I got the Sigma in 1988. Its a Japanese Martin. I probably play this one the most. Its got a rich, full bodied sound, and it plays nice. Sigma guitars were based on standard Martin models and were inspected at the Martin factory before going to market. While they discontinued this line in 2007 they still have a website. Mine is a DM-1B shown here.
Fender acustic. My first guitar which I got in 1969. You don't see many Fender acustics from this era. Later models don't look anything like this. I once saw a Harmony that looked identical. This guitar always sounded great but the action was rather high. Eventually the neck got so out of wack that I added a filed down nail to the nut to raise it even more and I just play it with a slide. I added the Dean Markley pickup so I could play electric slide. It sounds great. Found this site which identifies this guitar as a Fender F-1030 or Harmony H165.
I got this one new in 2004. I wanted a good blues guitar. At first I didn't think it sounded that great but then I had it setup with better pickups and now it is really hot.
My first vintage guitar. Made in 1956, this model was the first Gibson electric first introduced in 1936. The 50's model featured a P-90 pickup which really puts out the juice.
We were in Portland visiting Adinah and we went out to a place where a guy was playing an old Gibson arch-top. I asked him what model it was and he didn't know. I liked the look and sound and decided I wanted an old arch-top and asked Andy to look around for me. I looked at a few ES-175s which were all in the $1,500 to $2,000 price range. Andy fond mine at the Portland Music Co. Because it had been modified (the cut off switches are not original) it didn't qualify for the vintage market and I got it for $600 with new strings, setup, and a hard shell case. I'm pretty sure its the same model that the guy we saw was playing. Most later models had either single (ES-175) or double cutaways (like my ES-133).
Kala Tenor Ukulele
After Linda brought home the Makala I decided to get a Tenor Ukulele. Got his one new on eBay. Came with a great case and a chord book. It has a great tone and is really easy to play.
Its very easy for a guitar player to adapt to a Ukulele. While the tuning is different (high G C E A ) the notes are relative to the 4 high strings on a guitar. So the same chord position works. All you need to know is that a D guitar position plays a G chord on the Ukulele, and then transpose from there.
Here is the Kala Ukulele Website
Makala Soprano Ukulele
Linda got this at a flea market. She really liked the dolphin bridge. Turns out that Makala ukuleles are make by Kala as their lower price brand. For the price this is really an great sounding instrument. My fingers are a little fat for small fingerboard so I prefer playing the Tenor ukulele.
Regal Soprano Ukulele
Don't know where I got this. Its definitely old. Maybe 30's or 40's. It came with a bunch of strings and some old felt picks. I didn't know how to tune it until recently so it just sat in its case.
Here is the Wikipedia article about Regal Musical instruments.
1956 Supro Comet Lap Steel Guitars
Got this on eBay from a guy in Medford. He said his dad gave it to him 15 years ago and before that it was hs grandmother's. I was looking for either a Supro, National, or other Valco brand. These all have a "string-through" pickup which is really hot. It makes this guitar better for blues then country but works for anything.
Here is what someone said about Supro:
Supro is a limb on the National/Dobro family tree ... I think the name first appeared on lower-priced steel-bodied and plywood resonators (Collegians and Arcadias, respectively) in the late 1930s. After World War II, National/Dobro was reorganized as Valco, producing National and Supro as well as lap steels branded as Oahu, Airline, Silvertone, Bronson and Gretsch (among others). The Supro lap steels tend to be similar to the National models; however, unlike Nationals, virtually all Supro steels have the string-through pickup (as do most Oahus). The pickup tends to sound much more "dirty" and "bluesy" than Rickenbacher horseshoes, Fender's trapezoid string-through or Gibson's blade-type pickups; when you "shift" into overdrive it really comes into its own. (Ry Cooder has a Valco string-through pickup on his favorite bottleneck Strat. Jimi Hendrix's first electric guitar -- a Supro Ozark -- came equipped with one.)
Allen Melbert Custom 8 String Lap Steel Guitar
I was looking at lap steels on eBay and one of these came up. I lost that auction but started a correspondence with Bob Allen who makes these in Tennessee. He made this one for me and gave me a great deal. I've got this tuned to C6.
Here is the Allen Melbert Lap Steels website.