Like a NGD but Not

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by diamoroso, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. diamoroso

    diamoroso Gretschie

    139
    Feb 4, 2019
    San Diego, CA
    Thought some of you could probably appreciate this guitar, and am excited to show it off. I've actually owned this guitar since about a year after I started playing guitar, when I was 14/15 in the summer of 2001 I believe. This Vega C-86 Deluxe was purchased by my dad's Godfather brand new at some point in the 40s, who played the heck out of it to the point you can see indentations in the neck from his wedding ring. When he passed away in the 60's the guitar was left to my dad, who despite being a massive Jimmy Page fan, never had much interest in playing the guitar. At some point probably in the 70s my dad gave this guitar to one of his closest friends, who is a player. At some point the guitar was put into my dad's friend's attic, where it sat for who knows how long, possibly several decades. Once I began playing guitar, he decided to dig it out and give it to me during an annual vacation my family always took with his.

    It was my only acoustic guitar for years, I played it regularly for years, even busking with it as a teenager. Once I moved out of my parents house at 18, I left the guitar behind to make sure is stayed safe. I went to a music college, moved up and down the West Coast a few times, and didn't touch the guitar for probably another decade. Eventually I was a starting to live life a little bit more like an adult, and I took the guitar back. It was basically unplayable, cracks in the wood, bent neck (no truss rod), worn frets, bent bridge, etc, etc. I kept it around the house as a display piece for a couple more years, until I finally decided to have some restoration work done a couple months ago. I dropped it off with one of the top luthiers in the San Diego area (Fred at Repair Zone for any SD folk) and asked him to make it as solid and playable as he possibly could.

    I got it back today, and I'm very excited about it. It plays like a dream now, it's a different feeling and sounding guitar obviously, but it plays as well if not better than my Gibson J-45 now. I'm at work currently, so just one picture for now, but I'll get more detailed pics up soon if you're interested!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2020
  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Beautiful guitar . Enjoy it and play well
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  3. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    It looks great from here. I’m looking forward to more pictures.
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    One of my instructors, Dale Bruning, had a Vega archtop when he was starting his career as a guitarist. I heard great things about that guitar.
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  5. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Great story, and it's really cool that you had it brought back to life. Looks sweet.

    Congrats, and we're pic hounds around here. Never can have too many pics
     
    JT19 and diamoroso like this.
  6. Groutsch

    Groutsch Gretschie

    319
    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland, US
    What a beautiful guitar! Congratulations to you for restoring it so it can make music again. It's a renewed guitar day well earned.
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  7. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    I loved that story and as I read it I wondered if I would be disappointed in what the guitar turned out like when I got to the photo. No chance of that, your guitar is stunning....Well done.
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  8. diamoroso

    diamoroso Gretschie

    139
    Feb 4, 2019
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks everyone, I’m happy you appreciate this guitar! Here are some more detailed pictures of the guitar, if there is anything specific you’d like to see just let me know!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    reverb11, Marv666, JC higgy and 8 others like this.
  9. Groutsch

    Groutsch Gretschie

    319
    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland, US
    I like the play wear along the neck. That guitar has led a useful life.

    The fret markers are beautiful and the tuners are AMAZING, perfect on that big blond guitar.
     
    diamoroso and radd like this.
  10. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Oh my!!!
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  11. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Would you ever consider replacing the headstock inlays?
     
    diamoroso and Groutsch like this.
  12. Buckyboy

    Buckyboy Gretschie

    Kewl! Those tuners are amazing!
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  13. Zeek

    Zeek Synchromatic

    797
    May 29, 2016
    Illinos USA
    Beautiful, Congrads, Kool story
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  14. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    Congratulations, that's such a beauty.
    Also, seems like it was a high end guitar back when it was new.
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  15. diamoroso

    diamoroso Gretschie

    139
    Feb 4, 2019
    San Diego, CA
    Yeah, definitely. The luthier offered this to me, but I decided to hold off and consider having it done later. The restoration was already getting a bit pricey, haha.


    Thank you, from my research it sold for $285 new without a case, with inflation that’s nearly $5K. Very high end guitar, especially considering the original owner was an Italian immigrant barber.
     
    new6659 and JeffreyLeePierre like this.
  16. rake_ether

    rake_ether Gretschie

    135
    Aug 24, 2019
    Athens, GA USA
    I'm an archtop fanatic as you appear to be. My favorite for playing blues is my modest 1961 Silvertone by Harmony. Great blues tone.
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  17. diamoroso

    diamoroso Gretschie

    139
    Feb 4, 2019
    San Diego, CA
    I knew a guy who was a great Americana player with a Harmony archtop of some sort, not sure what model it was, but I played it a couple times and it was great.

    This particular Vega guitar is a great example of how a guitar can make you play a bit differently. This guitar excels at jazz and swing styles, has a very Django-esque vibe, begs me for harmonic minor. I also have a J45, a guitar that prefers to be played with cowboy chords to my hands and ears.
     
    Groutsch and rake_ether like this.
  18. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    Spectacular guitar. Good that you rescued it.
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  19. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Age:
    53
    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    Man, that's awesome! I love those tuners and the way the headstock looks without the inlays.:)
     
    diamoroso likes this.
  20. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Fantastic guitar brought back to life.

    Beautiful pics and great dedication getting this done.

    Enjoy.
     
    diamoroso likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.