TagGuitar

1954 Gibson J-160E Electric Dreadnought Guitar

I wish I’d had time to get a soundclip simply because this guitar is a honey. It was brought-up right now (a surprise to me) by a repair client and, whilst it was pretty great to start with, it was amazing when completed-up. The frets got a level/dress, the pinholes got a fill/redrill, it got a spot-on setup, and each the owner and I managed to get a broken original tuner up to snuff and got them back on the instrument. It has no cracks (amazingly) and is, aside from the volume and tone pots, entirely original.
The J-160E of 1954-55 is a ladder-braced, thickly-reduce, strong-wood instrument that appears from the outside one thing like a Southern Jumbo but with a mysterious 15 (rather than 14) fret neck join, an electric pickup hiding at the end of the fretboard, and a couple of knobs stuck on the leading. It does not sound at all like a J-45 or Southern Jumbo (it’s thuddy and quiet acoustically), but it does feel like one in the hands and lap. As a bonus, for the 1954-55 years the saddle is adjustable for height via a couple of knobs on the bridge wings.

I am amazed at the condition of this guitar — it basically looks wonderful!

If you have noticed the nickel strings with a wound G — very good on you! — as they’re required, really, to drive the pickup properly. As I recall the nut width was 1 11/16″ and this had a medium-sized C-shape neck profile.

While the pickup looks like it is almost certainly something modest, it’s actually a P90 hiding below there! That is way cool in my book and it was no surprise to me when the owner plugged this in and zowee — there is a flattop interpretation of that early ES-125 tone coming by way of the amp! Beautiful, delicious, and warm/clear rather of thick and muddy.

This pickguard style was apparently employed for just a brief time, too.

The pins are not original.

The knobs are appropriate but one has lots its indicator.

The owner and I had a fun escapade obtaining the D-string tuner back in order. Its button-shaft was broken at the worm, although fortunately the button and remainder of the button-shaft were nevertheless fine. The owner had taken the housing apart and so I took a worm/shaft from a components-bin 40s Kluson tuner and installed it into the original housing.
I then very carefully removed the button (I had to drill out the button at the “ring” and beyond the shaft’s “paddle” to wiggle it off) from the original tuner and put it on the mated shaft. Voila! I was shocked the fix worked so effectively and now the guitar is wearing its (pricey) original gear.

Yeah — the guy has the original pink-lined case, as well — albeit it with a lot of duct-tape about the back edges.

1933 National Triolian Polychrome “Surf Green” Resonator Guitar

Overlook custom-colour Fenders — this thing is the ticket! I’m utilized to seeing National Polychrome Triolians in yellow and off-yellow variations, but this “surf green minty avocado sunburst” colour is just remarkable. I adore it — and it sounds as excellent as it looks! Also negative it is not mine. A client brought this in to me in hopes of consigning it but his family, conscience, and totally free will informed him that it’d be greater to bring it residence rather following seeing how the repairs turned-out.
And these repairs? The simple element was basic — resetting the neck angle — but the board plane/refret procedure was convoluted for a assortment of factors. Right after that it just necessary a new, compensated saddle slot reduce and then a new bone nut, saddle, and setup. The finish result, nevertheless, is one thing that plays perfectly and has a single-cone sound to die for. It’s airy, open-sounding, balanced, and full-on with a tremendous quantity of volume and punch. It is in fact almost certainly the greatest National I’ve heard — and I’ve worked on some truly excellent Nationals more than the previous couple of years.

Aside from the color, verify out what gorgeous shape it’s in! There are no dings or dents, extremely tiny playwear on the coverplate, and the put on to the finish is mainly confined to the edges (exactly where you’d expect it).
These steel body, flat-cut f-hole, 12-frets are amongst my preferred National styles as the bodies seem to resonate a bit much more freely than the later, rolled-hole models.

I had to replace the (replacement, older) nut as the spacing was terrible on it. This 1 is bone.
Most everything on the guitar is original, nonetheless, aside from the nut and saddle — including the good tuners.

I refretted with jumbo-size, pyramid-shaped fretstock. I wanted to be confident that soon after the agonizing refret job, no one would have to deal with pulling/refretting the guitar for a very extended time. These frets will consume and spit-out level/dress jobs for many, several, several years to come.

What you never see is my new, effectively-located and compensated saddle slot reduce into the original biscuit (about 1/eight” to the rear of the old 1) and the new bone, compensated saddle. Yes — I use bone as opposed to maple — and each and every time I’ve created the upgrade the sound is greater in the finish… not much more shrill but definitely far more nuanced (in a excellent way).

The tailpiece still has its original felt dampener. Good!
Internally, following resetting the neck, I removed the dried-out original “gasket” (as effectively as a lot of random electrical tape on the cone itself…!) in the soundwell and replaced it with a thin “duct-tape-lining” technique that I’ve been using for the previous couple years. It performs like the old felt gasket but doesn’t seem to damp the cone at all — it just keeps the edges from rattling on “just the appropriate note” if the cone isn’t one hundred% flat following all these years.

This came in with a strap button on the heel but I replaced it with an older-searching variety to match the “endpin” strap button.

The stencil job nonetheless looks great!

So… the serial dates to a four-year period, although the later quantity suggests 1933-1934. I am guessing it is about 1933.

1934 National Style Resonator Guitar

Nationals are usually well-liked with customers in the shop due to the fact they’re, properly, so darn cool. This is a Style from 1934 and has the “modernized” 14-fret neck, smaller sized body, and “silver” physique with a tropical-scene, etched finish. Materials on the Style 0s are upgraded over the more ho-hum Duolians and Triolians and this sports a maple neck capped with an ebony fretboard, pearl dots, and binding on the neck, as well.

A consumer dropped this off for consignment and I owed him a spot in line (for a guitar withdrawn), so I did this one particular up on the fast. It got a neck angle reset (these have a huge dowel inside like in banjo construction so this is comparatively straightforward), a fret level/dress, a bit of adjustment on the cone, a new bone saddle, and a proper setup. It really is strung with 12s and plays spot-on at 1/16″ DGBE and 3/32″ EA at the 12th fret. The neck is dead straight (with a Gibson-like 24 3/four” scale) and the sound is robust, powerful, and — frankly — scrumptious. It’s like a double espresso rather than a cup of great, robust coffee.

This guitar also has the desirable “chicken-foot” pattern for its coverplate. There’s patina and use-wear to the finish, of course, but it’s even, mellow, and does not distract. The etched scenes (palm trees on the front) are clear and crisp, although it’s awfully challenging to shoot them in a shop complete of antiques reflecting off of it from every single direction!

The nut is bone, original, and 1 three/4″ in width. It was shimmed-up lightly in its previous.
The guitar is also all-original except for the tuners (which are period and largely appropriate) and saddle.

The fretboard is ebony and has a light radius to it. The dots are pearl.

This guitar initially had 4 dents on the reduce bout. I removed two of them on the back, one particular on the front, and then got this one particular (close to the edge) a bit far better but did not want to over-do it as these guitars have the seam on the leading edge and banging away at it could burst the solder. It’s non-apparent unless you happen to be searching for it.
I always find it a bit funny to do “body operate” on a guitar…

The finish on the neck is performing that typically “nitro” checking and whatnot.

The tuners, although period-proper, are not the originals. These are in fact probably a bit greater in high quality and are Waverlies.

S5472 dates this to 1934.

The original case comes with it but is tiny much more than a dust-cover!

1968 Gibson Everly Brothers Jumbo Flattop Guitar

Gibson only produced so a lot of Everly Brothers guitars and this one is an odd duck with its mahogany back and sides (most are maple or walnut). Its serial dates it to 1968 and it is essentially an alternate vision of Gibson’s highly-collectible J-185 model with its 24 3/4″ quick scale, 16″ jumbo physique (compared to the 17″ of a J-200), and flashy trim. The neck on this is rock-and-roll swift and slim (C-shaped) with a 1 1/2″ nut width. Barred chords and cowboy shapes are straightforward-peasy, right here, and you could certainly think about this as a heavy-handed strummer’s dreamboat — or a great choice for an old-fashioned lady country singer 
I worked on this for a buyer who’s preparing on consigning it (now), and it was a tough job due to the presence of a botched neck reset completed in the past (1973 to be exact, per an interior stamp on the backstrip). The rest of the old repairs (some hairline cracks, a replacement bridge, and a headstock crack repair) have been accomplished really nicely and have passed the test of time. My work integrated resetting the neck once more (which involved shoring-up a “pinched” neck joint), a fret level/dress, bridge pinhole fill/redrill, modification of the saddle slot, a new saddle, regluing the treble-side broken pickguard, and common setup.

Following work it plays on-the-dot at 3/32″ EA and 1/16″ DGBE at the 12th fret, has a healthily-tall saddle, and is structurally stable. It also, of course, looks grand!

This guitar has a strong spruce prime, strong mahogany back, sides, and neck and an ebony bridge and fretboard. It really is got binding on the top, back, and board edges and herringbone inlay at the leading edge.

You can see the old headstock crack repair right under the E-string tuners. The job was properly-done and it remains steady.

It appears like the fretboard might have had a leveling in the past as the best of the most significant star has its point “nipped” out due to a shallow board. The nut, after once more, is 1 1/two” and the neck has a rapidly, slim, C-shaped profile. The frets are possibly replacements and are jumbo-sized with lots of meat left after my level/dress job. The neck is straight and the truss works well.

There are a lot of small cracks in the fretboard binding.

When I reset the neck, I knocked the angle back a bunch and had to wedge the board up a bit at the extension. This location is not the most beautiful aesthetically simply because of mucky repair-function accomplished in the past, but it really is “all great.”
The “pinched” neck block region is due either to damage sustained when the guitar originally was dropped (I’m guessing) or to a person not completely-regluing the neck block to the top. It really is stabilized, now, and very good to go.

It really is nice to have these original guards!
The trim is pretty good on this guitar, too, particularly with the herringbone purfling.

The owner thinks this is a non-original bridge. That’s completely feasible but the original style of bridge largely utilized on these was a giant “reverse belly” bridge with an adjustable saddle. If that had been the case on this guitar I’d anticipate to see the footprint and I never consider the guitar’s had a refinish at all (judging by the crud under the pickguards).
So, either the original bridge was a smaller kind, a normal Martin-style “belly” bridge, or it was this a single althought this has clearly been shaved down. The original bridge plate (which is extremely thin 1/32″ or so rosewood) was also capped with a really thin 1/32″ or so maple plate in the previous.
When I did my perform I filled the “swooped” pin holes (in an arc) and then drilled a new set of holes on a line to get a lot more of a 45-degree back-angle on the saddle. I also enlarged and deepened the saddle slot so I could place a good, tall, drop-in saddle in place and have it remain nice and snug. It’s worked-out swell.

The treble-side pickguard was off when this came in and was broken in a handful of pieces. I reglued it back on and suggested to the owner that even even though the celluloid has some “outgassing” (crumbling) issues, that it would be cooler to re-use the original. I think you can not beat the look of the actual issue even with some flaws.

The original tuners have been long gone and it looks like an individual added “steps” for these 70s Rotos to be installed. It appears excellent, even though.

Please don’t blame me for some of the mucky edges about the neck region — it was a bit murky in spots when it got here.

I forgot to mention that there’s an old 70s Barcus Berry installed! It is the extended “bar” kind and I reglued it under the saddle location. The output is excellent and it sounds like a much less-articulate K&ampK. These are some of my favored old transducers and they are far much better than an old undersaddle pup.

“1973 – Restored by Valdez – West Hollywood.”

An original Gibson tough case comes with it — in excellent shape!

Let’s speak condition issues. I pointed out that the neck had a prior reset before mine — and it also has a previous reglue of a split in the reduce portion of the heel. No worries — it’s great.

There are also a couple of small hairlines (glued-up in the previous) on the side, here.

You saw the headstock break from the front before — here it is from the back.

There are also some clumsily-reglued modest hairlines on the back of the guitar. Here’s a single.

Here’s one more. I’ve added tiny cleats to each of these exactly where I could get them in spots not cluttered with glue beading on the inside…

This 1 is good and I can’t even spot it on the inside.

The ugliest is this two 1/2″ one particular that wasn’t glued-up “flat.” It’s been glued-up and is steady but shows a tiny “edge.” It is way in the reduce bout so I couldn’t truly reach that far in to scrape off the excess glue and cleat it. No worries, although — it doesn’t move and has been this way, presumably, considering that ’73.

1970 Harmony “Buck Owens” Flattop Guitar

I had no concept that these old Buck Owens red-white-and-blue Harmony 000s were so useful! It is even far more humorous to me, also, since the back and sides are birch rather than the mahogany of the H1203 — which is the closest comparable model. It’s, of course, very cool and very “nation” — so I get the popularity. Who wouldn’t want to make an impression whilst toting 1 of these yellowing old gals?
This has languished in my repair racks for practically a year, now, and at some point the sawdust grew thick adequate to clean it off and do the job. This got a neck reset, fret level/dress, giant new ebony saddle to replace the missing adjustable unit, a set of old parts-bin bridge pins, some lube/cleaning of the original tuners, and the installation of a new headstock veneer (much more on that in a bit). It now plays as it should and has a excellent, midsy, folky, thumpy sort-of tone.

I am nearly certain that this never ever wore a pickguard. There’s not considerably to recommend anything was ever on it.

So, the headstock veneer — grr! This was a new item when it came in — a fresh repro in blinding white and blue. I installed it nicely and drilled the tuner holes and decided to shoot it with a coat of “amber” nitro… only to uncover that the blue was sprayed-on rather than printed or molded and the paint proceeded to crackle and funkify. Ugh!
My program was to hit it with the amber coat and then rub it out a bit to lower the yellowing effect and match the discoloration on the back of the headstock. This occurred alternatively — oh nicely! We win some, we lose some. Since it was “antiqued” already, I re-used the original (broken) truss-rod cover, as well, by mounting it on some sticky-backed pickguard material. Neat-o.
In real life, the yellow isn’t an virtually sickly-green-yellow like in the photo, though — so I consider on the whole this might’ve been a bit of a draw as opposed to a loss. It nevertheless beats 46 years of glue residue on the headstock.

There’s lots of height on that saddle. I utilised ebony rather than bone since the slot was incredibly oversized to suit an old (missing) adjustable saddle gizmo. This is less complicated on the eyes than a mammoth hunk of bone and, as a side-advantage, calms down the zingy highs that birch back/sides can bring out.

The strap button was on it when it came in.

The date stamp pins this to 1970.

1960s German-made Tailpiece Parlor Guitar

I’m not positive if this is East or West German, but it really is absolutely a 60s, all-ply, parlor-sized box in the classic tailpiece style of student guitars of the time. It is the sort of guitar I never typically get a possibility to perform on (even though I take pleasure in them) as the owners have a tendency to not want to fork any dough over to turn them into true guitars — sort of like the very same concern that takes place with the venerable Harmony H929s. As a outcome, people miss-out on instruments that can be tiny gems.
Tonally, the light ply develop with a tailpiece setup and ladder-bracing provides this a gypsy-jazz, forward, snappy sound. It really is loud for its size and has a distinct “bite” which, when utilised on record, sits in its own space in a mix (like an archtop guitar). It is also got a quick 24 1/4″ scale length which indicates it plays super-slinky — specially with the 50w-11 strings I’ve employed on it per its unreinforced neck.

I will admit, nonetheless, that these need to have a lot of ironing-out to make them “very good” instruments. I had to level/dress the frets, compensate and sand down the bridge, resolve the problem of a shy back-angle from the tailpiece to the bridge, and sort-out a “very good notion” version of the zero-fret notion that was bungled at the factory.

I am pretty certain the neck is some sort of maple. This has a 1 11/16″ nut width but the stained-maple board is flat and he neck has a medium-ish C-shaped profile.
This initially had a a single-piece zero-fret/nut contraption in molded plastic, also, but it was ill-conceived and had to be removed to level/dress the frets. I recut that original plastic nut to be a “string guide” nut only and then added a vintage brass fret to make a correct zero fret just before I did the level/dress job.

There have been pearl dots in the board but I also added side dots when I was going by means of this.

Hilariously, the screw in the middle of the tailpiece string-anchor pulls the tail down towards the prime. This is a remedy I’ve utilized in the past on some United-made parlors of the exact same common makeup to get them functional. I’ve also wrapped the strings over and about to get the string-ends as close to the leading of the guitar as achievable (and therefore enhance back-angle on the saddle).

1930s Regal-made Jumbo Flattop Guitar

I’ve by no means handled a period Regal flattop this large prior to. I’ve grown accustomed to the “wide 000″ flattops they produced in the late 30s/early 40s, but this early/mid-30s bruiser is a full 16 1/4″ on the lower bout and four 1/two” deep at the endpin. It is also a 12-fret design and style, ladder-braced, and has a longer 25 three/eight” scale length. That tends to make it a lot like the considerably-later Harmony H1260 in terms of size and general design and style-style, but with the 30s featherweight construct and 12-fret joint in its favor, this guitar sounds several occasions a lot more “lush,” specially fingerpicked.
This is a customer’s guitar and has been awaiting repair for a lengthy time. It came in rather nasty but got “the functions” — a neck reset, new bridge (and much repair to a broken prime under the old bridge), a fresh refret with medium stock frets, new bone nut and saddle, side dots, and a lot of brace reglue jobs. It had a quantity of old repairs — such as some very sloppy crack repairs and finish muck on the back — but now that it really is tidied-up this point is a joy. It really is a excellent fingerpicker and a competent flatpicker, although it took me a handful of minutes to figure out how to coax the flatpick to get the tone I wanted out of it.

The best is solid spruce and the back and sides are strong birch. The neck is poplar and has a stained-maple fretboard and originally it had a stained-maple bridge. All the purfling and detail perform is standard of Regal for the time.

It even has these funny Regal “mini-button” tuners. The nut is 1 three/4″ and the neck has a huge V-shaped profile. I’ve strung this with 50w-11 strings and, though the neck is dead-straight, my major concern longevity-smart is the prime.

The guitar had been played so ferociously over its life that giant divots have been worn into the board and the original frets were so pitted I had to refret. It is not usually that I do have to refret when necks don’t have warp issues, so that is saying one thing about the life it is led.

The style reads like an outsized version of the “prototypical 30s Regal parlor guitar.”

The new bridge is a rosewood one, although I chose the most grey-looking one I could discover to match the appear/aged-in funk of the original stained-maple bridge. It was a chore to get this one particular on since the prime was quite ripped/broken beneath the original bridge’s footprint.
I actually added a bridge plate “cap” of new soundboard cedar more than the original strapping brace/bridge plate (produced from soundboard spruce in a wide/thin patch) to make confident it was structurally reinforced.

When this came in the back was wavy like the ocean on a stormy day. Finagling with clamps and external boards and whatnot saved possessing to take the back off and got all of the back braces down pat (save 1 — the lowest — which appears to have sprung itself a little out of shape over time — it really is not 100% but “very good sufficient for government perform”) and the back fairly flat.

A bit of lube and the tuners were prepared to go…

Interestingly, there was never an endpin on it.

1981 Fender Bullet A single Deluxe Electric Guitar

The Fender Bullet is an odd, early-80s Fullerton-produced guitar that was quick-lived prior to the “Bullet” branding moved to Japanese, and then Korean, and then Chinese Squier-label imports. This is the 1st version of it (“Bullet One”) in its “Deluxe” kind, meaning that alternatively of an integrated metal pickguard/bridge, this one has a separate plastic pickguard and separate metal hardtail bridge with string-via mounting.
Ahead of the Bullet guitars moved to import status, they changed to a a lot more Strat-like body in 1982 with distinct pickup alternatives. I favor the look, feel, and character of this smallish, Tele-influenced body rather, and picked this up for myself to fill a solidbody electric guitar void in the collection. I’ve been maintaining my eyes out for the “correct” a single for a year or so, now, and debating amongst a Bullet (which has common 25 1/2″ Fender lengthy scale) and the guitars it replaced (Musicmasters or Duo Sonics with 24″ quick scale) in the Fender lineup at the time.
Why the Bullet? Well — it has the offbeat Mustang/Duo Sonic pickup configuration and place but due to that long scale and Tele-shaped headstock, it absolutely has really a bit much more of a Tele vibe in terms of the way overtones bounce around and the way the strings respond with the pickups. It really is a excellent hybrid and I find the neck tone a lot far more valuable than a common Tele and the middle position way far more helpful in that it really is got a bit of that Strat sound thrown in. It really is weird but unmistakably Fender.

The opaque, vibrant red finish hides that the physique is ply. It really is thin, lightweight, and sturdy, nevertheless, so I can forgive the expense-cutting measure.

The nut is 1 five/8″ and the radius feels about 12″ on the board. The narrow nut is made-up for by a bit of a chunkier V/C hybrid neck shape that recalls 60s guitars a tiny bit. I cannot aid but love the Tele vibe, although. The nut is a replacement bone 1 but every little thing else (save one particular spring at the bridge adjusters) seems original.

The board has pearl dots and old-school heel-adjustable truss access.

All I necessary to do on this guitar when it came in was give it a great setup and polish it up. Someday I may well do a fret level/dress but it did not seem to need it at the moment.

I cannot complain about string-via.

1950s Vega E-50 Hollowbody Electric Guitar

Vega guitars are always tres cool, although sometimes their later items (60s, largely) can be of the questionable sort as they usually join Vega necks (great quality) to fancier Harmony bodies (so-so to decent high quality). This one seems to be entirely a Vega solution and it has an off-kilter all-laminate physique style that is a bit thinner and has a flatter-than-normal back. Acoustically it truly sounds pretty very good, but of course its greatest attribute is that it tends to make a great electric jazz box (although the owner puts it to fingerstyle, nation-blues use). It is mainly original even though the original pickup was replaced with a neck-mounted humbucker and the bridge and one particular tuner are replacement parts (all of that was carried out before I got my hands on it).
I worked on this as a bit of a rush fix since the owner’s going on tour this week, from what I gathered. It required a neck reset as the fretboard extension was ramping-up and the joint was a bit loose. I did that and then gave it a fret level/dress, setup, and tidied-up the electronics and knobs. The owner strings it with some thing like 54w-12 with a wound G and that sounds fantastic with the jazzy humbucker. It’s got a great, smooth, complete sound to it.

The nut is bone and 1 11/16″ in width. There’s a light radius to the board and the scale is 25″ on-the-dot. It is got a sort-of Gibson-meets-Martin really feel, all round, to the neck profile.

The board is ebony and bound.

The owner stated the pickup fix was a bit of a rush (he was on tour at the time) and I recommended that maybe in the future he’d like to place something in or on the best like a P90 or full humbucker for tastiness’ sake.

The replacement bridge was effectively-conceived but necessary some dialing-in intonation-wise. It is good to have a lot of adjustment area post-neck-reset, also.

The figured maple veneer on the back looks quite great to me.

1985 Alvarez-Yairi DY-47 Dreadnought Guitar

The very same consumer who owns an ’86 DY-45 got this ’85 Japanese-made DY-47 serviced and photographed on the same wood pile (even though the pile’s a bit larger, now). These 80s Alvarez-Yairi dreadnoughts are certainly excellent products and, I have to admit, I am a bit smitten with the added-clean nature of this guitar and its faded-sunburst finish.
It was a good player before work, as well, and now after operate (fret level/dress, basic setup) it really is correct on-the-dot and has a chunky, old Martin D-18 vibe going on in the tone division. This one is a great, direct, rhythm guitar.

The specs are comparable to a period Martin — 25.four” scale, 1 11/16″ nut width, and spruce over mahogany create to the physique. The neck is mahogany, also, and each the fretboard and bridge are rosewood, even though they are stained to appear like ebony. The nut and saddle are each bone.

I enjoy the small 12th-fret departure in styling and the white “style 28” trim mixed with the sunburst.

Seeking great, proper? I could see myself in a powder-blue suit banging old nation chords on this a single.

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