These Martins are probably not bad guitars, certainly great pickups, but I’ve never touched one in person so you just never know. I can’t deny the aesthetic similarity to what I make, but this is coincidence. I can’t put my finger on who the customer is for these. Martin lovers I guess. Something about the look, as you guys said, it’s not hot rod enough, yet not really traditional. I guess if it sounds and plays awesome then it’s a cool guitar. If it’s just OK, the looks alone and even the Martin logo aren’t enough to make me think it’s cool.
A while back Vintage Guitar did a write up on the brief period of Martin electrics in general. Did talk about any one model or anything. I think Dan Forte maybe wrote it in one of his columns. It mainly just talked about the foray into it, why they did, and how long it lasted. It mentioned that they were very well built guitars but just never caught on. For all of the models very few were made. Not positive, but I am thinking I remember it being under 10,000 made total of all models. I do not remember the percentage, but a good bit were never sold of that bunch and returned by vendors to Martin for acoustics. Another fact that came up in this article, that reminds me of Grez (please don’t think I am picking on you), is that Martin made their hollow bodies in the more flat top type of designs vs the archtops that were present in the day. The article thought this may have been what attributed to them never getting very popular. It was a little to ahead maybe for the time, and everyone thought archtop was the only way to go. It is hard to tell in the pictures, but to me the Martin in the link looks like it may be a flat top with a carved back. I could be wrong, and have not seen any specs on the model to state if this is true or not. In the photos the shadows on the photos of the back seem like it is carved, but I do not notice those same shadows on the front. Maybe it is just me. There are a couple of builders that I have come across that have used this design to great results. A very interesting projection comes out of them.
While trying to find more history on Martin electrics I came across this GT-70. I guess they took the place of the F-55 in the other post to make them more up to date looking. I thought I would post it because of the Hot Rod Red comment. LOL. Funny how much difference a color and a headstock make.
Yeah! the GT-70 is pretty cool. With the aluminum bridge and dearmond pickups, I be it sounds pretty cool. Funny we talk about flattops not catching on, but it seems like the 60’s had all sorts of crazy guitars. I think I told you I have a box of vintage guitar players I’ll did through and see what crazy guitar advertisments I can dig up. I’m sure I’ll find a few. One that comes to mind even though it’s not a guitar was an Ovation amp with “Amplicards” The idea was you could pull pc boards in and out of the amp for different effects, or if your amp broke you could buy a new board to pop in. So boys standby on this. Should be interesting.
That’s funny you mention the cards for replacement. I remember a few years back when Randall had the line of amps that was all module based. Had cards you could take in and out of it. You bought a headshell and picked the modules you wanted in the amp for each channel. You could also buy the cards separate to swap out whenever you wanted. So in essence you could have a 3 channel amp that was 3 different amps. One could be based on a Twin Reverb for clean, then another be in Marshall Plexi territory, and the 3rd be balls to the wall gain monster like a Mesa Triple Rectifier. I guess it all just goes to show you that there are very few stones in life that have not been turned. So even when you come up with a design, or idea, all on your own it almost never fails that something similar to it is already out there somewhere. Kind of like we talked about with guitar players that one time, and that no one is really not doing anything that was done by the 50’s. People talk about Van Halen with the Tapping and Sweep picking, but Chet Atkins was doing that in the 50’s and you know he had to get the idea from somewhere.
So, I got this ’64 Guild CE-100 the other day and am loving the neck pickup and the guitar plays beautifully. It’s a humbucker that doesn’t sound like a Gibson humbucker. I found that a previous owner had installed a newer Guild humbucker in the bridge position. It sounds radically out of phase not in a good way. After researching it I found that he had taken a neck pickup, likely from a newer guitar, maybe early 70s, and installed it in the bridge position. I removed the entire harness and both pickups and all looks good. I got on the “Let’s Talk Guild” forum to ask for advice about flipping magnets or reversing leads. Looks like it’s going to be a winner after I get this one thing taken care of.
Another subject, I have an Epiphone Byrdland with humbuckers in it and would like to convert to P-90s on it but don’t want to route the openings. Anyone had experience with humbucker sized P-90s? Another option, a couple of pickup guys offer the Charlie Christian pickup in humbucker size. Nobody I’ve found is able to really duplicate the P-90s from the 50s. Check out the tone on this one.
Ignore the above link. He spends all the time talking and should have been playing. I think he strums 3 chords.
So, those guys on the Guild forum are right on it and know their stuff. They hooked me up with a vid that shows step by step how to flip a magnet in a humbucker plus gave the details on some Guild pickup info. These are actually Guild mini humbuckers. I flipped the magnet and all is well. A good link here for those that like the sound of the full sized ones or have them in a guitar. I like the sound of the mini better than the full size but it’s in the bridge position and I play 95% on the neck so that’s ok. Sweet old school sound.
That’s a great video. Last week when I played my buddies guild x150 I fell in love with those pickups again. I really don’t care for humbuckers but the guild ones sound really good. I so want a guild now. to many guitars and not enough time.
I found this clip of Tiny Grimes playing and thought I would post it giving the guitars we were talking about. That and trying to figure out what kind of guitar Bill Jennings had in the one ad posted earlier. The photo of Tiny grimes in this video shows him playing a Guild tenor guitar. I told you guys Guilds were awesome. LOL. I do not know anything about Guild tenor guitars, or knew that they even made them. So let the hunt begin on what kind of guitar this is that he is holding. Cool tune also though BTW.
According to this excerpt I found in the Guild Book the Guild was a special built Tenor Version of the CE-100 that was made for Tiny. Cool some more “Street Cred” for the CE-100. I thought Mikemc might appreciate that since he just bought a CE-100. By the way, how are you liking that new guitar Mike?
Hopefully this link will take you straight to the excerpt about the Tenor Guild of Tiny Grimes. If not scroll around until you see Custom Orders, and you will also see a picture of Tiny Grimes.
Thanks for that link Grez. I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of that book. I sent Tommy an ’81 issue of Guitar Player with an interview with Tiny Grimes in which he mentions that Guild built his tenors and they had pickups for a 6 string in them. they look like the DeArmond type they used back then. He had 2 guitars but one was stolen. I didn’t know they were built around the CE-100. It’s been a little bit of a journey with mine. I found someone had used a neck full sized humbucker, which seem to be coveted on the Guild forum, in the bridge position. I flipped the magnet and got rid of the out of phase sound but you could see that it was still not right, and didn’t sound great, as the string spacing on the poles is too narrow. In the meantime I found 2 mini humbuckers out of a ’64 Starfire on ebay and got them because mine is a ’64. I ordered the correct trim ring from Guild and installed the mini in the bridge position. Now there’s a 1/32″ gap between the ring and the top of the body because of the routing done for the full sized pickup. Still debating on just leaving it as is. Doesn’t look too bad. I could move the whole pickup forward a hair and it covers the opening or have someone match the top with a wood strip and close the gap. All in all I love this guitar. The CE-100 body size is perfect and it sounds and plays great. I’ve been spending way too much time gear buying and fixing lately and not enough playing so I listed my Epi Byrdland and Harmony H-60 on the gear page emporium. I sure like that Byrdland and thought about converting it to dogear P-90s like a ’57 era Gibson Byrd but I want to get busy playing and am way too busy working on my house. I also picked up a near mint untouched Zephyr Electar amp from the 40s and am recapping it. Just way too damn busy. This Guild and my Tele cover all my needs for now. I’m still curious about the RC guitars you have in the works though. Are you going too tempt us with more photos soon? Mike
I think you might have confused Grez, Mikemc. LOL. It was me Gretschman that posted the link on the Tiny Grimes Guild. I have been meaning to get that book as well. Sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble with your Guild. That is a shame because when you get one that has been un-molested they are such sweet guitars. Unfortunately you see that done to a lot of them. Usually it is the pickups being replaced because people are trying to get a Gibson for cheaper. So if it is a CE-100 they will have Gibson style humbuckers in them because someone was thinking it would give them a ES-175 for less money. Or the same thing with a Starfire IV in hopes of getting an ES-335. Then when they realize after all of that, that they are just different guitars and not giving them that Gibson vibe, they decide to get rid of them. Lesson learned for all of us. Never buy a guitar you can’t play and examine in person. I have been down that road. Good luck to you.
Hey Gretschman, OOps , I was checking out Grez posts for updates on his RC Allen guitars and saw your post a second later and my feeble brain linked the two together. I get about 15 minutes a day on the computer these days so always in a rush to type. Thanks for that link. Actually I’m really happy with this guitar now. It’s not for sale,lol. I rarely use the bridge pickup by itself. Because the full sized humbuckers are so well liked by Guild guys I may put one back in if I can locate the correct vintage and that will solve the gap issue. The main problem was that they stuck a Guild neck pickup in the bridge and the pole space in not the same. The routing they did was minimal and not a mess. As far as buying a guitar you can’t play first, I’ve never minded doing that. I resell and advertise any defects I’ve found and sometimes take a small hit but nothing major (so far). The used guitar market in Tucson is almost non existent. All the retail outlets here carry strictly new stuff with sporadic offerings in the used department. As a side note to that, the Newark Street Guilds out of Korea are getting pretty good reviews on the Guild forum and the Franz pickup reproductions are said to be well done and very close to the real deal. I found out they’re available at one of the music stores here but haven’t checked em out yet. The mini humbuckers are a different story. They were found to be underwound in the bridge position and the problem is being corrected by Guild.
Grez, I have a guitar tech question for you about a truss rod problem. I am looking at a friends guitar and the the nut and threads on the adjustment end are pretty rusted (So I am thinking they may have frozen together.) The guitar is from the late 60’s if that may help. I noticed when you turn the truss rod to straighten the neck it turned but never straightened the neck as I turned it, and saw that the rod and nut were turning together. The rod spun freely, meaning that there was never a lot of tension on it when I first turned it and then all of a sudden it broke free. I know it may be one of those things you need to see in person to guess, but would it be possible if I were to unbind the nut from the threads would it start working again? Or is it one of those things that the rod is definitely broke or stripped and would need to be replaced? It appears that the rod will back out but not tighten. If a truss rod had to be replaced what would you estimate the repair cost to be? I know it would be a lot of work. Any input you have would be greatly appreciated. On another note, I saw the picture of the headstock of the RC Allen guitar. Very cool. I like the 2 dot inlay for the fret markers. Very cool.
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