Thursday, July 23, 2015

Philly Guitar Show - Summer 2015

I made my religious pilgrimage to the Philly Guitar Show (in Oaks, PA, naturally) over the weekend.

We got out of the car and went toward the entrance,  noticing a lot of strange-looking people. Very strange-looking people. Remembering that there's typically a reptile show along with the guitar show, we continued.  But these people weren't reptiles. They were wearing really bizarre hats, helmets and clothing.


False alarm - these youngsters appeared to be from the fantasy-prone video generation. There was a gaming show.  And there was no entrance for the guitar show, which was incredibly odd.  We had missed the sign that stated the show was moved to another hall. At said hall, we observed middle-aged dudes out front, smoking. Ah yes, the guitar show.

It was cheaper this year, probably because it was smaller (grumble).  The greyhound adoption people were there, as usual, with three really sweet dogs (throw-aways from dog racing tracks). They have lovely temperaments and are really not that active (two were spread across a large dog bed).

I located a pair of new Taylors; a 200 series ($699) and a 400 series ($1700+).  The 200 felt really nice, with a very comfortable neck and sounded good. The 400 had a more rounded neck and didn't play or sound much better. Although the 400 is obviously better-constructed, I would have bought the 200 if I were in the market.

Lefty Taylor 200 series

Later on I found an interesting burst Strat. It was earlier 70's because it had no serial number on the headstock, no skunk stripe on the back of the neck and a three-position switch. It played pretty well and I inquired about it. Turns out it was a `71 and they wanted $12k for it.  Oops. It sure didn't play that nicely.

There were some beautiful Marshalls there. Breathtaking stuff at breath-stealing prices. There was a `74 100w JTM full stack in pretty good condition. The stack was priced at $3500. I have this head in 50w - getting old sometimes has its advantages. There were some $7k heads and $8k cabinets. I saw an 8x10 cab and all sorts of rare stuff, including a 20w Marshall p.a. (no, really). Don't even ask.

1974 Marshall 100w stack

Usually there are some spectacular really old guitars but I didn't notice too many, as they were all backwards. Ok, there were quite a few 50's Gibsons and Fenders. Sweet stuff. The market must be down, as the prices required only an arm - not a leg too.

BEST TAG of the show award: 1960 Strat - some 1960 parts.

Up near the end, I saw a Fender Coronado in antigua (PUKEBURST)!  Behind it.....
I have one - it's my #1 guitar. I deperately want a matching Tele but I'm open to another Strat. It could be mine for the bargain price of $2700 (a bit on the high side, to be polite).  After clearing the drool from my mouth, I picked it up and gave it a go. Appearancewise, it was a perfect match to mine.  Playingwise, something was off. I'm out of practice, so that might be it. I'm also experiencing a nasty side effect of a medicine; the shakes. That could be it too.  As the guitar turned out to be local, I wanted to bring my guitar around for a comparison.

1978 LEFTY antigua (pukeburst) Strat
my 1977 lefty pukeburst Strat

When I got home, I picked mine up and it played like butter.  In my substantial experience with late seventies Fenders, there are two necks; Heavenly and DOGS. Mine was heavenly, the other was a DOG.  It would have been nice to have it for the collection but I obviously don't have unlimited funds.

Got to talk to some vendors too. One guy had a bunch of Strymon pedals. These babies go for $400-500 each and some people have several on their pedalboards. The guy told me that he would never have predicted the popularity of these pedals, given the cost. Yet he can't keep them in stock. Also chatted with a vintage pedal guy who had an H&K tube Rotosphere.  This box is a Leslie emulator (those huge brown boxes with rotating horns that sit behind organ players). It's almost impossible to emulate these but this pedal is The Stuff. Jeff Beck uses one, so it should probably be good enough for me. Once I buy it, I mean.

Gorgeous Gibson!

It was a really good show. I'll see you at the Fall Philly show.

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