Guitar Repairs During COVID 

Surprisingly, my guitar repair shop in Kelowna has never been busier than during COVID. I joked that people must be stuck at home playing their guitar and think to themselves "wow, this thing isn't right... if I'm going to be locked up at home, I need to get this guitar fixed!". At any given time since March 2020, I have had at least 10 guitars in my repair shop queued up for repairs.

Granted, some guitar repairs were just simple string changes and setups but many others required time consuming fret work or even fret replacement, pickup wiring fixes or upgrades and modifications to get the guitars playing absolutely perfect.

Now that life has opened up a bit, I'm pretty busy playing gigs - my duo Smitten with my wife Kim, fronting Cover2Cover - a great classic rock band and writing more original songs to share. 

I'm so grateful to all my loyal guitar repair customers as well as those who have purchased custom built guitars from me over the past few years. My Spring guitar sale was the busiest one yet and of the 22 guitars I had for sale, 18 of them sold... a first!

Stay safe everyone and if you need a guitar tech in Kelowna, you know where to find me. 

Sincerley, Jim Rhindress

Old Teisco Repair 

There have been a few interesting instruments that have come through my guitar repair shop in the last few months since Christmas.

The first was an old Teisco electric guitar from the early 1960s. This thing LOOKED like a child's toy and it had flat foil pickups that you could yell into and hear your voice through the amp. The owner wondered if it could be turned into a playable instrument. 

I did some wiring repairs on the guitar and brought the frets back to life. The bridge had to be moved and once I had done a complete setup, polish and put new strings on, the Teisco actually turned into a pretty decent playing guitar. My customer was overjoyed - he is a player with a good guitar collection but had found this one in a garage sale and thought it would be a funky addition to his collection. Turns out his hunch was right.

More Fake Guitars Surfacing in Kelowna 

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. 
Cheers everyone.

15 Guitars of Christmas 2015 Sale 

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
Squire Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul Blackwater - very rare as only 200 were made
72 USA Fender Stratocaster - custom narrow factory neck.

Prices start at $150.00.

12 New Guitars Up For Sale 

It's Spring Cleaning time at JR Guitar here in Kelowna and I have 12 guitars available for sale. There are 2 Bass guitars (one is a 5-string which has been my gigging guitar for several years), a Dobro, a 12-string 1970s Norman, several strats, teles, a Carvin and a Kramer all going for much less than you'd find anywhere else. Some come with cases and ALL of these beauties are personally guaranteed by my shop.

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.

Arlie's "Bucket List" Guitar 

This is such a cool story!

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.  

How To Spot a Fake Les Paul in 7 Steps 

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.

Cheers all

Dylan Martin Sterling 

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 - 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.

1951 J35 Gibson Beaten, Battered and Beautiful! 

A good friend of mine and professional musician here in Kelowna, Tony Koenen, gave me his pride and joy J35 Gibson acoustic guitar to bring back into playing condition. When he brought her in, the D and G strings were laying flat on the finger board. There was much fret wear and it buzzed like a sitar. It was really just unplayable and Tony was anxious to get it fixed.

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:

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.

Welcome 2014! 

It was a really busy Christmas and our "12 Guitars of Christmas" sale was a huge success! There were 12 guitars in total available for sale and we had inquiries from Kelowna and Vancouver and as far away as the far north.

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.

Guitar repair job 1964 Gibson Hummingbird completed January 13, 2014The 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!