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Old July 2nd, 2013, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Nostalgia for the POS guitars of our youth

The "what was your 1st guitar" thread, along with the "gold foil" thread over in Pickups makes me kinda long for a few of the crappy guitars I used to own long ago. Some were truly bad, and some just had problems that were fixable if I had the means expertise at the time.
I don't think I'm the only one that feels this way. Now that we are in our 50s and 60s, have been thru many guitars, maybe even built a few, we realize that you can get a decent sound and playability out of most anything if you know how.
A few I wish I still had:
1. My 1st steel string, a little small body Yamaha that had high action and hurt my fingers in 1974. Sand down the saddle and play it till you finger toughen up dummy!
2. The green Univox Coily that wouldn't stay in tune, circa 1975. Install a proper nut and learn how to set intonation on a floating bridge doofus!
3. The 61 LP/SG that I sold for what I paid($300) in 1980, because I couldn't get the low e string to intonate right. Turn the saddle around backwards you idiot!

People are lucky today. A few min on the internet can likely solve your guitar problems if you a savy enough to find places like this. Friendly experts who've seen it all and will help you for free.

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Old July 2nd, 2013, 03:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah, but I felt the problems with the guitar really handicapped my development as a guitarist. I think I could've made more headway, and been positioned right to make a better or different impression on some more important people later on.

That's right. I'm not a star because of the dammed messed up guitar! :^) :^(

You know, the same thing happened for a while with the kayak I started with. I took a whupping because I couldn't control the big boat or stay in it; had the design I chose been better suited, I'd have made some progress although here, I eventually got past that obstacle and did just fine I thought.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 03:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Can't say I have any nostalgic feelings for the two cheap electric imports I had in the mid-60s.
I did miss the bass rig I had 67-70: bought it used, gigged with it for almost three years, then got married and it became superfluous. Sold it for more than I paid. Jump ahead 20 years, and wished I still had it. A few years later, found a Gibson bass in a pawn shop for $150; then a couple of years ago, found an Ampeg 112 for $125. Ended up 40 years later with a better rig for the same price I sold the original for. Use it with the praise team at church.
And I still have the first new guitar I ever bought (Alvarez, 1970).
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I still have my very first guitar , a nylon string classic , that I got as an 11 year old.
First electric , at about 13 yo , was some weird es335 looking japanese thing with a Fender head shape , dont miss it at all.....Played it through a Teisco amp , and used a homebult fuzz my brother built , yuck.
Next guitar , I was already at a Tele Deluxe 1973 , I wouldnt mind owning that one today , or the 76 Tele that followed.....Allthough I was quite unimpressed with them at the time
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 03:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My fist guitar was a $50 Rogue acoustic. It was both the best and worst $50 I ever spent.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 03:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My first electric was an SG copy with a bolt on neck and a teisco style vibrato (1 big spring and a bigsby style lever). If tuning stability wasn't enough of an issue, I couldn't reach the upper frets, so I used a saw to open up the lower horn and discovered that it was made of plywood. What can I say - guerrilla luthiery! Alas it died a Pete Townshend style death some time after I picked up a solid ash ibanez roadstar (pre-vai era)... still have the ibby, but I wish I still had the SG beastie for sentimental reasons.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 03:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Luckily, my only, uh, POS guitar was my first.
My folks saw my fascination with it, and got me better ones to
play ASAP.
My Dad played violin/fiddle well, so he understood that I needed
something good to learn on.
My poor friends played really lousy guitars, so they either quit playing,
or had to "grow up" and buy their own better instruments.
My 'hood was full of unplayable Normas, Tiescos, non-Dano Silvertones,
MIJ Airlines, and plywood Stellas.
Small Radio Shack amps and coily cords were common
My first playable guitar was a red and black "bumblebee" striped, $25 Stella.
It was my "gateway" guitar, I got good, playable acoustic and electric guitars
shortly thereafter.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 04:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As someone in his early 30s, the guitars of my youth were just total crap. It was after cheap guitars stopped being cool and quirky and before cheap imports got good.

Oh yeah, and most entry level guitars back then had cheap, horrible, useless Floyd Rose knockoffs.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by brookdalebill View Post
Luckily, my only, uh, POS guitar was my first.
My folks saw my fascination with it, and got me better ones to
play ASAP.
My Dad played violin/fiddle well, so he understood that I needed
something good to learn on.
My poor friends played really lousy guitars, so they either quit playing,
or had to "grow up" and buy their own better instruments.
I was one of those who had to get it all on my own. I was an only child and neither of my parents were in the least bit musical. My father actively discouraged any interest I showed in music form my earliest memory. He would kid me about acting or singing in a school play, or when I expressed interest in Choir or Band. I think he was afraid if I got into music I'd turn into some kind of girly man or a worthless bohemian. The first instrument I remember playing was an old pump organ my mother inheritedd from her grandmother. I started making noise on it and trying to pick out simple tunes when I was old enough to barely reach the pedals, first grade or so. Mom promptly had it gutted and turned into a desk.

When I decided I wanted to play the guitar in high school, I had to buy it. I never even got so much as a set of strings, much less an offer of a decent instrument or lessons. I bumbled around on my own, picking up bits and pieces of musical knowledge from friends and jamming piddling around for many years.
About all you can say positively about the experience was I never gave up. Every instrument I ever got I worked and paid for. I was in my late 20s before I ever got good enough to perform.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 04:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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no, no nostalgia for my old POS guitars. I wish I still had my silvertone 1x12 tube amp.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 04:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My first guitar was a Squier Affinity Strat + Fender 15G amp, both were pretty bad.. The guitar didn't play well or sound very good and the amp sounded awful right up until it broke after just a couple of years of bedroom use..
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 05:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My first electric guitar was a cheap Japanese strat copy I had kept for sentimental reasons for a long time, but did not use.

I showed in an older thread what it has become. I play it a lot nowadays!

Explaining France to the world since 1992.

Last edited by kplamann; July 3rd, 2013 at 12:31 AM.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 05:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I've said it before. If I could find a Kingston like my first electric I would buy it and smash it.

In the 60s they made great guitars or CRAP.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 05:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
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First guitar: a no-name nylon stringer when I was 12
First electric: a HSS Floyd Rose-equipped Washburn when I was 19

Good riddance to both.
Talk is cheap - it's principles that are expensive.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 05:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Those who complain about "POS" guitars, who came of age in the post-free-trade era, have just no clue.

There were zero desirable, "wonderful old axes", that were available or affordable to most beginners in the late 60's/early 70's. You had to "make do", and dream for the future, when you might be good enough to justify, or could afford, a Fender, Gibson, Guild, etc.

Perfect example of that is my first two guitars, from 1969-1970, or so. Believe it or not, I learned all the basics needed to get a good start on these unbelievably crappy axes.

Unless you had lots of $$, this is about what you would start out with back then. Most players I know, my age bracket, also did so.

Neither pic has me playing. First is my first guitar, Emenee. Plastic body, nylon strings. My mom (and sis) playing it. Second is my first electric, a Teisco. My friend Eddie "playing" it, me singing lead.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 05:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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When I was a teen playing my first guitars in group circles with the friend who actually owned one..... none of us knew you could improve the action.... by adjusting nuts/saddles, etc....

kinda like Golf... you play it where the ball lies.... play the guitar at hand....

man, we learned to play on some cheese cutters.... even if you lower the saddle... the cowboy chords can be still hard to play if the nut is cut too high.... or the neck had a bow...

that's why.. when you finally got to play a "name" guitar like a US Fender/Gibson....they played like butter compared.... you only needed a feather touch to play notes/chords.... it was a revelation...

ahhh! that' s why the bands on the TV play those ones....;)
"by degrees the flood of music drove all speculations out of his mind. It was as though it were a kind of liquid stuff that poured all over him and got mixed up with the sunlight that filtered through the leaves."
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 07:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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at least one Japanese builder had a sense of humor....

quasi mojo
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 09:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Nostalgia for the POS guitars of our youth

In my youth, I had these POS:
  • Ventura copy of a Gibson Trini Lopez archtop hollow body electric.
  • Peavey Musician amplifier head.
  • 1975 Fender Telecaster Custom.
I have no nostalgia for any of those POS items.

The only thing good about that Tele was the WRHB neck pickup. When I see them going for $2,500 these days I just laugh. Buy two new American Teles, or buy a new American Tele and a nice tube amp, not a Micro-Tilt POS.

Things I wish I still had:
  • 1966 Fender Telecaster.
  • 1958 Fender Champ amp.
  • 1983-ish G & L L1000 bass
If you do what you've always done...
You'll get what you've always gotten.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 10:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I dunno. I guess my first electric wasn't a POS. '85 MIJ 62 Custom that I bought used in '89. Had no idea then that these would become so sought-after!

Bascially, I thought it looked cool. Still had the white guard then, but I promptly switched it as soon as I bought it.

And I kinda bought it out of guilt. I was playing it one day, lusting after it. And as I hung it back up on the wall and walked away, after a couple of seconds, I heard a huge CRRAAASSHHHh. Boom! Damn guitar had twised out of the hanger, fallen, and took a chunk out of the bottom/read body & binding. Nothing huge, but still.....

I hung it back up quickly and ran out before anyone noticed. The next day, I felt guilty (I was 13) and I still wanted it, so I made a deal with my dad. I "sold" him my acoustic (Martin Sigma) to get the remaining money I needed to buy this one. Obviously, that acoustic was technically his now, but I used it exclusively still.

So I bought it the next day, and I've had it ever since. Still love it. Just wish the neck was a little thicker!


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Old July 3rd, 2013, 01:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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My first guitar was a cheap classical. I don't recall the make. It wasn't too hard to play.

My first electric was a Kent LP style. It played ok too.

For beginner instruments they were fine.
And.. no one is gonna say, "Oh Lordy, what did you do to your guitar to get that incredible sound." No one, so do yourself a favor, leave it alone. -Ron Kirn
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