GUITARS PLUS NOW OPEN SUNDAYS 12 -.4pm

The question we field the most every Saturday in our store is " are you open on Sunday " ? Well, we've made it so.
Guitars Plus will be open 12-4 - you'll find Melrose full of life as Ulysses Bookshop, Trombie Toys, Le Phan, Boca Del Sur, Theo's Greek Taverna' and Hobson's Bar are all open from 12, or earlier.
So come on down and grab that 3/4 size guitar you'll need for the start of the school year - plenty of used and new stock, 1/2 and 1/4 size too, or shop for that Strat or Les Paul you've been after ! Then ajourn, for a cold one, to one of the many hostelries that Sandringham Village has to offer, especially
Hobson's Stores -where, with a bit of luck after the success of our open mic night on Wednesdays, will start live music on Sunday arvos. In fact Donkey on the Edge' are playing Saturday 25th February, followed by 'TheTwo Dogs Band with Emma & the Pacemakers, classic rock and blues, about a month or so later.
SANDY VILLAGE - the PLACE TO BE !

Girgarre Moosic Muster 2017

And that was that! 40 degree heat for the three days we were up there but a very successful weekend thanks to all patrons who entrusted their instruments to me for repair, adjustments and basic maintenance, I was certainly kept busy! Thanks to Pete Le Page and Dave Connaughton who both helped immensely. Mandolins seemed to be the flavour of this years Muster, several were few sold and many fixed. Thanks to Barry and WIN TV for the promotional opportunity. Barry has the most amazing Maton Bindara bass, which I adjusted in exchange for a strong flat white, in coincidence WIN TV we're filming and I was on camera explaining the history of this gargantuan piece of Aussie Luthier History. This model Maton bass is also owned by Carlos Santana, Sting and the bass player from Violent Femme. Fascinating!

Thanks to the the two main women, both great musicians as well as exemplary organisers, Jan Smith on the double bass and Di Burgmann on the mandolin, these two work tirelessly to make everything tick along and I thank both profusely.

Thanks to Max Amos too, for inviting me in the first instance, and for singing the song 'the Rocket' about a man mourning the loss of his son in WWII, a very moving song executed perfectly by Max and his Bluegrass Quintet.

Gurramul's Guitar

Having spent the last couple of days repairing and servicing Gurramul Yunnapingu's Martin HD28, recently recovered after being stolen in the NT, made me reflect on the many famous guitars i have been privileged to have worked on.
In rough chronological order, here we go.
Denis Waterman actor ( Minder and Sweeney hard man), had a minor UK chart hit 'Hooray for Curley Wolf' from memory ~ (Gibson Mark 53), Sascha Distel more known outside France as a crooner, but in fact was a highly skilled jazz guitarist ~ (Gibson L5), Mario Maccaferri ~ (Sakura TG30 classical ) Joan Armatrading (mandolin can't remember brand), John Williams Sakura TG30 Classical and Gibson Les Paul Custom, Neil Finn (Rickenbacker Roger McGuinn 12st, Gibson Chet Atkins Solid Body Classical, Gretsch Country Gent, Gretsch Roc Jet) Slava Grigoryan, hand made classical - (can't emember the maker), Eric Bana,( Maton Acoustic) John Wood (Maton Acoustic), Greg MaCainsh, Music Man Stingray Bass (for John Farnham gigs) Fender Tele, GIbson B25 Acoustic. Andy Symes ( Yarra Yarra Jazz Band ), Martin Tenor Guitar and Paramount Tenor Banjo.
Many Aussie rock legends, Ross Wilson, Bob Starkey, Jimi Hocking, Rick Brewster, Paul Kelly, Guy McDonough and Bill McDonough of Australian Crawl, (everybody in Oz Crawl when I think about it) see below too, Phil Para, all of British India, Nic Cester, Cam Muncey (Jet) Joel from Airbourne, Rupert Keiller - Sonic Animation, ( Fender Telecaster) Nick Charles, Anthony O'Neil, Matt Fagan, Tommy Emmanuel, well strictly speaking can't I take the credit for this one, but Tommy (as, when managed by Ron Leigh had offices just up from the shop) quite frequently would breeze in and chirpily enquire, 'alright if I use the workbench lads?' I mean what were we gonna say !!

One guitar, a 1956 Les Paul Junior, had a tale, all its own. This guitar had been given to Bill McDonagh by Steve Miller ( yes Stevie Guitar Miller, The Joker etc ). It had been given to Bill, drummer in Australian Crawl at the time, ( Bills wife is American and is a friend of the Millers) as a wedding present. Interesting enough you'd think? Well Bill had been told by Steve that HE, had been given the Junior by Leslie West. As Leslie West had played with his band Mountain at Max Yasgurs farm in upstate New York in THAT festival AND the Great Fatsby was known to favour this model Gibson, it is possible I was handling a guitar that had been played at Woodstock. Bill was kind enough to let us display this great old Gibbo for a few weeks and we had in on display in the foyer at the Frankston Guitar Show a few years back, along with another interesting Fender Jazzmaster, 1965 in Fiesta Red finish. Another great guitar that has a great back story.

Vintage and Rare Amps & Guitars NEW PIECES

Vintage Style Squier Tele Korean
Jim Root Squier Tele PRC
Lefty Tele RI - recent issue

Due to some stock moving incredibly quickly, and time constraints, we have decided to list new items that may be of interest, if you are keen on knowing more email the shop or text to 0411 102 625 and we'll forward more details and pictures directly to your device.

1999 Vintage ReIssue Tele - a very good reproduction of the first ever Tele from 1952, this model has been around since 1982 and because they are so expensive new don't come on the used market very much - priced to sell at $2500 light too, many are too heavy for a lot of players, all refurbished and ready for a new home. When tou think about it, it's like buying a 1952 Tele in 1970 - around the time the vintage ( well second hand US made guitars ) market started to take form. If you doubt my wisdom on this You Tube 'Top of the Pops' and see the likes of T.Rex, Slade and The Who all using used American guitars. Nothing quite like a good used American guitar. Exemplary workmanship, military spec components and style that virtually all the other guitar manufactures aspire too. Come and see!

2016 Gibson SG Standard, current model - purchased last year in Detroit Michigan, and traded this week on a lovely Firebird - now looking for a new home, Angus Young Style - hard case included. Priced to sell

Left handed Telecaster. Maple neck and sunburst finish not vintage but still a few years old and hard to source, This one is like new and would suit a new buyer. More details soon , it's in store though and good to go.

Jim Root Squier Tele, Slip the Knot in your hanky to remind you to check this one out, not common on the used market, this low cost signature guitar, set up in D tuning so you can go to dropped C and growl away till your hearts content, is undoubtedly a bargain at the price we have on it! $595

1980s Fender Squier Tele, They call me Bruuuuce - all things Tele very hip right now, this one is nearly 30'years old and is a low cost peach @ $595

HOLD 1982 Ibanez GB10 perfect in every way, and becoming harder to source on the used / vintage market. The GB10 is a modern classic, and has been in non stop continuous production since 1977. This one is a two owner guitar, and although one can tell it's now 34 years old (same age as our store) it excudes class and is perfect in every way, bar a modicum of tarnish on the metal parts. case is in great shape also. HOLD

1999 Gibson Firebird V great sixties style neck beautiful tobacco sunburst finish stop tailpiece, does everything that you'd expect a Firebird to do plus plus plus ( to quote a certain US president). This one is a Rodney Grinter too. Priced to sell.

CORT Frank Gambale Luxe, set with ultra low action and 10-47 strings with a plain G! this guitar is perfect for the fast jazz fusion player, or for an older guitarist who is having trouble with the stiffer strings on a regular guitar acoustic. Having turned 60 myself recently I know where this legendary Aussie guitarist is coming from! Exquisitely made from all solid Otway ranges Blackwood and Adirondack Spruce, this guitar is a stunner, $1795 including deluxe case, all the staff and guitar teachers are wanting one. Suits electric players, gypsy Jazz players, classical players (it's a classical size body) and regular acoustic players. These guitars need to be played to hear and see what they can do. Two members of the GP team now own one. Complete with a lovely fitted case, pride of ownership is assured, the best Cort acoustic yet? I'd say so..... players are voting by purchasing, come and see. WE HAVE SECURED THE LAST THREE OF THESE AND IT IS UNCERTAIN WHETHER CORT WILL MAKE ANY MORE. I haven't stopped playing mine and my other guitars are collecting dust!

Gibson J200 Custom - virtually mint, `blonde finish 2006 HOLD

Gibson Hummingbird 2002, as new with factory pick up,`exquisite. perfect condition HOLD

Morgan Mahgany Concert; less than 100 made each year from this Canadian maker. We now have four different models in stock and for pure clear tone these are hard to beat. If D is too large and 000 too small, the Concert could be your perfect guitar. 000 and 00 and now OM (sold) models in stock too. This new Mahogany Concert is remarkable in tone, volume and projection, I'd say it is one of the most perfectly rounded guitars we have ever had. Looks amazing with a little bear claw figure on the spruce top, understated elegance personified and even a simple C-G chord figure sounds like a choir of angels. This is our third Concert Morgan, and possibly the best so far.

1966 Martin GT70 Hollowbody - twin De Armonds - YES - a Martin electric hollowbody - Gretsch like in sound and a funky look. Very Rare - possibly unique in the Southern Hemisphere.

Fender Japan Dreadnought F65 1976 in fantastic condition and Grover heads fitted with hard case - 40 years old, not common, especially in this condition

2004 Rickenbacker 330 12st in Jetglow - this one is a perfect specimen in every respect. $3300 available

1956 Fender Strat Vintage RI - 2015 - in Coral Pink - nice Strat and unusual and rare colour

Fender Super 6 ~ Calling all bouzouki players; we have in stock an original 1975 Fender Super Six amplifier for sale, considered to be THE amp for the electric bouzouki - and has a spare channel for another player or for an electric guitar. Six 10" speakers, fully serviced by Tim Evans, original casters for mobility. Very uncommon, would suit surf guitarist too. New footswitch provided, and tested and tagged, sounds unreal, the six 10" speakers really add a massive amount of bottom end and having the controls so high mean finessing the sound on the fly is a breeze. Casters fitted on the side makes it quite easy to move around and it's not massively heavy, an amp for the ages!

Fender Twin Reverb - 1975 also - silver face, freshly serviced by TR Evans, and on castors, makes a difference, believe us. Great condition

Fender LH Jazz Bass LH not too many quality lefty basses around move quick on thos one. We have aboard six lefty acoustics and about a dozen lefty electrics

SECOND HAND ACOUSTICS ~ We have a good array of pre-loved classical and flat top steel string guitars at present, including Gibson Ibanez, Maton, Tanglewood, Martin, Epiphone, Epiphone Masterbilt, Fender F65, and two blue Art & Lutherie Canadian made beauties. Our best selling new brand is Cort and we always have a decent array of their acoustics including the phenomenonal Earth Grande BW - solid spruce top and beautiful Otway Ranges Blackwood back & sides.

Handmade Canadian's

We are now selling Morgan guitars, hand made by David Iaonne in Vancouver, Canada, these all solid guitars are remarkable instruments and every single person who has played one cannot believe the tone, volume and resonance of these exquisite guitars. We have four in stock at the moment Concert, OO and OOO and OM Prices around 4 - 6K and worth every dollar! In case you are wondering the guitars are named after David's eldest son, Morgan. If you seek a high end guitar that is not a factory made instrument that allows your own playing pernsonality to come through then come in and try oue, the Concert model is a guitar for the ages, two have been sold expressly for recording purposes and this currents one is really a remarkable instrument, a veritable Steinway in guitar form.

Before and after - Tip of the Month

One of the mothers who come by the shop dropping off and picking up her boys for guitar lessons, is a very keen photographer and spotted me fixing up a dilapidated old Lap Steel (coming to the website you are currently viewing very soon) and asked if she could take some shots as she was keen to follow its restoration. So she did and we will post the results soon, in the meantime here is a before and after of a fret dress I did recently on a clients mandolin. This a pretty extreme example but all fretted instruments wear at varying degrees. To have your frets even and correctly crowned can do wonders for your intonation, string longevity and playability all round . Also observe closely your fingerboard, if there are pits and troughs adjacent to where you fret your favourite chord shapes you may find that your nails are too long and they dig into the wood - it doesn't take long with softer woods - but can even mar ebony. Take the time to clean your hands and keep your nails on your left hand short - your instrument, your strings and your bandmates or musical partners will thank you for it! A full fret dress - including servicing the guitar and all adjustments, truss rod, intonation body and neck clean together with lubricating any mechanical parts and feeding the fingerboard with some citrus or cedar oil will cost around $160 - $175 inc strings and case clean ! Form an orderly queue here!

What's the connection ?

Here is the vehicle in which you may cadge a ride home from our local bar - The Hobson Stores - known locally as Hobsons - gold coin donation or similar - an authentic London Taxi cab. In front is a replica of Ronnie Woods Zemaitis disc front made by Greco. We are doing car themed photos to show off some interesting axes, together with complimentary cars that are around our locale. That's a shot of Woody playing his in the Faces - used it a lot in the Stones too. Connection is that the cab and the guitar are from the Rock capital of the world - London. Well the Greco is a very good copy of a London designed guitar - namely Zemaitis Tony Zemaitis was a luthier to the stars - literally ; his clientele included Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Lane, George Harrison, Marc Bolan, brothers Robinson (Black Crowes), Donovan Leitch, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. Tony worked out of a fairly modest workshop in Chatham, Kent, a place in which my father ,was working in the nineties, and whilst visiting my dad I also was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with Tony. Many stories were told and although he kindly offered to make me a guitar, even drawing around my hand in order to facilitate bespoke neck carving, I had to decline owing to not having as deep pockets as his afore mentioned clientele !! We have a genuine example of his work for sale, interested parties should contact the store, details will be posted shortly.

Fast guitar - fast car

SOLD We borrowed our neighbours Lamborghini to show off this magnificent Ibanez neck thru RG style axe. It's a 2009 RGT 42 DXFM and a mighty fine piece of kit it is - expertly set up by a Ballarat luthier and in as new condition this a great example of the genre and at $795 in case it represents great buying, and yes I have driven the Lambo (thanks Vic) and it is very exhilarating ! SOLD

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Australia phone : (03) 9597 0423
America phone : 011 613 9597 0423
International : + 613 9597 0423
Address : 5 Melrose Street
Sandringham, Vic 3191, Australia

 

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