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#1
Yesterday I left work early with the intention of trying out a couple of archtops that were allegedly at a guitar store in Seattle. I was looking for a Godin 5th Avenue Jazz and an Eastman AR605/610CE.

It turns out that the store doesn't exist in real life, it's just an online place (DjangoBooks), and the address took me to the dude's house. I despaired, and eventually decided to go to another local guitar store (The Guitar Store) in Seattle that I've been wanting to go to. They feature several acoustics from a local luthier, Aaron Andrews, who did some repair/setup work on my Edwinson guitar, which was made by another Seattle luthier who used to share a shop with Mr. Andrews. The guys who worked at The Guitar Store were familiar with both luthiers, so we had some cool conversation.

I told one of the gentlemen that I was looking for an archtop because I was interested in getting into jazz, told him my usual style (solo acoustic fingerstyle), my price range ($1500-$2000), and after fiddling around on a beautiful Gretsch, he brought me this thing called a Vox Virage. Apparently it's a high-end semi-hollow debuted by Vox right around and before the 2008 recession. Guess it didn't do well because 1) the recession, 2) it's made in Japan (impeccably), and 3) it's a Vox. I've never played or even seen a Vox guitar before.

They initially went for around $2500 or so, maybe a few hundred more or less, but this one I got for $1500 after taxes. It's SLIGHTLY used, with the only giveaway being a small (2-3 mm diameter) dent on the lower bout on the back.

Played it through some sort of Fender amp (sorry, no idea what it was lol. Had a "custom" and "vintage" set of controls, with a bright switch for each.

Anyways, I was immediately in love with the guitar. The shapeliness and comfort of fit of it is phenomenal; clearly this was an area where they put extra emphasis. The guitar is beautiful shaped and scalloped, and the body gently curves towards the player near the bottom of the lower bout. There is an "inverse" heel (pictured) that allows for better access at the higher frets.

The pickups were something totally new for me. I'm not a big electric player, so I'm not too familiar with various pickups. I recently changed the stock ones on my Peavey to a JB/Jazz combo and that's the extent of my knowledge (as well as passive/active differences.) These are called Three-90s, produced in conjunction with Dimarzio, and are a three-blade design.

Other than the supreme craftsmanship and playability of the Virage DC (for double cut), the Three-90 pickups are the hallmark of this guitar. There are two switches that control three settings each for the pickups (described as a "clean" (sparkly single coil sound), "crunch" (hot P90 style sound), and "lead" (humbucker I believe), and then one tone control as well as a standard 3-way pickup selector. The result is a huge tonal range that BEAUTIFULLY spans the range from some hot quackiness of P90s to a nice clean setting. The pickups are truly remarkable.

The guitar looks and feels like a custom instrument -- the only "standard" looking pieces are the pickup switches. The bridge was specifically designed for the guitar as well, but I don't know much about it; it's easy to adjust, light, and holds good sustain and intonation, so that's about it for me

On a side note, they had it listed for 1675 before taxes, so when they chalked it down to 1500, I made up the difference by grabbing a Keeley Aurora pedal (what's a jazz box without good reverb? ). Throughout the whole process the gentlemen were super professional, very helpful and knowledgeable, and most importantly not pressuring of me at all. They were very chill and understanding.

I'll stfu now, here are some specs:

Hand-selected tonewoods
Neck - Mahogany
Neck Joint ” Hand-Carved Inverse Heel
Body - Solid carved mahogany
Fingerboard - Bound rosewood
Inlay - Mother of Pearl
Finish - Acrylic lacquer
Nut - Bone
Fingerboard Radius - 11.8"
Width at nut - 1.7"
Number of Frets - 22
Fret wire - Medium Jumbo
Scale ” 25-1/8" - Specially developed to get the best combination of low note clarity and high note sparkle while remaining comfortable to all guitarists
Pickups - Two American-made VOX DiMarzio Three-90 custom triple coil pickup system
Pickup Selector - 3-way toggle
Pickup Mode Switch - 2 x 3-position to select Clean, Crunch and Lead modes for each pickup
Controls - Master Volume and Master Tone controls
VOX Super Smooth custom tuners with custom contoured metal buttons. Original design pickup covers and control knobs


AND FINALLY, some pictures of my own:











My God, it's full of stars!
#2
OK, that thing is stunning.

Would buy/10.
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#3
Beautiful! Congrats on a NGD! Those 3-90s are very unique. It seems like you will have a wide array of tonal options.
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#4
Jesus Christ that is sexy

HNGD
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#5
NOICE
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https://soundcloud.com/95dank



#6
Very cool.
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#7
sweet, that looks awesome. i remember those coming out but i never tried them. i remember thinking at the time that the pickups were presumably kind of like dimarzio's answer to the duncan p-rails (which i've also never tried ), but dimarzio never offered them separately from your guitar, i don't think.

i'm guessing the fender was one of those new(ish) '68 custom amps? http://intl.fender.com/en-GB/series/vintage-modified/

(i haven't tried those either )
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#9
Sweet! I've seen a handful of Vox guitars, this by far is the nicest example.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#10
Quote by Dave_Mc
i'm guessing the fender was one of those new(ish) '68 custom amps? http://intl.fender.com/en-GB/series/vintage-modified/

(i haven't tried those either )
Yeah, either a Vibrolux or a Twin, presumably.

Have you ever actually played a guitar or do you just like the look of all the gear you see?
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Youre officially uber shit now.

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3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

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I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
#11
Dreadnought.

Home.

Freaking.

RUN!

That is an astounding deal on that, near as I can tell. The singlecut versions go between $700-1800, depending on condition. But the only doublecuts I've seen for sale lately were between $2000-5000. No, that is NOT a typo...though the priciest one was in Japan, so...

And I bet you'll dig playing it with the Aurora. That is a small pedal with some big spaces inside. Very TARDIS.

I assume you're no going to be playing it through a Line 6 Spyder, right?

Go forth, and jazz all over the place!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
Quote by dannyalcatraz
And I bet you'll dig playing it with the Aurora. That is a small pedal with some big spaces inside. Very TARDIS.

I assume you're no going to be playing it through a Line 6 Spyder, right?

Go forth, and jazz all over the place!


Of course, nothing but the best



Nah my living room amp is an Orange Micro Dark, which sounds surprisingly good with the Virage and Aurora. My main amp is a Peavy Delta Blues 210

Yeah I really like the Aurora. It was an easy choice for me over the Digitech Polara. The Aurora is much more organic sounding
My God, it's full of stars!
#13
that looks hella awesome. enjoy it!
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#14
That is gorgeous.
My old signature was too long. Have a daisy.

#16
Very nice

I've been curious about these Vox guitars for a while but don't recall ever even seeing one aside from when they launched at a price that was out of my reach at the time. There are still some more affordable versions out there with similar features, but the quality isn't the same.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#17
Yeah apparently they introduced a second version? I don't know much about them, other than that they seem *generally* of lower quality.
My God, it's full of stars!
#18
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Yeah, either a Vibrolux or a Twin, presumably.

Have you ever actually played a guitar or do you just like the look of all the gear you see?


hahahahahahaha

i kind of get embarrassed trying too much in a shop, normally once I've got to about guitar number 3 I'm ready to run the heck out of there, so that probably explains why I haven't tried all that much (also the gear available in Northern Ireland isn't that great a lot of the time). To be fair, it also doesn't help that (sometimes) the shops act like you're a timewaster if you ask to try more than one guitar.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#19
Killer looking Vox. Reminds me of the HDC99 guitars they had for a bit.
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#20
Congrats on a great MiJ Guitar


They had been made at the Headway factory IIRC

that's how they look inside


and here is some information on the CoAxe pickups (made by DiMarzio IIRC)
#21
Quote by Dreadnought
Yeah apparently they introduced a second version? I don't know much about them, other than that they seem *generally* of lower quality.


Yep, there is a 'Virage 2' model, with less 'bling'
same quality, same factory,
just with an improved neckjoint, 'cause this was the weak point on the Virage 1
#22
Quote by Dave_Mc
hahahahahahaha

i kind of get embarrassed trying too much in a shop, normally once I've got to about guitar number 3 I'm ready to run the heck out of there, so that probably explains why I haven't tried all that much (also the gear available in Northern Ireland isn't that great a lot of the time). To be fair, it also doesn't help that (sometimes) the shops act like you're a timewaster if you ask to try more than one guitar.
Yeah, I totally relate to that I've been pretty lucky with my location in the past but here in Cardiff PMT is the only place with a decent range and it's honestly not my favourite place to shop. And I'm never very comfortable trying guitars in stores either; my playing is bad enough on my Teles with the strap at the right height - once you start changing things my playing gets gingerly any everything gets buzzy
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I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
#23
Quote by paruwi
Yep, there is a 'Virage 2' model, with less 'bling'
same quality, same factory,
just with an improved neckjoint, 'cause this was the weak point on the Virage 1


The Virage 2's seem to consistently go for less than the originals, although I can't quite see why. Doesn't seem to be any real change in quality, just "upgraded" pickups and the neck, as you say, although I don't see anything about it being a "weak point."

Cool pictures though!
My God, it's full of stars!
#25
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Yeah, I totally relate to that I've been pretty lucky with my location in the past but here in Cardiff PMT is the only place with a decent range and it's honestly not my favourite place to shop. And I'm never very comfortable trying guitars in stores either; my playing is bad enough on my Teles with the strap at the right height - once you start changing things my playing gets gingerly any everything gets buzzy


Yeah I just get really self-conscious and forget everything I can play- I don't forget how to play, I mean I forget which songs etc. I actually *can* play, so I end up just playing the same stuff over and over Plus I'm kind of paranoid that I'm playing anything that's not allowed so I tend not to want to play songs anyway, so that doesn't help either.

And yeah some shops are definitely better than others. I've been in shops where it was a pleasure to try stuff, where they said, "Try anything you like!" etc.. But some shops are the complete opposite.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#26
I'm the same way in shops as you are Dave, especially with electric guitars.

I have a pretty different style to most other players anyways, so everyone is ripping some blues/bluegrass/metal lines and I'm playing slow airy ambient shit lol. Makes me a little self conscious
My God, it's full of stars!
#27
Yall guys need to just chill out and stop pretending like you're the worst thing the shop has heard all day!


I get being nervous or self-conscious but you're probably not going to see these people again and you have every right to try out gear (even if you're tire kicking and they're giving the stink eye). I play as much as I can if I'm trying something out and I'm seriously considering buying something. Heck I even ask them if I can crank up amps to see how they sound when they're crunching. In fact, if I had just tried an AC-10 at normal levels with a few strummed chords, I'd think it was amazing. Once I cranked it up and started really putting it through the paces? Not a big fan and if I was too scared to try it out, I'd have never known that and probably made a regrettable purchase!


I usually don't play songs. Just chord progressions in different styles and maybe a little bit of lead. It really depends on what I'm buying etc...
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#28
I should have caveated that with the fact that I RARELY go into shops. Maybe twice a year. I have the perfect acoustic guitar, and barely have enough time for this hobby anyways, so I hardly buy shit. This guitar wraps up my needs for awhile, tbh.

I've been guilty of going into the local guitar center and playing all of their highest end acoustics just to remind myself how much better my guitar is lol

On a side note, the place where I got this Vox, the Guitar Store in Seattle, was FANTASTIC about trying stuff. They volunteered everything, in a very friendly and unassuming way, and continued to bring me related guitars based on how I was playing or feeling about another.

They volunteered hooking up the Polara and Aurora for as long as I wanted to compare the two. They were incredibly unrushed, even before it was obvious I was going to buy the Virage. Best guitar shop I've been in
My God, it's full of stars!
#29
Quote by Dreadnought
I should have caveated that with the fact that I RARELY go into shops. Maybe twice a year. I have the perfect acoustic guitar, and barely have enough time for this hobby anyways, so I hardly know shit.

I've been guilty of going into the local guitar center and playing all of their highest end acoustics just to remind myself how much better my guitar is lol


I don't go to shops anymore but when I was younger I used to quite a bit and I have made a few poor purchases before because I was a bit too scared to play at volume. I work hard for my money and it makes me feel really bad when I spend it poorly or make a rash decision so now when I buy things in store, I make sure to go through them as much as I can. Even if I research the thing to piss beforehand. I'm very much 'better safe than sorry' in that respect, maybe even paranoid


I do stuff like that all the time. I like to try the new TH Gibsons and laugh to myself that I paid 2700 CAD for my R8 and these suckers are paying like 10k
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#30
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
stop pretending like you're the worst thing the shop has heard all day!
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

Quote by StewieSwan
3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

Quote by Bladez22
I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
#31
No kidding. I got to try out an Orange amp the other day. I was sooooo timid, I forgot how to play.

No, seriously. I was picking up w guitar I'd had some work done on, including having it set up for NST. I hadn't played in NST in a couple months- binging on E Standard, lately- and I couldn't remember my chord shapes. I did NOT crank the amp. Damn near a waste of time...but I didn't punish the music store staff.

(FWIW, I've been shopping in that store since the mid-80s, most of the staff know me by sight if not by name. The OWNERS know me.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#32
Quote by K33nbl4d3


You cant be worse than me. I sound awful when I play 9/10s of the time.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#33
Nice aquisition, it is an absolutley stunning instrument with unique electonics and it's always great to score a high quality axe that is not the common brand/model of it's contemporaries.

Enjoy! HNGD
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#34
^^ Your playing's really good

Quote by Dreadnought
I'm the same way in shops as you are Dave, especially with electric guitars.


Funny you should say that, lol, I got that feeling when I was trying acoustics recently because I'm much more of an electric player
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Yall guys need to just chill out and stop pretending like you're the worst thing the shop has heard all day!


I get being nervous or self-conscious but you're probably not going to see these people again and you have every right to try out gear (even if you're tire kicking and they're giving the stink eye). I play as much as I can if I'm trying something out and I'm seriously considering buying something. Heck I even ask them if I can crank up amps to see how they sound when they're crunching. In fact, if I had just tried an AC-10 at normal levels with a few strummed chords, I'd think it was amazing. Once I cranked it up and started really putting it through the paces? Not a big fan and if I was too scared to try it out, I'd have never known that and probably made a regrettable purchase!


I usually don't play songs. Just chord progressions in different styles and maybe a little bit of lead. It really depends on what I'm buying etc...


You actually do see them again if you go back to the same shop We don't have enough good shops here, by my reckoning we basically have two good shops these days in the whole of northern ireland. I mean, we went in a couple of times trying acoustics, and the second time they remembered us, and even remembered the exact guitars we'd tried etc.. That sort of does make you (well, me) a little self-conscious

And yeah I agree about not getting to try properly but if I really feel I haven't got to try the thing properly I'll buy it online and send it back if I don't like it.

I mean, I have been told to turn down (a non-master volume amp, a little orange ad5 IIRC ) before- again, in some shops, not all. But I agree with you, if they won't let me try properly I'm not buying.
Quote by Dreadnought
I should have caveated that with the fact that I RARELY go into shops. Maybe twice a year. I have the perfect acoustic guitar, and barely have enough time for this hobby anyways, so I hardly buy shit. This guitar wraps up my needs for awhile, tbh.

I've been guilty of going into the local guitar center and playing all of their highest end acoustics just to remind myself how much better my guitar is lol

On a side note, the place where I got this Vox, the Guitar Store in Seattle, was FANTASTIC about trying stuff. They volunteered everything, in a very friendly and unassuming way, and continued to bring me related guitars based on how I was playing or feeling about another.

They volunteered hooking up the Polara and Aurora for as long as I wanted to compare the two. They were incredibly unrushed, even before it was obvious I was going to buy the Virage. Best guitar shop I've been in


That's awesome. I've been in shops like that before too, and it's absolutely great. It makes you feel like you're not going crazy, that good shops do exist and actually have the wit to realise that acting like that might actually get them more sales...

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I don't go to shops anymore but when I was younger I used to quite a bit and I have made a few poor purchases before because I was a bit too scared to play at volume. I work hard for my money and it makes me feel really bad when I spend it poorly or make a rash decision so now when I buy things in store, I make sure to go through them as much as I can. Even if I research the thing to piss beforehand. I'm very much 'better safe than sorry' in that respect, maybe even paranoid


I do stuff like that all the time. I like to try the new TH Gibsons and laugh to myself that I paid 2700 CAD for my R8 and these suckers are paying like 10k


funnily enough I think I'm more nervous and timid now than I was when I was younger
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#35
Quote by Dave_Mc
^^ Your playing's really good


Funny you should say that, lol, I got that feeling when I was trying acoustics recently because I'm much more of an electric player

You actually do see them again if you go back to the same shop We don't have enough good shops here, by my reckoning we basically have two good shops these days in the whole of northern ireland. I mean, we went in a couple of times trying acoustics, and the second time they remembered us, and even remembered the exact guitars we'd tried etc.. That sort of does make you (well, me) a little self-conscious

And yeah I agree about not getting to try properly but if I really feel I haven't got to try the thing properly I'll buy it online and send it back if I don't like it.

I mean, I have been told to turn down (a non-master volume amp, a little orange ad5 IIRC ) before- again, in some shops, not all. But I agree with you, if they won't let me try properly I'm not buying.

That's awesome. I've been in shops like that before too, and it's absolutely great. It makes you feel like you're not going crazy, that good shops do exist and actually have the wit to realise that acting like that might actually get them more sales...


funnily enough I think I'm more nervous and timid now than I was when I was younger


I was moreso speaking about patrons compared to the staff. and really the staff has heard worse and even if they are nasty then its no fault on you. They are just a dick. It can be discouraging though for sure. i dont care though cause those guys are just super salty and Im not a fan of diabetes anyway.

I think you need more confidence buddy. you gotta progress, not regress!

Thanks for the vote of confidence on my playing but im nothing special
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#36
The wood grain pattern top layer thing on the front is pretty.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#37
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I was moreso speaking about patrons compared to the staff. and really the staff has heard worse and even if they are nasty then its no fault on you. They are just a dick. It can be discouraging though for sure. i dont care though cause those guys are just super salty and Im not a fan of diabetes anyway.

I think you need more confidence buddy. you gotta progress, not regress!

Thanks for the vote of confidence on my playing but im nothing special


oh yeah i mean i'm not that worried at all about the other customers, i'm not doing anything to annoy them, it's the staff really.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#38
Quote by Dave_Mc
oh yeah i mean i'm not that worried at all about the other customers, i'm not doing anything to annoy them, it's the staff really.


Who cares about the staff? Theyre still pissed cause youre spending more on a guitar than their entire rig!

I get where you are coming from though
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#39
Stunning guitar!
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#40
Quote by theogonia777
The wood grain pattern top layer thing on the front is pretty.


Yeah the top has beautiful grain and patterning, unlike most sunburst tops I've seen
My God, it's full of stars!
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