Category Archives: For Sale

Mike & Mike’s Guitar Guards: Vinyl Record Pickguards for Your Instrument!

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After lots of hard work and determination, we’re ready to officially announce Mike & Mike’s Guitar Guards! These pickguards made from recycled vinyl records are produced entirely by hand in Seattle, WA and are made to fit many of the most popular guitar models: Fender Telecaster, Esquire, Telemaster, Nashville Tele, Mustang, Jaguar, Jag-Stang, Jazz Bass, G&L ASAT and ASAT Special, Gibson SG, Gretsch and pretty much any other guard that fits within the boundaries of a 12″ LP. Over the coming months we’ll be looking to add even more models to the party. Pretty snazzy, don’t you think?

We’re proud to offer these custom-fit replacement pickguards in three distinct collections:

IMG_2911-impAssorted – $45: Pre-cut, semi-random guards for popular models with a choice of overall label color to match your instrument. This series could include popular artists, not-so-popular ‘joke’ artists, self-hypnosis records, blooper reels, etc.*

Custom – $60: Custom-cut guards with full artist/album options (even soundtracks and off-the-beaten-path releases) as well as accommodation for non-standard pickup configuarations. We’ll send a list of options or you can make a request, which we’ll do our best to fill. These guards will also ship in their original album sleeve whenever possible!*

Premium – $75: All of the above in limited edition colored vinyl releases. Ships in original album sleeve!*

You’re also welcome to send us your own records for us to cut into the shape of your choosing!**

Each guard is hand-cut and lovingly shaped for a true-to-spec fit. Edges are sanded smooth, lightly beveled and polished to a 1950’s Bakelite sheen, and great care is taken to ensure a perfect, tight fit with all components. As an added bonus, we also laquer each label individually to ensure that it weathers even aggressive picking technique with aplomb. This also has the effect of making the label stand out a bit more, with a slight increase in hue saturation and contrast.

IMG_2950-impInterestingly enough, this is one of the only upgrades you can make to your guitar or bass that already has music in it. Each and every one of our Mike & Mike’s Guitar Guards contains a purposely-recorded performance, a snapshot of the hard work, dedication and careers of living, breathing musicians who sought to make a life for themselves. Every guard is an archive of the human spirit!

It’s also immensely important to us that our product is environmentally conscious, so helping to recycle old, worn-out and discarded vinyl albums is a huge part of what we do. We search high and low for great materials, and we do our best to use only records that have a bad side or songs that won’t play. No sense wasting a perfectly good record!

Now you can play on your favorite record! Mike & Mike’s Guitar Guards are the perfect addition to a well-loved instrument, adding a touch of mid-century class the moment it’s mounted. These guards can be found at Thunder Road Guitars in West Seattle, and on certain new Fastback Custom Guitars.

Interested in one of these fine accessories? Email us to get started!

Special thanks goes to all of those who have helped and encouraged us to pursue this little dream of ours: Charissa Adams, Chelsea Young, Dana and Vivian Huff, Alex Lathum, Chris Graffmiller, Michael Plotke, Scott Paul Johnson and Wallingford Guitars, Wesley William Wood and Rural Nyce Custom Guitars, Frank Gross and Thunder Road Guitars, Mark Naron and Fastback Custom Guitars.

IMG_3014-imp*There is an additional $10 fee for shielded guards. Please have Make and Model info ready when ordering.
**As can be expected, vinyl records tend to be fragile and it’s not uncommon for lighter-grade pieces to become damaged during the initial shaping and cutting process. While we take the greatest care in preparing our materials, this can’t always be avoided; it’s best to have a back-up choice when ordering.
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Teaser!

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We’ve been away from the blog for a couple of weeks, and I promise we have the best excuse ever! We’ve been working hard on our first-ever product, and the time has come to let the cat out of the bag. Here’s a teaser photo of our work with full product details to follow this weekend!

Thanks to all of our faithful friends and customers who have supported us since we opened, and a very special thanks to those of you who allowed us to borrow your instruments! This couldn’t have happened without all of you!

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Recently, at Mike & Mike’s…

Guys, we’ve had a huge month; tons of guitars coming through for sale, repairs through the roof, and even a few surprising scores! Thanks to everyone who has been stopping by and making our little shop a success.  We love ya.  Check our eBay store for more goodies!

A GORGEOUS ’66 Gibson ES-125TC, super clean and totally original. All the growl and snarl you could ever want from that P90!

’69 Ampeg Portaflex B-15 Flip-top. Great shape, mammoth tone and a flight case included!

An old Gretsch Viking that absolutely slays. Such a beautiful instrument!

We miss this one. *sniff* This Fender Coronado II is one of the most fun, scrappy guitars we’ve had in a long time.

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1967 Prototype Fender Rhodes Suitcase/Stage Piano

When we officially launched this website last month with the “Gear Spotlight” page, I had a real stroke of luck with getting to play and document Buddy Holly’s personal tweed amp. After wrapping up that post it dawned on me that it would be very unlikely I’d get to blog about something half that cool ever again.  Thankfully, the powers of the cosmos have smiled upon the Guitar Bar and we stumbled upon another one-of-a-kind piece.  We’ll save you the nittygritty on how this piece came into our possession, but we’re very proud to have a prototype Fender Rhodes piano in our shop.

What makes this piece so fascinating is that it is completely undocumented in any photographs or archival footage, and from what information we’ve been able to gather (and a bit of conjecture), this piano was the factory test bed for just about every change Fender made to the Rhodes in the late 1960’s.  Now, this was a time when Fender was revamping the Rhodes inside and out by devising a new preamp/power amp combo, new pickups and perhaps most importantly the introduction of the “Stage” model piano.

A peek under the hood! Look at those beautiful square tone bars

The basis for this piano is a 73 key “Sparkle Top” Rhodes, like all of the early models made from 1965-1969 (think Billy Preston playing with the Beatles at the rooftop concert or “Bitches Brew”) with the original Jordan model preamp, but that’s about where the similarities to the early Rhodes pianos end.  The case looks more like something you’d see at grandma’s house, with a wood grain veneer over a plywood box.  Now, before you start thinking that we’ve gotten far too excited about a rehoused early Rhodes, give us a sec to drop a few more nuggets of goodness:  The faceplate for the Jordan preamp is an etched gold metal, seen only on two other early Rhodes prototype examples (most notably an early abandoned 88 key model) and the bottom of the piano features a faint, but discernible “Fender Inc. c. 1967.”  Also, the 73 individual pickups on the harp assembly are the earliest documented example of Fender using red wire on the coils and the only example of this wire being used on the full 4″ pickups.  This piano is dated two full years before that change hit the market, and when the red pickups did finally make their way into consumer hands, they were a full 1/2″ shorter than the ones in the prototype.  Pretty cool, eh?

Rare 4″ red wire pickups, with one earlier greeny hanging out for good measure. It’s like Christmas!

Next, we have the aforementioned Jordan preamp with the uber-shiny gold faceplate which features one notable diversion from the original design: an XLR jack and five-pin connector mounted to the side of the preamp.  This was a time when Fender was shifting from a 1/4 input on their piano preamps to a new and proprietary four-pin connection, and this piano was the one to pioneer that change.  It looks as if the folks at Fender were working out the kinks on that idea as well, as the matching Jordan power amp that comes with the piano also features a matching XLR jack.

Now, as many Nord players of today can appreciate, the Fender Rhodes Stage piano was a great upgrade for its time because it allowed the user to just bring his keys with him without hauling around the extra 4×12 speaker cabinet (and sustain pedal system) that Fender had designed for the earliest Rhodes.  What we discovered when we took a gander at the underside of our piano were notes on the placement of the legs for the Stage model and also for the dowel to operate the sustain rod.  The original set of legs and flanges even came with the piano, and while they are cool they are also decidedly rougher than the final product!  And with this discovery it seems like the Fender folks were also dreaming up the Stage piano design a couple years before it hit the market.

Check out the low serial # on the early Jordan preamp

Then again, one of the coolest things about this prototype is that it gives the distinct impression that it was a very useful part of the Fender Rhodes development for a few years (the components inside the Rhodes date it back to ’66) and could have been tinkered with endlessly while Harold Rhodes and Co. figured out the best way to improve their designs.  The collection of cigarette burns on the moderately battered top tell tales of a company which had already created a great product and was working hard to make it even better and more reliable for the working musician.

Perhaps the best thing about this prototype is that it sounds and plays incredibly well.  As far as we can tell it remains completely unmodified from it’s original factory condition and has great action and incredible bell-like chime (not to mention a bit of grit) thanks to the original Raymac tines.  We couldn’t be happier to have this piece in our shop and get to share a few of the details with you!

We’re only able to post a few photos in this blog format, but luckily http://www.FenderRhodes.com has assured us that they will be making a special page for this piano on their site, and we hope we can convince them to archive a few more pics.

Lastly, if you’ve fallen in love with this piano like we have and want to take her home…just browse on over to our Contact page and give us a call!  We’d love to find a good home for this unique piece.

-Mike Ball

Thanks anonymous Rhodes employee for giving us a clue!

’66 Sparkletop Rhodes Key Bass! SOLD

This thing rocks.

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Muff is on the Menu. No, wait.

UPDATE: RAM’S HEAD SOLD (RIGHT)

How do you take your fuzz? Thick and rich? Beefy? Or do you prefer your dirt with a bit less gain, a bit more fizz?

Whatever your preference, here at Mike and Mike’s Guitar Bar we pride ourselves on having at our disposal the very finest blends.

“The best part of waking up is stomping a Big Muff!”

We’re a fuzz museum!

IN STOCK NOW!

We’re a fuzz museum! A “Ram’s Head” Big Muff and a Vox Tone Bender, two very different flavors that run the gamut from huge and furry to thin and buzzy. While they’re both amazing in their own way, I will say that this is the greatest Big Muff I’ve ever played. Ever.

And get this: next week we’re getting an original Dallas/Arbiter Fuzz Face!
I LOVE THIS JOB!

If you’re interested in checking these out, give us a call!

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