Monday, November 19, 2012

Philly Guitar Show

Last weekend I attended the winter version of the Philly Guitar Show, which was neither in the winter, nor in Philly.  Depending on who you asked, it was either at the Philly Expo Center in Oaks or the Oaks Expo Center (in Oaks).

That aside, it's always fun going to these shows.  I might have missed two in many years.  From a left-handed perspective the shows are frequently disappointing but this one was more of a winner.  I bring you pictoral evidence....

First up, I wandered into a 1964 lefty Strat.  I have never seen one, no less played one.  As one would expect, it had that mojo only available in a vintage guitar.  It was burst with a big old rosewood board for only $14k.  Just so we lefties don't feel discriminated against, another booth had a righty 1964 Strat for the same price.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it, although it was the one I wanted most.

Next up was a local dealer with an amazing collection of Taylors.  At the end of the collection was the lefty collection.

Technically speaking, there are only three, which is because the guy went to set the fourth one up after I played it.  They all played like butter and I will eventually have a few of them.  Just not now.

Around the corner my senses started to tingle when I saw this:

I can spot a late 70's Strat from across the room.  It was a 77.  And when I got closer, I almost dropped my coffee.  I know some of us are inveterate tinkerers but this guy went a little too far.  He installed a humbucker in the rear, which I must admit to doing on one of mine but then he went and added a switch or five.  And not the small toggles, no sir.  He added flat-handle toggles, in odd places, at odd angles.  I picked it up (because I like pain) and it felt decent but quite used.  Could probably use a fret job.  At about $1400, I decided to leave it there.

Here is your basic black Les Paul Custom (I have the Ibanez lawsuit version of this).  It was in good shape and relatively reasonably priced.

Here's a wine red Les Paul Standard Plus top from 2008 for $2150.

I know these are available but have never seen one til now.  It's the newish Squier Classic Vintage Tele (Strat also available).  These are some great deals, with pine bodies and acceptable hardware/pickups, at  a bargain price.  This model inspired me to build my own pine Tele (and when I say build, I mean I have had all the parts for a year and am waiting for the Finishing Department to get in gear).  The only problem with this series is the problem I have with all recent Fenders - the dratted C-neck they use.  But try one - you might love it.

When was the last time you saw a lefty EB0 bass?  For me, the answer is never.  And from what I remember, it's no great loss.  But still a curiosity.

Speaking of lefty basses, you don't often see a bass both lefty and in blue.  They also had one in maple. I don't have a blue guitar yet so this made me tingle a bit but I'll need a guitar before a blue bass.


While that's about it for lefties (I didn't bother with the cheapies I saw), here are some interesting pieces of the backwards (right-handed) variety.

These were my favorites in the whole show, for their sheer hideousness.

Here is a custom-made Alembic guitar for Richard Betts, aka Dickey Betts, late of the Allmans.  Came complete with a Vintage Guitar story on its creation.

This was a classic beauty - a 1954 Telecaster in pretty fine condition for only $25k.  Below it is a picture of the neck with its date.

Les Paul enthusiasts got to behold this 1955 goldtop.  It was not priced and if you have to ask.....

The shows are held twice a year, June/July and November.  Check B3 Guitars for the schedule - they may be coming to your town.

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