I was just killing time on ebay looking at guitars. I love the pictures. I saw this and thought I would share it. Very cool guitar with some gorgeous back and sides... pretty cheap too. tons of work on this one for sure though. cheers!
I watch Ebay a lot too but seldom bid much less purchase. I've seen a lot of these and think they are fairly cool. I'm surprised how many there are around that still have the stencils in good condition but I sort of figure that they might not have been all that playable when new so didn't get a lot of wear. This one has a really great faux B.R.W. paint job on the back and sides. A lot of them really look nice but I think this one has a lot extra in the blend of colors.
Here's my breakdown on what I see;
In my opinion, the starting bid is high particularly when you add in shipping. I'm willing to bet that there a LOT of work in this instrument to make it functional that hasn't been mentioned in the ad.
First of all, I'm leery of separated backs because it seems that I always end up with a lot more bad glue then the pictures show and I either end up removing the back completely to clean it all up or I end up slopping glue all over the place trying to get half the back seams stuck down again. When either happens, I have creating problems with the original finish which need to be touched up and I haven't, yet, figured out how to successfully hide my repairs with a faux B.R.W paint job.
Removing the back may end up being a good thing though, since the bad seams could indicate loose braces and they are much easier to repair with the body open. This would also make it easier to evaluate the bridge plate which will probably need attention or one sort or another. Of course this also raises the issue of alignment once I'm ready to close things up again. Then touchup which I already mentioned.
The bridge is a disaster which will have to be replaced and indicates a neck reset at the very least. It could also indicate some warping of the top in front of the bridge. I Don't see any obvious distortions in the reflections on the top so it could very well be a reset only. I noticed that this neck joint shows some light wood where the neck intersects the shoulders so I think it's safe to assume it's been removed before. That could be both good and bad since it means that I already need to touch up the joint's finish anyway so why not reset but it also may indicate substandard work on the joint in the recent past, given the obvious, cut into the bridge, string height pictured. It's possible that the dove tail is hosed and will need extensive work before the joint works properly again. BTW; There doesn't appear to be an actual saddle, just the slot where a fret was set before the bridge was notched for the strings.
The prospects of replacing the bridge always introduces the possibility of damaging the top in the process. In this case I would worry about removing the bridge because I'm fairly sure that this is a ply top and I think that delamination is a real possibility. If this should end up being the case, I would be in trouble repairing the finish without possibly messing up the stencils, These things worry me.
Thinking of the finish, I noticed an area on the lower bout, where the finish looks to be soft where an arm would lay across it. It's been pushed around which, in my experience, usually indicate that it's softened and probably should be repaired or at least sealed. Usually, I would remove the displaced finish and either refinish the "spot" or just refinish the whole top but this returns me to the issue of preserving the stencils. Honestly, I'm not sure how I would deal with this.
The head lamination is coming off but it appears to be in good condition otherwise so I wouldn't be too worried about gluing it down. What I would be concerned about is the possibility of refretting the guitar with the fingerboard treatment. I haven't done this on a plastic fingerboard and I'm a bit unsure about working on the soft material. Should I heat the frets before removing the or not? For me, this has the potential to become a fairly extensive replacement/repair issue and that doesn't even take into account what I might have to do to level the neck if it need that too.
All in all, I personally don't think I would want to purchase one of these unless it was very cheap. I think it would be fun to try repairing it but, even though I'm a hobbyist, I try to consider the possible end value of the instrument when it is completed. I don't think my skills are up to the potential problems with a lot end guitar like this and I don't believe the value is enough to justify paying someone with more expertise to do it for me. They are cool but not something I'm ready to try at this price right now.
That's my two cents.
I just noticed that the bridge does have a fret saddle but it doesn't appear to be high enough to actually support the strings.
I also realized that the top probably is solid which would make the delinamation I fear a non issue.
I suppose I should look over the picture better before I "speak".