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
Harmony Bobkat Video Blog

Harmony Bobkat Video Blog

I picked up this Harmony Bobkat a couple of days ago.  I didn't feel like writing tonight but I wanted to get the word out about these so I made a quick video about it.  Check it out, comment, disagree, like it, share it.... participate.I just wanted to show that while I could be playing much more expensive and technically "better" guitars, instead I am playing this one.  You don't have to pay 3 grand to get a solid vintage guitar.  Price does not translate into quality, playability or tone.  The price of…Read more
The $200k Les Paul’s little brother: 1960 Gibson Melody Maker

The $200k Les Paul’s little brother: 1960 Gibson Melody Maker

According to Gibson's website, the Melody Maker was the best selling guitar at the time.  It was cheap and looked cool too.  They produced them on the same line that made Les Pauls, ES-335s and J-200s.The Melody Maker was a full scale guitar with trimmed down features. The body is solid Mahogany but is much thinner than a standard guitar at 1 3/8ths" thick.  It has only one single coil pickup made specifically for this model.  The neck is a full size standard neck except the headstock doesn't have the "wings" glued on…Read more
Pre-war Epiphone Flat-top: 1940 Epiphone FT-50

Pre-war Epiphone Flat-top: 1940 Epiphone FT-50

I say 1940 but I don't really know.  A friend on the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum concluded that this was built by Epiphone in 1940 or '41.  There were very few of these ever made.This one popped up on the local Craigslist.  I don't think that many people on there knew what it was.  Of course, this is no asian made Epiphone.  This was made before Gibson purchased the Epiphone brand in 1957.  They moved the production of Epiphone branded instruments overseas in the 70s tarnishing the name.  The American made Epiphones were very fine…Read more
Pre-war Gibson Flat-top:  1933 Gibson L-00

Pre-war Gibson Flat-top: 1933 Gibson L-00

When I was back in school I was lucky enough to find a guy with an early 50s J-45 and a mid to late 30s L-00.  I knew the J-45 was for me so I quickly sold off the L-00.  Mistake.  The thing had been played and played and needed a neck reset but it felt so good.  Sounded even better.  When I got word of this one for sale I was ecstatic. The L-00's first catalogue appearance was in 1932 but supposedly they had been making them since 1929.  They were Gibson's budget model…Read more
The One(s) That Got Away

The One(s) That Got Away

Half the fun of vintage guitars are their history and the path they took to get to me.  Some of the guitars I have bought came with pictures of the original owners and stories about how all those scratches came to be (most have to do with the owner drinking a lot).  Sadly, the sellers are rarely the ones that owned the guitar for so long. I'm not always successful in my pursuit of vintage flat-tops.  Sometimes it will get snagged by someone else or the owner decides not to sell.  Here are…Read more
From the Bailey Brothers’ VAULT: 1960 Gibson ES-355

From the Bailey Brothers’ VAULT: 1960 Gibson ES-355

You have heard of it happening.  Most guitar shops will have somewhere that they keep the "good stuff."  You are standing in your favorite local guitar shop.  You overhear another customer say something like "have you gotten in anything good lately?" while he is standing next to Custom Shop Les Pauls, Gretsch White Falcons or CS black guard Teles and what not.  As if those were not good.This customer is talking about the stuff in the back room, upstairs, or maybe even right behind the counter and out of sight of the average…Read more
Just a good, southern late 50s Gibson J-45.. and a quick video of my 1964 Gibson B-25

Just a good, southern late 50s Gibson J-45.. and a quick video of my 1964 Gibson B-25

Carl posted about this guitar in the comments section of the post of my 1953 J-45:I love getting these emails.  You never know what you are going to come across.  This one has 20 frets to the body, larger pickguard and non-adjustable bridge.  That would put it between 1955 and 1961 (about).  I don't have a picture of the FON so I can't nail down the year.  I have an up close picture of the fretboard and it looks to be flat-sawn Rosewood instead of quarter-sawn.  My 1960 Gibson Melody Maker has that…Read more
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