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Is it real?

Why do they call it a rest stroke......I get tired every time I try playing like that.


  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    So far eight people (with 30 bids ) seem to think so, to the tune of almost $9K. I'd be worried about two things, though: the seller has zero feedback; and why this insistence on obscuring the serial number?

    "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
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    Strange cat. The hardware, the back and the neck look real... it seems Brazilian Rosewood by the way (that would be rare, at least). The top on the other hand, doesn't look completely right. The wood grain, the making of the rosette and the fact tha the top has no cracks at all are a bit suspicious (the ad says it has been refinished... and that would at least explain the satin finish look). Hard to tell, anyway... I'd be a little afraid to buy it online for the reasons you mentioned. One should go there and verify first hand. Which may prove to be even more dangerous! :D
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 580

    Is this the same guitar with the same obscured S/N and the same sketchy everything? The original listing is gone but I remember this guitar quite well, it was also in Montpelier. This guitar looks genuine but you have to wonder. The same things that were odd on the first listing are odd here, too.
  • ShawnShawn Boise, Idaho✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 295
    Just a few thoughts here, but in the second picture there does appear to be light reflection off the top that indicates the possibility of a heat bent pliage under the bridge. Also, it has the classic Selmer headstock joint, and a neck and fingerboard that distinctly appears thicker than some knock-off's I've seen. Something about that neck just screams authenic Selmer, and although It's hard to explain why, I would venture to believe that at least some of this guitar has authentic parts. However, the tailpiece does appear to be somewhat artificially aged, but its really hard to determine from the pictures.

    The top does look a bit odd (from grain pattern to lack of dents and cracks), and the rosette seems a little more "perfect" than most Selmer's I've seen. Maybe what we're all looking at is a "FrankenSelmer" that has had its top replaced from damage in a previous life :? , which would seem to lend at least som creedance to the refinish job.
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    Yes,I've noticed that light reflection too... but I'm really not sure it's a sign of a pliage. I tend to think the top is not original... I've seen at least another Selmer with a "later" top and it looked a lot like this one (both Favino and Dupont have done that in the past). Plus the body and the neck are made of first quality wood and it seems strange at Selmer they would have matched those with a top with large and uneven grain like this one.
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    I'm as ceratin as I can be from pictures that this guitar has a replacement top. First, the rosette is all wrong. You should not be able to see the grains of wood between the dark lines. A real Selmer rosette had a distinctly pale yellow color to the rosette that obscured the wood grain. This top just has the black lines, al la Manouche guitars out of England, and to my eye the grain is visible. The guitar on e-bay doesn't seem to have the yellow rosette at all. The spacing of the lines in the rosette seem wrong to my eye as well. It could be real, but if so, I haven't found a picture of another like it.

    The lack of wear on the top is a concern. It shows no sign of a pickguard but has not even a tiny bit of pickwear, and shows no sign of any work at all short of a total refinish, and who would do that to an undamaged guitar? It has no finish checking, even though the back clearly has some, again this suggests the top is younger than the back and sides.

    I agree about the neck; it looks to me like the real deal. The only thing iffy to me is the brightness of the gold lettering on the headstock. On both of my Selmers the gold has faded to a copper/orange color. Generally, the same paint would have been used on every guitar, so I would have expected this one to have darkened as well. I wonder if the brand mark was refinished. But again, why would anyone do that?

    The top is the driving engine of the guitar. Change that and it isn't the same guitar. Put a Chevy engine in a Ferrari and you'll understand what I mean. The neck, back and sides may be Selmer, but I am pretty sure the top is not.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    Funnily enough, I own a one-of-a-kind guitar that's the opposite of that: an Eimers with a real Selmer top (a brand new one Maccaferri had brought with him in NY with incredibily straight and tight grain). Does that influence the sound of the instrument making it "more Selmer"? Oh yes! :D
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795
    I love a good detective story, especially a collective one. Here's my 2 cents.

    One thing I noticed yesterday were the scallops that provide relief for the strings in the head slots. They appear to have been done with a router and a cove bit as it is done by many of the modern builders. I've only seen four real Selmers, but my recollection is that Selmer did not do this, rather they worked the scallops with a chisel and rasp so that the transition is conical instead of a rounded right angle, if that makes sense.

    So I checked the Francois Charle book last night and could find no examples of routed scallops.

    Below is a picture of a head the way I think Selmer did it, followed by the eBay picture of the "Selmer" in question. I don't know of any way of doing the former except by hand. Vise versa, I don't know of cutting the scallops as pictured in the eBay ad except with a router, cleanly at least.

    Also, the head looks to have considerably less finish than the neck or the rest of the guitar for that matter. The mahogany grain on the back of the head is not filled like the neck. This seems odd as they would have been finished simultaneously and should be the same if original. This, combined with Michael's comment about the Selmer head logo, all this strongly suggest the head is not original.

    I agree the top looks way too new, even if it is an old top that has been refinished. The neck, back and sides, however, look old. I'm a little surprised at the purfling joint mismatch in the picture of the upper back and heel, this is not a mistake an experienced luthier usually makes, but who knows. The interior shot of the label, lining and back bracing looks very Selmer, to me at least.

    So, me thinks the Frankenselmer suggestion is what seems to fit. The head wouldn't bother me so much, but the top is the heart and soul of a guitar. And while finding Selmers with tops in good condition is difficult, not to mention expensive, I'd personally have a hard time paying top dollar for a "Selmer" with a new top. Looks like the bidders disagree so I wish them all the best.

  • Posts: 35

    I was looking and played a vintage accordion recently and the seller would not email the serial # when I subsequently asked for it. Would you buy a car without a VIN # ????? Sounds too Hot for me.....

  • TomThumbsTomThumbs NebraskaNew
    Posts: 68
    The head shots of routed/non-routed scallops convinced me that something's not quite right. However, it's up to $13k now.
    You guys know your stuff, I'm impressed.
    Why do they call it a rest stroke......I get tired every time I try playing like that.
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