Guitars I've owned, played or wished I had!

I'm just a poor sucker that tries to find, restore, play old guitars and anytime I can get afford to buy one and rescue it I will. I'm lucky my friend Ralph across town owns a real guitar building and repair shop. He even helps me build replicas of these older classics. I usually have to sell a guitar to afford another. So I've archived many below I've either owned or played.

 

 

 

Circa 1960 Harmony Sovereign sold as a Silvertone. 16" ladder braced with huge tone. The sunburst is very rare. I did a neck reset, fret leveling, bone nut and saddle and sold it on Ebay after enjoying it for quite a while. This was one bad ass blues guitar and built like a tank. Sounded like Mance Lipscomb or Lightnin Hopkins type of big solid tone, fat trebles and medium to light sustain. It's better to get these models without a headstock overlay since the plastic they used was horrible and deteriorates.

1914-1918 Gibson L-1 Archtop Acoustic 13.5"

Below 1932-34 L-37 or L50 - Sam Chatmon Model archtop 14.75", L-00 shape and size. I finally sold this one to someone on Ebay that lives around the piedmont area. They loved it. I got abut 2300 for it but it was a killer guitar. Amazing in drop D and cries like a baby on slide.

1930s Bacon and Day Senorita 16" Jumbo - Big Bill Broonzy fame. I want one of these and a guy ARK guitars makes a replica. I'm waiting to hear more about.

1930s Triolian Single Cone Resonator Guitar round neck

 

Epiphone Bluesmaster a Korean made Laminated back and sides 13" parlor sized blues guitar with a nice wide 1-7/8" nut and 2-3/8" saddle. They originally cost 375.00 brand new in the 1990s but they are often sold on Ebay now for a very insane 800-1000 but nobody ever seems to mention they are laminated and not solid woods. Bottom line is you can't find one for the price they are actually worth and for the money you'd spend you could buy a much better guitar or even an authentic used Gibson L-00 from Bozeman. These guitars sound good, especially with a capo but it's nothing to marvel over tonally. Just a very fun and addictive guitar with a slightly boxy sound. A little heavy in weight and slightly unbalanced. If they could still be bought for 400+ I'd highly recommend one. Keb Mo made this model famous and he plays the natural version. Below is the more rare Sunburst version.

 

1930s Triolian

2003 SCGC VS I owned and sold to Dennis in SF. Man this was an amazing guitar but I jut owned so many that sounded the same I sold it. He loves it and it seems to have found a long term home. Adam at SCGC did this finish for me and has 11 bursted areas. Even the back of the peg head. Short scale 24.9. German maple back, old sitka top.

 

1920s Stella 12 String with some custom restoration. Always thought it looked cool and might build myself something like this.

Below: Circa 1999 Larrivee OM-03PA Pete Anderson makes a wonderful blues guitar and Jean actually didn't like this guitar idea but it was proposed by the employees and he let them go for it. The guitar has a satin finish and a loud barky fundamental and woody tone. Some came with 1-11/16" nut but a special run of them came with 1-3/4" nut later. This was one of the only Larrivees to win awards around 1999. It's not really much different than their regular OM but the 12 fret neck and something about these is really special. For the same price range as an Epiphone Bluesmaster you get about 5 times better quality guitar. These sell for around 12-1300 but well worth it. 

About a 1929 era Gibson L-0 during some real transitional periods at Gibson

Below My lovely Greven Prairie State 17" super jumbo guitar. My number one gig guitar. John built me this and it's really a working man's tool. Light as air but the thin huge body puts out amazing balanced bass and it's perfect for standing and performing. Great for outdoor jams. The bass is very noticeable in wide open spaces like that because everyone elses bass vanishes in the open settings. I may have chosen mahogany and sitka if I had to do over again but it has a great ability to sound like a nice archtop blues guitar when I play lead solos. The maple is also very hard to split or break when I bang the sides or back at a gig. It has taken some major falls and whacks and held up amazingly well. Solid and proves light construction is NOT always weak.

A Clarksdale Corrinna that Irondog now owns. I made lessons with it and played it for about 2 years. A killer guitar I helped design and we made about 20 of them. Maple-sitka L-00 12 fret slot head.

An authentic 1920s Leadbelly Jumbo 12 string baritone guitar worth a house

Jean Larrivee's first sunbursts and slope dreads at NAMM. He said he made these because of me. I guess I'd been worrying them about slopes and sunbursts. He came up to me at NAMM and dragged me over to check them out. I was not dissappointed either. Also see he was making mandolins too.

 

This is my all original 1930s Kalamazoo KG-14 which is a ladder braced version of a Gibson L-00.

 

This is the 14" 1930s Kalamazoo KG-11 I bought and we restored for blues performer pro Bill Sheffield and this is now his number one stage guitar. See him on Wood songs playing this exact guitar live.

http://www.woodsongs.com/showlist.asp

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A very cool Kay archtop from the 30s

A pretty decent solid wood ladder braced 15" guitar made by Harmony in the 50/60s.

 

Some of my  herd a few years ago left to right and top row first. Dell Arte Ledbelly 12 string, Circa 1930 Stella 12 string, 1920s Stella Concert, National Style EN, Greven PS Jumbo, 1960s Harmony 12 string with DeArmond sound hole pickup, 1930s Harmony Parlor (Tone King), Kay Parlor, Collegiate Parlor, Harmony Grand Concert, Harmony Sovereign GC.

1920s Stella Gambler I own.12.5" wide standard scale, birch and poplar

1920s Stella Decalcomania parlor

Washburn or Lyon Healy Parlor pre 1930

1928 Gibson L-1

1930s Gibson L-00

My favorite Circa 1930 Stella 12 String

Late 40s Early 50s Kay Jumbo. Lightnin Hopkins played one.

A Galiano made by OS Stella in the 1920s

Gibson Super 400 (Oh My God)

Willie's Trigger

Clarksdale Crossroads I helped design. We made about a dozen of them. One of the most killer guitars you'll ever find for blues. If you ever see one on Ebay you might want to buy it or email me. I might want it. I always wished I'd kept my prototype. The label and neck block stamp is the only way to identify them as a Clarksdale. I now make all the guitars I sell through another builder here in Georgia. If you want something even more hardcore blues email me.

My Donmo Tricone Reso round neck relic'd

Some of my guitars around 2004

L to R: Larrivee P-09fm, Clarksdale Corrinna, Larrivee OM-03PA, SCGC VS, Greven PS, Harmony 12 string, Univox Dread.

 

1930s Chicago made Regal parlor

1929 Triolian

Kay Indian Jumbo

1920s Gibson L-1 Ivory Edition

 

1929 Hog top L-1

Non cutaway version of the 1930s Kay Kraft

1930s Kay Archtop (killer slide guitar)

Next two photos of a 1930s Kay Kraft that I fully restored from pieces. It turned out fantastic and sounded just as good. Best sounding 14 fretter I've had so far and making that shim took me longer than the time and work you'd normally take for a Martin dovetail reset. I'd have to use some kind of machine to make that shim often.

Cool NECK! It just screams of life's stories.

1940 L-00 SWEEEEET and looks like a Kalamazoo..

Another version of the Kalamazoo KG-14 with a different headstock. Maybe late 30s?

Civil War era guitar string can. WOW! You know they had steel strings back then also.

1930 Gibson L-00 sold for about 2K on Ebay but what surprises me is it had a 2" nut and beefy neck and I believe made heavier to be a lap slide guitar. I think that and the 12 fret design is what limited it's value. I almost fainted and would love to own it.

1920s Jumbo Stella 12 string much like what Blind Willie is photographed with. This was sold on Neil Harpe's site and just made me ACHE when I listened to him playing it.

The very rare maple version of the 1930s Kay Kraft with rosewood back and banjo tuners. These damn things sound amazing and truly light, airy build but they have serious design flaws you have to watch out for warping and other issues on the neck and the neck block rotating or caving, top belly on upper bout, splits due to those issues and the neck shim shrunken and needing a new one which is very hard to make. See my full article on these in the gear section.

Oahu answer to a Nick Lucas. Maple body has a head and shape that makes you think Kay or Stromberg may have made it. Neil sold this one and played it in the recordings. I think they are over priced in the collectable range of 4K but if you have unlimited money this is one cool ass guitar. Screams of deco blues styling.

Tonk American 1920/30s. I think Tonk brothers worked for Washburn, Lyon Healy or some association and this would be a killer score if you can find one for a deal. Most likely very few made. We make a guitar almost identical to this and used this color and burst as a template. See www.luttrellguitars.com if you want a replica made. Notice the bound sound hole and fretboard.

Cheap guitars made by Kay in the 1950/60s and sold in catalogs. Bolt on neck and cheap but they sound fantastic for slide and cost very little. Sometimes as little as 30.00 dollars for one. Can't afford a dobro? Buy one of these on Ebay. Always ask if the neck is bowed. If it's straight you can shim the neck to the right angle and have a nice poor man's dobro. The tone will blow your mind if you want to sound like some old 78rpm blues record but on a budget. Great way to learn slide before buying a resonator.

Maple Kalamazoo KG-14 called the Oriole Circa 1940

1930s Kay Kraft

Very cheap 1930s Harmony - 1st National Institute label student guitar

Left is my 1920s Stella Gambler and right is a near replica Ralph and I dsigned and built in 2007

 

1920s OS Stella made parlor sold under the premier label of "Victoria" and made with rosewood and spruce. One of the loudest parlors I've ever played. Does not have any brace between the bridge plate and butt end.

Pre 1930 National we glued the head back on after David broke it. These are friends at Cora Mae's birthday party in 2007.

This is the prototype of our black Gambler being built in the shop near here in Sandy Springs, Ga. This is the black guitar shown above with the playing cards on it.

My buddy Ross playing his National Delphi

Circa 1917 Gibson L-1-GY which was sold to the military and the actual first production flattop but not sold to the public. The L-0 was the next flattop to be made and sold to the public in 1926 with a maple back and sides and then L-1 was also released in 1926 with a mahogany back and sides.

 

1930 Gibson L-1

Early 1900s Gibson L-1

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1920s OS Stella from the catalog

 

1959 Gibson J-45

1924 Gibson L-3

1959-60 era Gibson J-50

Notice the hated adjustable bridge-saddle and what many consider the beginning of a poor era for Gibsons.

 

 

Very Deluxe 1920s Stella sold on Neil Harpe's site

 

Red 1930s Sunbursted Stella

Another Kay Kraft variant sold in the 1930s with slotted head and flat top

1925 Stella 12 String owned by Paul Geremia and sold on StellaGuitars.com by Neil Harpe for about 6K

1920 Regal 12 String from StellaGuitars.com

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