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.
Olympic White, Serial # L86059.
The Fender Precision Bass was introduced in late 1951 and almost immediately had a dramatic lasting effect on how music was heard and played. This new bass was small compared to an upright acoustic bass, and its feedback resistant solid body (like the earlier Fender Telecaster) enabled players to play at higher volumes. Guitarists were able to adapt to this instrument more easily than the upright, and thus could obtain more work.
This Olympic White 1965 Precision is typical (other than the custom color) of the fully evolved model that year. It has a comfort contoured body (following the lead of the Stratocaster in 1954), a split hum-cancelling pickup (replacing the original single coil in 1957), tortoise pickguard and rosewood fingerboard (1959), pearloid fingerboard dots (replacing clay dots in 1964), and a transition headstock decal (replacing spaghetti logo in 1964).
Sunburst, Serial # L18136.
Dakota Red, Serial # 73776.
Blonde, Serial # 0163.
In the late 1940’s, Leo Fender began working on a practical electric Spanish guitar. The design would be simple, and the guitar would be easy to manufacture and repair. It would also be convenient and uncomplicated for the working musician. The result, introduced in the fall of 1950, was the Broadcaster.
The Broadcaster was a two pickup solid body guitar able to reach high stage volumes with none of the feedback problems that plagued hollowbody guitars. The instrument was fitted with an easily replaceable bolt-on neck. This neck contained an adjustable truss-rod (earlier prototypes had no truss-rod). The pickups were meant to give the same bright clarity as Fender’s lap steel guitars. Lastly, a 3-saddle adjustable bridge was included for better (not perfect) intonation.
In mid-February of 1951 the Gretsch Company contacted Fender pointing out that the name “Broadcaster “was very similar to the name of Gretsch’s “Broadkaster” drum set. Gretsch requested “immediate assurance” that Fender would abandon the use of the name. Fender immediately complied. The guitar continued to be produced without a name until September of that year when “Telecaster” began appearing on the decal. The Telecaster name continues to be used on the Broadcaster’s contemporary descendents.
A modern Telecaster has changed very little from the 61 year old Broadcaster spotlighted this month. The features special to Broadcasters and early Teles are: closed-shell Kluson Deluxe tuners with no protruding shaft on the side (became open-shell by 1952), maple headstock plug (all were walnut by ‘52), back string ferrules not in a straight line (straightened by ’51), pickup blend control (became a tone control by ’52), and slot-head screws (became Phillips screws by ’54). A black pickguard was used until late ’54, and a see-through blonde finished ash body remained standard through the ‘70s.
Natural, Serial # X88699. Gibson made J-50 Body as used by National during the period.
Cherry, Serial # 217819. Rare Custom Color.
Natural, Serial # A22080. Very Rare Spruce Top.
Sunburst, Serial # A9470. This one just came into the shop recently. A Beautiful example of an Early 50's L-5.
Orville Gibson’s innovative carved top and back fretted instruments (inspired by the construction methods for violins) brought the company he founded great success in the early 1900’s. By the early 1920’s Gibson’s acoustic engineer Lloyd Loar and his team took the violin inspiration a step further by designing a family of high quality fretted instruments with “f” holes. This family included the legendary L-5 guitar and F-5 mandolin.
From the time of its introduction in 1922 until today, the L-5 has been considered one of the finest jazz guitars. Jazz greats Eddie Lang, Allan Reuss, and Wes Montgomery played versions of the classic guitar. It evolved from its original 16” width to its current 17” width in 1934. By 1939, it gained a cutaway. The guitar became electrified with pickups by 1951.
This L-5 is a non-cutaway acoustic version dating to 1952. While both cutaway acoustic and electric versions were available that year, Gibson still provided a guitar for players specializing in rhythm only type jazz playing. The interest in these non-cutaway acoustics gradually dwindled throughout the ‘50s. In 1952, 27 non-cutaway L-5s were produced, whereas in 1958 only 5 were made. The non-cutaway L-5 was discontinued at the end of that year, and was not seen again until the 16” version was reissued in the ‘90s.
The 1952 L-5 pictured has all the characteristics common to that year. These include the well-known mother-of-pearl flower pot (torch) headstock inlay, modern style Gibson logo (replacing the script logo in 1949), gold Kluson Sealfast tuners with plastic buttons, two piece curly maple neck with mahogany center strip and bound ebony fingerboard, 17” wide body with solid maple back and sides with spruce top, and the classic art deco tailpiece.
Tweed, High Power
In 1953 Fender launched an amp that would become the industry standard for decades: The Twin.
The Twin, named for its pair of 12” speakers, evolved in looks and power output through the 1950s. In1955 it changed from a wide-panel 25 watt amp to a narrow-panel 50 watt amp. By 1958, the tweed Twin reached 80 watts.
The new high powered Twins were favored by late ‘50s rock n’ roll musicians because the sound was able to fill most dance halls (this was before miking amps through a PA system was standard practice). A number of these rockers also plugged Fender’s space age Stratocaster into the Twin because of the solid body’s ability to reach high volumes without feedback. The Strat/Twin setup was favored by Buddy Holly and Tommy Allsup of The Crickets, and by Johnny Meeks of Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps.
Even though the high powered tweed Twin was eventually replaced by the black tolex covered Twin Reverb and various incarnations of channel switching Twins, it is still a sought after collectable amp. The most notable proponent of the 80 watt tweed Twin today is Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Since the ‘90s he’s always had a Twin or two on stage to achieve his signature clean/dirty - rhythm/lead sound.
As important and innovative as Fender guitars were in the 1950’s, Fender amps were the industry standard; renowned for their tone, durability, and easy maintenance. At Fender, the amplifier was considered as important to the overall sound as the guitar. The right electric guitar needed to be matched to the right amplifier before music could be made.
If the legendary recordings made at the Memphis Stax-Volt studio in the 1960’s are used as evidence, the perfect mate for a Fender Esquire (or Telecaster) would be a Fender Harvard Amp. This combination was used by session guitarist (Booker T. and the MGs band member) Steve Cropper, on nearly every Stax hit of the 1960s. The sounds ranged from mellow (Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”), to biting (The MGs’ “Green Onions”), to distorted (The MGs’ “Hip Hug Her”).
Fender introduced the 10 watt Harvard in 1955 to fill the space between the 5 watt Princeton and the 15 watt Deluxe. It had one 10” speaker (sometimes an 8” was used) driven by two 6V6 power tubes. It had one tone control and one volume control. The Harvard was discontinued in 1961.