Real Guitar

Good thing I brought a hat.

We had a beautiful day with a large group of people in one of the main parks in downtown Kingston. The stage was out in full sun which really messed with the tuning on my guitar. Every moment I was not playing, I was tuning.

I used my Fractal AX8 digital modeller and my Shure wireless in-ear rig. Everything worked flawlessly.

Especially on a small stage. With the Fractal, I don’t have to worry about an amp being too loud for everyone else in the band. Direct to the FOH and let the sound person set the levels.

The iPad, which you might make out on the leftmost side of the picture, controlled my monitor mix to my in-ear rig.

Even though I was only a few feet from the drummer, I could barely hear him. Not sure if that was a good thing. I love his drumming.

Air Guitar

Why did YouTube put this up on my recommended list?

The horror. The horror.

Kingston Guitar Shop

Cool guitars is no more. At least not the storefront:

After two decades, the last store selling musical instruments and gear in the city’s downtown core has closed.

The Kingston Guitar Shop, at the corner of Wellington and Clarence streets, has seen its sales drop by about half in the past five years, said co-owner Gord Mylks, as people turn to the internet for their purchases.

Tough time to be in retail.

Killer Guitar

From Vanity Fair:

Earlier this month, Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, finalized a divorce settlement with ex Isaiah Silva. As part of the agreement, Silva gained possession of the 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic guitar the late Nirvana frontman played in the band’s legacy-burnishing 1993 appearance on MTV Unplugged.

The instrument is a genuinely iconic artifact of alterna-rock history. As TMZ reported at the time, Cobain wanted a full break with Silva as soon as possible and hoped it would help settle things for good. The settlement came five months after a judge declared the marriage over. According to reports, Cobain will keep the home the couple purchased together.

Silva, however, does not appear to be letting things go. According to reports, he filed a new suit alleging that Love conspired with Britney Spears’s former manager Sam Lutfi (who has also reportedly managed Love), 13 Reasons Why actor Ross Butler, private investigator and security expert John Nazarian, and musician Michael Schenk to murder him and steal back the guitar.

All that for a sixty-year old guitar. It is a unique piece though. Martin only made 302 of them.

Reverb puts the estimated price range of the D-18E at somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000.

Chicago Music Exchange had one and put up this video on the guitar:

Because Cobain played it live on MTV, someone is probably willing to pay millions for it.

Perhaps even willing to kill someone for it.

Bill Collings Tribute AT 16

After Bill Collings’ passing last July, we wanted to build an instrument to pay tribute to him and to show the world that we would be continuing on the trail that he’d blazed for us over many years. One of the most rare and coveted instruments we offer is a carved acoustic archtop guitar, which Bill Collings built personally over much of his career. Whenever he completed one of these impeccable instruments, it was clear that he had accomplished a craftsman’s dream; a perfect union of exquisite lines, colors, and proportions, equally inspiring to play or simply behold.

I’ve owned three Collings guitars and I still have two of them: one acoustic and one jazz. Exceptional craftsmanship and amazing tone.

Hard to believe that he is gone. Good to see his team still creating such terrific instruments like the AT 16.

Gibson Goes Bankrupt

This was my business card way, way back in time. Telephone number and address is long gone. I elected to use my Gibson Les Paul as part of my calling card. My 1976 Les Paul was my first good electric guitar. Purchased over 40 years ago now. A Les Paul was a player’s guitar.

The brand really meant something to me back then. And perhaps it might mean something again in the future.

Things do need to change at Gibson. My observation from a post I had written about Gibson going down back in February:

Other than being a financial basket case and making shoddy guitars with a nasty CEO and disengaged employees, everything else is going well at Gibson.

From Bloomberg’s release on Gibson filing for bankruptcy:

Juszkiewicz, who has found himself at odds with creditors in recent months, will continue with the company upon emergence from bankruptcy “to facilitate a smooth transition,” according to the agreement. Court papers call for a one-year consulting deal and compensation package for Juszkiewicz. A representative for the company didn’t respond to questions about whether Juszkiewicz will remain as CEO or in a separate role.

Getting rid of Juszkiewicz would be a great start in trying to restore the Gibson brand.

More Fun Selling Stuff On Reverb

This beautiful piece went up for sale on Reverb. I received an offer which was really close to what I wanted to receive for the unit and so I accepted the offer. Sometimes when the offer price is close enough, I don’t counter. It all depends.

The very next evening the buyer backed out.

As you can tell from my reply, I wasn’t too happy about the buyer’s request. This from the Reverb site:

Am I required to make a purchase if my offer is accepted?

Yes, once your offer is accepted, or you accept a seller’s counteroffer, the listing will be considered purchased by you. You’ll get an email notification as well as an “Unpaid Order” notification in the upper right hand corner of Reverb. You’ll then be able to check out and pay via the orders page in the “Buying” section of your Reverb account.

Abandoning orders after your offer is accepted creates extremely frustrating experiences for sellers, so Reverb frowns upon it strongly. Buyers with multiple abandoned orders are subject to negative feedback or account suspension. Please only make an offer on an item if you intend on following through with your purchase.

Okay. Life moves on. I was annoyed but the equipment is top flight and I was confident that another buyer would come along.

And sure enough, one did. Another Reverb user jumped on the re-listed item literally within a few hours of me cancelling the first order.

A much lower offer so I countered. And this buyer agreed to a price that was, oddly enough, the exact same price as the first buyer.

So, I jumped over to my order list. This is what I found:

It was the exact same name and address for both orders — I redacted most of it for obvious reasons. Same price, same address, same name.

So I contacted Reverb support.

(07:05:53 PM) Richard Cleaver: I have had two orders for a Mic Pre that I am selling. One asked to cancel the listing. Then I received a second offer shortly after the cancellation which was much lower than the first offer. I countered and the buyer came back with a price that was the same as the first offer. On my order summary, I have the order number 3503733 that was cancelled and the same name and address is also showing on the pending order 3515995 even though the offer came through a different name. The only difference between the two orders is the phone number. Should I be concerned?
(07:05:59 PM) *** Nate J. joined the chat ***
(07:06:33 PM) Nate J.: Hey Nate J with Reverb here
(07:06:42 PM) Nate J.: Let me take a look at the buyer and I’ll let you know
(07:06:52 PM) Richard Cleaver: Thank you!
(07:07:52 PM) Nate J.: So they put in another offer on this?
(07:08:25 PM) Richard Cleaver: It looks that way to me. However the second offer came from a different user name
(07:09:34 PM) Nate J.: Yeah looks like that is the case. I see that the buyer has successfully purchased in the past with their previous account and doesn’t have any issues in the past.
(07:13:49 PM) Richard Cleaver: Ok. The first offer came from someone named —- and he cancelled because he didn’t want to have the item shipped from Canada. The second offer came from — ——– however both userids are showing the same address hence my concern. I’ll wait to see if payment clears before acting further. Just odd to me that someone would use a different name to make the second offer…
(07:13:50 PM) Nate J.: It definitely isn’t a normal occurrence on the site so I fully understand the apprehension. Our security team will verify that their payment is good and that their information matches up, including matching their phone number to them.

The payment did come through fine and I shipped the unit out to the buyer. Obviously the buyer really wanted the unit and perhaps had second thoughts about cancelling the order or tried to come in with a lower amount thinking that I might go down further in price.

Love using Reverb and experiences like this one add some drama to what is ordinarily a fairly straightforward task of buying and selling gear.

Selling Stuff On Reverb With Canada Post

I’ve generally had good experiences using Canada Post for shipping gear that I have sold on Reverb. But every once in a while, something happens and I have to deal with the inability of a courier to meet a delivery standard.

In this case, it was the sale of this pedal, the Hotcake:


Great overdrive for a Vox style amp. Which is weird for me because I don’t play through Vox style amps. What was I thinking?

So many overdrives, so little time.

Anyway, I sold the pedal to a really nice person who lived in a rural area of Quebec. The delivery standard was not met by Canada Post and the buyer became a bit concerned and asked me to intervene.

Here was the discussion:


And it was completely out of my hands. I contacted Canada Post a couple of times and I was told, in effect, that the package will get there when the package gets there. One of the decisions a seller makes when using Reverb is how much to pay for shipping. Faster, guaranteed delivery costs more. And for a rural location, it can cost a lot more. The buyer is really not interested in paying any more than necessary to ship a package, especially when it is something as low cost as a guitar pedal. But when a standard gets set by the courier, 4 working days in this case, it can be quite frustrating when a package sits for almost another week without any change in status.

The pedal did finally make its way to the buyer.

Better late than never.