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Thread: Quick M20 Assessment, Please?

  1. #1
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    Quick M20 Assessment, Please?

    Hey all...I've got this on my radar. Bridge issues aside, any gut feelings to help a hopeless lover of old M20 rescues? Weird label and number? Peghead logo right at the top edge. '57? One of the earliest?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Rar...gAAOSwAFFb5EGU

    Big thanks!

    Dave
    Last edited by jedzep; 11-08-2018 at 11:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Already sold. Nothing I could see in the pictures made me question the label, logo or headstock. Either it is fairly early or someone will come along and educate me.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  3. #3
    the headstock logo, and likely the entire faceplate/veneer of the headstock is a replacement. i think the logo on the headstock is not early enough to match that label. the bridge also looks like a replacement

  4. #4
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post
    someone will come along and educate me.
    Quote Originally Posted by mavuser View Post
    the headstock logo, and likely the entire faceplate/veneer of the headstock is a replacement. i think the logo on the headstock is not early enough to match that label. the bridge also looks like a replacement
    Told ya. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  5. #5
    Are you the Buyer Dave? Don't I recall that you had an old M-20 (or two) prior?...or were they F-20's?...one of which with heavy over spray at the the interior cavity? This ebay M-20 certainly looks old (ghost label new york). Mav is the M20 expert for sure....but it all looks funny to me...headstock....logo...headstock shape. That saddle must be 1/2" tall! cracked bridge. The guitar back looks like it may have been wet..expanded..then dried. Tons of mojo and I don't doubt that it sounds great. I completely understand your romance with these vintage M-20's....but at $900..need for repairs..potential lack of structural integrity...need for new bridge/saddle...and more...I dunno if I'm that desperate for the headaches.

    It certainly appears that someone has enjoyed, loved, and kept that guitar vibrating for many years....else they have tried to take a basket-case and attempted to get it 'market ready'. A rare old M20 for most of us...but Mav gets one of these offered to him about every two weeks :)

  6. #6
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    Haha, yes Kit. I grabbed it, and noticed the saddle height on the old Guild (but not original) bridge. Also possible that the poorly fitting saddle may have had something to do with the crack. I have the correct saddle and pins to install, also a good relationship with the seller for adjustments. I loaded him up with questions and got adequate replies, especially about the back cracks. Another big deal for me was not wanting a divotted fingerboard, came back VG condition. Headstock veneer? Hey, it's a very old M20, so I assume the original peeled off. Couldn't come up with the 13 or 14 hundred bucks for one in great condition, but I wish I had asked Mav to share the offers.

    I have a few luthier tricks up my sleeve, but I'm betting on tone. I was pleasantly surprised to see string height around an eighth of an inch up high on the neck, and when I get that saddle issue out of the way, I'm guessing I'll get the action waaay low. Why the owner didn't at least get new pins I'll never know, but I know it brought a tear to his eye to sell. Some people still don't know how to properly seat their strings against the plate, and do damage.

    I look at it as a rescue, maybe a bit costly, but a very early run of these guitars. Never have seen that label before.

    Hey, what's life without a little vintage guitar buying angst?

  7. #7
    Kitarkus- that is not the ghost label on the ebay M-20. at 1957, it predates the ghost label (1959).

    im down to 1 M-20. the 1963 that Tom Jacobs refinished. sold 2 trainwreks and passed on several others.

  8. #8
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    Does someone have a photo of what would be the correct peg head and logo? Wondering if there was a neck replacement at some point, given the pristine fingerboard. Seller wouldn't have any idea.

    Must be like this, so peghead shape is true, just a cockamamie logo. Got the pre-ghost label too.

    https://reverb.com/item/79909-vintag...od-fingerboard
    Last edited by jedzep; 11-09-2018 at 11:50 PM.

  9. #9
    the one in the reverb link u posted is original. script logo. the face of the headstock on those old ones almost looks painted black, u can see the grain/pores of the wood after many decades, thru the black. on yours it looks like somone may have re-painted the face of the headstock and added the Westerly logo, or possibly the black on yours is a Guild veneer or finish. hard to say.

    did u ask the seller if the neck and/or headstock had ever been broken and/or repaired?

  10. #10
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    At this juncture I'd rather not know. It'll be in hand next week and I'll look. Thinking after a fresh set of T-Infeld 11's, a good fitting bone saddle and pins I'll get to swoon for a while.

    Bet I couldn't find a stencil/decal of that logo if my life depended on it, though I know one can be created with a photo and scanning software. If I love the guitar I'll chase that option.

    I could live with the Westerly lettering if the dang fool had positioned it a little lower.

    Tone, tone, tone! I beseech the vintage guitar gods, and UPS. Deliver me this.

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