You've all seen the crazy naugahyde amps but Kustom also made a line of guitars starting in late 1967 and running through 1969. The made in American build quality is excellent and the sound is fantastic. It is clear that they were trying to capture a small slice of the Mosrite and RIckenbacker market as these guitars are somewhat of a cross between the two. This one is in great shape with low, fast action and hot pickups. The factory Bigsby works great and overall this one is really fun to play. There is some buckle rash on the back, a few capo marks on the back of the neck and what appears to be a bit of scribbling with a pen inside the "f" hole. Besides this, there are no issues at all and this guitar is ready to rock! The pickup selector switch was a bit "loose" so it has been replaced but the original is in the case. Overall, this is a nice example of a fairly rare and unique American guitar. Price:$1350
If you search through the sold section of this site you'll notice I have a bit of a thing for vintage Magantone guitars. I've sold a bunch of them and keep two in my private collection. I honestly feel that they are the best bang for your buck in vintage American made guitars and while both collectors and players have picked up on the 50's, P.A. Bigsby Designed models the 60's Paul Barth designed models continue to languish in relative obscurity. The obvious influence on this guitar is the Fender Stratocaster although both the tremolo and pickups are more in the Jazzmaster mold. The X-20 was the top of the line, 3 pickup model. The wide range of sounds that this guitar offers is pretty amazing. It goes from bright and surfy to thick and heavy with an obvious 60's garage rock sound in there as well. The tremolo is excellent, if somewhat subtle. The neck has a nice Jazzmaster like feel and overall these are just great guitars. The one design flaw, like the Jazzmaster, is the bridge. The saddles have a tendency to rattle a bit. You don't notice it when playing through an amp but it's there when played acoustically. I have seen these with new bridges installed or the saddles glued in place. I am not keen on modifying a vintage guitar so I choose the easy fix. Very small pieces of paper wedged between the saddles. This completely fixes the problem and is unnoticeable. I'm not sure why more people don't do it. Overall, this is a great playing and sounding 100% original guitar. The neck is straight and the action is good. There are obvious signs of use but it has certainly not been abused. The vintage soft case is in decent, if somewhat beat up condition. Price: $975
As you may have noticed, I have a thing for guitars from obscure makers. There's something I just love about individuals or small companies making a go of it, competing against the bigger and more established giants in their field. The Gower Guitar Company of Nashville certainly fits that mold. J.W. Gower began building guitars in his Nashville garage in 1955. He built primarily acoustics that found there way into the hands of some pretty big country players. In 1965 or so Gower went into business with Billy Grammer, designing a line of guitars based closely on the ones he had been building. The story goes that due a dispute over who's name would go on the headstock and JW left the company, just as they were getting off the ground. He restarted the Gower company in 1967, opening a 3,900 square-foot shop on Division St. in Nashville. The first employees were J.W.'s father F.D. Gower along with his brothers Max and Harold, his Daughter Alma and another partner, A.W. Reid. The bulk of Gower Guitars were made at this factory although I am convinced that the at least one batch of Gowers from the early 70's were imported from Japan and finished off in the Nashville shop. This one here is a really cool and very early example of Gowers work. There is no way to precisely date it but it has the early, headstock logo that he was using on the garage built guitars, Identical binding to other examples from the 50's and early 60's as well as Grover 98 tuners from the 50's/early 60's. All of the later Gowers had Rotomatics on them. It's 25 1/2" scale length and 15 1/2" at the lower bout. The top is spruce and the rest of the guitar is made out of maple. The neck is great. chunkier than any Gower I have seen but in a good way and certainly not to big. There are several tight, repaired cracks on the top as shown in the pictures and one small piece of missing binding and tight crack on the back. There is also an area of the upper bout, where you would rest your arm, where it is possible that the finish has been touched up. The action great the whole way up the the straight neck and the frets are in good shape. The sound is loud but not boomy and has a lot of midrange. Not a ton of low end, as is common with maple guitars. This was clearly designed for a country music front man to strum along with the band. You can really tell this is a handcrafted guitar, built with care and attention to detail. I personally prefer these early Gowers to the later, factory produced, Grammer guitars. There's just a whole lot more character. Overall, this is a well preserved example of a rare piece of Nashville guitar making history. Price: $1795
The Magnatone Hurricane X-10 is a killer sounding, full scale, American made bass from the mid 60's. This 1965 example is the second one that I've had in the past year. I honestly think these represent the best value you can find when looking for a vintage bass. This is a high quality, full scale bass. On par with anything Fender was making at the time. Not only are these a lot cheaper than a '65 precision, they are a lot rarer. Your choices are pretty limited if you're looking for a vintage bass that isn't short scale and these have sort of flown below the radar for years now. This bass both plays and sounds great. There is a little relief to the neck but the action is good and the truss rod turns freely. It has had flatwounds on it it's whole life so there is no fret ware. The chrome is shiny on the bridge and pickup covers and the original felt string mute moves up and down as it should. This one is 100% original with the possible exception of the volume pot. It also has a long ago, somewhat crudely added ground wire. It could easily be removed as it is just held in place by one of the screws in the bridge but I decided to leave it. First off because it serves it's purpose and second as a tribute to the old timer who put it in. He wanted his bass grounded and by golly, he grounded it. As you can see, the finish has dings, scrapes, scratches, checking, flaking and some serious buckle rash on the back. It may be worn but it's all original and is a very cool and rare yellow with gold flecks. The original hard case is in decent used condition. It won't win a beauty contest but it's been protecting this bass for close to 50 years and will continue to do so for a good long while. Overall, this is a fantastic sounding example of a very rare vintage bass. Price: $1495
Here's something you don't see everyday. It's a c.1961 Fenton-Weill Dualtone in stunning red finish, with a cool black neck. Fenton-Weill guitars sprung from the same ground as other early British makers like Burns, Dallas and Vox. In fact Henry Weill and Jim Burns were partners in a short lived company called Burns-Weill in 1959/60. All of these early British guitars share a number of similar features and many were made at the same factory sharing the same parts. One of the major problems with them was that the manufacturers hadn't yet figured out how to install frets and many examples of these early ones have the frets literally falling out of the neck. This is not the case here as the frets are perfect with very little wear. The whole guitar is in excellent condition with a few very small scratches and a bit of finish checking and is 100% original. It plays great and sounds fantastic! These Fenton-Weill pickups are just amazing and this is the cleanest example of this model that I have seen. OHSC included. Please contact for pricing.
From my personal collection here is probably the rarest and possibly best sounding pickup ever built. A genuine early 1950's Bigsby! Paul Bigsby is well known for his tremolos which are still widely used today. He is also considered the father of the modern electric guitar. Both Leo Fender and Les Paul borrowed liberally from his amazing designs and ideas. In his backyard shop in Downy California he custom built guitars for Merle Travis, Grady Martin, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Thompson and a select group of the biggest stars of the early 50's. Both Chet Atkins and Les Paul had guitars with Bigsby pickups installed which is proof that he would sell you just a pickup without a guitar but seeing how few individual pickups are extant it seems likely that he didn't sell many or possibly only sold them to a select few famous players. This one was removed from a Bigsby guitar 40 years ago and no, I don't know where that guitar ended up. Believe me I've tried to find it. When I realized how few pictures of these there are on the internet I decided to post these as a reference. I currently have it installed in a 1955 Magnatone MKIII which I think is as fitting a place as any for it. This pickup sounds like nothing else and is not really for sale unless you want to pay off a good chunk of my mortgage :)