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January, 2010:

Collectable Guitars pt 38 – Ibanez RBM Voyager Reb Beach Model

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Reb Beach was the guitarist with hair metal band, Winger, who achieved a reasonable level of fame in the late 80’s and early 1990’s. More recently he has been a member of David Coverdale’s Whitesnake.

This is signature guitar produced by Ibanez in the early 90’s is probably the guitar Reb is most closely identified with, in particular in his Winger days. Designed by Reb “on the back of a napkin on a plane flight when I’d had quite a bit to drink!” the guitar’s design echoes design features of some of Reb’s favourite guitars of the time, in particular the Steinberger GM model with its rear cutout.

The RBM1 and RBM 2 were the original Japanese models and later came the RBM 10 and 400. All Designed by Reb himself, the Voyagers combine great looks with a good tone. They were made with a Hawaiian Koa top on a mahogany body and a 22 fret maple neck with Bolivian rosewood fingerboard (also known as Pau Koa) and round clay dot markers.

Early models were fitted with EMG pickups; and 85 humbucker and two single coil SAs. Later models had Ibanez single coil SB10 pickups on the neck and middle positions and an Ibanez HB10 humbucker on the bridge. Early original models had a locking Floyd Rose tremolo system while later cheaper models were fitted with Ibanez’s own floating Lo-Pro trem. Most models came with gold hardware. Top of the line models were the Japanese made RBM2NT down to the Korean made RM10 model

The RBM model was Made in Korea at the Cort factory, and is pretty rare today. Quality is good, (being an Ibanez guitar) and the body shape is unusual without being too outlandish.

These days Reb has an endorsement deal and signature model with Suhr guitars, but still plays an RBM live ocasionally

Conan O’Brien Talks About Guitar Collecting

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481I came across this interesting clip today..I had no idea he was into guitars. Then again, being English, I don’t get to see  his show very often anyway and I guess I won’t be seeing it in the future either!

Being a big rockabilly fan he has his focus on Gretsch guitars…enjoy!

Guitar Collecting iphone app now available!

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We have developed a free iphone app for all our readers who want to read this site whilst on the move, or are sitting on the couch in front of the TV.

Just go to the Apple app store (direct from your phone or from Apple’s website) and search for “guitar collecting”.

Download the free app and then you can read the RSS feed of all our latest postings, and click through to the full article on the Guitar Collecting website.

We hope you like it..please tell all your iphone-owning guitarist friends, and leave us some feedback and comments about your thoughts!

How to Buy a Vintage Guitar

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481I found this interesting video on sale whilst browsing on Amazon yesterday.

How to Buy a Vintage Guitar [VHS]

This buyer’s guide teaches how to appraise, critique, determine originality and playability, recognize counterfeits and predict future investment values. Using both electric and acoustic guitars as teaching tools, George examines finish, hardware, fret type, inlays, bindings, peg head shapes, more.

As I’m sure you know, George Gruhn is one of the most well known experts in vintage guitars and this video will be packed with tips and hints built up from his life times experience in guitar collecting and dealing.

It’s an American tape, so foreign buyers should check they can play it in their own countries.

Lowell Kiesel, Founder of Carvin, 1915 – 2009

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481Just a little snippet of sad news;

It is with great sadness that Carvin announces the passing of it’s founder, Lowell C. Kiesel.

Mr. Kiesel was born in Nebraska in 1915, and as a young man, spent time in Wichita, Kansas, where he developed an interest in musical instruments; specifically, Hawaiian steel guitars, resonators and the electronic aspects of these instruments.

He founded the L. C. Kiesel Company in 1946, and began winding pickups on an old sewing machine owned by his wife, Agnes. The company was located in Los Angeles, briefly relocated back to Mr. Kiesel’s home state of Nebraska, and then moved back to southern California in 1949, where the name was changed to Carvin, after his two eldest sons, Carson and Gavin.

In the following years, the company expanded from pickups to guitars and basses, amplifiers, pro audio equipment and other musical accessories.

Mr. Kiesel’s leadership, technical expertise and innovative engineering concepts led the company for decades, and even after handing the reins of the company over to his sons, he maintained an office in Carvin’s San Diego headquarters and remained active in company operations.

He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by the Kiesel family and the entire staff of Carvin.

Kirk Hammett’s ESP Guitar for sale at $35,000

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481A ten year old guitar played by Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett is on sale online for $35,000. Hammett used the ESP Flying V guitar live on stage prior to August 1998.

Seller Neals Vintage Guitars is offering up the instrument on eBay.com for the fixed price.

A statement from the seller reveals, “Kirk played this guitar in concert quite a bit! Just after that, he gave me a backstage pass for a show at Irvine Meadows in Orange County, California on the Load tour, I went backstage and had everyone in Metallica sign the guitar, I also had them sign the Load CD. I then had the pickguard sprayed with a clear coat to protect the signatures.

“Then, in 2007, I was lucky enough to go the studio where Metallica was recording their most recent album, Death Magnetic.

At that time I had Kirk sign the back of the headstock and sign the letter of authenticity. I am including a photo of Kirk signing the guitar! This guitar has lots of road wear from Kirk playing it, but it is in good solid condition and plays great!”

Auction details here

Picasso’s “Little Guitar” recovered in Italy

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481Here is a weird but interesting little story…

A small guitar which Pablo Picasso had sculptured as a gift for his daughter Paloma has been recovered by the Italian Police.

The  Police state that Picasso had given the toy to his friend Vittorio Parisi.

Two years ago, Parisi, at the age of 92, handed over the little guitar to an Italian businessman and amateur artist who had promised to build a glass showcase for it to be exhibited at the civic museum on Lake Maggiore, but it was never seen again.

After Parisi’s death in January of 2009, his widow asked police to try to find the famous guitar.

She alerted them that the “Little Guitar” was still in the hands of the businessman. Police say the unnamed businessman never returned the work, keeping it in a shoebox in his home.

The guitar has never been valued, but is considered to be very valuable because of its originality.

The Italian businessman now faces fraud charges and a 3-10 year prison term.

It turns out father does know best

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481Here is a great story I unearthed the other day. It just goes to show that there are still some fantastic guitars out there, still waiting to be found!

This is the story of my father, who was a pack rat, his 50-year-old guitar, which sat neglected in our basement for years, and the extraordinary Hanukkah surprise our family received this year.

Much to my mom’s chagrin, my dad never threw out anything. Even old things would find a new use one day, dad used to say.

He not only kept things that were obviously meaningful–such as his old grammar school notebooks or his collection of corny, handwritten jokes he kept just in case he needed a groaner for a party.

He also saved stuff that no one else would think of keeping–like the hang tag for the 1956 Fender Esquire he bought in Saskatchewan not long after my parents immigrated to Canada.

Fate delivered a cruel blow about three decades ago when dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The tremors first began in his right hand–his scalpel hand–and my father had to give up surgery.

Soon it became too difficult for him to play the guitar and the Fender was tucked into its bag and stashed away.

About a decade ago, my brother-in-law expressed interest in learning how to play the guitar so my father gave him the Fender. But just like I never used that sewing machine I bought on a whim many years ago, my brother-in- law never got around to taking guitar lessons.

So the lonely Fender sat untouched in their basement for years.

A couple of years ago, after my father died, my brother told some of his guitar-playing friends about the Fender. After seeing photos of it, they concluded: “Dude, this is a serious guitar!”

They sat my brother down in front of the computer, showed him some vintage guitar sites and it slowly dawned on my brother that my dad’s old guitar might be quite valuable.

Still, procrastination set in and my brother didn’t actually take the guitar in to be appraised until a couple of weeks ago.

As my brother tells it, the vintage guitar specialist “opened up the case, looked at it quietly for about 30 seconds and his eyes lit up.”

That specialist, Chris Bennett, of the Twelfth Fret in Toronto, spent about 45 minutes examining the guitar. He took it apart to check out the markings and electronics, then put it back together and played it briefly.

“Other employees kept coming over to see what he was up to and they universally had the same reaction: ‘Holy (bleep)!’ ” recalls my brother. “There was a buzz in the store.”

My father probably paid about $180 for the Fender when he bought it in 1957, says Bennett. The Esquire, introduced in 1950, and played by musicians such as Jeff Beck when he was with the Yardbirds, was a big seller.

In fact, Fender now has a custom shop that recreates those pieces for about $3,000, says Bennett.

“It’s a way of connecting with the past and getting one of those guitars without paying $15,000 and up for them,” he explains.

“It’s a lovely guitar. It definitely made my day,” he says of my dad’s Fender. He appraised it at $25,000 US because it’s in great shape, hasn’t been altered and it’s got the original hang tag and carrying bag.

“My eyes bugged out,” says my astonished brother. “I was gobsmacked,” adds my mom.

Perhaps my Irish father always knew he’d immigrate to western Canada. Long before he ever bought the Fender, he was strumming songs such asRed River Valley, Home on the RangeandRidin’ Down the Sunset Trailon earlier guitars.

“(The guitar) was just occupying space as far as I was concerned,” says my mom. “I’ve decided that I probably won’t throw anything away.”

Mindelle Jacobs

Inside the Trussart Guitar Workshop

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481Most guitar collectors will be aware of James Trussart’s wonderful metal bodied creations.

The expensive hand-produced Telecaster, Jazzmaster and Les Paul shaped works of art are all individual; some are painted, some are bare metal, some are rusty, some a re a combination of all of these.

The article below is a fascinating look behind the scenes of the Trussart LA workshop.

Inside the Trussart Guitar Workshop