Can YOU Spot The Difference?
I'm still surprised by how many guitars come through the shop that are fakes.
I recently let a fellow know his new Ibanez Jem was worth less than half what he thought as it was a knockoff.
Many of these have been decent playing and sounding with a little TLC but buyer beware.
Feel free to ring me if you're unsure about an instrument.
I've put together some great guitars for this year's Christmas Sale!
2 early 70's Acoustic guitars - both very playable and great sounding.
2 Telecasters and 3 Stratocasters all assembled in-house (each have unique pick ups and hardware and play beautifully)
80's mahogany Kramer with Floyd Rose
Baritone Ukulele - like new condition
Kala U-Bass with pick up and figured mahogany - very warm upright bass sound!
Fender MIM 5-string jazz bass
Sunburst Stratocaster - Warmoth neck and body. Suhr humbuckers
Gibson Les Paul Blackwater - very rare as only 200 were made
72 USA Fender Stratocaster - custom narrow factory neck.
Prices start at $150.00.
Action is nice and low for easy playing and all have been given a good setup. Because I've worked on all of these guitars (some have come in as trades for other work), I absolutely guarantee that they will be in great playing condition.
So come on by my guitar repair shop located in Kelowna down in the Mission, have a great cup of coffee and give them a play. I'm always happy to demo and have serious players stop by and just talk guitars.
In the early 1950's, Arlie hand made two matching electric guitars. It was his attempt to woo a young lady who became his wife when she was only 16. They've been married now for 58 years. While their marriage has survived the decades well, unfortunately, one of the guitars had to be sold to pay bills and the other guitar fell into serious disrepair. Because he is in poor health, something that was on Arlie's "Bucket List" was to hear and play his beloved guitar again.
When he brought me his electric guitar, it was unplayable and in pieces. The pick ups in it were ones he had HAND WOUND himself and he wanted them saved. His custom hand-made pick guard was broken and the electronics were too corroded to salvage. The frets had years of wear and the bridge was missing.
I definitely had some work to do! I made a new bridge, replaced the pots and caps, dressed the frets and board, made a new pick guard, repaired the tuners and did some nut work. The guitar came out playing beautifully despite a very thick neck - there weren't truss rods when this was built!
When Arlie and his wife came to pick up their guitar, the look on his face when he played it made all of the time and energy that went into this repair totally worth it. I am now bringing his 51 Martin D18 back into playing condition... but that's another story! It's just so great to be able to meet such an amazing couple and a privilege to do some work for them.
I just had another person in my guitar repair shop with what they thought was an authentic Gibson Les Paul and sadly they were duped. I've seen over a dozen fakes come through my shop in the last few years and they are easy to spot. I've seen real quality fakes that set up okay and sound great as well as some made of what appears to be poplar and are true crap. So how exactly do you spot a fake Les Paul guitar? Let me help you out.
1) Check the headstock for a glue joint (real Les Pauls will have a 1-piece neck)
2) Check the headstock shape. (Most fakes will have a deeper cut at the top of the headstock)
2) Open the back plate (real Gibsons have the volume and tone pots mounted on a metal plate and the cavity is lacquered and clean)
3) Check the serial numbers (some fakes will have 9 numbers where an authentic Gibson will have only 8)
4) Check the nut (authentic Les Pauls will not have deep cuts in the nut - fakes will have cheap nuts with deep cuts)
5) Check the toggle switch (fakes will have a hexagonal shaped nut, real Pauls will have a circular nut)
6) Check the adjustable bridge (fakes might have a large bore slotted head)
7) Check the body binding (real Les Pauls will have a triple bound body and clean edges, fakes might be wavy)
Any questions in identifying these imposter guitars? Just send me some pics before you buy and I'm happy to help.
There are a few $250 guitars that are real bargains out there as well if you are unconcerned with playing a replica - just know what you're buying first and avoid being disappointed.
On May 15th, we lost our son Dylan Martin Sterling.
He had just turned 22 and passed away in his sleep from heart failure. We were devastated to lose this amazing young man just when he was beginning to blossom. We still do not know the exact cause of death but congenital heart disease does run on his father's side of the family.
To honour Dylan and the wonderful musician he was, we have created the website www.DylanSterling.net - take a minute to get acquainted with this brilliant, funny and talented young man and if you feel compelled, donate to the music bursary we have created in his name to help other young people pursue their passion and go to school for music.
There is nothing I love more than these old guitars! Something magical happens to wood after 50 plus years of playing and I couldn't wait to get her playing properly so I could hear her voice!
After a few hours of work which included a light fret dressing and polishing as well as re-carving new bone pieces for the modified bridge, I was excited to put strings on her. Once she was re-strung and tuned I was not disappointed. What a cannon! Loud, lots of bottom end ... I have to admit, I really want this guitar!
When Tony came by to pick it up, he couldn't stop smiling! My girl took a quick video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPXeNtK4Q8c
One of the best things about guitar repair work is breathing new life into people's beloved instruments and of course, it's always so great to help out a friend.
In fact, the James Burton telecaster went to a very happy guy up in Dawson Creek (shipped it by Greyhound). a 12-string acoustic went to a professional musician here in Kelowna. The bass was bid on but we're still waiting for the lucky guy to get back from his tropical vacation and take delivery. There are still a few electric and acoustic guitars available from the sale and I'm around for the rest of the month of January for anyone who wants to drop by and demo one. The prices start at only $180 and go up to $600.
The guitar repair business has been really busy as well. Right now, I'm working on a 1964 Gibson Hummingbird. It needed 3 frets, the bridge had come off and carved a brand new bone nut for it. The guy's Grandfather had given it to him and according to him "it never played right". I'm looking forward to handing it back to him and seeing his face when he plays it!