1969 Gibson Les Paul Custom

1969 Gibson Les Paul Custom

Here's one from the archives: a beautiful Gibson Les Paul Custom made in 1969! The story I have is that it was purchased new by a professional player in Jasper, Alabama. He played it a few years, replaced the tuners, bought other guitars, and eventually forgot about the Gibson Les Paul Custom. He had a niece at the time who wanted to learn to play the electric guitar. Instead of having the poor thing sit unplayed in the closet, he gave it away to his niece to learn to play on. What an…Read more
Vintage Fender Telecaster – 1952!

Vintage Fender Telecaster – 1952!

Here's a neat story about two ladies that ended up with a special guitar - a Fender Telecaster from 1952. It's a common enough thing in the vintage guitar world. Someone purchases a vintage Fender or Gibson or Martin guitar in the 1950s or 1960s and cherishes it their entire life until they pass. The family finds the instrument and realizes the value has increased spectacularly since their relative bought it. Some decide to keep since it's not hurting anyone just sitting there. Some decide to sell since it's not helping anyone while…Read more
1962 Gibson ES-335tdc

1962 Gibson ES-335tdc

There's something about the Gibson ES body style that grabs you as a player. It's the culmination of 60+ years of artistry, engineering, musicianship, drive, passion, and music. Gibson's ES-335 model debuted in 1958 with an aesthetic that channelled Gibson's history of making world class archtop guitars but took advantage of the research and development of the solid body electric guitar. They mated the beauty and resonance of the thinline, f hole archtop shape with the solid center block of the Les Paul Model guitars and made something totally new. 1962 Gibson ES-335…Read more
Vintage Guitar road trip!

Vintage Guitar road trip!

Roadtrip! Some vintage guitars are too special to ship. This one called for an almost 24 hour drive time road trip. I received a call from a very nice owner of a 1962 Gibson ES-335tdc with stop bar tailpiece. A quick check with google maps revealed that she was only a 10 hour drive from my home in Birmingham, AL. I hopped in the driver's seat of my 2005 Ford Crown Victoria and settled in for a long drive. My first stop was in Franklin, TN for the guitar show! I knew it…Read more
1964 Gibson ES-335tdc!

1964 Gibson ES-335tdc!

1964 Gibson ES-335tdc This golden era vintage Gibson guitar cruised through the shop a few years ago: a 1964 Gibson ES-335tdc with Bigsby tailpiece. Gibson introduced the ES-335 in 1958 with a revolutionary design: the thinline, semi-hollow archtop electric guitar body. It felt like a traditional guitar at the time but was comfortable to play standing up with its thin body depth. It also avoided feedback with the solid center block but still had that hollowbody warmth from the hollow wings of the body. Gibson quickly recognized the potential for this design and…Read more
1964 Fender Jaguar Blond Ash

1964 Fender Jaguar Blond Ash

1964 Fender Jaguar Blond finish with Ash body This was one of my favorite vintage guitars to ever come through the shop! The Jaguar model was introduced by Fender in 1962 as their flagship, top of the heap new electric guitar model. It was offered in a standard Sunburst finish but the price list also offered a Blond finish with Ash body or a Custom Color available from a chart. So, Blond wasn't technically a "custom" color for this model but it was an upgraded finish. The vast majority of Fender guitars in…Read more
Vintage Guitar Library: Vintage Fender Book

Vintage Guitar Library: Vintage Fender Book

I received a question on Instagram last week asking "Where can we find out more about our guitars? Websites? Forums?" There are some great websites and forums about vintage guitars out there but I think that you are better off building your vintage guitar library! Here is one book recommendation for those interested in vintage Fender electric guitars, Fender electric bass guitars, and fender amplifiers! Check out Martin Kelly, Terry Foster, and Paul Kelly's Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970 . My copy offender: the golden age 1946-1970 The depth of the collection of…Read more
How to date Fender and Gibson guitars with potentiometer codes

How to date Fender and Gibson guitars with potentiometer codes

Determining the year of manufacture for your vintage guitar is very important. It's one of the most fun parts of vintage guitars but it can also be the most frustrating. Fender used at least four different serializing schemes from 1950 to 1980. Gibson used countless schemes and also reused numbers at least three times within the span of 20 years! The best way to assign a year of manufacture to a guitar is to date each part individually then see how the guitar as a whole lines up to established dates. The potentiometers,…Read more
1965 Gibson SJ Southerner Jumbo

1965 Gibson SJ Southerner Jumbo

Look what just breezed through the shop: a near mint 1965 Gibson SJ or Southerner Jumbo. It seems likely nearly every single one of these got hammered pretty hard during the folk boom of the 1960s. Somehow, this one escaped that fate. I suppose that nice hard shell case helped preserve it as well. Gibson's SJ model, or Southerner Jumbo, debuted in 1943 with only about 74 examples made that year according to the Gibson shipping ledger records published in John Thomas' Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Woman And Gibson's "Banner" Guitars of WWII. The model initially received Rosewood backs and sides until it was…Read more
1965 Silvertone 1457

1965 Silvertone 1457

This clean package just breezed through the shop: a 1965 Silvertone 1457 commonly referred to as the amp in case guitar. These were manufactured and finished by Danelectro, in Neptune, NJ and are uniquely constructed and wired. Nathan Daniel's design wonderfully combined a classic electric guitar layout (two single coil pickups with a bolt on neck) with totally unique styling cues and construction techniques. Most players wouldn't consider these "better" than electric guitars by Fender or Gibson but I would bet that every player out there has room in their stable for a…Read more