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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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The Realist RLSTVNQT Copperhead Violin Pickup - Acoustic Instrument Pickup

The Realist RLSTVNQT Copperhead Violin Pickup - Acoustic Instrument Pickup

Brooklyn, New York, 112**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


The Realist RLSTVNQT Copperhead violin pickup allows for excellent sound amplification on acoustic instruments. Crafted by The Realist, this model is specifically designed for violin use. The RLSTVNQT Copperhead is a top choice for musicians seeking to achieve an authentic and natural sound during live performances or recordings

This high-quality instrument pickup is crafted to meet the demands of professional musicians. It accurately captures the nuances of the violin's sound, ... 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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Vintage Noble Electric Guitar Lap #37420 6 String Mother of Pearl Hawaiian

Vintage Noble Electric Guitar Lap #37420 6 String Mother of Pearl Hawaiian

Lansing, Illinois, 604**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This Auction is for the Vintage Noble Electric Guitar PicturedHawaii Lap Guitar Comes in the Hard CaseHas 6 Strings ~ ~ Mother of Pearl Measures 29" Long and 7 3 / 4" At Widest SpotWell Taken Care OfShipping in the USA is $54 99... 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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Nice 1984 Ibanez RS225 Roadstar II Guitar -------------------------------- Cool!

Nice 1984 Ibanez RS225 Roadstar II Guitar -------------------------------- Cool!

Munster, Indiana, 463**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Nice 1984 Ibanez RS225 Roadstar II Guitar. Looks, sounds and plays great. All controls have been cleaned. Whammy bar is missing. Shipping is $50 to the continental US; all others use eBay's Global Shipping Program. Sorry, no shipping to Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.... more
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1965 Fender Stratocaster Vintage Cady Apple Red Custom color Original 65

1965 Fender Stratocaster Vintage Cady Apple Red Custom color Original 65

Ladera Ranch, California, 926**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1965 Fender Stratocaster early custom color Candy Apple red 100 % Original, nothing touched, all the solder Joints are untouched. Gray bottom pickups have the original winds, Green pick guard early 65' pot dates. No routes, extra holes, touchups or repairs. The original Large frets are in great shape. A true collector grade instrument. Comes with the original no logo black case. This is an Extremely rare Vintage guitar. Buyer is responsible for all shipping.... 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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Vintage Crate Electra 4 String Bass Guitar Black (Parts / Repair)

Vintage Crate Electra 4 String Bass Guitar Black (Parts / Repair)

Rocky Mount, North Carolina, 278**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage Crate Electra 4 String Bass Guitar Black (Parts / Repair)
For parts / repair. Comes as shown and as is. Does have some signs of wear and tear such as scratches and scuff. See pictures. Pickups are bad, bass does not work.
PAYPAL is the only payment method we accept. If you require an invoice for your purchase or would like to purchase multiple items simply email us before paying and we will supply invoice or combine purchases. Payment should be ... 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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1960 Teisco  2 Sets of Tuners  3X3 and 6 in line  /   Kay Harmony

1960' Teisco 2 Sets of Tuners 3X3 and 6 in line / Kay Harmony

Mustang, Oklahoma, 730**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1960's 2 Sets Teisco tuners A little rusty, dirty as common work well, Thanks !
USA 48 only
... 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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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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Fender American Standard Precision Bass Guitar 1983 E3 Vintage USA P-Bass & Case

Fender American Standard Precision Bass Guitar 1983 E3 Vintage USA P-Bass & Case

Hamtramck, Michigan, 482**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage Fender 1983 4 String American Standard Precision Bass Guitar
Genuine Made in USA American Right Handed Fender Precision Bass Guitar; Serial Number: E316441 (E3 denotes 1983 Model Year)
Right handed bass guitar with "BadAss Bass II" bridge, Brown Sunburst body with Maple Fretboard.
Used in great condition with normal surface wear for age, no chips or cracks on body. No damage to frets, plays perfectly with excellent tone
Fender brand hard cover soft lined flight case ... more
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SAM HUTTON Tweed Series Amplifier LEO FENDER Tribute Clock Vintage Collectible

SAM HUTTON Tweed Series Amplifier LEO FENDER Tribute Clock Vintage Collectible

Gilbert, Arizona, 852**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Introducing the SAM HUTTON Tweed Series Amplifier LEO FENDER Tribute Clock?? definitely a rare vintage collectible??perfect for music enthusiasts and vintage collectors alike. This rare item features a tribute clock to the legendary Leo Fender, founder of the iconic Fender brand. The amplifier is part of the Tweed Series and is in excellent working condition.

The SAM HUTTON Tweed Series Amplifier has been meticulously cared for and is a stunning addition to any collection. The clock ... 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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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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1956 fender sratocaster in origanal case w /  aprasal

1956 fender sratocaster in origanal case w / aprasal

Wendell, North Carolina, 275**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1956 fender sratocaster in origanal case w / aprasal.... more
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1952 Fender Precision Bass Body Ferrule.

1952 Fender Precision Bass Body Ferrule.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, 481**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This is a very rare body ferrule from a first year 1952 Fender Precision Bass body. Ships worldwide USPS. Check out my other listing for more great vintage items
... more
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Vintage 1974 matched set Stratocaster 250K pots

Vintage 1974 matched set Stratocaster 250K pots

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


Vintage 1974 matched set Stratocaster 250K pots in perfect condition See my other Vintage parts listed.... more
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1979 Fender Stratocaster With Original Hardshell Case

1979 Fender Stratocaster With Original Hardshell Case

Elmhurst, Illinois, 601**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Revolution Music is proud to present this Beautiful, 1979, Black on Black Fender Stratocaster in great condition. This vintage beast oozes with mojo. There is honest wear throughout. The guitar has some kinks, scratches, & chips. It sounds amazing. Original Hardshell Case with 2 broken latches included.


Shipping in the continental USA will be by FedEx Ground or ... more
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Vintage Electric Guitar made in Japan for Restoration

Vintage Electric Guitar made in Japan for Restoration

Colorado Springs, Colorado, 809**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage Electric Guitar made in Japan. Missing one tuner and didn't try the pickup. Neck is straight and action is set at a good height. Bunny can be removed from back with a little work. Has made in Japan on the back neck plate. Please ask all questions before purchase
... more
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Vintage 1973 matched set Stratocaster 250K pots

Vintage 1973 matched set Stratocaster 250K pots

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


Vintage 1973 matched set Stratocaster 250K pots in perfect condition See my other Vintage parts listed.... more
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1982 G&L  S-500

1982 G&L S-500

Skokie, Illinois, 600**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Beautiful vintage G&L definitely has some ware but for 40 years old this thing feels and sounds great pickups are super clean and hold gain we??ll just an over all great guitar and a piece of history I??ve had it for about 4-5 months now and just couldn??t put it down but I need the cash so sadly have to let it go

See pictures for the damage on the body and checking all over but no major cracks or brakes and none of it affects the tone what so ever she??s definitely a ... more
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Vintage Gariepy banjo Flush fret banjo

Vintage Gariepy banjo Flush fret banjo

Buena Park, California, 906**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


... 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 (seepage 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 Coloramawas the name UK distributorSelmergave 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 HofnerDiamond 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-respectedMatsumokuplant 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 IITheHofner Coloramawas the name given bySelmerto 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). TheMatsumokufactory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the1820 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 GibsonMarauderbegan 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 theMarauder,S-1, andL-6S Custommixed in with brand new models theThe V,The Explorerand theFlying 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. The3263 basswas 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 AceTheVox Super Acewas 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-pickupVox 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 Basssupporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortTheVox New Escortwas 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 guitarTheSymphonicbass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to theFender Precisionbass, 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-style3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string3261, the twelve string3262and the3263bass.Shaftesburywas the house-brand of major UK distributorRose-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, byEko

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. TheFender Precisionhad 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 StrollerTheVox Strollerwas 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 theVox Clubman IIbass, 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 GibsonES Artistlaunched 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 toLaVonne Musicby 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 PresidentThePresidentwas 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 newJaguar.

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manual

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manualThe newly designedLes Paul Recordingguitar 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 theLes Paul Personal / Professional