my guitar

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Here’s a new addition to my collection that I recently found in a Newtown pawn shop. I am guessing that it’s a 1960’s (japanese-made) copy of the Gibson E-335. Despite the cool mimicked ancestory of the guitar, it was the brand that caught my eye. Jason!

Cheap reproductions from the 1960’s aren’t as bad as you may imagine. In my collection I have the Jason guitar and a Winston bass (copy of the Gibson SG). Both are project guitars and need a bit of work to make them truly playable, however there were some facets I liked when I first played both guitars.

The pickups are cheap and there’s not much to them, though the tone they produce is unique and pleasant. The body wood is laminated, though with almost 50 years to dry out, resonance would be improved and the guitar much lighter in weight. The Jason guitar in particular is a semi-hollow bodied guitar with a great acoustic tone that is woody and quite loud. The necks aren’t very wide and feature: string trees that apply even pressure to all strings; and my favourite the zero fret. A zero fret ensures the same tone for open and fretted notes.

To make one of these guitars playable you would need to: clean it; resolder all connections; potentially replace some electronics; redress, replace or remove the fretwork; replace the strings; and ideally replace all screws. Be careful when tightening old screws – I once sheared a neck plate screw, leaving half embedded in the guitar. Doh!

I do enjoy tinkering and cheap guitars are an ideal way to learn and practice on. I do also enjoy a guitar branded with my name – maybe my first born should be named Gibson? Which reminds me, my dream acoustic guitar is a Taylor!

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