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blindboygrunt

beater guitars

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Gilgamesh...

 

Well, as Utnapishtim (I'm almost certainly older <grin>), I actually used a Harmony full hollow archtop for about a year and a half with a country/rock trio.

 

The neck is like a baseball bat, but the sound ain't bad at all. Still have it.

 

m

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Went and bought myself a beater yesterday. The LAG T66DCE, nice little git with what I think is a great sound for a laminate guitar. at $299.00

Something I can use outside, on the creek, wherever. Saw it twice before deciding to give it a home. Will do a review once I pick it up. (waiting for a setup)

Even though it's already a part of my stable, if anyone has had experience with this brand your input will be appreciated.

 

I saw a article on their new range in Guitarist UK magazine when the guitars came out.

 

I remember the guitars because I had just read the magazine and I saw a snarly looking kid dragging one like yours along beside him by the headstock - bumping along the ground - at a local shopping centre car park! It has a very distinctive rosette...

 

Music Radar runs most of the reviews from G UK online. Guess what I found?:

http://www.musicrada...e-470018/review

 

 

BluesKIng777.

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I've got a LAG something-or-other nylon string guitar. Think I paid $220 for it. Really don't know if the top is solid or laminate. I'm sure the sides and back are laminate. Doesn't really matter to me, because it's as decent as most guitars. And easy-on-the-fingers, and decent electronics. I guess it's a beater. BlueRidge are good beaters and good primary guitars. That tends to work for most any guitar, providing you enjoy playing it. My cheapest guitar is a $59 Rogue. I suspect it's all plywood, or worse, but it's built like a tank. Electronics are good and I'm not afraid of getting caught in a rain storm with it. It's worth far more to me than what I paid for it.

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I've always liked having beaters and I own several nylon and steel beaters. An Epiphone EL-00 is a nice one with laminated back and sides so better for places near water. Most of the Epi line is two, three hundred bucks and quite nice. I have an EJ-200 Artist which was less than two bills and makes a lot of sound. Epi also has some deluxe models like the all solid Masterbilt series. I have one of them: AJ500R. Very decent for the price. I also have a Recording King made knockoff of the Martin Clapton 000-EC model (in mahogany) which was branded as Silver Creek by Musician's friend. It was only about two hundred bucks and sounds amazing for the price. All solid.

 

I am kind of a sucker for cheap guitars but I'm about to turn 60 now. I used to leave beaters out around the house and grab them whenever I felt like playing. I figured they were safer to lean against the wall than a J-185 or whatever. But I've seen friends develop arthritis or other issues and have to stop playing. Now I try to play better guitars whenever I can. Ones playing time is finite. Now I lean Gibsons and Martins against the wall. The beaters are mostly for outdoors now.

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Speaking of Harmony, I happened to pass a guy selling stuff on the street in Oakland one day and for $17 I got this:

 

IMG_0196.JPG

IMG_0197.JPG

IMG_0198.JPG

 

The action is stratospheric so it will need some work to be playable. The wood is quite thin and looks promising.

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Jerry...

 

It reminds me of the one I redid a bit in the 1960s as an electric 7-string - the G doubled an octave up as with a 12-string and the tuner at the top of the head.

 

The neck should be quite strong - and worth messing with the bridge if it's straight enough for a nice low action.

 

There's no torsion rod to mess with if the neck is bowed or arched, as I recall.

 

If the neck's okay, there are a number of options, too, if you wanna electrify it, ranging from a bridge piezo (may or may not be a good idea depending on the neck angle, etc.) to a pick guard setup with volume and tone in the replacement pick guard. Neither of those options actually change the guitar. There once was a better option, one that attached to the strings behind the bridge and allowed the mag pickup to be moved from a bridge to neck position - but I don't think they've been made in decades and I haven't the slightest idea what happened to the one I once had.

 

The tuners used to be relatively poor, but that's likely the last thing to mess with en route to making it playable.

 

m

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A faint stamp inside the guitar indicates it's an Archtone 1213. The number 4467 may refer to 1967. They were made till 71.

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How about a Supertone (made by Harmony and the Sears house brand in the 1930s before Silvertone) and a what the heck is it guitar. The Supertone wins the prize for the coolest looking useless feature on a guitar (that inlaid laminate "shield"). Don't have a clue about the other although it screams 1930s Regal. But for less than what a Happy Meal would run ya who cares. A friend of mine commented it looks like one of those guitars Elvis used to bust over people's heads in the movies. It was one of those plesant surprise guitars though. It has a good full sound and is amazingly loud. Both made in the USA and both all solid wood (albeit birch).

 

SupertoneS210007.jpg

 

Granada002.jpg

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A faint stamp inside the guitar indicates it's an Archtone 1213. The number 4467 may refer to 1967. They were made till 71.

 

Bob Dylan played one of those in his early years. Then again, I think pretty much everybody played one as Harmony sold tens of thousands of them.

 

Harmonys generally have a date stamp somewhere. It should read something like F 67 meaning fall 1967. The headstock on yours looks to be from the mid-1960s so '67 is a possibility.

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Nice fretboard on that Supertone.

 

The board is not a slab of wood but just stained so they simply left the maple neck unstained on those frets. The designs are stenciled on. Sure makes it easy to know where you are though.

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I read the review before I purchased. Here's what I see so far. Fit and Finish lacquer finish on body, satin on neck, ebony stained saddle and fingerboard, as good a finish as any thousand dollar guitar I've seen. Composite Graphite bridge and nut seem to do a sufficient job. Changed the strings after one day, guitar comes with Elixir 12- and sounded a bit muddy (my take on all coated strings) New set of 11-46 Martin SP and it has a bit more sparkle. Love the neck, started playing after a quick tune and the next thing I knew three hours had passed. Quiet guitar without plugging it in, (what I would expect from a laminate guitar) Electronics are adequate and the battteries (2x mini) is easily accesable. We'll see how it opens up after beating on it for awhile. This is how it sounds off the rack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNZbkwrGTSc

 

I saw a article on their new range in Guitarist UK magazine when the guitars came out.

 

I remember the guitars because I had just read the magazine and I saw a snarly looking kid dragging one like yours along beside him by the headstock - bumping along the ground - at a local shopping centre car park! It has a very distinctive rosette...

 

Music Radar runs most of the reviews from G UK online. Guess what I found?:

http://www.musicrada...e-470018/review

 

 

BluesKIng777.

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My favourite "beater" is my '68 Yamaha FG150 Red Label. I bought it for $100 about eight years ago. It had been played almost to death and was in desperate need of a neck reset, a fretboard leveling and a refret. However, those repairs would be way more than the guitar is worth so I did it myself.

 

Neck off:

DSCF0059.jpg

 

Resetting:

DSCF0060.jpg

 

Reshaping the neck:

DSCF0083.jpg

 

Neck refinished:

DSCF0117.jpg

 

Fingerboard leveling:

DSCF0144.jpg

 

Refret:

DSCF0153.jpg

 

Playin' the "Beater" - sounds and plays great!

DSCF0722.jpg

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I read the review before I purchased. Here's what I see so far. Fit and Finish lacquer finish on body, satin on neck, ebony stained saddle and fingerboard, as good a finish as any thousand dollar guitar I've seen. Composite Graphite bridge and nut seem to do a sufficient job. Changed the strings after one day, guitar comes with Elixir 12- and sounded a bit muddy (my take on all coated strings) New set of 11-46 Martin SP and it has a bit more sparkle. Love the neck, started playing after a quick tune and the next thing I knew three hours had passed. Quiet guitar without plugging it in, (what I would expect from a laminate guitar) Electronics are adequate and the battteries (2x mini) is easily accesable. We'll see how it opens up after beating on it for awhile. This is how it sounds off the rack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNZbkwrGTSc

 

i like her a lot !

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i couldnt agree more , sort of thing i would love to do .

why the reshaping of the neck though ?

 

The back of the neck felt like a step ladder with all the dings all the way up and down I suspect from years of dropping it against edges (amps, tables, chairs). Since I was leveling out all those bumps, I took the opportunity to reshape the neck profile to fit my hand better. It was a V style profile and I turned it into more of a soft C.

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I noted the Lounge thread asking help on ID for a Harmony guitar and it reminded me of my H65 single pickup jazz guitar I got in the '70s 'cuz a rock band kid was trying to make a swap while I was there and the store wouldn't do anything with him.

 

Bottom line is that the full hollow archtop was basically considered about half junk at the time and it was my beater guitar for country/rock in a trio for around a year and a half.

 

Funny thing is that now I see 'em on sale for some $800-1,700.

 

Yup, I still have mine. No, it's not for sale although perhaps the right swap for something with a more shallow C neck might be considered if here where I live. Since that ain't likely... <grin>

 

Bottom line is that even a "beater" might end up being worth a lot more than one might imagine, both as a player and in terms of potential sale value.

 

m

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I suppose a lot of my guitars would be considered 'beat' by some of the members of this forum and Drathbun above might get his sander on to some of the the necks!

 

 

But when they have been set up by a professional to the best he can make it, I really enjoy playing them - i.e. my 52 LG1 and 58 LG0 - I love the 50s necks and they do have the Gibson sound in them as well!

 

 

Old LGs and the like are pretty scarce down my way, so as a beater guitar I have a Indonesian copy of a Martin Dread that I also had my luthier set up and add an u/s pickup in case I want to take it to the blues jam night. (To 'put your name on the list', you lean your guitar in it's case in a row of all the other jammers' guitars. Scary stuff for BK777, hence the Martin Copy.) The last time it was out of it's case was when I played at a friend's funeral ash scattering way out in the forest...

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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My favourite "beater" is my '68 Yamaha FG150 Red Label. I bought it for $100 about eight years ago. It had been played almost to death and was in desperate need of a neck reset, a fretboard leveling and a refret. However, those repairs would be way more than the guitar is worth so I did it myself.

 

Neck off:

DSCF0059.jpg

 

Resetting:

DSCF0060.jpg

 

Reshaping the neck:

DSCF0083.jpg

 

Neck refinished:

DSCF0117.jpg

 

Fingerboard leveling:

DSCF0144.jpg

 

Refret:

DSCF0153.jpg

 

Playin' the "Beater" - sounds and plays great!

DSCF0722.jpg

 

very nice job!

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I can't believe what I put my 1959 Martin 0-18 through. It was because it was the only guitar I had at the time in the sixties. Kept it on a boat. Took it to Death Valley. Open tuned it to "E". Played it when drunk as a skunk and scratched the face terribly. Hauled it all over Europe when in the military through rain and snow in it's original cardboard case. (What was I thinking!)It looks really beat up so it's collectability is shot. Despite this it's in remarkable shape and sounds awesome. Will need a neck reset sometime soon as I've shaved the saddle down as much as is practical. Now it is officially my beater as I have a pretty serious arsenal in my guitar stable. Besides, the 0-18 is small and fits on the boat. It's the one in my avitar. But I do treat it better and open tune it to drop D.

 

If you folks look into the Epi page on this forum you'll find a bunch of Epiphone fans who swear their mass produced Asian Epi's sound as good as any high-end guitar. [tongue] Although I contend they must all have tin ears I must admit the Masterbuilts are pretty good, but lack the rich overtones of a world class guitar. I really ticked a bunch of them off by starting a thread that professed the only "real" Epiphone was a pre-Gibson Epiphone. At a beach party, or camping, who cares? But if you are lucky enough to find an old solid top guitar like a Washburn go for it! Beware that many folks think their old guitars like Silvertones have a solid top but are wrong, wrong, wrong. The only way to tell is to trace a figure of the grain to see if it is the same inside the guitar. B)

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Anyone given on of the Recording King Nick Lucas knckoffs a try? Id be curious to hear about those. Their 12-fret 00s are ok (just that). Not imperssed with Loars L016 or the Epi EL. Hard to please.

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