Guitar Collecting Rotating Header Image

Rare Guitars

Guitars Worth Leaving Behind

Gibson Don Felder Interesting 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

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

*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

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

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.

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.

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

Oh No!!! Van crashes into guitar repair shop

Doc Pittillo described the Saturday morning crash that has left him physically unharmed but financially devastated as something akin to a psychedelic experience.

van crashes into guitar repair shop“I turned around and actually saw the van come through the window of the store,” Pittillo said. “It was slow motion.”

Pittillo, owner of The Guitar Doctor, 18171 Euclid St., said he was plucking a guitar in front of his shop about a minute before a minivan slammed into its front window.

“If I were standing there, my guess is I would have been killed or really badly mangled,” Pittillo said. “There are usually a lot of people in the front of the shop. Man, if that would have happened with the customers there? Somebody would have been killed…there’s no doubt in my mind. It would have been really ugly”.

Only Pittillo and one of his workers, both who were near the back, were at the store at the time.Fire officials said they received a call about 11 a.m. about a vehicle that had crashed into the store at Euclid and Newhope streets. Other details about the crash, such as the driver’s name, remain unknown because Fountain Valley Police Department officials did not return multiple calls for comment.

Witnesses said that a gold-colored minivan crashed into the shop. The driver, his wife and teen-age daughter were also in the vehicle, they added. All seemed uninjured.While Pittillo said he is grateful to be unhurt, he said he lost at about $80,000 worth of valuables inside the store, including many vintage guitars.

One in particular was a candy apple-red 1965 Fender Stratocaster, worth at least $40,000, he said. “And I have no recourse,” Pittillo said.While he had insurance on the actual building, Pittillo said the contents inside were not insured because he couldn’t afford it.

“It’s not the value so much but that this instrument I played on the road for years,”

Pittillo said about the ‘65 Fender.

By Cindy Carcamo, Orange County Register

Collectable Guitars pt 28 – Daion Guitars

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Now here’s one you might not have heard of.

Daion were an old Japanese company operating from the famed Matsumoku factory for a short period in the early 1980s. The Daions were very high quality, and full of innovative features.

They had a range of electrics, basses and acoustics which were often very different to the usual guitars available from the bigger companies.

Daion GuitarsOne of the better known (and I use that term loosely) Daion models was the semi-solid ES-335-alike 555 Headhunter, which featured an innovative third cutaway on the bottom of the body.

The central solid block was a sandwich of maple and spruce, with ten grooves cut into each end for increased resonance. It also included a coil split function for each pickup and through-body stringing, a first for semi-hollow guitars.

The company also made two lines of solid-body twin cutaway guitars. The Savage utilised a bolt-on neck and two humbuckers, or three in the case of the Barbarian from the same line.

There was also a bass, similar in looks to a Gibson Ripper. The other run was the through-neck Power series.

This had the SG-alike Power Mk.X and the Mk.XX, which looked similar to a Westone or Ibanez Musician. These also had two humbuckers.

Daion also made acoustic guitars, some, in the Caribou and Gazelle series, with a similar bottom cutaway to the 555 Headhunter. There were even 12 string models.

Daion Power Solid Body Guitars

The Caribou and Gazelle were Daion’s response to the upcoming amplified acoustics market, while the Legacy and Year series were standard high quality acoustics.

Daion, for whatever reason, was a shortlived brand which never really took off.

Very few people have ever even heard of this underrated company, which is why, in the rare event of a Daion of any type coming up for sale, it never generates as much interest as it probably should.

Daions sell infrequently, so prices are unclear. I found a Daion Acoustic which sold for $850 a couple of years back, but Ebay searches didn’t bring up any guitars at all. I would guess the 555 semis would be worth between £500-1000 and  if the trickle of enthusiastic players is to be believed they are worth every penny of whatever figure they sell for.

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 22 – Shergold Guitars


icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-091Shergold was a little-known guitar company started in 1967 by Jack Golder and Norman Houlder, who had both previously worked for Burns.

They were located in Harold Wood, East London for most of their professional career.

Shergold Modulator Guitar

Shergold Modulator Guitar

Some models introduced by Shergold were the Masquerader, the Modulator (with active electronics), and the Custom Double, a twin neck guitar available in several different neck combinations. The Masquerader is the best known and most numerous of Shergold’s models, but is still very rare.

Also made was a budget series, the Meteor and Nu Meteor.

Some other models which have been sighted but were made either as prototype models or in very limited runs include the Activator, (suspected to have exceeded no more than 20 units) the Trojan and the Triumph – a rebadged Les Paul style model originally made by Rosetti.

Shergolds were never successful, chiefly because of the weird styling of many of their models, and would be very collectible today as interest grows in unusual old British guitars. I’m not sure how much the different models would be worth, but my guess is at around £500 upwards for a nice one.

Own a piece of Clapton History!

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-091Vintage Guitar Gems, an established Vintage/Used Guitar & Amp store in the Conejo Valley was contacted by Yvonne Elliman (EC’s backup singer for many years as well as a songwriter, recording artist and actor) to sell the guitar that was used to record ‘Let it Grow’ during the famous 461 Ocean Blvd recording sessions at Criteria Studios in Florida in 1974.

Martin D12-20 GuitarMark Lane, the man behind Vintage Guitar Gems is thrilled that Yvonne, a great friend, thought of him and his company when she finally decided to part with this rare beauty.

“I know Yvonne loved and treasured that Martin but her son Ben is starting his dream restaurant with his fine culinary talents and the investment with the proceeds of the Rare Martin sale will jump start Ben’s business and help ‘Let it Grow’ as well.”

Estimates on the final sale price are between $200K & 400K! It is on eBay now and will run for 7 more days.

Ebay link to Clapton’s Martin acoustic

Collectable Guitars pt 11 – The Gibson Moderne


icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Gibson Moderne

Gibson ModerneThe Gibson Moderne is one of Gibson’s most infamous instruments, and due to its limited production and the story surrounding it, it has acquired semi-mythical status.

It was first announced in 1958. The Moderne was slated to be part of a very modernistic three-guitar series including the Flying V and Explorer, now two of the most successful guitars ever made. So what happened to the Moderne?

In 1958 the three guitars were just too ahead of their time. They were dropped unceremoniously within a year.

The Flying V and Explorer were reissued in 1967 and 1976 respectively, and continue to have huge followings. In 1958-9, only 96 Vs and 22 Explorers were made, but there was simply no demand for the particularly bizarre Moderne- not a single one was made, or so most people think. Some collectors have been slavishly trying to track down a 1958 Moderne for decades, to no avail.

As far as anyone knows, no Moderne was made until the “reissued models” of 1982. The only information collectors have to go on is the original patent drawing and a 1958 shipping record.

The Moderne was “re”- introduced in 1982. The 1980s models were not very successful either, with only 183 being made in the initial run. Other than the Korean-made Epiphone copies, Gibson has refused to manufacture the Moderne again and there have been none made since the original “2nd series” was phased out in around 1983.  These can occasionally be found for sale, and are commanding high prices as they are still a rarity.

Also not very common is the little-known Ibanez Futura, a copy of the Moderne made in the 1970s and 80s.
Ronald Lynn Wood, a guitarist originally from Flint, MI became fascinated by the Moderne as a young man and set out to unravel the mystery of this elusive guitar. His new book, Moderne: The Holy Grail of Vintage Guitars, has just been released by Centerstream Publishing, and it is the most exhaustive and comprehensive accounting to date of the search, the history, and the rumors and facts surrounding the Moderne.

You can buy it here;

Moderne Guitar: Holy Grail of Vintage Guitars

Price: £7.02

3.0 out of 5 stars (2 customer reviews)

14 used & new available from £7.02

Collectable Guitars pt 9 – The Fender Performer

Fender’s Katana was a flop, selling barely any units in its 1986 one-year, lifespan, even when a cheaper and more basic Squier brand version was launched. Another model was also launched to be made exclusively in Fender’s new Japanese factory, which also departed from Fender’s traditions- the Performer. This guitar resembled a Fender Stratocaster mixed with a BC Rich guitar, with a small, angular body and pointed horns.

performerThe unusual body and headstock shapes have been rumored to have originated in the shape of the scrap wood leftover from making Japanese Stratocasters. The body is small with a deep double cutaway. The tuning machines are found on the upper edge of the triangular headstock. The fretboard is two octaves and features a locking nut and jumbo frets. The bridge is a floating System I tremolo. Both bass and guitar are built to the highest level of quality and detailing. For example, the controls have inset rubber grips, the tuning heads have fully enclosed gears and the jack sockets are an enclosed, not ‘skeleton’, type, in contrast to many other Fender products with more ‘economy’ hardware.

The Performer boasted two angled custom humbucking pickups with a coil-split function and a Floyd Rose-style locking tremolo. The guitar features a volume knob, a tone knob, a pickup selector switch (neck/both/bridge) and, most importantly, a coil tap switch which disables one coil of each humbucker, resulting in a guitar with two single-coil pickups. This is perhaps the guitar’s most famous and useful feature, as it can produce heavy, fat humbucker sounds as well as crisp, sharp, Strat-like tones.

Both were discontinued in 1986 and haven’t been made since. These two guitars are a little-mentioned and underrated point in Fender’s history.

twitter-3a1