Me And This Old Guitar

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Ragin Cajun, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. Ragin Cajun

    Ragin Cajun Tele-Meister

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    I have an acoustic guitar that was the first Christmas present that my wife gave me 24 years ago. We were only dating then. It's an Ibanez PF 5, and came in a package with a gig bag, a Peter Pan pipe tuner, some picks and a stand. I had mentioned at one point that i had no guitar at the time, and she said " Don't you dare go and buy one". So it didn't come as a surprise. What did come as a surprise is that, for a supposedly "cheap" guitar, how good it sounded and played. It boomed on the bass end, and rang like a bell on the upper end. After 24 years, the neck is still straight, the frets are good, there are no problems with the bridge pulling out, and the tuners work good. It stays in tune pretty good. With new strings, which it needs now, it still booms and rings like a bell. I remember that it was almost white when new, but now the top has aged to a mellow yellow. It's light weight and comfortable to play. I wouldn't trade it for a vintage Martin or Gibson. 101_4778.JPG
     
  2. Bluetelecaster

    Bluetelecaster Tele-Holic

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    Nice! I've still got the Sigma dm 3 my wife bought me on our 1st anniversary in 1983
     
  3. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

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    Similar story here and was also mid-'90s -- actually pretty sure it was also 1996. First birthday present my then-gf gave me was an acoustic, and like you I was guitar-less at the time (not to mention rudderless). It's a Daion, a Japanese brand that was widely sold in Australia in the late '70s/early '80s. We have 3 kids and the middle one knocked it over when a toddler, putting a 1.5in crack in the side, which only makes it more cherished of course.
    pic.jpg
     
  4. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Those are cool guitars and definitely keepsakes.
     
  5. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You guys all need to buy new guitars ... the old ones need a rest ... support the economy ....


    And your local music . .. or pawn shop ... or CL ...
     
  6. saltyseadog

    saltyseadog Tele-Meister

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    The acoustic on the left was given to me by one of my sons friends who had found it in his aunts house when his father and he were clearing her effects after she died in 1992. It was a 12 string, the neck had an upbow you could have fired arrows with and the frets were filed right down to the palisander fingerboard it had a 1" hole in the upper bout and a smaller one on the lower bout. It was unplayable but I saw a makers sticker inside which said, type - 12 streng, number - 4731 made by Østbu Gitarfabrikk. It was a very light guitar, in fact the headstock made it dip down while strapped on and on closer inspection I saw that it was a solid rosewood matched back and sides so I decided to keep it as an ornament and hung it on the wall. After that as I got into PC's and the internet I found out that it was made by an old Norwegian couple who had in fact made several guitars for some top scandinavian musicians. As the years progressed and my d.i.y. skills improved I decided I was going to attempt repair it and rebuild it as a 6 string. I made a home built steamer and got the neck off then used the untoothed edge of an old 2" saw blade from my mitre saw to get the fingerboard off the neck. The truss rod was just laid into a slot down the middle of the neck so I carved a piece of mahogany with a downward curve that would sit into it flush with the neck. I cut off a chunk of the headstock and reshaped it into the Gibson moustache, filled in the tuner holes and redrilled new ones. I also cut some rosewood dowels and filled in the 12 bridge string holes, sanded it all smooth and redrilled 6 new ones in a curve. I knew of a local luthier in Durham who sold ready slotted fretboards and ordered an ebony one with 20 slots. I can't remember the exact scale but had worked out that it would join the body at exactly the 13th fret giving me the same distance to the bridge. That was the hardest part really, I never realised how brittle ebony was and I didn't have a band saw but used a mitre saw blade with a self made wooden handle. I marked of the shape of the fingerboard giving an excess of 5mm a side and got it into my vice clamped between two 24" steel workshop rulers set along the cut edge hoping this would stop any chipping on the ebony. I took my time and it did indeed work. I then glued it onto the neck and when it was dry I used several files, sandpaper etc to match it to the sides of the neck. Used a 12" radius block to shape the fingerboard and added the frets then trued the neck and levelled and polished the frets. I then took the body and used my soldering iron and a damp cloth and some thin superglue to fix the two holes which was surprisingly easy actually. Once the body was all fixed up I sanded it back, not to the wood but took a good bit of the finish off with wet and dry paper and refinished it with shellac. Once it was all dry I reglued the neck to the body at the correct angle, added a bone nut and saddle, some schaller tulip tuners and a set of 11's and was really proud of myself as it sounded great. Since then I found that I prefer stringing it with 13's and last year added a stacked humbucker I had in my toolbox from my partscaster and an endpin jack socket. It is without doubt my number one acoustic guitar and so light you wonder why it doesn't break.
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  7. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    You, Sir, are capitalist, heartless, and emotionless.....................unless, of course, you meant ‘you guys all need to but new guitars to add to your collections’!
     
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  8. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great stories
     
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  9. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've had this Takamine F385 since new in '76. It was sent to my cousin, who owned a music company, as a sample. He sold it to me for $75...basically shipping. I've carried it all over the world...a wonder it is still in excellent shape.

    Edit: I bought a hard case for it shortly after receiving it...the case cost a little more than the guitar.

    IMG_6527.JPG
     
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  10. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Afflicted

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    My story goes back to 1971, when as a college student, I encountered Choice Pearson, who was a security guard at the girl's dorm. Friends and I would sing and play in the courtyard, trolling for female companionship (often successful). Choice's job was to enforce the curfew by running we hopefuls out. One night, as he was telling us to leave, he pointed at me and said to come back the next night at curfew time. I thought about it long and hard, not sure if I was in trouble or not. Really glad I did, because when I came back, Choice had he come in to the front desk. He reached behind the desk and pulled out an old, battered case, opened it, and changed my life forever. In the case was my avatar, a 1939 Martin D18. At his invitation, I picked it up, played a couple of chords, and stepped all over my tongue. When I asked if it was for sale, the response was no, but he agreed to let me to continue to talk to him about selling me the Martin. Long story short, it took two years, but he relented and sold it to me for $425. I had to take out a loan at my local bank. I have never been so religious about paying back a loan as I was that one. In seniority, it outranks my wife by 5 years, but ranked by love, comes in a CLOSE second. See avatar for pic.
     
  11. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    @Ragin Cajun 's story reminds me of two of my own that contain the same type of story elements.

    My wife surprised me with an Alvarez classical for my 20th birthday, November 11, 1973. (It was my first birthday as a married man. We married in April of that year.) Shortly after we married we moved to another town in Texas, and promptly suffered a financial setback. It was temporary, but we were in a hard place for a couple of months. So I wound up selling the two guitars that I had at the time. On the sly, my wife set aside a little bit of our grocery money each month to save up to get me another guitar. It was an Alvarez classical, just a hundred dollar job, but it was a sweet surprise, and got me back into guitar on my birthday. I had that guitar for about ten years.

    So, fast forward a decade. My then 6 year old son accidentally fell on the guitar and snapped the neck off. Immediately after it happened, my son looked up at me like a deer in headlights, not knowing how I'd react. Of course, my heart sank, but I also instantly knew that I wasn't the only one attached to that guitar. I played and sang to my young children at bedtime (I can still hear them saying, "Play us to sleep, Daddy"). It was the only guitar my kids ever knew up to that point. So I didn't say a word to my son; I just held out my arms to him, and he fell into them, sobbing.

    As a young father of three trying to make a living, buying a new guitar was going to be difficult. I hadn't really even begun to look for another guitar when some friends intervened. I was a worship leader for a small group back then, and unbeknownst to me, they took up a collection and raised $600 (inflation calculator says that's $1,544.54 today). They approached my wife and told her what they'd done, and asked her what guitar I was looking at so they could buy it for me and surprise me with it. She replied, "He really hasn't even started looking yet, and when he does, he won't be looking in that price range."

    So they came up with a Plan B. On an occasion when I was leading worship again (on a borrowed guitar), they surprised me with a check for the $600 and told me to buy what I wanted. I wound up buying a Hohner G-940. All solid woods, spruce top, mahogany back & sides, mahogany neck, ebony fretboard, bindings and inlays are maple.

    I've had it now for 37 years, and the story of how it came to me and a thousand other stories I've had with it over the years are part of the guitar's appeal. That, and the guitar is just killer. It can hold its own against Martins, Breedloves, Taylors, etc. I once got to play a Bourgeois dreadnought that I must (grudgingly) admit played even better than my Hohner, but no other acoustic guitar I've played has bested it.
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  12. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Afflicted

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    Went down to the Rockport area last week to visit a good friend. Went out to eat at Snoopy's, and stayed out in the country outside Woodsboro. Thought about you, but didn't have a way to get in contact. Stay safe, the Mexican Beer Bug is getting nasty down there!
     
  13. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    "Mexican Beer Bug." Had to read that one twice. :lol: I usually call it the Kung Flu.

    Between you, me and whatever agent of Big Brother that might be listening in, I ain't that worried about it. :twisted:

    I used to have a residency at a restaurant in Rockport, but I think Harvey shut it down. I do have another venue across the bridge that I play regularly (though not really a residency, per se), at a marina in Ingleside on the Bay. I had a gig there Friday night. Lots of folks came out. Got another gig there in 3 weeks.

    Next time you're coming down, PM me.
     
  14. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I knew you had that old Martin. Your username is kind of a giveaway, but I'm pretty sure I've read your mention of it before in other threads. But I don't recall ever reading the backstory until now. Nice!

    When I mentioned in comment #11 above that I'd played a Bourgeois before, it was at a nice guitar store in Dallas, IIRC. In the acoustic room, they had hanging on the wall several nice guitars. Along with the Bourgeois, there was a '60s vintage Martin. That day, the Martin was really sweet, but in all honesty I think the Bourgeois edged it out by a bit.

    Long before I knew what Guitar Acquisition Syndrome was, I had GAS for a Martin. Still kinda do. I believe my Hohner G-940 is meant to compete with a Martin D-28. I read decades ago (IIRC, it was in Guitar Player magazine) that Japanese companies would come to America and bid on old Martins at auction, then take then back to Japan to take them apart to see how they were built. I don't know if that's true, and if it is, if that Japanese factory that made my Hohner had done such a thing. But like I said before, for my money, it holds its own up against Martins.

    Quite a few years ago, a local guitarist came over with his Tele and a '66 Martin. I wouldn't say that he agreed my Hohner was equal to his Martin, but after playing mine a while, he said, "Larry, I see what you mean about this guitar."
     
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  15. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I bought my Ibanez in '78..... the action is still the same... top is flat, neck is straight.... sounds great.. good guitars... I made a nice bone saddle for it a few months back to give it a present.....:)

    never been in a case in it's life.... hangs on the wall within arms reach of me sitting here at the PC.....

    Ibanez 2.jpg

    a recent pic..

    acoustic top.jpg
     
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  16. Ragin Cajun

    Ragin Cajun Tele-Meister

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    Great stories, guys. Thanks
     
  17. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    Back in the early 80's I had my sailboat in a marina in SoCal parked next to a couple of other pickers. One of them was interested in an old stand up piano I owned for his Daughter. I had no use for it so I traded him for this one. It turned out to be my #1 acoustic ever since.

    80 MIJ Sigma D10 Anniversary
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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
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  18. saltyseadog

    saltyseadog Tele-Meister

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    I always thought that Hohner being a German company built there guitars in Germany?. As you can see in my pic above I have a Hohner Dobro also much modified.
     
  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hohner in the '70s did what a number of guitar companies did: they outsourced to Japan to cut production costs.

    My G-940 is part of the Arbor Series of Hohner acoustics produced between 1978-1985. This series was the high end of Hohner's acoustic guitar product line at the time, and they were Made in Japan. I also have an HG-905, made in December of 1979 in Japan. (Most of the model numbers in the Arbor Series of acoustics began with the prefix HG. For some reason, a few of them dropped the "H," as is the case with my 940.)

    upload_2020-7-14_7-43-28.png

    In the mid 1980s, Hohner moved the outsourcing of their guitars to factories in Korea.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
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