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Guitars & basses by manufacturer

This site is a resource for vintage guitar information; primarily electric guitars by American, European and Japanese manufacturers from the 1950s into the early 1980s. The term vintage can mean different things to different people, but for the purposes of this site, vintage guitars are those produced up until the early/mid 1980s; ending approximately with Norlin's last Gibsons, CBS's last Fenders and the demise of Hagstrom, Guild and Gretsch. These brands have all now been revived, and many offer good replicas of their classic models, but there is nothing quite like the real thing!

Content is sorted by manufacturer / distributor, and the majority of information relates to the following brands: (in alphabetical order)


Commodore N25

Commodore was a guitar brand sold in the United Kingdom from the late 1960s and through the 1970s. Instruments were typically made by Japanese builder Matsumoku, and identical (to a greater or lesser extent) models were sold worldwide under a wide range of other names, such as Aria, Conrad, Epiphone, Univox and many many more.

Although student models, Commodore guitars were not at all badly-made, and are pretty solidly built. With a bit of TLC and a good set-up these can make nice playing guitars.

Dan Armstrong

Keith Richards endorsing Dan Armstrong guitars, 1970

The name Dan Armstrong is probably most associated with the plexiglass (lucite) guitars produced from 1968 in conjunction with Ampeg. They came up with a guitar and bass versions, built in the USA. Dan Armstrong relocated to London, producing a number of suitably named new models in the UK; this time of Honduran mahogany.

High profile early users such as Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and Jack Bruce (formerly) of Cream gave these guitars instant cult appeal.

Dan Armstrong Guitars


Epiphone electric guitars
Epiphone Riviera - Is There Something Fishy About Epiphone Guitars?

Epiphone were one of the big American brands of the first half of the twentieth century. Along with the likes of Gibson and Gretsch, they epitomised quality, producing some of the very best electric acoustic guitars of the period. But the best known vintage Epiphone guitars are those produced from Gibson's Kalamazoo plant after 1957; most notably the semi-acoustic models based on Gibson's ES series, the Epiphone Casino, Sheraton, and Rivoli bass.

From 1970, Epiphone production moved to Japan, with an entire range of entry and intermediate level guitars based on the earlier American-built models. Many shared the same names and overall look, but were typically constructed to a lower price point to compete with other imported instruments.

Epiphone Guitars

For more about Epiphone instruments in general, see the Epiphone Index


Fender electric guitars
1970 Fender electric guitar and amplifier catalogue

Fender are perhaps the best-known electric guitar company in the world, producing a handful of models that are household names to even those completely un-versed in guitars: the Fender Stratocaster or Fender Telecaster. Although incredibly successful, Fender had a completely different ethos to the old-guard; after all they evolved from an electronics background, not from the manufacture of jazz and orchestral instruments like Gibson, Gretsch and Epiphone. They stuck to what they did best: simple solid body guitars, with excellent electronics, easily assembled by a largely unskilled workforce. It just happened that this novel approach coincided with the birth of youth culture in the USA, and the two went hand in hand. Vintage Fender guitars are hugely collectable and command very high prices.

Fender Guitars

For more about Fender instruments see the Fender Index

G & L

G&L started at the tail end of the 1970s, in many ways as a continuation of the guitars of Fender and Musicman. G & L were the initials of George Fullerton and Leo Fender - who was behind the forementioned brands - these guitars were produced at the old Fender plant in Fullerton, California.

G&L Guitars


Gibson ES-345TD

Gibson guitars, especially vintage Gibson guitars, are always associated with quality. Well-made instruments, high-end woods, high quality finishes and only the best components. Unlike Fender above, Gibson's focus was on the art of instrument manufacture; they had been building mandolins, banjos and acoustic guitars long before the advent of electric guitars. The Gibson workforce included a lot of talented luthiers, and vintage Gibson guitars, especially those built in the 1950s and 1960s are considered some of the most desirable of all guitars, for both players and collectors. Antique Gibson guitars and mandolins are very cool instruments, but not as revered as a late 1950s Les Paul.

1972 Gibson bass catalogue - the bass place

Unfortunately, many vintage Gibson guitars for sale are beyond the reach of typical players, and even if they are lucky enough to own them, too valuable to 'gig'.

The reputation of 1970s Gibsons (Norlin period) is not so good. In reality, this relates to the mass production of entry level models, competing with imports on price. It is certainly no reflection on the more expensive models built without the price constraints of the entry level guitars.

There is considerable Gibson content on this site, sorted into the following sections.

Gibson Guitars

For more about Gibson instruments see the Gibson Index


The story of Goya, and the guitars carrying that name is not simple; instruments made in the 1950s and 1960s have good reputations, and these were typically built by Levin of Gothenburg, Sweden (flattops, acoustics) or accordion manufacturer, Hagstrom, also of Sweden (Goya 80 and Goya 90 electrics, 1960/61). In the mid-late 1960s, a number of guitars were also produced in Italy, by another accordion maker Polvini (such as the Rangemaster semi-acoustic) and Galanti (such as the Rangemaster solid body). Later still, production would move to Korea.

Goya Guitars


1965 Gretsch Tennessean guitar

Gretsch started producing guitars in the 1930s, mostly acoustic and semi-acoustic electrics. The 1950s and 1960s saw the manufacture of a lot of fine guitars, most of which command high prices today; especially the ornate semi-acoustics. Vintage Gretsch guitars such as the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman, White Falcon and Duo Jet solid body are particularly sought after by Gretsch collectors.

The 'Baldwin' period of the 1970s was traditionally less interesting to many Gretsch aficionados, but it did see the introduction of several interesting new models, mostly short-lived, and now growing in popularity.

Gretsch Guitars

For more about Gretsch instruments see the Gretsch Index


Guitars from the 1969 Guild catalogue

Guild were another of the really highly respected American guitar companies of the 1950s and 1960s, although they only started producing guitars in 1953. They almost immediately had a highly-skilled workforce, taking on ex-Epiphone employees after Epiphone relocated it's production from New York to Philadelphia.

They produced a wide range of full-body electric acoustics, thinlines (including the well-known Starfire range) and solid bodies. Some are quite original in design, others quite traditional Epiphone and Gibson-styled guitars.

Vintage Guild guitars are of excellent quality, and are often very much more affordable than equivalent models by Gretsch or Gibson. Today, many classic Guild guitars are available as reissues.

Guild Guitars

For more about Guild instruments see the Guild Index


Hagstrom H8 and HIIBN bass guitars
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in a 1967 Hagstrom advert - Long and Slippery

Hagstrom were a Swedish accordion maker when they first started the manufacture of guitars; but with the beat boom of the middle 1960s, guitars became the mainstay of the company. Some models were re-branded for sale worldwide, including Futurama in the UK, and Kent in the US.

Hagstrom also made high quality components: bridges and pickups were used by numerous other guitar manufacturers including Guild and Harmony.

Vintage Hagstrom guitars were highly playable with easy low-action necks. Some earlier models lacked tone potentiometers which is perhaps their biggest drawback, but seventies guitars such as the Hagstrom Swede, are absolutely outstanding in every way!

Hagstrom Guitars

For more about Hagstrom instruments see the Hagstrom Index


Harmony Guitars

Harmony, of Chicago, were another of America's long-standing guitar companies with a history of acoustic and electric instrument manufacture. It is estimated that they were in fact the largest by far; space-age named models like the Stratotone, Meteor and Rocket captured the countries imagination, and at one point in the 1960s, Harmony were producing more guitars than all other US companies combined. Most were entry, to intermediate level, ideally suited for the thousands of budding guitarists appearing across the US.

For more about Harmony instruments see the Harmony Index


Hofner Guitars

Germany company Hofner were one of Europe's best known brands, at a time when exported US guitars were very expensive indeed. Like Epiphone, Gibson and Harmony, they had a long tradition of luthiery, especially in stringed orchestral instruments such as violins, which lead to a certain style of guitar manufacture, including a lot of well-made acoustic and electric acoustic guitars. The guitar range included several high-end professional models, and with endorsements of big stars like Paul McCartney, and of little home-grown competition they managed to capture much of the early 1960s UK market.

For more about Hofner instruments see the Hofner Index


Peavey Guitars

Peavey was formed in Mississippi, USA in 1965. It is far better known as an amplifier manufacturer, but did also produce a number of well-regarded guitars and basses in the late 1970s/early 1980s.


Long-standing British musical instrument retailer, particularly noted for it's early 1960s valve amplifiers. Also responsible for the distribution of Fender, Gibson, Hofner and Futurama guitars in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

Futurama was the companies own brand; guitars imported from Europe, a number of solid bodies produced by Hagstrom. A number of guitars branded Selmer were also offered, these built by Hofner.

Selmer guitars and amplifiers

For more about Selmer instruments see the Selmer Index


Vox Starstream and Cheetah guitars

Vox were responsible for some utterly iconic guitars; the Phantom, and teardrop-shaped Mark series pretty much scream 1960s. But Vox's mid sixties guitar range was quite extensive, and others were a lot more generic, often Fender-styled guitars.

Vox, like Fender above, were primarily an electronics (amplifier) company when they started producing guitars. Consequently a lot of the early Vox guitars were relatively straightforward in construction; but perhaps fitted with complicated effects electronic circuity, such as fuzz, tremolo and tone boost. Vox were associated with the Beatles, the Stones and many more; demand peaked right in the midst of the guitar boom of the mid 1960s and Vox had to outsource production to Eko and Crucianelli of Italy to keep up.

Vox Guitars

For more about Vox instruments see the Vox Index

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1951 Kay Bass

1951 Kay Bass

West Monroe, Louisiana, 712**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1951 Kay Bass M-1 #27988 - Has almost new ZYEX Medium Strings, a New K & K Bass Max Pickup, A Hard Case with Rollers, and Heavy Duty Stand, A New Soft Padded Case Over $3, 600 invested, but got to Sell, Make Offer
No Shipping, If Buyer wants to Ship, they will assumes ALL Costs of Shipping and Liability.... more
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Gladstone, Michigan, 498**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Click images to enlarge
Up for auction is this vintage CRESTLINE guitar. I know nothing about guitars. In looking at it I can see there is damage to the pickup or ... more
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Whittier, California, 906**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Located in historic uptown Whittier, California

!!!!NO RESERVE!!!!
Looking for great ... more
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Vintage 60s Noble Thunderball Electric Guitar (UNTESTED) for restoration rare

Vintage 60's Noble Thunderball Electric Guitar (UNTESTED) for restoration rare

Elma, Washington, 985**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage 60's Noble Thunderball Thunderball Electric Guitar (UNTESTED). Noble brand was a re-branded Kingston. There were many of these guitars made under several brand names.
Finish is still good looking but with typical marks, chips, small dents from likely closet storage and normal use. Chrome is also good looking and shiny but there are little bits of corrosion. See pics of all angles
... more
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1960s Teisco Del Rey Model EV-2T Electric Guitar READ!

1960s Teisco Del Rey Model EV-2T Electric Guitar READ!

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


1960s Teisco Del Rey Model EV-2T Electric Guitar. NO CASE .WORKING


... more
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1963 Kay Truetone Speed Demon

1963 Kay Truetone Speed Demon

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


Was a Wall Hanger someone put red latex painted . Ive peeled most off but needs more . No pick guard few knobs missing . Repaired crack pictured. Scratches and finish checked or raw worn . Needs 12 fret n below planed . Best thing is all pickups n electronics seem to work. Original kluson tuners. Plays down to the 10th fret.
... more
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1964 Gibson Thunderbird IV natural

1964 Gibson Thunderbird IV natural

Havertown, Pennsylvania, 190**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


To see this clearer click on the big photo:Here we go. This is a 100% real '64 T-bird and it has no repairs Very hard to find one with no repairs Obviously, someone (or something .) decided to cut down some corners (We guess they wanted a non-reverse?) Parts wise it is almost 100% original also. The only change is the later '60's Gibson bridge (they used the original stud holes-so if you ever want to put the original back you just screw it back in (we do not have it)). It plays and sounds ... more
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1962 Guild CA 100 Vintage Archtop

1962 Guild CA 100 Vintage Archtop

Holliston, Massachusetts, 017**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


For those who prefer tobacco this is a vintage carved ( not laminated ) spruce archtop guitar handcrafted in Hoboken NJ by Guild Yes I fell in love with these guitars and own one in blond ( in another ad ) and this one in Tobacco BurstThe Chesterfield headstock marquee on this one has shrunk a little bit and bubble up a touch no biggie its stableComes a Vintage Lifton case that also is in pretty good shape ( these usually list for ~ 300 dollars by themselves )
The Tobacco Burst is more ... more
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Los Altos, California, 940**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


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1965 Jensen EM1200 Concert 12" - Speaker Excellent - Like C12N

1965 Jensen EM1200 Concert 12" - Speaker Excellent - Like C12N

San Francisco, California, 941**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Great shape for age. Please use pics for reference and condition. Will ship fast and secure. Ive shipped dozens of speakers and vintage instruments before.

Dated 1965 great for any replacement
... more
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original 1960 Gibson ES-345 Stereo w / PAF pickups

original 1960 Gibson ES-345 Stereo w / PAF pickups

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


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Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1960 Gibson ES-345 Stereo in its original Cherry finish. It has a great playing neck with good frets. The bridge is the original no-wire ABR-1. The pictured period correct brown hardshell case is included. There was a set of Grover tuning keys installed at one time leaving wider tuning peg holes, but now has the original set of single-line single-ring gold Kluson Deluxe tuning keys. There appears to be finish ... more
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Woodridge, Illinois, 605**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Beautiful condition as shown in photos. Estate obtained from the original owner

Plays nicely and needs nothing

Look at all pictures for condition of guitar.

Guitar will be shipped in padded gig bag along with bubble wrap for safe shipment
... more
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original 1962 Gibson ES-330 Sunburst

original 1962 Gibson ES-330 Sunburst

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


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Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1962 Gibson ES-330 in its original Sunburst finish. It has a great playing neck with good frets. It's all original and 100% complete. The pictured period correct Gibson hardshell case is included, but it housed a guitar with a Bigsby at one time. This ES-330 is in great condition with only some minor nicks + dings, finish checking and other cosmetic wear. The guitar itself remains structurally sound with no ... more
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Ibanez 540R Radius Ultra Neck 1989

Ibanez 540R Radius Ultra Neck 1989

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 152**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Ibanez one 540R Radius Ultra neck in very good condition. There are no cracks. There is no fret wear. Nice looking board
Ask questions
... more
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Vintage 1960s Zenon Teisco Matsumoku Electric Guitar Gold Foil Pickups Japan

Vintage 1960s Zenon Teisco Matsumoku Electric Guitar Gold Foil Pickups Japan

Elmwood Park, New Jersey, 074**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale is a Vintage Electric Guitar, Very Good Overall Condition As Shown, Please see photos for details, All original, Plays & sounds great, Neck is straight, Low fast action, Loaded with character showing age-handling-play wear-nicks-scuffs-finish loss-slightly bent tuner / tuners-light surface rust / tarnish & patina, No case, Push in - non threaded tremolo arm which has some type of wicking on it to help stabilize it, Unique sound from these gold foil pickups, Weighs just under ... more
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6  GIBSON Electric Acoustic GUITAR Mona-Steel STRINGS E OR 6TH WOUND 1950s BX

6 GIBSON Electric Acoustic GUITAR Mona-Steel STRINGS E OR 6TH WOUND 1950s BX

Van Buren, Arkansas, 729**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


These came from Pawn / Guitar Shop Estate Sale that close in Early 80's
Case candy or used them
New Old Stock never used
I open them to check condition
May & Will have Some Tarnished, spots Patina, Rust
I clean with fine sand paper
See Pictures
Some wear and scratches and tear

... more
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Gibson Standard 58 Les Paul Goldtop 1958 Reissue 1971 1 of 25 rarest Les Paul

Gibson Standard 58 Les Paul Goldtop 1958 Reissue 1971 1 of 25 rarest Les Paul

Hopewell, New Jersey, 085**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson Standard 58 Les Paul Goldtop 1958 Reissue 1971 With original hang tag and blank guarantee card returnable to Kalamazoo
Being offered from the private collection of Sound Investments USA LLC

All electronics work and are original . very clean guitar. The Frets are ok but here is what my luthier said. The neck is slightly bowed on low E side and straight on high E side which he states can be fixed by replacing frets and compensating for ... more
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1960 Gibson EB-6 six-string hollowbody Bass w / headstock repair + neck cracks

1960 Gibson EB-6 six-string hollowbody Bass w / headstock repair + neck cracks

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


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Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1960 Gibson EB-6 hollowbody 6-string bass. The headstock has a break which was professionally repaired and finished over. There are two cracks in the neck running upward from around the 11th fret with one on each side. These two cracks have not been repaired as they do not appear to need attention as the bass appears structurally sound. It has a great playing neck with great frets. It's all original with the ... more
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Vintage 1954 Magnatone Mark Electric Guitar pickup

Vintage 1954 Magnatone Mark Electric Guitar pickup

Fort Wayne, Indiana, 468**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage 1954 Magnatone Mark Electric Guitar pickup Shipping includes insurance See my other Vintage parts
... more
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1966 Fender ELECTRIC XII Sunburst 12-string

1966 Fender ELECTRIC XII Sunburst 12-string

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


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Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1966 Fender Electric XII in its original brilliant Sunburst finish. It has a good playing neck with good frets. It's all original and 100% complete along with its original hardshell case (the case has some damage, but works well). This Electric XII looks great with some minor nicks + dings, light finish checking and other cosmetic wear. One the metal control cavity plate the metal is slightly bent around the ... more
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Vintage Mach 1 X Series KE-7VB Flying V 1980s Black

Vintage Mach 1 X Series KE-7VB Flying V 1980's Black

Leominster, Massachusetts, 014**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage Mach 1 X Series KE-7VB Flying V 1980's Black
Good Condition for it's ageCosmetically has wear scratches scuffs & scrapesHardware has oxidationElectronics are functionalHairline side heel crackAt some point there was a strap button on the lower side of the VTruss rod functionsNut has been replacedDoes not include a case or gig bagPlease see images
3 Convenient Pickup Locations:
Gordon LaSalle Music993 Main St East Hartford, CT 06108
Gordon LaSalle Music 339 Main St ... more
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1960s Hagstrom VIKING Hollowbody Sunburst made in Sweden

1960's Hagstrom VIKING Hollowbody Sunburst made in Sweden

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


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Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1960's made in Sweden Hagstrom Viking in its original Sunburst finish. It has a great playing neck with good frets. It's all original and 100% complete. A later soft shell case is included. This Viking is in great shape with minor nicks + dings and other minor cosmetic wear including some blemishes in the finish on the top of the headstock. The treble side of the nut has a small additional notch near the high E ... more
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Vintage 1965 Hofner Hollow Body Electric Guitar 4570e NEAR MINT W. GERMANY

Vintage 1965 Hofner Hollow Body Electric Guitar 4570e NEAR MINT W. GERMANY

Montclair, New Jersey, 070**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage 1965 Höfner Hollow Body Electric Guitar Model 4570e NEAR MiNT! MADE IN GERMANY
This gorgeous, vintage 1965 wide-body semi-hollow Höfner was made in West Germany and is a special instrument. It has been remarkably preserved over the years and shows little to no signs of its age.
A beautiful medium sunburst, a pearloid inlay fretboard and headstock make this a work of art. Every bit of this guitar is original.
The pickups were rewired about five years ago (see pictures) and ... more
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Carbondale, Illinois, 629**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


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Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1st year 1972 Fender Musicmaster Bass in its original Blue finish. It has a great playing neck with great frets. It's all original and 100% complete with the exception of a small chip in the bottom corner of the pickguard. It is also 100% complete. A non-original blue chipboard case is included and has some damaged areas. This bass looks great with nicks + dings, minor finish checking and other cosmetic wear ... more
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1960s EKO Cobra short-scale Bass FIESTA RED!!! made in Italy

1960's EKO Cobra short-scale Bass FIESTA RED!!! made in Italy

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


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Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1960's EKO Cobra short-scale bass in a rare Fiesta Red type of finish without the "EKO" name on the headstock. It has a great playing neck with great frets and is very lightweight. It's all original with the possible exception of the nut and includes the original hardshell case. The case has one missing latch with some damage on one end while the other end has been painted. This Italian made bass looks great with... more
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1980s Fender PERFORMER BASS made in Japan mij 24-fret EMERALD MIST METALLIC!!!

1980's Fender PERFORMER BASS made in Japan mij 24-fret EMERALD MIST METALLIC!!!

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


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Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1980's made in Japan Fender Performer Bass in its original Emerald Mist Metallic finish. It has a great playing 24-fret neck with great frets. It's all original and 100% complete. The pictured gig bag is included. It looks great with some nicks + dings, some short gauge lines in the wood on the back of the neck behind the 10th + 11th frets and other cosmetic wear including natural play wear on the back of the ... more
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1954 Epiphone Zephyr Emperor Regent

1954 Epiphone Zephyr Emperor Regent

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1954Epiphone Zephyr Emperor Regent, Deluxe archtopelectric hollow-body model, Blonde finish, Gorgeous Flamed Maple, Three New Yorkpickups, White New York Label, PearlBlock inlays with Abalone Triangle inserts, Gold hardware, Push button tone controls, 1 73 inches wide nut width, 18 5 inches wide lower bout, Big sounding, Lovely instrument, EC, Original hard case... more
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Epiphone Dot Hollow Body Electric Guitar Blonde

Epiphone Dot Hollow Body Electric Guitar Blonde

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 532**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


... more
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Vintage Fender Stratocaster 1971-4 Bolt Rare Maple Neck Original Sunburst Finish

Vintage Fender Stratocaster 1971-4 Bolt Rare Maple Neck Original Sunburst Finish

Miami, Florida, 331**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage 1971 Fender Stratocaster with a Rare 4 Bolt Maple Neck. Correct 1970 Staggered Pole Pickups. Original Pots. All Original Sunburst Finish. Schaller Tuners Installed. A Locking Nut was Removed and Filled. It has a Changed Strap Button on the Horn and a 5-Way Switch Installed. New Fender Black Tolex Case. Last Year of the 4 Bolt Strats. A Wonderful Vintage Strat. Weighs in at 7 7 LBS ?... more
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Fender Telecaster 1968 - Rare Figured Maple Cap Neck Original Blonde Finish OHSC

Fender Telecaster 1968 - Rare Figured Maple Cap Neck Original Blonde Finish OHSC

Miami, Florida, 331**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Here is a Killer Vintage 1968 Fender Telecaster with a Rare Figured Maple Cap Neck. All Original Blonde Finish with Vintage Checking and Various Paint Chips on the Edges. Fender Custom Shop Pickups Installed That Sound Totally Boss !!
Original Black Tolex Case in Very Nice Condition Weighs 7 5 LBS
... more
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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 bass Rose-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 Zambesi This 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 Ace The 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 Escort The 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 Care Catalog 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 Folk The 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 guitar The 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 catalog Hagstrom 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 President The 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.

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manual

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manual The newly designed Les Paul Recording guitar was released in 1971, in many ways as an updated version of the Les Paul Professional that had debuted two years earlier in 1969. The new guitar came with a new owners manual explaining the (somewhat complicated) controls, their operation, and giving other specifications, including recommended strings, action and control settings. Compare with the broadly similar owners manual for the Les Paul Personal / Professional