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If you would like to leave a comment for the Guestbook, please email me
Subj: Kris Barras Band
I've recently met an amazing blues/rock guitarist called Kris Barras - here in Torbay! And, believe it or not ,he's a cage fighter as well!!
I feel that you should interview him and ask him to play some of his guitars - what do you think?
All the best,
Thanks for your message. Yes, lets arrange an interview as soon as possible as, judging from his videos, I think he's amazing and must have an interesting story with the cage fighting!
All the best,
And here is the interview plus Kris playing is Cigarbox guitar:
Blues/rock guitarist Kriss Barras interview »
Kris playing his Cigarbox guitar »
Subj: Unknown Les Paul Style Guitar
I notice you have one unknown les paul guitar. Does it happen to be hollow and have metal gold knobs?
What do you know about it as I appear to have one that either myself or my brother has owned for about 40 years or so.
Thanks for your message. Yes mine is a hollow body with gold knobs and looking at your pictures (click on the thumbnails to see larger versions of the photos) and compared to mine they are identical!
It belonged to a friend of mine who sadly died recently and his family wanted me to have it. It was his favourite guitar of several.
After having done some research, we believe that it was marketed by Bells of Surbiton and dates from around 1970ish. How does this seem to you? I'd anyway like to add our exchange of emails and some pictures to my Guestbook if that's ok with you?
All the best,
Yes that's fine.
I was told by a chap from the States who is a self proclaimed MIJ Guitar expert that it was Teisco gen gakki factory that is not to be confused with Teisco.
I got the Guitar in a sorry state off my brother about 15 years ago as payment for repairing one of his amps. I'd always liked it when I was a kid my brother brought it in about 1975 or 1976 from Andertons in Guildford. It was second hand at the time. I tried to find out about it about 5 years ago on "My Les Paul" forum. One of the posters there thought it was the exact guitar he sold in 1975 to a shop in Horsham.
Mine is stuffed with a white cloth which the chap informed me was Kapok that he had stuffed in there to try to cut down on feed back. It would be interesting to see if yours has this as if not mine is definitely this chaps ex guitar.
My brother was told it was a Suzuki guitar and the chap on the Forum said he was Told it was an Antoria. I remember that my brother undid the wrong screws and dropped the neck pick up inside the body as he was trying to turn it round as it had been fitted back to front during a recent repair.
I am almost certain that at the time under the pick up there was a label. I looked and there is nothing there now it may be somewhere in the body or not. You may be lucky and still have it fitted on yours.
Bells did import a lot of stuff and in the day was one of the places Surrey residents went to buy Musical instruments. Apparently they imported an Organ similar to a Hammond that was branded with their own name. My mate knows quite a lot about them.
What is strange about the guitar other than it being hollow is that it has a Zero fret not much neck angle and a Gibson style head-stock. It's made more like an acoustic. The hardware which was gold (mines worn silver now) has a tail piece nothing like a gibson and as you say those metal knobs. I always thought the machine heads would be the clue as the pattern is very distinctive. You mentioned Ibanez?
Mine plays really nicely and has a clean jazzy sound. I have declined many good offers to buy it over the years. I had believed up until the other night that it was maybe a sample supplied to someone like Rose Morris as an example of build quality they could expect on their own branded guitars hence why it is hollow demonstrating the factory's ability to produce both electric and acoustic instruments.
Also being hollow would have been cheaper to ship as there would be no sense in shipping a heavy solid guitar to try to secure an order or contract. However yours is a game changer and points more towards a production model.
The other thing is that the neck is very thin in profile and this is actually very common with guitars made for the far eastern market.
But that's about it from my knowledge base as it were. Hope that helps and do let me know if you unearth and more info.
Subj: Youtube videos
I never realised till I saw one of your recent posts on Facebook, that you had basses as well as guitars.
If you'd ever like to do some you tube videos of your basses being played, I'd be up for that! No money involved - just a bit of fun as I've never heard or seen some of the early basses you own - let alone played them!
Just let me know either way,
Thank you for your message and offer. Yes I'd really appreciate it if you'd come and play some for me! In fact I'd be really honoured to have a professional who has literally toured all over the world, for many years, come and play my basses - and,just for fun, is a real bonus!
I'll be in touch very soon!
All the best and thanks for your offer,
This exchange has now resulted in the Bass Files on Youtube:
B.C. Rich Warlock Bass Played by David Greenaway »
Burns Weill Superstreamline 1959 Played by David Greenaway »
Grimshaw Short Scale Played by David Greenaway »
Baldwin (Burns) Vibraslim Bass 1965 Played by David Greenaway »
Hagstrom H8 8 String Bass 1968 Played by David Greenaway »
Dear Guy (if I may),
I write to say what a wonderful collection you have. I was drawn to it by the John Bailey guitar.
My interest in it is that I knew John a bit back in the Ď60s. I was an enthusiastic bluegrass auto harp and guitar picker at the time in Sevenoaks, Kent. I saw the guitar when it was first owned by Andy Townend, the prodigious mandolin/fiddle and guitar picker for whom the guitar was built, and with whom I played Bluegrass for 5 years in a school boy band. We also played some swing and jazz which is what the Bailey guitar was used for as I recall.
Do you ever sell your guitars because I would be interested in this one if you do.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your message - it was very interesting to hear from you as you know the guitar. I had some contact with John several years ago which was very interesting - he seemed such a delightful person too.
Re your enquiry as whether I ever sell guitars, the answer is that I don't and especially with this instrument - it is a one off and, as such, irreplaceable. But maybe one day and I'll keep you in mind just in case.
Best wishes and please keep in touch.
PS as you probably already know, there is an excellent Wikipedia page on John - under John Bailey Luthier.
Subj: Ovation 12 String
This was a country show. On the left Pete Pinkney, and my then husband Steve Bailey. We weren't a trio although we did get together to do a few country shows.
Pete was a great guitarist who in my opinion was equal to Eric Clapton, and strangely as he grew older looked like him too. Steve Bailey was an excellent performer and writer, having written songs and a rock opera. He now resides near you in Looe in Cornwall. I at a later date did quite a few blues gigs with Pete. He at the moment is living in France. I carried on singing a mix of music. Liking blues I sang in France with the John Morgan Blues Band. Did lots of gigs here and abroad, until losing my voice some years back.
Had a good innings though, happy memories.
PS. Quite. The ovation was a dream guitar for Steve then. He said he didn't want birthday or Christmas presents for the rest of his life. I think it cost around 400 which was a lot of money then. I wonder where it is now?
Thank you for sending on the picture and sharing some of your memories! Apart from being an interesting picture of 2 interesting guitars (and a very rare Ovation 12 string) you look fantastic!
Subj: Fenton Weil Fibratone
I wonder if you can help me, I've stumbled across the picture of your Fenton Weil Fibratone, I picked up a loaded Fibratone body at a house clearance which I'm hoping to undertake as a project but I can't find anything about the 335 shaped one other than your photo, I'd love to restore it and find out what else I need, I am fortunate that the body still has all the electrics and Fenton weil pickups still in it, Matthew.
Thanks for your message! Great find! Can you send me some pictures and then I'll have an idea of what you need?
Cheers, I was pretty chuffed, I got this and a second fiber glass 335 body for 36 quid, the second one I have no idea on and its in much worse condition.
The body seems in great condition and with the correct pickups, scratchplate and knobs too - what a great find! All you need now is a standard FW neck (which won't be easy to find although I did see one for sale on a Facebook page either Fetishguitars.com or on one of Bill Lovegrove's Burns guitars facebook pages - it would be worth joining Bill's page and sending him a message) also a tailpiece and some Van Ghent open tuners (or closed if you can't get the open ones).
By the way I'd love to see a picture of the second body you bought. And, if you don't mind, I'd really appreciate adding your emails and pictures to the Guestbook of my website.
All the best,
PS the missing backplate, you could make yourself out of fibreglass - of course.
Thanks so much, the condition is stunning. Of course I don't mind you adding the bits least I can do for the help. I have a neck that fits it for the time being.
Here are pictures of the second body I bought! (See the photos to the right.)
2nd body is littered with laquer cracks and the back panel is coming away, my guess is previous owner was trying to get at the holes for the electrics, unusual thing is there are no strap button holes, and I assume the 5 holes are 2 volume 2 tones plus input, but no hole for switch, also worth a not the neck pocket is its own sealed unit, segregated from the rest of the body with holes that don't go through to the rear. As I say it has a back panel, and the rest seems to be one formed fiber glass unit, my guess is neck and electrics were loaded from the back then the rear fixed on.
Subj: Shark Guitar
In answer to your question about the Shark Guitar on the wall above the till, this is one of a couple of guitars custom built by one of our customers.
It certainly creates a lot of interest but is one of our own collection and, just in case anyone asks, its not for sale!
Absolute Music, Bournemouth
(Click on the photo to the top right for a larger version of this great guitar.)
Subj: Plantegenet Guitars
Hello, sorry I speak little English, here are photos of my guitar to your website. It's nice of you.
(Click on the photos to the right for larger versions.)
Subj: Early Burns-Aristone Connection?
Every so often I trawl the internet for clues about my Aristone-branded Burns Sonic. Usualy all I come up with is a link to my own blog post Simon's Musical Den: Burns Sonic guitar, 1960 ("The Aristone") that you may have seen, since it's been online since 2008.
Today I came across some extra info, not new info but new to me - that the Burns Ike Isaacs guitar included some parts from Aristone. This is first time I've seen the two names linked. The source (https://gypsyjazzuk.wordpress.com/36-2/ike-isaacs/ike-burns-guitars/) says they used Besson Aristone parts, which would be Framus I assume. I've seen a couple of other guitars with the same 'The Aristone' logo, which the Gypsy Jazz site suggests were made in England by Jack Abbott (see https://gypsyjazzuk.wordpress.com/gypsy-jazz-uk-home/uk-luthiers/aristoneguitars/)
The '58-'60 period is quite confusing to me, but it seems like the different deals and partnerships overlap. Any thoughts on my guitar? I know nothing is definite, but I've been curious about it for a long time.
Thanks for your time, and your excellent website!
Simon Murphy London
Thanks for your message and my apologies for taking so long to get back to you.
Your guitar is a Burns Sonic and dates from 1960/61 and was branded Aristone and marketed by Besson. We don't know how many of these were built for the Company but probably somewhere in the region of
perhaps a couple of dozen. So, in this guise, its a rare instrument.
As you rightly say, Jim Burns did have dealings with Besson. After he parted company with Supersound in early Dec '58 he retained bodies (a total of "less than 20" were built) of the Supersound Ike Issaacs guitar. But lacking pickups and tail pieces, due to the split with Supersound, he bought these from Besson and finished the guitars with these products. However, when he joined forces with Henry Weill in c.February '59 he used Weill parts on the remainder.
Best wishes and hope this helps,
Subj: Hofner Galaxie
I'm in the process of reducing my guitar collection with a view to adding some different instruments and have a Hofner Galaxy which might be of interest to you.
Please let me know if you are interested and, if not, I'll put it on an internet auction site.
Thanks for your offer, yes I'd love to add it to my collection as I know that its in A1 condition!
All the best,
Note: Of course I bought Pete's Hofner Galaxy and I recently uploaded a video to YouTube of it being played live. It sounds
great! And here is the link on my new YouTube Channel:- Hofner Galaxie On The Guitar Collection YouTube Channel
Subj: Fenton Weill Guitar
Somewhere in the 80s I bought a special guitar in Turnhout, Belgium.
Last week a friend of mine gave me a few old issues of the Guitar & Bass Classics magazine. There I read an article about you and your guitar collection. That's why I think you can tell me more about the guitar I own, see pictures in attachment.
Thanks for your message. I can't see the name plate clearly but I'm sure it says...Fenton Weill? And, if so its an early Fenton Weill Triplemaster built in the UK in about 1960 and fairly collectable today.
Fenton Weill built guitars from 1960-1965 although their first entry into building electric guitars was in February 1959 when Henry Weill formed a partnership with Jim Burns called Burns Weill. The partnership ended in November 1959 when Jim Burns went on his own with Burns guitars (Ormston Burns) and Henry Weill formed (Weill then) Fenton Weill guitars.
Your model uses a left over neck from the B.W. partnership coupled with Henry's new body - an updated B W Superstreamline body (see Betty Weill in my Archive page and the 2 B W Superstreamline instruments in my Galleries pages: Burns Weill Super Streamline Bass 1 & Burns Weill Super Streamline Bass 2).
Subj: Burns-Weill related questions
Martin Kelly here.
I hope this finds you well?
I have a couple of Burns-Weill related questions for you and hope you donít mind me asking.
I have '59 Super Streamline bass but don't have the correct lead to plug the thing in!! As Iím sure you know these came with a tiny - and unusual - socket on the side of the body.
Like a mini male phono on the guitar that needs a female jack to link it to the amp. Iíd rather never hear the bass than change the original socket.
With that in mind, might you have a spare of the correct lead or know which type of jack socket was used?
If you have pictures of the lead/socket that would be appreciated.
Also, do your two basses have serial numbers? Mine does and I only just found it hiding under the Burns - Weill headstock logo.
Any help much appreciated.
Thank you for your message - good to hear from you and I'm well and hope you are too.
I was surprised to know that your BW SS bass has a serial number! Is it printed on or engraved into the headstock?
The John Godfrey one has been modified with updated jack socket (and bridge). The headstock badge is a raised oval edged badge which I have never taken off and am a bit reluctant to do this myself. So I'm unable to answer this part of your question.
The one that I have which is still stripped down does have a sort of coax-socket (like a TV) and, although I've never tried it (as it unconnected) it appears to fit the made up lead I have which came with my Vox Shadow - which has a similar jack socket. The body has been stripped and sanded and there is no sign of a serial number. But, of course, if it was stamped or written on then its probably been sanded off.
I hope this helps - a bit anyway! But I'd be interested to know what the serial number of yours?
For the past nearly three years, a local film company down here in Cornwall has tried to put together a proposal to BBC4 for a film of the story of British Electric guitars. Quite honestly, it never really got off the ground.
But it seems to me that there is a story to be told and consequently I've just launched my own Youtube channel. OK it's very small as of now but who knows... My plan being to do the story of British electrics in about 25 chapters and release it weekly on Youtube. Well that's the idea anyway - time and other commitments permitting! Of course I couldn't do the Vox chapter with out your involvement - would you be prepared to be involved? I'd come to you sometime in the future at a time and place to suit you.
Basically the headings are as follows:-
Guitars - the Story of British Electrics.
And the part they played in the story of British music - which conquered the world.
Told through the musicians who played them, the authors who write about them, the collectors who collect them and the stars who's careers started with them.
All the best,
Thanks for your mail.
I attach a few pictures of my RP1/B Super Streamliner.
It's the only one Iíve seen in sunburst other than the one shown (with Burns Weill logo) in the first Fenton Weill catalogue. The serial number was located under the headstock plate and seems to be genuine - 14002.
The control cavity has pencil marks under the paint that read "Weill 2 Red Sunburst" there is also a number 2 scratched into the paintwork in that spot. Could it be the second bass made? Who knows?
You can see from the picture of the input socket that it's quite tiny. Much smaller than a standard - Vox type - co-ax.
I'm sure it'll be some sort of hi-fi lead of the day but I'm yet to source the correct item.
Your program on British guitars sounds interesting. Being a film maker I know how hard it is to score a commission. I did however, get a film I made on the band Dexys shown on BBC4 during 2015 but that wasn't easy.
Yes, I'd be happy to help you on a Vox episode or two. I have a lot of Vox's here - over 100 at last count.
I'm pretty certain that Vox were the most prolific - in terms of different models - of all the UK makers. There were close to 150 different models produced by JMI between '59-67 (the same sort of number from the Italians!).
Something that has made writing my book a long process. That said my brother and I are almost finished.
Speak soon and let me know if you have any ideas re that jack socket!
Thanks for your offer of help with my films - I can assure you that any assistance you can give me will be very much appreciated!
In the meantime, I hope someone reading this will be able to help with your Burns Weill jack socket issue. I will pass on any emails regarding this.
In the meantime, best wishes and please keep in touch!
All the best,
Subj: Fenton Weil band sponsorship in the 1960s
My dad's band in the early 60s were sponsored by Fenton Weil.
We'd like to know more about the band and what guitars they used...everything really!
All the best,
The band was called THE DRIFTIN STRANGERS. The members were made up from serving members in the RAF that were based at RAF WYTON which is near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.
The photo you see is from 1961-62...my dad was the bass player. I'm led to believe that the guitar on the right was stereophonic,as it had twin jack plug sockets in the guitar itself...as you might be able to see that guitar has at least 5 volume/tone pots on it.
The bass I'm led to believe is a CONTRA model? Dad says they spent at least a day at the factory getting shown round. He was even shown the piece of wood that ended up as his bass...he doesn't think he spoke to Mr weill when at the factory.
As I said the back drop behind them, they had to use that at every public performance they did...oh before I forget they got the deal through their manager at the time via an booking agent called Glenn Craig. Theatrical agency.
That's all I know.. I'd like to know more myself just to relay anymore information to my father.
Hope it helps.
Subj: Is this a Mirage or is it two!
I thought you'd like to see a picture of us with our Burns Mirages which was taken before the Charlie Gracie Concert last November. Bearing in mind just how rare these guitars are, I wonder if we'll ever see another picture of two together? Or even one!
Thanks for sending on the pictures! But, I understand from Paul Day, since you wrote to me, that you have sold yours and at an amazing profit too! Although I know just how much you wanted one, I do accept that every guitar (or Guitar Collector!) has his price!
But I do know that I never want to be parted from mine!
All the best,
From: Stephanie De-Sykes
I wonder if you'd be kind enough to like my new Facebook music page? I hope you'll find it more interesting in the music department as time goes on!
With very best wishes,
Thank you for your message. I've always liked your music as you know and I'd be delighted to like your page! I'll also add a link, on my website, to the new CD, which you've been involved in, "Not in Our Name" which I know means a lot to you and I support too: www.peaceinourname.com.
Thank you for your kind words, Guy, and for adding a link to NION....you've no idea how much that means to me. The continuing project goes on...just wanted to let you know.
Thank you again-very, very much,
Subj: Solid 7 by Rosetti Guitar
I don't suppose you'd have any information on this guitar I've come across?
It says on the body SOLID 7 by Rosetti and under that it just says "foreign". No other markings at all.
I think it is from around 1959??
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your message. This is an easy one for me to ID as its actually an Egmund Solid 7 built in Holland in about 1963. Rosetti is the brand name mainly used in the UK - see the Egmund on my website which is almost identical to yours. The interesting fact about this particular guitar is that the earlier model with 3 a side headstock was identical to Paul McCartney's first electric which he played upside down as he was left handed!
All the best,
Subj: The Burns Double Neck
My name is Matthew, and I'm the owner of the Burns prototype, from the 60s that you've seen on Facebook, it's very nice that you have shown some interest in my guitar!
As you can see it is a very unique one, I know of only one other that I have found, and it is in very poor state of condition in comparison to mine.
The way I came about to aquiring it was, a gentleman was selling it after his father had passed away, and the guitar and case was found in his father's house after his passing.
I have attached some photographs for you to look at, I would love to hear what you think of it.
Guy asked Paul Day for a second opinion:
Hi Paul, I'd be interested to know your comments on this... which I came across on Facebook on a little used profile.
All the best Guy.
Paul Day's reply:
This particular one-off example has unfortunately crossed my path on numerous occasions during the past 30 or so years. I've known several of its owners, most of whom believed they were in possession of a real Burns rarebird, while one or two others were, in my opinion, dealers more than willing to support such a belief and elevate the selling price accordingly! As I've always told anybody and everybody who has come into contact with this instrument this is NOT what it appears to be, i.e. a prototype double-neck made by Burns, as in this respect it is an out and out, 100% fake, although I don't believe it was originally built with any such deception intended.
The instrument incorporates some serious concept flaws that any builder with basic knowledge would have avoided, while design and construction has little in common with that employed by Burns at any time. Some of the components are obviously genuine Burns or Baldwin parts, but these were readily available after Baldwin ceased all production in 1970.
Please do feel free to pass my comments, if you wish, but I'd also be happy to speak in more detail to the present owner - if he'd like to contact me.
All the best,
Subj: Mo Foster's Book Launch Party
I'm gathering pictures from my book launch party to put on my website (which is being rebuilt) I noticed you have one of Frank and Paul - could I use it? Perhaps you could let me know what other pics you have?
Thanks for your message - good to hear from you.
You are welcome to use anyphotos on my website. If you have space I always appreciate a reference to either me or my website but no problem if you haven't.
I think there are about 8 photos from your book launch party (which was a really great evening, thank you again!) on my website but I'll check my photos and see what else I have but I may have to put them on disc as my email attachments are not working very satisfactorily just now.
All the best,
P.S. I'm now also the proud owner of a Dallas Tuxedo Bass! There are some good pictures of it in Paul Day's Guitar & Bass magazine article - see the media page.
I finally decided - after 54 years! - to make Dallas Tuxedo playable. Martin Petersen at the Gallery is doing fine work. He has also just restored my Alembic which came back to me after 30 years (the whole story will be in Bass Guitar Magazine).
I've attached a photo for you from my book launch party. And if there's any way you can send me the photos you took then of my with my Tuxedo Bass and the one of Frank Allen and Paul Jones, I'd appreciate it as I'd like to add them to my new website.
Subj: Guyatone/Vox guitar
It's been a while but I hope you've been keeping well?
I wondered if you could help with a bit of guitar detective work!? I have received an email from Nate DeMont, who's just purchased a Guyatone-built guitar, labelled Vox. It looks a bit like an LG-50 but with some discrepancies.
As you know, the Guyatone LG-50 and Antoria LG-50 were both built in Japan, the latter re-branded Antoria for the UK market.
My understanding is that the Vox Shadow (their LG-50 copy) was certainly constructed at Stuart Darkins & Co. in Shoeburyness, around 1962 before outsourcing to the G-Plan factory in Hemel Hempstead in 1963, giving way to the revised Shadow body shaping.
However, Nate's Vox looks different to the LG-50 in some respects. It was purchased on eBay in the States as a 1958 Guyatone built Vox.
Do you have any information on this particular guitar? I will certainly pass it on, if you have. Is this possibly a Guyatone-built early Vox 'Shadow; (their LG-50 copy) built at the Guyatone factory prior to the Darkins-built guitar? It's different from the 1962 Darkins Vox Shadow illustrated here: www.voxshowroom.com/us/guitar/lg50.html
I've attached photos of Nate's guitar.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your email - good to hear from you. Actually the LG-50 was sold in the UK branded as a Vox and also Guyatone and Star as well as Antoria. The guitar pictured is the single pick-up version of the LG50 and would date from about 1958-61 I would guess (then the headstock changed). Annoyingly I can't immediatly turn up the Guyatone number but as a Star it was the EG1590. And of course they were all built in Japan.
This was Vox's first entry in the solid elecric guitars but quickly followed by the early Shadow and Stroller which were very basic with "Guyatone shaped" bodies - see the example in my guitar collection website.
All the best,
I've passed the info onto Nate, who's delighted with the ID and some of the history associated with the guitar. It's a nice addition to his already large (and reputedly the world's largest) collection of vintage Guyatones! I've attached a photo which gives an idea.
All the best
Subj: Burns Guitars
Thank you for your interest in my home made guitar and thank you for the offer. I will certainly bare you in mind if I decide to sell it.
However, this currently not under consideration as I want to renovate it and maximise its playing potential, given that I was 15 when I made it in 1961 and did not really know what I was doing.
It was my first electric guitar and made while I was at boarding school in Hampshire and coupled to my school band (The Problems), it was the thing that kept me sane, though obtaining some of the guitar parts involved surreptitious trips to London involving great cunning and deception...etc etc.
Needless to say I always enjoy visiting your guitar collection. It is a great site.
PS: while I am writing this, you might have some thoughts on who might have squirreled away some 1961 to 1963 Burns Bison Ultra Sonic pickups. I am looking for four...(actually I have two projects on the go and so I need 7 but 4 would be a start!!!). I live in hope that some may turn up because I have on 5 or 6 occasions seen 4 & 3 pickup Bisons with non original pickups...If you could keep your eyes open for me on your travels it would be appreciated.
Thanks for your message. I really didn't think you'd want to part with it but, just in case you did, I thought I'd just put myself forward as a potential buyer! I liked the look of it because it seems to sort of fit in with the Supersound look and the BW Superstreamline instruments. Also I think you did very well making such an interesting looking guitar at a time when UK built electrics were very much in their infancy! Would you mind if I add your picture to my Guestbook?
I remember that I tried to build a canoe at school but I could never get the wood to bend from one end to the other (can't remember why!) so it was abandoned! My parents were not happy as I recall!
If I come across any of the pick-ups that you are looking for I'll let you know. But I don't hold up much hope of being able to help.
All the best,
I am flattered that my 1961 guitar effort warrants global exposure on your amazing site and am happy to accept having the picture added to the Guestbook.
Certainly the headstock shape and scale was copied from a Hofner Club and the body shape was a composite effort with some input from a school chum, which I recall was suggested after he had seen a particular guitar. What that was is open to conjecture.
The physics of the Mk1 vibrato were a failure...the arm bent but did not shift the tone, either up or down, so I abandoned it and never attempted a Mk2. However, the jack socket was a great success and involved the use of a recessed sliding door handle made from brass...an obvious reference to Hank's Strat...!
Not only did it get played in public at various school functions and end of term dances (with girls!), it did honour me with the school handicrafts prize for the second year running. Other than being awarded with my rugby colours (which required me to parade a highly coveted tie and cap complete with tassel), that is the sum total of my school honours other than a handful of O & A levels. (Note by Guy Mackenzie - I never managed to get any "A" levels!!)
It is in need of a bit of TLC, sorting out my rough / first attempt at fret work, intonation (what was that in 1961?) and the wiring messed up when my younger brother got his hands on it. I am quite interested to know what it sounds like. Sadly I have lost all the recordings we made.
Curiously, the unreinforced neck remains straight despite 54 years of tension!
I accept that finding spare Ultra Sonics is unlikely as they are somewhat rare but I live in hope.
Subj: Burns Guitars
Just to let you know have now returned back from Cornwall. I would thank you so much for the chance to see your collection and discuss them with you. It sure is impressive. My older guitars are mainly Burns from the 60s as I told you but I have been interested in both Weill and Supersound guitars and their relationships with Burns.
I look forward to coming down in November and hopefully spending some more time with you. I tried the Steer I bought tonight and really like it. I also picked up a 12 string revelation to compare to my Double Six.
Cheers for now
Subj: Roger 1963 Guitar
I trust you received my previous email with the Burns Double Six pics attached, but I forgot to include that Roger 1963 guitar I mentioned, so here it is, second time lucky. I'm sure we'll be speaking again very soon.
All the best,
Thanks for sending on the picture of the Roger guitar with Burns Weill Superstreamline body supplied by Henry Weill. Here's hoping one will surface...I'd certainly like to add one to my collection!
All the best,
Subj: Burns Double Six Prototype
I've attached some shots of HBM's Burns Double Six prototype, just to give you an idea of how this deviates from known Burns design of the time.
Creating an accurate copy will be quite challenging, but ultimately rewarding for Colin and myself, as it's already opened up new avenues of research for me.
All the best,
Thanks for sending me the pics of the Burns 12 string prototype...now I'm looking forward to seeing photos of the (or the actual) completed copy - which you are building for Colin Pryce Jones, legendary guitarist of The Rapiers. I'll also hope to see him playing it one day.
In my opinion, The Rapiers are one of the very best bands around...their Shadows tribute is amazing and not forgetting that they do a fantastic Johnny Kidd show too!
All the best,
Subj: found Rellog Guitar in your guitar collection
I remember a few months ago, there was a "Rellog Guitar" on ebay UK. I missed my chance to make an offer - now I found a new picture of the same guitar - so you bought it.
I am a luthier/guitarbuilder/guitar maker and a "guitar collector" of german guitars. This musima is an "only export" model, no chance to get one in Germany. Because of the missing "Musima Label" is it nearly impossible to find one on "ebay UK" - because nobody knows how to tag those guitars right.
I have not really much money I can offer you, but I have some guitars you might be interested in to change?
Please think about it and let me know:- Are you searching for special guitars - labels?
If you don't want to change it - ok.
Thanks for reading this terrible German English
Greetings from Germany Jan Steinbrecher (www.steinbrecherguitars.com)
Thank you for your message. I'd been looking for a Musima Rellog for several years and I was delighted to be able to buy this one so I really don't want to sell it. In fact I now have a second one but I don't want to sell this either! However I would be interested to know what collectable guitars you own.
All the best,
More information from Jan:
You have a second one! Red or black or new colour I not know yet?
My collection is small and based on East German Archtop Master Guitars, but some electric and semiacoustic guitars too, all East German. The Musima Electrina and the one/two you own are very nice conceptions - a want these to understand forms and feelings better to build perfect electric guitars. And who don't want to own such nice historic guitars?
Here are some of my official propositions.
This one is a really crazy contruction, like a candy!!
One of my guitars you might be interested in is a rare Pearl Les Paul Recording, with open book headstock, bordaux.
Thanks for reading this terrible german english
Greetings from Germany Jan Steinbrecher (www.steinbrecherguitars.com)
Thank you for your email. You have some interesting guitars and if you weren't so far away I'd like to see them. Especially the Migma Musima Jazz guitar - which is a very unusual shape.
Re. my 2nd Rellog. It is black but is missing the scratchplate but it has the original tailpiece but I don't really want to sell it. In fact none of my guitars are for sale as I'm simply a collector.
Don't apologise for your English it is far better them my German!!
Subj: Burns Mirage
I read the interview with you in Collectors Club from 2008 regarding your collection and would like to introduce myself. My name is Errol, and I'm a musician and guitar collector in the U.S.
I'm also contacting you because I've been searching for a Burns Mirage for quite a while and saw that you have one in your collection. I believe you had said in the interview that it was the most expensive guitar you had purchased.
I'm very interested in purchasing the Mirage from you, and even if you had not considered selling it, I would be pleased to make it worthwhile for you to consider.
I would greatly appreciate your emailing back to me. I have over 200 guitars in my collection - including a Burns Flyte and a Burns Artist - and would like to "talk guitars" with you.
Thank you for your message. You are absolutely right, I really don't want to sell my Mirage and, in fact, I'm a collector and none of my guitars are for sale!
I'd be interested to know what guitars are in your collection and, I must admit, one of the guitars I'd still like to add to my collection is a Flyte although I wouldn't of course trade my Mirage for one!
More information from Errol:
Hello Guy -
Thank you so much for getting back to me - greatly appreciated.
I completely understand your collecting philosophy. That being said, I've like purchased and sold over 500 guitars to end up with the 200 I have now, and even at this point my collection continues to evolve depending upon my evolving tastes, market values, and opportunities that may arise.
The other Burns guitars I own are a combination of original and reissues. I have the Flyte and an Artist prototype, then some reissues of the Bison, Red Special (including a gold prototype), an Aero, a Marquee and a Steer.
Look forward to hearing back from you soon!
A couple of examples from Errol's collection:
Hello again -
I wanted to mention a few more guitars I own so that you will get an even better sense of why I would like so much to purchase your Mirage.
I've attached two photos of some of the oddest shaped guitars in existence, and which I believe may be unique, or close to unique examples. One is a Kay Solo King, which has been called both the Map of Ohio Guitar and The Ugliest Guitar Ever Made, and the other is a Berke, which was the very first aluminum neck guitar produced.
While beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, I've come to appreciate these guitars for their challenge to the accepted shapes of guitars that existed before and since. Hence, my love of Burns guitars as well!
Thanks for sending on the pictures of the Kay ... I've actually bid for one on international ebay but didn't win it! But the Berke is a new one to me and really interesting too ... what a great shape.
Re; the Mirage. As I said, I really don't want to sell it but, if I did, where would I get another and one in almost unplayed condition too? There were so very few of them made ... I don't know how many but surely no more than a dozen or two as the Burns Co. went out of business at the time.
Best wishes and please keep in contact and I'm always interested in seeing pictures of unusual guitars,
Subj: Weill Guitars!
I noticed the purple plated guitar in the earlier post, and I think it may be a stripped Apache model. There has been a bit of confusion online about the various (admittedly similar) Hohner guitars that emerged during the early 60s.
With experience working on, or playing all of these (I own two genuine examples) Id like to shed a bit of light on the subject.
Starting with the Hohner Holborn...
This guitar was presumably made by G plan or an associated company. It featured a bolt on neck, Fenton Weill pick-ups, a fixed Telecaster style hardtail bridge and a mahogany body with a "maple" top. It had a see through pearloid scratchplate, with the "Holborn" legend engraved into it.
This guitar has no connection with Fenton Weill, apart from the pickups Fenton Weill also built similar designs for Hohner, releasing three models, using the same shape, although making considerable differences to each one.
Firstly, the "Apache".
Solid mahogany construction, set neck and finished in an unusual beige nitro finish. Two Weill bar magnet pickups fitted onto a dark purple scratchplate. No mini scratchplate.
Typical Weill electrics and trem. Also open backed van ghent tuners.
Second in line was the "Zambezi".
Solid mahogany construction, set neck and finished in a clear nitro finish. The finish showed off a "maple" top,(basically a very thin veneer) very much like the previously mentioned Holborn. Two bar magnet Weill pickups fitted onto a black scratchplate. The mini scratchplate was white with "Zambezi" engraved into it.
Typical Weill electrics and trem. Also open backed van ghent tuners.
The third and final guitar in this line was the luxurious "Amazon".
The same type of body, however it was sculpted and sanded with a blended in heel-less neck. Finished in a clear nitro finish. Two powerful separate magnet Weill pickups fitted onto a red or sometimes black scratchplate. Mini scratchplate was either black or white (depending on main plate colour) with the "Amazon" legend engraved in.
Typical Weill electrics, trem and teardrop shaped van ghent tuners.
Obviously Fenton Weills vary a lot, and there have been the odd unbranded and unusual Fenton Weill branded anomalies crop up. The list above are the pretty much "official" designations for these particular guitars.
Piotr, the Weill lord!
Thank you for your email - I'd like to include it my guestbook, if that's OK with you. Of course I'll leave out your personal contact details.
Just a note to say the guitar recently added to your guestbook is a Hohner Apache, not an Amazon.
They are pretty similar, but the Apache has no contouring to the body, undrilled pickup covers and was originally offered in the unusual 'beige with maroon plate' colour scheme. Amazons as you know had the red plate, black engraved mini plate, plus heavily contoured bodies in a natural mahogany or sycamore finish.
The 'Fenton Weill Amazon' is not something that ever existed - this range (including the Zambesi which is essentially an Apache with a sycamore veneer on the top and bottom of the body) were only ever sold as Hohner here in the UK (although I've seen a Swedish advert that has them branded as FWs, but with different names ... Tuxmaster maybe?).
While we are on the subject, my feeling is that the other Hohners made to this shape - the "Holborn" are NOT the work of Fenton Weill. I've owned an Apache, Amazon and Holborn in the past, and the Holborn has none of the signifiers of early Fenton Weill manufacture (set neck, little red switch), but is almost identical to several Vox models, which shared the beech with sycamore veneer with bolt on neck construction. Possibly made by g-plan?
Hand Of Glory Records
Thank you for your message and info. I'd like to post your email in full on my guestbook if that's ok with you.
All the best,
Subj: RARE Fleishman Bassic 3 Octave Bass Guitar
Good morning and greetings from the U.S.,
I would like to interest you in a very rare, but used Fleishman Bassic guitar ... Authenticity has been confirmed as I emailed Harry Fleishman himself as I researched this piece. He's considered by many as the finest Luthierist of our time and is perhaps best-known for designing Dave Pomeroy's bass "the beast". This baby will be a wonderful addition to a collector's repertoire; with it's 3 octaves and 36 frets!
Thanks for sending on the picture. I'd like to add your message to my Guestbook as its such a rare and unusual instrument.
Subj: Fenton Weill Amazon or Hohner Apache???
About 5 years ago, I purchased what I think it an Amazon or Apache from a car boot sale for £20.
The guitar is pretty shot to bits, it plays however the wiring could be re-done, the person who owned it in the past, drilled the input jack into the base of the body rather than up front on the scratch plate and obviously the Fenton Weill labels and brand name have all but gone.
The scratch plate is purple?? Having seen the red variety online, I was wondering if this purple version was stock, it seems to look as though it came with the guitar.
I would love to get this guitar back to some sort of authenticity, despite the drilled input jack at the bottom of the guitar..... do you know where I can start??
Further information from Paul:
Please see to the right a picture of said guitar.
The thing that bugs me the most, is the fact the name section is missing, it's mostly an annoyance as we don't know which model this guitar is, but also, I bet its impossible to find one of those things.
The wiring is a bit ropey, and I think the pick-ups could do with some new soldering... it does play though.
Obviously it'd also need to be professionally set-up.
I do have two of the three original tone/volume switches, however replaced them with these three switches which were originally from my Vox bass.
I've picked up some true bargains living in Sussex, believe it or not, had more "beat" bands than Liverpool, sadly however the Bognor Beat didn't seem to have the same ring to it as Mersey Beat and most of the bands didn't really get anywhere with the exception of say five groups who actually managed to get a record deal, the truth is however there were hundreds of beat and instrumental groups in the south coast and thus, cool guitars used to be easy to find at car-boot sales and guitar shops which just wanted to get rid of the things, its probably much different now, however, I have a keen eye for old guitars and thankfully managed to get a few before people became aware in the mid 2000s.
I got a Hagstrom Futurama 2 in really good nick for £70, I love that guitar, I'd love to find a bass version however know I'd never get it for anywhere near £70.
I've managed to discuss your guitar at length with Paul Day who is, as you probably, know the recognised expert on UK built guitars.
Here are our conclusions:-
It is an Amazon 444 and dates from 1962 and it retailed then at £54, which was quite a lot of money at that time!
Do you think its been refinished? They were built in natural, by the way.
You could leave the jack socket where it is because it does look period. But the original jack socket was a mini jack socket which is why it was changed.
The scratchplate was, we now consider, a replacement and the original colour would have been either red with a black sub scratchplate or black with a cream mini. A new one could easily be made by Alan Exeley (see my links page).
The bass of the bridge seems correct but the top isn't. Once again Alan could help with this and also with a correct knob to match the 2 original ones you have.
I hope this helps and please do let me know how you get on and also with any photos of the guitar completed. I'd also like to add part of your email and some pics to my Archive page but I will, of course, leave out your contact info.
Also Paul and I met Betty Weill a few years ago and she still lives in the same house the she and Henry Weill owned when they were building Fenton Weill guitars and, for that matter, Burns Weill. I've done a write up of our visit on my Archive page which you may find interesting.
All the best,
Subj: My latest creation!
Hi Guy, this is my latest creation, it's great for slide, and has a lot going on. (The arty bits are from the first time Superman appeared in a comic!)
I am very happy with it, should make a nice present for someone.
Let me know what you think.
Thank you for sending me photos of your latest creation! It looks great and with more than a hint of Bo Diddley about it!
I'm sure it will be appreciated by someone as much as the wonderful guitar you very generously built for my Charlie Gracie Concert which sold for £400 with Charlie's signature on it. And helped raise over £2,000 for the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust - which is entirely funded by donations!
Best wishes and please keep in touch. I'd also be like to see photographs of any others guitars you build.
Subj: Dallas Guitars
Hello Mr McKenzie,
During one of many scourings of the web, looking for information about guitars which I used to own, or currently own, I came across your very interesting site. It did not actually supply me with the information about Kay guitars for which I was searching BUT, I spotted a picture of a very unusual guitar, and read the accompanying text.
The guitar in question was made by Dallas, back in the early 60s, and I recognised it instantly.
For your reference, the picture and text was dated 18th July 2012, and was supplied by John, and your reference number was 217. I recognised it because, if as you say it was a "One Of", then I used to own it, and I have an old black and white photograph which was taken in 1964, (or maybe 1965), of me holding it, just before going on to play a gig in the NAAFI at RAF Ballykelly, in Northern Ireland.
I purchased it from Frank Hessy's in Liverpool sometime in late 1961
The photo is in pretty fair condition considering how long ago it was taken, and the Rangemaster plate and Dallas logo can be seen clearly, as can the location of the tremolo arm.
The arm was very basic, being just a length of of chrome plated rod, threaded at one end,(don't ask what the thread was, certainly not metric), with a black plastic cap on the other end. It was bent as shown in the photo. As far as I can recall it worked quite well and did not effect the tuning too much.
I somehow doubt that the guitar was a one of, but it is a possibility I suppose. I traded it in, part-ex, when I purchased a semi-acoustic Kay (Trutone, I think) in 1964 (or maybe early '65) from a music shop in the Diamond in the centre of Londonderry. I often used to wish that I had not made the trade, as the Rangemaster was a much better guitar than the Kay, although the guy to whom I eventually sold the Kay, absolutely loved it. I have photo of that one somewhere too.
Anyway, if you or John are interested in this info, and would like to see the pic just get back to me as and when.
Thank you so much for your interesting email. And of course you are correct, yours was not a one off because someone else has written to me with a similar story to yours so there were at least three!
However it was an instrument that escaped my knowledge and, more significantly, the attention of the Guitar Guru...Paul Day! Of course we have no idea how many were built but most likely only a handful. Now if only a twin neck turn up (see my later post)....It was also interesting to hear your impression of the guitar and to know more about it too.
I'd really appreciate seeing any pictures you have including one of the Kay as I'd like to add them and your email to my guestbook.
With best wishes,
Many thanks for your speedy response,....... I just love guitars, I only wish I could play better!
The best shot I have of the Dallas Rangemaster is attached. As I said, in my earlier message, the photo was taken just prior to a gig, in 1964 (or maybe 65), in the NAAFI at RAF Ballykelly.
I have several shots of myself with the Kay guitar, but they are all at obscure angles and reveal little detail. Oddly enough, the best shot I have, was taken after I had sold it to a mate. The attached pic shows my musical mate, Malcolm, with the Kay, and that's me with the daft hat and the 12 string Framus in the background. Happy days. The photo was taken during a performance on Gibraltar TV, sometime in 1967. Fame indeed.
As far as I can remember the guitar had a single pick up and just the two controls, one for tone and the other for volume. It was purchased, when I traded in the Dallas, in Londonderry in 64/5, but I never really enjoyed playing it when performing our rock group at RAF Ballykelly.
I took the Kay with me to RAF North Front in Gibraltar, where I formed a new group, but seldom used it, preferring to use a borrowed Hofner Verithin. In most of my old group snapshots, both at Ballykelly and Gibraltar, the Kay can be seen languishing in the background, just in case a back-up might be required. It eventually came into its own after I sold it some time in early í66, at which time I purchased a Gretsch Corvette.
When our RAF Gibraltar based R&B combo packed up in late í66, with the demise of 224 Squadron, I was asked to join this, sort of, cabaret, comic outfit, to which my mate Malcolm (and the much maligned Kay) belonged.
They played all sorts of stuff, performed sketches and told a lot of jokes, a bit like an early day Grumbleweeds. They even enjoyed the benefit of having a banjo player. I stuck with this outfit for about 12 months until my tour in Gibraltar finished in December 1967.
Just as a matter of continuity, I sold the Corvette when our Rock group folded, in í66, and I purchased the Framus 12 string which was a bit of a bugger to play, and keep in tune. I eventually got rid of the Framus, back in the UK, in late í68 and bought an EKO Rio Bravo 6, which I still possess. It now hangs on the wall in my study, being no longer very playable. I also own a Breedlove Atlas, and a Washburn Festival. I used to own a Gretsch 5120 Electromatic, but sold it recently as I could not get to like it, as pretty as it looked. I ended up buying a Fender Precision bass with the proceeds.
Sadly I have a "house-rule" which means if I want to buy another guitar, then one that I already own has to go.
The first guitar I owned was one that I built myself, and a bit of a joke it was too, but it worked, for a while. I then moved on to a Lucky Seven, made by Rosetti (?) I have snap of that somewhere, then the Dallas, the Kay, the Corvette, the Framus and the EKO. After that there was a bit of an hiatus, when I left the RAF, and guitars and groups faded into the background. I still had the odd twiddle down the years, and my old, and now very battered, EKO came in handy at many a social gathering.
In later life I took up the interest again with gusto and in the late Ď90s I purchased the Washburn, then the Breedlove and the Gretsch, and as I say, a couple of weeks ago the Fender Bass.
Such is life!
Feel Free to publish the photos and any text extracts from my e-mails on your site.
Just refer to me as Geoff, ............... although some know me as Monty Zoomer - https://www.youtube.com/user/BravosUK/videos
Subj: Post 217 - Dallas Rangemaster
I was very interested in the post number 217 from 2012 regarding a Dallas Range master guitar.
I also have one of these. I believe that it was bought for me in 1960 by my Grandmother. She died shortly afterwards so, whilst the guitar was superseded by better and more expensive instruments, I have kept it all these years until just before Christmas my Son secretly took it Nigel's guitar workshop in North Yorkshire and Nigel made it playable. (One of the best presents I've had.)
My one is a bit more battered and used than the one in the earlier post having been constantly gigged for over three years. It's base colour is the same cherry red as the other but mine fades to gold sparkle in the middle around the pickups. It is my understanding that it was bought brand new from a small music shop in Bruce Grove, Tottenham, North London.
When I have a little more time I'll take and send you a photo along with the serial number on the back of the head and any other info I can find. Like you and the other owner I believed this to be unique. Clearly not and I am now even more interested to find out more.
Hope you find this interesting.
All the best,
I've now had two messages concerning these guitars and clearly several were built!
We'd really appreciate seeing some pictures of yours when you get time.
Subj: Possible Framus Archtop Guitar
I've just bought this old guitar at an auction here in Scotland as it interested me. But I have no idea where or when it was made or, for that matter, who made it. Can you help?
I sent on pictures of your "new" guitar to Paul Brett who is an expert on vintage acoustic guitars (and has a large collection too) that I know and here is his reply. It's certainly an interesting guitar and, as I said, I'd have probably have bought it if I'd seen it.
All the best,
German made. I don't think the globe logo was originally on the guitar. I'm not an arch top expert but my gut is with Framus. Voss also used similar tailpieces in the 50s. Can't be exact but I think it's pretty close. Paul
A couple of example archtops can be seen here: Example 1 and Example 2
Subj: Hayman Guitar
I don't usually build guitar out of toilet seats, millenium falcons and
guitar boxes - I'm a real luthier who prides himself on crafting instruments from raw wood! However novelty guitars like this one are
just that...novelty and fun to build too! And they don't cost as much
as my hand crafted guitars either!
You have built some amazing guitars and I'd like to add this picture to
my Guestbook as I think visitors to my site will be interested in your
All the best,
Subj: Hayman Guitar
I thought that I would never meet another guy named Guy, let alone a guy named Guy who also has a Hayman! I was extremely impressed with your collection, however, I was a little surprised that you had the bass model only. If it interests you I have a Hayman 2020 posted on ebay at this time of this email.
Just enter Hayman guitar and its the natural finish model on there, well there is also a bass that someone seems to be selling for parts. I'd prefer to keep the guitar in tack, after all I'm hoping that it goes to someone who appreciates it for its specialty, seeing that it's all original except two of the knobs. The case is banged up a bit, but I believe it to be original as well. There is a sticker on the back of the headstock showing where the guitar came from. Some shop in Philadelphia, PA., U.S.
Well happy collecting and keep up the good work!
Thanks for contacting me and, yes, there can't be many other guys' with
a Hayman guitar!
I think that by the time I replied to your email your guitar was sold
but best wishes anyway!
All the best,
Subj: Sakai Guitar
I wonder if you can give me any information about this guitar?
Thanks for the pictures.
Actually it seems in good condition. It was certainly built in Japan in the 1970s but its almost impossible to identify the factory although it may be by Kawai. The guitar appeared under several brand names depending on the importers and what brand name they wished to give it and was certainly available in the USA and the UK and most likely anywhere else they could sell it. That's about as much info I can give you from memory and hope it helps - I'd like to add a picture to my Guestbook if you wouldn't mind.
All the best,
Subj: Sakai Guitar
I came across this guitar when cleaning out my loft was wondering if you
knew any info on it please it's got a badge at the top saying sakai at the top tried searching the Web and could not trace any like it.
Thank you for reading and I hope u can help me. Julie.
Thank for your message.
Your guitar was built in Japan in probably the mid 1970s and Sakai was a budget brand in the UK. The instrument was based on the style of a Gibson SG guitar and, in fact, probably plays quite well. Today these Japan built guitars from the 1970s are becoming quite collectable (they are affordable!)and it probably has a value of somewhere between £70-120.
I actually have never seen one exactly the same as yours although there were several different models of Sakai guitars.
All the best,
Subj: Ayar Bass Guitar
Your collection has guitars that look very similar to my late uncle's. I am hoping you might be able to help me identify it. I would love to know the history. I've attached two pictures. I appreciate any assistance you can provide.
Thank you for your message. Your late uncle's bass guitar was built in Japan in, I believe, the mid -late 1960s. It's certainly a lovely looking and good quality instrument and in excellent condition too. Ayar (a US brandname) is very rare in Europe and was, we believe, only used in Germany.
That's about as far as I'm able to help - but I would like to add a picture of it to my Guestbook and maybe some more info will be forthcoming.
All the best
Subj: Zenith Supersound amp found in Johannesburg
I am Trevor from South Africa. I have just found an old Supersound Zenith amp here in Johannesburg. I am trying to find info on this amp.
I was wondering if this looks familiar to you. I saw a Zenith amp on Trevor Midgley's site, but it looks like a bigger model. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your message. Yes it is familiar to me it dates from probably 1958 (maybe '57 or early '59...the company relocated to Hastings then) and its a rare example of an amp built by the Supersound Company and branded Zenith by that organisation and sold by them.
If you were in the UK and the amp was for sale, I'd love to own it as a piece of history - but they do come up for sale from time to time but not always in great condition!
I hope this helps and I'd like to add one of your pictures to my Guestbook... if thats ok with you.
All the best,
I was wondering if you knew how to correctly read this model number. I'm not quite sure if it should read as M17, or should it be read as N'117. I suspect it would be more on the M17 side. I am taking it to a techie friend of mine to fire it up for the first time. I'm a bit nervous to just plug it in for fear of thing blowing up. I'll let you know how it all goes. I do intend to keep it as it's the only true vintage amp I have. Do you have a collection of Supersound amps. I'd love to see it if you do. Take care.
Unfortunately I don't have any Supersound amps so I'm sorry to say I can't help with the model number - but it seems to us that its more likely to be M17.
It should have a great vintage sound if it fires up OK and I'll look forward to hearing from you to see how that goes!
All the best,
Subj: Teisco Tremo Twenty
Hi, I was reading an article by you about your guitar collection in which you mentioned the above guitar.
When I was about 15 my parents bought me a guitar and amplifier, the guitar was called a Tremo Twenty and would now be about 50 years old. In your article you say not many were made, and I wonder if I own one of the remaining few. I attach two photos, and would be pleased to hear from you.
Thank you for contacting me. As you know, these Teisco built guitars
were marketed under various different brand names. However these Tremo
Twenty instruments were marketed by Rose Morris, as part of their Top
Twenty range, with painted bodies.
It seems to us that very few were made in this guise but certainly very
few seem to have survived - I know of only about half a dozen that I've
been aware of in the last 10 years or so.
Yours seems to be in very good condition despite being about 50 years
Subj: Hofner 172
I was interested to find your website after seeing you on "Antiques
Road Trip" and it turns out that I have the exact same model Hofner 172 as
in your collection with original fake snakeskin case.
I bought it in 1972, when I was 18 but have not used in for many years. I recently dragged it out of my garage after being inspired by your program plus a visit to the Gibson factory in Memphis (60th birthday trip).
I'm currently having the pickups rewound by Alan Exley, a Hofner expert in Redditch, and then I plan to sell it on to buy an Epiphone Acoustic/ Electric (as I can't afford a full Gibson).
I hope you find the attached picture of interest. You have an amazing collection, good luck with your future plans for gigs.
Thank you so much for your message and for sending on the picture of your Hofner. I know Alan Exeley well and in fact own a guitar made by him with an aluminium body! (The APX Falcon in the Galleries) And he certainly is the right person for you to go to.
Thanks for your good wishes - my current project is to promote the
Charlie Gracie Concert which takes place next month which has taken up a lot of my time but, as its for charity, its really worthwhile too. Of course it will be great to play with one of the R n R legends too.
Best wishes with the sale of your guitar and proposed purchase.
Subj: Dallas Rangemaster Twin Neck
Martin Kelly from the Vox Guitar book here. I hope this finds you well.
While looking over your site which I often do, I espied an email from a guy with a rather interesting Dallas Rangemaster guitar.
This rang a bell in my mind so I started looking back through a bunch of Dallas catalogues I have here.
In the '60 full line which came out in late 1959 there it was!
Well - not a single neck six string like the one you have in the pictures but the Rangemaster "Twin". Could it be the first UK made double neck electric? (Click on the image above to see a larger version.)
It's certainly the Elephant Man of '50's UK guitars.
Perhaps Dallas made a standard Rangemaster "single" too - or maybe both instruments were follies that never made it.
Either way the the Rangemaster single isn't pictured here or in any other Dallas cats I have from the era.
There's definitely a similarity between the 2 guitars - check the switching - and I though you might be interested.
It was really good to hear from you and thank you so much for your really interesting message. I must admit I was really amazed to see the catalogue picture of the Dallas Twin neck Rangemaster!! Of course I had no idea that one had ever existed and, of course, I had no idea that the Dallas single neck Rangemaster had ever existed until I was contacted by the owner of one!
Your catalogue is an amazing find and one would presume that at least one must have been built? Of course I now wonder what happened to it.
And now you have set me off on another search... so, firstly, do you know of anyone who had an involvement with Dallas back then who might be able to shed some light on the range (!) of Rangemasters?
And of course it must have been the first UK built double neck electric..... I've never heard of any others from this era, i.e. Supersound, Burns Weill, Watkins etc. And I've interviewed Batty Weill, Mary Wootton and, of course, I'm in close contact with Reg Godwin...
Of course if you ever come across any other unusual or one offs pictures please send them through as I'm always interested.
All the best,
Subj: Burns Weil
I have a Burns Weil guitar which I know nothing about and wondered if you can help. If you could at least tell me how old it is. It has a fantastic sound and plays really well.
Thanks for the latest picture and I can confirm that this is a Burns Weill Fenton guitar and dates from between Feb '59-Dec'59 - which was the period when Jim Burns and Henry Weill were in partnership. It is the six string version of the bass I own and which is shown in Gallery 9 of my website - although the bass had a much larger body.
Its a rare instrument today and yours looks great in red! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
P.S. I would like to add your email and a photo of the guitar to my if you wouldn't mind - as it will be of interest to visitors to my site.
Subj: Teddy Wadmore
My name is Jamie and my grandfather was Teddy Wadmore, did you ever meet him or know much about him?
Thank you so much for your message. No I never met your grandfather but I have heard quite a lot about him as I collect vintage guitars and his name has been mentioned several times as one of the leading upright bass players of his day and as a real innovator as far as electric bass guitars are concerned.
As I'm sure you know, he played the very first solid electric bass commercially manufactured in the UK. This instrument was built by the Supersound company. In fact the company made another for him with his name engraved on the scratchplate but he never collected it and they still have it today!
I've met Mary Wootton who with her husband formed the Supersound company in 1952. When her husband died in 1973 she folded the company, although in her 80s she is in contact with me and in fact I had a Christmas card from her. If you would like I can contact her and maybe you could contact her direct? She knew Teddy well.
I've also met Bob Rogers who was in the Ted Taylor four with your grandfather and if he is well enough I'm sure he would be happy to be in contact with you. Of course it was when he was with the Ted Taylor Four that he first used the Supersound bass on the Jack Jackson TV show in late summer 1958. His bass was very similar to the Supersound Single Cutaway which I own and is featured on the "Historic Guitars" Page of my website www.theguitarcollection.org.uk and of course he is mentioned in my write up.
I would be delighted to speak to you if you would like to ring me and also Paul Day who is the UK's leading vintage guitar expert and he could give you more information although he never met him.
In the meantime I would love to see a picture of the guitar he owned which is still owned by your family..and maybe a picture of him holding a bass guitar--if one still exists.
I'll look forward to meeting or speaking to you in due course.