millenium lightweight aluminium-bodied guitar which features built-in Boss T-wah effects circuitry. Effects are engaged with a patent pending wrist-actuated switch, supposedly providing for quicker and smoother control than a foot-actuated pedal.

The body is arcraft-grade indestructible aluminium and is married to a hand-made mahogany neck with African ebony fingerboard and equipped with LSR lightweight locking tuners. The guitar weighs 7 lbs.

All in all, it's a very fitting guitar to show you on this, our 8th birthday!

Millennium 2

G L Wilson (on behalf of Bertram)

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Wishnevsky Holy Lobe Bass

Here's another delightfully eccentric hand-made bass from Steve Wishnevsky, a.k.a. Wish Bass. This unique, one-off fan-fretted bass is called the Holy Lobe Bass and is currently up for grabs on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $500. The through neck is made from laminates of mahogany, purpleheart and maple, and the body is of wild cherry. As on other Wishbasses, there is no trussrod. It also features a Kent Armstrong humbucker, and the controls are basic being just limited to just a single volume.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Greco Tusk "V"


We've looked at a Greco Tusk with an Explorer/Star-shaped body before, and here's another from the Tusk series with Randy Rhodes-esque V-style body.

Ken Shima, who found this guitar on the Yahoo Japan auction site, comments "totally awesome tuners, how do they work?"

Well, I think it's effectively a headless system with the tuners on the bridge, while the three "tuners" on the headstock are actually just string clamps.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Friday 27 August 2010

Dewey Decibel's FlipOut guitar

Dewey Decibel's FlipOut guitar puts a whole new perspective on the term "reverse body" as used by the likes of Gibson.

Yes, I have blogged about this guitar a long time ago, but I've not shown a photo of one before and haven't seen one on eBay such as this example currently being offered for sale.

This guitar, which is no longer in production, muse surely rank alongside Brian Eastwood's Bender Distortocaster as a novelty "double-take" version of the Stratocaster.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Thursday 26 August 2010

1939 Recording King Model D lap steel

Whilst we're on a lap steel kick at the moment, I can't help showing you this utterly gorgeous Recording King Model D from 1939 currently being offered for sale on eBay. I particularly like the pear-shaped body, which has a mandolin-quality to the design.

Recording King was a brand name used by American department store Montgomery Ward's in the 1930s, with instruments being made by Gibson.

The brand name has since been revived by San Francisco-based AXL.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Wednesday 25 August 2010

One-off "Juju" lap steel

I don't know why we don't feature more lap steels on this blog, because some of the designs are really out there! This very distinctive one-off lap steel bearing the "Juju" name has been built around a huge slab of lacewood. As you can see the lacewood slab, although polished up, has been left in a rustic state showing the beauty of the wood.

Very strangely for a lap steel, the fingerboard seems to have actual frets rather than simple visual markers.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

handmade lap steel guitar with multibender bridge

lapsteel one-off

Check this astonishing handmade lap steel guitar - a creative and nice piece of craftsmanship, isn't it?

Though it pioneered the electrification of musical instruments in the early 1930s, lap steel guitar seems a conservative instrument because of the musical genres it's associated with - country, blue grass and old school blues (though it was created firstly to play hawaiian music if I'm not wrong) - so it might be surprising to see one with a elaborated design where usually you find rough simplicity.
This one has a Duesenberg multibender, a wooden P90 pickup, and a chambered body providing a richer sound than lap steel guitars often reduced to a neck. Usually I like chicken head knobs, but here they don't match - some art deco Duesenberg ones would fit better!

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Tuesday 24 August 2010

1982 Daion 555 HeadHunter

Daion HeadHunter

I talked about the Daion 555 Headhunter a few weeks ago (when I found one on a flea market but couldn't afford to buy it [sob]), and I'm happy to have the opportunity to show one today.

Not easy to have much information about Daion, a late 70s Japanese-Texan brand that produced apparently good guitars but didn't last very long - they stopped in 1984 - and didn't leave much information. All this starts to give them some kind of cult status (also the fact that they have cool designs and are not mere copies people expected from Japanese guitars in these times), and I have to admit that I was quite impressed when I saw a real Headhunter, before I even started to dig the Internet to know more.
I love the back cutaway on a classic ES-335 body, and the unusual bridge on a semi-hollow!

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Monday 23 August 2010

Fender Stratocaster in Black Paisley finish

paisley strat

The readers of this blog might have noticed that I really don't like stratocasters, but I do like paisley and black and even more black paisley so I like the black paisley finish of this limited edition 1997 made in Japan Fender Stratocaster.

I could tell about the pickups, the pickguard or the tremolo, but this is still a summer post, so I can be so frivolous that all I care about is the finish (also after a few months of research, my girlfriend finally found for me a pair of paisley shirts - an exploit in Berlin - so I felt like celebrating!)

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Gretsch Historic G3156 Streamliner

Gretsch Historic G3156 Streamliner

The Gretsch Historic G3156 Streamliner is not Gretsch's most famous hollow body but its discretion is part of its elegance - and the cat's eye sound-holes are beautiful. It's a guitar that doesn't belong to any musical style, neither with the look or the sound (based on the reviews I read), with its typically Gretsch fat single coils that sound like nothing else.

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Sunday 22 August 2010

Born To Rock guitar

Someone posted this photo of a Born To Rock guitar in the comments under the Born To Rock bass we looked at back in September 2008.

The owner says:
I have a "Born To Rock" 6 string guitar with a clear lucite neck, these are rare as they moved to aluminum necks fairly quickly. It is serial #10 and I have had it since the mid 90's and have only played it a few times so lets just say it in excellent condition.

I'm looking to sell it... Any takers?

Now, I'm not going to make a habit of this - that is advertising guitars for sale for each and every person that leaves such a comment or emails me, but as this was such an unusual specimin I thought I'd make an exception.

If anyone is interested in buying this guitar, please do not email me nor leave an offer in the comments - please email the owner directly.

G L Wilson
Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Saturday 21 August 2010

Rickenbacker 330/12 White

Rickenbacker 330/12 White

Not a weirdo, not a one-off, not a rarity, not a vintage guitar, just a Rickenbacker 330/12 - because I love Rickies, 12-string guitars and white finish with a black pickguard... 

It's both classic and surprising with its unique crescent moon double cutaway, the famous R-shaped stoptail, the 3+3+3+3 headstock and the trade mark slash soundhole. Though it's been played by the greatests, it kept un-hackneyed over the last 50 years. 

It's my birthday-and-half today, I will heartily accept this guitar as a present.

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Friday 20 August 2010

1972 Gibson SG 200

Gibson SG200

This SG 200 looks like a Byelorussian copy from the 70s cut with a chainsaw, painted with tractor oil and mounted with the left-overs of an old WWII Red Army radio found in a barn under two barrels of smuggled vodka - then played for 15 years by a Soviet underground hard-rock band covering Black Sabbath and Motörhead, and finally abandoned in 1991 when its owner emigrated to Israel and managed to buy a real Epiphone, until some Ukrainian eBay seller realized that vintage guitars are valuable also in eastern Europe and revived it.

Well it's nothing of this, it's a real Gibson from 1972, a short-lived down-graded version of the SG from a time when Gibson was loosing control! It has a bigger than standard SG maple body, simplified bridge and controls, and two single-coil pickups, and it looks wild, though it is usually considered as total junk and isn't so far a collectible guitar.

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Gretsch G6129-BZT Billy Zoom Tribute Silver Jet

Here is a limited issue Billy Zoom tribute edition of the classic Gretsch Silver Jet. Zoom was guitarist and co-founder of Los Angeles band X. Zoom's own original guitar was put through a medical CAT scan by Gretsch and analysed so that this Tribute edition could be built in Gretsch's USA custom shop as closely as possible to the original. The G6129-BZT features a chambered body, pearloid banjo buttons on the Grover tuners, Bigsby B12 tailpiece, Seymour Duncan DynaSonic pickups, Synchro-Sonic bridge, and distressed finish and hardware.

This post is for Allison... Happy Birthday!

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Thursday 19 August 2010

Ron Marr's doubleneck CBG


Since an electric cigar box guitar wasn't quite ridiculous enough, I decided I should build myself a double-neck. Thought you might get a kick out of this.

The bottom neck is a 2-string, longneck slide bass (ala Stig Pederson). The custom nut is a hunk of bolt I hacksawed and spray painted. The tailpiece is a chunk of angle iron.

The top neck is a 3-stringer with a low action ... better for me as I do a lot of finger picking (it really is fast ... and for once I even nailed the intonation). Note the fancy-schmancy tailpiece that began its life as a pie spatula.

The homemade necks (steel reinforced ... and rounded with a bastard file) are bolt ons using helicoil inserts and gobs of JB Weld. Oh ... and lets not forget those hand-carved headstocks. Last but not least, in order to take overkill to new heights, I covered the Punch cigar box with a lacewood veneer

I'm thinking my next project may be an electric harp guitar with a 1-gallon oil can for a body.

Great blog ... I check it out most every day.

Ron Marr

Thanks Ron. As ever we are always pleased to receive photos of readers' self-builds. Funnily enough, only last night I was watching a few YouTube clips of The Presidents of the United States of America, a band known for their minimalistic 2- and 3-string guitars (dubbed the basitar and the guitbass respectively). In one clip, Chris Ballew is seen playing a doubleneck basitar/guitbass with a total of 5 strings on it.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Xaviere XV-560 Les Paul Thinline

Xaviere Les Paul thinline

In guitar making, you can endlessly take the same old models and trends and recombine them to do something new. The Xaviere XV-560 is one of these guitars, just a Les Paul-like guitar (with a florentine cutaway), but with a chambered body (mahogany with maple top) and F-holes. The XV-560 is the version with P90s, there is one with humbuckers.

It's not exactly cool - the F-holes don't really fit and Rickenbacker style holes would be probably better, but still it's an interesting guitar, and I'm curious about how it sounds. Xaviere is the guitar brand of GuitarFetish.com, who produce and sell nice gears and electronics; I bought some stuff there - mostly lipstick pickups that fit in a Tele bridge for my last projects - and I'm not unhappy with them.

It's good to show a guitar here that is not over 40 years old, no?


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Tokai Blazing Fire

Hey Gavin, I don't know if you guys are still on vacation but this Tokai caught my eye, copy of a Talbo.


Description says, "The body isn't aluminum, it's Basswood"

Ken Shima

Hi Ken

The irony of having a wooden-bodied Talbo is not lost on me, since the name Talbo is derived from Tokai ALuminium BOdy. I am aware of the Tokai Talbo Woody series (surely a prize example of an oxymoron), but this Blazing Fire edition would seem to be yet another wooden-bodied variation.

It's still quite a cool original design from a company largely known for their replicas, but for myself it doesn't have the appeal of the original metal-bodied Talbo.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Pondering on toy guitars


GL -- Hello from Washington DC USA.

I'm wondering about a pair of "toy" plastic guitars I recall as a very young kid, that were made by the Emenee Company in the U.S. back around 1965 or so. The one that surfaces a lot on eBay and on those my-first-guitar webpages is the Emenee "Tiger"/Sears "WingDing", a plastic archtop of questionable note and intonation. Pics can be seen at:

The other was called the "Swingin' Cat", but I've found no images or mentions of this model anywhere. If anyone has any info on the Swingin' Cat, speak up please!

BTW, Emenee rounded out its line of toy instruments with the "Big Bash Drums" and the "Polychord Electric Organ". The post-Beatle U.S. manufacturing rush of the 1960s was something to behold.

Alan Peterson
Springfield, Virginia USA

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Gibson Flying V limited edition

Scorpion Flying V Gibson

You won't see this every day! 

Here is a limited edition by Gibson of Rudolf Schenker's trademarck black and white Flying V dedicated by the members of Scorpions, on an east-german flag background, it's unique and it's on the Guitarz blog!


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Ibanez X-ING IMG2010

Ibanez IMG2010

I could pretend to write something about this Ibanez X-ING IMG2010 but it would just be a simplification or a copy-paste of what you will find here and here - if you're in guitar synths and MIDI controllers, it's really worth a look! 

Otherwise just enjoy - or try to enjoy - this very 80s design, that was the last period when people still believed that electric guitar can evolve (and should have computer names)...

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Monday 16 August 2010

1964 Hopf

Hopf 1964

This vintage Hopf is also difficult to identify, it seems to be a mix between a Twisty and a Telstar with its typically 60s European Jazzmaster body and a single centered askew pickup - this humbucker is much likely a later mod. I can't tell if it is a Frankenstein (the headstock doesn't fit with its Twisty body) or a model that I couldn't find - Hopf's jazz 50s hollow body guitars are quite well documented on the Internet, but not the later solid bodies.


EDIT: check the comments for more accurate information.

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Sunday 15 August 2010

Tele-Galaxy Höfner custom

höfner galaxie

A smart and discreet mod makes this Tele-Galaxy (I made up the moniker) a very elegant guitar. 

Based on the classic Höfner Galaxie reissue - that originally has 3 mini-humbuckers in a strat-like body -, this hybrid has now a Duesenberg P90 in bridge position and a neck Telecaster single coil (the pickguard has been completely redone and the knobs positioned lower). This - together with the vintage  Hofner trem - looks very good though a little bit strange, and I'm very curious about the sound...


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Saturday 14 August 2010

60s Merlin/Greco 921

Merlin Greco

This Merlin semi-hollow body beauty is a mystery - not a big one, but I'm afraid I cannot identify it! 

Well, I do identify it as a Greco 921 as it is in Greco's 1968 catalogue... But why it is here a Merlin guitar, I cannot tell - but we're not surprised by this typically 60s cross-branding! This is from before the time Greco started to clone American brands - but I told this story already before...

Anyway, it is a marvelous guitar with its pointy horns - always cool on a semi-hollow body guitar - contrasting with the round pickguard, the 3 vintage single coils, the unusual 3 switches on the lower horn and a superb tremolo.


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Yamaha guitars line up

yamaha line up

How can one carry 40 guitars in one attaché case? With this ad for Yamaha guitars - an item for true guitar fetishist...


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Bunker 6-string guitar

We looked at a 1970s-era Bunker Bass back in November 2009. I hadn't realised that there was a guitar version too, but here it is! I refer you again to that previous post for more info about Bunker guitars.

ON A DIFFERENT TOPIC, both Bertram and I will be going away for a few days and will not have internet access for the remainder of the week, so - alas - there will be no new Guitarz posts for a few days. Please accept our apologies in advance. (No, were not going away together. I'll be in a tent in Devon; you'll have to ask Bertram later what he was doing.)


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Univox archtop - those of a nervous disposition may want to look away


Here we have a nice example of a 1970s Univox archtop guitar...

...which was sadly reduced to this pile of rubble. What happened? Did someone trash it on stage in a Townshend-esque moment of passion?

No. It was allegedly destroyed by airline baggage handlers during transit, apparently despite being double-boxed. They couldn't have made a better demolition job if they had tried.

The moral is, I suppose, make sure you package your guitars ultra-securely if they ever have to by shipped airfreight. And seriously consider insurance.

Via db Twang.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Monday 9 August 2010

1965 Hagstrom Kent

The Hagstrom Kent was a quite successful budget guitar in the 60s, but this black model is quite rare - you'll see it more often in red or blue. It bares the Hagstrom logo on its headstock, that is strange since it should have Kent ; this guitar had a screwed plastic front and vinyl back instead of paint (this is not a plastic body like some believe, and that's why it was a cheap guitar), and being unsure of the durability of this bizarre 'shell', Hagstrom didn't want to risk their reputation and labeled this model only as Kent.

This guitar has the Tremar tremolo, another of these many cool trems they put on guitars back in the 60s.


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Sunday 8 August 2010



This Zenta looks like some 70s brandless Japanese plywood cheapos I recycled for bizarre projects - same bridge, same neck, same finish... The pickups look more serious though, but it's hard to tell if they are humbuckers, P90s or neither - and the trem looks a little bit more complex - maybe it even works! 
The Mosrite-like shape is much cooler than anything I've seen before and makes it almost attractive and worth the price for which it's sold!

There's almost nothing about Zenta on the Internet - that is only questions and the suggestion that it's Korean rather than Japanese, and you'll find that they produced mostly bad telecaster copies... These guitars were branded by and sold in US and UK department stores and are found nowadays in many attics, and sometimes people try to sell them on eBay as expensive vintages rarities... 


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Saturday 7 August 2010

Quite ugly Jackson Custom

jackson custom

There's not much to tell about this Jackson Custom and its paint job... I'm just wondering if the guy who'd play this guitar imagines that this will get him laid...

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Friday 6 August 2010

Adam Ant plays his telecaster

The previous post suddenly awoke in me the strong urge to show to all of you the magnificent Adam and the Ants in their time of glory, and maybe reveal something beautiful to some people who were not teenagers in the 80s in the UK!

  Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Teye La Llama

teye gipsy

This Teye La Llama is a guitar that I both love and hate, and it forces me to face my contradictions. 
I appreciate sobriety, classicism, modernist minimalism and ergonomics, but I also like bizarre, baroque, psychedelic - and I hate minimal design when it's just a way to hide dullness and lack of imagination. After all, at 16 I was a fan of Adam and the Ants (who actually played on Telecasters)!  

But there is a kind of guitars I really hate: the ones that cost $4,500.00.


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Thursday 5 August 2010

1960s vintage Regent guitar

Richard Haller brought this Regent guitar to my attention, having seen it offered for sale on a Canadian classifieds website. I confess I can find very little about Regent Guitars. It's a very difficult one to Google as "Regent" has been used as a model name by various manufacturers and has also been the name of several guitar shops. If anyone knows anything specifically about this brand, then please do tell!

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

1978 Aria PE-1500

aria PE-1500

The Aria PE-1500 is Aria's first original model, issued in 1976. This is the kind of guitars that put Japan amongst the great guitar nations, with the US, UK, Germany and Italy... It had powerful DiMarzio pickups and put Aria on the first line of the Metal guitar market that would explode in the 80s. 

I already posted about Aria, how it was an important brand when I started to get into guitars, and that I still use Aria power supplies for my pedals that work perfectly 20 years later. I'm glad to see its coming back - the company never stopped but quite went out of fashion, but since its older models became vintage, Aria becomes attractive again...

I added a close up on the Super Matic Bridge and the elegant wood topped knobs, but didn't show the heel-less neck...


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Wednesday 4 August 2010

An extreme solution to making a stereo Stratocaster


STEREO from BASTER on Vimeo.

Bertram posted this on Facebook yesterday, and I feel that it's too good for us to ignore here on Guitarz. Once again, this comes to us via www.muzicosphere.com.

Of course, this isn't the first double-bodied guitar sharing a single neck that we've seen on Guitarz.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

1966 Wurlitzer Wildcat


Wurlitzer guitars have been extremely shortlived, only 3 models have been released in 1966, including this Wurlitzer Wildcat (actually Wurlitzer - a piano and organ company - just branded guitars built by Holman-Woodell Guitars). These guitars also have the reputation of being good instruments, that on the top of their extreme rarity make them very collectable.

Actually everything you can find about Wurlitzer guitars come from only one website - wurlitzerguitars.com - so if you want to know more, have a look there!

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Hofner Club 60

hofner club 60

The Hofner Club was the best affordable electric guitar you could find in Europe in the late 50s, early 60s - that made it the guitar on which started Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Gilmour or Blackmore... 

The Hofner Club 60 was the top of the series - it has the typical Club archtop hollow body (with flat back) and short scale neck, the oblique control plate - familiar since you saw it on countless violin basses - plus the ebony fretboard with 3-piece inlays specific of the 60 model. 


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Monday 2 August 2010

10-string electric-acoustic Melobar slide guitar


Here's another Melobar - or at least a Melobar-styled guitar with an angled playing surface so as to facilitate slide playing whilst wearing the guitar on a strap. I don't know for sure if this is an actual Melobar-branded instrument. I have only been aware of solid-bodied Melobars previously.

If anyone can read the Japanese of the auction listing, or can tell me any more, please get in touch!

Thanks to Ken Shima for bringing this unusual guitar to my attention.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

A brief history of the classical guitar


This is a guest post by Christopher Davis, author of The Classical Guitar Blog

Our instrument has a long history. Dating all the way back to 1400s when an instrument called the Vihuela flourished in Spain. Vihuela featured six courses of strings - a course being a pair of strings tuned to the same pitch in this case. Much like today's guitars, the tuning was fourths and one third. In today's terms, Vihuela tuning would be E A D F# B E.

Interestingly, vihuela was really a family of instruments: they came in all sizes. There are only three original Vihuelas in existence today, and each is slightly different in scale length and pitch. Some would even be considered bass-like. There was also a four course guitar that flourished in France during the Renaissance.

The Baroque guitar (around 1600-1800) flourished in many European countries. These guitars are as much works of art as they are instruments. They featured extensive ornamentation and inlays.

And elaborate rosettes that filled the sound hole.

Around 1800 guitar builders gradually added a sixth course, and went to single strings. Check out this instrument, a six course guitar built around 1800.

And this one built just a few years later.

Like guitarists today, guitarists in the later 1800s explored guitars with more than six strings. Composer/Guitarist Johann Kaspar Mertz played on a ten-string instrument similar to the modern harp guitar.

Napoleon Coste also added more strings and wrote music for this seven string guitar.

The ten-string guitar is still alive today thanks to the work of Narciso Yepes.

Classical, nylon-strung guitars today, however, are mostly pretty tame. And they're all descendents of the grand-daddy of the modern guitar, Antonio Torres. Torres built guitars in Spain during the late 19th century, and his instruments are the first that we consider modern. The bodies on his instruments were slightly bigger, and the braces on the underside of the top were arranged in a fan.

While electric guitars may feature gorgeous wood on the top, the back and sides of a classical guitar are often the most beautiful. Below is my guitar, built in 2009 by Michael Thames.

Most professional level classical guitars - called "concert guitars" - are custom shop jobs. They are built specifically for one person, and you choose a guitar builder based on the features you want. Some builders specialize is construction methods that are a bit unorthodox or strange. Check out the inside of this "lattice braced" guitar.

The tops on these guitars are extremely thin (you could puncture it with your finger), and that black stuff inside is carbon fiber. Another popular construction method today is a "double top". These guitars have a thin top, then a layer of honey-comb style material called Nomex, then another thin top is glued on the other side. Here builder John H. Dick shows off the inside of his guitar tops (towards the end).

There's a lot out there in the world of classical and nylon-strung guitars, and it's well worth exploring.

Christopher Davis

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!


Related Posts with Thumbnails