LS Guitar First Look

This was the last purchase of 2018, but only reached me last week due to the delay at customs over the holidays.

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I bought a guitar, not the plant. OK, I love the plant too. 

The LS Guitar is likely a no-brand factory-made geetar from Guangzhou China, slapped with the logo “LS”. We’ll try to find out what the letters/initials mean soon. 🙂

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This one boasts full-solid mahogany construction with plenty of bling going on. First we look at the armrest. Then there’s full wood binding with abalone and maple purflings.  Rosette is also wood with abalone. Wow.

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And the headstock goes full-on with inlays and pearl border. Man, this is almost crossing the line between elaborate and gaudy. Tuners are gold-plated Gotoh 501 copies. The logo… “LS”. What does it mean? 

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More inlays around the 12th fret. Wohoo.

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5-ply neck construction with volute. My only gripe here is that the two strips don’t exhibit much wood grains. Such a pity.

Gave it a quick tune-up and played it a lil’. Sounds pretty decent but stock strings will go for sure. They are some kinda strange-looking “D’Addario EXPs” based on the hang tag, and sound very plinky. I really don’t think these are genuine.

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Here’s a look at the front again.

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And a back view where you can see all the lovely grains. Oh yes, there is a back-strip or whatever you call that along the back. Made of wood too, with maple purfling.

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I know you must be cursing me now for not revealing the price. This one costs about $411 shipped to my door. We’re talking about a full-solid wood guitar with all the bling and appointments.

Stay tuned for full in-depth review. 

 

 

 

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Mutual Termination

It’s strange to begin 2019 by giving away a faulty guitar.

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This Crafter D7, however, was given away because of a stubborn (and repeated) bridge lift. Let’s hope the new owner can salvage the situation.

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*PS: I don’t sell guitars with issues (aka rubbish), so this was given away FREE at the local classifieds. 

Squier ’51 Refurbish & Impressions

Brought this one home a few months back and took a while to restore it.

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The Squier ’51 was launched in the mid-2000s and has arguably attained cult status among fans who like for its quirkiness, affordability and just being pure fun.

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Although it is largely a mish-mash of a Strat (body), Tele (neck and controls) and a Tele PJ Bass (pickguard), the ’51 is an original design. To put into context how successful this model had become, Fender actually released the Pawn Shop ’51 and ’72 in 2011. Now that’s another story for another time.

Back to the Squier ’51 I acquired, this was from the second run made in 2014. The second batch has a string-thru body design that I much prefer.  These guitars came from the Indonesian factory.

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Setup

The guitar needed some setting up. First, there was too much relief in the neck. Easy, I used a 4mm hex key to tighten the nut.

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Those ugly string trees are an eyesore and they will go for sure.

I also lowered a strings a lil’ at the saddles. Action is now set at 1/16 inch on Low E capo 1.

Bearclaw Special (TLC for them nice guitars)

Next the frets get some shine using Dr Duck’s Ax Wax. No abrasives were used for this because I didn’t want to mess up the matte finished maple fretboard.

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Latte was happy to see shiny frets and clean fingerboards . 🙂

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Replace and refresh old parts

The electronics were quite messed up when the guitar came in. I used plenty to WD40 to free up the seized volume pot. It has a push-pull to split the bridge humbucker. Bear in mind that this is stock configuration. No mods to the wiring was made.

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The 3-way selector though, was so bad that I had to send in the guitar to my good friend Richter to do a swap. Yes, Guitarbear doesn’t do any electronics. 🙂

A look at the switch that was shot. This thing was seized so badly that it would most likely break apart if I used too much force.

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This is a 4P3T rotary switch that is not usually found on guitars. I guess it’s more suited for radios or appliances where you come across such rotary operation.

Then the horrible string trees got tossed out for some nice roller types with differing post heights. Fresh strings went in too.

See the difference. From this: Rubbish string trees with same post height.

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To this: Nice, good quality ones that has differing heights for the thinner strings.

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Guitar was given a good clean and polish. It plays well. I must say the neck feels much more than the price would suggest. Retail for this guitar was $269 if I remembered correctly.

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Latte requested for one more photo of him, so I said OK.

Please pardon the attention seeker.

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Closing notes:

I can see why these guitars are so popular. There are plenty of internet forums and Facebook Groups dedicated to the Squier ’51. The main draw would be its simplicity and ability to be modded.

Sure, it has a basswood body that looks like a 4-5 piece construction.

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However, the neck turns out to be quite a joy. It actually feels closer to a $400-$500 guitar neck. Let’s see if this one stays. 🙂

Veelah V6-DCE Refurbish and Setup

Worked on restoring this last week. The Veelah brand is from Taiwan and made in China.

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This V6 is one of the higher-tier model that features solid top and back construction along with plenty of wood bindings all around. This one is the V6-DCE which denotes a dreadnought cutaway with LR Baggs Elements VTC.

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It’s got a solid Engelmann top with solid rosewood back. Sides are still laminates probably because they are easier to work with. Doesn’t look like bookmatched back from the photo above.

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Other niceties include fully bound fingerboard, body and headstock. Plus a beautiful rosewood and koa rosette. Yes, the thinner outer ring at the rosette is koa. Fretboard and bridge are ebony. All nice woods here on the guitar.

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All guitars get special TLC from Guitarbear. This one needs some attention because previous owner doesn’t believe in cleaning his guitars. 🙂

Let’s work on the fretboard. Can you see which part just got some steel wool and Ax Wax?

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And we got a nicely moisturised board here. Shiny frets included. Just look at the beautiful mahogany binding with white purfling lines.

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Plenty of dust and grime to remove.

From this:

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To this:

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Tuners were removed and thoroughly cleaned and polished.

From this:

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To this:

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It’s worth mentioning that we got gold Grovers that come stock on this model. Not too bad at all.

Body was given a special treatment with EternaShine Scratch Remover, plus final polish from Music Nomad ONE.

Nut slots lubed with pencil lead and we’re almost there.

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Restrung with fresh Elixirs and this one is really nice.

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The TUSQ saddle may be swapped out for bone soon but it will do just nice for now.

Milo was my assistant for this project. She wants to hear this one side-by-side with my No.1.

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Here’s a look at the rosette. I’m loving the koa and rosewood combi.

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Who likes some mahogany body bindings?

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Not sure if this will stay, but it definitely holds its own among many other guitars.