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Re: Fano guitars

Postby jellyjim » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:28 am

Well here's a zombie thread back from the dead!

Over two years later I finally tracked down an SP6. It was stunningly gorgeous (previous divergence on taste noted) and ...

... the neck was like a freakin' baseball bat. OMG, it was so chunky. I found it unplayable to be honest. Unfortunately (for the guy trying to sell it) it was poorly set up too. Very high action. The seller (small used gear shop) was kicking himself. Even so, there was just way too much wood in the palm of my hand (whoops pardon, excuse me vicar etc).

Well I learnt something at least. I like slim necks. I play a '65 Musicmaster II and the neck is circa mid-90s Kate Moss/heroin chic compared to the SP6's busty 50s era pinup vibe.

Back to the drawing board then.

It's really quite odd to have lusted afrer something for ages and then realise you didn't want it after all!
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby CS70 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:49 am

jellyjim wrote:Personal preferences aside ... :beamup: ... my question really was, what else is there in this price range? Obviously I realise you can spend any amount you care to think of on various Fenders and Gibsons and PRSs etc but what of boutique guitars?

So perhaps the question is, who else makes guitars of this quality and price other than Fender, Gibson, PRS?

A lot.. shur, music man, even Ibanez, you name it. Dozens of brands small and big.
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby jaminem » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:37 pm

Dennis Fano doesn't own that brand anymore he sold it and now makes guitars under the Novo name, so it MAY be that a 'Fano' era one is a bit different *(maybe not though)
I too found myself lusting after an Alt de facto JM6 for a long time...

However

moving away from the 'classic' brands can be scary but ultimately rewarding. As a bass player once I got into a position of being able to afford some nice basses, I stuck with the classic, Fender, Musicman and Warwick ranges, BUT recently after getting a new job (Theme developing here - get a job: get a guitar, keep your job: get a guitar, lose your job: Get a guitar!) I went for a Sandberg California and it is blatantly the nicest bass I have ever played.

Now that's saying something considering the company its in, so its always good to broaden the horizons

They also do guitars and have some lovely mashup-a-likes
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby jellyjim » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:02 pm

jaminem wrote:Dennis Fano doesn't own that brand anymore he sold it and now makes guitars under the Novo name

I too found myself lusting after an Alt de facto JM6 for a long time...

I went for a Sandberg California and it is blatantly the nicest bass I have ever played.

Now that's saying something considering the company its in, so its always good to broaden the horizons

I'd read Fano left a long time ago. I don't like the styling of his Novos. I'm a vintage feel kind of a guy!

Funnily enough I played a JM6 when looking for the SP6 and I did like the neck on that. I checked the specs on their site and they are different.

Yes, definitely coming round to the idea of other boutique brands. I have a vintage Fender anyway ('65 Musicmaster II, she's a beaut!) and I used to own a fairly old SG. It was pretty poor tbh!

I'll take a look at Sandberg, thanks, though I've just had a thorough look at Gordon Smith and I'm liking what I see. They have the Melody Maker/Les Paul Jr body shape in the single-cut GS2, lots of custom options, the prices are good and the lead times aren't horrendous.

Good words to say for Gordon Smith? I know they're under new management, it's not the original guy now.
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby Wonks » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:22 pm

They are certainly more consistent now. Dave B knows a lot more about them than I do and has been to the Northampton factory several times. Previously, they could be made from any wood they had handy, regardless what the spec said. And some of their pickup constructions were 'interesting'.

But certainly now worth a try.
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:28 pm

The original Gordon Smith workshop was about 10 mins from my home so I did go and met John Smith a few times over the years. His guitars were usually prettyy good and excellent value for money, I even owned one for a while (a GS2).

But I did see a one real shocker too (see Wonks' post above), it had a large knot about halfway up the neck which broke quite soon after the owner bought it, apparently JS refused to replace it (which IMO he should have done as the guitar should never have made it to the finishing shop) and repair was probably never going to work. It may be that it was roughly handled but the timber was so weak it wouldn't have taken much......

But, GS did have a good rep which was mostly well deserved. And the new builders have stared with a clean sheet so, hopefully, will maintain the standards GS were usually renowned for. Reviews I've read suggest the guitars are better than ever.
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby Humble Bee » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:53 pm

Well this guitar springs to mind...

https://nikhuber-guitars.com/krautster.html

I've played a few and they have all been wonderful.

To expensive for me tho... :(
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby jellyjim » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:56 pm

Humble Bee wrote:Well this guitar springs to mind...

https://nikhuber-guitars.com/krautster.html

I've played a few and they have all been wonderful.

To expensive for me tho... :(

Oh yes, very pretty! Bit too spendy for me also.
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby CS70 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:18 pm

The main challenge with these guitars is the resale value imho. An expensive Gibson or Fender or PRS keeps its value. A Suhr or say a Sadowsky are at least very appreciated by 99% of guitarists who are interested in guitars.. other brands, or even hand made instruments by very good luthiers are much harder to move. So when you get one you gotta know you are gonna keep it..
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby jellyjim » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:20 pm

Hmm, that’s a good point
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby arkieboy » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:18 am

CS70 wrote:So when you get one you gotta know you are gonna keep it..

+ several thousand

I had a Berlin built to my spec when Eggle were in Coventry nearly 30 years ago. Continues to serve me very well - and TBF a chunk of the depreciation has been because the guitar has been played properly in hundreds of shows all over the UK and even in bits of Europe. But a £1500 Gibson bought at the same time would have appreciated in raw number terms, whereas if I were to sell the Eggle I'd be fortunate to get £700.

That said, I chose well - I still love the guitar. I spent tonight in a technical rehearsal for this year's Oxford Gang Show playing a lemon Les Paul Classic from 2003 that Max and I think is pretty special, but the Eggle sat besides me in my guitar stand was saying 'you could have switched to out-of-phase single coils for that song had you picked me ...' and 'I have just that extra bit of room on the fretboard ...' and 'I have a comfy chamfer to accommodate your middle age spread'

:bouncy:

If I were a Viking it would be burnt in my long boat with me. But the Gibsons would go to the kids ...
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby arkieboy » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:25 am

Humble Bee wrote:https://nikhuber-guitars.com/krautster.html

The Orcas. Hmmmm ....
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:40 am

Mmm... :)
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby jellyjim » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:31 am

I had a Patrick Eggle New York year’s ago. Loved it! Very good guitar.

I had a friend at the time who borrowed it to do some recording that he never got to finish and he still berates me when I see him for getting rid of it! “You bastard! I’ll never be able to finish those songs. They don’t sound right on any other guitar!”
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby ore_terra » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:01 am

agree on the huuuuuge baseball neck of the SP6. don't dislike it though.

few months ago I got an Alt de facto ML6 and it is a serious guitar. neck is not as chunky as the sp6, but still quite big. 59' ish. the tone is very particular (lollar p90's, tusk saddled tune o matic bridge, bigsby).

regarding resale value, I would normally agree with CS70, and indeed when I decided to go for this one I made myself that question "am I gonna keep it?". however I've recently seen a few fanos being sold for good (fair) prices in the guitar forum I most frequently visit.

It did not happen the same with one of the Novos... I asked the guy for a swap last autumm when he was selling it for around 2k€, and right now he's lowered to 1700€ I think...
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby jellyjim » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:09 am

I might have got used to the neck but didn't feel comfortable taking the chance at the asking price!

Yes I'd agree, having spent a good while keeping an eye out for Fanos I can confirm they do pretty well in retaining value. I haven't seen any appreciate though.

Alt De Facto SP6s were circa £2,500. Standards were rarely below £1,500.

They mostly pop up in the US. A few in Europe. Almost none in the UK.
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby jellyjim » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:09 am

And congrats on the ML6. Lurvly guitar!
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Re: Fano guitars

Postby ore_terra » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:38 pm

It is...
Image
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