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guitarshark Mandolen stevendeutsch

Help needed to identify guitar maker

Good evening,

I come to you from the classical guitar world, so please forgive my ignorance. I've always been interested in Selmer style guitars, but always kept waiting for a good deal. It's the "I want to try it but I don't know if I'll like it" kind of story. About a month ago I won this oval hole on ebay (it was a bit of a gamble, as I won it from a general auctioneer). Now it's time to see if my recklessness paid off or not. The guitar doesn't have a label inside or any manufacturer's notes of any kind (although there are some remnants of glue where a label should be). The top seems to be solid wood, maybe spruce. The tuners are unbranded, I can find cheap lookalikes on Amazon as well as expensive ones on Stew Mac. There is no logo of sort on the headstock. The tailpiece is fairly standard when compared to other guitars on the internet, it has a sort of "Z" or "2" engraving where the "S" should be. The bridge is not a 3 piece bridge as most guitars seem to have, it is a one piece bridge. The back and sides seem to be good quality laminate (by that I mean, the inside of the guitar almost nearly matches the outside of the guitar). The previous owner added two side ports, no idea why. The back of the neck has a "QC" sticker and what appears to be a serial number, which probably means it's a mass produced guitar. It came from Delaware U.S.

Pictures of the instrument:

Thank you for your time and wisdom :)

Willie
«1

Comments

  • WillieWillie HamburgNew Old french mystery
    Posts: 392

    Welcome to the land of steel-string and pick addicts!

    Mass production or not, seems to be a good looking instrument, do you have an overall picture? The engraving on the tailpiece looks more like "J" to me.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 689

    Something tells me that tailpiece will be the key to this whole thing. I don't know a lot about these, but someone will. It isn't just a standard DR repro that you can get anywhere. Someone took a moment to design their own symbol into it.

    Not sure how it sounds, but the construction seems to be done well enough. I hope you enjoy. Welcome to the forum!

  • tarantogatarantoga
    Posts: 13

    looks like a Johnson JGG-10, made in China

  • WillieWillie HamburgNew Old french mystery
    Posts: 392

    Johnson JGG-10

    Indeed very similar, but the distance between fretboard and rosette is smaller with your guitar, and to me the curvatures on the non-cutaway side of the body seem to be different. Another Johnson model?

  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,240

    The bridge is very strange, is it glued on?

    Any photo of the back?

  • mreggermregger New
    edited November 15 Posts: 3

    Here are pictures of the front, back and side ports. Haven't had a chance to really hear it, as the strings on it don't seem to be in ideal condition. I'm not even sure they are meant for this type of guitar to begin with. I have it tuned several steps down to avoid putting unwanted pressure on the top. Not to worry, I have a fresh set of argentines in the mail. The bridge is weird indeed, it isn't glued on. It's a single piece, which I understand isn't your typical moustache bridge? I may take it to a luthier to have that fixed, or do it myself if it's not a big job.

    P.S. thank you for all the replies :)


  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M,
    Posts: 828

    Wow, there's some weird stuff going on internally with that one. As for the soundports - I'm a fan of them but not the size or number on this beast. For me a soundport slightly rounds of the sound by increasing some bass and mid frequencies and introduces a bit more "air" into the sound. The fingerboard looks like nothing I've seen before and it seems to be strung with D'addario bronze strings.

    Normally the middle section of the bridge is separate from the two moustache ends. The tuners look as though they been put on in a hurry and aren't the usual 3 a side. And you're right the string alignment is way off but that should be fixable if the bridge isn't glued on. As for the tailpiece I have never seen that before but, to be honest, it looks like many others.

    I'm not trying to be disrepectful to the guitar - I've often been surprised by how good some "cheap" guitars can sound and how, frankly, awful some expensive, high end guitars from respected makers have been.

    At the end of the day no matter where it originated from if you are happy with it that's all that matters.

    BucoWillieBill Da Costa Williams
    always learning
  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Hoyer, Epiphone x2, Burns x2, & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 772

    There are several brands around the world sourcing such guitars from Asian factories, Johnson just one of them, and some of them can be made into decent instruments with a bit of fiddling. Yes, of course, the high end luthiers will tell you the factory made guitars use inferior timbers, or that the polyurethane finishes hurt the resonance but you get what you pay for and I guess this was priced accordingly?

    I agree with the above comments and yes fitting a proper three piece bridge, correcting the string spacing and alignment, experimenting with bridge height (or shimming) and some decent tuners and stringing it up with a set of Argentines will probably bring it alive. Not sure about the sound ports, but if you can live with them there is no reason some tweaking can't make it playable.

    Willie
  • mreggermregger New
    Posts: 3

    Thank you for all the comments! For what I paid for it, I'm quite content. I'll get my new strings set up, order a new bridge and eventually get better tuners. How much of a nightmare is it to set up a bridge? I imagine the two ends of the "moustache" need to be glued on?

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M,
    Posts: 828

    What I do is to get the position and intonation of the bridge section in place and then glue on the moustache ends either side.

    BucoBill Da Costa Williamsmregger
    always learning
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