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Remellick

FT Models

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Hello everybody,

First time posting here after lurking a couple weeks. I found this forum while investigating some finds at an online auction I've been visiting obsessively, that I hesitate to share because it seems a "honey hole", but anyway.. lots of good info here!

As a matter of fact I am currently waiting for delivery on an online auction purchase from that same site. It is a FT-132 model having the (transition era) Kalamazoo blue label with neither "union made" or "made in Japan" indicated. Ibelieve the FT-132 was produced at Masumotu (sp?) 1972-73. It has a set neck and best I can find here and epiwiki it doesn't have an adjustable truss (?).

So again.. anyway :) with fingers and toes crossed (but especially praying) I am waiting, praying that it was a great deal I imagine it to be, that it not have belly bulge.. or a crazy warp in the neck or anywhere else for that matter. By photos I can see chips and nicks around the headstock and a screw seems to be missing from one of the tuners back.. and of course it needs strings.

But while waiting and searching I have learned much I did not know but one thing obvious to me is that the 70-79 Epiphones especially FTs seem to be the stepchild many players and dealers prefer to forget. Where is the love for this still very playable and loveable, regardless of it being laminated and not solid top, model.

Anyone feel the same or wish to comment why they dislike or choose to ignore the validity of this series?

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Welcome to the forums, Remellick!

 

....investigating some finds at an online auction I've been visiting obsessively...

 

Hmm. Obsessive auction searching. I'm thinking that's a pretty common affliction around here. msp_biggrin.gif That's surely how I acquired most of the Epiphones in my sig. I got sucked in, I tell ya. I mean, 200 bucks for a near new FT-79 IB-64 Texan cherryburst? Or a highly flamed trans black Performer ME? Crazy! Sucked in! So I take it you're not talking about ebay or reverb?

 

It is a FT-132 model having the (transition era) Kalamazoo blue label....

 

My brother picked up an FT-160 12-string back in the 70s (has that blue label), which I more recently absconded with (but I mainly play the Guild 12). The FT160 is a bolt-on neck, in great shape, basically unplayed, and the vagaries of the market tell me it's worth next to nothing. msp_cursing.gif

 

....I am waiting, praying that it was a great deal I imagine it to be....

 

Haha, the anticipation. Good luck! I've had a lot of good luck acquiring guitars off the internet and having them delivered. No reason you can't too.

 

Unless the seller stated the guitar "just got a set-up," you may want to do just that. I have a local tech/luthier do it and take care of any repairs.

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Thanks for the welcome!

I noticed that I failed to share the price I paid for my win... $90.99! After S&H my total was $121.99.

 

I'm pretty sure I will regret turning y'all fellow epiphone fans on to the auction site but.... ugh.. hmmm. See this is hard because I'm from Kalamazoo and I have had multiple family members that worked at the plant.. I've had a passion to one day own an actual 1964 epiphone acoustic since... well as close as my memory gets me to 1964.. the year I was born.

Having come from meager means and then serving 20 years as a career U.S. Navy man with a family, I couldn't afford to spend the cash back when they were still affordable so excited I finally scored (praying) an Epiphone at least!.. but the dream of one day when I land that ultimate auction find still lives on!..

 

Yes 1960s Epiphones retain respect and for sound reasons (<--see what I did there? SOUND reasons.. lol)

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1970's Epi's were kind of a slap in the face to many of us who were familiar with the Kalamazoo-made line. Also, quite a few Gibson employees weren't too pleased about seeing production moved to Japan, as I'm sure you can understand. At one time, Forest Fretworks - later purchased by Pete Moreno and renamed Moreno's Guitar Clinic - in Oshtemo had a rehab contract w/Gibson to make Jap Epi's w/flaws and defects saleable. The place was literally piled with sadly unplayable instruments. They worked hard in there, but could never get ahead of the incoming disasters. Long ago, but not forgotten.

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Welcome to the forum. There's lots of interesting things to learn and experience, most of us being Gibson/Epi aficionados. My first Epi I got around 73' I believe, a 000-size really well made guitar, nice cream binding, etc, etc, etc. When I wanted to get back into music after several years out, I thought about that first Epi, discovered the Masterbilt line and the rest is history.

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Well she made it just in enough time for me to unpack, glance over briefly, and leave for work.

Fighting off mild disappointment, I'm trying to keep in mind shes over 40, an epiphone (albeit mij) and remembering also the little that I paid for her.

Slight hint that her belly is attempting to bulge with very slight bridge lift. Which can account at least in part for concern #2 the obvious neck bowing. Can I even adjust a set neck?.. anyhoo there it is fellow epiphone fans.

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Well she made it just in enough time for me to unpack, glance over briefly, and leave for work.

Fighting off mild disappointment, I'm trying to keep in mind shes over 40, an epiphone (albeit mij) and remembering also the little that I paid for her.

Slight hint that her belly is attempting to bulge with very slight bridge lift. Which can account at least in part for concern #2 the obvious neck bowing. Can I even adjust a set neck?.. anyhoo there it is fellow epiphone fans.

Photos please...

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There should be a truss rod adjustment at the headstock. Remove the plastic cover that's behind the nut under the strings. You will need a metric Allen wrench to reach the truss rod nut.

 

I have four FT guitars: FT-135, FT-165, 6832, and a 6732. All required extensive repairs. My 6732 is at the shop right now being rebuilt.

 

All needed top braces re-glued & bridge re-gluing. Mine have screw-on necks and every neck block needed re-gluing as well. These guitars are a labor of love and usually cost more to repair than they are worth.

 

To all of mine I had the adjustable bridge removed, the saddle slot filled and re-slotted and a $160 Fishman Matrix Infinity pickup installed. They now sound great.

 

Here's the story on my FT-165 12 string:

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/83255-epiphone-ft-165-12-string/

 

I'd take your FT-132 to a good luthier have him inspect it and then decide if you want to invest in the repairs. These guitars are 45 years old and the wood has mellowed. Mine sound so nice and I'm glad I invested the money into them. Also, spend $125 and get a decent hard shell case for it. Your FT-132 is 000 sized.

 

 

 

Good luck!

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https://atlanta.craigslist.org/wat/msg/6014600427.html

 

Here it is!... and thank you everyone.

I owned one of those puppies back when they were current. Top bracing is always to be suspect - loose brace(s) might account for the top bulge you mentioned. Go easy if you adjust the neck yourself - the truss rods in those were prone to breaking easily.

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Oh no.. I carefully released alot of tension of the truss rod filed the bridge nut slightly and installed the Martin silk and steel.. it sounds awesome and very playable now!

Releasing tension rarely causes problems☺ Glad to hear it's working well!

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FWIW - I started my obsession with guitars back in the '70s. I would scour flea markets for decent project guitars to fix up & trade in on better instruments. Came up with some darn good instruments for very cheap, and eventually worked my way up to Gibsons, Guilds, and an 00-18 Martin that stayed with me for twenty years.

 

But at the same time, I also looked at everything new in music stores. It was very clear when comparing Epiphones to Ibanez, Alverez, Takamine, Aria, and Sigma, that those '70s Epiphones were the low man on the Japanese-made totem pole. I developed a major aversion to them because they were built so poorly.

 

Inexpensive instruments can be very tempting, but nowadays I always stop myself & consider that the money spent on a beater would be better spent if it contributed to the purchase of a seriously good instrument.

 

My recommendation would be to target that 1964 Kalamazoo-made Epiphone (or Gibson) & go after it. Regularly put money into a guitar fund & you'll have enough before you know it. The FT45 Cortez (X-braced, solid spruce top) is one you could save up for rather quickly. I used to have a '64 back in the seventies, and currently have a '66. A very sweet little guitar, and clone to the Gibson B-25 (replacement for the LG-2 & LG-3), and it still sometimes flies a bit under the radar.

 

Best of luck, and enjoy the hunt!

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FWIW - I started my obsession with guitars back in the '70s. I would scour flea markets for decent project guitars to fix up & trade in on better instruments. Came up with some darn good instruments for very cheap, and eventually worked my way up to Gibsons, Guilds, and an 00-18 Martin that stayed with me for twenty years.

 

But at the same time, I also looked at everything new in music stores. It was very clear when comparing Epiphones to Ibanez, Alverez, Takamine, Aria, and Sigma, that those '70s Epiphones were the low man on the Japanese-made totem pole. I developed a major aversion to them because they were built so poorly.

 

Inexpensive instruments can be very tempting, but nowadays I always stop myself & consider that the money spent on a beater would be better spent if it contributed to the purchase of a seriously good instrument.

 

My recommendation would be to target that 1964 Kalamazoo-made Epiphone (or Gibson) & go after it. Regularly put money into a guitar fund & you'll have enough before you know it. The FT45 Cortez (X-braced, solid spruce top) is one you could save up for rather quickly. I used to have a '64 back in the seventies, and currently have a '66. A very sweet little guitar, and clone to the Gibson B-25 (replacement for the LG-2 & LG-3), and it still sometimes flies a bit under the radar.

 

Best of luck, and enjoy the hunt!

So there we were back in the 70's, following like paths and arriving at like conclusions. Early Epi imports were - to be polite - running a little behind their Asian counterparts. I've owned and played a 1958 Epi Cortez since high school. Splended LG-2 with a NY Epi neck. My only issue with later Kalamazoo Epi models is the narrow nut width. Otherwise, they're fine guitars.

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....those '70s Epiphones were the low man on the Japanese-made totem pole....

 

Yes, I've heard that the early 70s were not good years for Epis, or Gibsons for that matter. That is not the case anymore, of course, and hasn't been for at least a couple decades.

 

Inexpensive instruments can be very tempting, but nowadays I always stop myself & consider that the money spent on a beater would be better spent if it contributed to the purchase of a seriously good instrument.

 

Wise advice, but it's tough to justify a $2,000 guiltar if you're a beginner, or not that serious about playing. It's usually an "evolutionary" thing, though. The more into you get, the better guitar you want. msp_thumbup.gif Here's my latest. It should be quite a while before I think I need a better guitar!

 

.

 

f50r560.jpg

2011 Guild F50R

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.... My 6732 is at the shop right now being rebuilt.

 

.....

 

 

 

Good luck!

 

 

I'm please to report that my 6732 is done! I picked it up this afternoon from Dodson Guitars Jackson GA and Tom knocked it our of the park. Full story coming soon when I get some pictures.

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Yes, I've heard that the early 70s were not good years for Epis, or Gibsons for that matter. That is not the case anymore, of course, and hasn't been for at least a couple decades.

 

 

 

Wise advice, but it's tough to justify a $2,000 guiltar if you're a beginner, or not that serious about playing. It's usually an "evolutionary" thing, though. The more into you get, the better guitar you want. msp_thumbup.gif Here's my latest. It should be quite a while before I think I need a better guitar!

 

.

 

f50r560.jpg

2011 Guild F50R

I love Guilds! In some circles, my friend, you have already reached the top of the pyramid👍😎👍

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