The Guild X-50 was Guild’s response to Gibson ES-125. It was the smallest of Guilds hollowbody and the only model of the ‘X’ line to be non-cutaway. Early models were nicknamed Granada, up until 1961 when the guitar was renamed Cordoba.
As cool as it is rare, the Gretsch 6117 Catseye got its name from the “Cat eyed” shape sound holes instead of the traditional F-holes. Common to Rickenbacker, catseye holes were only seen in acoustic Gretsch models.
Another superb Hofner. The President Electric was a variant of the acoustic model of the same name, which started off in 1953. It is easily recognized by its triple dot inlays and single cutaway (venetian or florentine). Early models had black bar pickups (pictured). Hear it
The name Byrdland is a mashup of the names of Billy Bird and Hank Garland the two guitarists who participated in its design. They had requested a short scale archtop that would be less bulky than the traditional hollowbody, and this is basically what they got: A short-scale thinline L5CES.
P90s, PAF pickups, venetian or florentine cutaway, the Gibson Byrdland went through several phases, but was always seen as a remarkable and prized instrument. Some of Gibson’s finest. Hear it
This is officially the first model featuring a Charlie Christian pickup since the ES-150, on which the pickup made its original introduction in 1936. Although the ES-175CC was an instant success among jazz players looking for a vintage sound, only 479 units of the Kamalazoo crafted instrument were ever produced. Hear it jazz
Despite the fact it was not such a popular model at the time, several variations of the T-100 exist. The earliest model had a single Franz P90 pickup (T-100 SP). A dual pickup (T-100 DP) version followed. In order to compete with Gibson’s new models, a version was released as the “Guild Starfire” with two humbuckers. Photo: Greg’s guitar
The ES-5 was first revealed at the 1949 NAMM convention as “the supreme electronic version of the famed Gibson L-5”. It was the first Gibson model to feature three pickups. That is also the first Gibson to feature volume knobs with a 0-10 graduation. The original price tag was $395, which was well below the price of a Super 400.
A four-way switch was eventually added in 1956 and the model was renamed “ES-5 Switchmaster”. A year later, the P-90s were replaced by the legendary PAF pickups. The Es-5 was reintroduced between 1995 and 2006 as a Custom Shop model.
This sumptuous Gretsch started its long lasting life as the “Electro II cutaway” and was offered in Sunburst (6192) and Natural (6193). It was then renamed “Country Club” in 1954 and a Cadillac Green option was added (6196). DeArmond pickups were replaced by Filtertron in 1958. Let’s forgive whoever installed the non-original bigsby on this 1956 model, it looks splendid.
The guitar Gibson copied: Greco Super Real RS-90 1989
Greco is one of the first and most important “lawsuit guitar brand” of Japan. This means they were making copies of american guitars, often too close to the real deal, close enough that Gibson and Fender alike felt compelled to sue them, more than once. Greco’s copycat era climaxed in 1981 with their “Super Real” series, which are highly collectible and extremely rare models.
Although the Super Real Project supposedly lived only through 1981, the 1988 Greco RS-90 (or RS-900) sports the “Super Real Project” label. Even more interesting, it might be an original design. The Gibson ES-137, closest sibling of the RS 90, was release in… 2002. Did Gibson copy a japanese maker?
Edit: Before the ES-137, there was the much older ES-135. The ES-137 is very much inspired by the ES-135, so this is a bit of a stretch. But the trapeze tailpiece on the ES-135 doesn’t work with this “Super Real Project” scenario. Kudos to Bay State Vintage Guitars for the comment.
Hofner’s holy grail. Rather fatty, its 18” body size is the largest body ever made by Hofner. Mother-of-pearl roses inlays florish through a zero-fret 11 piece laminated neck. Came in three versions (acoustic, electric and thinline).
Sold exclusively in the UK by Selmer, about 100 goldens ended in british homes. The rest of the world had to accomodate with the Hofner 470 model, very similar but smaller in size and with different inlays. If you’re curious, here is a ton of pictures and more details.
Roger Rossmeisl was an outstanding luthier. Before collaborating with Fender, he had worked for Gibson, Rickenbacker and perhaps Mosrite. His first contribution at Fender came under the form of the Coronado series, a set of semi-hollow and thinline guitars sporting DeArmond pickups. Whether the “Hockey cross” headstock was an answer to a design problem or simply a touch of fantasy remains unsure, but it made the Coronado XII one of the most peculiar and unmistakable Fender ever made.
Edit: The hockey headstock was actually designed a year earlier by M. Leo Fender himself for the Fender Electric XII. Hats off, Leo…
Gibson went into its cellar, picked some of its finest vintages, came back to the lab to create a new that looks very much like old. The ES-137 has a thinner but similar body to the ES-175 and supposedly sounds like a Les Paul Classic.