twelfth fret


This is FUN! (Picture #2 confirms it).  

12th Fret, Toronto:

  1. Where do I even start?!?
  2. See?  Told you this was fun.
  3. 1952 LES PAUL!   You can’t get any better than this…with the possible exception of a 1954 Stratocaster…or a 1950 Broadcaster…or a 1959 Flying V…or a 1959 ES-335 (with the too-big pickguard…that’s how you know it’s an early one!)…or (for me anyway…) a white 1961 Les Paul (SG) Custom (without the sideways vibrato, if possible).  Some people might also suggest a 1959 ‘burst Les Paul.  I don’t have any fundamental argument with your choice - there’s no question about the importance of this particular instrument….it’s just too heavy (in weight I mean) for me!  ;)
  4. Maybe not as cool as a '52 Les Paul…but still very pretty.  And a LOT less expensive.
  5. 1995 Rickenbacker 360V64.
  6. An ancient Epiphone arch top.  I don’t know my pre-Gibson Epis very well…so not sure what it is.  Trivia question:  do you know why the company is called Epiphone?
  7. Looks like a house.  A house where they boil things.  Apparently.
  8. Greco.  Pretty.  Heavy.  
  9. Trussart Tele.  Expensive, but lovely.
  10. 1995 Rickenbacker 360V64.


At The Twelfth Fret, a vintage guitar shop in Toronto, Canada, here’s a couple of examples of when “mods go wrong”!  ;)

The SG is a 1967 SG Special.  It has been refinished in Polaris white.  and the neck has been carved down to make it more narrow.  As a result the binding is gone.   The pickups are original but the tuners and knobs are reproductions.

The Jazzmaster is a 1959.  It has been refinished, and I don’t know if any of the parts are original.  Worst of all though is that someone decided to cut a chunk out of the lower bout behind the input jack.  That is just painful.

As a result these guitars are relatively inexpensive.  the SG is selling for $1900 CAD, which is around $1500 USD.  I believe the JM was selling for around $3000 CAD, roughly $2250 USD.


Goodies from The Twelfth Fret Toronto:

  1. Missus / Will ya / make me tea? /  Make love to me / Put on the telly / To the BBC / To the BBC / Yeah, yeah, yeah / BBC 1, BBC 2 / BBC 3, BBC 4 / BBC 5, BBC 6 / BBC 7, BBC heaven!
  2. Is this an ES-175?  Same shape…but too many knobs!  No.  ES-125?  Er…not a thinline.  ES…?  What is this thing??  Unbound neck.  dot markers.  Gibson deal (not inlaid).  Too many switiches to comprehend.  Anyone?
  3. Scrumptious Gibson Custom ES-356.
  4. Blonde Custom Shop Strat, Custom Shop Les Paul/SG reissue.  Actual early/nid 60s SG and what looks to be a new SG “Standard”.
  5. Haha.  I feel like I should break into “Sharp Dressed Man”…
  6. This is so awesome.  Kalamazoo was Gibson’s budget brand in the 1930s.  Their models were essentially stripped down Gibson models…no binding, no truss rod.  So cool.  This one was selling for about $1700 if I remember correctly.  Not bad for an 80 year old piece of music history.
  7. I came so close on this one.  for ~1700.  Sure it’s a Casino.  But it’s a John Lennon tribute model…it says made in Kalamazoo on it…the label inside had the serial numbe rof John Lennon’s Casino (the “real” serialnumber of the guitar is stamped on the back of the headstock).  They even installed grover tuners, plus the holes for the original tuners that John Lennon removed!  Same with the pick guard…removed with holes left visible.  Very cool.

Guitar shooping in Toronto at The Twelfth Fret, on Danforth Ave. just east of Woodbine:

  1. Brand new Gibson Custom ES-335 in a lovely light blue finish with plenty o’ figuring.  To the right is a nicely preserved 1970 ES-335.  Ironically, the vintage guitar is several hundred dollars LESS than the new one.  What’s wrong with that picture??  :\
  2. I didn’t get the memo, but apparently it was 1930s vintage Gibson archtop and flattop tenor guitar day at the shop!
  3. Very nice 1970/71 ES-335 in walnut.  The most “70s” of all Gibson finishes (even though it was introduced in the late 60s…)
  4. Incredible vintage Gibson Byrdland.  I believe it was a ‘59.  I did not ask the price because I did not have my heart medication with me!  :D
  5. The least expensive guitar in this set.  Not vintage, but I would not refuse it if you bought it for me as a gift (hint hint…) 

Guitar shopping in Toronto at The Twelfth Fret:

  1. The new Stratocaster wall (Jazzmaster and Mustang are a bonus!)
  2. 1965 ES-175
  3. Royal York Hotel (with the green pointy roof on the right), Toronto.
  4. 1965 Mustang
  5. 1978 Thinline Telecaster
  6. 1970 Mustang Bass in Competition Red 
  7. American Standard Telecaster - dig the “channel-bound” fretboard.

Back to bass-ics.

Various basses I have seen in my travels lately.

  • Brand new Rickenbacker at Long & McQuade, Burlington, Canada
  • New Gibson Es semi hollow bass, also at Long & McQuade in Burlington.
  • 1973(?) Fender Mustang Bass, at The Twelfth Fret Guitarists Pro Shop, Toronto Canada
  • Hofner Union Jack Violin Bass, also at The Twelfth Fret, Toronto

Guitar shopping this weekend at The Twelfth Fret in Toronto, Canada:

  1. 1969 Fender Telecaster.  Blonde with Bigsby.
  2. ‘69 Tele
  3. '69 Tele
  4. Toronto
  5. Lovely 1960 ES-175.  I believe they’re asking ~$4,000 for it, which I think is a pretty good deal.  I know what you want to ask:  does it have PAFs.  And I answer with “the price tag is $4500.  PAFs ON THEIR OWN are worth a thousand dollars each.  So, no, it does NOT have PAFs at that price!”.  But seriously, the store says the PAFs were swapped out in the late 60s sometime and replaced with some later Gibson humbuckers.  Still pretty cool - PAFs or no PAFs.
  6. See #5
  7. Yet ANOTHER high-rise condo is vomited up in downtown Toronto.
  8. Here is a new, but made several years ago (i.e. it has never been sold before, but it’s an old model) American Vintage Reissue '69 Telecaster Thinline in Olympic White.  I was sad they discontinued it.  Nice guitar.  The did a mahogany-bodied one too in sunburst.
  9. Ah, the ol’ 1976 Starcaster is STILL here.  It must be about a year now since it came.  I guess the Starcaster does not appeal to as many people as I assumed it would…but if there’s no demand for a “real” Starcaster - then why would Fender reissue them?!?  Fender Marketing can’t be that dumb!  They would have done primary market research before they went ahead and created an entirely new model…it costs a lot of money to tool up for a new model..the sales potential had better be there!  And yet, it doesn’t seem to be…at least here.

A visit to The 12th Fret in Toronto is always chock full of fun and loveliness!

  1. Rainy day on the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.
  2. ES-335 satin finish…only $1500!  When was the last time you saw and ES-335 for that price?  Exactly: NEVER!
  3. Vintage (1960s I believe) ES-175
  4. Shopping for guitars always makes me hungry…
  5. 1930s Gibson Archtop
  6. 1920s Gibson Archtop!
  7. Late 50’s Les Paul Jr. TV!  I didn’t ask the price because knowing it would just serve to remind me how poor I am…  ;)
  8. Some new and lovely instruments including a couple of ES-330 VOS (one in natural and the other cherry), a fancy new ES-390 (super light too!), an recent CS-339…or CS-336…or…well anyway, one of them Gibsons what look like a 339, but have a ton more fanciness!  Oops…almost forgot the pelham blue Firebird reissue!