Hi folks, I'm Harry Harris from Texas. I've been in touch with Barbara Franklin and have permission to offer this guitar for sale here on the Forum.
I've been following Ted since the Chord Chemistry days back in the early '70's with the Bearded Revolutionary pic! My first guitar teacher used to tell me about the 'cool chords' while I looked at all of the pics in the book! Later I found out that a childhood friend of mine, a guitar player named Stephen Bruton, was a student of Ted's. I learned that Ted's passion and dedication made a lasting impression on Stephen. I heard Ted's solo album and, well, you folks know the rest of the story, don't you? Wonderful Music and a profound respect for the Gentle Creator of same.
This guitar was purchased by me about a year and half ago from the music store just North of San Francisco that handled the sale of Ted's Guitars for the Estate. It is a 1970 Guild Duane Eddy DE400 Standard model, with a 17" mahogany-laminate body, 24 3/4" scale neck and cherry red finish. As I received it, the guitar had been slightly modified, undoubtedly for the purpose of giving the guitar an earlier look and sound.
1) The original, 1st Generation Guild Anti-Hum Pickups (you know, humbuckers), that Guild used from late '63 to late '70 had been replaced with the type of white-faced DeArmond 200 single-coil pickups that were used in Guild Archtop Guitars from '61 on, including the first Duane Eddy models (from '62 on into mid-'63. By the way, no routing was done on the body by the 'replacer', whoever it was).
2) The '68-'74 'no Duane Eddy signature' stair-step pickguard was replaced with a '63-'68 model that actually has the gold-stenciled 'Duane Eddy' signature.
3) The Guild Harp tailpiece was replaced with a '90's Guild Bigsby (Guild ran out of the original order of 2,000 Guild branded Bigsbys by '69, so the 'last-gasp' Duane models don't have them). How do I know it was replaced? Well, you can see the original screw-holes for a Guild harp tailpiece under the Bigsby foot-print!).
4) Replaced bridge. The guitar currently has a early '60's nickle-plated Hagstrom/Guild tuneamatic-version bridge. A non-Bigsby, harp tail piece Duane would have had an all rosewood 2-piece guild bridge.
5) the Master Volume knob is a replacement. It's one of the small ones that Ted liked on his guitars (I'm judging this from pics and vids, not from personal knowledge).
Modifications or Repairs:
1) The neck was re-fretted, re-bound, re-set and over-sprayed. The result is that the guitar has a wonderful break-over point on the bridge, far better than any of the 4 Duane Eddy guitars I have played including a mid-'60's DE500 I owned 20 years ago. The fret job is very good, the re-binding is pretty good (a little shrinkage, it was probably fine when it was done 10 years or so ago) and the re-set is very solid (all the correct angles, too!). The over-spray job is good, but not great. It feels fine, a bit on the thick side, but not sticky. Original tuners and no breaks or cracks in the neck, if you are wondering.
2) The body, at least the top, appears to have a coat of clear laquer applied. Somebody played this guitar a lot and there spots on the side where the finish is worn off. It's definitely been played, folks.
3) There is a worn spot on the back (very typical for Guilds in this era) where some former repairman applied a red finish over the bare wood. When you see pics, you might think that it's the original red undercoat worn past the clear coats, but it's not!
3) Under the bridge, there are two small holes in the body where some former owner pegged the bottom of the bridge (I had them filled).
Repairs done by the present owner (me!):
When I got the guitar, I had my luthier work on the bridge saddles (strings were slightly binding), remove a penny from under the Bigsby (I guess Ted wanted the Bigsby elevated by a penny-width!) and dowel the holes under the bridge. We replaced the nut, too, with a nice bone one.
Later, I bought an original set of Guild 1st-Generation Humbuckers (from Argentina!) with the correct, original arch-top mounting rings and installed them on the Guitar. Why? The DeArmonds are really a neat sound, but I grew up with the Guild humbucking sound and that's the way I wanted the guitar to behave. Of course, I still have the DeArmond pickups.
The replacement Bigsby had a cracked end-plate (actually called a hinge, it's the piece that screws into the butt of the guitar), so I replaced it with the correct Guild Harp tailpiece. After finding another '90's Guild Bigsby, I installed that Bigsby on the guitar. The guitar holds tune with both types of tail-pieces. I have all 3 tailpieces, now!
This is an absolutely great player's guitar, but, with all of the changed parts, it is not a 'true collector's' guitar. It is however, a wonderful guitar that belonged to a wonderful musician. I think somebody will get a kick out of playing it with either set of pickups, though I think most players would be happier with the Guild Humbucker sound.
This guitar comes with what I believe is a '60's or very early '70's Guild X500 case, which means the case is thicker (deeper) than the guitar. For what it's worth, the DE400 'Standard' guitars usually came with the thicker X500 width cases, while the DE500 'Deluxe' guitars usually came with thinner cases.
From my conversations with Barbara, I think this guitar lived at Ted's apartment. I would love to hear from anybody who remembers this guitar. I sent my late friend Stephen a pic of it when I bought it. We discussed the guitar later and he remembered it as a good guitar, but of course, Ted didn't have any bad guitars, did he?
I have $2300 in this guitar with one set of pickups and $2600 with both sets of pickups. I am offering it for sale at either price, depending if the Buyer wants one or both sets of pickups.
Shipping will be actual costs, with no handling charges. By the way, I pack guitars incredibly well. I literally double-box them from 'Virgin cardboard' to attain a 400lb. stress load rating and I've never had one break in shipment.
Why am I selling it? I'm actually selling a bunch of guitars for financial reasons. I would love to see this guitar wind up with someone who can enjoy every aspect of it. I have tons of pics for any one who is interested, or you can come see it at the Arlington Guitar Show on October 15th, 2009. Please believe me when I say I would much rather sell it to someone here than at a Guitar Show. Please also believe me when I say that 'time is of the essence' and I intend to sell it quickly.
Above is a link to two photos of this guitar that I published on a Guild guitar forum in March of '08. Please scroll down to the bottom of the linked page to see both pics.
One is a pic of the guitar as I bought it, with the white DeArmonds installed. Remember, the guitar currently has the small Guild humbuckers in it, like Ted used when he played the '63 Sunburst DE400 on the youtube videos.
The other pic is from a post of Barbara's from 4/27/07 in the Family Photos thread (page 1 at the bottom) of the General Topics Section. Ted is playing this guitar while he leans against a white wicker chair.
Please note that this is not the early '60's Guild Starfire III of the same color known as Ruby, that is shown at another part of the Family Photo thread, submitted in Jan. '08 on page 3.
PS I have actually traced this guitar back through the last 3 owners, to about 15 or 20 years ago. I'd be glad to write about that aspect of the guitar, but will save that story for a later post. HH
PPS Thanks again, Barbara. Your blessing and approval mean a lot to me. Mil Gracias! HH