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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/24/2012 in all areas

  1. 59 points
    I want to shout out a very boisterous, happy, delighted, almost giddy thank you to the HFCers who have been hoping that Dr. Bear (the TLE made for me in '86) and I (Dr. Bear, his very self) would be reunited. Today it happened. (Dave, you are a pleasure to befriend!) I think I've located a set of original OBL(s) and a set of original mid-'80s black knobs so, with luck and a following wind, within a few weeks I'll have Dr. Bear (the TLE of course) in kinda sorta the shape she was in when Jol Dantzig first showed her to me 33 years ago. As for this Dr. Bear, well, the hair is gray and there's considerably less of it, the bod is less spry, and memory. . . Oy, what was I saying? But the sheer pleasure of plugging in Dr. Bear into a '71 Vibrochamp and hearing the ol' JB singing away can't be beat. Y'all out there are just great. Here are the two good doctors, together again after decades....
  2. 43 points
    Some time ago I picked up one if those cherry Gibson Explorers locally (pretty cheap) and thought... This would be a great guitar for a refinish. So, after doing my research, I learned that if you want metal flake, the best on the planet was Stike. Without much direction, I told him to have at it. I'm floored! Could. Not. Be. Happier! Got a few pics this week and it was shipped today. What an artist!!
  3. 38 points
    FINALLY got this built-out with custom pups, an original Sustainblock, and Wiggins knobs. Long-gone is the Kahler top-mount, the EMGs, and the hazy candy-apple finish from the 1980s. Really, REALLY happy with it.
  4. 38 points
  5. 37 points
    I was asleep at the wheel when Mike started his own brand and completely missed out on the run of Ultimates. While I am now in the queue for a Shishkov, I've coveted the Ultimates since I started seeing them. That I got to see and hold @bubs_42's when I met him in Nashville a couple of years ago didn't help much. I've seen a small handful come up for sale in the past (this one included), but always hesitated. This time I didn't. I'm now a member of the Shishkov Owners Club a few months earlier than expected. No need to pour on the accolades, it's an incredible guitar top to bottom. I've had very little time with it, so perhaps I'll elaborate as I get more of a chance to play it. But, no surprise, it's gorgeous to look at and hold. From what I understand, it's the only Ultimate with multi-ply binding. I will say the neck is as big as any I've played. It's a full 1" from the nut to the 12th fret with full shoulders and a slight flatness at the nut that rounds out as you move up. I absolutely love it. I can't say that this is exactly what I would have ordered had I had the chance, but it's certainly close.
  6. 36 points
    I spent close to 16 hours in the car this weekend, am sick as a dog and wiped out, but it was TOTALLY worth it. I stopped by Mike's place and was just blown away. I'll just show pics of the one that followed me home to stay, but I did deliver two others. These are crappy cell phone pics - I'll take some REAL pics later.
  7. 35 points
    Years after I foolishly sold it, I was able to buy my very first Hamer back. It’s certainly not the fanciest guitar they ever made, but it was the one I scrimped and saved for back when Hamers were just out of my reach. At some point I sold it because other guitars had my attention. Soon after it was gone I realized that over the years it had become my benchmark with which I’d measured every guitar after. This guitar became far more to me than the sum of it’s all-stock, slightly unassuming parts. This is the guitar I had in my mind when I was planning my Shishkov. I’ve been missing it terribly since I let it go. As soon as I saw the thumbnail picture in my Reverb feed I knew it was my dear old friend. It arrived exactly as I last saw it, and I’m even happier then when I first brought it home long ago.
  8. 35 points
    Hello all, It's been a while. Such a long while in fact, that I couldn't remember my password - and since my email also changed, I had to re-register. But anyway - a few evenings ago, I was lurking for the first time in a coupla years and this thread brought such a lump to my throat, I just thought it appropriate to reply. It's pretty common knowledge on the board that I had major problems with my left wrist, problems that surgery tried and failed to correct. On top of that (although I won't go into detail) one of the band members found himself in a domestic situation which simply wasn't compatible with recording and touring, so the writing was pretty much on the wall because this guy was our front man and he was irreplaceable. And then - Andy got the gig with Judas Priest which, to be honest, would have killed it anyway. I was (and still am) totally stoked for the guy - because without him, the whole Hell thing would never have happened in the first place. So after spending so much time throwing my whole heart and soul into this, the only way I could really deal with it was to draw a line in the sand and walk away without a backwards glance. Which is exactly what I did. Yeah, I could have carried on in a bar band or whatever, but my heart just wasn't in it any more, and when you've spent many years driving a Bentley, a beat-up Ford just doesn't cut it. Rightly or wrongly, I've never been a second-best kinda person, and just I took the view that nothing could ever top what I'd already done, and so I decided just to disappear and let the grass grow back over the battlefield. Within a month I'd sold all of my gear and cut my hair off, and just quietly slipped back into the world of being an ordinary carpenter. It was quite a cathartic experience in many ways - I never did the 'famous' thing very well, always feeling super-embarrassed when I had these huge bearded metalheads standing in line at signing sessions, with them trembling and being overwhelmed by the fact that I said 'Hi' to them and shook their hands. Minor fame is a strange thing indeed and I found it awkward to deal with. But - I was lucky enough to have seen, done and experienced things which most players could only have dreamed of - and for that I'll always feel incredibly lucky. I've toured 27 countries and played on many of Europe and Scandinavia's biggest stages alongside world-class bands, and I had an absolute blast doing it. Of course there are regrets - never hitting either North or South America, giving up #0666 with Mr. Shishkov's passion and skill hanging over me like a great guilty millstone, knowing that a killer 3rd album would never see the light of day - the list is a very, very, very long one. I'd like to close by thanking everyone on here for your endless support, enthusiasm and encouragement. It always felt like I was part of a family, and for that, I'll always be truly grateful. Thanks for the memories - and here's a bittersweet one which will always stay with me - it's the very first song from our very first album - but also the very last song of our very last show. Take it easy guys. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQHgP70vtx8
  9. 34 points
    So my daughter had her first gig today, played in front of about 300 people, and made $20. Proud Daddy moment. I know it's a crappy photo, but was busy enjoying the show.
  10. 32 points
    After a few changes, here's the Duotone Custom I bought here several months back. All the gold hardware was swapped for nickel and all the Lollar minis were swapped for Fralin hum-canceling P90s (much of that work done by @Jeff R at The Fret Shack). Super cool guitar that I've admired from afar for many years and it will be with me for a good long while. Not a perfect photo, but you get the gist.
  11. 32 points
    ...and my law firm is Howard, Fine & Howard...
  12. 31 points
    Thanks for all of your kind words and support guys! It means a lot to me. I have a genetic blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden Mutation, which makes me prone to clot unnecessarily, a dangerous condition. I almost died five years ago from it. I had a bi-lateral pulmonary emboli with dozens of clots in each lung. I take warfarin (blood thinner) as a prophylactic. I come off of the warfarin five days prior to any procedures and take another drug as a bridge before and after procedures. I had an upper-endoscopy and colonoscopy done to remove a few polyps last week. There was a problem with the bridge med and two days after the procedure I began hemorrhaging internally. I didn’t know until I’d already been bleeding for two days. I woke up one morning, stood up to walk to the bathroom and fainted. I passed out every time I stood up. I had a movement that was black and tarry and I knew immediately I was bleeding internally. Off to the hospital I went, I wound up needing a blood transfusion. I’m home now, but on bed rest, being monitored and will hopefully be back to normal by next week. Right now I just feel like hammered shit. It’s the oddest feeling of fatigue I’ve ever experienced after losing a lot of blood. I don’t recommend it. I have to say, seeing this thread and everyone’s good-wishes really warms the heart. I just love you guys! HFC RULES!
  13. 31 points
    We are pleased to announce that Mike Shishkov, one of the insanely talented builders from Hamer, is officially launching Shishkov Guitars, USA. Mike started a quarter of a century ago in the Arlington Heights shop, and made his way East to New Hartford in the late '90s with the company. With Hamer now a thing of the past, Mike will be hanging out his own shingle and taking on orders for what will simply be the finest custom electric guitars out there. Some of you may have noticed the first ever banner ad here at the HFC. We totally believe in this guy - he is the real deal, and he has been a long time friend and inspiration to us all. Please take some time to check out his site, ask questions, and revel in the knowledge that he'll be building them just as good, if not better, than before! This has been a long time coming, and things are still ramping up, but this could very well be the best news of the year! www.shishkovguitars.com
  14. 30 points
    Needed to have another guitar to gig with and avoid me having to tote the custom Chap around. Our very own Stike finished this one. Thank you kind sir! Whatcha think?
  15. 30 points
    A while back I went on my town Facebook page and offered to give a guitar to someone in my community to, hopefully, share some of the wonderful opportunities and experiences I've had. I picked one of the stories and got to deliver on my offer today. And yeah, it feels good.
  16. 29 points
  17. 29 points
  18. 28 points
  19. 28 points
    I don’t buy guitars often, but when this one popped up, I knew I had to have it. I’ve always wanted one with Jim’s beautiful artwork. Other than some minor finish scratches, it’s in absolutely fantastic condition. I don’t think it’s been out of its case very often over the past 32 years. The icing on the cake was an OHSC! After a minor tuneup and new strings, this baby plays and sounds fantastic! Lol, I just realized I’ve never done a NGD post - Guess there’s a first time for everything! ?
  20. 28 points
    It appears it was dropped a day ago. It looks and sounds good... if youtube did anything to the audio or video, it was minimal. The clean guitar intro piece got a little more compressed but the rest of it sounds pretty close to the 24 bit uncompressed WAV file I handed youtube. I'm pretty proud of the way it turned out. The backing track sounds great. I think I am getting closer to the mixes I hear in my head... the cymbals are always a bitch and I think I tamed them enough to finally allow the resonance of the kit shine through. Sort of inspired by Tim Pierce for the solos... I copped a Tim Pierce lick from his Rick Springfield "Love Somebody" solo and Tim's slide solo from the Goo Goo Doll's "Iris" crept into my consciousness enough for me to play two slide solos in standard tuning. Hopefully y'all dig it and enjoy rocking out to some original music while looking at some filthy budget-guitar porn.
  21. 28 points
    It took some time to get these back together. Thanks goes out to Snake Sabo, Scotti Hill of Skid Row. Our own Peter Fung. And Jon Maye I have a few more from SR to dig out.
  22. 28 points
    This was annoying. But, the guitar is a keeper, so I decided to experiment to see if I could remove whatever was applied over the logo. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser turned out to be aptly named. With not too much effort, the original logo was restored:
  23. 28 points
    I havent plugged it in yet but I can say this is the best guitar I have ever owned! The WHOLE guitar resonates even when just hitting a single string. It almost like its alive but it really isn't which is good because that would be freaky. The ebony board feels great and notice the truss rod cover. Nice touch. I am more than happy with non bound headstock. I didn't know if my conversation with mike about the neck profile translated but he nailed it. I wanted one similar to a vintage Hamer and I got it. I agree it may be wider like chris mentioned but it feels good. This short post will have to do for now as I need to spend some time with this.
  24. 27 points
    Recently got a line on some old Honduras Mahogany, so I took a ride and found some massive blanks that had been buried at the back of an old barn. Love it when I find these old treasures.
  25. 27 points
    I don’t think the soon to be owner of this beauty is on the HFC, and it’s too cool looking not to share -it’s an amazing chunk of maple and man, the flame really popped on it. I can’t wait to get a couple of clear coats on and get it buffed -it’s gonna be one killer looking axe ?
  26. 27 points
    Got a couple of cool packages in today. The new custom fit cases finally arrived, and they fit like a glove. Decided to stick with the burgundy interior, but went with a more vintage tweed look for the exterior.
  27. 26 points
    Speechless. and something special.
  28. 26 points
    Have been preping the tops for the next group and man, these are some crazy tops! Crazy in a very good way. It always amazes me how different the figure is from tree to tree.
  29. 26 points
    Had to do a quick solo beach trip today, so took a Shishkov along for the ride...
  30. 26 points
    Update from the Shishkov Shop: Been a busy week. Paperwork and more paperwork. Mahogany blanks coming out of the kiln next week. Maple tops on order. Supplier of the maple has stuff that blows my mind. Thank you for all of your support!
  31. 25 points
    Hello HFC Friends! Once a year I like to do a special run of pickups at a deliciously discounted price to support all of you here on The HFC, to encourage casual participants to join up properly and be Supporting Members, to keep Shishkov Guitars on peoples minds, and to do good by/for the best and only internet guitar forum I will align myself with. It's now 2020 and this amazing New Year deserves some amazing new pickups! The cost of parts, coil wire, and all of it has bumped up on my end but I'm going to stick to last years prices of $220/set. Shipping to your doorstep with insurance and a tracking number is $8.50, so you're looking at $228.50 Grand Total per set: handwound and assembled to exacting specifications using the absolute best top-tier parts, as always. Ivory, Black, Parchment, and White bobbin colors are available, 49.2mm, 50mm, and 53mm string spacing, and your choice of output lead wire. Let's start with 8 sets of Charlotte and 8 sets of Schlabotnik ok? Why 8? Because it's also symbolic of "Infinity" and I think it's appropriate. If I need to make more, I will. To claim your set, send me a message with your bobbin color choice and output lead choice. I will consider magnet swapping to your specifications if I know it works with the wind also, but would really prefer to put these forth per the proven recipe. If you want covers (only the best USA made), add $30 for a set. For Gold, + $40. If you live in a different country other than the USA, please mention that so I can quote exact shipping costs. Payment accepted via PayPal, Personal Check or Money Order, and of course Cash Money. These custom built pickups will start shipping in 3 weeks. Or less if I can manage it, which I probably can. Under-promise, over-deliver right? Right. 8 Standard (Charlotte set, UOA5 Bridge/A2 Neck, 10.9k/7.7k) : $220/set + $8.50 s/h 8 Ultimate (Schlabotnik set, A2 Bridge and Neck, 8.7k/7.5k) : $220/set +$8.50 s/h Get in touch, claim your set, and let's rock forth in 2020. HFC! ♥
  32. 25 points
    I finally got time to take some shots of the 1978 Hamer Sunburst Custom i recently picked up in Copenhagen. November weather here, very gray today, and dull. But the shots turned out good. Enjoy! I adjusted the neck which had some buzz. It's 100% dead straight. So I had no problem getting a great low action on her. I don't know if the frets ever have been polished, but they are in good condition. No cowboy chord wear, they look fine all over the fretboard. The neck is wider than on any other Sunburst I've played, more of a nice C shape than a D. Very nice rosewood fretboard. The top is almost quilted and has a nice flame. It's not heavy, but not super light either. Rosewood shimed bridge. A damn fine Sunburst!
  33. 25 points
    Flew into Louisville to take my son to the Bourbon & Beyond Festival this weekend, primarily, because he’s a HUGE Foo fan, but also because, well, Bourbon. Had the great pleasure of finally meeting Greg (Currypowder) in person. Glad we were finally able to catch up, and next time, we’ll bring Shishkovs to the party! I did really dig the Malcolm Young Gretsch too!
  34. 24 points
    Like most of you (I hope), I end up with parts laying around for longer than planned. This one in particular has been on-deck for about a decade. One-piece swamp ash body w/ belly and forearm contours mated with a fairly recent Fender Tele neck & tuners, Callaham bridge, and Kinman electronics that were dated 11/2010 (when I ordered them). I finally got off my ass and sent the body to Shane at HEL (absolutely Nailed it!) who did the trans-white finish and a couple pickguards to fit the slightly misshapen cutaway. It arrived back from him yesterday (Merry Christmas!) so I set aside my duties as official cookie taster long enough to slap it together. It still needs some fine tuning (and strap buttons), but so far I'm really digging it.
  35. 24 points
    Maybe not “in action”, but I was at a different rehearsal spot last night and our very generous host pulled out this gem...
  36. 24 points
  37. 24 points
  38. 24 points
    I was told by Mike that a post of mine from a recent thread was spot on and he asked that I pin it at the top to serve as a guideline for discussing ideas and future orders. I've edited it slightly to give context outside the thread. Please keep it in mind when posting. Hamer model names are a language we all understand so its quick and easy to use them when discussing an idea for a potential Shishkov order. I completely understand why people do it. Please remember when discussing that Mike is NOT making new Hamers, although one can understand the confusion when people see how much the Ultimate design was inspired by a Standard. It's important to note that while they share some similarities, they are different guitars. The biggest concerns comes from when someone says something like "how much will Mike charge to build a Watson". Mike is definitely not in business to build Hamer replicas but statements like that might lead someone to believe that he is. Will Mike build people guitars inspired by a Watson or one of their favorite models just as was done with the ultimates? The answer is yes, but these new models will also be different guitars just as the Ultimates are. Let's not forget that Mike has some ideas for things none of us has even seen yet so there maybe something on the horizons even better than that Talladega styled guitar you were thinking about. Lastly, There WILL NOT be another run of Ultimates available at a special price, but they can be ordered on an individual basis. Expect pricing to be reasonable but relative to a regular custom order from Mike. The initial run was a way of financing Mike's new venture (ala kickstarter) as well as thanking those that believed enough to put money down up front.
  39. 23 points
  40. 23 points
    This arrived yesterday. Custom made (1 of 3 ) Vox Virage SC in Korina, made in Japan. I'd seen pictures of these for years, never thought one would pop up for sale. I'm unsure when this was made, but the Virage line ran from 2007 to 2012. There are no markings on this guitar other than the VOX on the headstock. Fully chambered, it is really thick but weighs 6.5 lbs. 25 1/8 scale, medium neck (butterfly inlays), light cast aluminum 1 piece bridge/tailpiece, two DiMarzio 3-90 pickups (made custom for/with Vox), although I think these may have been wound differently from the stock ones (I also have a Vox Virage DC that has the stock pickups). Each has a 3 way switch to change the coils from a single coil, P90, and (mini) humbucker sound, all noiseless. The body is arched both from top to bottom and side to side, so it wraps around your body, making it super comfortable to play. The build is AMAZING. Just getting to know this puppy, but I'm smiling after the first session through my Boss Katana. Will upload larger pix soon.
  41. 23 points
    I recently had the privilege of acquiring this crazy-cool '85 Vector in candy apple red, with a hockey stick headstock and LEDs. It's seen its share of use, and has been well loved over the years... damn is my 13 year-old self stupid-happy! The LEDs make me smile every time!
  42. 23 points
    From a festival here in Norway called Tons Of Rock. #0012
  43. 23 points
  44. 23 points
    Had one of my guitars on display at a local guitar show this past weekend. Gary Hoey was there and I had the chance to meet up with him and show him the SC (Maverick) and I was blown away when he grabbed it, plugged it in and started jamming. I've always loved his playing, and Hocus Pocus has always been a favorite of mine, so needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled. I was able to get a quick video on my cell phone.
  45. 23 points
    Took a little down time when Jackass stopped by the shop recently, was fun catching up. Love this guy, miss working with him.
  46. 23 points
    HI Everyone, Josh Gravelin here - the guy who's building the pickups for the Shishkov instruments. The fact that my name came up at all for this project is kind of amazing to me because I don't have a website nor have I advertised my services - it's all been word of mouth, from players telling their friends, etc. I'm incredibly grateful and humbled in having this opportunity and as you all know, there's certainly no shortage of reputable companies making quality pickups. The fact that I was chosen for this isn't something I take lightly and I'm thrilled to be doing this for Mike and for all of YOU! A little background on me: 25 years as a professional active musician (national and international touring, bunches of records, session work, all the late-nite tv shows, commercial radio jingles, etc), 12 years in guitar shops doing everything from sales to service manager, and also served as instrument tech while touring for nearly every band I've ever gone out with. I repaired my first pickup in 1997, ruined and then repaired bunches more with my own instruments, have spent literally thousands of hours and dollars experimenting, learning, researching, and refining the skills and knowledge required to do it "right". About 6 years ago, I felt I was finally ready to start building and repairing pickups for others in a professional capacity and quickly developed a reputation for my rewinds and refurbishing of vintage pickups - Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Guild, Hofner, Rickenbacker - old Dimarzios and Duncans, and a special interest in the oddballs and off-brands from the 50's and 60's: Danelectro, DeArmond, Dixon, Eko, Goya, Guyatone, Harmony, Ibanez, Kay, Kent, Maxon, National, Sekova, Silvertone, Supro, Teisco, Tokai, Univox, Valco...some of those pickups are really great, and some...well...not so much! Learning the secrets of how and why some designs work and others don't is fascinating and even with pickups I'm familiar with, there's always something new to take in. I've been in the R&D stages for the last month- prototyping, experimenting with different grades of steel from samples provided from 5 different manufacturers, different bar magnets of varying grades from 4 different suppliers - mixing and matching to find the right combinations that will really bring out the best in these instruments. Nothing I'm using comes in "kit" form and I'm selecting the absolute best stuff I can get my hands on. The only concession I had to make was using modern plastic bobbins instead of butyrate plastic as found in the classic Gibson examples because butyrate bobbins with a 50mm spacing for the bridge pickup position aren't available unless I buy in for a 1000 piece run and have them made especially for me. I simply don't have the cash to throw down on something like that right now, as having the molds made alone costs well over $1000. We'll see what the future brings! That said, I've spent many many hours finding pictures of old Hamers, comparing the colors of the pickups and plastics used, and have found what I feel to be as close to an exact match as anyone could hope for, including the pickup mounting rings. It wasn't easy and at one point, I actually had a nightmare about it. Hard work and perserverance usually pays off and I'm happy to say it did in this instance. I know some of you are curious about the specifics of the metals I'm using for slugs, screw poles, keeper bar, magnet grades, etc. Once, a long time ago on another forum, I publically shared some very specific information on a pickup that wasn't being produced at the time - someone swooped in, lifted my work, and within 2 months was selling a product and making money off of my research. Lesson learned. But, as these are Shlabotniks, of course they're mostly made with Unobtainium so I'm not too worried about it. - Nickel Silver frames (long leg neck, short leg bridge) - Unoriented Unobtainium magnet in the bridge - Polished Unobtainium magnet in the neck - Unobtainium slugs, keeper bar, and screw poles - Maple spacers - 42 AWG single build coil wire - wound and assembled by yours truly - very lightly potted I'm not posting resistance values, henries, or any other electronic measurement specs at this time because I'm still waiting on the rest of the parts to arrive and will be putting together the final prototypes, gigging them, and have one more stage of fine-tuning to do. For all of you - for Mike - and yes, for me - these pickups need to be stellar and I'm making sure that they will be. Once the guitars have shipped, I will make singles and sets of these humbuckers available to paid HFC members with "Supporter" status. P90s, Single Coils, Jazz and Precision bass styles also, but only when I've built them specifically for the Shishkov instruments. Feel free to ask any questions you might have. I'm seriously busy and have a LOT going on with all of this, but I'll do my best to reply as quickly as I can. I hope you're all happy and doing well! Thanks for reading.
  47. 23 points
    I have been very privileged to work with great people, some you know very well and others are kind of in the background, for twenty four years. They supported me, trained me , stood by me and I'm forever gratefull for that. Thank you guys for your dedication and support. I truly hope this is not the end of the Hamer Quality guitars. I'm not very good with this stuff, so here are my last pictures... Thanks again, Mike Shishkov.
  48. 22 points
    With the last few ultimates off to the spray booth, it's time to rock the COs - so let's have some fun...
  49. 22 points
    The other day Bennyboy-UK popped over for a catch-up and brought along some toys. He brought his awe inspiring SS1 Marble O'Connor, his Chaparral Snakeskin O'Connor, his magnificent Vintage-S Custom order and a few others. In turn he had a play on the majority of my Hamer's in addition to the Shishkov's. I love playing guitars, and especially Hamer's and Shishkov's, but sharing them over an afternoon will a like minded soul is fantastic. Ben's SS1 O'Connor really is a special guitar. It was an uber clean example and oozes class as the best O'Connor finishes always do on a Hamer. Lovely combination of sound's too and I swear the O'Connor finish makes you play better. His Chaparral was lovely in an honest rocky 80's way and did all the right things. The Vintage-S Custom. Wow. Serious custom order that one and spec'd by a player. 3 on/off toggle switches for pickups, volume, mid-boost and "stratifier" pots. I don't actually know if its called a "stratifier" but turning the pot up to MAX elicits a very useable convincing strat tone. Wind it back down and you're in rocker territory. It's like witchcraft. Ebony board, micro dots and get this - how often do you have a 1 piece QUILTED maple body? Nearing "home time" it was suggested that we, at the very least, get an O'Connor group shot. Also a few of Ben's lovely O'Connor Marble SS1 in isolation. I'm into double figures meeting HFC brethren now and its always a pleasure. Rock on!!
  50. 22 points
    Here's the thread... Took the strings off, found that with a little damp cloth with a drop of soap - and a LOT of polishing with a soft cloth - it cleaned up pretty nice. Swiped the fretboard with oil and dried it (it was pretty dry) and put new NYXL strings on. Truss rod was a wee bit overtightened. Got the wonky pickup straight, which took taking it out, as it had somehow been walloped hard enough to tuck the lip under the wood (sounds filthy). Action and intonation were easy to get right. The nut is cut or worn just a smidgen deep on the D string, as it faintly buzzes against the first fret when plucking it: with comfortable action and no other buzz on any string anywhere. I'll put a micro-drop of superglue in there tonight to build it up. The wear around the bottom strap button is weird, but eventually I'll wet sand it and then build up a couple layers of clear so at least the wood isn't bare. I'll be on vacation for ten days in October so that will be a good time to let it dry. There are I think six little dings in the top, all between pinhead and um... big pinhead sized. Back has some light jeans button wear and some shallow fine scratches into the clear. Turns out it fits my existing Mono case perfectly, so I'll juggle the other four guitars around so someone ends up in a cheap gig bag and the Monaco gets the Mono. Love love love the weight and the neck and the medium-tall frets. Sounds great unplugged and we'll have a rehearsal today plugged in. I think this is a pretty nice top even by Hamer standards. So $1150 for a dang nice-playing 2005 Hamer that needed cleaning, setup, a drop of superglue, and if I'm picky some finish work on a place no one ever looks. The other damage all falls inside "gigged" territory so I won't be nervous about playing it.
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