Those of you who know me know that I've kind of got this thing for cheap guitars. I like taking an inexpensive guitar, making a few adjustments and minor mods if necessary, and turning it into a professional-level instrument. (I used to teach lessons using a Sears guitar, just to prove to the kids that the player is more important than the guitar.) Continuing along that line, here are the latest two additions...
I just got back from a couple of weeks in LA, and brought back this guitar to add to the stable here in Albuquerque. I bought it about 15 years ago, then barely played it. It's a budget-level BC Rich Mockingbird. (Mockingbirds range in price from about $200 to over $1000. I also own a very expensive Mockingbird...the first ever made, probably worth somewhere in the five figure range.) This one literally hadn't been out of the case in at least 10 years. I did replace the cheesy tuning keys last week, and plan to replace the pickups, but for about $100 in new parts, I will have turned a $200 guitar into one that plays like a $500 or $600 one.
And this one just came in Monday. It's an Oscar Schmidt (made by Washburn) semi-copy of a Gibson Les Paul. It's another $200 guitar, and so far, I'n not finding anything to replace, although at some point it'll possibly get an electronics upgrade. I have another Oscar Schmidt (a copy of another Gibson, the ES-335) and it has been a great-playing guitar. It's another $200 guitar that plays and sounds like guitars costing three times the price. Based on my early impressions, I think this new one will be just as good.
Here's a close-up of the curly maple top. It's a thick veneer. The rest of the body is mahogany, and the neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard. It's not high-end curly maple, but it's still pretty flashy for a $200 guitar.
We had a gig Tuesday night, so I had a chance to try both of the new toys out through the PA system.
Here's an action shot with the Mockingbird...
I've decided it does indeed need new pickups, but the Oscar Schmidt sounded real good. I'm very happy with it and will keep it stock, at least for the time being.
And here's a better shot of my latest t-shirt...something my sister found for me. (I have a reputation for wearing t-shirts with warped humor on them.)