Tag Archives: vintage guitars and rare guitars

Rocco DeLuca / Through Fire / Vintage & RareTv / Daniel Lanois house

In January 2014 we had the pleasure of shooting 2 performances with Rocco DeLuca at the house/studio of Daniel Lanois in Los Angeles, exclusively for VintageandRare.com

On the first video Rocco is performing his song “Through Fire”. On the 2nd video Rocco performs “Congregate”. Both songs are from Rocco´s forthcoming album.
Both performances was done on a very unique baritone lap steel (Rocco Deluca prototype) built by CA based masterluthier and V&R partner, Pavel Maslowiec aka Pavel Guitars.

Secret gateways to Rocco: WebsiteTwitter, Youtube


V&R Founder Nicolai Schneekloth & Rocco Deluca

V&R Founder Nicolai Schneekloth & Rocco Deluca


Ruokangas Guitars – interview

Next one up in our series of interviews with luthiers is Juha Ruokangas, who for the last 16 years has been an increasingly inspiring player on the guitar building-scene. Vintageandrare.com had a chat with Juha about the qualities of their unique wood and Ruokangas way of advertising for themselves.

Juha Ruokangas – Photo by Ruokangas.com

1. Hello Juha, and thanks for wanting to talk to us!  What made you enter the business?
As a teen I was supposed to become a rockstar – what else! My musician career didn’t pick up the way I hoped so I was kind of drifting around for a couple of years. This was in the beginning of 1990′s – no internet or even cellphones yet invented. I had been repairing guitars a bit since I was a young guy but it just never occurred to me that this could be a profession – until I accidentally heard about this small school in Finland where you can learn to be a luthier / guitarmaker. I applied and got in – and I knew immediately that I had found my true calling. This is my labor of love, truly. And now more than ever I feel I’m on the right path, as the company has grown to a very comfortable size, we’re 5 persons all together and everyone of us enjoys what we’re doing.

2. How did you come up with the idea for your very clever online guitar builder?
I started making guitars for a living in 1995, and I noticed very soon that one of the biggest problems was how to communicate with the customer about all possible options we can offer – and once the option lists were presented, in many cases the result was that the customer was literally paralyzed – so many options, how can the customer be sure to pick the right combination when there’s no chance to even see how it will look like. So I did like everybody else, kept building guitars, and my early website photo galleries grew slowly bigger. And of course I noticed that players are ordering guitars many times on basis what they saw in the galleries – and this was bugging me, cause I knew they would order a wider variety of colors and other specs – if they just knew that they could! So I started a huge website project in 2002 with a great graphics designer and he built me the Mark I of the guitar builder. It was nowhere near as complex a system as what we have now, but it did give us a head start. Now we have the Mark II guitar builder online and it works beautifully. We even published a little iPhone app guitar builder sort of as a teaser of the fully blooded system on our website.

3. How was the first guitar you ever made?
I was told by my teachers that a good start in learning this profession is to learn building what’s already out there. That way you learn the basics, the existing techniques, constructions etc. So I started with a strat replica. I’ve built quite a few of various kinds of replicas in the early days of my career. Stratocasters, Telecasters, Les Pauls etc.

4. Which instrument has made you most proud?

There are so many. Every one of them still feels quite special to me, but of course every now and then there’s something that’s pops out. I’m very proud of the first Unicorn guitar I built. Not only the guitar, but the whole documentation of the design process in the YouTube videos we made. It enabled me to show in detail why my guitars are special. I hadn’t realized the power of videos before that really. Nowadays we do a lot of videos, it’s a great way to be transparent to the clientele.

Ruokangas HQ – Photo from Ruokangas.com

5. What has been your biggest challenge?
I would say that the whole process of starting the business and striving to be the best I ever can – now there’s a big challenge! I’m such a hopeless, romantic idealist that sometimes it drives everybody at the shop crazy. I love to finetune endlessly the whole concept of what ‘Ruokangas Guitars’ is about – and sometimes this happens at the expense of forgetting that we need to sell guitars all the time to survive financially!

6. What made you pick the Arctic Birch for some of your guitars? What is it’s features?
This was a coincidence. I got a piece of beautifully flamed birch from a friend and it was laying around at the shop for quite a while. Then I ended up using the piece on one of the Duke guitars 1999. I completely fell in love with the tone and the unique looks – flamed but not in the same way as maple. Since then I’ve come a long way. The birch we use is quite difficult to find since it’s not such an organized business as revolves around maple in the North America. I can’t call any wood broker for AAA flamed birch tops. I need to go to the sawmills, pick the trees standing up and so on – all totally from scratch. The use of Finnish Arctic Birch has become our most distinct trademark on the market, and I’m really proud of it. Structurally, Finnish Arctic birch is very close to maple. The weight and color are similar to maple as well. The flamed figuration is usually “wilder” than maple. I prefer the birch tone over maple, especially when used in a combination with our other trademark wood, the Spanish Cedar.

The raucous Ruokangas rockers – Photo by www.ruokangas.com

7. Do you feel it as an advantage having so vast amounts of beautiful timber close at hand, being Finnish?
I feel really proud of being able to offer some domestic wood species in my guitars. In some ways it’s an advantage, but also a challenge, knowing how conservative the business is. It’s not so easy to break through with a non-traditional material in this business. I’ve worked on it for nearly 16 years now and only during the last few years I feel the work has started to pay off, as the guitar enthusiasts have seen me around long enough doing what I do.

8. What is your favourite stage of manufacturing a guitar?
The devil is in the details. I love working on the intricate details and to make everything perfect. I don’t mean necessarily an inlay work or anything as striking as that. It could be just the fretboard edge, fret end, nut bone – or whatever detail. Building guitars can be a very “therapeutic” profession – you start building a guitar, and one day not in the too distant future you get it ready – it’s a very rewarding process mentally.

Juha and his work – Photo by www.ruokangas.com

9. What are your ambitions on behalf of Ruokangas?
It’s interesting that even though Emma (my wife) and I work together in the company, we also share our hobbies – so we’re basically never apart! 🙂 We’re both music enthusiasts – we have a rock band called Tadalang – I play the guitar and Emma sings. My brother plays the bass and we have also another guitarist and of course drums. We’re gigging locally and having fun. I love motorbikes too. Rest of the time is more or less family stuff, nice and cosy.

George Gruhn on vintage and rare guitars

George talks about vintage, rare and modern electrics & steel string flattops guitars.
He shares his thoughts and perspectives about the differences between playing vintage guitars and new ones.
George also talks about some the most collectible guitars and what to look for. Examples from the 1940´s to present.
Good words and interesting views.

Make sure you stop by Gruhn.com. Here you can find a large selection of fine guitars for sale and useful information. Find more about Gruhn on Facebook or on Twitter.
The video is done by our friends over at GearWire.com. Check them out! They produce a lot of great material.

Happy new year, all the best.
Nicolai & V&R Team

Hendrix Fender Duo Sonic Sells for £164,000!

Here at Vintage&Rare we are huge fans of Jimi Hendrix – so thanks to our friends over at GuitarCollecting.co.uk and Marko Flyss for this shout out on a recent auction for a Fender Duo Sonic owned by Jimi Hendrix.


The tan coloured Fender Duo Sonic, played by Hendrix before he was famous, fetched £164,675 at an auction today, over 400 times the price he originally paid.

The star’s early guitar sparked a bidding frenzy at the Cameo Auctioneers Records’ Music and Memorabilia auction in Midgham, Berkshire.

Hendrix had paid just £100 for the tan guitar when he was an unknown 21-year-old backing musician.

Going by the name Jimmy James, he used the 1959/60 model from March to November 1964 while performing with the Isley Brothers.

Two original pieces of Hendrix artwork from 1967 were also sold for a total of £17,400.

Interview with Howl Guitars / Tokyo, Japan

This time the V&R Blog is travelling to the other end of the world to make an interview with Howl Guitars in Tokyo, Japan.

howl store4 howl store3 howl store2 howl store1

How many years have you been running Howl Guitars? Why is it called Howl Guitars?
About 3 years we’ve been running the business. I thought Howl sounds quite unique. Also I’m musician too, so I wanted to “ho wl” to someone or something my passion.

Is it only vintage guitars you aim at selling? Do you also do new guitars or other instruments?
No, I sell new guitars too. Other instruments like amps and tubes.

What was your first guitar? How old were you when you started playing? Did you have a band?
TELECASTER! I bought super cheap full guitar kit, me and my brother built it and painted it black. I started to play guitar when I was eight. I’m always having a band.

How do you select your luthiers from all over the world? I mean how do you chose one over another? Is it because those ones have a better market than others?
First point, of course the tone is the best priority. Then I care about quality of woods and steel materials such as bridge plate or saddle. Also out looking is very important too.

In how many countries in Europe do you have customers? What about builders and luthiers?
Mainly UK, because I used live there. Other.. French and Germany. I have never had deals with builders or luthiers in Europe.

How is the vintage guitars market in Japan at the moment?
About 4 or 5 years ago, all vintage guitars were priced the way too high. Then it just gone about 2 years ago, prices went down and down. But now the price is staying sort of normal. Japanese loves vintage guitars. Some 90’s era people said almost vintage guitar went to Japan. So vintage guitar is a very big instrument market in Japan.
Well that’s amazing.!

How has the Internet impacted vintage guitar collecting in Japan?
Massive changes. Normally, traditionally, we go to guitar shop to see, play, buy the guitar by our foot. Imagine if you have no internet at your home. You would buy guitar magazine first, then you find the guitar which is very attractive. You may make a phone call to shop due to HOLD the guitar. Then you go to the shop. Finally you can face to the guitar and play. By Appearance of the internet, these thankworthy actions have just decreased badly. Half of enquiry is from internet. I mean it’s very useful but I

What are some good resources for people interested in Japanese vintage guitars?
Digimart and J-Guitar.com are quite big instrument searching website in Japan.

HOWL GUITARS is the vintage guitar shop in Tokyo Japan. We are always welcome to any customer with wide range of selected guitars mainly from Fender Telecaster and Gretsch Guitars, and boutique amps from Matchless, TWO-ROCK, VOX, Plexi Marshall, Mesa Boogie and Dumble amps. New and used guitars are also available in the shop. We are happy to deal with you all. Feel free to contact us by e-mail or phone call for availability, details or anything about instruments. Keep your eyes on our collections!



Howl Guitars

Hiroki Muramatsu
POST CODE 180-0023
4 – 23 – 6 Kyounan-Chou Musashino-shi Tokyo Japan
TEL : +81-422-30-9196 FAX : +81-422-30-9197
MAIL: info(at)howl-co.com
Shop Closed : Tuesday / Wednesday