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This is a unique opportunity to own an amazing completely redone Harmony Rocket. I purchased this from an avid collector who loved rockabilly music and hot rods. He took his favorite vintage rocket and had it “hot rodded”. He had his luthier overhaul everything. He redressed the frets, he replaced the floating wooden bridge with a modern roller bridge, he replaced the original tuners with a set of Grovers and readjusted everything to maximize playability. To complete his rockabilly/hot rod project he sent the guitar a custom bike shop in California to paint an amazing professional hot rod flame job paint on the body. The paint metallic paint just leaps out and in the light and looks incredible. The back of the neck is super smooth and plays like butter. Overall the guitar plays and sounds phenomenal! This is easily the best playing Harmony or Silvertone I’ve ever encountered.It just screams "Rockabilly" at you, doesn't it? (I have to admit that I do hate that expression "plays like butter". That seems to be one of those eBay guitar listing clichés. For me, it just conjures up an image of a really digustingly greasy guitar.)
The guitar’s neck is very comfortable and is shaped like a 59’ roundback, it isn’t super large like the old Silvertone archtops and it isn’t skinny either…just nice and meaty. There are no dead spots on the neck and no buzzing along the board. The frets are vintage and are shaped like the thin/wide vintage Gibson style. The famous Dearmond gold foil pickups sound big and bold clean and thick and juicy when overdriven. All the tone/volume knobs work and are not scratchy, however two of them don’t turn as easily as the others. They still turn just fine but just not as freely as the others. The pickup selector works and feels very solid. The guitar stays in tune like a dream. Overall an incredible instrument that is perfect for the studio or the stage.
To my knowledge everything is original except for the paint finish, the headstock decal, the replaced tuners, the replaced bridge, and the matching pick gold pickguard. The guitar is in very good condition, all the binding is very tight with no cracking. No major dings, scratches or blemishes...
Thanks for the praise, but I don't think I'm going to come up trumps in this case. This is a design that I feel I should know and am sure I have seen somewhere before, but unfortunately I cannot put a name to it. If any of our readers can help, please tell us what you know via the comments.Hi GavinI've been an avid follower of your blog for a few years now and I have always admired your ability to identify random guitars!Attached is a pic I took at a gig in Bristol earlier this week. It was the support band for Morning Parade and the guitar was seriously unusual.Don't know if its that obvious from my (very bad) pic but the guitar had slanted lipstick pickups on humbucker sized plates, an old varitone switch on it and what looked like a small pushbutton switch, in addition to a pickup selector and volume. Tune-o-matic and then through body stringing. Unusual finish too. Not sure if it was modern or vintage... not a lot of help I know! I couldn't read what it said on the headstock, annoyingly!I think the support band was called Jet something but I didn't quite catch it. Probably not a lot of use but you never know, someone may know what it was. It sounded awesome, by the way!Thanks for any help you can give.Jack Floyd
I recently found an interesting guitar on German eBay. It's said to be a 1977 Gibson RD Artist.Hi Karl, as far as I remember the RD series were top of the line Gibsons at the time, but have vanished into near obscurity as have many other models including the relatively recent Blueshawk and Nighthawk models which were said to be fantastic guitars but just didn't capture the public's imagination (basically they weren't Les Pauls!). The RD Artist was the top model in the series and featured active electronics courtesy of Bob Moog - yes, the now legendary Moog synthesizer guy. That's why there's such a large access panel on the back of the guitar pictured here. However, from what my memory is telling me, these active electronics weren't too popular with guitarists and were a major contributing factor to the downfall of this model.
The RD series were produced between 1977 and 1979. According to www.vintageguitarz.org it contained three six-string guitars and two four-string basses.
The six-strings have a 25.5" scale and 2 humbuckers (active and passive, depending on the model). Body and neck are both made of laminated marple, the fretboard of ebony.
Actually I've never heard about this before (but before I starded reading Guitarz I didn't know Gibson's Kalamazoo and Corvus either) and I wonder whether it's a collectable item, quality instrument or just some kind of student model made to close a gap in Gibson's price list.
"We want to market this guitar to young girls."I mean, c'mon... Am I the only one that finds this "let's make it pink and cutesy" attitude cloyingly sickening? And isn't it a little bit insulting to women? I'm all for "guitars for girls" but much prefer the designs of Luna Guitars who make guitars suited to the female form that are feminine without being nauseating - some of which appeal to male players too.
"Let's make it pink."
"Yes, good idea. And maybe add a cute cartoon character too."
Six stringed guitar, gold glittered pick guard.That "steel bar at the side" would appear to be a Teisco (or similar) gold foil pickup. Yep, someone has had a go at electrifying this old (not quite antique) guitar. Witness also two pots - without knobs - and an output jack behind the guitar's bridge. But... What's the deal with the weird location of the pickup? Shouldn't it be under the strings? My guess is that the pickup is so microphonic that it works just about anywhere.
The finish is worn at the base of the guitar.
Visible markings to this area as well.
The wood is a very nice rich brown in color.
Uncertain of the wood used. There are two areas
where the edges are chipped, black and white pos. celluloid edging.
There is a neck pull to the guitar, no visible splits in the body.
There are nineteen frets in total, I see a few deep scratches in the wood.
The steel bar at the side has one missing screw.
This guitar was likely made sometime in the 1930s though sort of hard to pinpoint.
The guitar measures approx. 36.5" L X 13.5" W.
I sometimes comment on the Guitar Blog and I thought I'd send in this - your comment on the Burns/Hayman guitar, "I've always liked acoustics that have obviously been electrified with pickups and control knobs on show for all to see" spurred me into photographing and videoing one of my own guitars for submission for your blog.Hey Jim, great stuff. Thanks for sharing it with us. I guess this is the same kind of do it yourself ethos as displayed by cigar box guitar builders. I'm reminded also of Seasick Steve, who besides playing his "3-string trance wonder" also often riffs upon a beaten-up old parlour guitar with a Teisco pickup screwed into the top - and it sounds fantastic.
The attached photos are of an old acoustic that has been "modified" over the years by me, The original guitar was sunburst, made in Eastern Europe model with a white scratchplate, trapeze type tailpiece and no bridge (or strings). Over the years different paint finishes and hardware have been added to the guitar, including a pickup from a Japanese Telecaster copy (wired straight to a jack) and homemade bridge, scratchplate and soundholes. I keep it in an open-E tuning based on the "Keith Richards" open G, so it only needs 5 strings. The strings come out of the big bridge straight onto the wood - there is no saddle - which lends the guitar a sitar-type quality.
I made a YouTube video so that you can hear what it sounds like amplified and acoustically too.
I used to think that perhaps I had gone too far with the things I had done to the guitar, but a few years ago I found an unmodified version of the same guitar in a charity shop. I bought it, got it home, put new machine heads on and strung it with new strings and realised why I had gone to such lengths to change the original; it sounded awful! Attached also is a cameraphone photo of the two together [inset, above].
Rare ancienne guitare, forme peu courante, usures et petits manques d'usage....which doesn't tell us much more other than its supposed rarity and its length.
Longueur de la caisse 435 mm longueur totale 900 mm.
Usures d'usages et du temps.
In the early days of electric guitar building, you had to struggle not only with the guitar itself, but also with the unwanted background noises that guitars produced in those days, for example, pickup feedback resulting from pickups not yet being wax-potted, or loud humming coming from a loose solder joint. Sometimes the guitar signal would be interrupted when you randomly touched a knob.The above-pictured 7-string Tesla, currently for sale on eBay with bidding at over $4,000 as I type this, has a glow-in-the-dark finish and - as requested by the customer - is the only example to feature glow-in-the-dark side dots along the top of the fingerboard.
Nowadays all these effects have disappeared as a result of technical improvements, although they have become part of music history as archetypes of guitar sounds. They are comparable to sounds such as the scratching of records and skipping of CDs, which have also become musical archetypes and are often cited in today’s music.
With the Tesla I have designed a guitar that, along with modern guitars sounds, also has these primitive sounds at its disposal. Contact points and push-buttons are situated all over the body, which, when pressed, activate the respective sounds.
Hey, I'm sure it works beautifully, and would be a great guitar for recording with. But all those switches look a bit much, and can you imagine try to play that at a gig with three cables coming out of it?Middle pick-up on Strat has been replaced by 2 slanted Fender pick-ups, one covers the 3 bass strings and one covers the 3 treble strings. Fuller sound as 6 coils cover 3 strings. [I think he means 6 "pole pieces" - GLW] The signals are then fed out through 2 separate volume controls to 2 jacks - one going to the left amp and one to the right giving a fantastic stereo sound. Each jack can of course, have its own effects foot pedal like reverb, chorus or octave box etc. Special offer - on one Fender Stratocaster Squier (as opposed to Mexican) - $745 + $45 shipping. Will build to your own specifications [...]Normal Strat pick-up coming from 3rd jack.This can be used for normal Strat playing with volume, tone and switching between the neck and bridge humbucker. Playing the 2 together is not a feature found on normal Strats as they are usually combined with the middle pick-up. You can of course have a third amp for surround sound.Once you hear the amazing sound you'll never want to play a mono guitar again (unless it's a Martin). If you are not happy please send it back as we really don't want to sell it. The guitar has been modified to professional standards by the Guitar Guru of Toronto, who has finely tuned the action and fantastic sound.
1964 Thomas model C, finished in goldburst, new tuners, name and social security card number etched into back of headstock and tremolo cover, neck and fingerboard and frets have wear, sounds very much like a Gibson SG Special, if you are looking for the coolest of cool, you have finally found it.
I think this is a Harvey-made whammy. These are the "bubble" pickguards. The plexiglas was heated in an oven and layed over a mold to form the bubbles. The pickups are just loose coils of wire and bar magnets wrapped in masking tape stuffed under the bubbles. Note also the fancy pickguard shape. It's a kind of Grand-Ol-Opry kind of snazz. And the little raised secondary pickguard says that this is a fingerstyle guitar. The white body lets you see the complex beveling plan of the top. Looking at this you can see the Moserite inspiration. Thanks Buzz! What a great example of Harvey's eccentric genius.
Rare Virginian hybrid guitar designed by Barry Gibson and Keith West of Burns London Ltd. featuring:I'm actually surprised it's as recent as that; it looks older. Anyway, it has a starting price of £249 on it and a But It Now price of £850.
A real collectors piece for Burns/Hayman fans 1 only made as this model was never put into production. The guitar was made over 12 years ago in the U.K. and has been sitting in the Burns warehouse since then, untouched.
- Burns Rezo-Matik pick-ups
- Solid Spruce Top
- Rosewood back and sides
- Burns badged Gotoh tuners
- Burns Tortoiseshell bridge section
G L WilsonCalifone guitars were made for Rheem Califone (the record player people) in Los Angeles to complement their range of school PA equipment. In mid 1966 Murphy Music was approached by Califone (also located in San Fernando) to build a range of guitars and amps (this is how the amp side of the business got started) that they could market to schools to compliment the audio stuff they were providing to the education department - a potential BIG money spinner for MURPH! ...BUT, as seemed to happen a lot with them, the luck of the Irish WASN'T with Pat Murphy with this venture either - Califone had a change of heart and called off the deal after 25 or so prototypes were made. They were made up of 6 strings, basses and 12 string guitars. Most were basic Squires [...] with a changed nameplate but they did do some with ‘slanted’ pickups and different Gumby-like headstocks.
Aside from a picture on the Teisco Twanger's Paradise site, a few small mentions and queries by persons attempting to discover their value, there's almost no info at all on the 'Net about the Vamper.We looked at another Kimberly guitar in October 2008 - I couldn't find out very much information about that one either!
Basically the same hardware and appointments as its sister instruments, the somewhat more common May Queen and the uber rare Fire Bird. Like her sisters, the Vamper is at least a level or two better quality than most ordinary Teiscos. Great playing guitar!
Semi hollowbody construction with an obvious Mosrite influence. Red/orange finish, almost like Fender Fiesta Red...
Interesting use of a resonator guitarThanks Tone! (Do you mind if I call you Tone?) There's a fun challenge for our readers! I can't say I would have expected to see a National Tri-Cone resonator guitar in the hands of Chinese actress/singer Grace Chang whilst singing an aria from the opera "Carmen". Can anyone beat that for a guitar being used in an unusual context?
Check out this clip of a 1960 Hong Kong movie:
The girl starts off playing a resonator in a fancy Hong Kong night club while singing Carmen. I'm not asking for an ID of the guitar - I just thought it was an interesting use of a resonator. I wonder if your blog readers can find other "out of place" guitars in films, etc.
Tone Deaf Radio
Foster's Brothers Guitars builds fine, quality instruments. Designer/Builder Keith has been building Lego-bodied guitars for 14 years now. In that time he has completed 13 Lego builds. His build process and the quality of the instrument has significantly increased over that time.They are certainly distinctive-looking instruments and well worthy of a Guitarz blog post. I can't imagine that the body is completely Lego - it'd need some kind of solid core or foundation, I would have thought. Anyway, great, fun designs! Love it!
Keith's designs - whether in Lego, or whatever medium he tackles, ALWAYS push the limits. They are some of the most radical designs out there.
I read your blog every time you have a new post and enjoy it very much. I don't know if you are interested in this or not but I've built an electric guitar for myself. I posted the whole process on my blog.Thanks for that, Keith. That's a highly individual-looking guitar you have there! I like the contouring to the top - it's like an extreme German carve. It's so nice to see a guitar that someone's created that isn't a "cookie cutter" guitar using the same old templates that we see time and time again, or else looks as if it's been made by someone who has never even seen an electric guitar before and just had someone not very knowledgeable describe one to them.
Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore has died at a Costa del Sol hotel.
The musician was found dead in his room at the luxury Kempinski Resort Hotel in Estepona in the early hours of this morning. A postmortem is due to carried out later today in the nearby city of Malaga.
Moore (58) from Belfast is understood to have been on holiday at the time of his death.