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Mystery guitar from Cuba - What is it?


Gold Supporting Member
One of the other guitar players at church who immigrated from Cuba a few years ago brought back an LP-style guitar on a recent visit. He asked me to help identify its nothing I've ever seen.

I'm guessing it is at least 20 years old based on the condition and fret wear and was likely purchased during the period of economic sanctions. Obviously it was refinished (badly) and all exterior markings are gone. I haven't seen it in person so the control cavity might have some clues. I've never seen pickups (humbuckers?) like these.

I don't know what he intends to do with it but it's clearly a train wreck. He said the electronics are bad and it needs almost everything: strip the paint, fill the awful body rout on the back, refinish, address the fretboard and replace the frets, and probably the pots, switch and pickups. Maybe the tuners and bridge can be salvaged.

Now for the pics:


Soviet block for certain although I'm sure that some American guitars were smuggled to Cuba over the years. There are a few clues that you will be able to dig up when you get the guitar in your hands.

Since it's a bolt on neck, you might find markings on the heel or in the neck cavity. The same goes for all of the electronics and those cavities. It's hard to tell what's bad finish and what's just bad wood. I doubt that the body was finished well at the factory before the original paint job (and I will suggest that this might be the original finish!)

Let us know when you get inside . . .

Les Paulsky?

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