Guitar Collector Forum

Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?
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Author:  TUNEYOURSOUNDUSA2014 [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?

I'm new to this forum and have been collecting guitars for several years. I'm now up to 1,326 pieces. How does that compare to other collectors?

Author:  sub006 [ Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?

Wow, how big is your warehouse? What are your favorite brands and models?

I believe Mike Robinson, founder and owner of Eastwood Guitars, has a collection of nearly 2,000 instruments. He has a strong interest in 1960's Japanese and Italian electric guitars, the more unusual the body and headstock shape, number of pickups and switches the better.

Eastwood acquired rights to the Airline brand a few years ago, and is producing new versions of those classic Montgomery Ward catalog guitars, plus effects pedals and leather straps.

Author:  Red Paul [ Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?

Welcome to the forum and .. Wow, that's quite a collection! :o :shock: :D

How do you choose your guitars, is it just anything that takes your fancy, or do you look for particular eras/makes/styles etc? And how many do you play or display?

Mike Slubowski has a pretty big collection of beautiful guitars, but I think probably hundreds rather than thousands -

Keith Richards has said that he has doesn't know how many guitars he's got but it's over a thousand. He's also been quoted as saying that he'd like to found a guitar museum.. I don't know if there's anf firm plans for this or just an aspiration.

Jimmy Page has quite a few, but doesn't tell us the actual number (maybe he's lost count!) - see viewtopic.php?f=7&t=136 . I think I've heard mention of 'over a thousand'.

I think hundreds of guitars in a collection is not too unusual, but thousands of guitars is a pretty elite club! It would be great if you could share some photos with us. :ugeek:

Author:  Bluesman [ Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?

Hey there big collectotr, thats pretty cool. Check out a dude called Alain LaFrance who has an amazing collection, he posts a lot on Fender forum. Mostly Fenders and Gibsons, lots of custom shop specials and interesting paint jobs but also PRS, Rickenbacker and one offs of other makes. He's got a great website here: showing some beautiful guitars but I think his collection is a few hunderd not thousands, so on quantity I think you're winning lol

PS: I'd forgotten about this forum... was an active member a few years ago but haven' been here lately then saw your post on Twitter.

Author:  TUNEYOURSOUNDUSA2014 [ Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?

Thanks to all of you for the information you posted. I know two of these collectors but not the third so I have learned something. If anyone else knows of collectors with large numbers of pieces in his/her collection, please let me know.

A bit about my collection. At best it is varied. In starting it, I purposely did not concentrate solely on a single large builder brand, i.e., Fender and Gibson. I do have outstanding examples of the most popular models (Strats, Teles, Les Pauls) from those companies but I also have many lesser known, though not less quality and beauty, such as Firebirds, Thunderbirds, ES-335'S & other ES models, Les Paul Signatures (the ES-335 body style), SG's, Coronados, RD Customs, and many other Fender and Gibson models.

Then I diverged in three ways.

1. I have attempted to collect a representative sampling of as many USA, UK, and other European brands as possible-but only a very few MIJ pieces (they're just not my style). Among the brands I own are: Airline, Alembic, Ampeg, BURNS (Baldwin), Hagstrom, Hofner, Kay, National, Mosrite, National, Premier, Kapa, Kustom, LaBaye, Gower, VOX, Warwick and many others. I own some of the finest examples available of these and other brands.
2. I then chose a single brand which I believed was the most innovative, stylish, and rarest of guitars built in the 1960's that WERE NOT Fender and Gibson brands. This brand I chose to focus on was BURNS (Jim Burns) Guitars. Without a doubt in my mind Jim Burns created the singularly most iconic guitar in the history of guitar building: THE BURNS BLACK BISON 4 pup. When placed in a museum setting next to a Fender Strat and Tele, and a Gibson Les Paul, this guitar always receives jaw dropping responses from guitar fans and others while the Fenders and Gibsons get a polite model. And when you play the BBB4 along side these other guitars, the difference in the sound produced by it seems light years ahead of the "normal" guitars. Of course collectors know the story of the BURNS BLACK BISON 4pickup, i..e. only 49 built. Originally when I started collecting these guitars I was told by the "experts" that "only about a dozen remained in existence". As soon as I bought my 14th BURNS BLACK BISON 4pup, i knew that was incorrect. So now I have discovered at least 3 more all originals (there are a few out there that appear to be "parts" guitars assembled well after 1961-those do not count as originals). So now I own 14 BURNS BLACK BISON 4pup ALL ORIGINAL GUITARS (with one in sunburst) in addition to another 100+ Burns/Bison pieces.
3. I also began to collect new "boutique" guitars built by individual luthiers in the mid 1990's onward. So now in my collection are guitars by Paul Reed Smith, Terry C. McInturff, Pawar, Tonesmith, Briggs, and many others. They are simply incredible guitars.

I'll try to post some photos later. I do have some of these for sale on ebay under the seller id: tuneyoursound

Thanks for letting me participate in this group.

Author:  sub006 [ Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?

I don't even qualify as a collector compared to some of you guys! I have about a dozen instruments and I've never paid more than $300 for any of them. I did pay $429 in 1990 for a new American Standard Strat for my oldest son, and $699 in 2003 for a new American Strat for my youngest.

While I have some Fenders, I personally prefer a good Squier. My favorite player is a blonde/white '51 bought new for $99 that played like "margarine" right out of the box! Except for the ES-335 I have no love for Gibsons, Epiphones are plenty good enough for me and my budget. My most prized piece is one of 128 Eastwood Phantom (Vox) replicas. And I get plenty of Rickenbacker sounds from a '98 Danelectro U56 reissue.

My favorite amps are solid state, of course. A Vox Pathfinder 15R with real spring reverb that sounds like an AC30 and a Fender SK-20 Chorus from Korea that produces lush tones. Ninety percent of players have no need of the fragility and maintenance expense of tubes IMO.

I'm into bang-for-the-buck value for the dollar, pardon me while I duck! :shock:

Author:  DrumBob [ Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?

I was friends with the late and noted American luthier, inventor, scientist and guitar builder Phil Petillo of Ocean Township, NJ. For years, Phil serviced Bruce Springsteen's guitars. One day, several years ago, Bruce's guitar tech, Kevin Buell, brought in a Gretsch White Falcon for Phil to repair. Bruce numbers all his guitars on the back of the headstocks. This Falcon was number 1403, meaning Springsteen owned over 1400 guitars at the time. Incredible.

Phil told me he'd been to Bruce's warehouse at the Jersey Shore a couple of times. That's where Bruce stored his guitar and amp collection, his cars, boats, trucks, PA equipment, lighting, etc. Phil told me one could barely move for everything in there.

When I interviewed Aerosmith's Joe Perry a few years ago for Premier Guitar, he told me he had over 600 guitars, and had decided to liquidate at least half the collection, with the help of guitar dealer Perry Margouleff. Joe said he couldn't possibly play them all, so he wanted to get some of them into the hands of Aerosmith fans, and some he would donate to charities.

Phil Petillo sold over thirty guitars to wealthy collector Scott Chinery, mostly old D'Angelicos, Strombergs, etc. Chinery was an easy mark; he'd pay any amount of money a dealer asked, and he was at least partially responsible for driving up the prices of certain vintage guitars as a result.

Author:  jimsmithsr [ Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Largest private collection of guitars by quantity?

I've been collecting the Washburn trade-name for some time now. Guitars 1,000 +. If the related items to the trade-name are included ( amps, clothing, print ads, signage, etc ) it puts the collection at over 4,000 pieces. The Washburn Collection was featured in the Dec. 2009 issue of Premier Guitar Magazine.

The collection includes Washburn models built from the early 1890s to present day ( acoustic ) and electric models built from 1977 to present day.

To my surprise, was recently approached by Guernsey's Auction in New York, and asked if I'd be interested in selling the collection. A work in progress, I'm not quite ready to sell as I continue to add new pieces weekly in an attempt to make the collection more complete.

A few pieces from the collection are featured at:

File comment: CHARLIE FARREN
Image1.jpg [ 199.98 KiB | Viewed 5365 times ]
File comment: Here's one of the more recent additions to the collection....a Washburn EC-29 owned by CHARLIE FARREN, a Washburn endorser from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
EC-29 composite.jpg
EC-29 composite.jpg [ 98.85 KiB | Viewed 5367 times ]

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