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  1. #1

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    Hi and hello.

    So we all love Gibby ES125's and wish they would be reissued.

    Then other manufacturers have taken up the call...

    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-download-jpg
    Godin Kingpin, nice.

    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-t_50_front_web-1500x630-jpg
    Guild T50, very nice but pricey.

    So I find this....

    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-_35-1-jpg
    Alden A150. Ooo!!


    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-_35-jpgAlden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-_1-jpg
    There coming up on ebay for £250/$360/€316 area.

    Mahogany back, sides and neck. Spruce top and rosewood f/board.
    Generic P90 and 24.75" scale

    So we now have a cheapy chappy in the market.
    Last edited by jazzbow; 05-08-2016 at 06:48 AM.

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  3. #2

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    How about the Loar?

    €440

    (But it has a solid top, so It wouldn't really be an ES-125)

  4. #3

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    Since you asked...

    I got to try the Loar 301T and didn't enjoy the big, "D"-shaped neck.

    I've got better guitars already and still I'm eyeing the Guild T-50 cause
    my A150 Savoy has such a great neck & frets. Lunacy.

  5. #4

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    and the just recently announced epi -century in sunburst and cherry

    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-386041-jpg


    cheers

  6. #5

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    We can add the Washburn HB-15 to this list, if you route a P90 in the top yourself. It's all mahogany, especially for the neck I think that's important as it contributes to the ES-125 tone IMHO.




  7. #6

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    a couple of things:

    1) the godin is made in canada.. not asia
    2) on paper the godin is very similar to a 125... but play one side by side they are quite different. Not saying the vintage instrument is better..

  8. #7

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    Anybody know if that new Century is going to be full depth or thinline? That's a very welcome addition to the budget jazz box world, in my opinion...if it's full depth.


    Beware the allure of the 125...go play some. Then see if you really want one.

    These budget alternatives are all probably better choices for most modern players.

    (especially the Kingpin, the best budget jazz guitar ever)

  9. #8

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    I'd love to hear you expand on that. I've had the itch to own a Gibson that was made the year I was born, 1955. The only ones that are even remotely affordable are ES125s with P90's, usually in "player" condition.

    What warnings would you give?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    and the just recently announced epi -century in sunburst and cherry

    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-386041-jpg


    cheers
    any more details /price on those ?
    might be too thin for me if they're like the originals
    Last edited by pingu; 05-09-2016 at 01:15 PM.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I'd love to hear you expand on that. I've had the itch to own a Gibson that was made the year I was born, 1955. The only ones that are even remotely affordable are ES125s with P90's, usually in "player" condition.

    What warnings would you give?

    I shouldn't say "warnings," more like just an FYI.

    They're built like old guitars...so if you're used to modern neck shapes, bigger frets, wider nuts...you might be taken aback by how difficult they are to play.

    The other thing was, they were student models...a lot of them were rode hard and put away wet, so to speak. If you find a gleaming new old stock looking ES-125 out there, that's something very uncommon...and if the price is right--pounce!

  12. #11

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    My 125 is from 1958, I bought the pieces (neck broken off) and some odds and ends for $10 some 30 years ago and gradually rebuilt it and refinished it. It is a new guitar but still uses the old frets which I like. I think the main thing to look at is the neck/body joint and body glue lines. If a reset is needed doing it will improve everything as far as volume and tone.

    Construction wise only the first post war years were mahogany with the flat back. After that they have the laminated maple top and back with mahogany sides using the same size pressing as the 175. And it is not a thick top, the outer lams are quite thin and it has decent acoustic tone and volume for a laminate. I use mine as a benchmark for comparing new guitars, most of which don't match it in sound. These new offerings are using quite different woods for the tops, cherry in the Godin and mahogany in some of the others. If Gibson reissued with thicker lams it wouldn't sound the same. Hopefully one of these makers will get all the ducks in a row instead of just putting a P 90 on one of their regular guitars.

  13. #12

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    Care to share some pics of your 125, Cavalier? I'm curious about the restauration and the refinish! (I'm a sucker for those kind of things

  14. #13

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    Not sure of the model.. looks a little large for a 125...


  15. #14

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    This one will have to do from a few years back, my phone is on its last legs with the screen non functional over the camera shutter. These are my archtops, both had the necks broken off with the heels in 2 pieces. These had to be dowelled of course. The 125 came from the estate sale of a instrument repairman. The finish on the back and sides was removed in most places and the sunburst was damaged/checked as those old Gibson finishes do.

    The 125 really looked like it had been in a bar fight or smashed ala Hendrix. The jack had been ripped out the side taking some wood with it, the neck was broken at the heel, just held on by the fingerboard and some of the top/back to the side joints were separated and the neck block was loose. I wound up taking the back off the body completely to put the internals right then reset the neck. I finished stripping the finish, the sunburst came off well allowing me to go with a natural top, I didn't want to cover the wood again. The back and sides were stained a reddish brown then a violin style varnish finish was applied and rubbed down, same as the cello. Varnish tends to impact the sound of a instrument less than other alternatives, laminates need all the help they can get. I can do cutaways as seen on the cello but didn't want to affect the acoustic volume on the 125.

    The electronics went from none to the standard setup and finally more or less stabilized at what I call the Swiss army knife set up designed to cover as many bases as possible. The P90 style neck pickup is actually a stack using my magnet structure and donor coils. It has its own sound. The bridge floater gives more options for the treble sound. Finally there are K&K transducers in the body and currently under the bridge, not shown in this photo. I'm also currently using a rosewood bridge but keep a tunomatic in the case. This allows a usable acoustic sound when unplugged, the K&Ks just make it louder giving a good Gypsy or old swing tone. I'm not set up for sound samples but will try to cobble something together in the future. Not much to say about the controls, they are designed to give access to the options without putting more holes in the guitar which was a design objective, I really think people are best off evolving what works best for themselves in these areas.
    Attached Images Attached Images Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-cello-guitar-jpg 

  16. #15

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    Thanks Sambooka, I'm a sucker for vids like that!

    Cavalier, I love your 125, you obviously turned it into an instrument that serves your needs!

  17. #16

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    Thanks Little Jay.

    It did evolve over time.The need was to be able to cover the bases with one guitar so I could carry less. For a violinist I have way too much time in guitars..... I ought to call the guitar homework because it is what I played while my son did his homework. He's in college now and I'm still doing homework on these things.

    I wired these magnetic/transducer instruments in stereo to skip a on board preamp for the transducers. That lets me treat the signal paths separately and update preamps without cutting into the body for an install. When used with a mono cord the guitar reverts to magnetic pickups only.

    The restoration link brought back the memories, I had to redo the top braces too. They used water proof glue on these things apparently. I read about one that floated in a flooded basement for weeks and didn't delaminate. It was dried out for months, got a new harness and went back into service. Probably the biggest challenge on projects today is you can't find broken Gibsons inexpensively anymore.

  18. #17

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    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-t_50_front_web-1500x630-jpg
    Guild T50, very nice but pricey.
    The guild is thin , the Loar has a triangle shape neck I believe

    I'm not into the Godins (they're good but don't work for me for some reason)

    the Epi seems interesting tho , any more info ?

  19. #18

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    this singer/songwriter kid from the uk- james bay..been using two vintage ones..thin ones...probably why epi is launching reissue

    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-james-bay-century-jpg

    cheers

  20. #19

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    Cool, it was vintage...I figured with the corporate giant the Voice is, he was handed that guitar because Gibson/Epiphone is a sponsor.

    I thought he was a contestant...I gotta get out more.

    But if he's the reason for the reissue, yep, gonna be a skinny body. Nothing wrong with that, I just think a deeper bodied non-cutaway single P90 archtop is the bee's knees.
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 05-11-2016 at 04:12 PM.

  21. #20

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    depends...a true hollow thinbody ala a 330 or casino can be pretty cool too...if its a true hollow thinbody (no center block), there's still hope..haha....

    cheers

  22. #21

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    Has anybody actually played/handled the Alden AD150? Dimensions? Nut width?

  23. #22

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    How about a Gretsch New Yorker, any one tried or used it before ? Also in the league ?MO.
    Attached Images Attached Images Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-2704051537_gtr_frt_001_rr-png 

  24. #23

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    Search the forum for Gretsch 9550 New Yorker, for a couple of threads on this guitar.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    We can add the Washburn HB-15 to this list, if you route a P90 in the top yourself. It's all mahogany, especially for the neck I think that's important as it contributes to the ES-125 tone IMHO.



    i hadn’t seen that before. I wonder if there’s a good acoustic sound to the box? Not a huge amount of point otherwise with floater.

    main point of actual ES125 IMO is they aren’t too pricey and sound great plugged.... OTOH a clone has to compete with reasonably priced 175 clones...

  26. #25

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    And....James Bay made those old Epi's sound Fabulous. Great musician and singer who knows how to coax the best out of a guitar (and his own abilities). Saw a concert of his on TV - wow - true talent - I really enjoyed a young contemporary artist for a change.

  27. #26

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    Expected in the next hour - one like this. Can't post the ebay pic.Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-fb_img_1590617159201-jpg

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    . the Loar has a triangle shape neck I believe.
    i had a The Loar 309 for 48 hours, cheap crap, the neck is more like a triangular profile baseball bat. i phoned the company i purchased it from and instituted divorce proceedings.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by garybaldy
    Expected in the next hour - one like this. Can't post the ebay pic.Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-fb_img_1590617159201-jpg

    i missed something what guitar is this?

    always wanted a ES150. but like Ronnie singer's, block markers bound headstock, tulip tuners

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by marvinvv
    i missed something what guitar is this?

    always wanted a ES150. but like Ronnie singer's, block markers bound headstock, tulip tuners
    Haha! Sorry.The clue is in the thread title and post #28.
    First impression straight out the box.

    In tune - roundwound 10s - too slack. Needs flats may be 12s.

    Played acoustic pretty quiet and not much bass response. Old rattley bluesy sound.

    Plugged in to Musicman 65RP, treble 0, mid 10, bass 0, really quite a nice sound. Plenty bass/warmth. Pots work good.

    Appears to have NO internal bracing! Just a SOUND POST under the bridge

    Bridge looks like rosewood. About 1/16" flat saddle. Needs shaping.

    Fingerboard listed as 'blackwood' but it looks like very dark Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-20200528_180651-jpgrosewood.

    Huge neck block but solid timber.

    Made in China.

    Nut 1 11/16".

    Lower bout 16 1/4".

    Side depth 3 5/16".

    Scale length 24 3/4".Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-20200528_180713-jpg

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by bananafist
    Has anybody actually played/handled the Alden AD150? Dimensions? Nut width?
    See post #29
    Last edited by garybaldy; 05-29-2020 at 08:04 PM.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    and the just recently announced epi -century in sunburst and cherry

    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-386041-jpg


    cheers

    Hi, N,
    Wonder why they used that hideous looking white pickguard? Looks like a toy guitar to me. Good playing . . . Marinero

  33. #32

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    It's what James Bay has on his original old Epiphone and he's popular with the young'uns.

    I think guitars that look like toys are pretty trendy at the moment.

    In general I do enjoy the 'looks like a catalog guitar from 1965 that would give you tetanus but sort of funky looking' but actually 'plays as precise as any Ibanez' vibe.

    What's not to like? Get a bit bored of the classics sometimes, guitar design went thought a very boring period for the longest time.

  34. #33

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    Too bad that Epiphone Century has a 25.5” scale and not the 24.75” of the ES-125.
    Last edited by Little Jay; 05-30-2020 at 12:57 AM.

  35. #34

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    That Alden looks like an interesting budget jazz box. Thanks for your review/impressions Garybaldy. I'd be tempted to replace the truss rod cover with something more traditional.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geunther
    That Alden looks like an interesting budget jazz box. Thanks for your review/impressions Garybaldy. I'd be tempted to replace the truss rod cover with something more traditional.
    My pleasure Geunther. Yeah, the TRC is a little weird but I think I can live with it. I think the biggest shock having 1st unboxed it yesterday, and realised how quiet it was, was that it had a sound post and no bracing - something of which I'd never heard in a guitar! Rather taken aback, today I am somewhat reassured having read a couple of threads here on the subject. It seems fairly common. I was really interested in the fact that Little Jay had had a post installed in an ES125 - a guitar after which the Alden is modelled. Next I need to decide on different strings and do a bit for research on bridge saddles. Also I shall be digging out my dentist mirror. Cheers G.

  37. #36

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    The no-bracing-sound-post construction is fairly common in budget Japanese 70ies archtops I think (seen a few) and in my experience actually works quite well! I think you can even find Ibanez ES-175 copies made that way. I have a (low budget) Condor 175-copy built that way and it sounds very good. The Condor doesn’t even have the kerfed rims that normally conect the sides with the top and back! (So I am guessing the sides must be thicker than normal).

    And yes, my ES-125 is a good example that this construction works!

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by sengu
    How about a Gretsch New Yorker, any one tried or used it before ? Also in the league ?MO.
    There's Gretsch New Yorkers and then there's Gretsch New Yorkers. They have been produced since the 1940s with a hiatus in later decades until the arrival of the present version and they may well have varied a lot over the years. They have always been the low budget version of the Gretsch archtop line. I own a sample from 1961 which I bought in 1993. It has a laminated top, but it's a thin top and it has a surprisingly loud volume. The sound is somewhat harsh and brassy but it is certainly loud. The neck is narrow like a narrow Fender neck, round and thick, especially in the upper positions. Some may call it a baseball bat. There's no adjustable truss rod but the neck keeps its shape just fine all year with a slight amount of relief. Gretsch guitars from that era has normally more or less fallen apart due to bad quality glues and workmanship but despite it is pretty roadworn mine is in excellent structural condition - no seam separations, no loose bindings, no need for neck set - which has made me speculate if it the production was outsourced to Harmony or Kay. At a point I made a pickguard for it with a Benedetto floating PU attached but for the time being it's set up as a purely acoustic guitar which I use as sort of camp fire / summer house guitar.

    My impression is that the New Yorkers have never been on the same level as the Gibson 125 and 150, but I haven't tried the present version which may have only the name and a certain cosmetic appearance in common with my 1961 sample. Present day Gretsches are much better built than the ones from the 1960s.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    The no-bracing-sound-post construction is fairly common in budget Japanese 70ies archtops I think (seen a few) and in my experience actually works quite well! I think you can even find Ibanez ES-175 copies made that way. I have a (low budget) Condor 175-copy built that way and it sounds very good. The Condor doesn’t even have the kerfed rims that normally conect the sides with the top and back! (So I am guessing the sides must be thicker than normal).

    And yes, my ES-125 is a good example that this construction works!
    Hi LJ.
    What strings do you use on your 125 please? My Alden needs something heavier than the roundwound 10s it came with. Because the action is pretty good those 10s really rattle and buzz when you dig in. The guitar unexpectedly came with a rather nice Ritter heavily padded gig bag (nice bonus!). Inside one of the five zip pockets I found two sets of Phosphor Bronze 11s ( as well as a drum tuning key!). Do you think the bronze are worth a try? Would they work with the P90? Thanks.

  40. #39

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    i'd pass on the phosphor bronze...that's a bright string for acoustics...has little magnetic reaction with pickups...try a pure nickel string...round or flat...it will have some nice acoustic balance and still interact with p-90 well

    thomastik jazz swings are probably the most popular pure nickel flatwound on this forum

    almost every string co. makes a pure nickel roundwound...but thomastik be-bops and dr pure blues (both with vintagey round inner cores) are particulalrly nice



    cheers

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    i'd pass on the phosphor bronze...that's a bright string for acoustics...has little magnetic reaction with pickups...try a pure nickel string...round or flat...it will have some nice acoustic balance and still interact with p-90 well

    thomastik jazz swings are probably the most popular pure nickel flatwound on this forum

    almost every string co. makes a pure nickel roundwound...but thomastik be-bops and dr pure blues (both with vintagey round inner cores) are particulalrly nice



    cheers
    Thanks neatomic.
    What gauge nickels please - it's a 24 3/4" scale?
    I experimented with bronze on my Fenix FAE8 cos I'd read some people have done it with pickup gtrs but had to adjust the pu screws for balance. No screws on my Fenix pu so it didn't work out. Cheers

  42. #41

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    I have 0.012 Thomastiks Swings (flatwounds) on my ES-125.

    A budget guitar like that can probably benefit a lot from a proper fret dress and having the nut slots cut to the exact depth. With the thicker flatwoundS you can set the neck almost dead straight and it will play like butter.

  43. #42

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    TI's feel light... I like 13s.

  44. #43

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    with the round inner cores that thoms/dr pure blues have..the tension/feel is slightly eased...try 12's...

    otherwise 11 hex cores might work...by giving the tuning peg some extra winds around the post...so that the nut to tuner angle is increased... will also increase the apparent tension/feel

    it's really trial and error till you dial in what you want...and when you finally do..you will want to go elsewhere!!! haha..why it's a neverending process!


    cheers

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    I have 0.012 Thomastiks Swings (flatwounds) on my ES-125.

    A budget guitar like that can probably benefit a lot from a proper fret dress and having the nut slots cut to the exact depth. With the thicker flatwoundS you can set the neck almost dead straight and it will play like butter.
    Thanks LJ.
    12s sound good and def the nut will need doing. I have 13 daddario chromes (cheaper option) on my Fenix with 25 1/2 scale. The Fenix neck is almost straight and no buzzing. I love playing it but still chasing the plugged in tone! This is it:Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-20200601_004559-jpgAlden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-20200601_004656-jpg

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    I have 0.012 Thomastiks Swings (flatwounds) on my ES-125.

    A budget guitar like that can probably benefit a lot from a proper fret dress and having the nut slots cut to the exact depth. With the thicker flatwoundS you can set the neck almost dead straight and it will play like butter.
    I decided to order Chrome 12s - in theory slightly higher tension than TIs but I may still end up going to a higher gauge. I've got the welding nozzle cleaners for the nut!
    Also the bridge saddle is straight and doesn't follow the fretboard radius. I established the radius by making some profiles with old credit type cards. Made a 10" and 12" first. Radius proved to be slightly flatter so tried a 14". A 13" was bang on.
    Here's the jig for my profiles.Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-20200608_214334-jpg
    And 13" profile on guitar with torch on neck - no light shining through!! Bad pic.
    Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-20200608_220121-jpg
    So nut slots and bridge shaping tomorrow.
    Cheers

  47. #46

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    Hiya Gary, thanks for the review of the Alden. I have waited a while for someone to latch on to one of these!

    Good work too.

    Remember, mark twice cut once.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow
    Hiya Gary, thanks for the review of the Alden. I have waited a while for someone to latch on to one of these!

    Good work too.

    Remember, mark twice cut once.
    My pleasure Jazzbow.
    Being that you started this thread in 2016 I would be interested to know when the Alden was first produced, when they ceased making them and how long had mine been hanging round before I bought it. It was certainly brand new.
    I remember Alden guitars being in a shop in Wales, UK quite some years ago but I only really looked at the Gibsons and Fenders back then! I recently stumbled upon Aldens when reading about Alan Entwistle who has been in the guitar business for many years and still has his own brand of pickups ( I have a couple myself). I was reminded that he was behind Alden and was also connected to the shop in Wales (amongst a lot of other stuff). So this is how I found the 125 copy and thought I'd treat myself during lockdown. I know Alan left Alden so I don't know if he had any part in the creation of the AD150. I'm sort of hoping he did as I believe he's pretty well respected. Ofcourse it is what it is - a budget copy/look a like. I feel even as such it has potential. The P90 is quite nice and I think after a 'good' set up and better strings it will be a giggable instrument.
    As an aside, I think I read somewhere on this site that you once worked at Fenix. Would you have had anything to do with these four?!!!! I believe the one on the far right has an interesting top which is one piece and solid.Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-20200409_162203-jpg
    Cheers.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by garybaldy
    My pleasure Jazzbow.
    Being that you started this thread in 2016 I would be interested to know when the Alden was first produced, when they ceased making them and how long had mine been hanging round before I bought it. It was certainly brand new.
    Hey Gary.

    At the time of this post I would catch Alden guitars on ebay and then consequently to their shop.

    The ES 125-a-like was relitively new so figure that original thread date would be the start of production.
    Invariably small batches of, say, 100 to test the water. If there's any serial number that might give you the year?

    Quote Originally Posted by garybaldy
    As an aside, I think I read somewhere on this site that you once worked at Fenix. Would you have had anything to do with these four?!!!! I believe the one on the far right has an interesting top which is one piece and solid.Alden A150 (Gibson ES-125 Clone)-20200409_162203-jpg
    Cheers.
    Yes you are absolutely right, Fenix.

    It was a franchise outlet through the German distributers. I worked for Acrobat Music whom were a part of The Piano Workshop.
    Piano Workshop were the UK distributers for Kurtzweil synths and Young Chang Pianos.
    Young Chang of South Korea guitar brand was Fenix. They also made early Squiers, unfortunately I never saw any :-(
    The first batch of Fender and Gibson clones had spot on reproduction headstocks and we couldn't get enough of them.
    Then the cease and desist order came through so they redesigned and we couldn't sell any!
    I guess the Squiers had cornered that part of the market place.
    We had a batch of superstrats and Tele thinlines which has poor F hole routing. I had one of each of those that I beefed up and lent to people which they sold on. Dammit!

    I only ever saw one jazz box and the les Paul's never sold in any quantity.

    So my day would consist of picking orders, setting up the guitars and then mailing them off to music shops so probably sent the white les Paul as I remember there was a consignment of those. Broken guitars would be gutted for spares. I loved that job, fresh out of Merton Tech college...

    So the end came when the top people in Korea decided that it wasn't worth pursuing the guitar business and cut all strings a week before Christmas 1991.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow View Post
    Hey Gary.

    At the time of this post I would catch Alden guitars on ebay and then consequently to their shop.

    The ES 125-a-like was relitively new so figure that original thread date would be the start of production.
    Invariably small batches of, say, 100 to test the water. If there's any serial number that might give you the year?



    Yes you are absolutely right, Fenix.

    It was a franchise outlet through the German distributers. I worked for Acrobat Music whom were a part of The Piano Workshop.
    Piano Workshop were the UK distributers for Kurtzweil synths and Young Chang Pianos.
    Young Chang of South Korea guitar brand was Fenix. They also made early Squiers, unfortunately I never saw any :-(
    The first batch of Fender and Gibson clones had spot on reproduction headstocks and we couldn't get enough of them.
    Then the cease and desist order came through so they redesigned and we couldn't sell any!
    I guess the Squiers had cornered that part of the market place.
    We had a batch of superstrats and Tele thinlines which has poor F hole routing. I had one of each of those that I beefed up and lent to people which they sold on. Dammit!

    I only ever saw one jazz box and the les Paul's never sold in any quantity.

    So my day would consist of picking orders, setting up the guitars and then mailing them off to music shops so probably sent the white les Paul as I remember there was a consignment of those. Broken guitars would be gutted for spares. I loved that job, fresh out of Merton Tech college...

    So the end came when the top people in Korea decided that it wasn't worth pursuing the guitar business and cut all strings a week before Christmas 1991.
    Thanks JB - a nice interesting account.
    I was aware of the 1st Fender Squier run (1983?) but not the Fenix/ Young Chang name at the time. A music store in Newport, Wales had the JV 52 tele, the JV 57 strat and the JV 62 strat. They were all gorgeous and after going back and forth a few times bought the butterscotch tele. I then had the opportunity to buy an 80s Am. St. Tele very cheap. To be honest I preferred it - more punchy - and very stupidly sold the Squier! they're pretty collectable now. You live and learn! Later I discovered the YC/Fenix connection and saw a couple of reviews of the jazz box which I then, in 1998, ordered through a shop in Bristol. I had acquired a couple of Gypsy Jazz guitars before that but didn't really know what to expect from a large (conventional) archtop. The build was super and being a rock guitarist I started to take interest in their their LP types. The catalogue showed the modified headstocks (after they had got into trouble) but over a few years starting in 2006 I managed to get the 3 open book versions. They all came from Germany. They all needed new pickups. Have you heard of the Vester brand? They were pretty short lived because of their copying. I have 2 of their 335 style guitars - again superb - and even though the pickups could very well have been made in the same factory as Fenix's they do not need changing. The Vester LPs are very hard to come by.
    Hope you don't find this all too boring.
    Cheers