Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Strat copy given the hollow / relic treatment on eBay in Germany

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Currently listed on eBay with an optimistic Buy It Now price of €685.

When it comes to "Holey" Strats, I much prefer my own Feline Holy Panther. (Which, incidentally has now been immortalised on vinyl record and CD on the track "(Return Of The) Maggot Brain" on the new Sendelica "Live At Crabstock" album).

But if you prefer your Strats even more minimalistic, then there are these!

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Bluesouth Clarksdale guitar in TV yellow: the sound of the American South

guitarz.blogspot.com:
I love the timeless vintage but all original good looks of this Bluesouth Clarksdale guitar. It's built like a Gibson with a glued-in neck joint, but the off-centred waist is surely a nod to the Fender camp.

To borrow from the eBay listing:
Ronnie Knight began Bluesouth Guitars in 1991 with the idea of building stringed musical instruments which celebrate the musical heritage of the American South. Blues, jazz, country, rock, and spiritual music were all created in the southern American states. This small area from Texas to the Carolinas, from Kentucky to Florida, has been the hotbed of the worlds musical culture in the twentieth century. Several small towns within the southeast have had a huge impact on today's popular music: Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Macon, Georgia; and Clarksdale, Mississippi.

The results of this project have been unique, light-bodied guitars with large, comfortable necks. Bluesouth contends that "fierce individualism" is the key ingredient in their guitar making operation. Starting in a small shop over a record store in early 1992, Bluesouth moved to a much larger industrial facility in the spring of 1995. The company offered seven models, including two electric basses. Bluesouth also built its own cases and pickups in house (company history courtesy Ronnie Knight, April 17, 1996).
Currently listed on eBay with a starting bid of US $800 (over half of the original list price).

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Taras Guitars VP-1 - Could this be the next big guitar innovation?

guitarz.blogspot.com:
The first time I saw a photo of a VP-1 prototype from Taras Guitars I was quite perplexed. Surely the guitar was missing a bunch of strings seeing as it had such a wide fingerboard but just the six strings running down the centre. However, that first photo I saw was a close-up, and I didn't appreciate how the curvature of the fingerboard towards the nut.

A quick view of the Taras Guitars website explained the concept. The wide, surfboard-shaped fretboard means that "'New' notes and sounds can be found when the frets are extended and strings are bent AWAY". Indeed it's all to facilitate extreme string bending. For more information, check out the video.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Migma 2000


In the second half of the 20th century, it was common to add '2000' to a brand or to the name of a product to sound futuristic - could be cars, radios, vacuum cleaners, toothpaste, street artists… Now in 2014, when people carry around smartphones that are more powerful that the computer that helped Apollo to fly to the moon,  it sounds very retro, like putting data on audio-cassettes, the stratocaster or Soviet Union…

So here is the Migma 2000, that must have been something very advanced at some point, the acme of socialist technopop! I still wish a guitar company would revive some east-european models from the 1960s/1970s. A few months ago Eastwood made a 'cheesy guitars' (what a stupid and insulting name) contest to have their fanbase choose a bizarre guitar to reissue, and I think they finally picked a Wandrè, but there were a Tonika and a Jolana in the lot. The choice was based on oddness, I wish they'd be genuinely interested in these guitars, and I'd love to see a brand new Migma or Orpheus or Defil, with decent wood and good electronics, like they do in China these days...

Bertram D

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Jim is looking for info on his "Triumph" archtop guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Jim writes:
Hi Gavin,

I'm a fan of the Guitarz blog, it's been a great read. I started to learn how to play last year, and I'm finding the instruments and their history very interesting.

I bought this guitar in a junkstore yesterday (pictures attached), I was hoping someone at Guitarz might be able to tell me where it's from, how old it is? It's got a 'Triumph' sticker label on the headstock with a 'Foreign' label on the back, also stamped with number '13547'.

I think it's a cheap copy, but I've kinda fallen in love with it and I'm going to get it cleaned up and looking a bit healthier. It's currently smells of old books! Hope someone might be able to fill in some it's history, as I can't find anything about it.

Thanks for the great blog - it's been a really great resource.

All the best, Jim
Hi Jim, I believe what you have got there is a Selmer Triumph guitar. It's hard to pinpoint it to an exact model because the Selmer Triumph name encompassed several different guitar designs and a few amplifiers too.

To give some background, Selmer were a musical instrument manufacturer established in the early 1900s and based in Paris (surely their best known guitars were the gypsy jazz guitars as played by Django Reinhardt). By 1928 they had aquired a semi-independent UK branch. From the 1950s and through to the 1970s some of Selmer UK's own-brand guitars were produced by Germany's Höfner especially for the UK market.

However, rather than being a Höfner this particular guitar looks to be very similar to the Framus Studio 5/51. We've looked at one of these before here on Guitarz, although that example was unusual in having just a single f-fole.

Speaking of the f-holes, you'll notice that these Framus guitars have very distinctive shaped f-holes which omit the crossbar of the "f".

So, in brief, Jim, your guitar would be made in Germany, most likely in the 1960s. For further information you might want to check out this exchange I found on an internet forum, which concerns another very similar guitar.

By a strange coincidence, it also looks very similar to a guitar owned by my friend Frank, which has recently been restored by luthier Jeff Beer.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Rob O Reilly Guitars - innovative electric and MIDI guitar from Ireland

guitarz.blogspot.com:
No-one could accuse Ireland's Rob O Reilly Guitars of pointlessly churning out the same old tried and tested guitar designs that we've all seen before. Instead they've gone for cutting edge innovation and originality with their guitar designs, the ROR BE and MIDI guitars.

Their latest model is a variant of their BE guitar and is is equipped with built-in Fishman TriplePlay wireless MIDI controller.

The standard guitar features a high grade maple fingerboard with ultra-tough white lacquer and non-chip binding and black edge fingerboard position dots; Maple bolt-on neck with smooth easy-slide matt black finish; 6 rear locking die-cast tuners for quick string change and stable tuning.  Most notably, the middle section of each guitar where the pickups and bridge are mounted is made from see-through perspex. A second perspex plate on rear of the guitar allows the owner to customise the guitar by inserting their own artwork. Upgrade options include an Apple iOS interface to allows the guitar to be played through an iPhone or iPad, and an "Infinity Mirror" which is essentially a cool lighting effect with LEDs inside the perspex sandwich of the body.

Other features include an integrated pick holder and a balance bar to ensure the guitar hangs nicely on a strap and doesn't neck dive.

It does look very cool even if it is reminiscent of half a pair of spectacles. I am also reminded of the Swinger Tennis Racket Guitars which also featured wooden bodies with a perspex centre section.

Furthermore these innovative guitars are affordable with the basic BE model priced at €399 and the Roland GK-3-equipped MIDI guitar at €599.

A bass model is also in the works!

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Can you help identify this bizarre vintage solidbody electric 12-string?

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Any ideas, guys? It's like a Mosrite on steroids. And what's with the huge extended cutlass-shaped lower horn?

Photo borrowed from the Vintage Japanese Guitar group on Facebook. (That's not to say this guitar IS Japanese. It could be, but it's also possible that it is European in origin).

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Red Rock M1 - Like the guitar? Then get on-board with Kickstarter

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Here's an email I received from a (quite rightfully) frustrated guitar designer:
Hi Gavin

My name is Sean Mara, from North Vancouver BC. I love the blog, have looked over the past while and seen some weird stuff. But I have to be careful because… I am a guitar designer/builder. I love weird but as a designer I have to be careful what influences me. I hate copies. If I see yet another "new" guitar that looks like a Strat or Les Paul, I'm going to get a chainsaw and do a few mercy headstock decapitations.

Just spent a frustrating time trying to get major manufacturers to accept some of my creations. They are sssooo conservative, selling the same 2 designs for 60+ years. So I decided to take them on and have just launch a Kickstarter page to launch my designs.

The reason I am contacting you is to show you a few designs. Here's one I just finished. It is a one piece solid cedar 2 1/2" thick body with a 3 piece set neck and a fresh headstock for the others to copy. I'd really appreciate knowing what you think and if you would want other pics to mention it to your follower.

Cheers from Canada,

Sean Mara
RedRock Guitars
www.redrockguitars.com
Be sure to check out this Kickstarter project to see Sean's other designs. You've got to admit, he's succeeded nicely in avoiding all the the usual design clichés! I particularly love the sculptured contours of the golden M1 pictured above. It has a very organic look to it. The headstock layout also looks particularly novel.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Herbert Todt / Pergold violin bass


This astonishing violin bass was created by luthier Herbert Todt for East-German company Pergold - that was probably a brand used by workers of bigger companies in Markneukirchen like Musima when they made higher end instruments in their personal workshops - for example this one has a carved solid archtop, not a plywood one, and laminated neck. 

And it has 'comma' soundholes, similar to but more specific than the ones of the Migma we saw a few days ago, and for which colorful names have been proposed by our readers...

Bertram D

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Ampeg Dan Armstrong-modified Danelectro bass, circa 1969-70

guitarz.blogspot.com:

Dan Armstrong, the man who created the line of clear lucite-bodied guitars and basses bearing his name for Ampeg, freely admits that he was influenced by Danelectro:
Danelectro® instruments served as far more than merely inspiration for the clear guitars and basses, as Dan virtually built his business on these guitars practically from day one. When Dan opened up his shop on 48th Street he almost immediately began taking Danelectro instruments and stabilizing them to make them play better. 

According to the book Electric Rock© by Richard Robinson - Jesse Colin Young used a Danelectro bass in the Youngbloods® that Dan had modified. 

In the same book Dan went on to say "I was in the repair business in '65. I had a repair shop and wanted something to sell and due to all the stiff competition on 48th Street I couldn't sell Fenders® and Gibsons®, there was no way to do it. I could improve the ones that people brought to me but there was no way to buy them new." The problem here was the fact that the large musical stores already held the franchise on these instruments. 

Still Dan wanted something to sell, and later said "Danelectros were so doggone cheap. I could buy them new and they were basically pretty doggone good. Most of the good parts on those things were engineered in the design which I always appreciated, and with some finishing up they could have been really done well, even out of the factory. But they just didn't have time, it was an economy instrument. I've always been an improver anyway. I enjoy that kind of thing, to find something that's made almost well and try to fix it up. It was all basically right so I just took them apart and cleaned them up a little bit."

Here we see a Dan Armstrong modified Danelectro bass currently being offered for sale on eBay. This is the AMPEG tagged version with serial # DDB 90, which means it's the 90th one made. DDB=Dan Armstrong Danelectro Bass. 

Modifications made by Armstrong to the original Danelectro design include Kluson tuners, rewound pickups,upgraded electronics, reshaped headstock, re-shaped  smoother cutaway, branded pickguard, micro tilt neck, and double strap buttons on bottom so the guitar can be stood upright more safely.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of S $1,499.99.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

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