Tom's guitars and stuff

I've been playing guitar in various states of serious since buying a piece-of-crap "Des Lauriers" guitar and 15W Crate amp from a friend of mine in high school, back in 1988 maybe? I actually hung on to that guitar for a long time, since the pickups sounded really nice, but after 15 years I decided it was time to let it go to someone else via the Salvation Army.

I have since assembled quite a collection, and here's some pics of the prizes in the group.

Time Guitars

As much as I've ever collected anything, I've tried to collect Time guitars.

They were made in Vermont in the 1970s and 1980s. By the looks of the two I've got, the folks who made them took a lot of pride in what they did. I'd love to get more of them.


This here guitar, my main axe if I had to claim one, is a GS-9. "GS" stands for "Galactic Special", I'm told. I got it in 1995, from consignment at Advance Music in Burlington VT for $375, with a not-matching (Gibson) hard-shell case. I'm told it was probably built in the early '80s, like '81 or '82? I finally did what I needed to do to find the serial number, and it is GS9-113. (This involved dropping the pickup far enough to see the end of the neck, but in doing so I dropped the pickup right off the screws so I had to pull the whole pickguard, which I would have had to do anyway since the pickup didn't go far enough down to see the serial number...)

Yeah, I think these guys liked their scrolling:

The four switches are a bit crazy, too; the two to the back tap the two humbuckers, and the other two are mystic mojo. I think one switches parallel vs. series, but I'm not really sure what's what beyond them activating both pickups in some way. One makes the guitar sound really fat, way more so than the middle position on the pickup switch, and the other makes the guitar sound really hollow. Turn 'em both on, and it's neat sounding indeed.

This guitar was my main axe for years, and did many hours with the band. Oh- this one's got a set neck (like a Les Paul) and a really smooth joint back there. There are no holes in the back of the body, it's just a huge hunk of mahogany and it sounds like it weighs about 50 pounds. After playing with it on-stage, let me assure you that it is one heavy beast.

It originally had a brass nut, which to this day I'm kicking myself for not keeping, but I continue to have binding problems on the G string. Grr!

Flying V

Here's a V that came out of Time. This one's also got a beautifully set neck.

I love the fretboard detail and the binding...

The case this thing came in is like a brick shithouse:

...and here's the tag, showing that Time Guitars was indeed on Kimball Ave in South Burlington:

Fender Tele

My most recent addition is this Telecaster. Barbara bought it for me for my birthday in 2004, and the serial number places its build date in 2001. There's a bit of routing, I suppose the previous owner needed a P90 in there or something, but I was sold pretty much instantly on the sunburst plus the tortoise pickguard. This came into my life just a few days before the next set of pics...

Maven Peal Zeeta

I had emailed Dave Zimmerman at Maven Peal a number of times, chatting about various and sundry "seconds" amps that he had. By all reports these amps were "it", but I just couldn't put down that kind of cash without ever having heard one. I got an email one day, though, informing me that he was about to build the last Zeeta ever (which turned out to not entirely be true, but only a handful more were to be built), and this one was a Zeeta Silver in a kinda banged-up cabinet. I still think she's a beaut, though.

The Zeeta is, as I recall, based on the Fender Tweed Deluxe. I played a Boogie before getting this, and I really liked the sound of that. Having heard that the Boogies were hot-rodded Fenders, I figured that the Zeeta might be up my alley. Now, the Zeeta isn't hot-rodded too much, but it can really scream if you play it right. The tone knob has a boost switch in it which gives you a bit of extra gain, and when I'm going for a lot of noise I'll put an old DOD distortion pedal between my guitar and the amp.

Now that's the greatest thing about this amp. It's absolutely quiet. Like a graveyard. Turn the volume all the way up, and nothing comes out of it. Zimmerman developed an amazing power supply that completely eliminates the 60Hz hum that every other amp on the planet suffers from.

On top of that, and maybe as a side effect of that, the output wattage of this amp can be controlled from a dial in front. This ain't like master-volume kids, this is like, "wow, now I have a half-watt amp." Mind, half of a watt going through a 101dB/W speaker is still pretty loud. It's cool, though, that you can really drive the power section though and get its nice creamy distortion.

You may have noticed that my wattage knob is turned all the way down. Not only is it down 'cause I like playing at home and not going deaf, but below about '3'on the dial gets the tubes so close to being turned off that they get "extra saggy" and sound really old. ...all for a different sound.

Ah, I forgot the sag knob in there too. Want the vintage tube sound with those cheapo Sovtek tubes? That's the knob for that effect. That makes the sound "tight" (at 1) or "spongy/sagged/whatever" (at 10). If you've ever played around with a Mesa Dual Rectifier, and flicked the rectifier switch between tube and solid-state, you've got an idea of what this knob does. ...but this knob adjusts continuously.

I love it. It's staying with me.