1943 Gibson J-45: All Mahogany, All blues

1943 Gibson J-45: All Mahogany, All blues

This banner Gibson J-45 was made in the lowest of low time period during World War II.  It is made from all solid Mahogany and features no steel truss rod but a solid Ebony insert down the neck for stability.  Stock piles were at there lowest point because everything was going to the war effort.  While this guitar may not be as desirable as a Spruce/Hog with truss rod guitar, it is a very cool part of Gibson history.  The neck is straight and the tone is unique and warm.  I love playing…Read more
1944 Gibson J-45 “Only a Gibson is good enough”

1944 Gibson J-45 “Only a Gibson is good enough”

The banner on Gibson's wartime flat-tops appeared around June of 1942 and disappeared sometime in 1946.  It is still a but unclear why but we may know more about the banner after this book comes out: Kalamazoo Gals.  Maybe it had something to do with national pride during the war years since the Martin guitar company was still family owned and the original CF Martin was in fact, a German immigrant.  This is solely speculation though, It may have had nothing to do with Martin.This guitar was probably made in 1944 but again, that…Read more
1939 Gibson J-35, 3 tone bars of blues.

1939 Gibson J-35, 3 tone bars of blues.

The model designation "J-35" showed up in the ledgers in late 1936.  It was a no frills jumbo featuring a Spruce top and Mahogany back and sides.  It was originally named the "Trojan" but not for very long.  It is my understanding that the word Trojan only shows up one time.  The Trojan guitar differs very little from the J-35, if at all.-Edit-  As our friend mentioned in the comments section, the "Trojan" model appears 39 times in the surviving shipping ledgers from 1936.  Only one had an attached FON: 960-12 which shipped…Read more
1967 Harmony H59 Rocket… Version 2

1967 Harmony H59 Rocket… Version 2

If you have followed this blog for a while you might remember my first Rocket (Rocket Version 1).  If you read through that post then you might have seen the comment by a guy about his Harmony Rocket.  Well, here it is!This Harmony Rocket was built in 1967 in Chicago.  Harmony made this version of the Rocket from '66 to '67.  Sometime between '67 and '68 they discontinued the single cutaway and produced instead the double cutaway version which I am not a very big fan of.I am a huge fan of the…Read more
Vintage Guitar Artist Spotlight: Brad Barr and his ’51 Gibson J-45

Vintage Guitar Artist Spotlight: Brad Barr and his ’51 Gibson J-45

I love watching youtube videos and finding within them little vintage gems that somehow don't get mentioned in the comments.  This video was recorded by KEXP in Seattle at the 2012 Pickathon:That is Brad Barr of the Barr Brothers playing a beautiful 1951 Gibson J-45.  I think that this is where the J-45 really shines.  The mid-range rumble is just about perfect for the singer-songwriter types.  The fact that the guitar is a beautiful work of art and has played 62 years of wonderful music is what begs the songwriter to do what…Read more
Another Nick Lucas…. This one is probably a little later

Another Nick Lucas…. This one is probably a little later

This Nick Lucas walked into the local shop that I frequent.   My ears perked up when I heard about it even though I knew it was a bit rough.  Since there were only 57 (but about 200 have been found/documented, an estimated 400 total produced thanks to some forum knowledge, thanks TM) documented Nick Lucas Specials produced in any body style, one showing up locally is quite an occurrence.I told you it was rough, but I could not care any less.  The Gibson Nick Lucas Special is my favorite flat-top guitar ever.  What…Read more
1928 Gibson Nick Lucas… from an email

1928 Gibson Nick Lucas… from an email

I'm active on a couple of guitar nerd forums and I like to look out for cool guitars.  The Gibson Nick Lucas Special is one of my all-time favorite guitars ever produced.  Here is an email that I got from the grandson of the original owner of this guitar:My grandfather bought a new Gibson Nick Lucas back in the twenties. He never got around to learning how to play it and it sat in its case until he gave it to my brother in the late Fifties. It sat under his bed until…Read more
On buying old, broken guitars before you can hear them

On buying old, broken guitars before you can hear them

Most of the guitars that I buy are finds- as in they have been in a closet or under the bed for 30 years.  That means that they usually need a fair amount of repair like loose braces, neck sets, lifting bridges, etc.  When they need these kind of structural repairs I can't play them before buying.  I can't always hear how they will sound after being fixed up before I buy them.  It can be a bit of a gamble.  Here are a couple of those gambles.This was probably the biggest gamble…Read more
A Semi-Rarity:  The 1966 Epiphone Wilshire (USA!)

A Semi-Rarity: The 1966 Epiphone Wilshire (USA!)

Vintage guitars often come with a trade off: the "good ones" got played- hard.  As a result they have lots of character.  I don't mind character- in fact I love it.  I like seeing some scratches in the top of a guitar or the wear marks on the side of the neck from 60 years of first position chords.  Every once in a while however I will come across one that is clean.  This Wilshire, my friends, is CLEAN. In 1957, Gibson bought a financially failing company that had been their long time competitor.…Read more
True Vintage Guitar Dot Com!

True Vintage Guitar Dot Com!

..... is coming soon.  At least I bought the domain.  I don't know hardly anything about this whole domain...hosting...programming thing.  I want to make it a hub for people that like vintage instruments. The biggest thing will be a forum just for vintage gear.Will you join the community when I get the website up?  I know you guys have cool gear that we could discuss.  Of course, pictures are a must.  I'll let you know as soon as I get it going.  I would really love for you to be a part of…Read more