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 United Guitar Corp in New Jersey for the Peter Sorkin Music Company out of New York City. This "Bantam" model line was from the '50s-'60s. All this is 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.

1 comment:

Ron Browning said...

I have this same exact guitar, but don't have all the orginal hardware. It's missing the pickguard, has a gretch pickup, and don't have orginal knobs. but it's in pretty good condotion. Serial # 3403, I guess it's later than yours. do you know about what your Premier is worth? email( ron.browning47@yahoo.com )