Thursday, 9 August 2012

Another Soviet-era Czechoslovakian-made beauty: Jolana Marina archtop electric
Regular readers will know that we here at Guitarz have a fondness for instruments such as this soviet-era Czechoslovakian-made Jolana Marina currently listed on eBay with a starting price of $189.

What strikes me most about this particular guitar is the unusual angular metal pickguard - a particularly chunky affair - which also houses the wiring and control pots which are mounted sideways on along the bottom edge of the guard. It's a beautifully idiosyncratic design with an almost DIY feel to it, reminscent of Italian Wandre guitars.

G L Wilson

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  1. best electronics housing ever!

    1. KGB operatives called this the Spy Model as the housing doubled as a discrete stash for microfiche, miniature camera [lipstick] and various monitoring devices. Those knobs do more than you'll ever know!

      The bridge is a bit of genius in itself. If you look closely, four sep. grooves were cut perpendicular so the setup man could, somehwhat, adjust intonation. Clever! Ghengis may be right, former owners may have re-routed the strings for dual trem action. At the price of stainless you could scrap it and break even.

  2. Sweet. 1930's traditional guitar building colliding with eastern block 70's space age design. Love the Tremolo too but looking at other pics online I think the strings are suppose to go in from the front and wrapover the top. if you look at the other pics on the listing you can see marks where the strings have been. Also to my eye it looks like you would only pull it. Does any one know?

  3. Jolana Marina.
    You are correct! The strings should come in through the front of the tremolo block, wrap around it and go along the neck to the tunning keys. As shown it would never work!
    Also, I believe that the metal pick guard is home made -to replace the original flimsy guard that faded and rusted. The "pots" are the owner's substitute for 5 push button switches for pick up 1, 2, 3, and trebble boost (capacitor in series) and bass "boost" -actually jusr trebble supression (capacitor in paralel). The push buttons were actually GENUINE typewritter keys (unbelievable but true) and the inner works were nothing more than bare, gold plated (one could hope) wires touching in open air. They oxidized, thus the new pots. Originally there was jusst one pot - volume!
    The unusual "f" holes are missing white binding around their perimeter.
    How do I know these things? Well, I own one fo 50 years and still play it today.
    The most durable guitar for road gigs - indestructible!



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