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John Muijen (Johnm)
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 5:14 pm:   

I just bought a sunburst Stratocaster copy ( I believe it's a 2334 or 2375) made in August '75. The only things missing are the trussrod cover and ahstray pickupcover.

The sunburst finish has had more than a fair share of violence.. It sort of looks like one of Stevie Ray Vaughn's guitars.

Would you refinish a guitar like that or not? (I know a beat up strat looks kinda cool).

In other words: what's your definition of restoring a guitar???

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 5:44 am:   

Hi John!
Don't!!!!!!! In my opinion (and in the opinion of many others) you will always devaluate a guitar by refinishing it. That's especially the case with rare vintage instruments (old G...ns and but hey: the old Ibanez copies from the seventies could in the meantime also be regarded as "vintage", although their money-value may be less high. During the past 3 years of intensive collecting I often saw beautiful Ibanez guitars that were so modified that I almost stood there crying: If only this guitar was in original shape! Exchanged machineheads, pickups, paintwork, added mini-switches and so on. I think that brings back the value of the guitar to at least half the value it would have if it still would be in original shape. And as you said it: in some way the tracks of a hard life can give the guitar a special and personal "charm".
When I find a beaten-up Ibanez I take the whole guitar apart and only clean every single part. Then I put everything back together again and doing so I try to exchange non-original parts for parts that are as original as possible or very close "lookalikes" (control knobs, tremelo-arm, pickups etc.) but I would NEVER sand the body down to the wood and repaint the guitar.

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