Monday, July 16, 2012

4 Amigos guitar show! What's it about?

I attended the 4 amigos guitar show extravaganza this past weekend (July 14&15 2012) in San Mateo, California. I had a great time but let me share a few tips that might help you enjoy the event even more.

  1. Bring a good camera.
  2. Use the flash - I didn't and some of my photo's are blurred!
  3. Bring cash.
  4. Decide what you want to look at before going - Otherwise it's like grocery shopping when you are hungry where you buy everything on impulse....
  5. Leave kid's under 11 home. Knock something over - You've bought it pal!
  6. Be courteous to everyone and you'll get the same respect.
  7. Spend money!!
If you haven't been to a guitar show before you might not know what to expect. You will see vintage expensive stuff.
...and you will see inexpensive unique stuff!
not $68000.00

But you will see a lot of equipment. At this show in particular, I found that there was a LOT of guitars but not much in the way of effects, amplifiers, or low cost impulse items. There was mostly big ticket guitars with the average price on guitars at the show being about $3000.00.  There was a fair amount of acoustic vintage guitars but as you may or may not know - These acoustic guitars are usually Martin Guitars and due to the nature of the manufacturing, i.e., set neck, you better know about acoustic guitars because that expensive vintage Martin might just need a little work and that can be very expensive.
This is a 1940 Martin D 18 with nice big holes on the top - $10K
The bridge has been removed and replaced - not the best example of workmanship! 

My point is that you need to know what you are doing when you go to these shows. You can get a great deal but you can be taken caveat emptor is the term.

Still, there was tons of nice guitars looking for a new home. I wanted them all!
Original 1962 Fender Stratocaster in Lake Placid blue guitar and neck on the right and slab board 1960 on the left! Drool!

You can see the back side of the 1962 neck here!

Another picture of the Lake Placid Blue Fender Stratocaster - Rare!!

Red Mustang original $1100, Surf Mustang Refi $999. A new set of Fender Guitars!

Reverse headstock Gibson Firebird III $7500.00 - Cherry condition!

There was something for everyone. The crowd was light - I'd estimate there was about 150 people there on a average and this was on the last day of the event. Vintage guitar Magazines were given away, there was a small concession stand for basic mastication needs and the toilets were clean - got to love it!


I have my eye on this purty thang!

Masterbuilt Esquire at Guitar showcase!
Some of Steve Millers guitars!

Surf's up _ Mosrite guitars!

There was at least one Amplifier manufacturer there showing off custom amps, modified amps, kits and stuff! King Amplification was there in full strength and proudly showing their stuff. You can see in the background of the photograph above that Roland/Boss had an awesome both showing off the latest digital guitar stuff - I could spend an hour just at that booth alone!

If you have a quality instrument and you know the actual appraised value of said instrument, you can take it to these shows and offer it for a trade. You will need to check it in upon arrival then get out there and test your brinkmanship!

Next time I'll allow myself more time, bring a better camera, use my flash, take zoom photos, and buy another cool guitar.

I'll write more. The format for this blog doesn't allow me to post the photo's as I'd like. Look for updates as I took more than one hundred photos!

Awesome posters - Terrible photo!
Oh, matching colors!!!

Red tables and Blue - !

Couple of nice tweed Fender amps!

Just like shoes for the ladies, we need a guitar for each situation!
Guitar Showcase for San Jose had a lot of nice guitars on hand!

Honey, where is the checkbook?

Don't drink and photograph! This is what no flash will yield - Blurred!

I had no idea what to expect as this was my first guitar show. In hindsight, I wish there was more vendors there selling pedals, stompboxes, guitar parts, straps (El Dorado straps was there and had a great booth). I was pleased to find SilcaSound handblown Glass slides proprietor there at the show. This slide is my coolest find at the show! Chris Davidson helped me pick out a slide that fit me and I was so enamored with the slide feel that I bought two!! I'll review those slides in a separate article. I simply wish there was more vendors there selling parts but I know the challenges facing small businesses so I will not dwell on my wishes but highlight the fact that I had a great time. If you are a guitarsnob, player, professional or hobbiest. You must attend a guitar show. Bring money and a smile. It's a lot of fun and there is a lot to see!

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