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Warning of guitar ‘identification’ sites

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A number of websites have cropped up that claim to be able to provide visitors with information about their guitar via its serial number.

This has misled some guitar owners into believing that their counterfeit guitar is an authentic one. In fact, some counterfeiters or sellers of these fakes now even refer potential buyers directly to one website in an effort to verify the ‘authenticity’ of the fake guitars they’re peddling.

For example, one consumer recently forwarded Gibson’s manager of brand protection, Ric Olsen, a posting, wherein a fake guitar was being sold as an authentic Gibson. The ad read: “I am selling this beautiful Silverburst Les Paul Custom. Please note that though the headstock says Gibson, it is not a Gibson, but rather an Epiphone. You can verify this by putting the serial number, 08015553, into the following database:”

Web sites such as Guitar Dater Project also claim to be capable of identifying Fender, Ibanez and Yamaha guitars. Olsen wanted to be clear that this site and others like it — intentionally or not — are perpetuating the counterfeiting epidemic, one that is built on this kind of misinformation. With the years of shipping records in manufacturer’s books and dozens of variations on numerical schemes used across the years, decoding serial numbers isn’t an art that any one guitar aficionado, or piece of software, can undertake.

“Although Guitar Dater Project may correctly identify a guitar here and there based on historical data uploaded, it is a very unreliable way to truly identify and authenticate a Gibson or Epiphone guitar,” said Olsen.

“I could give you a serial number from a fake right now, and you could enter it on this Web site, and it would tell you it’s a real Gibson or Epiphone. But it’s definitely not.”

Counterfeiters are taking advantage of Guitar Dater Project and other similar websites by sending in a bulk of fake serial numbers. This data is uploaded and subsequently appears to show that particular serial number as authentic.

The Guitar Dater Project said that it: “aims to provide you with the information hidden in your guitar’s serial number in plain English. It is a work in progress and is constantly evolving, much of which is due to user feedback.”

Olsen warned that there are some easy ways to detect an incorrect reading from the site.

“If you come across, say, a ‘brand new’ guitar, but the serial number tells you it’s anything older than one year ago, question it,” he said.

“If you’re looking at a piece that is older than one year old and it’s being sold as ‘new,’ that’s a red flag because a lot of these fakes are coming with serial numbers that actually roll to a manufacturer date of up to five years ago or longer.”

Gibson has issued legal notices to the Web site to simply post a disclaimer but they haven’t responded.

For more information on identifying a guitar by its serial number, click here.


Vintage Guitar Parts

I found an interesting new website today, which may be useful for all of us at some point.

Fender Stratocaster Volume KnobThe Parts Drawer is a vintage guitar parts service, dealing primarily with Gibson and Fender (about 80% of their stock) but also catering for other makes too.

In their own words;

With over 20 years of experience in the business we offer an expertise that is unrivaled in the vintage guitar parts industry.

The Partsdrawer our flagship Internet store has a constant changing inventory and is updated daily.  We guarantee all parts that we sell are authentic and not reproduction.

Over the years we have had the opportunity to buy and sell thousands of vintage guitars and have noted every detail of their original parts.

We have seen just about every variation of  vintage guitars and hundreds of custom ordered vintage guitars from Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Martin, National , Guild and many others from original owners that have has unique but original parts to them.

Vintage Gibson guitar parts and vintage Fender guitar parts make up 80% of our inventory but we carry all vintage brand guitar parts when possible.  If we do not have the part you need in stock at the moment we will gladly try and track it down for you .

We have been a part of the vintage guitar community for over 20 years and has made critical connections over the years that enables us to offer the largest selection of vintage guitar parts in the country. We also have an endless supply of vintage guitar parts from our customer base throughout the world.

Many of our customers sell us parts , broken guitars , new old stock parts  from music stores and even trade in parts for our vintage guitar on a daily basis. This makes our business both exciting and interesting because we never know what will walk through our doors today.

Please take a moment and browse our site and view the fine selection we have at the moment . There is never a problem. The Partsdrawer offers a no questions asked 48 hour return privilege . A quick search on the Internet and the associated guitar forums and you will find our reputation is outstanding as is our commitment to our customers is unsurpassed.

Link is here; The Parts Drawer

Alan Rogan Interview

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-091Alan Rogan, legendary guitar technician with The Who and the Rolling Stones, talks about his work and guitars. Guitar tech to rock royalty for decades, Alan talks about his long stint with Who guitar legend Pete Townshend, and explains why Pete’s custom-modded Fender Stratocaster® guitar and Vibro-King® amp are “the real thing” …

Vintage Fender Colours

Fender 1960's Guitar Coloursicontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-091Just a quickie..I found Curtis Novak’s  great site with a wonderful pictorial view of vintage Fender colours.

Even if you aren’t interested in the colours, it’s worth having a look for the lovely photography.

In Curtis’ own words…

These are pictures of my sample blocks of Fender 60’s colors. I attempted to create as accurate as possible a representation of the colors Fender used in the 60’s. I used Dupont paint and the colors are mixed from the NOS Dupont paint mix numbers. They are cleared with Nitrocellulose Lacquer.

I have photographed my sample blocks in a way that attempts to show the dynamics of a given color rather than just a flat thumbnail image. I feel this better represents the color. I am still working at making the colors more accurate. Keep in mind that I am doing this and testing it on a few dozen different computers and they are rather consistent, but the color may very depending on your display and video card.

Fender 1960’s Custom Colours

Collectable Guitars pt 16 – The BC Rich Bich

BC Rich Bich 10 string guitarThe Bich was launched in 1977 alongside the Seagull and Mockingbird in the BC Rich range of the 1970s. It featured the most daring of BC Rich’s “vintage” designs, with a body originally penned by renowned luthier Neal Moser.

It featured two very unusual cutaways on the bottom of the body, a neck-through design, and originally was only available as a ten-string model (see photo), which had 4 tuning pegs at the bridge end for the 4 extra top strings.

However, this limited the appeal of the guitar somewhat, and so a normal six string was launched soon after. It featured all the usual other trimmings on 1970s BC Riches, including elaborate coil-splitting functions and a dizzying array of switches and knobs..

Master Volume, Rhythm Pickup Volume, Pre-amp #1 Volume, Pre-amp #1 On/Off, Pre-amp #2 Volume, Pre-amp #2 On/Off, Phase Switch, Pickup Selector, Six Position Varitone, Dual Sound Rhythm Pickup, Dual Sound Lead Pickup and Master Tone.

When all switches are off the guitar is in passive mode. At this time both pickups are controlled by the master volume. Both pick-ups are activated by pick up selector switch. The tonalities of both pickups in passive mode are controlled by the Master Tone.

Click on the preamp On/Off switch and get an instant 10 db boost from the gate. At this point the pick-ups are now controlled by the pick-up volume control while the master tone still controls the tonality of both pick-ups. With both pick-ups on, phase switch in the up position will produce an out of phase sound, (a tone resembling a half cocked wah sound).

To coil tap the lead pickup flick upward dual sound switch. This converts the pick-up into a single coil sound by separating the pick-up into one coil. Dual sound switch #6 performs the same task for the rhythm pick-up.
As you rotate the six-position varitone clockwise, each position produces a distinct sound based on whichever capacitor is in operation. You will also notice a slight decrease in gain but the pre amp volume can compensate the drop and then some. It is only as limited as your imagination.

All these switches can be use to your liking & when you find a particular sound you like, make note of the setting for future reference. The B.C. Rich Active Electronics produces a spectrum of 154 distinct sounds. If you really want to get really funky with all switches on as described rotate master tone counter clockwise. If you are a traditional blues player you will find sounds you never knew existed. Note that all pickups function while in passive as well as active mode. The battery can easily be changed by carefully removing the screws for the control cavity plate.

The main difference between the active and full active electronics system is that the full electronics system has two independent preamps as well as two volume switches which can work in unison or individually and can naturally distort the volume even at low settings.

The B.C. Rich Active and Full Active systems offer more sounds than any other onboard electronics.

The Bich is still available and is a very popular model in BC Rich’s line. It is available as a ten string, six string, bolt-on and through-neck versions, with prices starting from around £250. However, like other older BC Riches, the 1970s versions command upwards of £1000 when on sale.


Another Great Guitar Book

This book…

Totally Guitar

Has a wealth of great guitar information. Over 600 pages of guitar history, playing styles, pictures, and some information on rarely seen makes and models of guitars from all eras. As the Amazon reviews quite rightly say:

This book is a real bargain…not only is it excellent value at (rrp £20 – cheaper bought on Amazon), it is also full of fascinating and useful information. Chapters are;

Sound and Construction
Essential ingredients that determine the sonic characteristics and playing feel of the world’s most popular guitars.

Amps and effects
A look under the hood of the gear that shapes your sound.

A guide to care, cleaning, set-up, repair and minor customisation of your guitar.

Play Guitar
Take a taste of the ten most popular guitar styles – to find new inspiration for your own playing, or an entirely new direction.

  • Acoustic
  • Rock and Pop
  • Blues
  • Country
  • Rock’n’Roll
  • Metal
  • Latin
  • African
  • Classical
  • Jazz

Guitar Manufacturers
A unique illustrated directory with all the inside info on the great electric guitars and the stories of their development for 130 leading brands.

A detailed, comprehensive and fully illustrated guide to the language of guitar.

If you have an interest in guitars then there will be plenty in this book to entertain you. The maintenance section is particularly useful – with everything you need to start maintaining your own guitar rather than paying someone else to do it! I actually discovered that I had been stringing my guitar incorrectly for the last 10 years – I would tie up the slack straight onto the tuning head, which it describes as bad practice. That is just one example of many tips and tricks the section includes. It goes into real depth, covering many different types of guitar and setup.

The Play Guitar section is excellent too, covering a wide variety of styles and including useful and concise information to get you started playing in a new style, or rounding off your existing abilities.

The sound and construction, amps and effects and guitar manufacturers are for those who want to know more than just how to play. To me, all of the information there is very interesting and is well laid out and described – generally in chronological order.

Having said that, not everyone is interested in the detail. If you’re not then this book should still be of use (and great value!) as the first two sections discussed above really make this book great value for money. The informative sections are a bonus for those interested.

Whether a newbie or an experienced, knowledgeable, player I think there will be something in here for you. I would recommend this book to any guitar player as a great reference and really interesting read.

My own copy of this book gets referred to on an almost daily basis, it’s well worth the low price!

What makes a Guitar Collection?

I guess 2 guitars doesn’t add up to a collection, but maybe 5 does, even if it a small one!

Everyone who plays guitar has their own reasons for doing so..not all players are into their gear, whereas others (like me) take great pleasure from tinkering with instruments, modifying, refurbishing and rooting out new (old) guitars.

Eventually most players begin to see reasons to acquire extra guitars. Maybe an electric player realises they need an acoustic too, or an acoustic player decides to try out a resonator, or you decide to do some home recording and buy a bass to record with. At this rate, you end up guitar collection whether you intended to or not.

There are many types of collector; the high end big money types down to the young kids upgrading and swapping instruments between mates.

We intend to cover all areas of guitar collecting with this blog, so please bookmark us and visit often!

Guess what this is all about!

We’ll be talking about guitar collecting, different guitar models, beginners guitars, expensive guitars, where to find collectable guitars, advising on maintenance, pointing you towards some interesting guitars, online lessons, collating guitar information, guitar news, events, guitarists and interesting albums and gigs and just about anything else we can think of.

Bear with us while we get ourselves in gear and work out all this wordpress malarky…