Sunday, 18 January 2015

Pleasant SEV218 vintage 1966 Japanese solidbody electric guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Pleasant - yet another vintage Japanese guitar brandname that I've never heard before. It's so difficult tracing back these little brandnames to their original manufacturers as the Japanese factories of the day seemed to have a mix and match mentality where you'd see the same designs and hardware appearing of guitars coming out of the different factories owned by different companies.

For instance, take this Pleasant SEV218. The headstock shape looks very familiar, although subtly different from those appearing on various other Japanese guitars from the 1960s, e.g. Barclay, Sekova, Greco, Inter-Mark, Teisco, and probably a few others!

The guitar itself is a delightful mish-mash of influences, Fender and Mosrite being the most obvious. There's the Fender Jaguar-like pickup selector switch panel, the rakishly-angled Mosrite-esque neck pickup, and the Stratocaster-style contouring on the rear of the guitar - but note how the so-called "belly cut" has been applied to both the bass and treble sides of the rear of the guitar. The neck is the usual multi-laminate affair typical of this period.

Currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $549.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Doubleneck guitar and bass project - finalised!

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Following my October 2014 blog post asking for assistance in realising my dream of a very specific doublenecked guitar and bass, Antony Moggridge of Shonky Musical Instruments took up the challenge to build this beast for me. Above you can see his initial draft design following an exchange of emails in which I made clear exactly what I wanted.

My main specifications were for a doubleneck guitar and bass with the bass neck below the guitar neck; I wanted a compact body so as to keep the sheer bulk of instrument to a minimum; and I wanted the controls to be simple and uncluttered with NO switches on the upper bout or upper horn of the guitar, and no switches on the body in the area between necks - all switches HAD to be down the bottom at the rear of the instrument.

Together we hit upon the idea of using concentric pots for the volume and tone of each neck so as to save space and keep the control layout very simple. I also suggested that perhaps the design could be slightly Jazzmaster-like as opposed to taking its visual cues from the usual suspects (SG, Les Paul, Strat, Tele, P-Bass, etc).

Below you see the OSB mock-up body with bridges and necks positioned to give a better idea of what the final guitar will look like.

Another constraint was that I wanted this built on a tight budget. In order to keep costs down, I sent Antony a package of components, spare parts that I already had, namely: a Strat-style neck with a trimmed headstock, a left-handed Peavey bass neck, a set of Strat-type pickups, a pair of Danelectro lipstick pickups, a hardtail Strat-style bridge, and a P-Bass style bridge.

Antony re-shaped the headstocks to his own preferred Shonky style, which I agree is quite elegant. Note that in order to do so, he had to glue an extra piece of maple to the guitar headstock which had been quite brutally trimmed to vaguely resemble a 1960s-era Vox headstock.

In the next few pictures we see the shaping, contouring and routing carried out on the centre-joined two-piece reclaimed sapele body.


The next photo Antony sent to me to illustrate the size of the body. You can see that it's not a lot larger in size than the Strat body laid on top of it.

Antony initially applied a hand-rubbed stain (we wanted a natural finish as it seemed a shame to cover up the natural grain of the sapele), and then sprayed the body to accomplish a tobacco sunburst.

Here we see the perspex scratchplate (pickguard) template...

...and here is the scratchplate itself cut from some rather interesting snakeskin-effect scratchplate material that Antony had sourced. The scratchplate and bridges have been positioned on the body so as to get the general effect of how it will eventually appear.

Getting there... Hardware installed.

Necks bolted on.

The wiring was quite interesting as we have three pickups, volume, tone and 5-way selector switch on the guitar side; two pickups, volume, tone and 3-way selector switch on the bass side; and two mini-toggle on/off switches, one for each neck. Output is via a stereo jack socket to be used in conjunction with a split "Y" cable so as to send guitar and bass signals to separate effects and amps.

And all strung up and ready to go...


The finished item!

I've been playing this guitar/bass daily since I received it a week ago. (Antony actually finished building it in December, but we decided not to send it until after the madness of the Christmas posting period was over and done with).  I am exceedingly pleased with it and believe that between us Antony and I have come up with a fantastic design for a doubleneck.  OK, so it IS heavy at about 14lbs, but the body is nicely compact, playing the bass neck feels very natural and it is not a problem having to reach over the guitar side. The control layout is sensible and easy to use, and there are no switches in silly places where I might hit them accidentally whilst playing. Moreover, I find that it actually balances well on a strap and does not suffer from neck dive - a common complaint with doublenecks.

Antony said that in retrospect he could have made it a little lighter be removing more wood from beneath the scratchplate, and perhaps making the body shorter so that there wasn't so much wood beyond the bass bridge. But then I have to ask, would it have hung so nicely on a strap? Might that have made it neck heavy.

I played this at rehearsal with my band Spurious Transients at the weekend and it coped admirably. I've also been experimenting using the doubleneck in conjunction with the new Boss RC-1 Loop Station (the uncomplicated one!) and the results are very promising indeed.

I'm going to be playing some Spurious Transients gigs later in the year (including at this Festival of Psychedelia - hey, you can't get more prog rock than a doubleneck) and will be using this baby so I can switch between guitar and bass on the same songs.

Huge thanks to Antony (who gives his own account of the build here).

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Ibanez model ATDS10NT flat top acoustic guitar with tremolo

guitarz.blogspot.com:
Although uncommon, I have seen acoustic guitars equipped with tremolo arms before now, or should I say "vibratos" because as far as I can recall these have exclusively been arched-top acoustics equipped with Bigsby vibratos. This Japanese-made Ibanez model ATDS10NT circa 1983 is something else, as it has what appears to be a tremolo-arm mounted into an electric-style floating bridge, which is allegedly "fully functioning".

This item sold on eBay recently for US $599.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Erik's "Third Bridge" Bass VI / Baritone Guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:

Whoah! Who would do something like this to an unsuspecting Jazzmaster body?

Erik explains:
About a year ago you showed my 'plank guitar' on your blog. I have been building some more strange guitars and here are some pictures of the last project. It is a so-called third bridge guitar with baritone neck and Bass VI strings. Those were the only strings I could find with sufficient length. With a circular saw I cut the body in two pieces, add some wood and glued it all together. The extra wood was necessary to get enough length. There's a slight nod in the body to get enough tension on the strings. In the end I have to say: it plays and sound a lot better than I had previously thought!

Greetings, Erik
Groningen, The Netherlands
Thanks Erik! I'm sure the Guitarz readership would love to hear how it sounds. Do you have any sound clips?

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

guitarz.blogspot.com:
I don't actually know if this hollowbody Framus Christmas Tree guitar is a genuine guitar or not; there is something about the photo that makes it look like a miniature. The strap looks very unconvincing, whilst a Strat-type tremolo on a hollowbody doesn't quite seem right. However, I think it is an entirely appropriate image to convey the compliments of the season to you all!

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Weird minimalistic headless guitar with case ... Can you identify?

guitarz.blogspot.com:
For your consideration is this strange minimalistic headless guitar with its own bespoke hard case, currently listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of US $695.00. The seller knows virtually nothing about it, the listing being as follows:
Hello! This guitar is in very good condition. I don't really know anything about it as far as history goes. It appears to be a one off prototype. There are no markings or serial numbers or anything like that. It sounds really nice and everything seems to work great. Free priority shipping. Thanks!
Which doesn't tell us a great deal. In the listing title the seller has queried "Steinberger? Gibson? Hohner?" but I think we can safely ignore those red herrings, they are just there to get people to look at the listing. It's of a bolt-on neck construction and my guess is it's Japanese or maybe early Korean. If I had to suggest a brand name for it, I'd consider Hondo who at least were known to dabble with the occasional bizarre design of this ilk.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Peavey T-40 Bass - Vintage American-made Coolness

guitarz.blogspot.com:
In more recent times you could pick up one of these all American-made high quality 1970s Peavey guitars or basses for a mere song. I mean why buy a Squier if you can get something as well-made and playable as this, often for less cash, and with that coolness factor that it's a little bit different from what everyone else is playing, a little bit retro.

I mean, this Peavey T-40 is an absolute beaut... with a volume and tone for each of the two pickups, you're not going to get the same variety of sounds out of a bog-standard P or J Bass.

But I think maybe the tide has turned, and with a Buy It Now price of US $599.99 this bass is priced a little higher than most I've seen over the past few years, and to be honest it's a much more realistic price for an instrument of this quality. Grab them while you can and as cheaply as you can because I predict these will be fetching a lot more money in years to come.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Klira electro-acoustic vintage German-made guitar

guitarz.blogspot.com:
To continue a recent theme of mine on here, namely obscure vintage "junk shop" acoustic guitars that look as if they've had aftermarket electrics added to them but were actually produced that way in the factory...

This one is a German Klira guitar. Note the primitive-looking blade-style pickup has been mounted near to the bridge rather than in the more usual soundhole location.

Currently listed on eBay with a (possibly) optimistic Buy It Now price tag of €450.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Friday, 5 December 2014

ESP LTD Lion guitar - a beautiful and unashamed objet d'art

guitarz.blogspot.com:

I saw this picture on Facebook earlier today. It's a creation of the ESP Custom Shop in Japan. The Facebook post was accompanined by all the predictable "How on Earth do you play that?" comments, all of which are quite obviously missing the point. You don't play it, it's a work of art.

It's a similar situation to artist Yoshihiko Satoh's "Present Arms" art pieces (12-necked Stratocasters!); a lot of these photos have been doing the rounds again virally on Facebook et al, with most commenters simply not understanding that whilst these are technically functional pieces, you are not really supposed to play them. It's their inherent absurdity that makes them objets d'art.

Guitars as art? Why not? I'd hang 'em on my wall if I had the opportunity.

G L Wilson

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Teisco 1968 Crescendo - White - Made in Japan

guitarz.blogspot.com:

We've posted many Teardrop shaped guitars over the years and they are among my favourite designs and this Teisco Crescendo is no exception. With two Teisco pickups and a hollow body, I'm sure it has a distinctive tone. I like the look of the tremolo and the little nick out of the scratchplate. Very stylish.
The seller has this to say...
This a Teisco Crescendo 'Teardrop' style guitar dating back to 1968, made in Japan. The guitar is in very good condition, given its age, with a few knocks and scratches the note. The main mark to note is a long hairline crack in the lacquer along the edge of the body. This is not structural and we have taken photographs of the crack. There is also some minor lacquer cracking near the neck socket; again, see pictures. Overall the guitar is in tidy condition and is a great collector's piece, as these are very difficult to come by.

David in Barcelona

© 2014, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis