The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #251

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonc
    It's not an open seam. Guild used to use a walnut(?) strip down the center of their backs. That's what you're seeing here. Just google "Guild Artist Award back" and you'll see several pics of blonde guitars that show what I'm talking about. I'm not sure why I keep coming to the defense of other makers seams lately haha.
    Ha, good point. I actually own an AA...d'oh


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  3. #252

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    Quote Originally Posted by va3ux
    Interesting and somewhat related to the recent posts on marketing and the better mousetrap : back in the mid 80's I was on a sales training course, which is basically marketing. The instructor used type writers as an example. At that time (before the proliferation of PCs and 'word processors', although they were starting to appear), any office you went into had secretarys and type writers - lots of them. If your company had deep pockets, they bought IBM Selectric type writers, perceived to be the best in existence.

    To make a point the instructor asked what everyone thought the most popular type writer in the world was and the unanimous response was 'IBM'. 'Correct', he said. He then asked what the best type writer in the world was and the unanimous response was 'IBM Selectric'. 'Wrong' he said. The best type writer available was actually made by Olivetti and it was far less expensive than the IBM. Yet none of us could ever recall seeing one during our visits to customer sites or our own offices. So how could the best type writer be so seldom seen and be so obscure, while a slightly lower quality and much more expensive type writer (IBM) be present every where. The answer was 'Marketing'.

    Just a few years later at a similar course, a similar example was made using MS Word, Wordperfect and Lotus Ami Pro. Today MS Word is probably the standard through out the world but there was a period of time when Word Perfect and Ami Pro were way ahead MS Word. Brute force marketing wins out. Who even remembers Ami Pro and when was the last time you heard mention of Wordperfect.
    With regard to the IBM Selectric v. Olivetti typewriter example, we saw exactly the same situation in the microcomputer industry in which the IBM PC became the de facto industry standard although there were machines which were clearly technically superior (The Victor 9000 and the DEC Rainbow come to mind). It was perceived value rather than absolute value that determined the industry leader. I am reminded of a quotation from one of my favorite books Marketing Warfare by Al Ries and Jack Trout. They wrote, "The best company has the best products and there's always one of their salespeople around to tell you so." An example of "Brute Force Marketing" at its finest.

  4. #253

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    Upon reviewing my comments, it appears that they were directed toward you. No offense intended, but the vast majority of your posts are Marketing oriented. This is not necessarily a negative thing, but I gotta' call 'em like I see 'em.

  5. #254

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    Thats fine , I just had no iron in this fire and wondered why my name was brought up. I still dont understand why my name was brought up in a thread I had never posted in. You just decided to make a comment about me out of thin air? Bob
    Last edited by Top of the Arch!; 06-05-2016 at 03:37 PM.

  6. #255

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazz.fred
    Thanks, I did not remember the particulars of my post. Having re-read them, I stand by my comments.
    How is it you make comments about me in a thread Ive never posted in and then feel you have to "stand by" them? I dont get it! In the middle of a thread I have never posted in you make this statement about me??? Am I missing something here? Bob Heres your statement. Originally Posted by jazz.fredI spent over thirty years in product Marketing on the applications software side of the microcomputer industry. I understand the function of Marketing and what an important contribution it makes toward the success of any company.

    I must admit that it is my perception that every post submitted by you is Marketing oriented. I don't believe that I've ever read a post from you which disseminated information that was completely devoid of Marketing content. IMO, they are focused on "brand awareness".

    I had a Marketing professor in graduate school who commented:

    "Thoreau wrote that "if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door". This is not exactly true. The world must be made aware of the existence of the mousetrap, what makes it better and where they can buy one."

    This quotation reminds me of your posts. ....

  7. #256

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    i had an in-hand Skype audition of a guitar (around 5.5k) that had very significant binding damage when the audition took place (in retrospect you could even see it in the stock photos on the site!) - was represented in the Skype audition as in near mint condition - priced as in near mint condition - and had to be sent back at my very very considerable expense

    the binding was coming away from the guitar at the cutaway so badly you could even see it in his own pictures. he insisted it was travel damage - refused to help with visa fees or exorbitant postage fees back to him

    of course there are many perfectly acceptable deals done - how could there not be??

    but 20 straight (ish) deals don't prove much

    and one totally bent one proves a lot

  8. #257

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    Sorry, I am confused. My comment was directed toward Archtopheaven. (I think).

  9. #258

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazz.fred
    Sorry, I am confused. My comment was directed toward Archtopheaven. (I think).

    mine was a more general contribution to the thread - i should have quoted someone a few posts back to make that clear

  10. #259

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    First off, I'd like to sincerely thank all those on this thread who've shown their unflagging support for Julie and me throughout the years. For over 25 years now we have run a Mom and Pop shop dedicated to helping find fine old instruments the good homes they deserve. Just to clarify a few points quickly:


    "Both guitars made it fine but the first was packed with an assortment of pieces of paper goods like old gift bags."


    As a consignment shop, we receive an incredible amount of packing material of all types, and we do try our best to recycle as much of it as we possibly can. Our number one priority is the safe arrival of every instrument, and though the materials may at times be a bit varied, we never compromise when it comes to safe and secure packing.

    "The discription sometimes is goofy and makes me wonder how trustworthy the provided information is."


    We do try our utmost to describe each instrument in the greatest detail possible. However, in the interest of efficiency, we do build new pages from old ones, and sometimes a detail that needs updating does slip by. This is strictly mea culpa, and we do appreciate all those who have kindly pointed out typos and corrections for us over the years. We know our customers are highly detail oriented, and we do try our best to get as deep in the weeds as humanly possible. (We won't mention in this context the bulk of dealers who offer little more than a single line of text to describe a premium quality instrument, because we assume you already know who they are.)


    "Nice enough guy but hard to get information about neck specs."


    Describing neck profiles, like writing about instrument tone, is a bit like trying to describe wine: it's a highly subjective subject, but we do try to do our best to describe them as accurately as we can. Although we don't ordinarily include specific neck depth measurements for every guitar, we are always more than happy to make the measurements upon request, and have done this quite often: just call or email with your specific request. (Note: our micrometer is metric only.)


    "i had an in-hand Skype audition of a guitar (around 5.5k) that had very significant binding damage when the audition took place..."


    I am quite concerned about this report, and first want to make sure we haven't been confused with some other dealer. If you would be so kind as to contact me directly with the specifics of this transaction, I will be happy to review our records for you asap. If there was in fact a deficiency in our description, we will be more than happy to issue a refund of your return shipping costs in full. (One reason we have always strongly urged our customers to pay by check, wire or Paypal is that the major credit card processors still refuse to refund their transaction fees on returned items. We feel this is scandalous, but have been unable to get them to change this abusive policy, so please keep this in mind when considering payment options.)

    Finally, I want to stress to everyone that if you should ever encounter a problem with any transaction here at to please contact me directly, and I will do my utmost to sort it out for you in a fair and equitable fashion. My direct number is 877-850-1978 toll free, or 206-325-3737 outside North America. You will not speak to an assistant or an intern, you will reach my desk directly, and I will welcome your call as always.

    But please keep in mind that we can only help you if you get in touch. There's no way we can substantively address a problem unless we know who you are, and the specifics of the transaction. It is a real but regrettable consequence of internet commerce that there will apparently always be a few folks who prefer to snipe anonymously, rather than giving us the option to rectify a problem. Given the volume of our business (which is a good problem to have) it's probably inevitable that there will be occasional miscommunications and misunderstandings, and we want to deal with any such issues as quickly and decisively as we possibly can. But we can't do that unless you grant us the courtesy of identifying yourself, and contacting us directly for a resolution. While we can't promise that everyone will always be perfectly happy in every instance, we do promise to do our very best to get to a solution that is fair and equitable to all concerned.

    And finally, the next time you are tempted to take a gratuitous swipe at a hardworking small business, please take a moment to reflect on where you will go for in-depth knowledge and personal service, when the only merchants left standing are Amazon, eBay and Guitar Center. They've already driven the vast bulk of local music stores out of business, so I'd like to close by thanking all those good folks who've stood by us all these years, in this David vs. Goliath world. We're still standing, and it's only because of you.

    So hats off, and stay in touch. Over and out.

    Joe Vinikow
    Last edited by archtops; 06-15-2016 at 09:06 PM.

  11. #260

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    Quote Originally Posted by archtops
    And finally, the next time you are tempted to take a gratuitous swipe at a hardworking small business
    An honest description of one's transactions, to me, isn't a 'gratuitous swipe'.

  12. #261

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    One of the things that has always troubled me while I've been browsing the website is the apparent mismatching of non-period knobs to period guitars. I've never understood why any pre-1960 archtop would be outfitted with Gibson Top Hat knobs that have the metal reflector caps. That makes no sense... those knobs were introduced on the 1960 Les Paul. Unless I'm mistaken, Gibson didn't use those knobs prior to 1960. Their appearance on any instrument older than their date of introduction clearly indicates the integrity of the instrument has been compromised.

    I've also noticed that guitars are offered for sale which seem to have non-original/reproduction accessories on them (such as tailpieces, bridges, pickguards and tuners), while factory correct restoration parts are contemporaneously available from the same merchant and sold separately on an "Accessories" page. Why aren't these "spare parts" used to correct problems where high value guitars are being offered with inappropriate parts? Why are these "restoration parts" sold separately, instead of performing the restoration before the instrument is sold, in order to return it to it's unmolested original condition?

    The previous comments about parts being switched on consignment guitars seem illuminating.

  13. #262

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    Quote Originally Posted by archtops
    First off, I'd like to sincerely thank all those on this thread who've shown their unflagging support for Julie and me throughout the years.
    You're welcome. I have bought a guitar from you. All in all I have been satisfied with the transaction but I also thought that your discription was partly inaccurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by archtops
    We do try our utmost to describe each instrument in the greatest detail possible.
    In that case I would say that your utmost isn't good enough. You're not selling $800 Strats but often unique high $$ professional instruments. Your descriptions should be completely accurate, not just but also because you're selling all around the globe to customers that will find return shipping is a major money loss.

    Quote Originally Posted by archtops
    (We won't mention in this context the bulk of dealers who offer little more than a single line of text to describe a premium quality instrument, because we assume you already know who they are.)
    Yeah, you're right. I also find that most dealers simply don't care to fully describe their merchandise. And most do a lousier job than you. But that doesn't justify any inaccuracy or incompletion in your description. Do you know what? When I try to sell a guitar as a private seller, the prospective buyers expect that I mention every grain of dust that's hidden uner the tailpiece or they will complain and try to knock off the price. I just don't understand how some professional dealers manage to stay in business. It must be that buyers expect less from a pro. Well, I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by archtops
    Describing neck profiles, like writing about instrument tone, is a bit like trying to describe wine: it's a highly subjective subject, but we do try to do our best to describe them as accurately as we can....
    You're right, this is highly subjective. All the more reason to include accurate measurements by standard in your descriptions, not only by request. I really think this is part of your homework. Again, you're not selling standard guitars for low prices.

    Quote Originally Posted by archtops
    I am quite concerned about this report...
    Thumbs up! But I think you should be concerend about all reports. Mistakes happen, things can go wrong. We're all human after all. But I really think you should listen and learn, instead you mostly try to justify your methods as a salesman.

    I still wish you all the best and hope that you'll stay in business for a long time.

  14. #263

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    On the knob allegation, I have a contrary experience. I consigned a 1968 Byrdland that had incorrect knobs. I had no idea about the issue, had to have happened before I bought the guitar. Joe pointed it out when he examined the guitar, and replaced them with correct repros that were accurately described in the ad.

  15. #264

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    Nobody enjoys taking a swipe at Joe V. and archtop dot com. Unbeknownst to Joe, many of us have wished him well, recommended him, and defended him against online criticisms.

    The guy who bought this "truly magnificent condition" 1970-1972 Gibson L5CN found it never played right. It was finally fixed with a $600 compression re-fretting and fretboard re-levelling. The neck had a slight twist in it. He paid $7500 to Joe V. for that.

    Joe described it as "maintained in immaculate condition". Deep gouge that required drop-filling? Dings and dents? Immaculate? Business card of previous owner in the case was a nice touch though. Most of us would have cleared that out.

    Joe described this as being in Superb condition. It had cracked black binding that was poorly glued back on. And dings on the top. This one was sold to Scotland before it was returned.

    That was a few years ago and my wish for Joe and Julie is that henceforth, we will only hear accolades like those from Ken Olmstead. Believe you me, nobody enjoys receiving things which are less than expected. And I am generally one who gives some discount on purple prose.

    Really wish you all the best, Joe. We are not a bunch of blue meanies out to fix ya.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 06-18-2016 at 07:44 AM.

  16. #265

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Really wish you all the best, Joe. We are not a bunch of blue meanies out to fix ya.
    I think it's safe to say that we just need to know for sure that the instrument we order will meet the expectations generated by the description. If this is not the case any purchase will become too risky.

  17. #266

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    not only are the descriptions unreliable

    when you get the guitar and its in poor player's condition rather than 'near mint'

    he just insists it is all travel damage

    offers you a lame reduction

    and if you don't accept it - insists you spend stupid money using the most expensive services to send it back to him

    so you lose the guitar - the visa fees and amazing amounts of money on postage

    on a 5k guitar this lot must have cost me just shy of 1k

    he did this routine on me - with a smile! - even though his own shop photographs PROVED the damage pre-dated the sale and the post.

    my goodness gracious me

  18. #267

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    In the past several years I have purchased several guitars from Musicians Friend. Every single one of them has arrived in p erfect condition. I have never experienced any "shipping damage" whatsoever.

  19. #268

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    In the last month, I have purchased both a 1971 Martin D 28 and a 1978 Gibson ES-175 in Dec. 2022.

    First the Martin. The Martin arrived with a significant crack on the side. Joe did not mention the crack. The crack itself is obvious and quite significant. I took pictures and sent them to Joe. His response was: "We're so busy...we didn't notice the crack until we were shipping..." (1) why weren't there pictures of the entire guitar, including trouble areas? (2) Why not inform the buyer at the time of discovery? I complained, and Joe reimbursed me for shipping. I kept the guitar as it sounds and plays terrific.

    Now to the ES-175. I went back to Joe as this is a guitar that I've wanted...Little did I know that the lack of transparency would be worse. This guitar showed up with 3 cracks. Two on the treble side and one by the output jack. I've emailed Joe, but, he's "away" until December 19th, 2022. If he worked though Reverb he would have his account suspended. I'll never buy another guitar from him, and I would advise any one else to stay away.

  20. #269

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    With regard to importing a guitar to your country from the US, will CITES going to be an issue? If there is any Brazilian rosewood in the guitar, for example, you might have to deal with CITES. I have gone through the process twice. It was extremely lengthy and very irritating. Many dealers don't do CITES permits so if your country is part of the CITES treaty and you import a guitar from the US which contains prohibited wood, you could wind up in an unpleasant situation. I have never known anyone personally who has tried to skip CITES and got caught, but I have heard real horror stories.

    Call me neurotic, but after my experiences, I don't think that I would ever again buy a guitar from the US that required a CITES permit.

  21. #270

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    I tried buying and selling Archtops some years ago and found that to make any money, in what was becoming an increasingly competitive market, I was being pushed to act in ways I felt were unethical, so I stopped and found something else to do.

    When I look at used guitar sellers who do it for a living, I know for a fact that they have to do things, normal people would find unethical, to stay in business. There simply aren’t enough guitars in the market to turn away if you need the money to pay your bills. So of course it’s much harder to turn away guitars you wouldn’t buy, if it was a hobby.

    For example, at least 50% of the guitars I view in order to purchase, I refuse because the truss rod no longer straightens the neck sufficiently. Someone still buys them and sellers don’t mention it when they do. Otherwise no one would want them.

    I go to a big guitar auction here in the uk and it is literally a dumping ground for guitars with warped necks and non working truss rods. I watched a 70’s byrdland sell for over 8k to a guy in Spain (online) and I felt awful. The neck was totally shot. I wouldn’t have paid over 3k.
    I told them the neck was shot but they didn’t say. They said the item is ‘sold as seen’.
    Hence why people dump guitars at auctions.

  22. #271

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    I have purchased two guitars from Joe at - a 1981 Gibson Johnny Smith and a 1954 L7 C. My experience was totally positive and I would not hesitate to buy again. I was impressed with the entire process. In both cases, I had an in depth conversation with Joe about the guitars - he was exceedingly honest about their condition and there were NO surprises when I received and inspected each guitar. Both guitars were incredibly well packed and arrived without issues. Given the prices of vintage guitars these days, I found his prices to be fair and realistic. The same guitar models I purchased from him are many thousands of dollars more on cites like Reverb. Like I said, I would not hesitate to use his services again. I can't make that statement about other dealers that I have done business with over the years.

    Good luck if you purchase from

  23. #272

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    Well, obviously everyone who has had dealings with AC has not had the same satisfaction. And that’s a pity.

  24. #273

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    I recently received a Heritage guitar from Spain via Reverb. It was shipped by UPS in the case with some thin plastic around the case- no box. It took about a week to arrive and a lot of handling. Somehow the guitar survived the scant packaging.

    There were some minor undisclosed cosmetic issues that could be resolved pretty easily. I contacted the seller, who is a dealer, listed the concerns and the remedies, and got a refund for the cost to fully restore the guitar. He was pleasant and so was I. It made me feel more confident buying on Reverb from a dealer because of the tool of posting feedback. That doesn't guarantee anything but it helps.

  25. #274

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    I have bought and sold jazz guitars for twenty odd years and not only was my experience at very bad indeed it is the only bad experience I have ever had. (oh - there was one buyer who sent a mint campellone back to me because he didn't like the thin body or the pickup - but I paid the postage for him to do that!!).

    the deal is this:

    if you use an online forum to sell guitars that are nowhere near 'near mint' as 'near mint' or 'excellent' - then you can make a lot of money because you can buy them very cheaply and then sell them at a significant profit. (I'm sure this is what ArchtopHeaven is talking about). if you can't do this (because you have principles) then the money is not there to be made in the same way.

    it cost me around a thousand dollars in visa fees and crazy postage (he insisted on the most expensive possible service) to return a radically mis-described instrument. As I've said already - his own website pictures showed that the damage was not done in transit. (the guitar was described as in excellent near mint condition and was actually in bad 'players' condition - the difference between a 5.5k price tag and a 3.5k price tag - there's a margin for you....)

    the way JV behaved when I presented him with the evidence of his own pictures was quite extraordinary. It led me to believe that not only did he build the business model I've just sketched into the foundation of his enterprise but - and this is the kicker - he had deceived himself into believing that he was operating in a perfectly honest and respectable way.

    no-one should trust any of the descriptions of used instruments he puts on his website - and you should ask for more hi-res photos - and you should examine the stock photos hugely carefully. he also depends on a clientele of amateur enthusiasts in love with archtops but not very savvy about them....

  26. #275

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    One time I contacted them to sell a guitar for me. It was a Guild X-180 in excellent condition. I sent pictures and a description and things seemed to be progressing ok. All of a sudden I received a terse email from them turning down the transaction because "there was no market for it." About a month later I saw one on their site exactly like mine. I am still baffled by what happened but I will never ever deal with them.