Browse Dave’s Collection
“Welcome to the guitar collection. On the second floor of our store we have on display over 300 guitars and more than 50 amps that I’ve accumulated over the years. The friends and customers that have visited us seem to really appreciate being able to view this, so we thought we would share it with our online friends and fellow guitar enthusiasts as well. Enjoy!”
- Dave Rogers
The items in Dave’s Collection are not available for purchase.
Sunburst, Serial # 92.
In 1962, Leo Fender was continuing to devise ways to expand his company’s line of musical instruments. Since Fender had revolutionized the solid body electric guitar in the ‘50s, he was hoping to do the same with acoustic guitars in the ‘60s. He hired German born guitar-maker Roger Rossmeisl to help design and execute these guitars. Rossmeisl had come to the United States in the late ‘40s hoping to build guitars for Gibson. After a brief unsuccessful stay in Michigan, he moved to California, and contributed to Rickenbacker’s most enduring electric guitar designs before moving on to Fender.
Rossmeisl continued work at Fender Musical Instruments after its sale to CBS in 1965. He designed not only acoustics, but also the Coronado semi-acoustics and Tele Thinlines. In 1968, CBS gave him the go-ahead to design two high-end archtop electric jazz guitars: the LTD and the Montego. The LTD was supposed to be the ultimate jazz archtop (meant to rival D’Angelicos). It had a carved spruce top, gold hardware, and one hum-cancelling pickup. The Montego was a step below with a pressed spruce top and chrome hardware. It was available in both a one pickup, and a two pickup version. Only a small number of these guitars were made between 1968 and 1972: about 40 LTDs, and less than 100 Montegos. The Montego II pictured has a hand-signed label numbered 92.
According to the 1969 Fender catalog, “A magnificent instrument for the professional or serious musician, the Montego combines both beauty and performance in a high quality great sounding guitar.” These specs were listed in the 1972 catalog: “Elegantly contoured spruce top, specially-designed pickups with hand-wound hum-cancelling coils – totally shielded from outside interference, genuine hand-cut Australian mother-of-pearl decorative inlays, and the finest materials and workmanship employed throughout.” The neck is detachable hard rock maple with a curved ebony fingerboard. The body has an arched spruce top with flamed maple back and sides.
The 1972 Fender price list has a Montego II Sunburst at $850 plus $95 for a case.
Butterscotch Blonde, Serial # 0215.
Leo Fender introduced the Precision Bass in late 1951 following the success of his revolutionary electric six-string, the Telecaster. The P-Bass proved to be even more ground-breaking. The radical guitar-sized instrument was almost immediately embraced by bassists and guitarists alike. Bassists had labored for years carrying around the huge upright, only to be barely heard over the horns and drums. The new readily portable bass was easily amplified and could provide a strong bottom end compliment to the drums. Unemployed guitarists, out of work due to the post World War II trend of smaller dance bands, could find work without having to learn a completely new technique. An early 1952 ad described the reasons to buy a Precision Bass: “fretted neck, superb tone, easily played, modern design, highly portable, extremely rugged, faster changes, light weight, 1/6 size of a regular bass”.
The P-Bass pictured dates from July of 1952. It shares the characteristics common to basses made between 1951 and 1954. The most prominent of these are: a flat slab ash body like the Telecaster’s with elongated horns for better balance (the body became contoured to match the Stratocaster’s in ’54), a headstock shaped like a larger version of the Tele’s (became more Strat shaped in ’57), black “Bakelite” pickguard (white by ’56, gold anodized by ’57), and a single coil pickup (became two-coil hum-cancelling in ’57).
Early players of the original Precision were Roy Johnson and Monk Montgomery – two consecutive bassists in Lionel Hampton’s band. Over two decades later, the bass again found favor with two successive bassists for the Fabulous Thunderbirds – Keith Ferguson and Preston Hubbard.
Sunburst, Serial # A33186.
Sparkling Burgundy, Serial # 899091.
Black, Serial # 82986502.
Cherry Sunburst, Serial # 40702271.
Candy Apple Red, Serial # L24133.
Whale Blue, Serial # 521569.
Western Orange, Serial # 21485.
The Fred Gretsch Company introduced its most famous flat-top, The Rancher in1954. The Rancher was a jumbo 17 inch wide, triangular soundhole acoustic based on Gretsch’s earlier 125F, but with western themed decorations like the Chet Atkins 6120, 6121, and the 6130 Round Up. The eye-catching Golden Red guitar can be seen violently strummed by Paul Peek of Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps in the classic 1956 movie “The Girl Can’t Help it”.
This stunning orange 1957 behemoth has the features typical to the model’s evolution that year. These include: extremely figured maple back and sides, large triangular rosewood bridge supporting an adjustable rosewood saddle, “G” brand, 25 and ½” scale rosewood fingerboard on a maple neck, pearloid humped-block fingerboard inlays (replacing the original block inlays engraved with cow and cactus designs), horseshoe headstock inlay (replacing the original steer’s head), and a plain gold pickguard (replacing the earlier tortoiseshell guard).
The guitar was originally purchased new on April 20th 1957 at Zadworny Accordion Studio in St. Paul Minnesota for $275 including case and strap. A trade-in allowance of $65 was given for a Harmony Monterey guitar, leaving a balance of $210. The original hang tag, Gretsch Guitar Guarantee, polish cloth and strap have been preserved in great condition inside the case.
Fireglo, Serial # 6K4637.
Natural, Serial # A20043.
The “Singing Cowboy” phenomenon of the 1930s was the main inspiration for the “King of the Flattops”, Gibson’s J-200. Cowboy movie idol, Ray Whitley approached Gibson in 1937 about having a guitar designed to out-do rival western crooner Gene Autry’s fancy mother-of pearl adorned Martin D-45. The result was the prototype for the Super Jumbo (soon to be called SJ-200 due to its original $200 price).
The original Super Jumbos shared dimensions with Gibson’s 17” wide L-5 (the very earliest were 16 and 7/8” wide). Unlike on the L-5, rosewood back and sides were standard instead of maple (two maple pre-War SJ-200s are known to exist).
The guitar featured is one of 41 natural finished J-200s made in 1955 (the “S” had been dropped from the name by this time). This beautifully aged instrument has the characteristics typical of other J-200s from early 1955. It has the distinctive rosewood “moustache” bridge (changed from the original ebony in 1941), rosewood fingerboard with “cloud” inlays (also changed from ebony in 1941), and a two piece maple neck with rosewood center strip. The top is spruce, while the back and sides are maple (changed from the original rosewood spec after 1946). This guitar’s elaborately decorated flower and vine engraved pickguard still has the stripe along its border, which disappeared from later versions by the middle of ’55.
According the 1959 Gibson price list (the closest available in the DGS Archives), the list price of a New J-200N was $385. A brown Lifton hard shell case would have been an additional $52.50.
Cherry Sunburst, Serial # 851490.
Cherry, Serial # 101330.
Mono version with earlier features including: Grover Rotomatic tuners, Bigsby vibrato, and no serial number on the back of the headstock. This is one of only 66 Mono ES-355s made that year.
Sunburst, Serial # 172722.
While Gibson had been making electric arch-top and steel guitars since the 1930’s, it wasn’t until the early ‘50s that a flat-top was electrified. The first electric flat-top produced by Gibson was the CF-100E debuting in 1951. This guitar was based on the small 14 and 1/8” cutaway flat-top introduced the year before. Although cutaway flat-top electrics would become popular decades later, this innovative guitar was discontinued in by 1959, due in part to the more impressive sales figures of its descendant the J-160E.
The J-160E was introduced in 1954 and had the more conventional look of the popular J-45 and Southern Jumbo guitars. To function as a usable electric guitar, the J-160E had to be very different structurally from a regular flat-top. While the J-45 (or even the CF-100E) had a solid spruce X-braced top, J-160E needed a 3-ply laminated spruce top with ladder bracing to make it more rigid and less prone to feedback. The neck joined the body at the 15th fret (instead of the 14th) to allow room for a P-90 pickup between the end of the fingerboard and the sound-hole.
This early J-160E can be distinguished from later versions by its odd looking adjustable bridge. The bridge could be adjusted up or down by turning the large screws on either side of the bridge (replaced with more conventional looking smaller adjustment screws by the late 1950’s). It also has straight sided “speed knobs” for volume and tone controls (replaced by “bonnet knobs’ in 1956).
Cherry Sunburst, Serial # 892010.
The Trini Lopez model was introduced in 1965 with input from the popular singer. After moving from Dallas to Beverly Hills in the early ‘60s, he was discovered by Frank Sinatra and signed to Reprise Records. He had several hit records including “If I Had a Hammer” and Lemon Tree”. The Trini Lopez model also came in two versions: the Standard (based on a 335), and the Deluxe (based on the Barney Kessel). The main features that make the Lopez different from the Kessel are: an asymmetrical “Fender-like” headstock, diamond soundholes and fingerboard inlays, and a standby switch.
Sunburst, Serial # 172272.
Sunburst, Serial # 193823.
Sunburst, Serial # 049310.
Natural, Serial # 66725.
Over seventy years after its first appearance, the Dreadnought size guitar remains the most popular among acoustic guitar players. The Dreadnaught (named after the HMS Dreadnought, a British ship launched in 1906) was originally designed by C.F. Martin & Company in 1916 for the Oliver Ditson Company of Boston. These guitars were sold under the Ditson brand until the late 1920’s when the Ditson Company went out of business. At the time Martin believed that such a large guitar produced too much bass and spoiled the delicate balance of the Martin sound. This philosophy changed during the hard times of the Great Depression starting in 1929. The slowdown in business motivated Martin to try new ideas to keep musicians interested. One of these ideas was to release Dreadnought size guitars in 1931 under its own brand name.
This 1937 Martin Dreadnought D-28 has the classic features that make it among the most celebrated guitars of the Golden Era. These include: Spruce top with Brazilian rosewood back and sides, scalloped “X” bracing (until 1944), “belly” bridge (introduced on Martins in 1929), 14 frets clear of the body (1934) mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, diamond shaped fingerboard inlays (until 1944), and Herringbone top trim (until 1946).