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Vintage Guitar and Bass Blog

Classic basses, vintage amps

Fender and Gibson produced their very earliest electric bass guitars in the early 1950s, targeting the upright acoustic bass market. Both companies had their own ways of doing things, for a different type of customer and generally both stuck to their strengths. For the first decade, Gibson basses had a 30" scale, Fender basses 34"...

Is a long scale bass better than a short scale?

Three Gibson EB3L bass guitars

Today lots of people seem to think so. But this was not always the case and there are still plenty that disagree! One well-loved shortscale, the Gibson EB3 was a very popular bass guitar in the 1960s, especially towards the end of the decade when it was in the hands of charismatic bassists like Jack Bruce of Cream and Andy Fraser of Free. But at 30 1/2", the scale was still four inches shorter than the Fender Precision and Jazz basses, and even Gibson's own Thunderbird. So, as the decade ended, Gibson decided to offer the EB3 with a short or long scale neck. The whole solid body EB series was redesigned, the new bass sporting the 'slotted' or 'split' headstock more often seen on acoustic guitars, but with a choice of scale. Perhaps surprisingly these long scale EB3s never outsold their shortscale counterparts. Typical EB players wanted a bass that they could play fast melodic lines on, rather than simply sitting on the root.

But the longer scale EB-OL and EB-3L models are terrific basses to play however they were received in 1970. As with all EB basses the neck pickup can be a bit hot for some, but with some careful blending with the bridge, great tones are available. I've had the pleasure to restore (and play) three 1970/71 EB3L basses in the last few years, one remained in it's original walnut finish, one to black, and one to white. Shipping records and original documentation only suggest walnut and cherry as standard finish options, but other colours are not at all impossible, and these basses look pretty fine in these colours. Naturally they sound great too, and i've used them both live and in the studio! comment

Do racing stripes make you play faster?

1969 Fender Competition Mustang bass guitar

In the beginning, Fender basses always had a 34", but with the rise of influential shortscale players like Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman and Jack Casady it was just a matter of time before an alternative was available from Fender. The brand had been pitched at younger players since the beginning, so it is perhaps surprising that it took so long to produce a bass more suited to smaller hands. In the end it wasn't until the Mustang and Coronado models were released in 1966 that Fender had their first 30" scale bass guitars.

Now I am a fan of short scale basses, they give you just that little bit more reach than long scale instruments making more interesting lines that bit easier. One bass I've been playing out this year (with UK live Hip-Hop crew True Element) is a 1969 Fender Mustang bass; in striking 'Competition Red' finish. The Competition Mustangs also came in blue (but weirdly called burgundy!) and orange, but all had the characteristic stripes in the top corner of the body. I'm particularly fond of mine, as it has the matching coloured headstock - a feature only seen for a short period around 1969.

These short scale basses don't take regular short scale strings though, being strung through the body. In fact few strings will fit; long scale are too long (potentially a costly mistake in broken strings if you try), and short scale are too short. I use flatwound strings and one of the few flatwound sets I could find that fitted were Rotosound RS77m - these are designed for a medium scale (32") bass. The Thomastik Jazz flats (set JF324) also fit. Got a favourite string set for a Fender Mustang? comment

It's a great bass... they are every bit Fender, and real fun to play. Whilst the Gibson pickup mentioned above is perhaps a little hot, the stock Fender Mustang pickup is perhaps a shade too weak. The modern day 'Pawn Shop' Fender Mustang reissues address this and actually have a humbucker fitted in the same position. I haven't tried one, but perhaps the best of both worlds?

Check out this great old clip of Talking Heads performing Psychokiller on the BBCs Old Grey Whistle Test from 1978; bassist Tina Weymouth getting a fantastic sound out of her Competition Mustang - although you might notice she's upgraded her pickups too, with an extra one in the neck position comment

UK Vox guitars

1962 Vox Choice of the Stars Catalogue

There've been several Vox related page updates at vintageguitarandbass.com recently. Anyone following the site will know I find UK Vox guitars pretty interesting. It's true they don't make the best players in a lot of cases (in fact the early entry level guitars are barely playable) but some of the mid level guitars are what a lot of British guitarists cut their teeth on.

So what makes UK (JMI) Vox guitars different? Well JMI were predominantly an electronics company, and although not as good at actually building guitars as many other companies of the time, they were pretty good at devising innovative electronics. Although everybody knows about the Phantom and Mark (teardrop) lines, the earliest UK Phantom I and Phantom II are very different from the later Italian-built Phantom VI. The Phantom II, like the early Consort and Escort, is fitted with an array of tone switches which "introduce harmonic coverage hitherto unheard in the field of electric guitar music". There are very many other early UK models largely unknown, and rarely seen today. Check out the scan of the 1962 Vox 'Choice of the Stars' brochure showing a lot of these guitars, and have a closer look at some of the recently posted UK Vox photosets on this site. comment

1961 SG Special project

1961 Gibson SG Special
1962 Gibson Catalogue

I recently pickup up a very nice 1961 Gibson SG Special. Bought from a friend who needed a new bass rig for an upcoming tour more than an old SG. made at the legendary Kalamazoo factory, this is the first Gibson SGs ever made. To be fair it has seen plenty of action... it's had a refinish, but is still pretty battered, it's lost it's Maestro tremolo, got new tuning keys, a new bridge and stop tailpiece. On the plus side, it's neck is unbroken, it has the original 5 digit serial number, original P90 pickups, and 1961-dated Centralab pots. But above all it plays like melting butter. It has a nice wide (1 11/16" width at the nut) flat neck. And it's one i'm hoping to keep, and slowly restore; naturally i'll post my progress here. I'll be looking out for the original parts... although finding the original vibrola certainly won't be easy - it's the type fitted to the very earliest SG Specials (see the 1962 gibson catalogue). I'm not sure about changing the finish. It's already been done once, and it would look fine in a nice original cherry, especially to conceal the studholes once the non-stock tailpiece is removed comment

Other recent pages on the VintageGuitar / FlyGuitars websites

1963 Vox Shadow

1963 Vox Shadow This is one of the really early UK Vox guitars shown in the 1962 catalogue mentioned above. The two pickup single cutaway version of the Shadow, and based on the Guyatone LG50 played by Hank Marvin of The Shadows before he moved to his red Stratocaster.

1972 Gibson guitar of the month showcase brochures

In 1972 Gibson put out a series of brochures for their higher end models; the Guitar of the Month Showcase. Featuring the Les Paul Recording, L-5CES, ES-175D, Super 400 CES, ES-355TD-SV and Byrdland

1961 Vox Stroller

1961 Vox Stroller the single pickup version of the Vox Shadow (above), again with the early single cutaway body style. This one has the wider really early sixties pickup.

How to sell a vintage guitar online

Three part article on selling vintage guitars, specifically selling online. Some steps to get the highest return when it's time to sell... identifying the guitar, finding out what it's guitar is worth, and advertising it for sale.

And don't forget you can now follow FlyGuitars / VintageGuitar website on facebook.

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Vintage guitars for sale

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original 1971 Fender MUSTANG BASS Competition Red w / MATCHING HEADSTOCK!!!

original 1971 Fender MUSTANG BASS Competition Red w / MATCHING HEADSTOCK!!!

Carbondale, Illinois, 629**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$5190


Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers
Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1971 Fender Mustang Bass in its original Competition Red finish with a matching headstock. It has a great playing neck with great frets. It's all original with the exception of the nut and the added Jazz Bass bridge cover. It is also 100% complete with the exception of the mute pads. The original hardshell case is included and has a broken "repaired" handle. This bass looks great with some nicks + dings finish ... more
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Gibson 1975 EB-3L Long Scale Vintage Bass Guitar w /  OHSC

Gibson 1975 EB-3L Long Scale Vintage Bass Guitar w / OHSC

Oswego, Illinois, 605**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2100



Gibson 1975 EB-3L Long Scale Vintage Bass Guitar w / OHSC
Has a small separation along the glue joint on the back of the headstock above A string as pictured
Any questions, please feel free to contact us!
Great item by DeMont Guitars!
Returns not accepted from overseas and buyer should assume item is 'as-is' please feel free to ask any and all questions prior to auction end. Please email if you plan on bidder, or would like to purchase item for out-of-USA delivery
WE DO... more
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1969 Fender Competition Mustang Bass Vintage Short Scale Bass, Candy Apple Red

1969 Fender Competition Mustang Bass Vintage Short Scale Bass, Candy Apple Red

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4800

Up for sale, a 1969 Fender Competition Mustang Bass in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with a modern hardshell case. Featuring a Competition Red finish complete with matching peghead, this particular color is essentially Candy Apple Red with an Olympic White racing stripe, aged to a notably coppery shade. Further differentiating this Mustang Bass from the norm, this example features a lavender pearloid pickguard, a cosmetic variant Fender offered on sparingly few ... more
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ca. 1972 Fender Competition Mustang Bass Competition Blue

ca. 1972 Fender Competition Mustang Bass Competition Blue

Hannover, 30***, GERMANY

€9750

ca. 1972 Fender Competition Mustang Bass Competition Blue.
Der Bass befindet sich seit 1975 in meinem Besitz. Ich habe ihn gebraucht gekauft und nur die ersten 2 Jahre gespielt. Seit dem hängt er an der Wand und wird gepflegt. Normale Abnutzungserscheinungen wie auf den Fotos zu sehen. Alles Original nur die Saiten wurden erneuert
... more
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Fender Mustang Bass 1970s USA Made

Fender Mustang Bass 1970s USA Made

Huntingdon, PE26***, UNITED KINGDOM

£2000

I dont play guitar myself, so item specifics may be slightly incomplete due to not knowing what to input
Due to its age, it has some slight cosmetic wear and tear. See photos as they make up for most of the description
An incredibly rare and unique find. I don't know the exact year it was made, but definitely the 1970s.
Any questions or information please message me. Fast response time
Apologies for the poor photos and it being dusty. It's been stored away for some years
... more
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Gibson EB-3L 1973 - Vintage Bass Guitar, Long Scale - Original Hard Case - Rare!

Gibson EB-3L 1973 - Vintage Bass Guitar, Long Scale - Original Hard Case - Rare!

Meadow Heights, VIC, 3***, AUSTRALIA

AU $4895

Vintage Gibson EB-3L
Long Scale 1973 model bass guitar with original hard case
All pictures supplied with the auction are of the actual item for sale, and indicate its condition
This vintage Gibson is in good playable condition with a clean fingerboard and neck, good fretting and fully functional tuners. This model is fitted with a drop-D tuner (adjustable) which functions well. The pickups and wiring appear original, are operational, and it sounds superb. It has been fitted with a set... more
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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

1968 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1968/1969 Selmer guitar catalogue (printed July 1968), showing the entire range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Hofner, Gibson, Selmer and Giannini. Selmer were the exclusive United Kingdom distributors of Hofner and Gibson at the time, and this catalogue contains a total of 18 electric guitars, 7 bass guitars, 37 acoustics, and 2 Hawaiian guitars - all produced outside the UK and imported by Selmer, with UK prices included in guineas. This catalogue saw the (re-)introduction of the late sixties Gibson Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard (see page 69) and the short-lived Hofner Club 70. Other electric models include: HOFNER ELECTRICS: Committee, Verithin 66, Ambassador, President, Senator, Galaxie, HOFNER BASSES: Violin bass, Verithin bass, Senator bass, Professional bass GIBSON ELECTRICS: Barney Kessel, ES-330TD, ES-335TD, ES-345TD, ES-175D, ES-125CD, SG Standard, SG Junior, SG Special GIBSON BASSES: EB-0, EB-2, EB-3 - plus a LOT of acoustics branded Gibson, Hofner, Selmer and Giannini

1961 Hofner Colorama I

1961 Hofner Colorama IHofner Colorama was the name UK distributor Selmer gave to a series of solid and semi-solid guitars built by Hofner for distribution in the UK. The construction and specifications of the guitars varied over the period of production, but by 1961 it was a totally solid, double cutaway instrument, with a set neck, translucent cherry finish, six-in-a-row headstock, and Hofner Diamond logo pickups. Available as a single or dual pickup guitar, this sngle pickup version would have been sold in mainland Europe as the Hofner 161.

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

1960 Hofner Colorama IIThe Hofner Colorama was the name given by Selmer to a series of solid (and semi-solid) body Hofner guitars distributed in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1965. The Colorama name actually applied to some quite different guitars over the period, but in 1960 it was a very light, semi-solid, set necked guitar with one (Colorama I) or two (Colorama II, as seen here) Toaster pickups. Although an entry-level guitar, it was very well-built, and a fine playing guitar; certainly a step up (at least in terms of craftsmanship) from many of the Colorama guitars that would follow, and a good deal of the guitars available in Britain circa 1960.

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

1971 Epiphone 1820 (ET-280) bassBy the end of the 1960s, a decision had been made to move Epiphone guitar production from the USA (at the Kalamazoo plant where Gibson guitars were made), to Matsumoto in Japan, creating a line of guitars and basses significantly less expensive than the USA-built models (actually less than half the price). The Matsumoku factory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the 1820 bass (alongside a number of guitar models and the 5120 electric acoustic bass) were the first Epiphone models to be made there. These new Epiphones were based on existing Matsumoku guitars, sharing body shapes, and hardware, but the Epiphone line was somewhat upgraded, with inlaid logos and a 2x2 peghead configuration. Over the course of the 70s, the Japanese output improved dramatically, and in many ways these early 70s models are a low point for the brand. Having said this, there are a lot worse guitars out there, and as well as being historically important, the 1820 bass can certainly provide the goods when required.

1981 Gibson Marauder

1981 Gibson MarauderProduction of Bill Lawrence's Gibson Marauder began in 1974, with production peaking in 1978. But by 1980 the model was officially discontinued, though very small numbers slipped out as late as spring 1981. Over 7000 examples shipped between 1974 and 1979, and although no totals are available for 1980 and 1981, it is unlikely production reached three figures in either of these years. These final Marauders were all assembled at the Gibson Nashville plant, and had some nice features not available through the later years of production, such as a rosewood fretboard, and in this case, an opaque 'Devil Red' finish. It's a great looking and fine playing guitar!

1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

1981 Gibson Specials Pre-Owners Manual'Gibson Specials' was part of the June 1981 pre-owners manual series, but unlike the other folders contained a mish-mash of different guitars: limited editions, test marketing and close outs. "You will find the unusual, the brand-new, and the bargain within this folder". End of line 70s guitars like the Marauder, S-1, and L-6S Custom mixed in with brand new models the The V, The Explorer and the Flying V Bass.
It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bassRose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner ZambesiThis very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

1963 Vox Super AceThe Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of 47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortThe Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.