Claescaster

Tag: guitar

Hondo II P-bass

Hondo II P-Bass
Hondo II P-bass copy, it’s a bit roadworn but the neck is in a really good state and it feels great to play.

Hondo II P-Bass
The machine heads could do with being replaced too, it seems like Hondo II have great necks but cheap hardware and electronics.

As I mentioned before I got a Hondo II P-bass for my colleague Verushka, she plays in an awesome punk group called Sect. The bass arrived last week and I took it home and had a look at it. It was sold as untested so I presumed that nothing worked, and I was right. The wood seems really solid and good, just like the Hondo II I got for Dani a few months back but the electronics seemed to be pretty bad. I took it a part and cleaned it, polished all the metal and then started to go through the electronics. It turned out that the pickups doesn’t work. Or rather they work, but the output is so low that you can hardly hear them. We ordered a new set of Artec P-bass pickups, new pots and jack from my favourite Hong Kong store EY Parts so as soon as they arrive I can get the bass sorted.

Hondo II P-Bass
I cleaned it, polished the frets and all the hardware with wire wool and metal polish. I have to say that this cheap little bottle of Harley Benton Hardware Polish has proven to be extremely worth the 1.90€ I paid for it. I put in a little shim when I assembled it, just like I did with Dani’s and it made wonders to the action. Now it’s really low and easy to play.

Hondo II P-Bass
I took all the electronics apart, cleaned the jack, cut the ends of all the wires and replaced the mini pots with some newer mini pots I had at home, I did everything I could to make sure that all the connections would be as good as possible but it didn’t help. Well I got rid of the extremely loud humming noise that was there before but the pickups are still way too weak for being usable. Let’s see what it sounds like when the new full size pots, jack and Artec pickups arrive.

Hondo II P-bass

Hondo II P-bass

I just bought another Hondo II P-bass on eBay, this time for my work colleague Verushka from the Barcelona based punk band Sect. The listing stated that the bass was untested so hopefully it doesn’t work and I got a lot of work to do before it’s ready to be played. Dani is selling his Hondo II but Verushka and I decided that black was more her and then we found this beauty.

How to… fit a undersaddle pickup

Vintage V880N Parlour acoustic Vintage V880N Parlour acoustic, newly fitted with a ARTEC PP-607 undersaddle Piezo pickup

I got the basic ARTEC PP-607 undersaddle Piezo pickup cheap of eBay, I think it was 15€ with the endpin jack including shipping. I got around to install it last night and I have to say that I’m well pleased with the result. I had read that Piezo’s without a preamp isn’t much but I have to say I disagree. This pickup is way louder than some magnetic soundhole pickups I’ve used in the past and sounds ten times more acoustic and natural. It’s without any doubt my favourite way to amplify an acoustic guitar, well I still haven’t tried fancy things like the LR Baggs M1, I have been thinking of investing in one of those. However, this is a cheap, discrete and really nice way of playing electric with an acoustic guitar.

Vintage V880N Parlour acoustic I just drilled a 2 mm hole through the bridge. I wish I wouldn’t have been so lazy and gone and bought a 3 mm drill because the 2 mm was too small and the next size up in my tool box was a 4 mm which would have been too big. I tried to widen the hole with a screw, which worked but it was still a bit tight so when I was fiddling with getting the plug through the hole the plug came off. I was so happy to have purchased a solder free pickup that you could just plug in to the endpin jack, but no, not this time. I had to take the soldering iron out and fix it. I managed to figure out that the thin wire in the middle, the one shielded with plastic, should be connected to the top of the plug and the wide braided wire should be soldered to the side. It worked.

Vintage V880N Parlour acoustic I start to get used to making holes in acoustic guitars now to fit the endpin jack, this was the third one I did. I normally use a round file first to make the hole big enough and then even it out with some sandpaper rolled up, just to get the hole perfectly round. It’s important to check all the time with the plug from the outside so you don’t make the hole too big. Next I had to file down the saddle to compensate the extra height from the pickup.

This guitar is for sale here, Vintage V880N Parlour acoustic

Here is a little sound clip

Martin D42/D45 Made in Japan copy

Alvarez Yairi 5070

I’m after a Japan made Martin D42/D45 copy. If anyone happens to see one for sale, please let me know. It doesn’t have to be a Alvarez or Yairi, Morris, Mountain, Suzuki, Aria and pretty much anything else would do as long as it’s made in Japan in the 1970’s or early 1980’s. However, it has to have the hexagon inlays and binding around the top and soundhole.

Francisca Montserrat, Barcelona

Francisca Montersat Barcelona
Francisca Montserrat Barcelona, Spanish guitar 1960’s

The crisis has taken hard on the Spaniards and I think especially here in Barcelona you can really see the difference between the people with and without jobs. I have never seen so many men rummaging  through the rubbish bins and collecting things to sell, ideally scrap metal. At the same time I have never seen so nice things being thrown out like they are worth nothing just because they are old. A couple of month ago my friends and I passed a guy with a shopping trolley full of scrap metal and an old guitar on top. I stopped him and asked how much he wanted for the guitar, without actually having any idea what it was or what shape it was in. He said 10€ and I bought it straight away. It was very dirty and in bad shape but after a bit of cleaning and new strings it turned out to be an amazing sounding and very easy to play little Flamenco guitar. I’m just happy that I managed to save a really nice guitar from a faith that could be way worse than being cherished and played by me and my friends.

Francisca Montersat BarcelonaFrancisca Montersat Barcelona

Eko Ranger VI

Eko Ranger VI

I went for a walk this Saturday and ended up in a Cash converter, as I usually do, and found myself with a Eko Ranger VI. I’ve been pretty curious about these and have kept an eye on eBay for one but they tend go for a lot more than I’m willing to pay but now the price was right. I took it home and gave it a good clean, oiled the fret board and restrung it. It’s a quite weird guitar, the neck feels like a Les Paul neck so it’s really easy to play solo on but it’s a bit thin sounding when strumming chords. I’m not sure if its’ because of the wood or the fact that it has a bolt on neck. I have a 12-string Eagle back in Sweden, a German made guitar from the 1970’s that has the same system and that one feels pretty similar. I’ve seen quite a few Framus and even some Japanese Epiphone’s with the bolt on so it must have been fairly common back then.

Eko Ranger VI I’m not sure if she has spend two decades in the sun or what happened to the pickguard. I will try to find a replacement and change that.

Eko Ranger VI It doesn’t say what model it is but I assume it’s a Eko Ranger VI.

Eko Ranger VI There are quite a few cracks in the lacquer all around and the nut has come off and been badly glued back by the previous owner.

Eko Ranger VI I guess it’s a 1970’s model since the headstock is not black but it’s a lot darker then these Rangers and has a black logo instead of white. Taken from OffsetGuitars

Eko Ranger

Jimmy Page Eko guitar
Hopefully now when I have my own Eko Ranger I can be as awesome as this guy. I still don’t get why Jimmy Page played on Eko’s since they are not the worlds best sounding guitars. Maybe it was for the flat neck that makes it feel a bit like Les Paul.
EKO sold
Update 2013-09-05 EKO got a new dad, a real Italian dad. This is how happy Gyo was when he picked up his new guitar.

The Claescaster

Claescaster The new Claescaster has been my office guitar for the last month or so and I’ve really grown to love it. I guess all new guitars needs to be broken in by being played a lot so 30-40 min a day so should do the trick. There is nothing more relaxing than playing guitar after you have eaten, well maybe sex but that would be rather awkward in a office environment. I can strongly recommend everyone to get yourself an office guitar, if don’t already have one.

Hondo D-18

Hondo D-18

About a month ago I stumbled upon a Korean made Hondo D-18 acoustic guitar in a Cash converter. It only had 1 string and looked like shit but I was intrigued by the challenge to see if it I could get it to sing. I took it home, cleaned it up and restrung it and the first thing that hit was the tone. It has a really warm and nice tone, way deeper than any of my other acoustics. I’m not sure how old it is, I guess the 1981 on the label is referring to the company name and not the year it was made but it must be from the early to mid 1980’s.

Hondo D-18

I changed the machine heads for a set of fake tulip Grovers that I bought on eBay about a year ago. Then I fitted a strap button and my old 1970’s Shadow pickup that I used to have on a 12 year old Cort I kept in the rehearsal room. It was the normal procedure, drill a pilot hole and then put some wax on the screw and fit the button. I had to widen the hole quite a lot to get the end pin jack in, but that was pretty straight forward as well with a round file. I do hate to fit end pin jacks since my underarm is to wide to fit in the sound hole so it’s quite pain full experience. If you have a girlfriend with slender arms nearby that is to recommend but mine was out of the house when I did this. I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with both the sound and the look of this guitar, the grain is amazing.

Hondo D-18

I had a cheap Artec MSP-50 pickup at home so I fitted that in my old Cort and then installed the Shadow pickup in the Hondo.

Hondo D-18

Hondo D-18

Hondo D-18

Hondo D-18

Update 2013-09-14
The Hondo D-18 is sold now. This is how happy Iñaki was when he bough it.

Hondo D-18 sold

Guitar of the day

Keith Richards'
Keith Richards’ “Micawber” 1953 Fender Telecaster Blonde

1953 Fender Telecaster Blonde Micawber is named after a Charles Dickens character, no one is exactly sure why. Keith’s had this guitar since Exile On Main St. This guitar is kept in Open G tuning (G,D,G,B,D) low to high with no capo, and of course has the famous 5 strings with the 6th string removed (as do all his open G tuned guitars). Taken from the Keith Shrine

Keith Richards, Micawber, 1953 Fender Telecaster Blonde Keith Richards live at Earls Court in 1976

Guitar of the day

Bruce Springsteen's Fender Esquire

Bruce Springsteen’s 50’s Fender Esquire

Bruce Springsteen's guitar