Thursday 31 March 2011

Airline 7215 Stratotone by Harmony

guitarz.blogspot.com:
This Harmony-built hollow-bodied Airline 7215 is a rare model in the Stratotone family of guitars, as there is no Harmony own-branded equivalent. They were sold in 1963-64 via the Montgomery Wards catalogue. The pictured example, said to be in mint condition, is currently being offered for sale on eBay in the UK with a Buy It Now price of £975.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Nick Rhodes' Pixelator Fender Stratocaster

guitarz.blogspot.com:
As I've said before, if we're going to show Fender Stratocasters on this blog they need to be pretty damn special - either that or particularly disgusting or amusing. This Pixelator Strat, I'm sure you'll agree, falls into the "special" category.

The brainchild of Duran Duran's keys player Nick Rhodes, this Mexican-made Fender Stratocaster has been customised by Sims Custom Shop with 100s of LEDs beneath a plexiglass top, which when controlled from a laptop (also included in the sale) allows video-streaming straight to the guitar's top, as seen in the YouTube clip below.


Currently being offered for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of £5,000.

I'm reminded of Visionary Instruments' video guitars but think I prefer Nick Rhodes' system which uses a regular (albeit modified) guitar.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Could the Norwegians have been the first to mass produce a solidbody electric guitar?

guitarz.blogspot.com:
One topic you see cropping up time and time again is that hoary old chestnut, "Who created the first solidbody electric guitar?" The usual answers given are Les Paul or Leo Fender, although some will point out that there were earlier examples from Rickenbacker and Bigsby. In the end most have to concede that various people came up with similar ideas at around the same time.

However, most everyone would point to America as being the birthplace of the solidbody electric guitar. Who would have thought that, say Norway, could have been a contender?

But check out this auction for a "Nilsen Gitar". The text translates as:
Nilsen guitar, world's first mass-produced electric guitar?

Nils Robert Nilsson (born 10/11/1904) is without doubt one of the greatest pioneers in the development and manufacture of the electric guitar. The Nilsen guitar system was designed for Greåker at Fredrikstad. This guitar is from 1945-1950. It is one of ​​500 items made of this model.
Although it is a through-neck instrument, construction looks to be very simple. The body and neck is plank-like with electrics housed in an external box at the bridge. Check out the bar behind the nut under which the strings pass. I so wanted to call this the World's First Locking Nut, but I suspect it is just there to allow the strings to feed into the machine heads at the correct angle as the headstock is not angled but is instead flat (no doubt to simplify mass production).

For more see: www.rockemuseet.no/Nilsengitaren.htm (in Norwegian).

Thanks to our friend Christian Blandhoel for bringing this guitar to my attention.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Monday 28 March 2011

RKS Ruby Red

guitarz.blogspot.com:
RKS Guitars were a modern forward-thinking innovative guitar company, and embodied everything we here at Guitarz applaud. They didn't look to the past and unquestioningly re-hash designs and concepts simply because that was the traditional way of doing things. They sought to find a new way, which can be seen clearly in the open architecture of their 21st Century semi-hollowbody guitars.

The only time I personally ever saw one, was at a Bauhaus gig several years ago when Daniel Ash was playing a Chrome Molly model (fitted, I believe, with a Fernandes Sustainer). It sounded - and looked - fantastic.

It's such a shame that the company seemed to cease activity in 2007, a mere four years after they went into production. These were boutique instruments with prices to match, so weren't affordable to your average player. Still, it's a pity that more of those with the cash to flash couldn't have been more imaginative instead of running to the likes of the Fender Custom Shop, who - let's face it - build high-end versions of guitars designed to be cheaply produced on a production line. That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

Anyway, the above-pictured beautiful RKS in ruby red acrylic is currently being offered for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $2,499. No, it's not in my price bracket either; I wish it was, although if I ever come into the big bucks in a lottery win or whatever, I have an XOX Audio Tools "The Handle" on my wish list first.

Thanks to Vince for bringing the RKS Ruby Red auction to my attention.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Egmond and Dutch pronounciation


Dutch guitars Egmond were mostly known for their cheap student guitars - they provided some to several young English chaps who made good use of them back in the day - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Brian May, Rory Gallagher... 

I could not find much about this one but its gear looks crude, and the upside-down trem doesn't help - the person who mounted it this way obviously couldn't tell from it how to do it properly... 

Anyway, I made a little googling about it and found the egmondguitars.nl website where I figured out that until now I always thought of Egmond as Egg-mond - pronounced the English way... But on this website, there is a sound documentary in Dutch that allowed me to hear the name said properly, with the G pronounce like the German CH - even a little bit more guttural (I should have thought of it, I lived in Amsterdam for a while!)... So it sounds more like "Ekhmont".

This was my today's contribution to the Great History of Electric Guitar ! 

Bertram

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Sunday 27 March 2011

1968 Vox Bossman V265


Very similar in shape to the previous Klira Lady, this is the Vox Bossman - not as exciting as the Teardrop/Starstream or the Apollo designs, but still sophisticated enough to bear built-in effects - a fuzz and bass/treble boosters...

You can find anything you want to know about vintage Vox guitars here so I won't say more...

Bertram

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Saturday 26 March 2011

Klira 'Lady' jazz guitar


This is a 1965 Klira Lady (another Klira after this one) with a new view at this great vintage tremolo... Since the company collapsed a while ago, it shouldn't be too difficult to copy, upgrade (it would be too high for nowadays standard action) and release this nice piece of gear, why doesn't anybody do this?

Anyway, Klira was quite a good brand from West-Germany -  it's compared to Höfner with which it shared parts - that unfortunately disappeared without anybody gathered a proper database on the Internet about it. These guitars will probably be the next big collectible ones, they seem to be much better than their reputation used to tell.

Bertram

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Friday 25 March 2011

...and don't forget the Norma electric XII

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Further to our previous post, here's a Norma electric 12-string guitar complete with vibrato. Note the interesting headstock design.

Thanks, Greg!

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Norma bass from the 1960s

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Norma solidbodies with their distinctive N-shaped fingerboard inlays were built by the Tombo Instrument company in Japan and imported into the US by Strum & Drum of Chicago. We've previously looked at two guitar models (here and here), but pictured above we see the bass variant, currently being offered for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $399.99.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Thursday 24 March 2011

Vintage Mini Beat Kids Guitar



Cannot find anything about this Mini Beat small format guitar for children, but that it's probably italian, and that it has a built-in amp and speaker in its case like the Silvertones back in the 1960s, though looking much cheaper!

If you know more about it, you know what to do!

Bertram

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Wednesday 23 March 2011

1960s Japanese Barclay Bison

guitarz.blogspot.com:
This made in Japan 1960s Barclay guitar looks to be inspired by the Burns Bison, albeit with a hugely exaggerated body, which features some interesting carving to the top (and hopefully slims it down in a couple of places and maybe reduces the weight too). I know nothing about the Barclay brand - I seem to be discovering brandnames I've never heard of before all the time, mainly from Japan of the 1960s and 70s - but this guitar does seem to be in superb condition and would appear to be complete. Hey, the trem is still there, that's got to be a good thing on a vintage piece like this.

G L Wilson

Edit: I thought it seemed familiar; we've already looked at a very similar Hy-Lo branded guitar with two pickups and a different headstock shape, but undeniably the same guitar!

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Ovation Ultra GP

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here we have an Ovation Ultra GP, dating back to 1984 when approx 400 were made, this example currently being offered for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $2,499.99. These high quality guitars were largely overlooked back in the day, but in retrospect collectors and players have realised what amazing guitars they are and examples now command high prices. This is in no doubt partly due to Queen of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme who has championed the GP. Those in the know often describe the GP as a "Les Paul killer". Apparently they are that good. Certainly Eastwood Guitars thought it was worthwhile issuing a replica.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Fender Toronado Koa(?)

guitarz.blogspot.com:

The Fender Toronado was a relatively short-lived series of guitars produced between 1998 and 2007. The body design is Fender-ish in that it looks like a slightly chubbier version of the Jazzmaster/Jaguar, and in common with the latter model it sported a 24 3/4" scale length. Most models were produced in Mexico.

This Fender Toronado in Koa (according to the seller), currently being offered for sale with a Buy It Now of £300, is a more unusual model. It has two Seymour Duncan P90s instead of the Toronado's usual pair of Fender Atomic humbuckers. Possibly this is a US Special or Highway One USA-made variant. Is anyone out there able to more positively indentify it for us?

G L Wilson

Edit: OK, so it has a Made in Korea sticker on the back of the headstock. I missed that before. As Martin says in the comments, it could be Korean Custom Shop.

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Mosrite Celebrity Bass, ultra-short-scale

guitarz.blogspot.com:

As you can see in this photo with two Fender Starcasters behind it, this Mosrite Celebrity Bass from 1967 isn't just a short-scale bass, it's an ultra-short-scale. In fact with a scale length of 24.5" it's a shorter scale than many guitars. You can just imagine how it sounds!

Personally I'd quite like to have an instrument like this and set it up and string it for DGBE tuning, i.e. an octave lower than the TOP four strings of a guitar rather than the bottom four... or octave baritone ukulele tuning if you prefer. That's an instrument I can imagine having a real use for.

Anyway, concerning this particular instrument, the seller tells us that:
According to the orange Mosrite label inside the f-hole this is style #221, the Celebrity CE III Mark X, which was offered from 1966-69. It is 1 7/8" deep at the rims and has a single-bound top and back. The serial number, Z 0362, is written on the label and stamped at the end of the rosewood fingerboard between the 21st and 22nd frets. Other features include bound f-holes, metal zero-fret, Mosrite logo-embossed machines with metal tuner buttons, adjustable bridge with non-roller string saddles, raised white plastic pickguard, short trapeze tailpiece, bridge cover/hand rest, dual pickups, and white plastic control plate with mounted jack and selector switch.
If I was in a position to be buying guitars right now, I'd be so tempted to snap this one up. It has a Buy It Now price of $795, which is about £488 to people like me. Sometimes it's hard compiling a guitar blog with all this temptation on daily basis!

Thanks to Jeremiah Cornelius for bringing this bass to my attention.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Monday 21 March 2011

1950s very vintage Hagström


The perfect example of the early electric guitar built by an accordion company in reconversion phase, this sparkling Hagström is not unknown to our readers, since we saw almost the same model one year ago, bearing the Goya logo - Hagtröm's brand in the US.

This one also has one of these special vintage tremelo I like so much, and you can notice that it has no knobs at all, just switches and rolls.

Bertram

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Sunday 20 March 2011

Electric harp guitar, handmade in Hastings, UK

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Now here's something a little bit different, an electric harp guitar with a six-string guitar neck plus five sub-bass strings. I'll copy the specs from the listing:
Hand carved from a single piece of Obeche with Bubinga fingerboard and headstock veneer.

Guitar scale length-25.5". Zero radius(flat)fingerboard. Medium frets.

Grover guitar tuners.

Kent Armstrong PAF and PAF+ guitar pickups.

Humbucking Bass pickup.

Stacked volume and tone controls with Sprague orange drop capacitors.

Separate jack outputs. Seperate bass and guitar amps are recommended for the best sound.

Handpainted Hummingbird scene by american artist Cynthia McGinnis.

Gold hardware.

Custom pickup wiring with 5way rotary switch for humbucking/single coil selection.
G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Michael Spalt Totem


Here is the Maccaferri's Hole, an unique issue of the Michael Spalt Totem series. Included in the resin top are various bit of recycled materials, including a part of a broken plastic Maccaferri toy guitar with a F-hole filled with beads and rhinestones... Spalt's website claims that the resin used for these guitars has been conceived to have the same thermal expansion and contraction quality as the wood used for the body, and that its rigidity provides sustain the way a maple top glued on mahogany does on more classic guitars...

More than the ornate bodies, I like what Spalt does with pickups, some guitars have unique combinations like a Filtertron, a P90 and a minibucker, or two P90s side by side in bridge position; and there are some cool custom pickups like the ones you can see here, with colored bone tops. This, some nice body designs and some highly experimental models make it worth visiting the Michael Spalt website if you never did (no I don't feel that this is advertisement, these handmade guitars are anyway unaffordable).

A funny thing is that these colorful tops are supposed to be arty, but I have more a constructivist idea of art, and for me the highest aesthetic emotion comes from form and ergonomics, not from ornaments, so I show you the back of the guitar, a nice piece of functional sculpture...


 Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Saturday 19 March 2011

1960s Egmond in spangled vinyl finish

guitarz.blogspot.com:
This Egmond guitar, made in 1960s Holland and covered in spangled vinyl, is currently up for grabs on eBay with a Buy It Now price of £795. I think this is one for the collectors as Egmond do not exactly have the best reputation for instruments of good build quality or playability. You'd be buying this for its kitsch value.

Also, can you see now why I thought Wednesday's mystery guitar might be an Egmond?

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Teisco / Kay upgrade

guitarz.blogspot.com:
If I'm not much mistaken, guitars like this were rather ubiquitous in the 1970s in mail order catalogues and on displays in Woolworths and bearing the "Kay" brand although they were most likely made by Teisco in Japan. They are not really what you'd call desirable guitars today, although you do see one or two eBay sellers proclaiming their alleged "rarity" and being somewhat optimistic with the pricing.

At least with this example, currently being offered with a starting price of £150 and a Buy It Now of £250, the guitar has seen some serious upgrades. If I were being uncharitable, I might say something along the lines of "polishing a turd", but the seller claims that this was always a nice player and deserved an upgrade to get the best out of it. Here's what he says about it:
The old, worn pickups have since been replaced with Rickenbacker-style "toaster" pickups, which produce a beautifully warm and unique sound (the scratchplate was carefully re-cut to accommodate them). The old vibrato/tremolo has also been replaced with a Fender Jaguar-style tremolo system, which works perfectly (some of the body was skilfully hollowed-out to accommodate this larger tremolo system).
Furthermore, a tune-o-matic bridge has been added; the tuners/machineheads have been replaced with Wilkinson Deluxe "Kluson-style" tuners; the volume/tone knobs have been replaced with Jaguar-style knobs; and, the input jack has been replaced. [Why do people insist on saying "input jack" when it is an OUTPUT jack? - GLW] The pots, switches and electronics have also been thoroughly cleaned. The cost of parts and labour exceeded £200.

The overall result is a revitalised, utterly unique and beautiful-sounding guitar. You simply won't find another one like it; the pictures alone demonstrate this. I also believe that the guitar has not so much been modified as improved.
No doubt the guitar has been improved - I'd say the pickups, trem system, bridge, etc are worth more than the original instrument itself. Whether it'll appeal to anyone other than the guy that put it together remains to be seen.

G L Wilson


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Friday 18 March 2011

DiPinto Galaxie 4 lefty

guitarz.blogspot.com:
I'm always on the lookout for eBay deals for our left-handed friends, and reckon that this DiPinto Galaxie 4 is the best of the bunch currently on offer. With a silver sparkle finish, four pickups and pushbutton pickup selectors, this could so easily be a quirky instrument out of 1960s Italy, but the Galaxie 4 is actually a contemporary instrument, obviously with a surf flavour - witness the Jazzmaster-style vibrato.

As played by surf rock act Los Straitjackets.

See also DiPinto Guitars.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

K. Yairi tenor guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:

Here's an intriguing 4-string, possibly tenor, guitar from K. Yairi.

K. Yairi, a company overseen by Mr. Kazuo Yairi in Kani, a small community in the mountainside area of Honshu, Japan, are renowned for their high quality acoustic guitars. However, their guitars usually are more conservative in appearance than this one. This particular instrument's scale length of 24.8" puts it into regular guitar scale territory, rather than the usual 23" scale of a tenor guitar. It's an odd one, for sure. Alas, the eBay listing tells us very little about it.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Thursday 17 March 2011

Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World

Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World from Joey Tosi on Vimeo.

A film by by Joey Tosi.

Thanks to Tsahi Lazan for bringing this to my attention.

Unknown Teardrop guitar - not a Vox as far as we know

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here's yet another one for all you guitar detectives:
Hi Gavin,

I bought a lovely vintage teardrop guitar off of ebay, but am struggling to find the manufacturer of it... It's likely Kawai or Teisco, but I can't find a similar/same one online in Google searches. Usually the selector switches/plate are what doesn't match. Any ideas?

Cheers,
Bobby
Hey Bobby, any chance of a look at the headstock? Also, is there any indication of where it was made, like a stamped neckplate saying "Made in Japan"?

My guess would be it was made in Japan, and I think I'd incline more towards Kawai than Teisco, but I have to confess that I really don't know. Perhaps other readers may have some better ideas.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Here's another to identify... Any ideas?

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Hi, my name is Kalle Mattsson, for me the internet pretty much is gmail, facebook and Guitarz these days.

Today I came across this add on the Dutch version of ebay:

http://link.marktplaats.nl/425168240

The ad only says that the seller wants to know wether or not this is a valuable guitar, and that he doesn´t trust that is says Höfner on the headstock.
It does have some nice features, and I thought you might like to see it.

All the best

Kalle
Wow! That guitar certainly has a very interesting finish. I think the "seller" is right to be suspicious of the Höfner name on the headstock - it's not like any Höfner I've seen before. It looks more like an Egmond, which - given the location - would be quite feasible. Maybe an Egmond fitted with a Höfner neck?

Does anyone else out there have any better information to offer?

G L Wilson

Edit: Several people have suggested that it might be an Isana, a relation of this guitar perhaps.

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

What's that guitar?


I should know this guitar, I've seen this cool control plate before, but it's one of these no-brands from the 60s - I can't even figure out if it's Italian or Japanese (it's sold as an Eko but I doubt that, it's not in any Eko catalogues). 

So, people, who can identify it?

Bertram

Edit: check the comments, no answer yet but serious leads point to either Cimar or Teisco.

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Hayman thinline 2020



This is not the first time you can see here one of these cool and rare made-in-UK Hayman thinline 2020, but this one has single coil pickups and the characteristic plate between them (the headstock glass logo is missing, that leaves a hole...).

I find the shape really 2010s, you know this mix of retro and classy minimalism good designers reach when they really love guitars...


Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

guitarz.blogspot.com

1970s Yamaha SG45

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here's another relatively early Yamaha solidbody, the Yamaha SG45, made in Japan in 1973. This particular "natural relic" is currently being auctioned on eBay in the UK with a low starting price. It'll be interesting to see what it fetches.

The body is solid mahogany and it has a set neck with rosewood fingerboard. It's quite obviously a Les Paul inspired design, but the body shape has been softened with a much smoother lower cutaway. Note also the bizarre back cover plate stretching all the way from the volume and tone controls on the lower bout to the pickup selector on the bass side of the neck. It makes you wonder why they didn't use separate covers for each area, but thinking about it, I'd wager that the routing for the wiring between these areas is directly beneath the plate rather than inside the body. After all, on most Les Pauls the wiring channel would be beneath the maple top of the guitar, but the Yamaha doesn't have a separate top, just a mahogany slab body. This would be a cheaper, more efficient construction method, even if it does lack elegance.

One other minor detail, I notice that the pickup selector moves from side to side rather than up and down as on a Les Paul. This is much more logical. I play a LP style guitar (actually a cheapy Vintage brand V100) and I'm always accidentally knocking the selector switch and changing pickups when I don't want to. I don't really like selector switches in this position, I'd rather they were well out of the way, but if you've got to have one here then side to side operation makes perfect sense. I had been considering turning the selector in my LP-alike through 90 degrees to get the same effect.

Anyway... I'm so glad to have found out what this guitar was. Back in the tail-end of the 1970s I saw a punk band called Case whose guitarist had one of these and I have often wondered what it was.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Monday 14 March 2011

1970s Kay LP-type guitar with on-board FX

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here we have what is listed on eBay as a "Rare Kay Les Paul with onboard effects. Collectors item". OK, so I realise that as a seller on eBay you have to apply a certain amount of spin when listing your item, but really, these guitars are neither rare nor what would ordinarily be considered a collectors item. Seriously, these come up for sale all the time, and the fees slapped on them are somewhat optimistic. The singer/guitarist in a band I was in several years ago had one of these. It was alright, I suppose, but no great shakes. (It couldn't have been that great because he always wanted to borrow one of my Fenders.) The on-board effects were gimmicky and largely unusable.

What nearly everyone seems to forget, however, is that the guitar isn't an Les Paul copy per se, but is modelled after the Roland GS500 controller for Roland's very first guitar synthesizer, the GR500, which was introduced in 1978. This was back in the day when any new and exciting guitar spawned Japanese-made imitations - in this instance the guitar that was being "copied" was also Japanese. Obviously, it would have been prohibitive to make it a guitar synth, hence the on-board effects as a suitably high-tech alternative.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Wessen X-shaped guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here's another one from eBay sellers houstonbrass, purveyors of cheap and nasty crap. The listing's title proclaims Electric Guitar, Unique shape... yeah, unique perhaps because it's very very silly.

Another one for your comedy HM band.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Sunday 13 March 2011

AEB-2 scroll bass - Ampeg tribute by Bruce Johnson

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here's an email from Jeremiah:
I finally saw something on eBay that breaks my heart not to have, and thought might be shared with the blog. eBay has a Bruce Johnston AEB-2 - new and direct from Bruce, himself. The serial is 073, and build date is this last Feb, 2011.

Johnston's scroll bass is a direct continuation of the classic Ampeg scroll bass, and was initially produced under a license. Bruce has steadily improved and modernised his builds, while remaining true to the original appeal and characteristics of the vintage Ampeg models.
Fantastic stuff. Thanks for sharing!

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

1960s Italian Gemelli "Twins" guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Andrea Dellonti posted this photo on our Facebook page. It's a Gemelli from 1960s Italy, and - as our very own David from Barcelona already pointed out on Facebook - "Gemelli" is Italian for "twins". Gemelli guitars were appropriately named, being founded by twin brothers Umberto and Benito Cingolani. You don't have to look too closely at this guitar to see the twins facing one another. The symmetry in the design was supposed to appeal to left or right handed players.

More here (if you can read or translate Italian).

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Saturday 12 March 2011

Jolana RK120 - the Czech answer to the Stratocaster

guitarz.blogspot.com:
It's immediately obvious which well known guitar was the inspiration for this late 1980s Jolana RK120 from Czechoslovakia, but it doesn't follow the template too closely and, in my mind, is all the better for it. It's surely preferable to a guitar that tries to fool you into thinking it's a Strat but then doesn't get the design quite right. For example I'm thinking of the Encore Strat copies where the lower horn is just the wrong shape - little inconsistencies like that bug me. The body shape here has a definite offset waist; it's a little like a Jazz Bass inspired version of a Strat.

This Jolana with the low production number of 0063, being an 80s guitar, has the obligatory locking trem (by Schaller in this case) and locking nut. The all-red finish on body and neck reminds me of my own DiMarzio cellophane Strat, but in this instance we have an ebony fingerboard.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Friday 11 March 2011

OCG Freestyle - extreme offset body prototype guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
One of these of this extreme offset body prototypes by Oren Clark Guitars is up for grabs on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $3000. These guitars, built for Clark by Zion, are designed with ergonomics uppermost in mind.

For more, see the Oren Clark Guitars YouTube channel.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Res-O-Glas Nick Page Strich-2


I regularly check what's going on at Berliner luthier Nick Page (I evoked here a couple of time his Baron model and mentioned his metal front or paisley ultra-cool telecasters), and I'm never disappointed. Today I want to show the res-o-glas body Strich-2, again a perfect combination of old school design and contemporary spirit. The shape is reminiscent of Rickenbacker Combo 600 or Gretsch Astro Jet, with its big upper horn and German carve, but more rounded, probably to increase the resonance of a bigger hollow body made of the res-o-glas you find in 60s original Airline guitars. 

This model has Filtertron pickups, but other ones are equipped with Nick Page custom ones, that is not so common amongst small luthiers. Gear and headstock are also original, and all this confirms that German guitars legacy is still alive, and that small companies keep the spirit high, where fat ones just manage to stay fat.

Bertram

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Thursday 10 March 2011

Exclusive: Tantra electric guitars brochure

guitarz.blogspot.com:

Hervé Le Garsmeur, one of the founders of French guitar manufacturers Tantra, has kindly shared with us this Tantra catalogue, the original of which is apparently disintegrating and, he suspects, may be the last one on the planet. So, here it is for prosperity:
Thank you for allowing us to share this, Hervé. It's very much appreciated!

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Guild X-100 Blade Runner (again)

guitarz.blogspot.com:

The last time we looked at a Guild X-1000 Blade Runner (as used by Joe Perry in the "Walk This Way" video), it generated quite a lot of discussion in the comments.

Back then I was astounded that someone would ask £7000 for such a guitar (i.e. over $11,300 in US dollars), so in comparison this example, which has been on eBay for the last few weeks, seems to be more conservatively priced with a starting bid of $2,995.

Also, since that last post, I have learned that the Schecter Genesis was indeed copied from this Blade Runner.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Wednesday 9 March 2011

1960s Melody Guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Hey, it's got a triple cutaway design, a bank of pushbutton switches, a pearlescent celluloid finish, four pickups... it's GOT to be 1960s Italian, hasn't it?

And indeed it is. It's a Melody, which for a while, operated as a subsiduary to Eko. For the full story, check this article on the always brilliant Fetish Guitars website. This particular example (pictured above) sold on eBay just recently for what seems like a very fair price of €412.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Kay semi-hollow


I'm afraid that there's nothing I can tell about this Kay semi-hollow guitar (Kay is a complicated topic), but that I love semi-hollow body guitars with double florentine cutaway, the sliding pots are really cool, the F-hole is quite special, and the pickguard looks like the batwing ones you find on some vintage Höfners.

Bertram

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

1960s Fenton Weill Twistmaster (we think)

guitarz.blogspot.com:

There's something awfully "homemade" looking about these vintage British guitars from Fenton Weill. This model, which the seller suspects is a Fenton Weill Twistmaster (I don't know enough about the brand to contradict that claim) is typical in that it looks as if it was assembled in someone's garden shed. Note the interesting double pickguard. Another odd feature is that although the guitar is finished in blonde, the back of the neck is inexplicably picked out in black.

There must surely have been some connection with Vox and/or Jennings Musical Industries of Dartford, Kent. The headstock is exactly the same as that I had on my old Vox Clubman II. The Fenton Weill neck looks to be glued in, by the way; it's not a simple bolt-on job.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

1980s mirrored Erlewine Lazer travel guitar


This Erlewine Lazer travel guitar - made famous by Johnny Winter - has been modified to become a lefty, hence the knobs moved from the front to what is now the top (but actually with the back cutaway, it's still usable as a righty).  

With its single splitable DiMarzio humbucker, it's the early version of the Lazer - the IMC. The big tuning bridge with its fanned tuners is extremely cool - I'm surprised that it's not more common for headless guitars, because it seems to be a pretty good solution - but one should try it to be sure...

Bertram

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Monday 7 March 2011

Hamer Miller beer promotional guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:

This USA-made Miller beer promotional guitar by Hamer with a quilted maple top has quite an attractive shape - obviously derived from the Miller logo - but I wonder if there would be any way of removing the lettering?...

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Fender Mustang bass and guitar in Competition burgundy

guitarz.blogspot.com:
With a Buy It Now price of $3,190 each, it seems a shame that this Fender Mustang guitar and bass pair are being sold in separate eBay auctions. It seems only right, somehow, that they should be kept together and it would be a pity if they went to separate buyers. They both have the Competition stripe and are finished in burgundy which has faded over the years into a glorious blue/mauve burst.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Sunday 6 March 2011

Vega console guitar from the 1930s

guitarz.blogspot.com:
This 8-string Vega console guitar (basically a lap steel with legs!) has more than a touch of the Art Deco about it, with decorative chrome accents and bakelite knobs. The feature that I find most intriguing, though, is the tuning apparatus. I've not seen anything quite like that on a guitar before. Compact, it isn't!

The five bakelite-topped tone controls are labelled "Contra", "Bass", "Normal", "Treble" and "High".

A fascinating instrument; I'm sure you could make a whole blog on the subject of slide guitars alone. Unfortunately I know precious little about them.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Saturday 5 March 2011

Goldentone from 1964

guitarz.blogspot.com:

Here's another Japanese-made Burns-influenced guitar, this one carrying the Goldentone brandname. You might want to compare and contrast with the Ibanez/Montclair guitar in the previous post. They are not identical, but very very similar.

Currently being offered for sale on eBay in the UK with a possibly optimistic Buy It Now price of £889.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

1960s Ibanez 3904 Montclair

guitarz.blogspot.com:

This rather wild looking guitar with four pickups, a bank of selector switches, multi-pickguards, metal control and output panel, and original vibrato carries the Montclair brandname but is - apparently - a 1960s-era Ibanez 3904 made at the Hoshino/Tama factory in Japan.

It's obviously heavily influenced by Burns, although I don't think it's a direct copy of any one Burns guitar. If anything, it's taken the Burns design and gone even wilder with it. It's a pity they resorted to using such a generic looking headstock on this - it's probably a stock Ibanez neck from that era - but it rather lets the side down.

Currently for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $849.50.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Friday 4 March 2011

Gordon Smith GS1 doubleneck

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Doublenecks can be ungainly, cumbersome beasts. They can be seen by some as a little ridiculous, displaying all the excesses of the pretentious prog rock era. You didn't see too many punk bands playing doublenecks, did you?

But if you have to have one, how about this beautiful Gordon Smith GS1 12+6 doubleneck with set necks and an understated natural satin finish on mahogany, and with two pairs of coil-tappable humbuckers for a wide range of tones? This auction is finishing in two days time; it has a starting price of £550 and no-one has bid yet.

Gordon Smith guitars, handcrafted in the UK, have a solid reputation for producing high quality instruments at very reasonable prices. The designs are, in the main, reminiscent of those of Gibson with the GS series having a LP Jr influence. They have the feel of bespoke handmade guitars, whilst also making excellent workhorse instuments.

G L Wilson

Edit: Looks like it sold for the starting price of £550. Someone got a bargain!

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

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