Monday, January 31, 2011

Vintage Ukuleles and other Cool Stuff

Here at Wood & Wire, we've got more than guitars. Today I decided to post a couple of interesting pieces that fall under the "miscellaneous" heading but are definitely cool finds. First off, here's a trio of vintage Ukuleles - the one the left is a Mauna Loa from the forties, the middle one is a Harmony from the fifties, and the one on the right is a Regan (don't know the era). The Harmony has a lot of charm and appeal - it also has a fretboard made of plastic, but it actually plays pretty good. All of these are soprano ukes, and are surprisingly loud and present for their size.

Here's something you don't see every day. This art deco-looking Ampro speaker cabinet may have originally been designed to be used with a PA system or an old movie projector, but it's now loaded with a modern 12' Weber speaker and it wails when you plug an amp into it. You can even unlatch the back to convert it to an open-backed cab for more versatility. Very, very cool.

Ok, just guess.

Still stumped? It's a NOS (new old stock) Conn Strobotuner. This is the heavy-duty ancestor of the electronic tuners you see today, a lunchbox-sized brick stuffed with glass tubes and circuits. It's supposed to be much more accurate, though, like if you ever need to discern the pitch of a gnat's sneeze from across the room.

Well, there you go. Some of the neat stuff we've got lying around - alright now, back to the guitars!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Eastwood 3P DLX

Here's one of our favorite Eastwoods - it's an Airline 3P DLX, with 3 Humbuckers, a bigsby-licensed vibrato, and a whole lot of volume and tone knobs. Usually, the ones with the black finish ship with a white pickguard, but we just had to ask if they could customize this one a little with some snazzy tortoiseshell.

I think it turned out pretty good, don't you? Remember that tomorrow we're going to have an in-store demo/jam with all the new Eastwoods. The live music will probably start around 2 or 3, so come check it out if you're in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kay Flat-top, Eastwood News & More

Here's a new arrival - an old Kay Flat-top with a snazzy red finish, some cool cosmetics, and a couple of serious pick scratches! Overall, though, it's in pretty good shape for an old Kay. Still not sure of the year and model, though it's got 'N-7' stamped on the inside.

That big, bat-wing pickguard is sharp, and check out the nifty dotted binding - this thing would go great with a red & black western shirt.

That headstock badge seems to suggest that this one is a later Japanese model, but we've got to dig a little further to find out exactly which one. But if you need an acoustic with character - here you go! This one was actually part of an ongoing deal - there's more goodies where this one came from!

In other news, the Eastwood guitars have arrived! We just pulled the wrappers off tonight, and we'll be setting up and fine tuning (and playing) these babies for the next few days. But we'll really be having fun this Saturday, with an in-store demo/jam featuring local musicians giving the Eastwoods a workout. Come check it out!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Danelectro Hodad

Here's another cool, underrated guitar. The Danelectro reissues of the 90s were always lots of fun, bringing back the charming sound of those jangling/clanging lipstick pickups and some color choices of dubious taste. But after the classic U2 and Shorthorn models of the sixties had been reissued and tweaked, they cranked out a few distinctive models that seemed like they should have been lost classics. The Hodad - not to be confused with the more recent "Hodad" mini-amps - was one of their (sorta) original designs, combining Dano funkiness with a surprising amount of versatility.

The body shape is another in a long, illustrious line of Mosrite rip-offs, but it's made in the classic Danelectro style, with a wood slab down the middle and a Masonite top and back. The Hodad, however, beefs up the sound by wiring two sets of the standard lipstick pickups as humbuckers. But that's not the only trick up its sleeve - the coil tap can bring back the skinny single-coil sounds of yore, and the phase switch conjures forth all kinds of tweezed, colorful tones. Add in the Bigsby-style trem and you've got a sneaky, slinky axe that can turn heads AND bend ears.

Though the Hodad was obviously designed with neo-surf rock in mind, it's got enough tonal character to hang with most roots-rock styles. Sadly, these died out with the last of the Korean-made Danos, with little chance of being revival any time soon. Come check this one out; you might not see another one like it for a while!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good News, Everyone!

Big news - the deals are done, and we are now officially a dealer for Eastwood Guitars! If you're not familiar with Eastwood, check out their website here. They're basically on a mission to re-issue all the coolest and most unique guitar models and designs of the 60s and 70s. Airline, Supro, National, Mosrite - Eastwood does a good job of keeping the retro vibe and style of these funky old guitars while making solid workhorse instruments that you can gig with.

Now that order has gone through, the shipment will probably head out sometime this week, and we're aiming for rolling out our first batch of Eastwoods (hopefully) next weekend. We're the first Eastwood dealer in the state, so we're threatening to make a real fuss this time, with some in-store performances/demos by local musicians - check back for details.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pair of 1979 Gibsons: "The Paul" and The "SG"

Here's a cool pair - matching 1979 Gibsons! The "SG" and "The Paul" were released as a kind of workhorse or budget model during the late 70s/early 80s. Gee, I wish they still made "budget" guitars today with T-Top pickups in them...

The Wikipedia entry on "The Paul" hilariously describes the finish (or lack thereof) as a "Coffee Table Burst." One of our customers told me it was "just ugly enough to be beautiful." Truly, these woody, walnut-constructed beasts go great with the grubby, beard-sprouting aesthetic that so many rock/metal dudes seem to dig these days.

Hmmm....I wouldn't know exactly, but I think the SG has a T-Top in the neck position and something called a "Velvet Brick" in the bridge. Also, the pickup switches on both seem to have gotten lonely, and have decided to huddle up with the volume and tone knobs. The SG is in great shape, and the Paul...well, somebody decided to burn something goofy into the finish. Still, the guitar is solid as a rock and, like the SG, priced well below similar old Gibsons. These are both cool guitars with a growing "cult" following, but they're still within the reach of players (not just collectors). Who knows, one of these might be your best bet for getting some vintage Gibsons in your arsenal without busting your budget too much.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

60s Supro Belmont

Here's a very, very clean Supro Belmont. It's got a wood body, not "Res-o-glass" like the later Supro and Airline guitars that Jack White has popularized - but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that wood is probably the way to go for a guitar body. I know, I know - call me crazy! If you like weird, though, this still might cover you - what looks like a normal paint job is actually some kind of red plastic coating! The single bridge pickup distinguishes itself with a full-bodied twang...

...and it plays pretty nice, too. Gotta love the "Gumby" headstock and miraculously unmolested Supro badge!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

'71 Competition Mustang Bass

Here's another Mustang - a bass this time. Beloved of punk kids and rock icons alike, and the last bass designed by Leo Fender before he jumped ship. This one is part of the later "Competition" series, with the cool/cheesey racing stripe along the side. Short-scale playability and classy Fender looks have made the Mustang Bass a perennial favorite.