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
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