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This Gibson Granada Mastertone dates to 1930 and was originally fitted with a tenor neck. During the 1970's, a banjo builder in Rochester, New York named Barry Newman made and installed a 5-string conversion neck based on Gibson styling. The flange has also been replaced. It is in good playing condition, and has an under-bridge pickup installed. A case from the late 1960's or 1970's is included but it has some broken hinges.
Here's part of Gibson's description: "Carrying all the elegant styling, fluid body lines, and rocking attitude of a classic Les Paul Standard from the golden era of 1958 to ’60, the Les Paul Axcess reveals a handful of upgrades upon closer examination—all modifications made in the name of maximum playability and versatility. The most noticeable addition is the Floyd Rose tailpiece, a unit optimized for anything from subtle vibrato wobbles to dramatic, rumbling divebombs. Adding a Floyd Rose to a Les Paul in the past was always a major headache, and could seriously damage the stability of the instrument if not done right. On the Les Paul Axcess the vibrato is installed right at the Gibson Custom Shop as part of the manufacturing process, so this potent piece of high-performance hardware interacts seamlessly with the design of the guitar. Partnered with an R4 locking nut, it also guarantees outstanding tuning stability and return-to-pitch accuracy."
This example dates to 2008 and has the original certificates in the case. It is in very good condition all round, with very little wear.
The Ramirez 1a, now known as the 'Tradicional', is built with a German spruce or, in this case, red cedar top and Indian Rosewood back, sides, bridge and headplate, Spanish cedar neck and ebony fingerboard. The scale length has varied over the years; currently it is 650mm but in this case, the scale is 665mm. The longer scale length increases the string tension and the guitar volume.
This 1974 Ramirez Model 1a is in very good condition with no history of repairs, and has been examined and set up by Grant MacNeill. There are some expected wear marks, likely from fingernails, on the top. The action is presently set to 8/64ths treble to 8.5/64ths bass, a standard concert action. Scale length is 665mm and the nut width is 52mm.
This example of the Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded dates to February 6, 2008, was built in Nashville, Tennessee and has the Honey Burst faded finish. It's in good working condition, and it has been played. Fretwear is moderate and there are a few bumps around the edges. However, the wear is well in keeping with the visual goals of this model, and it does play well and sound good. At this point, most of the Les Paul models were chambered, so it's quite a bit lighter than a Traditional model. The pickups are open-coil 'zebra' BurstBuckers, and these models don't have pickguards. The original hardshell case is included.
This example dates to 2014 and its hollow back is made of bookmatched flame maple. The three-piece neck is made from the same maple, and has a bound macassar, 25 inch scale ebony fingerboard. The headplate, bridge and tailpiece are also macassar ebony. For electronics, a bartolini pickup is mounted under the fingerboard and there is a single volume and tone control; the tone control uses a push / pull pot to do a coil split. Frets are stainless steel. The finish is lacquer, and the maple neck and back have a dark stain under the clear coats.
This guitar is in very good, clean condition and comes with the original Armitage hardshell case.
Carrying the optional sunburst top, this Martin D-28 was built during 2012 and is in very good condition. It plays well and has the full, rich D-28 tone.
Fretwear is light and there are a few pick marks on the pick guard, extending only slightly onto the top. The back finish has a light dulling where it rested against the player, but it's not scratched or dented. The original hardshell case is included.
The archtop guitars built by John D'Angelico are generally considered some of the finest built in the USA. Following his death in 1964, his apprentice Jimmy D'Aquisto completed the unfinished guitars and then built under his own name. The D'Angelico name and designs have been licensed by the family to various top quality builders. We're dating this guitar to 2001 based on the serial number, and on serial numbers of other dated examples. The NYL-2 Vestax models were built under license during 2001 to 2004 by Hidesato Shino, a highly respected luthier at the Terada workshop.
The NYL-2 Vestax is based closely on the original D'Angelico New Yorker models, using a single cutaway 17 inch body with carved spruce top, carved flame maple back and flame maple sides. The neck is maple with a bound ebony fingerboard and the classic D'Angelico headstock, New Yorker inlay, and mother of pearl 'skyscraper' truss rod cover. The position markers are mother of pearl. The stairstep tailpiece is classic D'Angelico, and an ebony Vestax tailpiece is included in the case. The bridge is ebony. Metal parts are of course gold-plated, including gold Grover Imperial tuners with metal Deco-style buttons. The stock Kent Armstrong pickup and controls are mounted to the pickguard. Nylon-wound strings are installed.
This guitar has been played, but has also been well cared for. The finish has some minor scuffing and play wear but no dents or scratches. The flatwound strings certainly add to the jazz tone, and as a bonus are very easy on the frets. The neck is very comfortable. Overall, this is a very nice instrument.
The case itself is a bit eye-catching - it appears to be oriented to left-handed as well, though photos of right-handed NYl-2 Vestax models show the same case.
The Kay Speed Demon name referred to the neck, and in particular to the adjustable truss rod that made getting around on these models so much faster than previous instruments, particularly basses. The Kay K5920 features a fully hollow body with a single florentine (pointed) cutaway, made of laminate wood and with an arched top and back. The neck is poplar or maple with a rosewood fingerboard and the tuners on one side of the headstock. The headstock features a Kay badge perhaps borrowed from the Kay 'Kelvinator' models. For electronics, a single 'speed bump' pickup is located in the middle position. The bridge is rosewood, providing a nicely acoustic, low-sustain, 'thumping' tone.
These instruments were built into the 1960s, by which time electric basses had almost completely displaced standup models, and rapidly increasing stage volumes made acoustic basses impractical. This example is in decent playing condition; the tuners and nut have been replaced and the pickguard is long gone.