Musima Record 15, around 1965

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Instrument: At the time, the most expensive Eastern German jazz guitars you could buy; today,... more
Product information Musima Record 15, around 1965

Instrument:
At the time, the most expensive Eastern German jazz guitars you could buy; today, they are top-quality rarities: The Musima Record is still the benchmark of all guitars from what was then Europe's largest musical instrument manufacturer. For thirty years, the Record was the top model of East German archtops.

Material:
The design still follows the design of Wenzel Rossmeisl (Roger) even in the mid-sixties: The three-layer construction has gone down in guitar building history as the "German Carve". The top is made of three pieces of solid spruce with an inner mahogany strip; the back of the same construction is made of solid, wonderfully flamed maple and also a mahogany strip. The sides are made of solid flamed maple. All in all a wonderful shape with a recurve at the edges. Fifteen-piece neck, very elaborately crafted from one piece including headstock and neck foot! The outer layers are maple and mahogany, in the middle a slightly wider strip of pear wood was processed. Inside the neck is a reinforcement rod made of aluminium profile. The ebony fingerboard has the typical Musima inlays of genuine mother-of-pearl, as well as triangular side dots, decorative stripes and an elaborate binding. Matching to this are the thick bindings, up to eight layers thick and designed in three colours. The pickguard is made of spalted maple and also has a multi-ply, three-colour binding. More effort is hardly possible. Open WARG tuners, a solid tailpiece by ABM-Müller and a compensated rosewood bridge.

Instruments history:
Unknown, we received it from a renowned German collector, but we have rarely seen a guitar that was so messed up. The neck sat crooked and wobbly in the body, the tuners were cheap new Far East spare parts, the tailpiece was a Roger replica, the pickguard was held by a hardware store bracket. There was no original piece of hardware left on this guitar. The varnish was almost completely gone, dull and greyed, the back of the neck badly scuffed, there was a gaping hole in the top side, probably where a control knob had once been inserted. Dozens of strap buttons seemed to be mounted on the bottom, we have never seen so many old holes on a guitar. The bridge was also a cheap spare part. How can one do such a thing to such a valuable guitar? The collector assured us explicitly that it wasn't him, we know him and believed him immediately. Especially since we had had our sights set on his Record for some time in order to eliminate these "crimes". The base of the guitar was of course excellent and wonderfully played in. These mighty instruments are built for eternity anyway.

Restoration works:
Complete cleaning including blowing out the body. Far East tuners replaced by open, East German WARG tuners from the early sixties, visually and constructively perfectly matching. All lacquer surfaces cleaned and new nitro polish lacquer applied in several stages. The back of the neck was sanded and also refined with polishing lacquer. Neck foot and neck pocket adjusted, neck aligned and re-glued correctly. The existing Stauffer fastening by central screw had broken off and could not be repaired. A matching pickguard was made of spalted maple and elaborately fitted with matching bindings. The chrome-plated mounting bracket comes from our own stock. The solid lyre tailpiece is also from our stock, as is the compensated rosewood bridge. The fingerboard and frets were straightened, sanded and oiled or polished. The old control hole was closed and retouched. Finally, new 11 gauge bronze strings from Pyramid and a basic setup - it was worth it.

Actual condition:
This beautiful record is now back in authentic and contemporary top condition. Of course, the hardware does not correspond to the original East German condition, but it is from the period and authentic. The beautifully shining surfaces and the wonderfully harmonious colour scheme of the components are a feast for the eyes! Due to the complete refurbishment, there are no more traces of play. The refurbished New-Old-Stock tuners work perfectly. The guitar has a very beautiful sound - here you can hear the solid wood and the many hours the guitar has been played! Warm, woody, yet loud and assertive, something you only find in old and well played guitars.The open-pored and minimally invasive polishing varnish does not limit the sound in any way. Of course, there are no breaks, cracks or other damages in the wood, all glue joints are bombproof. The playability is excellent with a pleasantly low string action. Fretboard and frets are scratch-free and in mint condition. The guitar is 100% odourless and clean! In this condition, a wonderful instrument to play and ready to use again for many years.

Measures:
Overall length 42.5”/108 cm, body length 20.9”/53 cm, lower bout width 16.7”/42,5 cm, waist width 10.2”/26 cm, upper bout width 12.2”/31 cm; body depth 2.8”/7 cm, scale length 25.2”/64 cm (zero fret to saddle), fingerboard width 1.7”/4,4 cm at nut, 2”/5,2 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 3.020 g, string action at 12th fret 0.08”/2 mm (adjustable).

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