The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

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Frank Gay 8 Course Renaissance Style Lute, 1971

Frank Gay 8 Course Renaissance Style Lute, 1971

This Frank Gay 8-Course Renaissance Style lute was built at the Gay Guitars shop in Edmonton, Alberta during 1971. Frank Gay was a prominent player and teacher in Edmonton, and clearly also a highly skilled luthier. His guitars were used by many top level Country artists, including Johnny Cash, Webb Pierce, Faron Young and Hank Snow.

Vintage
Price: $1750 CAD
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Lawrence Nyberg Cittern Black Walnut and Redwood, 2018

Lawrence Nyberg Cittern Black Walnut and Redwood, 2018

This lovely Lawrence Nyberg Cittern pairs a Redwood top and Black Walnut for the sides, back, and back strap (an extra layer on the back of the head). The neck is Mahogany, with Ebony used for the fingerboard and its binding, bridge, and the head plate. A K&K pickup is installed and connected to and end pin jack. Unusually for an instrument of this type, a steel string guitar-style ebony pin bridge is used rather than a floating bridge with an additional tailpiece.

Used
Price: $3220 CAD
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Jack Spira Cittern Australian Blackwood, 2005

Jack Spira Cittern Australian Blackwood, 2005

This is unusual for us to see – a Jack Spira Cittern of Australian Blackwood, built during 2005 at Spira’s shop in Boolarra, east of Melbourne. Jack Spira has been building for over 30 years, focusing on steel string guitars in regular, tenor and baritone forms, plus Irish Bouzoukis, Citterns, and Octave Mandolins. He also does repair and custom work, in particular engraved inlays. His work is highly regarded, and popular enough that few make it to the used market in Canada.

Used
Price: $2999.00 CAD
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Gibson GB-3 Mastertone Guitar Banjo, 1926

Gibson GB-3 Mastertone Guitar Banjo, 1926

The first of the Gibson GB series of 6-string Mastertone Guitar Banjos appeared in 1918, as the GB-3 and GB-4. The GB-1 and GB-6 appeared in 1922, and by 1940, production had completely ended. The GB-5 was built only during 1925. These models were influenced by the popular Paramount banjo designs.These instruments are perhaps comparable in intent to the Resophonic guitars that were introduced by National just a few years later – meant to be used in fairly loud ensembles, often with horns, playing the Dixieland jazz that was all the rage.

Vintage
Price: $4999.99 CAD
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Gibson Style U Harp Guitar, 1914

Gibson Style U Harp Guitar, 1914

This Gibson Style U Harp Guitar, dating to 1914 and built at the Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan is not entirely original. The bridge and tailpiece have been replaced though with original style parts. The binding on the fingerboard has been replaced. This fine instrument is fully playable and in overall good condition, with an small amount of finish scuffing considering that it is over a century old. A gig bag is included.

Vintage
Price: $6250 CAD
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Darryl Williams 8-Course Renaissance Lute, 1976

Darryl Williams 8-Course Renaissance Lute, 1976

The Darryl Williams 8-Course Renaissance Lute was based on a bowl-back design, using a set of bent ribs that are arched to provide stiffness. The ribs start with a ‘teardrop’ shape and are then bent, and the edges are bevelled according to the number of ribs. They are glued together with hide glue in the joins, and parchment strips soaked in hide glue are applied to the inside of the seams.

Vintage
Price: $2550 CAD
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Roosebeck Renaissance Lute Six Course, Walnut

Roosebeck Renaissance Lute Six Course, Walnut

This Roosebeck Renaissance lute is a 6 course model, featuring a bowl constructed of 25 fluted walnut staves, and with a 600mm scale length. The top is Spruce, while the neck, bowl, nut, bridge, and end pin are built of Walnut, The peg box is Walnut and Lacewood. The frets are formed in the traditional manner – tied on – but are nylon line (guitar string) rather than gut. 

New
Price: $950 CAD
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Danelectro Baby Sitar

Danelectro Baby Sitar

The Danelectro Electic Sitar and Danelectro Baby SItar were in some ways the most successful of their design – they was the sound of the sitar on many hit records during the 1960’s to the 80’s. They were also two of the very few of that design.

New
Price: $739 CAD
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Baroque Guitar and Renaissance Lute: A NAMM show discovery !

Baroque Guitar and Renaissance Lute: A NAMM show discovery !

Every year at the LA NAMM show I find something unique and wonderful. Mid-East Music specializes in handcrafted historic and ethnic instruments. Unlike other sources I’ve encountered, they understand and service the instruments they sell and control and participate in the manufacture process. Hand made in Pakistan, these instruments are remarkably cleanly built: accurate joinery, clean fit and finish. I was VERY impressed by the overall quality and appearance and the prices are a fraction of what we commonly see in second hand historic Lutes and Baroque guitars.

At last I can offer a completely playable historic Lute and Baroque guitar for a price that “makes sense” to most of my clients who simply want to experiment with this era of music. These instruments are “the real thing” at an affordable price. These instruments even come with lightweight but solidly made hardshell cases !

New
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