Monthly Archives: January 2009

Feels So Right

The vintage guitar market has really exploded in the last 10 years.  In fact, Les Paul bursts from 1958 and 1959 have been sold at prices of $500K to collectors recently.  Wow.

Vintage Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters from the early 60s are regularly listed on eBay and through vintage guitar stores at prices sometimes nearing $50K.  Wow again.

It’s hard to justify bringing a valuable guitar out to a gig, or on tour.  What would you do if your ’63 sunburst Strat suddenly went missing, or got damaged?

Enter some very capable guitar builders who have taken a love of vintage look and tone, and created a viable business around recreating these awesome guitars.  And Fat Tone Guitars is a dealer for three of these makers.

A common thread that ties these 3 makers together is the look–and more importantly–the feel of a well played guitar.  When you look at a relic’d T-Style guitar the first thing that hits you is the distressed look.  But these guitars are sold and played based on FEEL, not look.    The best relic is one that plays easily; one that instantly is familiar, like the best friend you haven’t seen in a couple years.

The best relics are guitars that invoke deja vu–you feel like you’ve played them before and your fingers know where to go.

Nash Guitars out of Seattle, K-Line Guitars out of St. Louis and RAM Guitars out of Illinois are three guitar makers you should get to know.    Check them out–better yet, come in to Fat Tone Guitars and play one.

Nash PB-50 in Fiesta Red

Nash PB-50 in Fiesta Red

RAM NEO-T Relic in 3Tone Sunburst

RAM NEO-T Relic in 3Tone Sunburst

K-Line S-Style 60s in Shoreline Gold

K-Line S-Style 60s in Shoreline Gold


The NAMM Show

One thing is for sure.  Orange County, CA is way better than Chicago in the winter.  When I left O’Hare on Thursday, January 15, it was -4 degrees.  When I landed at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, it was about 82 degrees.  That’s an 86 degree swing.

The NAMM Show is a huge tradeshow that the Musical Instrument (MI) industry throws every January.  What’s cool about the NAMM show is the diversity of the attendees, exhibitors and wares–all on display.  I’d say that the attendees are on display as well as the instruments themselves.

Fat Tone visited Eastwood Guitars, St. Blues Guitars, Dean Guitars, Heritage Guitars and more.  We also visited with Fryette Amps, Simple Amps, Schecter Guitars and Diamond Pedals.  Great stuff.

A highlight for me was DBZ Guitars, a new and exciting guitar company started by Dean Zelinsky.  Yes, that’s the Dean from Dean Guitars.  His new line really shines.  Some very exciting body shapes, and some amazingly intricate craftsmanship on guitars that will retail for around $650.

DBZ Guitars will be available at Fat Tone in the next 30-45 days.