Gallery General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Written by AriaProII
Here you'll find the
most common questions and answers (and growing)
couldn't find any information on my BlahBlah XX-000 guitar. Can you tell
me anything about it?
have/am looking at/trading off a BlahBlah brand Blah model. What's it worth?
found a BlahBlah model Blah but it's a color not listed. Is it a custom
or special model?
looking at/have a BlahBlah model Blah but it has an extra switch and different
pickups. Special Prototype?
found a BlahBlah guitar a guy in Katmandu said Kurt Kobain and Elvis puked
saw an Aria guitar listed on the SoSo.Com site made by Ibanez. Did Ibanez
saw a BlahBlah lawsuit model on SoSo.Com. Is this good?
any of your personal guitars for sale?
this all there is to the FAQ?
note about the "Lawsuit"
I couldn't find any information on my BlahBlah XX-000 guitar. Can you tell
me anything about it?
Well, everything I have on anything should be up on the site. I try very
hard to update it anytime new information comes in. I may be working on
a section that pertains to your guitar, in which case patience will be
rewarded! Chances are if I have the information it will be posted, and
if I don't, It'll be tough to answer your question. =] You
might also post your question on the Message
Board. That is why it's there! =]
I have/am looking at/trading off a BlahBlah brand Bleep model. What's it
Boy is this a toughie! First, the actual value depends on what the market
will bear at that particular time. Factors such as Hype, Name Frenzy or
Name Flinging, time of year, how many are available, condition, modifications,
and on and on will have a bearing on perceived value. So much comes into
play one really has to stay on top of it. Usually there is an acceptable
ballpark value that can be used as a general guide, but it all boils down
to how bad people in the market want that guitar (or how bad you want it).
I usually use eBay to gauge what a guitar is worth, and it is a pretty
good indicator as to what a large base of individuals are willing to pay
for a guitar. You probably shouldn't go by what you see on guitar dealer
websites. They are listing what they want for it, not necessarily what
someone will pay for it. If it were such a good deal, would it be there
Also, don't go solely by
what a Music store tells you either, unless they have a genuine interest
in you, your guitar, and your music. Most music stores are businesses first,
focused on one thing: The almighty dollar. If you are trying to trade in
or sell, many will give you a very low figure, and if you want what they
have, most likely the figure will be much higher for the SAME guitar. The
"MegaStores" are notorious for this so be warned. If you have come across
a store that is genuinely interested in music and you as a player, by all
means, patronize them! They're a rare and dying breed in this age of MegaStores
I found a BlahBlah model Bleep but it's a color not listed. Is it a custom
or special model?
This is more than likely not the case. Although many options, features,
appointments, and finishes are listed in a catalog's specs, this does not
mean that is all that was available from the factory. Every smart company
tests the market, making minor variations available. It may be a limited
run, but that doesn't mean it was special order, "custom shop", or otherwise
one-off. Also, with Matsumoku guitars, some of the aforementioned features
were changed according to the targeted geographical market. What was available
here in the States may not have been in the UK, and the reverse. Models
and variations may have become available first in one location, then later
in another, and by that time the specs may have changed. Without a verifiable
Certificate of Authenticity (COA) it's pretty much just a guess, hunch,
or hope that it's something rare or one-of-a-kind.
I'm looking at/have a BlahBlah model Bleep but it has an extra switch and
different pickups. Special prototype?
First thing to consider is has it been modified? If YOU bought it new like
this that's one story, but if you got it second hand and are unsure of
it's history (or cannot confirm it), or there is no COA, then you can't
be sure. Also, see the previous question and answer as it applies to this
I found a BlahBlah guitar a guy in Katmandu said Kurt Kobain and Elvis
Look here! NEVER accept someone's word on something like this unless they
are a saint, or close to it! Don't fall victim to hype such as this (See
the blurb on Hype)! Autographs, purported celebrity ownership, celebrity
encounters, or any other claim of this nature (you get my drift) are nothing
more than interesting anecdotes or embellishments unless they can be verified
by means other than a simple verbal claim. When a claim like this is made,
you should always demand evidence such as photographic negatives (pictures
can be doctored), a verifiable COA, or you hear it directly from the horse's
mouth. In the case of Elvis Presley or Kurt Kobain, the "horse's mouth"
method will be difficult at best!
I saw an Aria guitar listed on the SoSo.Com site made by Ibanez. Did Ibanez
NO! NO! And NO! This one gets me fired up every time! Elger/Hoshino (Ibanez)
did NOT make Aria, Aria Pro II, Westone, Vantage, Electra, Westbury, Japanese
Washburns, or any of the other guitars in these lines. They were made by
in partnership with Shiro Aria co. in entirely different facilities.
More likely, Hoshino contracted Matsumoku than the converse. There's one
of two things going on when you see this. First, the seller is obviously
unaware of the guitar's origins, or second and more often the case, the
seller is flinging the Ibanez name to both increase interest and jack up
the price, or worse yet, keyword spamming if it's an auction listing (see
the blurb on hype). Fortunately, if this was your question, you are doing
your homework (hopefully beforehand)! Good for you!
I saw a BlahBlah lawsuit model on SoSo.Com. Is this good?
Oh boy! Here's another doosie that gets my drawers in a bunch! Far too
often it is nothing more than hype to jack the price of a guitar up, and
less often an actual "Lawsuit" model (open book or "mustache" headstock).
You would be surprised to know how many people don't know exactly what
a "lawsuit" model is, and unfortunately, sellers sometimes take advantage
of this. See the blurb on Hype elsewhere on this page. It boils down to
this: If it truly is a lawsuit model, and you are willing to fork out the
extra $$$ for a headstock shape, more power to you! Me? I'll skip the "mustache"
and save the cash! =]
Are any of your personal guitars for sale?
No, no, no, no, and once more no. Please don't ask. If I decide to sell
off one of my sweethearts, I will post a message on the Message
Board in the For Sale forum a week or two before I intend to list it
on eBay. This goes for parts and such also. This IS written in stone, believe
it or not, and I will post a picture of the rock itself on My Guitar Family's
page soon. =] If you are looking for something specific
you might get a nibble or two if you post a message in the Wanted forum
on the Message Board.
Is this all there is to the FAQ?
Yup, at present. I'm sure I'll add more as time goes on.
of Authenticity (COA): A document that indicates a particular item's
uniqueness, originality, origin(s), feature(s), or rarity to be authentic
which can be verified though reliable sources.
A term used here to represent another term, word, brand, or model which
is either unknown, or where a blanket term is best suited. (also written
in singular form as Bleep).
Term used to represent a site name that needn't be, could not, or should
not be referred to directly.
MegaStores: I am sure
you know what I'm talking about here! Those Wal-Mart sized puppies with
a thousand different pretty flavors of sharp-fretted buzz saws hanging
on the walls and lurking in stands just waiting to knaw on their next victim.
The places where tone-deaf metal-masters are born. Cacaphony palaces. You
get the picture!
Hype: 1: Deception,
put-on. 2: Publicity 3: Obnoxious blabber. 4: Misleading statements. 5:
A plethera of partially or completely irrelevant over-enthusiastic slanted
prose designed to induce in one the extreme desire to throw away their
hard earned money. 6: See below.
A Blurb on "Hype"
One of the things that really
chafes my buttocks is the over-use of hype. Words or phrases such as Rare,
Lawsuit (see below), Custom, Custom Shop, Custom Order, "Owned by...",
"Played by...", "Autographed by...", One-of-a-Kind, prototype, and the
infamous "SoAndSo Model" (when in fact there is no such thing) are some
of my favorites. The nuts and bolts is: If it cannot be, or is not backed
by a verifiable source or COA, it's really nothing more than empty banter.
If it IS legitimate, this is GREAT and is going to make someone a very
proud owner, but unfortunately that's not usually the case. Most of the
time these and like terms/phrases are nothing more than sucker magnets
used to reel in an uninformed buyer and their money.
Autographs can be faked,
headstocks re-shaped, guitars re-finished, or pictures doctored, and it
is buyer beware. I would rather see someone pass up something questionable
than to waste their money on something misrepresented or blown out of proportion!
Why else do you think I am telling you this? It's your money, and the seller
is asking you for it, so you have every right to be a horse's behind about
it and make them PROVE their claims! If they are not cooperative, take
this as an indicator, or red flag if you will, and walk away and wait for
a legitimate deal to come along. Nearly all honest sellers will be more
than willing to back their claims, or at least disclose the claims are
Watch out for Name-Flinging
and subliminal techniques too! For example, I have seen a number of listings
for guitars where the desciption ran on forever about Gibson, Guild, Gretsch,
Ibanez, and countless artists, and even a couple with a pic of a famous
artist playing an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT GUITAR. This is high energy salesmanship,
but also subliminal bombardment as well as creative keyword spamming! I
know for a fact several had counterfeit Gibson logo inlays which added
to the hype. You should have seen some of the huge $ amounts peppered all
throughout these descriptions adding even more spice to the hype! Don't
let this sort of thing suck you in. Keep a clear head!
If you're not sure, ask someone
that knows! Use the WWW to do research. If you deal with an honest music
store, ask someone there! Doing the homework will often save you money
and land you a better deal in the process.
Remember, you are buying
their words as well as their guitar!
A note about the
It is a common misconception
that the famous Gibson/Norlin lawsuit was filed against a number of Japanese
companies. It is also commonly said it was over the exact copying of American
designs. Neither is true. The lawsuit was filed by Norlin (Gibson's parent
company) against Elger/Hoshino (Ibanez's American division) over the use
of the "open book" headstock design which Norlin claimed as a Gibson Trademark.
It was not over the exact copying of body dimensions or construction. These
guitars were metric! Don't believe me? Just try putting your Gibson stop-tail
posts in one of those "exact" copies! When's the last time you saw a bolt-neck
genuine LP Custom?
The lawsuit was not "won"
by Norlin, but settled out of court. Most of the Japanese companies, as
a precautionary move, turned away from close copies but many still offered
their "version" of the classic American designs with at least minor departures
in design and appearance.
Often I see the term "lawsuit"
tossed around rather freely. Most often it is either hype to raise the
price of the copy someone trying to sell, or they simply don't know what
the "lawsuit" was all about. Too often it really isn't a lawsuit model
at all. DON'T FALL VICTIM TO THE HYPE! I see a lot of this in on-line auctions
and on-line guitar dealers advertisements. I have seen guitars go for much
more than they are actually worth simply because the purchaser has fallen
for the hype or actually didn't know what constitutes a "lawsuit" model.
Remember, the best customer is a well informed customer.