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Author Topic: Yard sale/pawn shop guitars and such  (Read 6355 times)
Danny
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« on: May 18, 2013, 06:53:24 PM »

   Recently TtP found a sweet deal on a "$35 Mountain Guitar", Martin D?? knock off. So I thought of all the gits I've got hanging around and mentioned some of them. I was asked to post pics and I will someday.

    But here is a music stand that I just got for $1. I can see so many uses for this one. Like putting my laptop on it, tilting it back and downloading music from the web to play along to. Lyrics, chords, educational stuff etc. And sometimes putting some sheet music on it. This thing is very heavy duty.


                     So here is a thread for pics of your bargain guitars etc. What do you have?
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 11:29:32 AM »

Unquestionably my best buy...  this was about 15 or more years ago.  We were driving by and I glimpsed what looked like a guitar shaped thing so I skied my wife to stop.  I got out and went to look.  It was a lap steel guitar made of sheet metal, painted this mottled gray color, and heavy as hell. I asked how much and the woman told me $8.  I looked closer and the label on the headstock said "Rickenbacher".  I told her it was probably worth considerably more money and she ought to take it to a music shop to get it appraised.  She said she'd rather just get rid of it.  I gave her the $8.  It turned out it was worth a bunch more than the $8.  It was a very early Rickenbacker (before they changed the spelling from Rickenbacher) model.  I forget what year, but late 30s I think.  I rewired it (the old wires were deteriorated), made a new nut, and put new strings on.  Then after not being any better on it than the newer cheaper lap steel I had, I advertised it online.  I traded it for my Boomerang looper.  I think if I had held out I could have gotten more, but I figured I had done just fine. 

Ed
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 12:46:20 PM »

In 1972 while working at a guitar shop in Montreal, I had to walk over to the Classical/symphony repair shop to get supplies. While there, the proprieter, (knowing i was a folky/steel string guy) mentioned they had an old Martin in the garbage can.
 Some-one brought it in for repairs (neck set), but they don't do that stuff, the client said just chuck it.
 The store gave it to me, (1941 OM-18), it needed more than just a neck set, but we got it fixed up pretty good, and i played it, recorded with it for a couple years before some-one came along and just had to have it.
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Too many guitars to list here.
 Too few brain cells to be bothered with...
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 01:17:56 PM »

This may not be exactly on topic, but close. Twenty-some years ago, a very sweet little ol' 90+ year old woman who I helped out occasionally gave me her long deceased husband's banjo uke that had been gathering dust in her basement. Missing nut, bridge, and strung with kite string by one of her great grandkids. I held on to it until recently when I sold it to a collector/restorer, the proceeds from which helped finance my first Larrivee. The fellow I sold it to just sent me pictures of it fully restored and it's beautiful and up for sale in the UK. Selling it started my love for Larrivees! It wasn't a garage sale, per say, but a basement cleaning gift. It's a pre-1930's "The Gibson" UB3. Sold for around $30.00 back in the day.    
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 01:27:46 PM »

The band I was in during my high school years in the 80's had a couple of very gifted musicians (bass player and drummer); I was the hack keyboard player needed for decoration on a couple of songs.  Drummer went on to be the keyboard player in The Verve Pipe (had a top 10 hit in the 90's), and the bass player is now a urologist.

Anyways, the bass player's bass was a cream colored 1967 Fender Precision bass guitar in near mint condition.  He had purchased it at a yard sale a few years earlier for $75.

I'm still looking for my yard sale find!

Edit:  I forgot about the Craigslist deal I found this past Christmas.  My son asked for an acoustic guitar that he could learn some basics on.  I scoured Craigslist in Colorado for a couple of weeks, then this post came up for a Michael Kelly.  I've seen some of their stuff and they are usually o.k. quality.  This one was a Michael Kelly Visionary V7 model, $60.

That is one of just a few guitar models sold with this variable set neck technology (Martin used it on a couple of models - but it's way non-traditional and I'm guessing that's part of what kept it from getting popular).  I bought it mostly out of scientific curiosity.

It works as advertised, where you can move the neck plane parallel to the top of the body, about 1/2" range or so, making it a great strummer or for learners to have very low action, without significant re-tuning.

It does have a high fret about 15th or 16th fret that if I got it re-done, would probably cost me more than the $60 I paid for it!

Son is doing great learning all the open chords.  Sustains pretty danged well!  (I thought it would be pretty bad with all of the potential for mechanical loss of energy in the neck joint).
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 06:45:18 PM »

I walked into a pawn shop in 1980.  A Martin D-28 (1976) was hanging on the wall behind the register.  No strings. The top showed signs of stress and had several cracks above the sound hole running toward the bottom.  I asked about it and if it was for sale.  They then asked me what would I be willing to pay?  $100 later I walked out with the guitar and the standard issue blue composite Martin hard shell case of the day.  I drove it a couple hours away to a Martin authorized repair guy that had been recommended and left it with him.  When I went back to pick it up I was told it looked like someone hit the top against something sharp like the corner of a table, knocked a brace loose, and the string tension did the rest.  Total repair bill of $15 to replace the brace.  That's it.  In 2003 a son was graduating from high school.  For a number of years he had been picking up my guitars and learning to play on his own.  For graduation we talked about getting him a nice guitar of his own.  I said he could look around and let me know what he was interested in, or if he was interested, he could have the D-28.   I don't think he even looked at anything else.
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 06:53:48 PM »

Great stories.  It seems harder to find such great deals nowadays, with everyone's access to the internet.  Of course, eBay makes it harder to find great deals.  But, it is certainly worth the quest!!
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Danny
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 07:54:25 PM »

One of my better buys was from a add that said handmade guitar $40 here in Austin. I met up with the lady and gave her a 50 because niether of us had change. I have a thread on this guitar somewhere, so I'll try and link it later with a picture.
    So it is a handmade Suzuki Kiso if I remember correcly. It was very light, rosewood with a Japanese spruce top. A classical with a top shelf sound. Made in Japan in 1973.
     My son, who lived with us at the time could play any of the 10 or so guitars hanging on walls and set up on stands around our house. This included Martin, Gibson, Lakewood and of course Very nice Larrivees. And yet he always chose to play this guitar.  So one year I gave it to him for his birthday. He loves that guitar and I don't think I could have found a better one for him at the$3000 level.    I have only seen this one and if I find another I'll scoop it up fast.
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 08:43:35 PM »

http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=21398.0

That is the link to the 1973 classical thread, but the pics expired from the prvider. Now I'll have to search my files to see if I have any pix of it.

   This is what I said April 30th, 2008

"I picked up a neat old classical a few weeks ago. I didn't know a thing about it when I bought it except that I just liked something about the way it was put together.
              After some research I found out it is a 1973 Kiso Suzuki Violin Co, Classical made in Japan in an area known for it's wood resources. The sides and back are matched rosewood, hard to tell if it's laminate. if it is it's very well done and by far my lightest git. Kinda like a violin. The table (top) is Hokkaido spruce I think. At least it sure looks like it and it is bookmatched, solid top.
              I put some D'Addario nylons on it and tuned and tuned and tuned. But from the first strum, pluck , thump or whatever I did the sound jumped out of this little git like it was alive. My wife even said something right away about the pleasant tone.
               On the headstock in cheesy gold silkscreen it says Takehura Guitar, the big green label inside says Kiso Suzuki Violin Company    Model G-85.  It is EXTREMELY light and fan braced. It is a great compliment to my LSV-11. They both have the wider necks narrow waists and shorter necks so it's easy switching between them.
               Does anyone have one of these and are there better strings to use?
            I paid $50 for this, I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT (that's the 2nd time I hit caps lock by accident) Anyway if anyones interested I'll post a pic of it, my LSV-11 and this one get all my attention now a days. Danny"
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 09:15:27 PM »

   I found a few pictures of my son playing this guitar 4 1/2 years ago. There is a rare OO-09FM Larrivee in the corner, a 93 Martin OM-21 on the wall behind him and a new LSV-11 on the other wall. But he liked to play this guitar. Everyone who played or heard this guitar would give positive comments on its beautiful sound. For a so called intermediate level guitar it sure has wonderful tone and resonance.
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 09:25:56 PM »

Great stories.  It seems harder to find such great deals nowadays, with everyone's access to the internet.  Of course, eBay makes it harder to find great deals.  But, it is certainly worth the quest!!

Very true.  There was a time I regularly found great deals at pawn shops and garage sales.   Not so much any more.  I bought an Ovation Deacon at a local pawn shop for $125 and sold it some years later to David Cabrera of Ricky Martins band for $675. 

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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 09:31:17 PM »

Great stories.  It seems harder to find such great deals nowadays, with everyone's access to the internet.  Of course, eBay makes it harder to find great deals.  But, it is certainly worth the quest!!
Very true.  There was a time I regularly found great deals at pawn shops and garage sales.   Not so much any more.  I bought an Ovation Deacon at a local pawn shop for $125 and sold it some years later to David Cabrera of Ricky Martins band for $675.  

    Plus it makes it hard to just get a "fair deal" at a pawn shop. They do a search for a certain model and find the highest price, then hang the tag on it even if it is all beat up and really not worth a third of the price. I was interested in a Baby Taylor years ago and they priced it the same as a new one. They wouldn't come down and several months later the neck had bowed from dryness. They destroyed that little guitar. And wouldn't change the price still.
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 10:14:00 PM »

   But here is a music stand that I just got for $1. I can see so many uses for this one. Like putting my laptop on it, tilting it back and downloading music from the web to play along to. Lyrics, chords, educational stuff etc. And sometimes putting some sheet music on it. This thing is very heavy duty.

Wow! I bought my Manhasset #48 music stand in 1994 and was fully expecting it to appreciate in value. Like most people who own "old" guitars I figure this music stand is worth $100 by now. crying ...and you get it with 2 less zeroes! Life is NOT fair.
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 10:18:56 PM »

Wow! I bought my Manhasset #48 music stand in 1994 and was fully expecting it to appreciate in value. Like most people who own "old" guitars I figure this music stand is worth $100 by now. crying ...and you get it with 2 less zeroes! Life is NOT fair.
   These were my neighbors having a G-sale. I also got a Bombers leather Jackett in like new condition for $5. They were just spring cleaning.

        I knew it was an excellent deal!
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2013, 10:28:18 PM »

    This is one of two custom hand made guitars that I have, made by the same fellow here in Austin. I am doing repairs on both. Refinishing this Maple/Koa topped one and have done a lot of work on the neck, frets, reshaping etc. I found it back in the corner, hiding at a large guitar show in Austin. Larrivee was there that day as well.

     If I remember right I paid 250 or less for this.
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2013, 10:57:21 PM »

This is my best ever deal.........



Some lady advertised this on the staff notice board at work as a 'Shaftesbury electric guitar' and explained it had no strings and her son didn't think the electrics worked.  He wanted £30 for it and it included a case.
Well I was a bit down in the dumps at the time so my wife suggested it could be a good project, and thought that £30 wasn't too bad even if it was a complete lemon.
I met up with the woman and got presented with an old hard case with this tatty looking Les Paul copy in it.  £30 swapped hands and I went home with the guitar.

Well the electrics were shot (sadly including the humbuckers), the abr bridge was missing a couple of bridge pieces, the tuners hardly turned, the cream binding had been inked blue with a felt pen, and the hardware was all losing its gold lustre.  A set of spare tuners sorted that issue out, I had a spare alnico humbucker from another project, and enough bits and bobs to wire up a rudimentary wiring loom to see what the guitar sounded like.

Amazingly the neck was utterly perfect (its a bolt on rather than a glued in) and the frets were low ones but it played like butter without any fret buzz just as soon as I got some strings on it.  The single humbucker proved a revelation and showed the guitar had real tone and a great voice even if it was made from two slabs of mahogany glued together.

I then went to town on it  bigrin
It now has a matched pair of Bareknuckle Riff Raff alnico humbuckers with gold covers in it which is wired onto a 1959 spec Gibson wiring loom that I soldered together with proper braided cabling, CTS pots, bumblebee capacitors, and Switchcraft switch and jack.  The tuners are now 18:1 Gold Grovers, and I've replaced the stop bar and abr bridge with Gotoh replicas and added Schaller strap-locks.  A bit of polishing using a lathe got a lot of blemishes out of the finish, and thankfully removed all of the blue ink from the white binding.
It is an absolute monster of a guitar nowadays....... Beautiful to play, grunt and growl, and has the classic looks of a black beauty.

A bit of a hunt into its history has proven that it was actually made in 1967.  They were made in Italy for a large music store in Londons 'Tin Pan Alley' called Rose Morris, and were ordered because there was a real demand for Les Paul's in London at that time (something to do with a chap by the name of Clapton who was making amazing sounds with a Les Paul and a Marshall amp) and of course Gibson weren't making the Les Paul at that time......they were only making the SG at that time.
It's probably worth less than the value of the components, but that doesn't matter because its a superb bit of kit and I love it.
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2013, 11:03:59 PM »

Amazing story and it looks imaculate now. Too bad you don't have "before" pix.
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2013, 11:07:03 PM »

Sadly I've had it for about 7 years now so it was before the days of iPhones with quality cameras that you simply had in your back pocket!

I keep hoping to strike gold with another though  bigrin
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« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2013, 12:50:12 AM »

My story is about being able to swap a guitar that had pretty much no value to me, for something that I play out every week.

Back in the early nineties I picked up a Custom Shop Strat. A little out of the ordinary, a reissue of a lesser-known production model; more of an experiment than a classic.  I got it because "Everybody should have a Strat". This was before there was a huge influx of counterfeit guitars and it never occurred to me that I would need a Certificate of Authenticity so I didn't know to ask for it. Besides I didn't buy it as an investment or for resale. I think it was more ego than brains at the time.

Even though it was a nice instrument, very nice actually, I doubt that I put as much more than a few hours play time on it in a couple of decades.

So it eventually migrated to the back of the pile of lumber in the axe-room and I forgot about it. I remembered it a couple of years ago when I was doing a deal on a big ticket item. I offered it up in trade and the dealer waved his hand at a wall and said, "I've got a wall full of Custom Shop Strats and they would all sell faster than this one". Even though he was highly motivated to sell me something, he didn't want this Strat on the books. Besides, it's being a bit of an oddball, he wasn't sure that it was authentic, and it would have taken too much time to trace it's roots.  The original dealer had shuttered the doors years ago.

The Strat went back in its case.  It was a write-off. A guitar that I don't play, well it's worthless to me and I was a little disallusioned that the biggest Fender shop in town was completely uninterested.  Having established that there was no retail value, and I was unable to prove its authenticity, I couldn't imagine selling it to someone with at straight face. Besides, you can buy a perfectly credible Strat for a LOT less than I had into this one. I was kind of stuck so I closed the case and put it out of my mind.

Cruising Craigslist last year I saw an ad for something really unusual that intrigued me but like all ads on Craigslist, I like to let them mature for a bit.  A couple of days later I did a search for the guitar on the web and found another ad on one of the other local for-sale sites. In this other ad the seller mentioned that he was looking for a Custom Shop Strat.  I remembered that I had one.

Having nothing to lose I got in touch.

It took a several photographs of the innards and lots of emails - but the other fellow managed to verify with Fender that the guitar was genuine, and EXACTLY the dream guitar that he had been searching for.    EXACTLY!

We also figured out the two guitars were probably of equal value (adjusting for currency differences and inflation over time).  At least they were on paper. It turns out that he had given up on his quest to find his dream Strat and had decided to go in a completely different direction. He ended up with the guitar he now wanted to sell after buying and returning guitars with a dealer in the US.  He finally ended up with a really strange guitar as a replacement for something that got damaged in transit.  This very nice instrument (modern design and materials) just didn't do anything for him and after all the shipping and returning and claiming  and grief...  he couldn't face another return cycle.

So it was a trade - a perfect trade. We started, both of us saddled with nice guitars that were tainted with disallusionment in our hands but that had real value in the eyes of another.

He was so happy with the deal that weeks afterwards he was still working with me to get all the paperwork put in my name. I now have all the documentation verifying its source and how it crossed borders to eventually end up in my hands.

I've got a real whacky - non-traditional guitar that I'll probably never be able to sell (it's just too weird), but it sounds great, is a joy to play, and I'm not fussed about taking it into venues that I have not completely vetted.

And there's a young feller out there with his dream guitar.
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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 12:55:08 AM »

ST  gotpics?
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Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
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