Thursday, August 13, 2009
Guitar Pron 6: the Blonde Limited
So, my collecting has slowed down a bit, but I'm still scanning eBay listings for guitars I believe in at great prices. That means I watch quite a few auctions, and when the price becomes too high, drop out. Sometimes if a listing has a "Buy it Now" option, I'll make a lowball offer near the end of the auction -- the worst the seller can do is say no, or ignore my offer. That's what usually happens. But sometimes they say yes.
In this particular case, the seller's asking price was pretty high compared to the selling price of other Limiteds. I made an lowball offer. The seller made a counter-offer, which was still a little high for my taste, so I split the difference and made a counter-counter offer just before the end of the auction. The seller accepted my offer.
I have a couple of Peavey Limited guitars. Every Limited that I've seen has had a flame maple or quilted maple top stained with a dye: Tiger's Eye, Margarita, dark blue, or rasberry red. I came across this one on eBay. I believe it must be a fairly rare bird -- it may have been made for a NAMM show or originated as a custom order. Or, maybe the luthiers in Leakesville just happened to have some wood that they thought would look prettier without a colored stain.
The flame maple top isn't as flashy as some of the PRS "ten tops," but then I consider some of those to be too flashy for my taste. This one is just a subtly gorgeous piece of wood, with a rippling 3-dimensional quality.
It has all the basic attributes of the other Limited models. This is a dual humbucker "HB" model. I'm still keeping an eye out for a "VT" model, with 3 hand-wound single-coil pickups, but those seem to be as rare as hen's teeth.
The "zebra" cream-and-black humbuckers go particularly well with this top.
The back shows off the mahogany body.
There's a little bit of corrosion on a couple of the neck screws. This kind of corrosion is probably caused by someone sweating against it -- the salt corroded the screws the same way it does a car. But it's nothing serious. I had to do a bit of adjustment to the neck position; it was slightly off-kilter, indicating that maybe the guitar took a knock in shipping, even though it was well-packed. The other possibility is that it may have spent too much time in a dry environment, allowing the wood of the neck pocket to shrink slightly, so that it was no longer making firm contact with the neck. In any case, this was not a difficult adjustment -- I just loosened the neck screws a bit and applied a little force to shift it into the right position, then held it there while I re-tightened the neck screws. It does require a certain degree of experience to know how much force you can apply without risking damage to the neck or neck pocket. It shifted back into place nicely and now the instrument is perfectly playable and the tuning is stable again.
The frets need a little bit of light touch-up work, so I'll take it up to Elderly the next time I go. But besides that, it doesn't need much of anything. It has that nice light weight, body contour, and woody, hollow tone that is characteristic of this series. I'll very likely be using this one to record.
If you're wondering what the difference is between "flame" maple -- this guitar's top -- and "qulited" maple, check out my earlier pictures of another Peavey Limited, which has a "quilted" top:
Guitar Pron 1 (a link to another entry in this blog).
My understanding is that "quilted" maple looks more wavy and irregular, like ripples in water, and the pattern may be larger. But don't quote me; I'm not an expert.