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GIBSON | SOLID BODY | SONEX | SONEX 180 DELUXE | 1982, CANDY APPLE RED

1982 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe

Solid 'resonwood' bodied electric guitar

1982 Gibson Sonex-180 Deluxe
Model: 1982 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe
Pickups: Two exposed coil Sonex Deluxe humbuckers, part numbers 13248 (front) and 13249 (back)
Scale: 24 3/4"
Body: Multi-phonic body, dimensions 17 1/4" long, 13" wide and 1 3/4" thick
Neck: Three-piece maple neck, rosewood fingerboard with dot position markers
Hardware: Chrome-plated, Japanese. have a look at the Sonex-180 Deluxe parts list
Weight: 4.0 kg

The Gibson Sonex-180 Deluxe was available from 1980, in semi-gloss Ebony finish only, with new finishes gradually added over the next three years. 1982 was the first year for the very fetching high gloss Candy Apple Red finish shown here.

The Deluxe was the entry level model in the Gibson Sonex range; it had a good finish and the same construction as the Standard and Custom, but had cheaper imported hardware, including pickups. It was a good guitar for the money, but then it was the cheapest guitar in the June 1982 price list by a long way, at just $349 (semi-gloss black finish) or $399 (gloss finishes). At this time, however, the Sonex Standard and Custom had both recently been deleted, leaving the The Paul Deluxe as Gibson's next cheapest solid body at $629.

1980 Gibson Guitars Catalogue
The 1980 'Gibson Guitars' booklet was the only US Gibson Catalog to include the Gibson Sonex series of guitars

Despite having the classic Les Paul single cutaway shape, these guitars were a completely different instrument to an actual Les Paul, being constructed entirely differently, and out of entirely different materials. They did share some of the same styling, including pickup and control configuration, but the pickups, described as 'exposed coil high output', are not the Velvet Brick pickups they are often confused with (more below).

Gibson guitars could not just be sold by anybody; dealers had to be authorised to stock Gibson, however the new Sonex guitars were authorised separately; theoretically stores that did not stock other Gibson guitars could sell Gibson Sonexs. Consequently, Sonex guitars were branded somewhat differently to regular Gibson models: most usually pegheads would display 'The Gibson guitar company USA' but for a brief period in mid 1982, many were branded 'Sonex by Gibson' as is the case here.

Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe controls
The Sonex Deluxe controls are the standard volume and tone for each pickup and the three way pickup selector switch (neck/both/bridge) of most Gibson guitars. It has the speed knobs fitted to most solid body Gibsons of the time; in appearance anyway. In fact the Sonex control knobs are everso slightly different, with a different part number, but also significantly cheaper in the spare parts catalogue.
Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe pickups, parts 13248 (front) and 13249 (back)
The Sonex Deluxe humbuckers have the contrasting black and cream revealed coils. Unusually for Gibson, they were imported from Japan rather than wound in the USA. Parts 13248 (front) and 13249 (back). Three adjustment screws (two at the top, one at the bottom) change the height and angle of the pickup, relative to the scratchplate.
Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe bridge pickup, part 13249
Close up of the bridge pickup. Each pickup has six adjustable polepieces in the black side of the pickup. Turning these adjusts the height of the polepiece relative to the strings, and increases or decreases the signal from each string.
Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe heel plate
Like the majority of bolt-on neck guitars, the Sonex has a chrome plated heel plate, but without any markings, Gibson logo etc
Gibson Sonex bridge and tailpiece
The Sonex-180 deluxe was fitted with a bridge (part 10196) and stop tailpiece (part 81563) made in Japan. The bridge is mounted via the same 'sustain sister' bolts screwed into the body that also adjust bridge height.
Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe reverse body view
Reverse body view, showing heel plate and body contours. Unlike many earlier bolt-on neck Gibson's, the Sonex series had a painted rather than clear-coated neck.
Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe reverse headstock view, showing serial number
The back of the headstock shows the serial number, and very faintly 'MADE in USA' below. The serial number 81692514 tells us that this bass was stamped on the 18th June 1982 (day 169), at the Gibson Nashville plant, and was the 14th instrument stamped that day. Tuning keys are Japanese, Gibson part number 82598.
Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe headstock front with Sonex logo
The headstock logo is silk-screened 'Sonex by Gibson' which was used only for a short period in mid-1982. Before and after this time, most Sonex guitars were marked 'The Gibson Guitar Company USA'. The two-ply truss rod cover holds the model designation. Note it is attached via two screws; most earlier examples used three.
Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe body detail
Rosewood fingerboard with dot neck markers. The bolt-on maple neck joins the body at the 16th fret. Note the scratchplate, like the truss-rod cover is also two-ply.

Bolt-on neck Gibson guitars are typically unfinished in the neck pocket, in this case giving a good view of the hardwood maple core and resonwood surround. Early Sonex product descriptions suggest a one-piece maple neck, however this neck is made of three-pieces of maple.

Gibson Sonex neck heel
Gibson Sonex neck pocket showing maple core and resonwood outer

Each guitar in the Sonex-180 range (Deluxe, Standard and Custom, not Artist) has an identical body, only fitted with differing components. The un-assembled body is shown below.

un-assembled Gibson Sonex body
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Gibson Sonex guitars for sale

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1981 USA GIBSON SONEX GUITAR HUMBUCKER  NECK PICKUP SURROUND RING 3 Screw 1982

1981 USA GIBSON SONEX GUITAR HUMBUCKER NECK PICKUP SURROUND RING 3 Screw 1982

Plano, Texas, 750**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$89

Neck position, three screw pick up mount normal light vintage wear. No cracks includes screws springs and surround screws. Original vintage Gibson part. Thanks for looking
... more
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1981 USA GIBSON SONEX GUITAR HUMBUCKER  Bridge PICKUP SURROUND RING 3 Screw 1982

1981 USA GIBSON SONEX GUITAR HUMBUCKER Bridge PICKUP SURROUND RING 3 Screw 1982

Plano, Texas, 750**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$75

Bridge position, three screw pick up mount normal light vintage wear. No cracks includes screws , Fender style rubber hose and surround screws. Original vintage Gibson part. Thanks for looking
... more
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VINTAGE 1980s GIBSON SONEX TUNE-O-MATIC GUITAR BRIDGE WIRE CHROME Part

VINTAGE 1980s GIBSON SONEX TUNE-O-MATIC GUITAR BRIDGE WIRE CHROME Part

Plano, Texas, 750**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$109

Original Sonex bridge, Chrome finish , Normal vintage wear with patina, has fine plating pimples, all adjustments work nicely , string slots are good, No sag, Stamped JAPAN, Original 80s Gibson part, THANKS FOR LOOKING!

... more
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VINTAGE 1982 GIBSON SONEX TUNE-O-MATIC GUITAR BRIDGE AND POSTS 81 80

VINTAGE 1982 GIBSON SONEX TUNE-O-MATIC GUITAR BRIDGE AND POSTS 81 80

Chilmark, Massachusetts, 025**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$80

Original bridge and posts from a 1982 Gibson Sonex. Perfect for your vintage restoration or custom project.


I??m always happy to accept returns if an item is not as described. I ask that you please study the photos and contact me with any questions. I??ve been selling on eBay for over 25 years with excellent feedback so bid with confidence.
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1981 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe Electric Guitar in Black Finish With Hardshell case

1981 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe Electric Guitar in Black Finish With Hardshell case

Harrisonville, Missouri, 647**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$995

1981 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe Electric Guitar in Black Finish With Hardshell case






Description
1981 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe Electric Guitar in Black Finish With Hardshell case This neat used Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe from 1981 is in good shape and is a very neat black finish . It has a few very minor issues which I have tried to show in the photos. It comes to you in a nice Epiphone hardshell case and the guitar is all original and it plays just great. This is ... more
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Gibson GGC-700 1981 Vintage Guitar

Gibson GGC-700 1981 Vintage Guitar

Northumberland , NE61***, UNITED KINGDOM

£1600

I have a very rare Gibson GGC 700
for sale from 1981
It's mostly original, including the very sought after original Gibson Dirty Fingers pickups with coil tap switch
It has a non original " All Pure Brass Bridge " made by Tokiwa Japan, which on research sells for quite a premium on its own
Schaller strap lock buttons fitted at some point
The guitar has aged yellow and uniformly all over
Under the pick guard is white by comparison
The pick guard has a small piece ... more
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Gibson Sonex-180 Custom Electric Guitar 1980 - White (ageing, yellowing)

Gibson Sonex-180 Custom Electric Guitar 1980 - White (ageing, yellowing)

St. Helens, WA9***, UNITED KINGDOM

£1100

1980 Gibson Sonex-180 Custom electric guitar, made in USA with aftermarket hard case. These models are getting harder and harder to find now, especially in full working order. Looks the part for a guitar over 40 years old and plays really well. Everything functions as it should. Very slight crackle when using a couple of the pots but to be expected and will clear up no doubt with a bit of contact cleaner. The bridge could do with raising a hair on the treble side, but that would be my preference... more
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Gibson Sonex-180 Deluxe 1981

Gibson Sonex-180 Deluxe 1981

Stolberg, 52***, GERMANY

€800

Zum Verkauf steht eine gebrauchte Gibson Sonex-180, hergestellt im Jahr 1981 in USA
Die Gitarre hat aufgrund eines Transportschadens einen Halsbruch erlitten, dieser wurde geklebt. Das Griffbrett wurde gereinigt und mit speziellem Öl behandelt. Die Bünde wurden poliert und es wurden neue .009 Saiten aufgezogen. Die Elektronik wurde ebenfalls überprüft.
Auf der Oberfläche befinden sich einige Spielspuren. Die Bünde weisen zwar Abnutzungen auf, doch sorgen für ein angenehmes ... more
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Find more Gibson Sonex guitars for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

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G* Comment left 5th March 2015 18:06:13 reply
So which years have the Velvet Brick pickups, I see alot advertised with them, including 1982s, but how do you confirm? do Velvet brick have a marking or patent number. I guess VB sonex costs more
vintage guitar and bass Comment left 10th January 2017 10:10:15 reply
The Sonex models were not fitted with Velvet Brick Pickups. The Deluxe was fitted with 'Sonex Deluxe' humbuckers, whilst the Standard and Custom had 'Dirty Fingers' humbuckers. These pickups all look pretty similar, presumably causing the confusion.

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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

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1961 Hofner Colorama I

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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)

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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

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1973 Eko Ranger Folk

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1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

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1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

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

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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.