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October, 2009:

New Taylor Swift Signature Guitar

Taylor Swift now has her own signature model guitar to be built and distributed by Taylor Guitars, the renowned acoustic and electric guitar company founded in 1974.

She joins Leo Kottke, Doyle Dykes and Dan Crary as artists who have a signature model built by the company. The Taylor Swift Baby Taylor guitar is based on the best-selling Baby Taylor guitar and is ideal for both promising players and accomplished pickers.

Taylor Swift Signature Acoustic GuitarAt three-quarters the size of a standard dreadnought, with a slim 1 11/16-inch neck and a comfortably compact shape, the guitar is just right for both the littlest player’s hands and anyone who likes to pick up and play on the go.

The top of the special-edition instrument is decorated with a screen-printed rosette design and the word “love” three times within a vine motif.

It also includes the title of her latest album, Fearless, and her signature near the bridge.

“For a beginner, finding the right guitar can be intimidating, but this guitar, it’s the perfect size,” she said. “Even if you’ve been playing for years, it’s a great size to travel with.”

The guitar’s list price is $398, but it is expected to be sold for around $299 when it becomes available later this month.

Guitar Collecting for the Financially Challenged

James Hetfield model guitarimmy Page model double neck guitarAs guitarists, most of us would love to have the financial means to acquire a dream collection of our favourite instruments.

Real world pressures usually get in the way though, and most of us restrict ourselves to having one or two guitars at most.

Our collecting urges can now be satisfied though, as well as solving the thorny issue of where to store a huge guitar collection!

MiniguitarUSA.com make very nice models of a massive range of guitars and basses. They are 10″ long and very detailed, with authentic looking hardware and paint finishes.

It isn’t difficult to find these types of models in various souvenir shops around the world, but the ones from MiniguitarUSA do seem to be of superior quality.

Prices start at around $19.99 and the range is huge; signature models, double necks, acoustics, basses, everything you can think of, pretty much.

They also makes cases, stands and miniature amps, drums and themed collections so you can build a collection around any musical subject or band of your choosing.

Go take a look for yourselves!

MiniguitarUSA

Collectable Guitars pt 36 – Fender Electric XII

The Fender Electric XII was a purpose-built 12-string electric guitar, designed for folk rockers. Instead of using a Stratocaster-body style, it used one with a Jaguar/Jazzmaster body style.

It was also a departure from the typical “Stratocaster”-style headstock, instead featuring a long headstock nicknamed the “hockey-stick” headstock. The Electric XII used a unique split pickup design and had a 4 way pickup selector allowing for neck, neck & bridge in series, neck & bridge in parallel and bridge only options. It also used a string-through-body design similar to a Telecaster to help increase sustain.

Designed by Leo Fender, the Fender Electric XII was introduced in late 1965 with the bulk of the production taking place in 1966 before it was discontinued around 1970.

Unlike its competitors’ electric 12-string models which were simply existing 6-string guitars with six extra strings, the Fender Electric XII was a purpose-built 12-string designed to capture a part of the folk-rock market.

The headstock was a departure from Fender’s usual Stratocaster-style shape and is sometimes referred to as the “hockey stick” headstock.

Leo Fender’s bridge design for this model is elegantly simple, works extremely well, and is regarded by many as one of his best designs of the 1960s. The bridge has an individual saddle for each string making precise intonation possible. The design is also string-through-body which helps to increase sustain.

Perhaps the most famous user of the Fender Electric XII was Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page who used one to record “Stairway to Heaven.”

Other notable users of the Electric XII were Pete Townshend, who used it extensively on the album Tommy, and folk-rocker Tim Buckley. Johnny Winter also used one briefly (strung as a regular six-string) during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

1960’s models currently sell for around £2000-2500.

Westone Cutlass Rebuild pt 2 – The Body and the Scratchplate

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481As I said in part one of the Westone Cutlass rebuild, I have decided not paint this guitar, but to keep it natural looking.

The original body finish was a pale, yellowy clear lacquer which suited the look of the guitar, but now has some quite deep scratches and dents on the front, back and upper horn (see pic).

Westone Cutlass body

Unlike a painted finish, it isn’t possible just to sand back the top coat and use wood filler to fill any blemishes. As the wood will be on display under a few coats of wood oil, the base has to be as perfect as possible.

This lead to a hot sweaty Sunday afternoon with an array of different types of sandpaper and a sanding block to remove all traces of the old finish and the blemishes. I was lucky, none of the marking was so deep that it couldn’t be sanded out, and after an hour or two I had a pristine body, looking as good as the day it was cut! The grain is very attractive, with some darker marks behind the bridge area which look like scratches, but and just part of the natural colouring of the Alder body.

Westone Cutlass body

The scratchplate damage is the other main issue with this guitar, but it is fixable with no huge chunks missing; just a split below the bridge and a little piece gauged out. I have mentioned in the Westone Thunder rebuild series that my other hobby is building model cars. This comes in useful with guitar repairs too, as I am used to doing close intricate work, and I also have a large array of tools and items for manipulating plastic.

One such item is a product called microballoons, which is a filling material. It is basically a very fine white resin powder which is mixed with superglue to produce a sandable filler which sets almost instantly. I began by gluing the crack in the scratchplate with superglue, then when that had dried, I used the microballoons to build up the surface again to the previous level.

Westone Cutlass scratchplateOnce this had dried, I carefully sanded back the excess coloured the white microballoon area with a black felt tip pen. It’s not perfect, but it’s a solid repair and hardly noticeable now the guitar is back together.

Westone Cutlass scratchplate

Next instalment will be about oiling the body and putting it all back together.

1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard is up for Auction

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481California Auctioneers will be auctioning one of the rarest rock guitars in the world; The 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard.

An amazing collection of over 70 Autographed guitars of the who’s who in rock n roll, contemporary art, and a rare collection of Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson Memorabilia.

1958 Gibson Les Paul StandardOn Sunday Oct 11th, 10 am California Auctioneers will be selling one of the rarest rock guitars in the world; The 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard.

The guitar is a one owner guitar, and is completely original. The collector’s piece was owned by John Ford of Jersey City, NJ, who was proud to call Les Paul his friend. Ford’s private collection of guitars is one of the world’s best, and the estate has decided to offer the Standard which Les Paul played on many occasions at Ford’s estate.

Also a major collection of autographed guitars by the who’s who in rock n’ roll, including The Who, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, the Eagles, a Nirvana stage played guitar from Vince Neil’s collection, Ozzy, Santana, Clapton, Dylan, Slash, Cream, and Johnny Cash will be sold on the 11th.

California Auctioneers is located just below Johnny Cash’s old estate, and he was known to frequent the bar where California Auctioneers now lives.

Modern Art by Lichtenstein, Warhol and Rauschenberg and Vintage collections of Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson memorabilia fill the walls along with the rare and vintage guitars. There are oddities like Marilyn Monroe’s enameled pill box, Michael Jackson’s pill bottle and memorial programs.

“This is the best collection of Americana history we’ve seen in our 45 years,” says Jewels Eubanks, auctioneer. The first of its kind, California Auctioneers’ sale promises to be full of rarities, excitement and fun and offers history to the highest bidder live, and online.

Located on 8597 North Ventura Ave, Preview is Saturday Oct 10th Noon – 5PM with hors d’oeuvres, Auction starts at 10AM on Sun Oct 11th. To view catalog and photos go to californiauctioneers.com. 805-649-2686.

Hendrix 1967 Stratocaster For Sale

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A 1967 Fender Stratocaster guitar owned by Jimi Henrix with a controversial past is now for sale after its owners settled with the late rock star’s estate.

The sunburst Strat is a right-handed one that was converted to left-handed use to accommodate Hendrix.

The owners, Rockstarsguitars.com, are asking $500,000.

The instrument, currently on display at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, was at the centre of a 2001 lawsuit. Disputed were claims by Experience Hendrix LLC that the guitar was stolen shortly after Hendrix’s death in 1970, or that it never belonged to him at all.

After two court trials and appeals, the estate settled with Rock Stars Guitars earlier this year for an undisclosed sum and an agreement that Experience Hendrix will give up its claim to the guitar.

As the story goes, Hendrix gave the guitar to roadie James “Tappy” Wright as a gift around 1968.

Rock Stars Guitars owners, Greg Dorsett of San Diego and David Brewis of England, said they bought it from Wright in 1999 for $60,000.

When the company tried to auction it on eBay in 2001, Hendrix’s estate halted the sale by questioning its ownership.

A lawsuit followed, ending with a verdict two years later that ruled in favor of the businessmen. The jury awarded the partners $131,000, saying Hendrix’s estate prevented them from getting market value on the guitar.

But after subsequent appeals, the case finally resolved in January with the settlement.

“I see this settlement as a complete vindication,” Dorsett said in a statement. “Hopefully the litigation experience has only added to this guitar’s unique history.”