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Monthly ArchiveDecember 2013

classic12_blue1-700

Limited Production Eastwood Classic 12 Guitar – Metallic Blue – 8 more Available!

Eastwood has just produced a Limited Production Run of their popular Classic 12 in Metallic Blue. We have 8 in stock now, order yours today! SOLD OUT

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Only $549 North America with FREE Shipping and includes a FREE Chromatic Tuner (batteries included). Shipping to Europe $99, Australia $139.

 

SOLD OUT

 

Details & Specifications:

  • Colours: Metallic Blue
  • Body: Bound Laminated Maple, Flamed Maple Top, Bound F-Holes
  • Neck: Bound Maple, SET neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood, MOP Sharks Teeth
  • Scale Length: 24 3/4″
  • Width at Nut: 1 7/8″
  • Pickups: Two EW-Retro Humbuckers
  • Switching: 3-Way
  • Controls: 2 Volume, 1 Tone
  • Bridge: Fixed Tun-O-Matic Bridge
  • Hardware: Gotoh style Nickel/Chrome
  • Strings: #9-#46
  • Case: optional hardshell case $99 extra.
  • Unique Features: Metallic Blue Finish
  • Suggested Retail: $669.00 US

Watch this product demonstration by R.J. Ronquillo:

Additional photos:

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Limited Edition Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Eastwood Classic 12 12-String Electric Guitar (Metallic Blue)

Rocker Chromatic Tuner

Rocker Chromatic Tuner

Wendell Ferguson reviews the Eastwood Classic 12 guitar:

Delta6grn1700

Christmas Special: DELTA 6 in Seafoam Green, Mandola in Metallic Blue

ONLY 12 OF EACH ARE AVAILABLE. FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVED.

What could be more exciting than unwrapping a new guitar at Christmas? How about a custom color Seafoam Green Delta 6 Resonator!? What about a nifty Airline Mandola in Metallic Blue?! That’s right folks, we’ve made 12 of them in these never-been-done-before colors, ready to ship to you on December 5th, with plenty of time to stuff it under the tree for your loved ones.DELTA 6 – Only $499 FREE SHIPPING in North America, $99 to Europe. $139 Australia.

MANDOLA – Only $379 FREE SHIPPING in North America, $79 to Europe. $99 Australia.


your choice



 

EASTWOOD Delta 6

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Body: Semi Hollow-body, Maple Top, Back, Sides
  • Colours: Seafoam Green
  • Pickups: P-90 neck, Piezo Bridge
  • Switching: pan pot
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 1 Tone
  • Bridge: Trapeze Tail, Spider Resonator Cone
  • Neck: Set Neck, Bound Maple
  • Finger Board: Rosewood, Dot Markers
  • Scale Length: 25 1/2″ (648mm)
  • Width at the Nut: 1 5/8″
  • Hardware: Gotoh style
  • Case: extra

 

AIRLINE Mandola

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Body: Solid Alder
  • Colours: Metallic Blue
  • Pickups: Single Humbucker
  • Switching: none
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 1 Tone
  • Bridge: Fully adjustable Tele-Style bridge
  • Neck: Bolt-on Maple
  • Finger Board: Rosewood, Dot Markers
  • Scale Length: 17″
  • Width at the Nut: 1 3/16″
  • Hardware: Gotoh style
  • Case: extra

Here are the photos:

 

Delta6grn7700 Delta6grn1700 Delta6grn2700 Delta6grn3700 Delta6grn4700 Delta6grn5700 Delta6grn6700 MandolaBLUE1700 MandolaBLUE2700 MandolaBLUE3700 MandolaBLUE4700 MandolaBLUE5700

 

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

Over Easy & Coffee Black, Please (Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar)

Look, I obsess as much as any old guitar nut about fancy tone woods. I love flame. I love burl. I love spalting (although I guess that’s not too good for the tree). I love any exotic timbers, like purpleheart. I also like those fancy pearl-encrusted jobs, like Mike’s Tuxedo Custom. So naturally, when I saw this little Teisco guitar, there’s no way I could resist. How do you say “No” to a guitar covered in mother-of-dinette?

Teisco guitars have run a curious course in the opinion of vintage guitar fans. There was a time when any unidentified Japanese guitar from the 1960s—and that was just about all of them, even with brand names—was said to have been “made by Teisco,” and was generally held in disdain. Then, what used to be just cheap old guitars became collectible “vintage” guitars and before you knew it, Teisco and other el-cheapos were all of a sudden desirable and treated more or less seriously.

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

Teisco guitars were somewhat unusual back in the 1960s because many—though certainly not all—were imported into the U.S. by Westheimer Sales carrying their own company’s brand name. There actually was a Teisco company! In fact, it was the late Jack Westheimer who appended the “del Rey” suffix to give the brand a little more “Spanish” veneer. By around 1964 or so another company called W.M.I., which stood for Weiss Musical Instruments, started importing Teisco del Reys, as well. Westheimer’s interest was more engaged in other brands he was selling, so he didn’t complain about W.M.I.’s usurping his brand name.

The object of my desire seen here is a c. 1963 Teisco SD-4L, which could have been brought in by Westheimer or someone else. For a guitar that was once regarded as something close to junk, laughed at by Les Paul and Strat aficionados, this is actually a pretty remarkable piece of lutherie for its time, the formica facing notwithstanding. The body is laminated, which the more snobbish call “plywood.” The neck is one-piece maple with a bound rosewood fingerboard. I don’t know if this has a reinforced neck; if it does, it’s certainly not adjustable. It’s pretty straight, however.

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

The ultimate inspiration for this guitar was the Fender Jazzmaster, which was, at the time this was introduced, still Fender’s top-of-the-line. However, it’s probably more by way of European translation. Very early in the history of Japanese exports to the U.S. they determined that their chief competition was Italian and, to a lesser extent, German guitars. And they were often loosely based on the Jazzmaster. The presence of four pickups, rocker switches, and thumbwheels clearly takes its inspiration from the Europeans. However, the nifty, top-mounted chrome housings that hold the controls are more of a nod to Supro.

A faux walnut top, the groovy shape, and four pickups are enough to recommend this guitar. But the neatest part is under the hood. The thumbwheels are master volume and tone. I’ve always thought that each pickup having both was overkill and impossible to use outside of a studio. Notice this has six rocker switches. Four of the rockers are simple on-off swtiches for each pickup. The other two, marked “Rhythm/Solo,” are actually phase reversal switches. Using these required that each pair of pickups (front and back) be on. The Solo position gives you both pickups in series or flat out. The Rhythm position reverses the phasing, giving you that funky in-between sound so cherished on Strats. Pretty cool.

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

The vibrato is also interesting. It sits on a little elevated platform above the guitar top and operates with three springs, one of the earliest 3-spring vibratos on a Japanese guitar I know of. All in all this is a great little guitar for getting down with “Walk, Don’t Run.” Once you get everything all set up, it plays very nicely indeed.

I’ve called this a 1963. In ’62 when these were introduced, the pickups were large chunky chrome affairs with a black bobbin center. By ’63 they had changed to these quasi-DeArmond gold foil single-coils (which are not bad, by the way). The Teisco SD-4L (and a companion 2-pickup SD-2L) only lasted into 1964. There’s a perception that Japanese guitars such as Teisco were imported by the millions, but, in fact, quantities were not really that large. The biggest year was 1966, when 618,000 guitars were imported, including all electrics and acoustics. It’s probably fair to conclude that this particular model is relatively scarce. In any case, when it was made nobody thought that inexpensive Japanese guitars were worth saving or would become collectibles! I’m sure glad this one made it. I love it! Mother-of-dinette and all.

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

Vintage 1963 Teisco SD-4L Electric Guitar

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The Softer Side of Hard Rock (Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar)

It’s funny how history and evolution work. They follow a loosely Hegelian dialectical process of first going one way, then leaping to an opposing pole, and finally ending somewhere in the middle, only to start the process over again. This Kramer Ferrington acoustic-electric reflects one of those dialectical swings that occurred in the mid-1980s.

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

You know the evolution of popular music in the late 1970s and early 1980s as well as I, so there’s no need to venture a reading here. But somewhere along the way, the non-stop “heavy metal” of the early years morphed into a poppier hard rock, still full of biting guitar riffs. Then one day, it became a requisite to incorporate a “power ballad” into your repertoire. This was usually a slower love song—still played loud—that featured some generally elementary fingerstyle guitar playing on an acoustic-electric guitar. All well and good. But you had your hard rock image to keep up, and, well, let’s face it, an Ovation with wooden epaulets wasn’t exactly going to cut it. What to do?

Leave it to Kramer Guitars to come up with the perfect solution in around 1986: Kramer Ferrington acoustic-electric guitars. Make the acoustic-electric look like a way-cool solidbody electric and you could be both tough and gentle at the same time!

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Ferrington was not a made up marketing name. Rather, it was the last name of Danny Ferrington, somewhat of a celebrity luthier living in Nashville at the time who’d built guitars for a number of stars. Ferrington’s main thing was to design guitars with asymmetrical or unusual shapes. I’m not sure whether Ferrington made the Strat- and Tele-shaped designs before hooking up with Kramer or not, but he designed these, the KFS-1 and KFT-1, for Kramer and they debuted in 1986, made in Korea. I interviewed Mr. Ferrington when reviewing a book on his guitars that came out in 1992. That book, by the way, was asymmetrically shaped and beautiful. It didn’t sell well, so you’re likely to find copies still available and should pick one up for your library.

Kramer Ferringtons had very lightweight bodies and came in black, white, red, and sunburst. They had a transducer pickup under the saddle with volume and tone controls. The necks were bolted on and featured a variety of headstock shapes and fingerboard inlays that evolved over the life of the line. By 1987 some plainer KFS-2 and KFT-2 models were introduced, mainly without neck binding and with dot inlays. The KFT-1 seen here was built in 1987.

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

In 1988 Kramer introduced Ferrington Signature models which were supposed to be made by Danny Ferrington himself in the U.S., or at least under his supervision. Marketing and reality are often at odds when it comes to classic Kramer guitars, so who knows! But they probably were American made and not Korean. These were upscale guitars with solid spruce tops, set-in necks, and asymmetrical Ferrington shapes. I think these are pretty rare birds. I only ever saw a couple of them in stores and they were pricey and hung around for quite awhile.

The Kramer Ferrington line lasted until the end in 1990, when Kramer imploded. Danny Ferrington relocated to Los Angeles and marketed the KFS-1 and KFT-2 with the Ferrington brand name for a bit, but the guitars trailed off fairly quickly. I don’t know if the Korean-made Kramer Ferringtons were plentiful or not, but it’s fairly easy to find them for sale. Kramer was pretty good at selling guitars.

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Likewise, I don’t really know if these guitars made it into too many hard rock acts. They certainly had a rock ‘n’ roll vibe and would look cool on stage. They’re fully functional, but, frankly, if you’re into real acoustic-electric guitar, they’re more of a novelty. They might make you look good jumping off your amp, but if you want a really good acoustic-electric sound, you’re going to go for one of the solidbody guitars like a Gibson Chet Atkins or, for that matter, an Ovation (with wooden epaulets).

Not long after Kramer Ferringtons bit the dust, the power-ballad-infused hard rock that was their reason for existing also fell from grace, replaced by the “alternative” sound typified by Nirvana et al. History was off on another dialectical tangent.

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Vintage 1986 Kramer Ferrington KFT-1 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Vintage Domino Spartan Electric Guitar

Back Catalog Memories: Vintage Domino Spartan Electric Guitar

In the 1960′s Maurice Lipsky Music Co., a prominent importer and distributor in New York City, developed the Domino brand of guitars. In 1967 Lipsky introduced a line proto-copies carrying the Domino brand name. Most were inspired by European models such as the EKO Violin guitar. Here is the original flyer announcing the lineup from 1967, claiming “DOMINO IMAGINATION LEADS THE ROCK GENERATION!”. The California Rebel, recently reissued by Eastwood Guitars, is front and center here in 1967.

Vintage Domino Spartan Electric Guitar

Vintage Domino Spartan Electric Guitar

Who actually built these guitars in Japan is unknown, but these pickups appear to be associated with Kawai guitars, and that’s probably a good guess.

Vintage Domino Spartan Electric Guitar (Ad)

Vintage Domino Spartan Electric Guitar (Ad)

Here is an example of a dual pickup Domino Spartan in Sunburst. It was available in 2 or 3 pickup configuration, and in many different colors. Over the years I have seen olympic white, sunburst, seafoam green, orange and red. This 2P model has volume and tone controls, a 3-way selector switch and a rhythm/solo switch. The quality was pretty solid across the entire Domino line, compared to some of the stuff that was coming out of Japan at the time.

Vintage EKO 12-String DLX Electric Guitar

Back Catalog Memories: Vintage EKO 12-String DLX Electric Guitar

EKO was an Italian musical manufacturer, prominent in Europe from the late 50’s to the 1980’s. The brand lives on today, but the instruments are no longer produced in Italy. To the best of my knowledge, they evolved from being an accordion manufacturer in the late 50’s, to creating some of the coolest electric guitars in the early sixties. They were known for their crazy pearloid and faux woodgrain finishes, accordion switches and funky body shapes. Later in the early 1970’s, they also took over production for VOX guitars, and were distributed in USA by the LoDuco Brothers in Milwaukee. That is likely where this guitar came from.

Vintage EKO 12-String DLX Electric Guitar

Vintage EKO 12-String DLX Electric Guitar

Here is an unusual 12 string model, likely dating from the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. Obviously inspired by the Hofner “Beatles” shaped guitars, it is a surprisingly good player. I’ll let the pictures to the talking from here on in…

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar

I Can See Clearly Now (Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar)

Knowledge can be a terrible thing, especially if you’re a collector like me. Once I learn about a subject—say, an obscure guitar maker with connections to bigger things that almost no one knows about—I want one, or two. Never fails. That’s how I ended up with this 1981 Renaissance bass.

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar

Now, basses have rarely spoken to me. I was always a 6-string man. Although, that said, I actually did play bass (and sing) briefly in a band for a few months back in 1967 (a rent-to-own, baby blue Hagstrom, as I recall). Most of the time, in a shop or at a show, I usually walked right past the bass guitars.

In any case, the road to my Renaissance began in the shop window of Society Hill Loan on South Street in Philadelphia. I used to work in an office tower near City Hall. I was a writer and no one paid attention to us, so I found that on my lunch break I could zip out, hop on a bus, and in a few minutes find myself walking down 7th Street toward Temptation. South Street was home to a lot of clubs and young hipsters, so naturally Society Hill got lots of interesting instruments.

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar

One day I walked up to the corner display and staring back at me was a clear Plexiglas bass guitar bearing the Renaissance brand. This was one of those RARE instances where the guys in the shop actually knew something about Renaissance. They knew they came from the western suburbs of Philly, maybe Newtown Square, and a music store called Dragonetti’s. This was way more information than the usual shrug and “I dunno” that I usually got. A red hot lead!

I didn’t buy the bass that day. In fact, in a rare occurrence, I didn’t even own any Renaissance gear when I tracked the company down. Which wasn’t all that hard. I just let my fingers do a little walking—this was way before you “Googled” anything—and found Dragonetti’s Music located in Newtown Square, PA, in Ma Bell’s Yellow Pages. A quick call and I reached store owner John Dragonetti. “You know anything about Renaissance guitars,” I asked. “Do I? You can’t imagine how much that cost me.” Pay dirt!

Turns out Dragonetti marked the end of the Renaissance saga, not the beginning. The story began in around 1977 when a young John Marshall decided to go into guitar making instead of college. Marshall had learned how to build guitars from Eric Schulte, a well-known local luthier living in Malvern, PA, a far northwestern suburb of Philly a few miles north of Newtown Square. Marshall got together two partners, recording studio owner Phil Goldberg and studio guitarist and manufacturer’s rep Dan Lamb and founded Renaissance guitars in Malvern.

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar

In search of something different, the trio settled on using Plexiglas, inspired by the old Ampeg Dan Armstrong guitars of a few years earlier. Marshall came up with the design. Both the guitar and the bass were similar to what you see here. Three shades of Plexi were offered: clear, smokey gray, and black. Prototypes were made in late 1977 and production began in 1978.

This bass is the SPB Gold model built in May of 1979, in the smokey grey known as “Bronze.” The neck is 3-piece mahogany. What you can’t see are brass dot position markers along the side of the ebony fingerboard. It has active electronics with two notched filter tone controls, and active/passive switch, phase switch, and a pair of special designed DiMarzio pickups. I’m not really qualified to evaluate basses based on my brief Hagstrom experience, but I think this is pretty top-notch!

However, sales did not go well for Renaissance and the instruments were expensive to make. They needed an infusion of cash. That’s when John Dragonetti was brought in. John Marshall had become disgruntled and left to take a job with Martin. Dragonetti put in some capital and immediately found his new partners absent and in early 1980 pretty much in sole control. He redesigned the instruments in an attempt to make them less expensive to produce, the new shapes reflecting more of a B.C. Rich influence. Sunn amplifiers were interested in purchasing Renaissance, but a fluke accident at the NAMM show scuttled that deal. That’s when the IRS knocked on the door… The end.

Renaissance guitars and basses are relatively rare. Generously speaking there were only about 600 give or take of six various designs. Basses in this design were around 150 in number, divided between two different models, so maybe 75-100 of these were made, at most.

Being Plexiglas, this is relatively heavy. In my dotage, I like light-weight. However, the likelihood that I’ll join a band and play any bass is remote indeed. Also, I tend to stay away from pawn shops, as well. You never know what you’ll learn about, and you know where that can lead…

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar

Vintage 1981 Renaissance Bass Guitar