Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mystery Guitar No. 2

Here's another mystery guitar. This is actually in for repairs; the guy bought it for his daughter at some kind of estate/auction-type sale and wants to try and make it playable. From the sound of it, most of the stuff at this sale was of the rundown, hang-it-up-at-cracker-barrel variety. From these inauspicious coordinates comes this extremely um, orange guitar. Its a no-name that suggests an old Harmony Stratotone, but the build quality veers towards hillbilly homebrew territory.

Once there was a name on the headstock, but now all that appears to be left is epoxy residue and some truly hellacious cracks along the tuning posts. This thing looks to be made of...what, is that pine, maybe? From the feel of the fretboard, splinters might be a concern. The neck is in rough shape (no truss rod) and the action is a mile off the neck.

The pickup looks like it just might wail, though, if we could just get it to work. Getting this thing to play conventionally might not be feasible - but it might make a wicked cool guitar for slide if the electronics and the headstock cracks are addressed. A fine instrument it is not, but who can argue with that nifty pearloid pickguard?

Plus, it's got a cool case. We'll have to see what the guy wants to do with this one. Anybody that recognizes this thing feel free to chime in - I'd be interested in the story of this one.


  1. I'm slightly embarrassed that I'm nerdy enough to know this, but--I think I might be able to ID that guitar. I was staring at that pickup and slanted control plate and I knew I'd seen them somewhere before, years and years ago...and then somehow my brain dredged up the name "Strad-O-Lin." Take a look here:

    I believe there may be some connection to the Premier brand, which built that funny scroll bass used by Mark Sandman in Morphine.

    Or, I could be completely wrong. But that's all I got.

  2. Wow, I see what you mean - the similarities are striking. But if that other guitar was a prototype that was never mass-produced...well, that just raises further questions!

  3. Well. The reason I was able to dredge this up is that I remembered one of those ancient "Off The Wall" columns from a back issue of Guitar Player circa sometime in the '80s, and there was a fuzzy b&w picture of another Strad-o-lin guitar that looked similar to that prototype. So...I assume it was a production item, but who knows.