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  1. #1
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    Fun wth Pickguards

    I know it's a crazy idea, but it just might get me through the day.
    One of our gracious members helped me out with my pressing need to find a pickguard tasteful enough to adorn my white Hofner Thin President. I'll be doing some trimming, some adjusterating, some filing and polishing to this fine Gibson guard, and I think it it will be a thing of beauty when it's finished. Here's a preview:
    Attached Images Attached Images Fun wth Pickguards-hof-thinpres-fischer-jpg 
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

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  3. #2
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    Bling with style !!!

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post
    One of our gracious members helped me out with my pressing need to find a pickguard tasteful enough to adorn my white Hofner Thin President.
    I shudder to think what you would consider an untasteful pickguard, HT. (Except, of course, the one with which I've violated my Jazzica!)
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  5. #4
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    What would the world, or love relationships, be without some stylish bling?

    OTOH, somebody get me a timeless, unfussy design. Maybe the old yet modern Bauhaus design ... in the case of Hammertone something comparable to the Barcelona chair, designed by Mies and Lilly Reich - from which he, aka Bob Wills, doesn't seem to get out without help.


    Bling is ok, while gaudiness rules in some parts of this forum.
    Gems are almost always hidden beneath the surface, not recognizable at first glance and often have more to do with function.

    Right on cue - the function:

    Who does not like to drill five holes into a nice spruce top in 2019, just to fix pots and a switch?
    Who doesn't want more tonal possibilities out of all sorts of pickups - without constant fiddling with pickup changing, the amp or an arsenal of pedals?
    Who would like to have access to the entire electrical system of an archtop guitar at lightning speed, for maintenance or replacement?

    The answers lie on the unspectacular underside of the pickguard. Maybe something like this (a fully working prototype, further improvements underway)
    :

    Fun wth Pickguards-dscf4372c-jpg

  6. #5
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    This is third rodeo for that poor pickguard - it started out as the kind of pickguard, as mentioned, used on some Gibson Custom Shop "SuperLegrande" and L-5 Studio archtops. This one was most likely on a Legrande (it has fllled in holes for guard-mounted controls, which are easily disguised by the graphic chaos). Then, it was nicely converted for use on an L-4CES acquired by one of our estimable members. I don't think it will achieve a state of true bling until I have installed it on the white Hofner. Then the ghost of Alfred Schaufuss (or was it Al's wife who did the inlay work on the Aschados? Doc?) will look down from the heavens and smile.
    Attached Images Attached Images Fun wth Pickguards-superlegrande-jpg Fun wth Pickguards-l-5studio-png Fun wth Pickguards-gib-l4ces-2-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-15-2019 at 05:50 PM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  7. #6
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    That's an amazing story of reusing or -cycling a pickguard!

    Jazzguitars can be mixed and amalgamated, similar to salads or, to date - genetically seen - human beings.
    No problem here, since jazz music too has been a hybrid from the beginning. Big problem though with the (again) spreading racist bastards who believe in the supremacy of their own race or group. Huge problem with folks who seriously recommend dissidents to emigrate to socialist countries; I think such folks could easily be socialists themselves - national socialists!

    Most Germans know the full story, we were on one side and the other. The increasing gaps in the knowledge of history, the lack of general education at all is frightening! It seems that reeling off an academic degree or equivalent training, or getting "to know" other countries mainly through TV, social media, or spending holidays exclusively in gated communities or on cruise ships, etcetc., is no longer a guarantee for educated and reasonably civilized demeanor towards one's fellow human beings …

    Anyway, have fun with your Hof-son or Gib-ner!



    Not sure about the former benignity of Alfred Schaufuß (1904 - 1986; Aschado guitars). He made guitars since 1924, very likely these old-style prewar flattop hollowbodies and a few own archtops. After the establishment of the GDR he became one of the leading characters of the VEB Musima in Markneukirchen. Thomas Buhé (1920 - 2015), one of the fathers of jazz guitar education in the GDR, told of some frustrating attempts to improve the quality of Musima guitars by speaking to those responsible.
    After the mid 1950s, Schaufuß had got the knack of how to sell best guitars under his own brand name: he ordered archtops in the white, mainly from the young Herbert Todt, maybe some from the Seiferts too, and embellished these blanks sumptuously with MOP, until no one recognized the origin of the guitars. Yes, he got the MOP by help of his wife who was working in the only VEB that was allowed to process MOP, a material of the Western and thus decadent class enemy! Generally, in socialism, foreign exchange was more important than class struggle





    A tree that falls is louder than a forest that grows! - Tibetan proverb
    Last edited by Ol' Fret; 05-15-2019 at 07:54 PM.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret View Post
    That's an amazing story of reusing or -cycling a pickguard!...
    Not sure about the former benignity of Alfred Schaufuß (1904 - 1986; Aschado guitars). He made guitars since 1924, very likely these old-style prewar flattop hollowbodies and a few own archtops. After the establishment of the GDR he became one of the leading characters of the VEB Musima in Markneukirchen. Thomas Buhé (1920 - 2015), one of the fathers of jazz guitar education in the GDR, told of some frustrating attempts to improve the quality of Musima guitars by speaking to those responsible.
    After the mid 1950s, Schaufuß had got the knack of how to sell best guitars under his own brand name: he ordered archtops in the white, mainly from the young Herbert Todt, maybe some from the Seiferts too, and embellished these blanks sumptuously with MOP, until no one recognized the origin of the guitars. Yes, he got the MOP by help of his wife who was working in the only VEB that was allowed to process MOP, a material of the Western and thus decadent class enemy! Generally, in socialism, foreign exchange was more important than class struggle

    No one did rococco excess like Al. Well, the rococco guys did, but their archtop skills were negligible. And the banjo guys got pretty damned fancy, come to think of it. And today, there are some folks pushing the inlay envelope. OK, scratch that thought. Or guard.
    I thought that there was a family relationship between Todt and Schaufuss, and knew that Al's wife procured the MOP, but wasn't sure who did the inlay work.
    As far as the humble guard above goes, well, it's a small tip o' the Hatlo hat to the past masters of bling.

    Attached Images Attached Images Fun wth Pickguards-aschado2-jpg Fun wth Pickguards-aschado4-jpg 
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret View Post
    What would the world, or love relationships, be without some stylish bling?
    OTOH, somebody get me a timeless, unfussy design. Maybe the old yet modern Bauhaus design ... in the case of Hammertone something comparable to the Barcelona chair, designed by Mies and Lilly Reich - from which he, aka Bob Wills, doesn't seem to get out without help.
    I bet Lilly did all the work, ha!
    As far as Bob Wills goes, here's a bit an explanation:


    FOR THE LAST TIME: THE MAKING OF A MUSICAL MONUMENT - Bob WillsBob Wills
    "FOR THE LAST TIME: THE MAKING OF A MUSICAL MONUMENT
    Panel discussion during Bob Wills Fiddle Festival & Contest honors final recording
    Forty years ago the world watched president Richard Nixon resign after the Watergate scandal, cheered Hank Aaron as he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, and applauded the 47th annual Academy Award Best Picture winner, The Godfather Part II.
    In the middle of 1974 United Artists Records released For the Last Time, the final recording by the King of Western Swing Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. The quiet landmark endures four decades later. For the Last Time has in fact become the benchmark, the blueprint for the modern day Western swing sound.
    The record not only serves as an introduction to a new generation of old-time country fans, but it’s also a respected beacon for established admirers and artists infinitely inspired by Wills’ legacy.
    “This is the album to give to the new person to introduce Bob Wills and Western swing,” says Brett Bingham, a Bob Wills Heritage Foundation board member and a lifelong fan. “It still sounds modern and it’s easy to see how musicians like Merle Haggard, George Strait, Ray Benson, et al were influenced.”
    For the Last Time commands center stage during the inaugural Bob Wills Fiddle Festival & Contest in Greenville, Texas. A panel discussion titled “The Making of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys ‘For the Last Time’ Album” takes place Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, from 12:45 to 1:25 p.m. at the Courtyard Stage between the Texan Theater and Courtyard Pub in downtown Greenville. The free event features panelists Dr. Charles R. Townsend, Wills’ biographer; former Texas Playboys vocalist Leon Rausch; and Western swing fiddler and bandleader Jody Nix.
    Nix, also a noted vocalist and drummer, has first hand knowledge of For the Last Time. He was a young, sprightly 21-year-old musician when Wills handpicked him to be a part of the For the Last Timesessions. For Nix the journey began Dec. 2, 1973 at Bob Wills’ Fort Worth home.
    “We went to Bob Wills’ home for a jam session, a meal, a get together, a rehearsal, a homecoming of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys in preparation of an album which was to make musical history, and I was part of it,” Nix said.
    Wills was already ailing, having suffered a debilitating stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. But he was still alert, jovial and ready to record what would become a monumental album. He personally chose the songs, including staples such as “Faded Love,” “San Antonio Rose” and “Milk Cow Blues,” and invited an impressive room full of musicians – former Texas Playboys and many more.
    The recording took place Dec. 3 and 4, 1973 at Sumet-Burnet Studios in Dallas, Texas. The album’s personnel reads like a Western swing dream come true: bandleader Bob Wills; Johnny Gimble on fiddle, mandolin and harmony vocals; Keith Coleman on fiddle and harmony vocals; Leon McAuliffe on steel guitar and vocals; Eldon Shamblin on guitar; Leon Rausch on bass and vocals; Al Stricklin on piano; Smokey Dacus on drums; Hoyle Nix on fiddle and vocals; Jody Nix on drums and vocals; Merle Haggard on fiddle and vocals; and Tommy Allsup on bass as well as the project’s record producer.
    Day one of the recording session was nothing short of miraculous. Wills was in high spirits, calling on his musicians when it came time for their solos and chiming in with his trademark “Aaah Haaa!” Even though he was in his wheelchair, brought into the studio by loving wife Betty, Wills was enthusiastic and much attuned to his surroundings.
    “He was smiling and excited to be there,” Nix said. “All the Playboys were greeting him and saying hello. My daddy Hoyle was elated, because Bob Wills was his hero. They rolled him into the middle of the studio and the band was just around him. The atmosphere was just overwhelming; the charisma of Bob Wills was evident.”
    But by late afternoon, after several songs had been recorded, Wills grew tired. He wanted to go home. As Betty rolled him out of the studio Ray Benson and his newly formed Asleep at the Wheel band walked in. They briefly met Wills. It would become a historic changing of the guard. The King of Western Swing was essentially passing on the baton to the still active purveyors of the sound. His legacy found its curator.
    That night Wills suffered another massive stroke that rendered him comatose.
    “They had a homecoming one day and a recording session the next, and he [Bob] loved every bit of it,” wrote Dr. Charles R. Townsend in his book, San Antonio Rose: The Life and Music of Bob Wills. “He went home, played with his granddaughters, listened to his music, kissed Betty good night, and peacefully, perhaps serenely, slipped into unconsciousness.”
    News of Wills’ illness altered the mood of that second and final day of recording, which featured the just-arrived Merle Haggard. Without the fearless leader at the helm, the revered King of Western Swing, the making of For the Last Time took on new meaning. Now, more than ever, it was about respect and honor.
    “The atmosphere changed in the studio,” says Nix. “All the Playboys were quiet, but there was a job to do.”
    Haggard sang three songs, “Playboy Theme,” “Yearning Just for You” and “I Wonder If You Feel the Way I Do.” He played fiddle. He hung around for most of the day. He soaked up the spirit of the great Bob Wills.
    Wills’ days of performing were done. He spent the last 16 months of his life in a nursing home. He never regained consciousness and passed away May 13, 1975.
    But For the Last Time made its mark. In some ways it’s become a most unique tribute album, a truly heartfelt homage with the honoree present in the studio.
    For the Last Time sadly reflects my father’s final years, yet at the same time it stands as a fulfillment of his final wish,” says Carolyn Wills. “Today I’m in awe of the whole experience, in love with the story and so very thankful to everyone involved for such an enduring and extraordinary tribute.”
    Forty years later a musical monument stands as a testament to the fortitude of a man and his music. It’s still here to be forever shared.
    By Mario Tarradell"

    During the the first day of the session, the music got Bob so excited and happy that he wanted to participate and shouted out, as best he could, given his condition, in a gutteral slur of words, "Somebody get me out of this chair!" It's captured on the record. His last words, as it were. Mehr licht!
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-16-2019 at 09:30 AM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret View Post
    What would the world, or love relationships, be without some stylish bling?

    OTOH, somebody get me a timeless, unfussy design. Maybe the old yet modern Bauhaus design ... in the case of Hammertone something comparable to the Barcelona chair, designed by Mies and Lilly Reich - from which he, aka Bob Wills, doesn't seem to get out without help.


    Bling is ok, while gaudiness rules in some parts of this forum.
    Gems are almost always hidden beneath the surface, not recognizable at first glance and often have more to do with function.

    Right on cue - the function:

    Who does not like to drill five holes into a nice spruce top in 2019, just to fix pots and a switch?
    Who doesn't want more tonal possibilities out of all sorts of pickups - without constant fiddling with pickup changing, the amp or an arsenal of pedals?
    Who would like to have access to the entire electrical system of an archtop guitar at lightning speed, for maintenance or replacement?

    The answers lie on the unspectacular underside of the pickguard. Maybe something like this (a fully working prototype, further improvements underway)
    :

    Interesting. Can you tell me what that micro switch is and how it is mounted to the pickguard? Thanks!

  11. #10
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    I like a good microswitch.
    Attached Images Attached Images Fun wth Pickguards-campellone2310803-pickup-jpg 
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    I shudder to think what you would consider an untasteful pickguard, HT. (Except, of course, the one with which I've violated my Jazzica!)
    I like that the folks at the Custom Shop had a bit of fun now and then. I tip my hat in their general direction.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

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