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The Vintage Guitar Market’s Wild Ride

In July 1965, Bob Dylan took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival with a sunburst Fender Stratocaster. The set marked the first time the rising folk icon had ever played live with a plugged-in band, shocking folk purists while at the same time catapulting him to the forefront of rock n’ roll. It became, according to Dylan biographer Clinton Heylin, “the most written-about performance in the history of rock.”

Dylan left the guitar on a private airplane. Subsequently stored in the attic of the plane’s pilot for decades, the guitar found its way to Christie’s auction house in New York in December 2013—nearly 50 years later. Although the pre-auction estimate forecast a price between $300,000 and $500,000, it ended up selling for a monumental $965,000 after fees—a new record for a guitar sold at auction, edging the $959,000 paid for Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Stratocaster in 2004.

And it’s not the only one changing hands for serious money. After years of stagnation, vintage guitar sales are picking up again of late, according to the 42-Guitar Index, a price-weighted indicator based on sales of 42 Fender, Gibson and Martin models from the 1960s or earlier. The benchmark, sometimes described as the Dow Jones Industrial Average for vintage guitars, rose 8 percent in 2013—the first annual increase since 2008. “People are definitely feeling better about the market,” says Gil Hembree, co-author of the Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide, which publishes the index.

Forget stock market volatility: Investment-minded guitar collectors have needed nerves of steel to survive the wild ride of the past two decades. In the 1990s, interest in vintage Martins, Fenders and Gibsons surged as baby boomers began collecting them in earnest, a change prodded on by a slew of detailed books published about the instruments. Guitar values rose 8.6 percent on average between 1991 and 1999 before flat-lining during the dotcom bust of the early 2000s.

Just like the stock market, guitar values recovered in the early 2000s and then skyrocketed in the Guitar 5_ Martin 1834years preceding financial crisis. The value of an excellent condition 1953 Gibson Les Paul, for example, jumped from $6,500 in 2001 to $10,500 in 2004. Then, between 2006 and 2008, the guitar index gained a remarkable 82 percent as buyers started paying unheard-of prices for vintage instruments.

Read the full article here

Value of vintage guitars on the rise

People make noise with them in the basement and some even grow rich from travelling from town to town playing them. But guitars can be a good investment as well.

What are now referred to as vintage guitars were simply old guitars back in the 1980s. The 42 Guitar Index – which tracks the cumulative value of 42 vintage instruments from Gibson, Fender and Martin ­- has tracked steadily upward since 1991. You could have bought all of those axes listed for about $150,000 that year.

The index was just shy of $1 million in 2008, and then the recession hit, pulling prices down 30 percent from their high in recent years. That sounds a lot like the equity markets in 2008-09.

The index, published every year by Vintage Guitar magazine, is back on the upswing and tracking back toward $800,000. Meanwhile, equity markets are hot and there’s lots of cheap money out there. Vintage dealers say there are profits to be made with quality instruments from decades past. And the best part, while you own them you can play them – preferably loud.

Guitars Worth Leaving Behind

Gibson Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les PaulInteresting article here by Jol Dantzig:

An interesting yet disturbing trend of late in the vintage-guitar market is perfectly correct instruments being parted out to meet the demand for rare hardware.

Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the kind of legacy we’ll leave behind. I’m not talking about big ideas like curing cancer or saving the planet from harm. What I am talking about are much more diminutive contributions, or actually, lack of action.

A few years ago, I awoke one morning to the sound of chainsaws drifting across my property. I live in a somewhat rural area surrounded by rough, hilly terrain and forest, and have a 600-foot driveway that winds past a section of a neighbor’s land. Following the sounds of trees being felled, I arrived at the point where my plot met his. Seeing me, my neighbor looked up, killed his smoking Stihl saw, and walked over to chat. He explained that his livestock hobby needed more grazing land, so he’d decided to level an acre of tall trees and shrubs.

I wanted to continue to enjoy the privacy that the foliage afforded when entering my driveway, so of course I was being selfish as I urged him to reconsider. But it also struck me as irresponsible to just trash an acre of old-growth trees. I’m an advocate of responsible wood harvesting and an avid fan of reclamation, so I reminded him that his deed would remain long after he moved on. Upon consideration, my neighbor compromised and merely thinned out some of his land. This column, however, isn’t directly about forests being decimated for musical instrument use. It’s about stewardship of what already exists.

Read the full article here

Don’t you wish this was you?

Mike Sharp knew he had something valuable. He just didn’t know exactly how valuable it was. His mother always told him, the old guitar in the closet that had belonged to his father was his. Just so happens that dirty old guitar was a 1953 Fender Esquire, a piece of music history.

This little piece of guitar history sat in a closet for 50 some years, gathering dust, but aging gracefully. Mike Sharp’s father bought the guitar new in 1953. Sharp says, “He died in an explosion in Bethlehem ship yard in 1956. my dad was a preacher and he loved music.”

So Sharp brought the 1953 Fender Esquire to another music lover, Caylan Daughrity at A and S Music in Nederland to begin the process of discovering how much this classic electric guitar was worth.

Daughrity told 12 News HD, “Judging by the case, we knew it was an old piece. He opened it up and I was like oh man look at this. This is something special”

But this special piece of music history didn’t give up all her secrets right away. Daughrity says they had to take the guitar apart to confirm it’s age, “On these older guitars like this, the serial numbers were not put on the back of the neck plate or the back of the head stock or the front like they are now. They were written in side the body cavity and it’s also signed and dated by the people who made them. It’s really neat to be holding a piece of history like this.”

Sharp says, “I knew it was gonna be worth some money as old as it is. It was built the year I was born.”

After a bit of research Daughrity determined that the guitar could be worth as much as 24-thousand dollars, but the trick would be striking the right chord in the right buyer.

Daughrity says, “You’ll see it in a museum or it’ll be on stage. Somebody big. So it’s going places.” And when it does, Sharp plans to retire on a high note.

He says he will, “Enjoy my motorcycles and enjoy life a little bit, not have to worry so much.”

Daughrity says that new the guitar would have cost around $200. So far they have reached out to collectors in the US and internationally and even Fender has shown some interest in the guitar for their museum. Anyone who is interested in buying the guitar, needs to contact Caylan Daughrity at A and S music in Nederland.

watch the video:

12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Part of Rory Gallagher’s guitar collection for sale

New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium are very proud to offer a selection of guitars and amplifiers for sale from the collection of Ireland’s legendary guitarist, Rory Gallagher.

These instruments have never been offered for sale until now. There are some great pieces that have been used live and in the studio by Rory, and this a truly unique opportunity, to purchase some of his authentic equipment.

New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium will be displaying the instruments for sale at their shop located at 65a New Kings Road, London, SW6 4SG.

see them here

GuitarTrader launches online gear marketplace

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A new marketplace website, GuitarTrader.co.uk, aimed at helping shops and guitar buyers find second-hand, used and vintage items has launched.

Pitching itself as the AutoTrader of the guitar world (though not in any way affiliated with that brand), GuitarTrader is essentially an online classified ad service, which hopes to provide a forum for anyone wishing to buy or sell guitar gear.

The idea is that guitar players and retailers (particularly those that have little discernible online presence/catalogue) sign up to the service and list their available products, without having to setup their own e-commerce platform.

It’s no secret in the guitar world that there are a lot of second-hand instruments sat in shops, or the homes of collectors without websites, so fingers-crossed the service will make it easier for players to find their ideal guitars.

Bert Weedon dies

Sad news as Legendary UK guitarist Bert Weedon, whose books helped Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney learn to play the instrument, has died at his home in Beaconsfield.

The 91-year-old musician, of Penn Road, created the popular tutorial manuals Play In A Day, which have sold in their millions.

Friend John Adrian told the Press Association: “He had been poorly for a while but, even so, this was sudden. He was one of my dearest friends.”

The list of rock stars who have declared that the guide written by Weedon – who died yesterday – gave them the first grasp of their instrument is a testament to its practical genius. It is one of the sacred tomes of the birth of British rock.

The teenage John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison all started off with Play In A Day, so Weedon could claim to be a key figure in the genesis of the Beatles. Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, Steve Hillage and Brian May were all acolytes. “I wouldn’t have felt the urge to press on without the tips and encouragement Bert’s book gives you,” Eric Clapton has admitted. “I’ve never met a player of any consequence that doesn’t say the same thing.”

It is a statement, however, that rather betrays his age. To later generations who could watch guitar heroes on video and freeze-frame chord changes, Weedon’s once revolutionary approach to the instrument is already ancient history.

Yet Weedon is a legend to that first rock and roll generation because he provided something vital to youngsters caught up in a storm of new music: immediacy. The title of his book expresses the urgency that kids felt at being confronted with the intense, primal energy of the new wave of guitar music from across the Atlantic, blowing away the horn-driven virtuosity of jazz and swing, stamping all over the solemn orchestral propriety of 1950s pop.

Faced with an electric explosion at the heart of youth culture, what teen gallant could contemplate studying for years to master an instrument? These kids wanted to form bands, play gigs, pick up girls, make a noise. Bert promised to teach you how to Play In A Day, and that’s about all the time they felt they had.

On a personal note I met Bert in the early 1980′s whilst working as a temporary delivery driver.

He was not only very friendly to a young guitarist just starting out (me) but he also let me play his guitar, and even gave me a picture disc vinyl record as a souvenir.

He was a true gent..RIP Bert.

Read more

Tom Petty Guitars Stolen

More guitar related crime:

Five guitars belonging to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were stolen from a soundstage at The Culver Studios in Culver City, according to the band’s website. A reward of $7,500 with “no questions asked” is being offered.

Petty had been rehearsing at the studios in advance of the band’s 2012 North America-Europe tour, which kicks off on April 18 in Broomfield, Colo. No shows have been planned for Los Angeles.

The theft was reported to the Culver City Police Department on April 12 a little after 4 p.m., according to Sgt Dan Sukal.

The Culver Studios, a complex of 16 soundstages just off Culver Boulevard, was the home of “Deal or No Deal,” “America’s Next Top Model,” and “The Starter Wife.” Films such as “State of Play” and “Rush Hour 3” have also been filmed here. “Cougar Town” is currently in production on the lot.

The guitars include Petty’s 1967 12-string Rickenbacker and his Gibson SG TV Junior, Ron Blair’s Fender Broadcaster, Scott Thurston’s 1967 Epiphone Sheridan and Mike Campbell’s blue Dusenberg, which was built for Campbell to commemorate the band’s 30th anniversary.

Fan reaction to the theft was fierce. “… nothing lower in life then a thief who would steal a mans tools to feed his family,” wrote one.

“I don’t normally condone acts of violence against others, but since I’m referring to nothing more than knuckle-dragging neanderthals – I hope somebody beats the [expletive] out of them with their own clubs,” wrote another.

read more

UPDATE: Stolen Tom Petty guitar found in Hollywood pawn shop

One of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ stolen vintage guitars was found in a Hollywood pawn shop after being sold to the store for $250 (£156).

The band’s valuable instruments were stolen last week from a rehearsal space in Los Angeles, but were recovered yesterday (April 17) by police.

Daryl Washington, who worked as a private security guard at Culver Studios where the band had been practising ahead of their new tour, has been arrested in conjunction with the crime. The stolen items included Petty’s 1967 12-string blonde Rickenbacker 360 and his 1965 Gibson SGTV Junior, as well as a Fender Broadcaster belonging to bassist Ron Blair, and guitars belonging to Scott Thurston and Mike Campbell.

An SG was found in the pawn shop, leading police to track down 51-year-old Washington, reports Culver City Patch. The CEO of Culver Studios, James C Cella said in a statement:

We’re relieved and extremely pleased that all of Tom Petty’s stolen guitars have been recovered and that a suspect has been arrested. Our security department cooperated fully with the Culver City Police in the effort to solve this crime.

He continued: “Even though the alleged culprit was not an employee of the Culver Studios but worked for an independent contractor, we feel a real sense of responsibility for everything that happens on our lot and we have conveyed our profound apologies to Mr Petty for the distress the incident has caused him.”

*ALERT* Guitar Collection Stolen in Sweden

I’m posting this on behalf of the Owner, please be aware of these instruments in case they start showing up for sale..

Hello,

Unfortunately half of my collection of guitars, which I have collected and hand picked for more than 25 years, has been stolen in Ystad, very south in Sweden. Most of the 15 stolen guitars are from special series, two Custom Shops are very limited. What is really outstanding is the condition of almost all instruments. Most of them are dead mint, 10,0 out of 10.

Examples of the guitars:

1 Fender Custom Shop ”Play Loud”, only made in 100 examples worldwide
1 Fender Custom Shop Reverse Proto Stratocaster, only made in 100 examples worldwide
1 Fender Gold/Gold Stratocaster, dead mint unplayed
2 Fender Antiguas,
1 Fender International Color in Capri Orange
2 Fender Stratocaster Yngwie Malmsteen Signature och 1 Fender Dave Murray Signature

Here is information about all stolen guitars:

  • Model Serial no Land Year Color Neck Cond
  • Fender 1 American Standard Stratocaster E349438 USA 1985 Inca Silver Rosewood 10
  • Fender 2 Gold Stratocaster, Collector´s Series CA11495 USA 1981 Gold Metallic Maple 10
  • Fender 3 Yngwie Malmsteen Signature Stratocaster SZ3041518 USA 2003 Vintage White Maple 10
  • Fender 4 Custom Shop Reverse Proto Stratocaster LTD SZ4098012 USA 2005 Olympic White Maple 10
  • Fender 5 American Standard Stratocaster Antigua S903311 USA 1979 Antigua Maple 8
  • Fender 6 American Standard Stratocaster Antigua S915272 USA 1979 Antigua Maple 10
  • Fender 7 The Strat E032030 USA 1980 Lake Placid Blue Maple 8,5
  • Fender 8 Custom Shop Yngwie Malmsteen “Play Loud” Strat LTD YS499 USA 2008 Olympic White Maple 10
  • Fender 9 American Standard Stratocaster E329339 USA 1983 Olympic White Maple 9,5
  • Fender 10 American Stratocaster International Color S938176 USA 1980 Capri Orange Rosewood 9,8
  • Fender Dave Murray Signature Stratocaster V177911 USA 2009 Black Maple 10
  • Fender Stratocaster Splatter Limited Edition MZ312516 Mexiko 2003 Blue/white/silver Rosewood 10
  • Fender Yngwie Malmsteen Signature Stratocaster SZ9386068 USA 2009 Vintage White Maple 10
  • Music Man Luke Signature Edition ???? USA 2006 Black Sapphire Rosewood 10

Please spread the information about the burglary and the lost guitars to your partners and business contacts. A generous reward will be given to information that will give me my guitars back!!

Please observe that there are only 10 guitars on the picture, but as you can see 15 instruments were stolen!!

If you have any information about the instruments, or have heard any rumours, please come back to me. Your help to get the guitars back to my will be highly appreciated and generously rewarded!!

Many thanks!

Marcus Ohlsson
Phone number: +46 708 348605
Mail: mo_46@hotmail.com

 

The Gibson Moderne Returns!

Gibson’s Moderne is back in production. Here’s the story in the company’s own words…

A musical chimera, shrouded in the silvered mists of myth and legend, the Gibson Moderne has long been known as the enigmatic “guitar that never was”… or, was it? Designed as the third member of a trio of guitars in the new Modernist Series, prototypes of which were displayed at the 1957 NAMM show, the Moderne was originally intended to be the sibling of the Flying V and the Explorer, but never made it off the launch pad the way the other two then-futuristic classics did. Although they are iconic symbols of rock guitar today, even the Flying V and Explorer were too far ahead of their time in the late ’50s, and fewer than 200 units of both types were made in their original three-year run before deletion from the catalog in 1960. Perhaps Gibson foresaw that a third Modernist was pushing it just too far? Or did a poor early reaction to the guitar lead to its demise? Ted McCarty, president of Gibson at the time, has said a number of Modernes were made; other tales tell of prototypes and raw bodies being burned in a bonfire at Kalamazoo after early showings failed to set the guitar world alight. Whatever the real story–and perhaps it is lost forever to the mists of time–the Moderne is perhaps rarest and most elusive Gibson guitar ever created. Or was, until now. “New” from Gibson USA, the Moderne captures the look, feel and sound of the original, and puts it in the hands of players today.

The Moderne is made to the precise “pre-space-aged-retro” shape that made the original so eye-catchingly hip, with elements of the Flying V’s look, but with an asymmetrical lower bout that makes the guitar much easier to play sitting down. Gibson USA dresses it in your choice of two outstanding finishes, Trans Amber and Ebony, both in genuine nitrocellulose lacquer, with the gold-plated hardware that helped the Modernist series stand out in the late ’50s. The body is crafted from solid mahogany (Grade-A beneath the Trans Amber guitars), with a solid quarter-sawn Grade-A mahogany neck glued in with Gibson’s acclaimed deep-set neck joint. The neck is carved to a slim, fast profile that measures .800″ at the 1st fret and .850″ at the 12th, and topped with a fingerboard made from exotic granadillo. The Moderne’s headstock follows the rare split-top design, as also seen on the extremely scarce Explorer models from the first year of production.

A pair of ’57 Classics captures the sound of the original PAF humbuckers loaded on Modernist Series guitars of the late ’50s. These popular pickups feature Alnico II magnets, vintage enamel-coated wire, nickel-plated pole pieces, nickel slugs, maple spacers and vintage-style, two-conductor, and braided wiring, just like the greatest humbuckers of all time. In a variation from the majority of original PAFs, however, the ’57 Classics’ coils are wax potted to combat microphony and feedback squeal at high volumes so, while vintage voiced, they are suited to high-gain playing, too. The timeless pairing of Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, both in gold, anchors the strings at the body end for solid sustain and precise intonation adjustment. A set of gold-plated, vintage-style tuners with pearloid buttons retains the accurate look and performance up at the headstock.

Read our article on the Moderne here

Each guitar comes protected in a plush-lined hardshell case with black exterior, and includes owner’s manual and adjustment literature, along with Gibson’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 customer service.

Features

  • Solid Mahogany body available in Trans Amber and Ebony finishes
  • Mahogany neck with slim, fast neck profile
  • Granadillo fingerboard with acrylic dot inlays
  • Features a pair of powerful ’57 Classic humbucking pickups
  • Vintage-style, pearloid-button tuners with 14:1 tuning ratio

Pricing and Availability:
$2,599

Tony Bacon Interview

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Any guitarist who has walked the aisles of the nearest Barnes & Noble or roamed the guitar related entries at Amazon.com has seen the name Tony Bacon.

For the past couple of decades Tony has been linked to well-researched tomes on Gibsons, Fenders, Gretsch’s and thousands of pages about cool, historic, unique and downright weird guitars.

Digging in deep to offer readers accurate and interesting information on the world’s most famous and obscure guitars is not an easy road.
One must pore over old magazines, interview guitar industry experts, get some quality time with top celebrity guitarists, then check and double-check every fact, and then present the material that’s grammatically correct, aesthetically pleasing, and presentable in a form to successfully meet the market. It’s damn hard work, but at the end of the day must be very satisfying, and Tony Bacon by all accounts should be delighted.

Read the interview here

Guitar traders admit handling stolen vintage guitars

A well-known Yorkshire father and son business partnership have been given suspended prison sentences for handling stolen guitars.

Richard and Justin Harrison, dealing in rare and old musical instruments, admitted to handling stolen vintage guitars worth over £40,000.

Dad Richard, 63, of The Old Rectory, High Street, Campsall, Doncaster, admitted one charge of handling stolen goods relating to ten guitars worth £42,000.

He was given a 12 month sentence, suspended for 18 months and 200 hours unpaid work.

Son Justin, 40, of Wentedge House, Wentedge Road, Pontefract, admitted two charges of handling stolen goods, relating to two guitars worth £4,500.

He was given a six month sentence, suspended for 18 months, 200 hours unpaid work and told pay £2,500 court costs.

At the time of the offences they owned well known company Music Ground and had shops in Leeds, Manchester and London and international customers. They were both charged with handling stolen goods and intending or assisting in the retention or disposal of those items between October 7 2006 and March 5 last year.

The guitars were part of a haul of 157 guitars stolen in two burglaries in Verona, Italy, in October 2006 and which had an estimated value in excess of £1million.

Michael Rawlinson, for Justin, said he had not known the gutiars were stolen when he first received them but had “buried his head in the sand”. Nigel Hamilton, for Richard, said he had given the guitars to people look after when he realised they were stolen but was arrested nine months later when he was still in possession of them.

Judge Christopher Batty described their actions “disgusting”. He said: “We are not talking about throw-away items.

“We are talking expensive property – vintage guitars.

The pair now face an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Source

Nice George Gruhn interview..

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A nice interview has recently been posted with George Gruhn.

The world of guitars has a select few gurus who have reached a place where they offer a foundation of expertise. In the world of vintage guitars, the name that always comes to mind is George Gruhn. Certainly, there are others with vintage guitar expertise and backgrounds that we can consult for enlightenment. But, if you want the highest level of credibility, you turn to George.

Gruhn’s expertise is highlighted in the books he co-authored with Walter Carter, including Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars, along with follow-up editions on Acoustic Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments: A Photographic History, and Electric Guitars and Basses: A Photographic History. George has also written numerous articles for guitar magazines, as well as publishes his own Gruhn Newsletter. He has also been a featured columnist for Pickin’, Frets, Bluegrass Unlimited, Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar Magazine.

read the interview

Martin Unveils Recycled Wood Guitar

If you heard the words “guitar” and “environment” in the same sentence in the last few months you were probably hearing about the raid on Gibson Guitar. While the August raid on Gibson’s factories continues to draw a lot of attention and still gets conservatives and Tea Party supporters angry, another guitar company is coming up this week with an innovative effort to connect the dots between guitars and the environment in a positive way.

On Tuesday, C.F. Martin announced that it will utilize FSC-certified recycled Sitka spruce in one of its new cutaway guitars in the company’s Performing Artist series – the GPCPA4 Sapele. Now, here comes the good part – the wood, which will be used on the tops of the new guitar, is coming from none other than dismantled Canadian bridges where it had been used in construction.

“Martin Guitar has long been committed to research and innovation to find alternatives to rare woods,” explained Chris Martin, the company’s chairman and CEO. “The use of this recycled traditional tonewood will complement the Sapele wood that this guitar utilizes, allowing us to achieve the same structural integrity and traditional Martin sound,” he added.

The search for such innovative solutions is not accidental, especially for a guitar maker with sustainability in mind like C.F. Martin. “In order for a musical instrument manufacturing company to become more sustainable, they have to look at the primary resources from the planet that they’re using and get those resources in the most environmentally sustainable way,” explains Scott Paul, director of the forest campaign for Greenpeace.

Full story here

Long Lost George Harrison Vox UL730 Amp to Be Sold at Auction

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A rare amp once belonging to the late George Harrison — and used for several Beatles recording sessions — will be sold at auction on December 15 at Bonhams in London, England.

The amp, a Vox UL730, was used during recording sessions for Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. Its connection to the Beatles and Harrison — who died 10 years ago today — has been discovered only recently.

Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order borrowed the amp from the current vendor in February 2011, as his guitarist needed a vintage amp for a recording session at Blueprint Studios in Salford. It developed a fault at the end of the session and was taken to a specialist engineer to be fixed.

When the amp chassis was removed from its case, the engineer noticed “George Harrison” scratched onto the chassis. After further inspection, he found a label on the inside of the speaker cabinet. Subsequent research led to a photograph of Harrison and The Beatles in the studio with a UL730, with visible chalk markings similar to those seen in the cabinet that will appear at auction.

A member of The Merseybeats who used to write the “Beatles Gear” pages for the monthly Beatles Book magazine, and who attended many Abbey Road Beatles’ sessions as a guest, has also identified this as Harrison’s UL730.

The guide price at the Bonham’s auction is £50-70,000 and will be auctioned on 15th December in London.

Full story

Richard Gere’s Guitar Collection Raises Nearly $1 Million at Auction

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A collection of vintage guitars owned by the Hollywood actor Richard Gere has been sold at a Christie’s auction in New York. The sale featured 107 lots, including guitars and amplifiers, which Gere had amassed over a 20-year period. In all the sale raised $936,438, with all but 4% of the lots sold.

The sale’s top-selling lot was a classic 1960 Gibson Les Paul, which beat its pre-sale estimate of up to $90,000 to sell for $98,500 to an anonymous bidder. Other notable lots included a 1931 Martin D- 28 acoustic model which sold for $62,500, a 1958 Gibson Flying V which sold for $74,500 and a 1934 archtop built by John D’Angelico which sold for $20,000.

Gere, who is a well-known advocate for AIDS charities and a supporter of Tibet, will donate the proceeds of the sale to a number of charitable foundations.

Vintage Guitar Effects Announces Website for Guitar Effects Aficionados

Aficionados of guitars and guitar effects have a new source of information in a website made available from Vintage Guitar Effects.

The site is devoted to vintage and boutique guitar pedals and effects. On the site, visitors will find tons of information including in-depth articles, reviews, and videos. It is a blog-based site which encourages user feedback and comments as long as it relates to guitar effects. Interested users can even subscribe to an RSS feed which will keep them up-to-date every time a new post is put up.

Their extensive use of video is one of the things that set the Vintage Guitar Effects website apart from others. As an example, the January 31st entry is a review of the Dwarfcraft Eau Claire Thunder effects box. The review includes not only written information about the features of the box, but also a six-minute video demonstrating what this box can do. The author of the video plugs his guitar into the Eau Claire and puts it through its spaces, explaining to viewers what he’s doing every step of the way. The video is a great way for users to see and hear the Dwarfcraft Eau Claire Thunder for themselves. This is a strong selling point very few other review sites offer.

The site covers vintage guitar effects including compressors, bass pedals, multi-effects pedals, flange or pedals, overdrive pedals, and more. In the boutique guitar effects section, visitors will find items from well-known names like Boss, Death by Audio, Digitech, Excaliber Effects, Rockbox, and Solid Gold; just to name a few. Everything users need or want to know about purchasing vintage and boutique guitar effects is available on the site.

For those looking for vintage or boutique pedals and effects for sale, the website also has a dedicated store. The store contains dozens of links to various products listed at popular auction websites. Although Vintage Guitar Effects does not sell the products themselves, their store categorizes products by type, for easy shopping and searching, and includes thumbnail images. Clicking a given link will redirect the user to the auction site where the item is located.

You can check out the new site here

Whose Axe Made Your Guitar? You’d Better Find Out

With the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raiding Gibson’s Tennessee factories again recently, This article is well worth a read, as it has consequences for any owner of a vintage wooden instrument.

The government alleges that Gibson imported woods in violation of the Lacey Act, a century-old law that makes it a federal crime to trade in plants, wildlife, or timber that have been harvested in violation of “any foreign law.”

While this seems simple enough, and the anti-poaching/conservation impulses behind the law are certainly commendable, the Lacey Act has become one of many federal statutes that create invisible minefields of federal regulations into which anyone can stumble unknowingly.

You can read the full article here

Richard Gere To Auction His Guitar Collection at Christies New York On October 11

Actor Richard Gere has decided to sell his guitar collection at Christies New York in October. The sale will offer approximately 110 lots, which will include a range of vintage American guitars, including models by Martin, Gibson, Fender, Gretsch and Epiphone models, and a selection of amplifiers, as well as iconic guitars that belonged to Albert King, Peter Tosh and James D’Aquisto. The sale is expected to realize in the region of $1,000,000.

As a leading Hollywood figure, Richard Gere is known for many iconic performances over the years, but he is also an accomplished musician and played in such films as Cotton Club and Pretty Woman among others. Mr. Gere studied trumpet, and he is a self-taught pianist and guitarist who has played since his youth. With a passion for American vintage guitars, Gere amassed a personal collection built upon their playability and craftsmanship. Kept and played in his home and office, the collection has been under wraps until now.

Richard Gere said: “I’ve had a love affair with guitars since I was a kid. They have been my true friends through the best and worst of times. I never planned to put together a collection, I just bought ones that I liked, the ones that sounded good and played well. Some are very special. Although it’s more than a little painful to let them go, each one has been played, loved and appreciated- and will be again. All my proceeds from this sale will go to support humanitarian causes around the world.”

Kerry Keane, Head of Musical Instruments Department, said: “Each guitar in this sale began as an instrument that Richard Gere purchased for himself, because he saw something brilliant, whether it was for its tonal quality, playability or sheer beauty. What transpired over a lifetime is an almost encyclopedic representation of American guitar making. This is an exciting opportunity for collectors and fans alike to take advantage of Mr. Gere’s unrecognized talent for creating a cohesive collection.”

Highlights include:

  • 1931 Martin D-28, Estimate: $50,000-70,000 The first Style D-28 designated by the C.F. Martin Company
  • 1985 Gibson Flying V, Estimate: $60,000-90,000 Documented as a pre-production prototype by Gibson Incorporated, the guitar was formally the property of Albert King.
  • 1935 John D’Angelico Archtop, Estimate: $10,000-15,000 Formerly the property of James D’ Aquisto
  • 1953 Fender Telecaster, Estimate: $15,000-25,000
  • 1960 Gibson ES-335 TD, Estimate: $20,000-30,000
  • 1954 Fender Stratocaster, Estimate: $30,000-40,000

Further details of the sale and catalogues will be available by mid-September 2011.

Collectable Guitars 42 – Godin Acousticaster

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Electric guitarists often own an acoustic or two as well, but many who are used to electrics find the transition between slim, ergonomic electrics and big, bulky acoustics to mean that playing acoustic is much more difficult, especially when combined with the heavier strings and increased tension of an acoustic guitar.

However, a solution became available in 1989 when the French-Canadian company Godin (established since 1972) introduced a new line of guitars. They were acoustic and lacked magnetic pickups, but had slim, Telecaster-shaped bodies which were chambered but did not have any external soundholes.

From a distance the new guitar (christened the Acousticaster) looked like any other Fender Telecaster (it had a chambered maple body with a spruce top, bolt-on maple neck and maple or rosewood fingerboard) but had traditional acoustic wooden bridges with inbuilt piezo pickups provided by L.R. Baggs. Part of the Acousticaster’s surprising resonance for a small guitar came from the use of eighteen metal “tines” (prongs or forks) inside the body, which are similar to tuning forks and resonated in sympathy with the guitar.

The piezo system was controlled by an EQ on the top bout of the body, featuring four sliders (controlling gain, bass, mids and treble) for finer tonal adjustments. The guitar was different from normal acoustics in that it was slimmer and smaller, and used ordinary electric guitar strings to facilitate bends that were out of reach of traditional acoustic guitarists.

It also put a wider range of notes at the guitarist’s disposal. Where acoustics generally feature 20 or 21 frets, the Acousticaster was able to match the Gibson Les Paul with 22 frets.

A few different finishes were initially available, and according to a 1989 review in Guitarist magazine these included black, white, natural, turquoise and cherry sunburst. It appears that natural and black, however, were the two most popular colour choices.

While many of the guitars I have written about from this time period were unsuccessful and are largely quite rare now, the Acousticaster is a resounding success story. Godin continues to have an extensive range of guitars and the Acousticaster remains part of the line-up. It is still made using the same construction methods and woods. New Acousticasters sell for around the £1000 mark, and used examples for anywhere between £300 and £700.

Nova Scotia swap meet could turn up some treasures

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A Halifax, NS businessman is hoping musicians from all over New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. will dig through their closets for old guitars, amplifiers and other gear and bring it all to Moncton for a unique swap meet.

The swap meet is set for Saturday, May 7 at the Moncton Lions Centre on St. George Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stuart Lorriman, a long-time musician who recently retired as a sales rep for Canadian-made Godin guitars, says a similar event in Halifax attracted over 700 people, many of whom brought all kinds of used guitars, new guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals and other stuff that musicians go ga-ga over.

“The Halifax one really turned into a social event with people meeting up with old friends and bandmates,” Mr. Lorriman says. “I expect we could get 400 to 500 people in Moncton.”

He chose Moncton to stage the first swap meet in New Brunswick because of the central location, making it easy for people to come from Fredericton, Saint John, Miramichi, P.E.I., and other parts of New Brunswick.

The concept of the swap meet is pretty simple. Bring guitars, amplifiers and other stuff you’d like to trade, and of course some cash if you find something you’d like to buy.

Mr. Lorriman says the swap meet is a place where musical instrument dealers can showcase their new products, and where collectors can sell or trade. People with two or three items can bring them in and look for something to trade, but anyone with more than that is asked to rent a table for $30. Admission at the door will be $3. Mr. Lorriman can be reached by e-mail at audiorep@ns.sympatico.ca.

Local music stores have been invited to set up tables, but encouraged to put in some of their used gear or stuff that’s on sale – as opposed to taking stuff off the shelf at the store and putting it on a table at the swap meet.

In recent months, local music stores have become more open to taking trades on guitars, amplifiers and other gear as musicians look to trade in their old guitars for new ones.

This also opens the door for newcomers to pick up a used instrument at bargain prices. Beginners looking for a new or used guitar should plan to spend about $150 to $200 for something good. Higher-end guitars can go from $500 to more than $1,000.

In Metro Moncton, the best places to go guitar shopping for new instruments are the Long & McQuade music store on Plaza Boulevard and La Guitare on St. George Street. Both stores also take trades and have a selection of used gear. The Parlour pawn shop in Mountain Road also has a good selection of used guitars, amps, effects pedals and other stuff for sale and trade. Treasures and Trash also offers some used music gear.

But Mr. Lorriman is really hoping that some unique pieces of vintage gear will make it to the swap meet. The term “vintage” is rather loose when it comes to guitars and amps, but it generally applies to anything that can be dated back 25 years or beyond.

In guitar circles, vintage instruments are generally considered to be better made and sound better. Some people like them to be scratched up, others like them restored.

Mr. Lorriman says guitars from the 1950s and early 1960s are the most sought after by collectors, mainly because they were made by hand by true craftsmen. As the popularity of guitars soared from the 1960s through the 1980s and beyond, well-known guitar makers set up factories for mass producing the instruments. They also began producing economy lines.

For example, Fender guitars are probably the best known, especially for their Telecaster and Stratocaster models. Fender still makes guitars in its California factory, but they are also made in Mexico. Guitars from Fender’s economy line, Squire, could come from plants in Japan, China or Indonesia. To the untrained eye, a Fender Stratocaster and a Squier Stratocaster are virtually identical, but the price difference could be several hundred dollars.

Fenders have been on the market for more than 50 years, so there are a lot of them out there – new, used, modified, customized and some beaten to death. Collectors go wild searching for models from the 1950s or 1960s, and prices on Internet sites can skyrocket. For example, a nice 1959 Strat on Ebay has an asking price of $15,000, when a brand new one off the shelf sells for about $1,500. A new Squier Strat could be found for as low as about $150.

The folks at Fender, recognizing an opportunity, put out a “Road Worn” line of guitars that are brand new but scratched, sanded and beaten up to look like instruments that have many years of service.

Mr. Lorriman says real vintage instruments from the trusted brand names were made with superior workmanship and parts. The types of wood, the internal construction, the quality of metal and electrical components like pickups, and even the type of finish can all have an affect on the overall sound of the instrument. A few nicks and scratches won’t affect the sound and actually give the instrument character. But if the neck is warped and the bridge is pulling away from the body, it could be doomed.

A lot of musicians love collecting instruments. A term you’ll hear around town is “guitarded,” which basically translates into: “I know I don’t really need it and can’t afford it, but I’m getting it anyway.”

I know hobbyist musicians who have closets full of guitars and every once in a while they’ll gather up four or five and trade them in on something else.

Collectors usually like to have a bunch of guitars that have different sounds, so one is good for playing hard rock style while another would be better suited to blues or country.

Serious blues players will usually have at least one guitar with the action (the space between the strings and the fretboard) set very high for playing with a bottleneck slide. Guitarists might also have one set up differently or set to an odd tuning.? And then there are amplifiers, PA systems and effects pedals. That’s a whole story in itself.

The love of vintage guitars isn’t new, but Mr. Lorriman says it has really picked up with the advent of online shopping and TV shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars. If you have an old instrument or amplifier, write down the make, model and serial number and then go searching online to find out when it was made and whether it is valuable.

But like anything else that is vintage or collectible, the true value is really what someone else is willing to pay. But it’s fun to look.

Source

Jeff Buckley’s Telecaster For Sale

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481My friend Nicolai over at Vintage and Rare has alerted me to the sale of one of Jeff Buckley’s most used guitars through Chelsea Guitars, one of the dealers who advertise through his website.

The 1983 Telecaster was used extensively for live work by Jeff and was given to a close female friend by his family after Jeff’s untimely death in 1997.

I am not sure on all the details of the guitar, (it obviously has a replacement pickup) but Chelsea or Vintage and Rare will be able to supply all information needed. The guitar comes with all the provenance needed to prove its importance and legitimacy.

Here’s the link to the full details; Jeff Buckley’s 1983 Telecaster for sale

UK Police Hunt for 61 Stolen Rare and Vintage Guitars

Sixty-one rare and vintage guitars worth up to £50,000 each are being searched for by West Yorkshire Police after they were stolen.

Police want to track down the rare Fender, Gibson, Gretsch and Rickenbacker models which are missing.

A total of 157 guitars worth more than £1m were stolen five years ago, 96 have since been recovered.

Two men aged 63 and 41 have been charged with handling stolen goods in connection with the investigation.

Police have released images of the 61 missing guitars and their serial numbers.

Det Con Chris Lord from West Yorkshire Police said: “Anyone found with one of these guitars in their possession could be charged with handling stolen goods.

“I would encourage anyone who suspects they have one of these guitars to check the serial numbers as soon as possible.”

The police said they were unable to provide more information about the burglary because of legal proceedings.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the police.

Source

Clapton’s Guitar Auction Raises £1.3 Million

Eric Clapton’s recent guitar and amplifier auction has raised £1.3 million to continue funding his “Crossroads” rehab clinic in Antigua.

More than 130 lots were auctioned from his archive including a number of guitars he played live and on record, plus a vast collection of amps, speakers and even suits.

Highlights of the sale at Bonhams New York included a 1948 Gibson which sold for £51,000 – three times its estimate – which was used on one of Clapton’s solo blues albums.

An intricately decorated mahogany Zemaitis – inlaid with pearl – went for £47,000.

Custom-built 1997 Fender Twin Amps – created to ensure his favourite vintage 1957 speakers did not get damaged on tour – fetched four times the estimated price, selling for £26,000. The copies exceeded the £24,000 paid for Clapton’s original amps in the sale.

Money from the sale will go towards the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, which Clapton founded in 1998 to help treat drug and alcohol addiction.

He has previously held auctions in 1999 and 2004.

Jon Baddeley, worldwide head of collectables at Bonhams, said: “Arguably the greatest guitarist of all time, Eric Clapton inspires an ever-expanding fan base, many of whom made the journey to Bonhams in New York over the past few days and joined us for this remarkable auction.”

1960 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst Tops $131,000 at Auction

A 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard Cherry Sunburst electric guitar, one of the most sought-after modern stringed instrumented ever made, proved its worth at $131,450 to lead Heritage Auctions’ $1,682,831 Signature Music & Entertainment Auction, Feb. 20. All prices include 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.

“The 1960 ‘burst is exceptional even by Les Paul’s standards,” said Jonas Aronson, Director of Vintage Guitars at Heritage. “It’s got everything a collector could want – name, style and a beautiful sound – and the price it realized is reflective of that quality.”

Acoustic guitars proved an important part of the stringed instruments section of the auction, and no one name more so than that of C.F. Martin, as a pair of vintage Martin acoustic guitars combined for almost $75,000, with a 1931 Martin OM-28 Natural acoustic orchestra model, #47403, in its original state, with a $46,306 price realized, followed by a striking 1937 Martin-D-18 Sunburst Acoustic, #68135, more than doubled its pre-auction estimate to finish the day at $28,680.

The name of Fender was well-represented in the auction, with two classic examples performing well beyond their pre-auction estimates. A 1957 Stratocaster Sunburst solid body electric guitar, #22744, in all original condition, brought $21,510 against a $5,000+ estimate, while a 1959 Fender Telecaster Blonde solid body electric guitar, #38272, brought $20,913, against a $6,000+ estimate.

In what was the sleeper of the guitar auction, a fantastic 1961 Rickenbacker 4001 Fireglo Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar, #AK685 – a gorgeous example of this famous model, that can be traced definitively back to the first month of the first year of Fireglo production, brought $19,120, almost five times its pre-auction estimate.

Source

Slash to Auction His Guitar Collection

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Slash will sell 14 of his prized guitars at auction next month.

The former Guns N’ Roses guitarist – who estimates he owns at least 100 of the musical instruments -will sell a Guild acoustic which he used to record the single ‘Patience’ along with various other custom guitars.

Slash decided to hold the sale because a recent house move made him realise he has a “bad habit of collecting stuff that I don’t necessarily use”.

Along with the guitars Slash will also sell two of his trademark top hats and a selection of jackets, T-shirts and jewellery.

A 1966 Corvette Stingray with an estimated selling price of $90,000 is set to be one of the non musical highlights of the sale with the rocker – who released his first solo album last year, and is also in the band Velvet Revolver – with him admitting he will be sorry to sell the “monster of a car” he bought at the beginning of his career.

He said: “I know that somebody will love to have that car because muscle cars are very, very popular.”

The March 26 sale is being organised through Julien’s Auctions with a sizable share of the proceeds going to a local charity for abused and homeless teenagers.

Gary Moore Dies

Very sad to hear of the death of Gary Moore earlier today.

He had such a great tone and feel, “Still got the blues” is one of my all time solos. Here is another great track of his as a little tribute.

R.I.P. Gary..

Norm’s Rare Guitars Interview

Nice video interview with Norm Harris of Norm’s Rare Guitars;

Ernie Ball Music Man Unveils “Game Changer” Guitar

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Coachella, CA (January 12th, 2011) — Ernie Ball Music Man today announced that it will unveil The Game Changer, a ground-breaking, all analog pickup switching system that unlocks an extensive library of natural guitar tones previously unavailable in traditional pickup technology. Available in select Reflex guitar and bass models in 2011, this progressive innovation leads a host of new and exciting products Ernie Ball is set to launch at the 2011 Winter NAMM Show.

The Game Changer
The Game Changer fundamentally changes the guitar player’s experience. Rather than relying on pre-set pickup configurations traditionally provided by instrument manufacturers, The Game Changer gives guitarists unrestricted access to a vast library of tones via a true analog pickup switching system. Available on select Music Man Reflex models, this patent-pending system electronically rewires a guitar or bass instantly, combining any order of pickup coils in series, parallel, and in or out of phase to create tones unique to the individual creating them. Imagine having complete tonal control of your instrument with more than 250,000 pickup configurations*, without rewiring anything. With The Game Changer, the audio signal is never digitized or modeled in any way, providing a transparent analog signal path for the absolute purist. In conjunction with The Game Changer website (www.gamechanger.music-man.com), musicians can also create, save and share their tonal selections with other players from around the world.

“The Game Changer is the most significant innovation our company has developed,” said Sterling Ball, CEO of Ernie Ball Music Man. “I’m truly proud of this technology and am looking forward to sharing and creating new and unique tones with musicians and artists alike. This really paves the way for musicians to personalize their tonal options like never before.”

The Game Changer is currently offered in Music Man H-H, H-S-H Reflex guitar models, as well as the Music Man H-H Reflex bass model.

*More than 250,000 with a 5-coil instrument

Inside the Fender Custom Shop..

A tour around the Fender Custom Shop..

Father And Son Accused Of Handling £170K Of Stolen Guitars

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A well known Yorkshire father and son business partnership dealing in rare and old musical instruments and equipment have been accused of handling stolen guitars worth £170,000 (c.$260,000).

At the time of the alleged offences Richard and Justin Harrison owned a well known company called Music Ground. They had shops in Leeds, Manchester and London as well as many international customers.

Mrs Lisa Carlton, the prosecutor, said they were both charged with handling stolen goods and intending or assisting in the retention or disposal of those items between October 7 2006 and March 5 2009.

The 26 guitars, subject of the charges against the father and son, are believed to be part of a haul of 157 guitars stolen in two burglaries in Verona, Italy, in October 2006 and which had an estimated value in excess of £1m.

Richard Harrison, 63, and his 40 year old son Justin, both entered preliminary pleas of ‘not guilty’ to the charge.

In its advertising and promotional material, Music Ground used to claim that it was “Europe’s No 1? supplier of rare and vintage guitars.

Source: The Yorkshire Evening Post

Vintage Guitar magazine Lists 10 Most Valuable Guitars

Vintage Guitar magazine has released a list of the 10 most valuable production-model electric and acoustic guitars. Using data accumulated in the research for The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide 2011, the list includes only guitars that were originally offered in manufacturer product lines. It does not include custom-made and/or celebrity-owned instruments.

“Guitars are an American pop-culture icon,” said Alan Greenwood, publisher of both the magazine and the Price Guide. “And through the years, certain guitars have, thanks in part to players, songs, and the laws of supply and demand, become exceedingly valuable to collectors.

“There are few collectibles as cool as guitars,” Greenwood added. “They’re functional, tactile art that inspires players and music fans alike.”
The 10 most valuable guitars are:

  1. The 1936-’39 Martin D-45 ($320,000 to $400,000) – Vintage Martin dreadnoughts are considered the pinnacle of steel-string acoustics, and those given the Style 45 details are the top of the line.
  2. The 1958-’60 Gibson Les Paul Standard ($300,000 to $375,000) – The status of Gibson’s Les Paul changed dramatically with the 1966 release of John Mayall’s Blues Breakers featuring Eric Clapton. Then Michael Bloomfield started playing one, which influenced other top-tier guitarists of the late ’60s.
  3. The 1958-’59 Gibson Explorer ($250,000 to $310,000) – Part of an attempt to market “modernistic” guitars in the “space age,” it got little attention from buyers, so production numbers stayed very low.
  4. The 1958-’59 Gibson Flying V ($200,000 to $250,000) – Another of Gibson’s “modernistic” guitars, it was offered for only two years (1959 and ’60).
  5. The 1931-’36 Martin D-28 ($140,000 to $170,000) – Though not as fancy as the D-45, its $100 price tag was still high in the midst of the Great Depression.
  6. The 1938-’42 Gibson Super Jumbo/SJ-200 ($90,000 to $120,000) – Gibson’s answer to Martin’s D, it was larger, showier, and wound up in the hands of many a big-screen singing cowboy.
  7. The ’57 Gibson Les Paul model ($86,000 to $106,000) – Gibson’s original Les Paul, the “goldtop” was refined until it peaked in ’57, when it was used to launch the company’s new “humbucking” pickups.
  8. D’Aquisto archtops ($75,000 to $100,000) – Luthier James D’Aquisto mostly built to order, and his rarest models bring a premium.
  9. 1950 Fender Broadcaster ($68,000 to $86,000) – Leo Fender’s original single-cutaway design has a simple, workingman’s appeal. Known today as the Telecaster, it’s one of the “big three” collectible electrics.
  10. 1957-’60 Gibson Les Paul Custom ($66,000 to $81,000) – With a black finish and gold-colored hardware, it was the fanciest version of the original Les Paul guitar.

For more information, contact Ward Meeker, Editor, Vintage Guitar, at vguitar@vintageguitar.com, or 800-844-1197. To view and/or download high-resolution images of guitars from this list, go to https://www.vintageguitar.com/priceguide/top-ten-2011.

Eric Clapton to sell off guitars for Crossroads Centre

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Eric Clapton is to sell off part of his extensive guitar collection to raise money for his rehab clinic.

Highlights of the sale will include a guitar the musician played at the Cream reunion shows in 2005, estimated to sell for more than £13,000.

More than 150 lots will be auctioned in the New York sale next year.

Money raised will go towards the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, which Clapton founded in 1998 to help treat drug and alcohol addiction.

The sale will also feature a vast collection of amps and speakers, including a pair of Marshall speaker cabinets.

Used during the 1970s when the star was performing with Derek And The Dominos, it is expected to fetch more than £5,000.

Guitars donated by Jeff Beck, JJ Cale and Joe Bonamassa will also go under the hammer.

“We are delighted to be offering such a fantastic collection of guitars and amps from such an iconic musician,” said Stephanie Connell, head of entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams

She said she hoped the auction would “raise a lot of money for this worthwhile cause.”

Clapton has previously held auctions in 1999 and 2004.

In the latter, Clapton’s treasured Fender Stratocaster – called “Blackie” – fetched a record $959,500 (£607,500) at auction.

Items will go on display at Bonhams in London from 23 to 26 January before the sale on 9 February.

Source

Hendrix Fender Duo Sonic Sells for £164,000!

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481As posted the other day, the tan coloured Fender Duo Sonic, played by Hendrix before he was famous, fetched £164,675 at an auction today, over 400 times the price he originally paid.

The star’s early guitar sparked a bidding frenzy at the Cameo Auctioneers Records’ Music and Memorabilia auction in Midgham, Berkshire.

Hendrix had paid just £100 for the tan guitar when he was an unknown 21-year-old backing musician.

Going by the name Jimmy James, he used the 1959/60 model from March to November 1964 while performing with the Isley Brothers.

Two original pieces of Hendrix artwork from 1967 were also sold for a total of £17,400.

Another Hendrix Guitar Auction

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Another Hendrix guitar is up for auction next month, this time the it’s the Fender Duo-Sonic he owned and played before he was famous.

Jimi played on this guitar on tour with the Isley Brothers and it is expected to fetch around $180,000.

The blond Duo-Sonic is a 1959 or 1960 model, which the 21-year-old Hendrix paid $160 for before joining the Isley’s as a session man on their tour of 1964.

Of course, as a solo artist, Jimi was known primarily as a Strat man, which explains why this Fender went into storage before reappearing in Hendrix manager Chas Chandler’s studio.

Chandler sold the guitar in 1982 for £400 to music agent and manager Rod Weinberg.

The Duo-Sonic goes under the hammer at Cameo Auctioneers Records’ Music & Memorabilia Auction on November 2.

Peter Frampton, Brad Paisley Donate Flood Guitars to Charity

Peter Frampton's flood damaged Les Paul

Dozens of guitars, mandolins and other instruments – straight from the hands of artists including Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney and Peter Frampton are headed for the online auction block through nonprofit organization NASH2O (Nash-H-2-0) to support flood relief efforts in Nashville.

Proceeds go to three beneficiaries: MusiCares Nashville Flood Relief Fund for music industry professionals, Nashville Musicians Association Flood Relief Fund for those musicians that were uninsured, and Middle Tennessee fire and rescue departments.

Organized shortly after the devastating May floodwaters receded, NASH2O was created by three longtime Music City mainstays: George Gruhn, widely-recognized as the leading authority on vintage stringed instruments; Joe Glaser, renowned luthier and fine instrument repairman; and steel guitarist/producer Bruce Bouton, a fixture on high-profile recordings and tours for decades (currently touring with Reba McEntire). Their goal was to collect flood-damaged instruments from top artists, which could then be sold as presentation/collector pieces. The group secured underwriting support from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, a major insurer of many of the affected artists and exclusive insurance sponsor of NASH2O.

NASH2O’s official launch is slated for Tuesday, October 12 — with a VIP kickoff reception and press conference at the Hard Rock Café in downtown Nashville beginning at 4 p.m. The reception will feature appearances by some of the artists who have donated instruments, special guests, a silent auction, and some of the instruments which are headed for online auction on display.

The public will have a chance to bid via the online auction, which will open the same day at http://nash2o.org/. The NASH2O auction is unique in several ways, as the instruments offered for sale are historic musical artifacts from the Nashville flood that damanged several instrument storage facilities, as well as musicians’ homes and studios. But as Gruhn explains, the instruments themselves are unlike what is usually available to fans and followers:

“It’s fairly common to see instruments, signed by artists, for sale in charity efforts or given as contest prizes,” he says. “But those are almost always pieces donated by a manufacturer for that purpose. They’re handed to the artist, he signs them, and that’s really the only connection he has with them. The NASH2O pieces are the artists’ personal instruments. Peter Frampton’s Les Paul is, well, Peter Frampton’s Les Paul. Brad Paisley’s Tele-style guitar is Brad’s guitar. You hear that guitar on the records. You saw it in his hands in concert. These are very personal, cherished tools of the trade, and buyers can own a piece of that history, that pedigree.”

Beside the artist-owned instruments for auction, sweepstakes items of new instruments and/or premiums have been donated by Taylor Guitars, THD Amplifiers, Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Gibson Guitars, Martin Guitars and Yamaha Instruments.

Check for further information and updates at http://www.nash2o.org./

Bobs Brownies 1970´s Fender Collection

Here’s a nice video by my buddy Nicolai from Vintage and Rare.

This is probably the largest collection of brown 1970′s Fender guitars in the world, including a tasty brown Starcaster in the back row..not a colour I have ever seen before on the Starcaster, which is rare in any colour!

The collection is for sale, but only as a collection..Bob won’t split out individual pieces.

Cigar Box Guitar Museum Unveiled in New Alexandria, PA

On Saturday, October 30 at 4pm, Speal’s Tavern in New Alexandria, PA will unveil a permanent museum display of unusual, handmade cigar box guitars.

The Cigar Box Guitar Museum was compiled and documented by Shane Speal, a York PA musician billed as “The King of the Cigar Box Guitar” and central figure in the upcoming PBS documentary, Songs Inside the Box. The collection of over 35 cigar box guitars displayed at Speal’s Tavern were built by craftsmen all over the country and range from simple, one-string primitive instruments to complex, electrified guitars with frets, double-necks and whammy bars.

Cigar box guitars are the first instruments played by many blues and rock legends such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Carl Perkins and even Jimi Hendrix. The legend is told when poor folk wanted to play guitar but couldn’t afford one, they would craft one from an empty wooden cigar box, a discarded stick and baling wire for strings. This poverty instrument is witnessing resurgence in modern times with the success of old time music such as O Brother Where Art Thou and the do-it-yourself spirit brought on by the Recession.
Speal’s Tavern has recently gone under new management by Dan Speal of Saltsburg, PA, a retired schoolteacher and a third generation Speal to run the pub. Speal’s Tavern opened its doors at the close of Prohibition in 1933 and has been in business ever since. With new organization comes a new addition of a live blues stage to Speal’s Tavern’s charm, along with a total transformation of the décor, which features the Cigar Box Guitar Museum display.

Shane Speal built his first cigar box guitar in 1993 and has been performing with them ever since. He has brought the instrument into a new renaissance with his website, www.CigarBoxNation.com, which boasts 4000 members worldwide.

The Holy Grail: I Buy A 1958 Sunburst Les Paul

Here’s a nice article by rock writer Binky Philips on the Huffington Post website. Lots of anecdotes about New York guitar buying and the stories of how old guitars get passed around.

Just a taster;

Anyway, one afternoon later that summer, Teddy Slatus, Edgar Winter’s road manager, came in with both of regular-customer Rick Derringer’s sunburst Les Pauls. Back in those days, years before reissues, that meant two of maybe 900 total Gibsons made between mid-1958 through the end of 1960 with that glorious fade-from-a-red-to-gold transparent lacquer finish over highly figured maple and the then new and powerful (Patent-Applied-For) Humbucker pickups. After several other guitar-obsessions amongst the Stars of Rock Guitar, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Michael Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Duane Allman, and several other major cats had settled on this model Gibson as The One. And to this day, it rightly remains exalted.

Read the entire piece here

Gibson Acoustic Releases Three Limited Edition John Lennon Models

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Seventy years after his birth and three decades after his untimely passing, John Lennon’s message of peace continues to touch the masses, and his songs still resonate in the hearts and minds of fans around the world. At the request of Yoko Ono, Gibson Acoustic is very proud to offer three 70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E acoustic guitars to celebrate the legacy of this extraordinary artist. Accordingly, only a very limited number of these handmade acoustics will ever be available.

Born on October 9th 1940, John Lennon still remains one of the most significant voices in the music of our times. In 1962, John Lennon was still an up-and-coming artist, and though one of two main singer/songwriters at the heart of The Beatles, was scraping by on the little money the band was bringing in at that time. For his first quality American acoustic/electric guitar, Lennon had his sights set on a new Gibson J-160E – the problem was, he didn’t have the money to buy it. With the aid of a co-signed purchase from Beatles manager Brian Epstein (who also co-signed for band mate George Harrison’s J-160E), Lennon made the guitar his own, and put it straight to the business of making rock and roll history.

Recreated by the luthiers at Gibson’s Montana acoustic guitar facility in period-perfect detail, the 70th Anniversary John Lennon models are available in three distinct versions to represent the instrument at three periods in Lennon’s life and career.

Each version is an accurate rendition of the J-160E of 1962, a guitar originally released in 1954 as one of the world’s first successful “electro-acoustic” guitars, with built-in pickup and electronics and ready to hit the stage for the professional performing musician. Beloved by Lennon, and kept close throughout his too-short life, the 70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E is a guitar every Beatles fan will want to make their own.

70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160VS

The first, finished in Vintage Sunburst and limited to 500 guitars, represents the guitar as it was when Lennon first acquired it and used it on several famous Beatles recordings from 1963 to ’64, including Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and A Hard Day’s Night. Additional specs of the 70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160VS include a 70th Anniversary John Lennon MOP signature on the headstock, 1960s laminated Sitka Spruce top, mahogany back and sides, the classic vintage sunburst lacquer finish, Jumbo 1960s frets, Gibson authentic P-90 pickups, a historic adjustable bridge, and a 70th Anniversary mother-of-pearl engraved 12th fret birthdate of John Lennon. MSRP is $4728.

70th Anniversary John Lennon Imagine Model

The second is a stunning Custom Shop “Imagine” model in a Soft White finish personally requested by Yoko Ono to reflect the sentiment of John’s life and music during the recording of Imagine.

The white Gibson Acoustic “Imagine” model includes an anniversary John Lennon Abalone headstock signature, 70th Anniversary MOP engraved 12th fret birthdate of Lennon, 1960s laminated Sitka Spruce top, historic Gibson ladder bracing pattern, mahogany back and sides, Jumbo 1960s frets, historic adjustable bridge, Gibson authentic P-90 pickups and a custom hardshell case. MSRP on the Imagine model is $10,748.

70th Anniversary John Lennon Museum J-160E Model

The third is the model as it is today, on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, with a thin, natural finish and Lennon’s famous “John and Yoko” caricature sketches, representing the appearance of the guitar during the famous Lennon-Ono “Bed-In” peace protests of 1969.

The guitar specs of the Gibson Acoustic Lennon Museum J-160E model includes a Gibson Custom Shop label personally signed by Yoko Ono, authentic recreation of John Lennon’s Bed?In Caricature Sketch, 70th Anniversary John Lennon mother-of-pearl headstock signature, 70th Anniversary mother-of-pearl engraved 12th fret birth date of John Lennon, label personally signed by Yoko Ono, 1960s laminated Sitka spruce top, historic Gibson ladder bracing pattern, mahogany back & sides, custom thin lacquer finish, Jumbo 1960s frets, historic adjustable bridge, Gibson authentic P?90 pickup and a Gibson Custom Shop hardshell case. MSRP on the Museum model is $15,048.

The custom shop’s second and third renditions are limited to 70 guitars each, one for every year since John’s birth in 1940, and both include a special 70th Anniversary Certificate personally signed by Yoko Ono and sent to the final purchaser by Certified Mail.

Yoko One herself has been quoted as saying , “Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world. Just start thinking peace and the message will spread quicker than you think.” The Gibson Lennon acoustic models celebrate the peace that has lived on for years through John Lennon’s music and Yoko Ono’s staunch devotion to his memory and legacy.

“To say how proud I am of these new John Lennon Anniversary guitars is a huge understatement. The legacy that John Lennon has given music fans around the world is unprecedented and the friendship Gibson continues with Yoko Ono is demonstrated in these remarkable instruments that are in tribute to arguably one of the world’s greatest musicians,” said Henry Juszkiewicz Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar.

For more information:
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Should you ever buy a guitar on credit?

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Here’s a guest post from Mark Hooson at Moneysupermarket.com with advice about the pitfalls of buying guitars on credit..

Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page Number TwoMost guitarists, at some point in their life, will fall prey of ‘Guitar Acquisition Syndrome’. Characterised by the irrepressible and urgent need to acquire a guitar, regardless of its price or availability, the only cure for the syndrome is to hunt down that axe and hand over the cash!

Unfortunately, for most of us, paying for them can be a bigger stretch than a chord spanning five frets. The options are clear: you can attempt to save some cash until you can afford the guitar, buy it on finance – depending on the store, or you can put it on a credit card.

But is buying a guitar on a credit card ever a good idea? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons putting it on the plastic.

First off, because I’m a pessimist, let’s look at the cons.

Why you shouldn’t buy a guitar on a credit card

The main issue here is your ability to pay.

Of course by using a credit card you can get instant gratification and be home with your Gibson 1960 Les Paul Special or your Martin Eric Clapton signature acoustic as quick as a flash, but not only will you be paying the full price of the guitar, you’ll be paying the interest on the card too.

Traditionally, purchase credit cards are great for free, short-term credit – as long as you always pay your balance in full by the due date shown on your statement, but you will incur interest if you are unable to repay your balance in full every month.

Interest rates vary significantly, so if you don’t pay the full amount by the due date, and find yourself paying too much interest, you’ll have to go through the process of transferring the balance to a lower-rate card.

Why you might want to use a credit card to buy the guitar of your dreams

Even if you don’t have an over-active impulse-buying gland, there are still benefits to buying a high-priced guitar, like a Fender American Vintage ‘52 Telecaster, on a credit card.

Credit cards are a safe way to pay for a guitar, particularly if you are buying over the internet or phone.

If you buy anything on a credit card priced between £100 and £30,000, that turns out to be faulty or which you do not receive because the company goes bust, you can claim a refund from the card provider.

For the more exotic guitar-enthusiast, a credit card might be a good idea because they are accepted in virtually every country around the world – perfect if you spot that axe abroad you’ve been scouring the country for back home.

So, should you buy a guitar on credit?

It all comes down to your ability to pay. I for example, would love a Gibson J200, but I wouldn’t put it on a card because I wouldn’t be able to pay off the full balance before the end of the month, and would be stuck paying charges every month – making the guitar cost me a lot more than it would have if I’d paid up-front.

On the other hand, some cards have great promotional offers like loyalty points, cash back, or payments to support a charity.

It all comes down to what you can afford, and if you do opt for a card – be realistic, and make sure you compare rates and offers to make sure you get the most for your money.

[Mark Hooson writes for the financial group at Moneysupermarket.com, and is a guitar enthusiast]

Schon Guitars

It isn’t very well known that Journey guitarist Neal Schon had a “blink and you missed it” guitar company in the 1980′s. The most famous model is a single cutaway that was seen in the later Journey and Bad English era.

Those models were made by the Jackson guitar company in 1986 and it’s estimated that about 200 were made. When disagreements between Schon and Jackson caused him to move on, Neal turned to Canadian guitar maker Larrivee.

We’ll be writing up the more common Schon guitars in another post, but in the meantime, here is an interesting article on Schon guitars from guitar luthier Phil Clark in Arizona;

Collectable Guitars pt 41 – Peavey T-60

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481The Peavey T-60 was the first electric guitar marketed by Peavey, who now sell a huge variety of guitars and amps, as well as PA equipment and more.

It lasted 10 years, from 1977 to 1987. It was also the first guitar ever made with CNC machines, which now form an integral part of mass-production of guitars.

It was designed by Peavey founder Hartley Peavey and Chip Todd.

The T-60 has an ash body and bolt-on maple neck and 21-fret maple or rosewood fingerboard, similar to Strats made by Fender around this time. It has two humbuckers, which on the T-60 usually have blade-shaped pole-pieces as opposed to the individual pole-pieces usually found on pickups.

According to reviews the maple neck is very thin, almost equivalent to that of the famed Ibanez Wizard profile. The bridge is similar to that of a Fender Telecaster, an “ashtray” bridge, although no pickup sits in it.

The body is a typical two-cutaway job, although it has roughly equal-sized cutaways as opposed to offset ones like on a Strat. It came in a variety of finishes, usually solid black or white, a transparent sunburst, or plain natural.

There was a large black scratchplate which housed four controls and an input socket. Sometimes this scratchplate would have the Peavey logo inlaid into it as well.

The T-60 was successful in the 70s and 80s.

Many people had one as a first guitar and their strength shows through in the fact that examples show up on eBay with barely a scratch on them.

Because they are not particularly rare or sought-after, prices are generally around £300.

More on building relic guitars

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481I found a great article today about the guys (John Page and Vince Cunetto) who built the first Fender Custom Shop relics back in the ’90′s and some of the techniques they use. Here are some interesting points;

Cunetto has spent countless hours doing R&D to find the right techniques.

To make the finger-wear marks on the fret board, he uses a architect’s powered drafting eraser. A few select screwdrivers and metal tools put chips in the guitar’s paint and dings in the wood.

“Every guy has his own little toolbox,” Cunetto says. “It’s like two painters using different brushes for the same thing.”

The colorful finishes on the guitars are done with old-school lacquers. Page says he always uses nitrocellulose instead of modern polyurethane. He says nitro is “more spiritual” to him.

To accelerate the aging of the finish, you speed up the cycles of hot and cold the instrument would naturally go through. Cunetto keeps freezers in the shop, and after a few rounds of cooling and warming, the nitrocellulose lacquer begins to disintegrate. The effect is a beautiful spider web of tiny checkered cracks in the finish that make a new guitar look like it’s 50 years old.

But there’s more to making a relic than screwdrivers, ovens, erasers and sandpaper. It has as much to do with art as it does with science.

“It’s not just about making it look beat-up,” says Page. “The thing I always admired about Vince is that he aged it in the right way, in the right wear patterns. If this was a country player or a blues player, what specific parts of the neck would be more worn? Where would the chips be?”

Cunetto says he tells his aging apprentices to dream up a back story for every guitar they work on, and to apply that story to the instrument. Every guitar ends up with its own personality, its own emotional resonance.

“Was this guy a country player? He’s going to have a lot of wear in the first position on the neck,” Cunetto says. “There’s probably a burn mark between the pegs from where he always sticks his cigarette. And he’s going to have a lot of buckle wear, because he’s wearing a big rodeo buckle.”

The full article can be read here

Star Wars Fan Builds Millennium Falcon Guitar!

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481I can’t say this appeals to me, as I am not a Star Wars fan but you have to hand it to the guy for his originality. Using an electric guitar and a vintage Millennium Falcon toy, Travis S. managed to build a unique instrument shaped like Han Solo’s starship.

Having built guitars with his father, in high-school, this was a relatively easy task for Travis S., but the idea of building something that has never been done before appealed to him.

An avid Star Wars fan, with a sizable collection of memorabilia, he decided to combine his love for the sci-fi franchise with his passion for guitars. It only took him a month, working on weekends, to complete the guitar, but he says he could have completed in under a week.

Since this is an electric guitar, using a plastic toy as the body doesn’t affect the way it sounds, but the artist had to add a maple block from the start to the end of the ship, to keep it from breaking under the tension of the strings.

The back of the Millennium Falcon guitar has been fitted with blue LED lights, powered by their own batteries.

Despite its futuristic look, the guitar was designed to play, and I can only imagine the reaction from the audience when Travis brings this one out to play!

Collecting Vintage Acoustic Guitars

Paul Brett on collecting vintage acoustic guitars;

Acoustic Magazines Vintage Guitar expert, Paul Brett’s DVD sample on collecting vintage acoustic guitars.

Paul is rated as one of the leading 12 string guitarists in the World and his ull DVD features 23 rare guitars, plus tips on collecting and sourcing these instruments.

Prince: ‘Playing guitar stops baldness’

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Suggestions that Prince may be a bit eccentric have been bolstered today by his assertion that playing guitar prevents baldness!

The 52-year-old musician, who is best known for songs such as ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Raspberry Beret’, said that the electricity flowing through the musical instrument must affect the body in some way.

Prince told The UK Daily Mirror: “Playing electric guitar your whole life does something to you. I’m convinced all that electricity racing through your body made me keep my hair.”

He also said: “Music is my life. It’s my trade. If I can’t get it out of my head I can’t function. I think I’m improving all the time. When I listen to my old records I’m ashamed of how I played them.”

Then again, I’ve played guitar for 30 years and I still have all my hair, so there may be something to his theory…let’s ask Joe Satriani…oh..

More on guitar pick collecting

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Following on from my last article about guitar pick collecting, I came across this website dedicated to this great little facet of our hobby.

Guitar-picks.com is the run by Alan Ralph, who seems to be the world expert in all things pick related.

Alan amassed his collection in 20 years. Another remarkable thing about Alan’s collection is that it was not grown via eBay purchases nor through buying collections from other collectors. Neither does he buy bags and bags of picks from those on the inside. Alan has done it the good old fashioned way … by being at the shows and through trading his duplicates with other collectors.

In the early 80′s I grabbed a few picks myself as I used to work at London’s biggest concert venue. Most were unbranded, although I can just about remember where most came from; George Benson, Angus Young, Tom Petty but I thought I’d photograph my meagre spoils from that period.

These were acquired from gigs and several of them were well used by the artist before being discarded; The JY  Styx ones are very thin, and seem to have taken a fair bit of abuse from his playing style! The Rick Nielsen one is from 1979 I think, the others from probably 81-84.

I think I’ll start scouting Ebay for a few more!

Vintage Guitar investing on CNN!

Rudy Pensa’s interesting comments on investing in vintage guitars..

Collectable Guitars pt 40 – Carvin V220T

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481Carvin is an American custom guitar brand. They are not particularly well-known but to those “in the know” they represent high quality and reasonable value for what they are. Many of Carvin’s designs in their 1980s heyday employed through-neck construction, which is now established and used often. When Carvin started using it, however, it was in its infancy, having only been used previously on the Gibson Firebird and early BC Rich guitars.

In the 1980s Carvin began to gain a serious reputation, and their guitars were used by Craig Chaquico of Starship, Jason Becker of Cacophony and Steve Vai before his endorsement from Ibanez. Their amps are also renowned, and Vai is a long-time user of his signature Legacy series.

Many of Carvin’s guitar designs are based on traditional shapes with their characteristic twists. However, in 1984 they introduced a very different shape to their line-up, which actually became one of their most popular designs. That guitar was the V220T.

The V220’s shape was unique and could perhaps be said to resemble the bottom half of an upside-down Jackson Rhoads crossed with the top half of an upside-down Gibson Explorer. It is a surprisingly elegant shape, and was available in black, white and red as well as a clear natural finish.

In terms of construction, the V220T consisted of a maple body and maple set neck, although quilted maple and koa bodies were options. The neck had 24 frets on an ebony fingerboard. The neck was topped off by an arrow-shaped headstock resembling that of a Gibson Flying V.

The hardware was high-quality. The pickups were an M22 humbucker at the neck and an M22SD at the bridge. The pickups had twice as many pole pieces as normal, for more sustain. The pickups came with white covers and could be said to resemble DiMarzios. There were two options for the bridge. The standard was a one-piece fixed bridge/tailpiece combination. The more common option was the then-new Kahler locking tremolo system, which ended up on most V220Ts. In terms of the controls, there was a master tone control, volume controls for each pickup, a three-way pickup selector and two coil-split mini toggle switches.

The V220 was a successful design which found favour with many significant rock players. It was discontinued in 1989 after a prosperous five-year run. It has since been reissued, however, and is in Carvin’s current product line albeit with some changes. The shape remains the same, although the tremolo is now a Floyd Rose model, and the construction is thru-neck.

The body is now alder and the controls have been simplified. The UK price of this new model, due to the higher-end features, is £1226 (quoted from Carvin’s website, and converted from dollars) but original 1980s models go for surprisingly little. A trawl on eBay suggests prices in the region of £300-£600.