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Author Topic: Yard sale/pawn shop guitars and such  (Read 6352 times)
ST
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« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2013, 01:11:54 AM »

Here you go Danny.

Thanks for asking.



And a review on Premier Guitar


Guitar makers have been searching for ways to make guitars out of things other than wood for quite some time now. From Torres building a back and sides out of papier-mâché back in the 1860s, to Dan Armstrong’s plexiglass bodied electric—not to forget masonite Danelectros, graphite-composite Steinbergers and assorted other things—the search for a stable, good-sounding material continues. Enter Flaxwood Guitars from Finland.

These guys decided that by using “small wood particles in a binding agent” they would avoid the obvious problems guitars have with moisture (or the lack of it), and a good, consistent sound would be obtained, because the wood particles would face randomly in all directions, so the soundwaves would resonate with equal force in all directions. They named the material flaxwood and a guitar company was born. Flaxwood tells me that although they use this flaxwood material, and the parts are made by injection molding, there is old-style luthierie going on, too. The neck is glued in, and the bodies are finished by hand, just like a wood guitar.

How’d They Do?
All the current Flaxwood models have the same body shape and look clean and modern. You can get them with a variety of pickup choices, different humbuckers, lipsticks, or H/S/H, and with or without the whammy bar. Our sample guitar is the Liekki (Finnish for flame), which is their P-90 pickup model featuring Seymour Duncan Vintage Soapbars SP90-1 pickups, with one volume control and two tone controls, one for each pickup. The Liekki also features a Schaller Les Paul Tremolo and Gotoh tuners.

The sculpted archtop body is hollow, with one F-hole, and the back is a large ported plate they call the resonator. The finish on our test model reminds me a bit of a bronze casting, and is beautifully done. The whole guitar (body, resonator and neck) is made of the Flaxwood material. When I picked up the guitar, the first thing I noticed was the straight string pull from the nut to the tuners; this has always seemed like common sense to me, and I am surprised more guitars don’t do this. All the models are 25.5” scale, and I assume, because of the consistency of the materials, they all weigh in at just over seven pounds.

Ring Them Bells
Previous non-wood guitars I have played have seemed to me to go with the idea that the guitar should be as resistant to vibration as possible, theoretically to maximize sustain. The Liekki I found to have a pleasant, alive vibration to it which feels quite natural and wood-like, and yet, it has a sustain like a piano, incredibly smooth in response. The P-90 sound is one I like very much; I regularly play a Gibson ES330, so I’m in familiar territory here. The Liekki will give you a broad palette of sounds, from a sweet Lenny Breau type of jazz sound to a Tele-esque twang. Click on some distortion, and you can go from roots slide to death metal and anywhere in between. Because it is hollow, Flaxwood cautions that you may have some feedback issues, but I had none (though I never got it up to arena volume). The Schaller trem bar did well with staying in tune, and I was able to take the strings slack and back several times before there was any tuning error—and that’s without a locking nut. The nut is graphite, so this may not be your whammy if you need to go slack a lot, but for most players it will work very well. For my tastes, the bar rides a bit high, but I imagine that could be tweaked by bending the bar if it were a big issue for the player.

Now, what I really want to rave about here is the neck, wow! It feels absolutely rock solid and smooth—like buttah! The fret job is excellent, and those of you who are non-stop guitar junkies know that great fret jobs on a new guitar out of the box are few and far between these days. The Liekki comes out of the case ready to hit the stage, and I am finicky on this topic. I don’t think that in my 40 years of guitar picking I have had more than a handful of guitars that didn’t at least need the action worked a bit, but this one didn’t—perfect set-up and intonation from the git go. The company tells me they are considering Fender-style replacement necks as a possibility, and I would buy one of those right now.

The Final Mojo
At $3K the Liekki isn’t an entry-level instrument, and Flaxwood so far only has a few dealers in the USA. I have played guitars many times the cost of these that can’t touch them for playability, fit or finish. The sound is good and versatile, and the neck is probably the best feeling neck I’ve ever had my hands on. I would encourage you to seek one out and try it for yourself; I am sure you will be as impressed as I am.

Read more: http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2009/Jun/Flaxwood_Liekki_Electric_Guitar_Review.aspx#ixzz2Tn6R707z

Video review on youtube
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Danny
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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2013, 01:16:30 AM »

Looks pretty cool.
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Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
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« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2013, 01:43:28 AM »

Hi Danny,

Every time I watch this video review on youtube   I want to order the tremolo tailpiece.  $300 hmmm.
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« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2013, 01:53:33 AM »

Very interesting guitar. I agree you got a sweet deal, a well as the other fellow.
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2013, 03:49:50 PM »

Hey Danny,

Sorry Bud, it looks like I trashed your thread.
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2013, 03:57:19 PM »

not at all it'll still live
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Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
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« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2013, 04:46:53 PM »

Completely forgot about this old thing buried in the closet until reading this great thread idea. For $5 bucks I couldn't walk away, and this was around 30 years ago. Plywood top and probably the rest of the body, too. Does have a solid mahogany neck and what sure looks like an ebony fretboard. I never even changed the strings, but it still plays. Got a real tinny bark to it. 
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« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2013, 05:51:55 PM »

That may not be a laminate. Harmony probably made it with the Key brand. They used a lot of solid wood.

I just noticed the label says "Worlds largest manufacturer of stringed instruments". That was definitely Harmony. They sold more than all the other guitar companies put together at one time.
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« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2013, 09:18:06 PM »

   Here is a handmade 1959 GOYA made in Sweden. I replaced a bad upper brace in it and am going to refinish it. It is extremely light and I expect it to be a fine guitar when I'm done with it.
   I think I paid $50 for it originally.
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2013, 08:43:03 AM »

A friend of mine who is primarily a brilliant bass player just got hold of a Hohner steel string acoustic which came out of a skip! He has refurbished it slightly and set it up with a nut raiser for lap slide playing. Although it looks like a cheap guitar, I am almost certain the top, back and sides are solid (spruce and mahogany). It is ladder-braced but it has a surprisingly sweet tone. It has a 12-fret neck which is reinforced with a fixed steel rod, as opposed to an adjustable truss rod.

Will try and photograph it one day.
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Larrivée Limited Edition Rosewood Parlor (2003)
plus various other acoustic guitars and one ukulele
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« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2013, 01:57:21 PM »

A friend of mine who is primarily a brilliant bass play er just got hold of a Hohner steel string acoustic which came out of a skip! He has refurbished it slightly and set it up with a nut raiser for lap slide playing. Although it looks like a cheap guitar, I am almost certain the top, back and sides are solid (spruce and mahogany). It is ladder-braced but it has a surprisingly sweet tone. It has a 12-fret neck which is reinforced with a fixed steel rod, as opposed to an adjustable truss rod.

Will try and photograph it one day.
Gotta have some pics. gotpics?
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« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2013, 03:16:35 PM »

Danny - I'll try and remember to take a camera next time I have the opportunity of seeing my friend.  I carry a camera most of the time (and even have a mobile phone that is quite good at taking pictures) but didn't have it when I saw him earlier this week.

That Hohner sounded remarkably good for a guitar that could easily be dismissed as a heap of junk.
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Larrivée Limited Edition Rosewood Parlor (2003)
plus various other acoustic guitars and one ukulele
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« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2013, 02:28:45 PM »

At last I have managed to take some pictures of my friend's guitar. He's fitted a pickup and nut riser so he can play lap slide on it.
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Larrivée Limited Edition Rosewood Parlor (2003)
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« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2013, 10:38:01 PM »

Neat thread.
The best garage sailing story I have, outside of the Chestnut wood canvas canoe I picked up for peanuts several years ago, is a Fender Palomino six string acoustic for a couple of bucks.  It was in real rough cosmetic shape but had no real wood damage.  I always wanted one of these since I was a kid so I grabbed the dusty old wreck and took it home to refinish and refurbish.  It had two main problems, the finish was cracked and chipped to pieces and the bridge and saddle (one like Fender puts on its electrics) was all messed up.  I removed the neck, and set to sanding.  A week later I had not made a dent in the finish.  I could not believe how thick and tough the finish was on it.  I remember thinking that seemed like it was almost like a fiberglass jell.  A furniture refinisher who was a friend came over to see if he could help.  He brought over a sheet of glass, which he scored and broke in a perfectly straight line.  He then commenced to shave the finish off the guitar with the edge of the glass.  Well that worked wonders.  The finish literally peeled off.  Another week and I had shaved the finish clean off the guitar and began the light sanding.  Not knowing the first thing about finishing guitars I ended up putting an antique paste varnish on it and it turned out pretty good.  I scrounged for some saddle parts that would work and got it playing.  It played like a Fender electric, not surprising as the neck was basically just that.  The tone was awful boxy though.  My daughter still has it and plays it some.  One day I will find a proper replacement bridge and saddle and have another go at her.  It was fun. Here is some history on the old broomstick Fender acoustic if you are interested. http://www.vintageguitar.com/3448/fender-palomino/
Dave
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I love those older Canadian made Larrivees!
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