How I almost passed on a rare Italian beauty—and why I didn’t.
In the northeastern U.S.—my stomping grounds—girls’ field hockey is an astoundingly popular sport. Over the past five years, I’ve trucked my daughter to high schools, parks, and tournament fields all around this end of the country. I really dig watching her play, but these family excursions also offer plenty of opportunities to scope out music stores, antique shops, and flea markets. Guitars are always on my brain—it’s like a virus.
Way before my family life began, I’d often venture out on what I called “guitar excursions.” These trips had me driving many miles in search of interesting guitars and gear, and I had some truly epic adventures. Like the time I drove six hours with a hurricane on my tail to buy a Sekova Grecian. Or the time I found three old Univox Super-Fuzz pedals, still in the box, at a flea market mixed among old tractor parts.
On one of my recent field hockey trips, I came upon this Italian beauty (Photo 1) at a remote antique store that the owner would only open if you went down the street to his home and knocked on his door. Whenever I see faux wood finishes, pearloid appointments, and accordion push-buttons, I’m instantly smitten. Old Italian electric guitars are certainly not as plentiful as Japanese offerings, but there are many oddball Italian guitars that capture the flair and esthetic sense of the time. Luckily for us here in the States, Italian guitars were imported with regularity, albeit in modest numbers.
This old Lux-branded guitar has plastic “wood grain” covering a solid wood core, and it sports a garish strip of gold binding that just rules (Photo 2). The Lux’s single-coils are rather hot and responsive. Thankfully, all the push-buttons work and offer varying degrees of coolness. The sonic spectrum runs from super thin at the bridge to massively thick when all the pickups are selected. Heck, even the tremolo works well. Because it doesn’t carry the hallmarks of any particular Italian manufacturer, the origins of this Lux guitar remain a mystery.
I confess: When I stumbled across this one, I almost passed on buying it. Believe it or not, in all the hundreds of guitars I’ve come across, this Lux had the worst neck bow I’d ever seen. Seriously folks, it looked like a banana . . . like it had been tuned above pitch with heavy flatwound strings for over 50 years. That kind of bad.
Buying vintage guitars carries some risk because those that are hitting the 50-year mark and beyond are prone to quite a few similar problems. In particular, when Italian accordion makers started to dabble in electric guitars, most of the factories had only a rudimentary knowledge of truss rods. (Of course, this was a problem with guitar manufacturers all over the world in this era.)
This Lux’s truss rod was so under-spec’d that even if you were to completely tighten it, you’d barely affect the neck. Many a truss rod has been broken by some unsuspecting oaf trying to correct a severely bowed neck. (All you oafs can join me with a thumbs-up. We know who we are.) Luckily, I haven’t yet seen a neck that refused to respond to a heat treatment, and I have to thank my good friend and tech Scott Freilich for correcting this insane bow.
Whenever you buy an old guitar like this, you have to anticipate the need for some fretwork and neck wrangling, so it’s crucial to know a good tech to help you resurrect these beauties. But bringing them back to life is worth the investment—you just have to find someone who understands the quirks of old electric guitars. And if you’re going to dive into vintage guitars, you’re going to run into quirks! In an age where so many guitars feel generic, forgotten gems like this Lux deserve a little love and attention to get them straightened out … with just a bit of curve, like a good field hockey stick.
Watch the video demo:
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
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About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.