Tag Archives: eBay

Help, my husband has a guitar addiction . . .

So this will be JT’s third eBay auction in three weeks.  Crazytown.  This week we have the Vintage G Holiday Electric Guitar.

Due to work-craziness, I’m going to give you my side of these guitar buys & fixes.  Since the Holiday required no fixing, it’ll be a little easier.

Here’s how it begins — JT scours craigslist and is constantly analyzing things he sees on there for its eBay-ness.  Since he is good at fixing things up, that is usually how he gets the best deals.  For the Holiday, he contacted some dude and we met at this cool building in Soulard to close the deal. (I usually go along for company but stay in the car so as not to impede negotiations. )

We headed home and JT inspected the guitar.  No work needed.  It was Sunday, which is a nice time to post to eBay because it means the auction will also end on a Sunday, when people have time to be at home on their computers. (We failed to comprehend that it was also Super Bowl Sunday since we’re not big sports fans, but anyone bidding on a guitar will also hopefully be in the non-sports-fan boat like us.)

Next was a mad scramble to photograph the d**n thing.  It has a really nice detail at the bottom, but it also meant that it won’t sit on any of the stands JT normally uses. 

We remembered an old-school pipe thingy that JT had stashed down in the basement.  Out it came and then we tried three (THREE!) different set-ups in two different rooms trying to get the photographs taken. 

Here’s some outtakes from the living room session.  The guitar didn’t show well against the wall so we abandoned these shots.  It was total chaos and we almost completely destroyed the whole house moving things around and plugging our little work lights into various outlets and clamping them onto various things.

But alas, pictures did get taken and to eBay it did go.  I take and edit all the photos (thanks photoshop) and JT writes the descriptions (he is the guitar expert).  You can see the listing here.  There’s also a cool YouTube video that JT did to show how all the electrics work here

There is a new inhabitant to the music room as well, a 1966 (?) Gibson acoustic that we drove to the end of the earth for on Wednesday night.  It needs some work so JT will be around to post on that one soon.  I opened the music room door this morning and it was resting in its case with a sheepskin “blanket” on it.  The guitars in this house get just as spoiled as the dogs.

AND — we’re going to Vandeventer Vintage tonight.  There may be furniture news in the near future. . . . . .  Have a great weekend everyone!

Harmony Marquis

Just last week we rescued this Harmony Marquis from the Tower Grove area. I made CT wait in the car with it running, because I was certain the dude selling it was an ax murderer.

Anyway- didn’t get murdered. I did however pick up a great old guitar with a few issues. Chiefly among them- the electronics made a horrible noise when plugged in, and the neck was pitched so far forward it was impossible to play.

Step one: rip off the strings, and start some general cleaning. I generally only ever use warm water and a soft rag. When it comes to old guitars, removing dirt and sweat grime is absolutely necessary, as it can break down the wood. What you don’t want to do is use any harsh chemicals that can Johnny Marr the surface, and take away that amazing, aged patina.

Cleaning the neck is a delicate matter- as it collects the most sweat and grime. Solution is spit. Saliva actually the safest and most effective way to clean a fretboard. Cheapest cleaner in town. Once cleaned and dried, I rubbed in a thin coat of fretboard oil.

To fix the neck pitch, I unscrewed it to install a shim. A shim can be anything- credit card, pick, etc. In fact, the Fender guitar factory used to shim most of it’s guitar necks with guitar picks. I like to use a tone wood (in this case, basswood).

Simply drop the shim into the neck pocket like so, and screw the neck back on. This should pitch the neck angle backward, bringing the strings closer to the neck. Good way to test this is to quickly string up one string to see how it plays.

Harmony guitars were cheaply mass produced, with all of the electronics wired to the pickguard. When I tested the wiring away from the body, everything looked and sounded the way it should. Contact cleaner cleared up all crackles and noises.

When I placed the pickguard back on and plugged it in however, I got the same horrible noises. Upon further inspection, it looked as if the input cable was hitting the inside of the body cavity (impact scar pictured), effectively dispersing the current into the wood. Solution- I made the hole bigger, allowing for the cable to input without hitting the wood. It Johnny Marred up the inside surface a bit, but no one sees the inside anyway.

Here it is now, sounds great and plays easy. Before you would have sworn it was one of Jandek’s guitars (perhaps it was). Now it’s ready for the house, if I may make another obscure reference.

Up for auction on Ebay this week!! Click here