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Zemaitis guitars... anyone ever heard of them?


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So I was talking on the acoustic forum where I posted this clip of Jimi playing a 12 string.. Someone asked what kind of guitar that was.. So I had a look and its a UK company called Zemaitis... and apparently hes pretty well known.. Check these out

http://www.zemaitis-guitars.com/

 

this is the jimi clip (any excuse to post this :))

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxzs3lGSu2U

 

and his guitar

jimi-hendrix-zemaitis-japan-magazine.jpg

 

and one actually up on ebay

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Greco-Zemaitis-GZMF-300-MBK-Guitar-with-Dimarzio-DP103-Pickups-/200789805905?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV&hash=item2ec0014b51

8746B69B994040FF9F04B24CAEA60999.jpg

0AD46885C0774527A2451EDC6F48ED25.jpg

 

and some from the web site (check it, some REALLY nice stuff on there) http://www.zemaitis-guitars.com/

GZDF501_big.jpg

GZV500MF_TT1_big.jpg

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Guest farnsbarns

Doesn't Retro have one?

 

Retro has the real thing and it's bloody lovely!

 

The modern ones are made in Japan under license from the Zemaitis family. Not the same thing at all unfortunately.

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The modern ones are made in Japan under license from the Zemaitis family. Not the same thing at all unfortunately.

 

Thats a shame... they give me quite bad GAS :) im sure the old ones are worth a bomb now

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Ronnie Wood owns a few

 

Yeah, Surfpup, I was gonna say Ron Wood...and I believe Keith Richards also...have played these for years. Zemaitis advertises regularly in Vintage Guitar Magazineand has a good rep as a luthier. (Not sure about current quality. ...didn't recal he'd passed.) Seems collectors like these.

 

Wonder what they weigh?

 

Cheers,

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Oh yea.

 

I may not have all my facts straight, but Zemaitis was more of a man than a company. And there aren't a lot of his guitars around.

 

The guitars he built have taken on a sort of legendary status, even from early on in his career. The way I understand or remember it, he built them one at a time and took his time. There was such a demand for his stuff he became quite picky on who he would build for- mostly because so many asked for them and he could only build so many, so he couldn't build one for everybody. He was known more like a "builder for the stars" kinda deal. I believe you really had to be somebody to have him build you one, and if he did, you were quite lucky.

 

I think I remember reading in an article from later in his life that he was actually not a rich man, and refused to change his ways and build more or go into "production", although he got many offers and had a very high demand.

 

I think Ronnie Wood is the most known for having one, being seen the most often. He played one in public a lot, I think around the time of the Faces and into his early Stones playing. That LP looking one with the full metal face.

 

I think it's cool they are being made by that Japanese company, although they aren't the same thing. They CAN'T be the same thing. But at least, someone who wanted one can actually have one. More like "something like one, somewhat". Each true Zamaitis guitar had individual artwork made up by Mr. Zamaitis himself, and these "reissues" don't seem like too much of an attempt to copy them, or one of them. The "V" in the pic here, for example, doesn't even resemble somthing he would have built.

 

I am actually shocked to read someone on this foeum has a real one. Even more shocked there are no pics of it. That's almost a crime.

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Guest farnsbarns

Oh yea.

 

I may not have all my facts straight, but Zemaitis was more of a man than a company. And there aren't a lot of his guitars around.

 

The guitars he built have taken on a sort of legendary status, even from early on in his career. The way I understand or remember it, he built them one at a time and took his time. There was such a demand for his stuff he became quite picky on who he would build for- mostly because so many asked for them and he could only build so many, so he couldn't build one for everybody. He was known more like a "builder for the stars" kinda deal. I believe you really had to be somebody to have him build you one, and if he did, you were quite lucky.

 

I think I remember reading in an article from later in his life that he was actually not a rich man, and refused to change his ways and build more or go into "production", although he got many offers and had a very high demand.

 

I think Ronnie Wood is the most known for having one, being seen the most often. He played one in public a lot, I think around the time of the Faces and into his early Stones playing. That LP looking one with the full metal face.

 

I think it's cool they are being made by that Japanese company, although they aren't the same thing. They CAN'T be the same thing. But at least, someone who wanted one can actually have one. More like "something like one, somewhat". Each true Zamaitis guitar had individual artwork made up by Mr. Zamaitis himself, and these "reissues" don't seem like too much of an attempt to copy them, or one of them. The "V" in the pic here, for example, doesn't even resemble somthing he would have built.

 

I am actually shocked to read someone on this foeum has a real one. Even more shocked there are no pics of it. That's almost a crime.

 

There have been pics. Retro, if we ask nicely will you repost your pics?

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1984 since you asked nicely [smile] great guitar and the only guitar I own that I'm actually nervous to play! This is one where a scratch or dent would literally make you want to kill yourself. I looked for quite a while and finally pulled the trigger when they kept increasing in price and it started getting silly. I actually had someone try to buy it a few months back and the offer was amazing.

 

84metalfront3.jpg

 

If you like the look but don't want tp pay the crazy prices check out James Trussart he makes a similar guitar and you don't need to sell a kidney at least not yet. He makes all sorts of finishes some clean some very dirty and rusted and covered in paint this is a copper dragon engraved steel top.

 

copperdragon.jpg

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1984 since you asked nicely [smile] great guitar and the only guitar I own that I'm actually nervous to play! This is one where a scratch or dent would literally make you want to kill yourself. I looked for quite a while and finally pulled the trigger when they kept increasing in price and it started getting silly. I actually had someone try to buy it a few months back and the offer was amazing.

 

84metalfront3.jpg

 

WOW thats sweet... thanks for posting..

 

How does it sound compared to a LP? What sort of pickups does it have?

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Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Lane (bassist in The Faces), Keef, Hendrix, Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses), one of the guys in Buckcherry, and the late great James Honeyman Scott (The Pretenders) used/use them.

 

I've never played one, but I'd love to someday.

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RETRO:

 

THAT'S BEAUTIFUL.

 

If you are saving it for the cash value, I wouldn't be so sure that if a great offer came up you shouldn't take it. Hard to tell where values are going to go, but with many vintage prices dropping AND poeple seem to be forgetting about these things it could drop in the future. But if you sold it, you wouldn't have it anymore.

 

As for the Japanese ones, I think I would rather that they be the ones to be making the "reissues". When it comes to copying, they seem to do that well. As for the personal touch or the uniqueness of what they really were, there isn't a replacement for Mr. Zamaitis. What the Japanese ones do, however, is keep the brand and the legend alive.

 

I don't know if it is the photography or the presentation, but I feel like I can see something really special about that guitar in contrast to the photos of the reissues. It's quite stunning.

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RETRO:

 

THAT'S BEAUTIFUL.

 

If you are saving it for the cash value, I wouldn't be so sure that if a great offer came up you shouldn't take it. Hard to tell where values are going to go, but with many vintage prices dropping AND poeple seem to be forgetting about these things it could drop in the future. But if you sold it, you wouldn't have it anymore.

 

As for the Japanese ones, I think I would rather that they be the ones to be making the "reissues". When it comes to copying, they seem to do that well. As for the personal touch or the uniqueness of what they really were, there isn't a replacement for Mr. Zamaitis. What the Japanese ones do, however, is keep the brand and the legend alive.

 

I don't know if it is the photography or the presentation, but I feel like I can see something really special about that guitar in contrast to the photos of the reissues. It's quite stunning.

 

 

There really no comparrison between the originals and the Japanese modern copies, nothing wrong with the new ones but the original Zematis were all hand engraved by Danny O'brien a true master engraver and the quality is truly amazing the whole guitar just screams quality from top to bottom and the one I have looks like t was made yesterday there just are no marks or issues with it at all like I said if I didn't know it was almost 30 years old I doubt if I would believe it. I don't really collect guitars for the money never have but sometimes that makes it even harder when somebody throws a number out that you just can't really imagine so who know's if he keeps raising his offer I might sell it just because I'm not really a collector in the true since of the word. I love guitars and have way more than I could ever need, but I don't consider them an investment and I don't protect them and store them in climate controlled vaults so when somebody throws out a big number sometimes i crumble and sell. Like I said not as an investment I just can't really relax and enjoy a guitar when the value get's beyond a certain point.

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I could be wrong here....but didn't George Harrison own one and it may actually be included in the George Harrison Guitar Collection app for iPad?

Yes theres one up on ebay :)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ZEMAITIS-GEORGE-HARRISON-PROTOTYPE-GUITAR-MADE-AVALON-LOWDEN-FACTORY-/130739944659?_trksid=p5197.m1992&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D14%26meid%3D997282106358141095%26pid%3D100015%26prg%3D1006%26rk%3D2%26

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