Why this is probably not a 1961 Gibson ES-125- what do you think?

Why this is probably not a 1961 Gibson ES-125- what do you think?

Gibson is consistent in only one thing: inconsistency.  As a result it can be very difficult to date some vintage Gibsons.  When I say Gibson here, I mean Kalamazoo era Gibson (up until about 1977 give or take).  Dating vintage Gibsons is sometimes an art rather than a science.  Take for instance this guitar from the Music City Pickers out of Nashville, TN.  I have met these guys and they are top notch.  They always have great guitars coming and going and it is a joy to see.  That being said, this one may deserve…Read more
The Holy Grail of vintage guitar amplifiers: 1956 Fender Deluxe

The Holy Grail of vintage guitar amplifiers: 1956 Fender Deluxe

I used to have a couple of tweed fenders and one was the Deluxe.  It was a '59.  The speaker had been changed a couple of times.  The capacitors were recent and who knows where the output transformer came from.  The tweed was ripped and covered in candle wax from a couple of different recording sessions.  And it sounded, in a word, like a small piece of rock heaven.The amplifier pictured is clearly not my old tweed Deluxe.  This one led a completely different life than the one from the recording studio.  This…Read more
Email Guitar- Look what we have here!

Email Guitar- Look what we have here!

I got an email from a reader with a couple of pictures attached.  Needless to say, I was pumped.It's a Silvertone 1446!  It is always a great day when you find an old guitar in a closet, under the bed, wherever it was left years ago and forgotten.  This one seems to be original except for the decal pinstripes on the headstock.  I think they are cool but I would probably still attempt to remove them if I felt comfortable with it.  It even has the original case and seems to be in…Read more
50s Kay Kraftsman Jumbo…. The poor man’s J-200

50s Kay Kraftsman Jumbo…. The poor man’s J-200

I saw an old amp on Craigslist in Tuscaloosa the other day.  It was a Silvertone 1472 sporting about 10 watts or so and a 12" speaker.  I was heading to Tuscaloosa on business that day so I figured I would inquire about it.  Unfortunately I was about 10 minutes too late.The seller was very nice and asked what else I was interested in.  I told him I like anything old and made in America.  He said he had an old Kay flat top that had a body made by Gibson.  I thought…Read more
Field Trip:  1957 Fender Vibrolux

Field Trip: 1957 Fender Vibrolux

A friend of mine called me the other day and said that he had just traded his old drum set for this 1957 Fender Vibrolux:Needless to say, I was very excited.  Back in school I bought a small collection of vintage Fenders including a 1960 Champ, 1959 Princeton, 1960 Deluxe and a 1964 Vibro Champ.  Pete would come over and we would blues out with me on his Strat (and the Deluxe!) and him on the harmonica with the Champ.  TONE gentlemen, tone.Until one time I was holding the strat and he had…Read more
1953 Gibson J-45 nicknamed the “Workhorse”

1953 Gibson J-45 nicknamed the “Workhorse”

Introducing my favorite guitar ever made- the Gibson J-45.This guitar came out of the Appalachian foothills of north Georgia.  It had been posted for months along with a 1936 Gibson L-00 and had not sold.  I snatched them both up as soon as I could get in contact with him.  Here is a shot of the L-00 (dorm room photo).The first J-45s came out in 1942 when Gibson was producing only six models because of the war shortages.  It was a bare bones blues powerhouse that continues to be in production today with…Read more
1963 Harmony Rocket H59 with 3 Rowe Industries DeArmond “Gold Foil” Pickups

1963 Harmony Rocket H59 with 3 Rowe Industries DeArmond “Gold Foil” Pickups

This one has been a favorite since day one, the Harmony Rocket:I just about jumped out of my chair when this one popped up in PoDunk, AL (not a real place).  It was covered in half a century's dirt and dust from being in a garage for so long.  After a quick wipe down with a barely damp cloth the finish was sparkling.  I was amazed at how well this one cleaned up.  Seems like the first thing anyone notices about these are the knobs.  SO MANY KNOBS:Individual Bakelite volume and tone knobs…Read more
My Vintage Guitar and Gear Wishlist…. and why I think these things are cool

My Vintage Guitar and Gear Wishlist…. and why I think these things are cool

There are always weird guitars and gear that I see and hope to run into one day.  Recently it has been a Harmony made Silvertone and a brand new amp from Fender.  More on that one later.The Silvertone 1446l has been popping up on my radar just about everywhere.  These things are American made by Harmony in Chicago from 1962 until 1967.  They featured a Bigsby Vibrato, a hollow body of laminated maple (even though the ads said Spruce top and back!) and the very illusive Seth Lover designed, stagger-poled mini-humbuckers.  I have…Read more