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  1. Z

    Snagged a Fairbanks

    A while back I was going through some kind of a crisis and decided it was time to seek out a newish guitar but one which would give me Old School Gibson Tone. Problem was I had obviously not picked the best time to go on a hunt so was flying blind. In the end it came down to reputation of the...
  2. Z

    A Century Old Gibson

    My L3 which rolled out of the Kalamazoo factory in 1920. So I figured it entitled me to do a bit of bragging. This was Gibson's fanciest (and highest priced) small body archtop. A 13.5" lower bout, carved graduated spruce top and birch back and rim. No truss rod so a hefty mahogany rounded...
  3. Z

    A Cool Old Kay

    I fess up - I snagged two guitars last month. In addition to the Gibson WM-00 this one turned up at a local store. No model name or number. And I cannot find anything like it any catalog. All I know is it is a Kay-built Stadium archtop most likely dating to the late-1930s. This is another...
  4. Z

    Newish Gibson Day

    I ran across this one a few weeks back. It was 20 minutes down the road with a price tag of less than a new Epi Masterbilt would have set me back. This one be a WM-00. This was part of Bozeman's first attempt at a budget line of guitars. Three of the four models were only available from 1998...
  5. Z

    If You Combined a Rickenbacker with Teisco Pickups . . .

    You might get something like this - a Kingston. This is the first electric guitar I have purchased in well over 20 years. It showed up at a local guitar shop and I knew I just had to make it mine. Kingston was a brand name importer Jack Westheimer came up with in the late-1950s. No idea...
  6. Z

    My Backup System

    Last week I decided to break out the extra audio gear laying around and test it as much of it has not seen the light of day in almost 15 years. So I commandeered our dining room table, dug out my box of cables and gave it a go. Tested were two Sound Valves VTA-70i amps and a Balanced Audio...
  7. Z

    A Question Regarding European Turntables

    I own a Dual 1219 turntable that was originally purchased in Germany so originally was equipped with an AC 50hz motor. Switching the voltage was no problem. I assumed I would then have to go with a 60hz pully. But the turntable plays at the correct speed. The only thing I can come up with is...
  8. Z

    12 Fret Appreciation

    Possibly my favorite development in guitars has been the revival of 12 fret X braced instruments. It has been a long time in coming. I am one of those who agree with lutheir John Arnold when he said "the tone in is in the 12 fretters." Even the 00 size instruments are beautifully balanced...
  9. Z

    Starting Over

    Not quite from scratch but close. I got the audio itch in the 1970s and kept scratching it through the 1990s. Over the decades I ran though a McInstosh MA-230, a Fisher 800B, Dynaco ST-70, and a pair of Sound Valves (updated Dynacos), PS Audio and a BAT preamps, Thorens & AR turntables, and...
  10. Z

    Rare But Not Always Valuable Guitars

    admit that I am the luckiest SOB there is when it comes to finding guitars that rarely come on the market for sale. These are not the modern Limited Edition kind of instant collectible guitars but all fairly old. I am not a collector and like most just tend to buy what I like. Other times...
  11. Z

    That List Of "Iconic" Guitars is Not Complete Until . . .

    Whenever somebody starts talking about what they consider to be iconic guitars the list is generally headed by the Martin D-28 and Gibson J-45. Not bad choices at all. For me though standing right up alongside them is another - the Harmony Sovereign 1260. While they have not graced the...
  12. Z

    Figure 8 Harmony Goodness

    There really is something magical about these hourglass shape Harmonys. Tens of thousands were built prior to 1957 but few seem to have survived. Probably because they were Harmonys folks did not feel it was worth their while to save them. I only own one - a 1942 all-mahogany H165...
  13. Z

    Guitars That Are Not Supposed To Exist But Do.

    Has anybody else ever picked up a guitar that is total undocumented meaning there are no catalog entries, surviving examples, or even photographs of surviving examples? There is no evidence the guitar ever existed other than you are holding it in your sweaty little hands. Is it a prototype...
  14. Z

    This One Is A Beast

    I remain a sucker for these guitars. I ran across it a while back and just knew I had to make it mine. It is an uncataloged model but is a 1957-1958 Kay K-24. Best as I can figure what distinguishes it from the cataloged model is its late 1940s style ornate three hump headstock. 17" lower...
  15. Z

    Far Out NGD

    This one may be a bit toasty and in need of some TLC but it is so cool it is off the charts - a Harmony "Uno-Tone" H-40. The date stamp looks to read 1956. These have the reputation of being the rarest post-War Harmony flattop model out there. They were built between 1954 and 1957 and was...
  16. Z

    Harmony Conversions

    I am generally if it ain't broke, don't fix it kinda individual. But something came over me last year. Started out innocently enough. I had picked up a Harmony-built Silvertone 633 Sovereign with a broken headstock. As it was a clean break, it was not a terribly difficult repair. When I had...
  17. Z

    How About Some Burst Love

    I do love me some bursts. I have 14 (I think) in the house. And when it comes to Gibson the burst was as much a trademark as their logo. So anyway, as I am trying to put off the final editing of my latest article and looking for anything to distract me for a bit, how about a display of some...
  18. Z

    It Crawled Into My Hands, Honest

    Some of the worst mistakes I have ever made were trading or selling off guitars. Several years back I let go of a 1963 Gibson B45-12. I had picked up a pre-War Regal Jumbo 12 (which believe it or not was found in a trash can) and could not figure why I would need two 12 strings. So I parted...
  19. Z

    Snagged Another Schmidt Stella

    I do not have many rules when it comes to guitars but one I do have is even if the guitar has no labeling or marks to identify it but does have an angled neck heel and is less than $50 grab it without asking any questions. I have known about this guitar for some three years now but it violated...
  20. Z

    I Crawled Into My Hand, Honest

    I seem to never have amp GAS. I only really use them these days to plug a lap steel into and sometimes an acoustic with a Dearmond 210 slapped across the soundhole. I have been perfectly happy for as long as I can recall with my 1967 Supro Sportsman. But the other day while out putzing...
  21. Z

    Regal Recording King

    I am a sucker for oddball guitars. I ran across this one and based on the headstock figured it was probably a Kay. At $30 I also figured I had nothing to lose. If nothing else it had a solid spruce top and mahogany body. Turned out though it was a Regal Recording King which was offered in the...
  22. Z

    I done been Valco-ized.

    Picked this sweetie up a couple of weeks back. An Airline-badged Supro. With Valco going belly up they did not even bother to change the model name or number - just slapped an Airline logo over where the Surpro name should be. I think I bought it as much for its looks as anything. Kinda reminds...
  23. Z

    Tom Petty in Kansas City Last Night

    Sometimes you just need a good dose of old school rock and roll to get your sprit (and your ass) moving. And we got it last night. Petty, for me. is one of those guys who just never really comes across on record all that well. But I have seen them live a few times and Lordy, they may just be...
  24. Z

    Thrown Together Bands

    I gotta admit I love these kind of bands - a bunch of folks who play all different styles of music getting together to play one gig. Got one coming up for a July 4th celebration. The tunes will be pretty generic and the setlist largely determined by the singer. I like these things because...
  25. Z

    I Don't get Cutaway Acoustics

    I never quite got the wisdom of a cutaway acoustic so hoping some of ya'll who own them can clue me in. First, we ain't talking electric guitars here - the higher up you go on an acoustic the less string length there is to vibrate when plucked. Not a lot of vibration being transmitted to the...
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