I took this in trade yesterday and, while it’s undoubtedly not something fancy, it does have numerous exciting design and style quirks. It is clearly a Japanese guitar and sports the usual construct elements for the time, with all-ply construction in the physique and a multi-piece mahogany neck with a bound, rosewood fretboard, and Martin-aping appears. It’s also roughly 000 in size and specs with a tight waist, 24 5/eight” scale and 15 1/8″ reduced bout width.
The most significant weirdness is its tic-tac-toe bracing pattern (appears like a # sign) which is arranged in virtually exactly the identical way as one would locate on a 1920s L-1. I’m assuming this pattern was either utilized to cut expenses vs. x-bracing at the factory, but since of the sturdy tonebar-with-ladder elements of the design and style the pattern also has the advantage of maintaining the leading from deflecting like crazy (an situation with a lot of 70s laminate/ply guitars), rising sustain, and also maintaining the neck joint steady (as the elevated rigidity of the top signifies the block travels much less with tension over time — the principal reason guitars need neck resets).
In truth, the only true “dilemma” with the guitar given that it was built in 1970 is that the laminate layers were beginning to peel up from under the (fortunately bolted) bridge and it needed a great fret level/dress and setup. I also replaced a missing pickguard, lubed the tuners, and voila — it really is up and playing once more.
I did this guitar on the quick because I was curious about the sound. I adore the direct, basic, sustained, and fingerpicking-friendly tone of the old L-1s and this guitar does have a lot of the basics of that sound — such as a strange, punchy, crisp general feel to it that isn’t very vibrant or brittle, but something else. For an all-ply cheapie, it really is really pretty exciting.
The “crown” motif is lovably cheesy and the molded plastic nut speaks to the high quality-level of the factory construct. The neck is bang-straight and the truss operates perfectly, even so.
The adjustable saddle on the bridge is fascinating since it really is a 100% rip on the Gibson-style adjustable units, though the saddle is brass as opposed to ceramic (ew), rosewood (yum), or ebony (yum).
Just like on Gibson adjustable bridges, there are two “holders” for the adjuster screws which are themselves bolted into the bridge and bridge plate. This is a a lot far more secure and functional way of producing an adjustable saddle vs. the usual Japanese and Korean adjustable saddles noticed from the same time.
The back and sides are ply mahogany and in a handful of locations on the sides you can see some burn-by way of from more than-zealous sanding before the finish went on!
Right after a lube the tuners began functioning just fine, even though a set of inexpensive Kluson repros would be a excellent upgrade.
Anybody know about this brand? I am thankful for the apparent date-mark, though!Antebellum Instruments