Hi Guys,


My 1967 Southern Jumbo arrived safe and sound and when I opened the case I wasn’t disappointed, it was exactly as advertised “STUNNING”. The next day I decided to take the guitar to a well respected vintage guitar dealer/luthier to get an unbiased and professional opinion on it’s condition. When they saw it they knew exactly what it was, but when I told them how old it was they were immediately skeptical about it’s originality. They looked inside and out and even put it under a UV light and finally told me the same thing you guys did, it’s an all original guitar that has never had any work done to it, and was in unbelieveable condition. BTW, it sounds as good as it looks!




Glen M.


Ontario, Canada





You and Joe asked that I send you some background on the Stratocaster you bought

from me.  Here is some of the history, and if you want any other specifics let me know.

Also let me thank you for the way everything was handled as part of the transaction.

I worried for a long time about who to sell it to, and if we would get cheated in some way.

I am happy to say everything went well, and we are very happy we chose to sell it to you

and Joe instead of “the other guys” in Nashville or the other national guitar store.

We think it went to a good “home”, unless I see you playing punk rock on it in Scary Hand!!


When I was in high school in a tiny town in Nebraska, I was very involved in music, and

decided to start a rock band.  I was just about 16 in 1962, so I went to the “big” town of

Norfolk (10,000 pop.) to Tom’s Music House, and bought a guitar and amp.  I had gotten

two guys I knew in the school band to also get involved, and one bought a bass guitar and

the other another Fender, I think a Jazzmaster.


We then took 3 lessons, the first song being Honky Tonk, and then we started buying 45’s and I learned the words and the chords, and proceeded to teach them to the other guys.  Once we had learned 20 songs, we rented the local Community Center, and after a Basketball game one Friday night, we held a dance.  That was the start of about 4 years of playing most Friday and Saturday nights.  We played for school dances in the area, as well as county fairs.  We knew we had “made it” when we played at Kings Ballroom in Norfolk, which was the biggest dance hall in the area.


After a while, the band rented a building at the local fair grounds in Pierce, and we started having dances every week.  Once a month we would play, and the other 3 weeks we would hire other bands to play.  So for the rest of High School and the first year of college, we kept the band together.  It was called the Palisades, and our theme song was Palisades Park. We played Beach Boys, Ventures, Beatles, and lots of other top 40 hits of the time.  I had another brand of amp at first, but when the surfing music started going big, I bought a Fender Showman, blond two-piece and a separate Fender Reverb unit.


I never had the Stratocaster in the shop, so I know that everything is as it was the day I bought it in 1962.


In 1967, Uncle Sam offered me a job to go to far away places and shoot guns, which was an offer I couldn’t refuse, so I put the guitar away, and never played it in a band again.  In the 1980’s I got it out to show my kids, and plunked around a little, and then it went back to the closet.  So it really has only had about 4 years of heavy use playing in a rock band.  That guitar made me money as a kid, and also led me to a lot of interesting adventures.  So I hope that whoever gets it gives it a good home and has as much fun with it as I did in the 60’s playing what we today call the golden oldies, but then they were the newest songs on the radio.


Merle Parks

Joe and Steve,


Wanted to let you know that the ’66 Martin found a good home. I’m really

enjoying it (and I’m glad I decided to stay with the 000).  I’m amazed

at how much the sound has improved with new strings and a few hours of

playing. Nice meeting you and doing business.


J. R.


Chapel Hill, NC


Dear  Steve,


Gretsch  guitar  arrived  at  my  customer’s  house  a  few days  ago,  and  he is  very  happy  with  it!

Thank  you  very  much,  and  looking  forward  to  having next  business  with  you.


Shinji. Japan

Hey Guys,


The guitar (1934 Gibson L00) is just as you described it.  Joe can’t have it back.  I have to admit this is one of the most questionable financial arrangements I’ve ever been involved in.  When I started looking for a guitar I looked at Mandolin Bros. and Elderly Instruments.  Pretty big names in vintage instruments.  In the end I chose a company I’d never heard of, based on an ad in a magazine (Vintage Guitar), and ended up sending essentially thousands of dollars in cash to a stranger’s address, hoping that I’d get a guitar in return but having no guarantees.  If one of my teenage daughters tried to pull a stunt like that I’d skin them alive.  I realize that this is how it has to be done.  You don’t know me either and have no guarantee that I’d send the money if we didn’t do it like this.


But I had an uncomfortable few days wondering what was going to happen.  You guys have some tremendous instruments in your collection.  It was a good experience for me.  I’ll spread the word about you.  Thanks.


L. S.

Westlake, OH


Steve & Joe,


Got it.  Great guitar.  The grain of the wood (1958 Martin 00-18) is quite wide, which gives it a much different sound than the other ’58 I have.  It is, perhaps, my favorite guitar (at the moment).  Let me know if you come across other 00-18’s.


C. P.

Greenville, AL


Joe and Steve,


I received the ’70 Custom yesterday and it exceeded my expectations in every way. I just wanted to thank you for your professionalism, courtesy, and prompt service. I was also struck by your obvious passion for and knowledge of guitars – I could “talk shop” with you for days!!  Anyway, it’s been a true pleasure doing business with you, and you’re far and away my dealer of choice for future purchases. Thanks again!


Best Regards,


Jim Kelly

Hi Guys,


The guitar arrived safe and sound at my doorstep yesterday thank you very much. I have been buying vintage guitars since many years back and this was my second purchase since I sold my collection to buy a home in 1999. Needless to say I was excited to play my new instrument (1960 Gibson Les Paul Junior) and it met, and in some ways exceeded my expectations.


I am very happy with the way the transaction proceeded and am looking forward to doing more business in the future.


Best regards,



Ok. So nowadays it’s not very often you come across someone who will give away something expecting nothing in return. Anything’s value is assessed, even information. Specially information. Because you know information is power and so on and so forth and you know the score. Which basically translates into people not telling you what they know in fear of losing whatever advantage that information bit might give them over you -in their minds, at least-.


That applies to most any transactional situation, including the world of vintage guitars. Oh yes. Specially that one. You ask, they’ll look at and mumble something about “certain years” being better than others for “certain models” -only they won’t tell you why or which ones. The mistification of technical knowledge that is.


A few months ago I heard about an old Gretsch guitar being on sale in my city, Barcelona. That’s in Spain. I wanted an old guitar. This one happened to be a Gretsch Fire Jet, but it might as well could have been a totally different model. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Just a good, old guitar that had something to it. I played it. It seemed to me this one did. Now, I have no serious experience with vintage guitars: was I being ripped off by the seller? Was it really that good? If it was that good, why hadn’t they sold it yet to a real connossieur? The anxiety of modern times. Competition. Does he know something I don’t know? Post-millenium tension. The sign of the times.


I couldn’t make up my mind. And the usual trick -google it!- was no help at all. It was even worse, if anything. All those forums filled with silly nicknames with their big opinions. I can’t remember how, but I ended up at the site for Vintage One Guitars, this shop based in Columbia, SC. To this day I don’t even know what SC stands for. I guess it’s a state in the US. But they seemed to sell good stuff. I rang them up, not so much to enquire about their guitars, but to let some anxiety out about my issue. A man picked it. I asked generically about Gretsch Fire Jet. I don’t even think I asked whether they had any. Just a vague question about Fire Jet, or Duo jet, or something jet and Gretsch related. Probably something imprecise, even wrong, enough to lead him to think and rightly so that here was someone who didn’t know his Humbuckers from his P 90s.


And then it happened.


There I was on the phone with this kind gentleman from SC, somewhere in the US, giving me sound advice on prices, features -“I would avoid Bigsby if I could”, he said- and most importantly, encouraging me to buy it if it felt right. He was so passionate about it it felt as if he was the one faced with the decision of buying or letting go. I hang up and it struck me as being daylight clear. It would be stupid not to buy it.


So the day after that I rang up my local seller, tried it again, paid and took that guitar home. I only recently found out it was made in september 1969. It’s red, sounds warm and it’s made me a happier person, at least so far.


I don’t know if I’ll ever go to Columbia, SC. Not likely. I should find out where it is to start with. Seems very far away from where I live anyway. But if I ever did, I would go straight into Vintage One Guitars, say hi, ask anything guitar related and listen. And probably leave a happier man -and the proud owner of yet another old, cool, vintage guitar-.


I never asked for your name. But thank you sir for your advice and encouragement.


If only we had stores like yours overseas.




Roger Roca


Barcelona (Spain)

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