Iconic Guitars

Vintage guitars, re-issues and relics found on the web or in stores

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Straight from the 60's, The Epiphone Wilshire

Conor at Guitar Collecting has a nice and informative post about the 1962 Epiphone Wilshire reissue. This is a nice guitar built by Epiphone in Nashville, Tenn, with the help of the Gibson Custom Shop. And it must be Custom Shop quality: this Wilshire '62 reissue sells for $2,899.

Epiphone Historic Custom USA Wilshire 1962 Reissue Electric Guitar Vintage Cherry

Connor's post prompted me to look for some of those nice 1960's Epiphone solid-body models on eBay. There is currently a very nice 1965 Wilshire that caught my eye. Compared to the re-issue, the '65 Wilshire has mini-humbuckers (vs P90s), this unique headstock which makes this guitar so distinctive (along with the body shape) and a Maestro vibrato. You got to love this cherry red finish and the shape of the pickguard!

This is too bad that the Reissue is going to have the classic Epiphone headstock. For 10% of the price at $299, you can get a very nice which looks more like the 1965 vintage with Humbuckers and one-of-a-kind headstock (maybe you can even refinish it in red).

Down the line, I'd definitely go with the '65 vintage on eBay if I was in the market for a Wilshire right now. It is reasonably price at $4,250 (Gibson's website put Wilshire vintages in the 5 to 12 grand bracket!) and the mojo and age definitely are worth the $1,000 difference with the re-issue!

1965 is a good year for vintages by the way! :)

UPDATE: Epiphone also created a 12-string version of the Wilshire which is a really nifty guitar!

Spice up your guitar playing!

I joke that looking for nice guitars on eBay is like my porn. Well, I have now found the sex toys section!

Look at these picks going for $4.50. Quote (I promise I am not making that up for April's fool):

The picks are textured for a

better grip, while the hole

makes it easier to rotate

to each of the surfaces for a variation of sounds.


So don't pass on the chance to pleasure your 6-string. I am just concerned I might get spammed about finger reach enlarger now.

Pre-order low serial number Gibson of the Month!

The Gibson 2008 Guitar of the Month program morphed into the 2009 Limited Run Series.

And they have just announced that they will make the first 9 guitars of each model available to reservation through their Reserve Program.

This is a cool opportunity to own a low-serial number for rare models (each run is limited to 350), so probably a good opportunity to own a future collectible.

Cool-ness and Collectible-ness of those models vary greatly.

I think the Eye Model (below) will become a hot collectible although I am not a big fan.
For the looks, I'd go with the Tribal V (you can buy it now) or the Carved SG. In Autumn Burst, which is already up for grabs, or Top-Ocean Blue Burst (below) which is yet to be released.

Gibson Limited Run Tribal V Electric Guitar Satin White
Gibson Limited Run SG Carved Top AAA Electric Guitar Autumn Burst

Monday, 30 March 2009

Gibson Custom Shop '58 RI Les Paul in rare metallic red

As I hinted before, my dream guitar is a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard. So, I'm often scouting eBay for '58 re-issues and I have seen this very good looking model around a few times.

It is a Gibson Custom Shop '58 Les Paul reissue in a rare metallic Candy Apple red - very similar to the vintage ES 335 I covered not long ago.

It looks awesome and must sound great (Custom Shop!) although the exact specs sound a bit vague (humbuckers and neck) and I don't know why it has factory Grover tuners (I am not fond of those). Anyway, it comes with all case candy from an established eBay vendor so I wouldn't be worried.

At $3000, it is a good deal for a Custom Shop Les Paul Standard re-issue (the cheapest available '58 Re-issue on Guitar Center's website is at $3,699 - although I have often seen better deals in store).

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Musicvox Spaceranger in Gold Stardust

Inspired by G L Wilson over at the Guitarz blog, who posted about a Musicvox Spaceranger auctioned on eBay (but really a Spacecadet if I refer to the MusicVox website because it has P90's), I searched for Musicvox guitars on eBay too.

And I found this awesome Musicvox Spaceranger (with humbuckers) in gold stardust finish. Can you dream of a a more quirky guitar: the Musicvox how-so-tasteful shape, gold hardware, gold sparkle finish...and shipping from Kentucky - from all places on earth. And it's a bargain at just below $400 (buy now option).

I've been thinking about creating an over-the-top blues-player-with-too-much-reverb character for some time. That would be the ultimate guitar to do that (gee, I'd even leave the label hang on the headstock!). I wonder if I could get a crimson red vinyl tracksuit to match that...

Anyway, as far as playing is concerned, the Spaceranger is getting great reviews.

And as for a vintage investment, this seems like a decent one. I am not sure how many of those were made (is Musicvox still in business?) but the "oddity" factor will remain for sure and they have to be rare. :)

Final note: I really like how the wood looks like at the back... not sure what it is...

Saturday, 28 March 2009

1967 Gibson ES 335 in rare finish - a vintage with mojo!

Gibson ES 335's are serious blues machines and have this crazy aura from the 60's - especially given Eric Clapton was playing his famous ES335 at that time with Cream.

Auctioned on eBay until April 1st is a beautiful specimen: an ES-335 of 1967 in metallic burgundy finish. You have to look at the close-up shots where the lacquer is completely cracked. It is gorgeous. It reminds me of candy apples.

It has an original trapeze tailpiece. That's five Mojo points. Tuners were replaced with Grovers, a common modification on old Gibson's, sure, but still that's minus 2 Mojo points.

It is going at $5,400 (buy now). Hefty price? Nifty guitar. Yeah, Baby Yeah.

PS- If it's a bit steep, you can also get a very fine brand new ES-335 from the Gibson Custom Shop for around $2,000.

Gibson Les Paul - Studio vs. Special?

Gibson Lifestyle just did a spotlight on the Gibson Les Paul Studio. Interesting. I am not a big fan of the Studio but the bare bone finish in which it is presented in this article remembered me of the Les Paul Special, a guitar I am really fond of.
To me, the Studio has always been the cheap version of the Les Paul Standard. I own a 1990 Standard and if I had only one guitar to play for the rest of my life, that would be the one.

That being said, my perception of the Studio stems from the models of the 90's. Today, it seems Gibson has carved a better niche for the Studio in the Les Paul family. Looking at the 2009 Studio, I am starting to like it in its natural worn finish. Note: I am a sucker for worn / faded finishes: I own both a Gibson Faded SG Special in Worn Brown and... a Gibson Special Double Cutaway in Faded Cherry - here a Special 1960 TV re-issue, the $500 model seems discontinued.

And I still find that the Special has a je-ne-sais-quoi, a flair that stems from being the most simple no-frill Les Paul produced by Gibson: An ascetic worn finish which lets you enjoy a simple yet beautiful piece of wood. The eternal shape of a Les Paul (single or double cutaway). And a pair of P-90 pickups that are just what you need to rock on.

Really no frills: no elaborate sunburst, no binding on the body or the neck, simple pickguard screwed on the body.

And I guess the fact that Bob Marley played one confers a certain aura to it, Marley's simple yet beautiful music reinforcing the Special's simple yet beautiful looks and tone.

Bob Marley live with his Les Paul Special

So, if you want to get one of these, there is eBay:
Gibson Les Paul Special
(to narrow down to double cutaway's, try a search with DC too)

And here are the brand new models at Guitar Center:
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Gibson Les Paul Special 1960 Custom Shop Re-issue Single Cutaway (like Bob!)
Gibson Les Paul Special 1960 Custom Shop Re-issue Double Cutaway

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

1979 Fender Stratocaster in Transparent Red

Just found this quite original vintage Fender Stratocaster from '79. It stands out with its transparent red finish - maybe it would have looked better with a white pickguard but I wouldn't change that now! The overall aging is really nice with the lacquer cracking on the massive '70s headstock (got to love those big heads with the diamond tuner heads).

Price is in ballpark for a Fender from that era (buy now at $1,800) and the different look makes it probably a bit more collectible - at least to me! I do like cherry red guitars from the 70s.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Eye Candy: Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page signature model

Just seen this auction for a Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page signature model.

I am not a 'flame' guy (my dream Les Paul would be a '58) but this guitar just looks beautiful. The -numerous!- pictures are real eye candy.

For some reason, Gibson.com and Gibsoncustom.com have removed the pages about this beautiful guitar. Wikipedia has a vague reference. So, enjoy this auction if you want to see Jimmy Page's guitar before the auction closes on Mar 28th.

Hmm, and at "just" under $7,000 for the buy-now option, this is a good deal - re-issues of that era start at $3,300 and easily cost more than $5,000 at Guitar Center. The premium for a collectible and the Led Zep sound are worth it.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Three '65 Vintage Guitars for $1000 or less

I love vintage guitars and looking for some - hey, that's why I started this blog.

What I like in particular is to find cheap vintage beauties - not the iconic 1959 Gibson Les Paul at $100k or the 1956 Fender Strat' at $50k.

Yep, I like to spot a good old guitar with a vibe to it that looks awesome and in most likelihood sounds awesome too.

So, here is a quick selection of 3 nice guitars straight from the 60's that are priced around a thousand dollar on eBay. These are entry products from that era from main manufacturers. Models referenced as "study guitars", or student / economy model. Cheap guitars then, cheap vintage now but still with great quality.

Vintage 1965 Dakota Red Fender Mustang (Solid body electric guitar)

This one example has great style with its white plastic tuners, enough scratches but good overall condition. The auction is still in the $800s. Comes with case.

More about the Fender Mustang. And More pre-80's Vintage Mustangs on eBay.

Vintage '65 Gibson Melody Maker - (solid body electric Guitar)

This is a cheap single-pickup model, but for $1,099 (buy-now), you get yourself a vintage 45-year old Gibson vintage. Beats a relic'd reissue. Seems in great condition with just what it takes of natural aging to look fantastic.

More about the Gibson Melody Maker. I have to say I am more of a Les Paul Junior Double cut-away kind of guy, but they are more pricey - here a nice 1960 model.

1964 Vintage Guild X-50 Cordoba (archtop electir guitar)

I have never played one of these but they have good reviews and this one definitely has the looks. Good condition and just the right vintage touch. And it's not even a grand.

These 3 guitars seems to be in great shape and are sold by eBay vendors with stellar feedback.

Monday, 9 March 2009

1978 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe

I don't know why but I have had this thing for vintage Les Paul deluxe for a long time. Maybe because I like the 70s, was born in the 70s and these Deluxe are bargain vintage Les Paul with attitude.

Today on eBay is a really nice example of a beautiful wine red original Gibson Les Paul Deluxe from 1978 in a mint condition, with original case from an eBay powerseller.

I'd press the "buy it now" button right now instead of blogging about it if I didn't already own a 1977 Goldtop which I bought for my 30th birthday in 2007 -yep, the nice thing was to finally get a guitar as old as I am!

At $2,500, it's the same price I paid 2 years ago for mine which was not in such good condition, so it is pleasing to see vintage guitars are good investments that retain their value in those hard time. That being said, now seems like a good time to find very reasonably priced pieces of wood.

Back to the Deluxe, I really like that it is in such a good condition, without the usual cracks on the headstock (esp. on those oversized 70's ones) or heavy scratches in the back or arm rest. Also none of those heretic modification -like carving the body to fit big humbuckers.

And the body looks like it's a one-part beautiful log of wood. The lacquer finish is just right. That's how I love it. If you are in the market for a nice vintage or have just taken your money out of the stock market, go for it...before March 16th...or before I decide to add another vintage Les Paul to my growing collection!