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  1. #1

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    Love the other two threads by the way.

    There must be forum members who later regretted letting a guitar go, then tried either to get it back or find a very similar one...

    Mine has taken me 46 years to resolve and is on its way to me now.

    It concerns the first decent acoustic guitar I owned. It was a 1973 Ibanez Concord 754 lawsuit copy of the 3rd edition of the Gibson J-185 Everly Brothers (Phil and Don kept changing their minds over the years) with sitka top and mahogany sides. At age 18 I didn't know it was a copy, just that in playability, sound and projection it blew away the Martins and Gibsons I'd been considering and was less than half the price. I played it around the Manchester (UK) folk clubs and also the London circuit when I went to University there. In 1975 my shared student house was broken into and this guitar was stolen - the idiots left my 1958 ES-175D untouched (long since gone and replaced with a 1961 model in 1991), for which I am eternally grateful.

    Ever since, I've been trying to find a replacement but given the fact that production numbers were low (it was at the very high end of Ibanez price offering at £90 (130$) back in 1973 and was only produced for 15 months or so - for price comparison I paid £95 for a 1962 sonic blue strat in 1970. My monthly trawl over a dozen sites around the workd found 5 over 45 years, but only two were worth buying, the others having visibly lived "hard lives"..... I missed out one 20 years ago because I was in a remote location in the Alps on holday, with no internet access.

    I finally sourced one in the UK close to where a friend lives. After holding the seller's hand during the Reverb transaction (I even had to calculate the price I would have to pay to give him £xxx cash in hand after Reverb charges), my friend called, inspected - then I clicked "buy" to close the deal. There was no case so my friend measured up the guitar (slightly narrower upper bout than most jumbos), and we sourced a nice case. It is being collected Thursday and should be with me in France on Monday.

    The next step is the fun of post Brexit customs and tax charges....

    I feel as if a wound has healed and am really looking forward to playing it and making the one mod I had planned for the first one - replace the adjustable bridge (2 screws) in the early 1970s Gibsons style, with a fixed bridge, probably in tusc but maybe bone. I'll trial both with my luthier before deciding.

    That's my story, what's yours?
    Now some photos...
    What about the one that got away, but you finally got back?-cparvkmgw6ld0ues4kbd-jpgWhat about the one that got away, but you finally got back?-fkilgdxk3jk024fczhjo-jpgWhat about the one that got away, but you finally got back?-secntea9zc3k62vabsyn-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I've posted about this before, but here are some pics. I bought this 175 in '82--mahogany, which reportedly wasn't produced until '83, but there ya go. I wasn't playing much in med school and residency, and sold it about 1988 to a young kid eager for a real jazz guitar. I always regretted selling it.

    What about the one that got away, but you finally got back?-old-guitar-jpg

    Recently thanks to fellow forum member Steve R, I acquired an '88 in very good condition. It happens to be set up much better than my old one. I don't know about you guys, but whenever I lose or get rid of something that once brought me joy it leaves a bit of a hole in my heart. Sometimes it heals over, sometimes it doesn't. In this case I always felt like I was missing a little something, despite having (at last count) 9 other perfectly decent guitars. Enjoying the reunion.

    What about the one that got away, but you finally got back?-new-guitar-jpg

  4. #3

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    How about a slight mod to the title? The cheapo that became a sweet thing and definitely a keeper.

    I bought a cheap archtop simply to get a more rockabilly sound and "look" on Johnny B Goode, You're Mama Don't Dance, and another early-rocker tune we played in my one rock band I was ever in. Back about 1975/76.

    The kid I bought it from (I was an ancient 22yr old then ... ) brought it in a fuzzy blanket, no case. The pickups were ok not great, the neck already showed massive wear on several frets. And fell off above the 15th fret a bit.

    It needed a change of the tension rod, but I didn't know crap about such things. It did do the rockabilly sound ok though. Looked the part too.

    That band was short-lived, and the git then sat there looking sorta nice but not played much. I'd worked for an old jazzer in his store some, so I finally decided to fix it up a bit and get a case for it more than a decade later.

    I took it in, he immediately said this was an L5 copy but laminated so ... odd. He had a T-top neck pup in the used pups box, that he'd taken out of a Gibson something because the kid wanted a hot super-distortion pup.

    Well now, that sounded awful nice we both thought. Both of us surprised and I think Will more startled about the improvement than me. (Yea, what did I know anyway? Nothing compared to him certainly.)

    And he'd ordered an L5 compatible hard case, so it sat in his repair room until the case came in. Will btw had owned a couple different L5s over the years, Super400 and 175s too. At the time I think he was mostly playing his Super400, not that I was jealous or anything. THAT was a sweet guitar.

    But it wasn't until we dropped it into the case we realized the other difference from an L5.

    Scale.

    Will just looked at the git in the case, finally said "That's a 175 scale neck, not an L5." I think he felt pretty embarrassed not to have realized that before.

    And yep, it measures exactly to the shorter 24.75 scale.

    So it's by body size/shape an L5, but with a 175 type laminated front, and a 175 scale neck.

    That neck was just never "right" no matter what we did though. So after joining this exalted group I found that a member was a luthier only 50 miles away. I contacted him about it two years ago.

    For $350 or so, he removed the frets, adjusted the rod, planed it all flat so it doesn't fall off at the 15th fret, made a new nut, put on the nice thick fret wire I wanted, shaved the edges, and generally completed an awesome setup.


    That is a very nice neck to play now. And it was fun watching his face as Gary talked of having played it while testing it out through this massive old tube amp he loved. "That thing is just sweet to play, and wow, sounds so nice."

    So I figure ... somewhere around $100 give or take a few dollars to buy. The T-top and Marzio bridge pup gratis, the hard case about $75 back around 1990, and the completed neck rebuild and setup for $350 or so, it's a nice investment that is the finest to play it's ever been.

    Definitely a keeper. A few small dings. One long finish crack. Otherwise good shape.

    The Lyle gits were imported by Lyle D Heater for his music distribution company in the mid 70s. His operation was based in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland OR, actually where my luthier lives.

    Made in Japan to Lyle's specs, many were copies of Gibsons. But he was never threatened with a lawsuit for a simple reason. Gibson and LDH had an agreement, and Gibson quietly got a cut of each guitar sold.

    This was before the makers were willing to have (like Fender does now) the MIM, MIA, MIJ type of price branding.


    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  5. #4

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    Oh ... I did change the entire wiring harness after Gary did that setup. New everything with the treble bleed circuit. And knows I thought looked better with it than the old black cones it had.

    And when we put the T-top in, we also replaced the original tuners that slipped a bit occasionally with Grovers.

    So lessee ... replaced all electronics, the tuners, major neck re-do, yea it's been through some changes.

    But is a constant joy to play.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  6. #5

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    There's that 60's/70's walnut 335 which I mentally judge all other 335's against... Nowadays I let none go, I get separation anxiety thinking of selling so, none get away... I'll leave that for my son after I'm gone :-)

  7. #6

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    A really fun story of a guitar lost and found again.


  8. #7

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    Once upon a time there was an Authorized Gibson dealer in town for whom I did some work part-time. For a time he had a Gibson Les Paul Junior '55/'78 "Reissue" on display, on a stand. LSS, a customer' s kid knocked it over and gave it the traditional Gibson neck/headstock break. I got it for 200$ or 250$ (don't remember which, but it was small bucks at the time).

    I took it home and cleaned the break as best I could and hit it with some Elmer's glue and as many small C-clamps as I could. Waited a few days and re-strung it et voila! It held tension! I played it that way for some time, using it for practice and for a gigging back-up. In the latter use it got mostly used by the other guitar player who constantly whined about his strings being dead and could he use my guitar. Me being Mr. Nice (naive, at best, just a sucker on a good day) Guy I let him use it - we were gigging steadily and I didn't want to rock the boat (I had essentially taken over his previous spot as lead man because reasons) and so I ended up changing strings on the LPJr more often than the Les Paul Custom with which I was gigging (said player having caustic sweaty hands that left visible hand-prints on mic stands and so forth). NBD, just a minor irritant.

    In the ensuing years I replaced the Elmer's with epoxy. Eventually I gave it to a good friend who was out of guitars at the moment.

    A few years later I bought it back from a repair guy to which my friend had traded it for something. He (the repair guy) splined the neck properly and gave it a nice refinish and it was better than new (the neck had shown signs of decay - that neck should never had been used - but the bad wood was replaced, so it's good now.

    Played it a few more years - those P-90s were nice! - and eventually lent it to a a singer-songwriter ex-pro who was working on a come-back project (along with a tape deck, mics and stands, &etc). That was quite a while ago. Some things just take time.
    Last edited by citizenk74; 02-24-2021 at 04:20 PM.

  9. #8

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    Yes. There was one. My first partscaster tele. Unusual guitar. Chambered Chandler body, thin spruce top, Don Mare "Nancy" pickups. Gretsch orange. Neck p/u tone so beautiful I never switched p/us.



    I sold it to a friend in need of a tele, thinking it would be easy to get another partscaster this good. WRONG. A year later I begged him to sell it back. He did. And a few years after, I took my eye off it for not even a minute one day in NYC, and it was gone. I'll miss it forever.

  10. #9

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    I have two that fit this category.

    Back in 1975, a friend ordered a brand new L5CESN. It was an early Norlin guitar, very nicely made during a relatively short period when Gibson had returned to the 1 11/16” nut but hadn’t added the volute yet. A few years later, my friend decided to let it go and it ended up hanging on the wall in the music store that my brother owned at the time. I brought it home to try and I kept it for quite a while (my brother was never in a big hurry to sell a nice guitar like this). I couldn’t make up my mind so I sent it back to the store and it got sold. About 30 years later, the guy who bought it came back to the same store and said he never really played the guitar much and would like to sell it. I didn’t hesitate this time and the guitar came home with me, to stay this time. I know people say negative things about Norlin Gibsons, but I have had lots of Gibsons, newer and older, and this is a very nice guitar. I won’t let it go again.

    The second story was quite similar. I told this story in a different thread, so I’ll keep it short this time. This one was a 1969 Johnny Smith. It came through the same music store as my L5CESN. I really liked the JS but while I “snoozed”, another customer snapped it up. Fortunately, this guy also decided to sell the guitar several years later and he contacted me. I didn’t waste a minute this time, so I got this one back too.

    Now, if I could just get my blonde Campellone Deluxe back, I would be totally satisfied.

    Keith


    What about the one that got away, but you finally got back?-b2ff78c1-ef39-40d6-909a-11f769b769d8-jpeg
    Attached Images Attached Images What about the one that got away, but you finally got back?-0993f454-105c-42c1-af95-91cf86f43e51-jpg 

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    I have two that fit this category.

    Back in 1975, a friend ordered a brand new L5CESN. It was an early Norlin guitar, very nicely made during a relatively short period when Gibson had returned to the 1 11/16” nut but hadn’t added the volute yet. A few years later, my friend decided to let it go and it ended up hanging on the wall in the music store that my brother owned at the time. I brought it home to try and I kept it for quite a while (my brother was never in a big hurry to sell a nice guitar like this). I couldn’t make up my mind so I sent it back to the store and it got sold. About 30 years later, the guy who bought it came back to the same store and said he never really played the guitar much and would like to sell it. I didn’t hesitate this time and the guitar came home with me, to stay this time. I know people say negative things about Norlin Gibsons, but I have had lots of Gibsons, newer and older, and this is a very nice guitar. I won’t let it go again.

    The second story was quite similar. I told this story in a different thread, so I’ll keep it short this time. This one was a 1969 Johnny Smith. It came through the same music store as my L5CESN. I really liked the JS but while I “snoozed”, another customer snapped it up. Fortunately, this guy also decided to sell the guitar several years later and he contacted me. I didn’t waste a minute this time, so I got this one back too.

    Now, if I could just get my blonde Campellone Deluxe back, I would be totally satisfied.

    Keith


    What about the one that got away, but you finally got back?-b2ff78c1-ef39-40d6-909a-11f769b769d8-jpeg
    You are super lucky. Those are absolutely beautiful guitars!

  12. #11

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  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlD
    Love this story, I remember the feeling of second-hand joy reading it when FJ published the article.

    It also reminds me of the Peter Frampton's Phenix LPC: https://www.guitarplayer.com/players...ly-plane-crash

  14. #13

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    I got nothing but not for lack of trying.