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Vintage Maccaferri "plastic guitar" for sale or tr

yillbrillemyillbrillem Floyd, VANew
edited November 2010 in Classifieds Posts: 6
Hi folks, I have one of the infamouse Maccaferri plastic guitars that sounds rather good (for plastic) and though it has a lot of collector value, I never play. Before putting it up on e-bay (check my profile under yillbrillem to show I'm straight up) I thought I'd give notice here. For those with perhaps a few Selmer style guitars laying around this may be something to add to your collection. I never fails to get looks and comments. Neck and action is good. I would be willing to trade for one of the cheaper Gitane D hole or something similar, if you perhaps have upgraded, and have an extra Selmer type guitar laying around. (I've been looking at the maple DG-250M and will probably eBay this one and buy that model from this site if a trade doesn't pan out.)

Here's a link to the plastic Maccaferri from the National Music Museum (very interesting history) for those unawares: http://www.usd.edu/smm/PluckedStrings/G ... uitar.html

P.S. Just saw the John Jorgenson Quintet here in Floyd, VA... Yikes!!!
Son: " Hey Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a musician!" Father: "Sorry son, you cant do both!!"
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Comments

  • yillbrillemyillbrillem Floyd, VANew
    Posts: 6
    Just a note to add (as if you don’t already know) no player in his right mind would prefer this plastic instrument to a wooden one. (and come on!, where are all the snarky comments people!?)

    It is quite cool as a novelty and a curiosity. (perhaps with proper set up, and sheer grit, someone could get famous with a “that guy that plays a plastic guitar” gimmick.) It rates 100 on the cheese factor scale anyway. (Also works well on sailboats, no wood, and if you keep the f-holes up, if makes a good life preserver!) I heard Charlie Parker played a plastic sax for a while, but I suspect that was probably due to him pawning his Selmer horn for a fix.

    There’s a great article posted in Vintage guitar magazine about Mario Maccaferri, from his apprentice luthier days in Italy, his classical music career (after an accident he sometimes performed in Paris cafes wearing a mask as “the unknown guitarist”) to his fall out with Selmer, then reed making, running from Nazis, to plastic cloth pins manufacture and how he came to make plastic instruments in the US. Really fascinating reading. To this day I’ll never understand why, in his 90’s, he died trying to perfect his “plastic violin”. He actually really believed in the stuff (and they do sound surprisingly good... for plastic... and yes, you must say “for plastic” when describing the sound.) Imagine what later guitars might go for now had he turned his genius back to creating wooden instruments in his last days. I will never quite understand a fellow who was obviously intimate with fine woods working so intently on plastic instruments. My guess is that he was trying to manufacture “the people’s guitar” but “the people’s” didn’t want it!

    Here’s the link to the article: http://www.vintageguitardealers.com/bra ... .asp?ID=59


    By the way, I’m a newcomer here and have been “lurking” for a while. The info and advise on the site is top notch and much appreciated. Thanks Michael.
    Son: " Hey Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a musician!" Father: "Sorry son, you cant do both!!"
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    Just a note to add (as if you don’t already know) no player in his right mind would prefer this plastic instrument to a wooden one. (and come on!, where are all the snarky comments people!?)

    Well...when I was asking around about these some years ago, someone remarked "...the best sounding plastic guitar I've ever played". Someone else wrote "I defy you to find a better sounding plastic guitar! Of course that is like saying Moe is the smartest of the stooges."

    But everyone loves them in the long run. Good luck!

    best,
    Jack.
  • yillbrillemyillbrillem Floyd, VANew
    Posts: 6
    I think of the film "The Graduate" when a helpful adult gives the young Dustin Hoffman character "one word" of advice on the keys to the future ... "plastics my boy, plastics!"
    Son: " Hey Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a musician!" Father: "Sorry son, you cant do both!!"
  • Posts: 1
    I am interested in your "plastic" guitar -- serious inquiry. I've been looking for one for a while -- want to donate it to the University at which I work. We actually have an archival section regarding maccaferri (his reed manufacturing plant was/is in Jackson, TN where I live). The archive includes music from Segovia, etc, and other archival material. An actual plastic guitar to add to the collection would be AWESOME.

    What are your terms?
  • yillbrillemyillbrillem Floyd, VANew
    Posts: 6
    Hi schmid... I feel bad now that I really can't afford to donate this guitar myself to the University. I am selling this guitar (and perhaps another non-Mac) in order to acquire at least a "starter" Selmer type instrument. I acquired this instrument from Elderly in the mid 80's during the sell off of the factory inventory and it is barely used and mint.

    The last time I checked (about a year or two ago) these were going for around $250 to $300 when they occasionally popped up on Ebay. I would love it to wind up at your University. Anything to further peoples awareness of Mr. Maccaferri's genius. Last time I looked, there was not even an article on him in Wikipedia (a project I really don't feel qualified for).

    Why don't you e-mail me at billymiller at swva dot net (address posted as such to avoid robots), and we can figure something out.

    By the way, I read on the net of a fellow from TN doing a thesis and perhaps a book on Maccaferri. Would that fellow be you? Looking forward, Billy.
    Son: " Hey Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a musician!" Father: "Sorry son, you cant do both!!"
  • JXCJXC New
    Posts: 1
    Hullo, I have the pleasure of owning a 'plastic Mac', and have destroyed its resale value by playing it quite a lot, including onstage at the QE Hall with Perry Montague Mason's 'Starlight Orchestra' where it raised not a fiddlers eyebrow with its tone - until they actually saw it.
    It's now kinda': worn out. Like a polyester trouser suit on an active girl, it wasn't made for mileage.
    I think it was a brilliant concept, and had it not competed with the Chrysler Airflow in the Ugly Stakes, it might have been taken seriously; I have a concert guitar designed by Maccaferri and built by Kleinemusik in Koblenz, a wonderful chaste and professional instrument; with La Plastiquette, whence came all the curlicues and belly-buttons of kitsch nightmare? Dunno mate. But by golly, it's a delight to play. JXC
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    There is one on eBay now, starting bid is $1,953, . Not bad for a plastic intrument that went for less than $30 in the early 50's.

    BTW, what did Selmer's go for new?

    CB
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    There is one on eBay now, starting bid is $1,953,
    That guy is dreaming. They usually go for $600-700 in good condition.

    A friend of mine bought one years ago for $100 when Mandolin Bros discovered a whole batch of them in a warehouse. Some people have all the luck! It's not much of a rhythm instrument, but it sounds pretty darn good on solos, has a nasty bite to it, very authentic.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 463
    klaatu wrote:
    That guy is dreaming. They usually go for $600-700 in good condition.

    For those of you in the New York City area, check out a place called Retrofret in Brooklyn. They've got two of the plastic Maccaferris (in various states of disrepair), and they told me they sell for a couple hundred.

    Adrian
  • yillbrillemyillbrillem Floyd, VANew
    Posts: 6
    Wow, can't believe this thread just popped back up after 3 years. Guess I should have mentioned my plastic Mac sold... schmidtrgs bought it I think for $250 (or maybe $300) but it was mint. I was in on the Mando Bros./ Elderly Inst. deal back in the 80's so, yes, I had gotten it around 1984 for $100.

    If you find a well played one, just be aware the frets are not replaceable... but they actually are great for slide guitar. The neck is very adjustable so you could almost set it up dobro style. I never liked the way the plastic neck felt but slide was awesome on it.

    Not sure what the collector value is these days but I would guess a mint one at $400 to $500. Would be cool to see one of these pop up on "Antiques Roadshow" someday.
    Son: " Hey Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a musician!" Father: "Sorry son, you cant do both!!"
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