9/30/2011

c.1959 Multivox Premier Bantam Electric Guitar





Very. Cool. I'm quite sweet on this guitar, being an archtop fan and also a fan of smaller-bodied instruments.

Multivox products were made by the Peter Sorkin Music Company out of New York City. This "Bantam" line was from the '50s-'60s. All this from scouring the web. Also from scouring the web, I've referenced the serial -- in the 1400s range -- to about 1959. I don't know how accurate this is but judging by the materials and catalog references I'd say it's definitely in the '55 to '60 area.

At any rate, this is a smallish hollowbody guitar (think of the footprint of a slightly oversized Fender Tele but make it about 2-3" deep with an arched top) with a flat back and pressed-arched top, all in pretty laminate somewhat flamed maple. The neck is '50s-feeling and slim side to side, with a 25" scale, which makes it a very slick player, in the realm of a Gretsch-meets-Gibson sort of meld.


The guitar is 100% original, except that the original pickup (a DeArmond-ish sort) has been removed (needs to be rewound) and a (newer?) DeArmond Dynasonic-like pickup has been installed in its place. Either way, the guitar is in fantastic shape for its years, and sounds wonderful.


Cool plastic silver-sparkle topped knobs.


Deco-style stepped tailpiece looks great!


Rosewood bridge.


Toggle switch is "up" for no treble bleed and "down" for mellow, muted chord work.


Note the humbucker ring below the DeArmond -- this has been routed for a humbucker in the past. It's almost tempting to pop a Gretschy TV Jones in there...!


Big old honking MOP dots. Note the marbled effect of the binding on the back/sides -- it's decaying but had been stabilized by the previous owner.


Way cool torch headstock.


Do you see how nice the finish is?




I like the detail of the plate.



...and the flat back makes this ultra comfortable to hold.






Yup, an original beige quality chip-ish case with fancy plush interior. It almost feels like a leather case. Very sturdy but lightweight.

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