My local pawnshop had a certain guitar that I saw a couple months ago, but didn't have the money to get it. I finally got some ME money and went to see if they still had it, they did.

I took it off the wall and plucked the strings to see if it had a good sound acoustically unplugged, it did have a good sound, so I asked for a cord to try it out. Even though the string were old and a bit rusty, it had a fantastic tone to it and both pickups worked. One of the tone pots was loose, the pickguard was missing, had a few scratches and a lot of the hardware was rusty. It was originally $399.99 marked down to $304.99.

I took it up to the counter and asked them if the were set on that price because I was going to have to fix it and get a pickguard for it. The salesman said that he couldn't lower it anymore, but if I was interested, he would give me a cheap Strat type guitar for free that he had on the rack forever and didn't sell. I agreed and got both for the price of one. I needed a Strat type anyway to put my Strat pickups in that were wound by a friend of mine. It was a win win situation for me.

So, what did I get?

I got a DeArmond M72 Bluesbird guitar with Mahogany body and neck, Maple arch top cap, rosewood fretboard with Mother of Pearl block inlays, 2 - Goldtop/Goldtone humbucker pickups, 4 controls and 3-way switch, ABR Gibson style bridge and stop tail piece. It's Silver Metalflake with Cream binding around the top and neck.

The Strat style guitar is a Black Johnson by AXL with 3 single coils marked Select by EMG(passive pickups) and vintage style trem without an arm. Someone painted silver over the white pickguard.

Both guitars have good unplugged sound of the strings, minor to medium scratches that can be fixed and rusty hardware, but the necks feel great and are straight.

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I was about to put the strings on the Bluesbird and noticed that the nut looks a little deformed/distorted. So I'm going to put a new nut on it. Was going to put a bone nut on it, but I may put a Tusq nut on it because I'm looking at a Tremolo that mounts on the stop tail studs(Duesenberg Les Trem II). It works like a Bigsby and quality made, lots of people raving about these and I wouldn't mind having one. It's easily reversible to original setup with any damage to the guitar too, seems like a no-brainer to me.

The Johnson Strat is going to need a lot of parts replaced, good thing it was free.

Sweet!  They weren’t too successful but they’re good instruments.  Set neck and American made Dearmand gold foils, good deal for the price.  And I believe all the M72 pick guards were clear lexan, so it doesn’t look bad without it and you should be able to make your own if you want.  Congrats!


The pickguards are hard to find, costly when you do find them and used ones aren't worth getting. I may make my own, but I'm leaning towards a Tortoise Shell guard if I do make one.

The pickups are Gold Tone/Gold Tops. They're humbuckers, all the Gold Foil pickups were single coil pickups. All of them are good and I'd be okay with either. Original Gold Foil singles go for hundreds of dollars these days. Lollar makes them to original spec with the rubber magnets like the originals. These Gold Tone humbuckers have a real clear and articulate tone when lightly picking, then get nasty when you dig in like those old singles, but without the hum.

I ordered some parts and got them today.

A Tusq nut for the Bluesbird and another one for the Strat. Also got a pickguard and Steel tremolo for the Strat.

Yesterday I ordered a Duesenberg Les Trem II tremolo system for the Bluesbird guitar. It fits on the stop tail studs and doesn't require any holes to be drilled. They work great and have a clean looking mount.

I installed a ABR style bridge with rollor saddles and a Tusq nut yesterday. As soon as the tremolo gets here it can installed and strung up. Also ordered a Les Paul style pickguard that I can use as a blank. I have some Black Pearl pickguard sheet material that I can cut out a decent looking guard from. I think the Black Pearl will look great on the Silver Guitar. I oiled up the fretboard with some butcher block conditioning oil. Rosewood will tend to dry out and get very brittle.

About to start stripping the paint off of the Strat body.

I was trying to find some Lemon Oil to rub down the fretboards on both of these guitars because the Rosewood was so dry, but all I could find was Butcher Block Conditioning Oil. So I got that and it works great.

I got the Duesenberg tremolo and installed it on the Bluesbird. Strung it up and played it, couldn't be any happier with it. The Tusq nut works great with the tremolo, no sticking strings and stays in tune very well. I would definitely recommend one of these if you have a separate stop tail piece mounted to studs.

I have some plastic pieces coming in a week or 2 for the switch and a pickguard.

The Bluesbird is finished.

I put the Duesenberg Les Trem II tremolo on it, costly but worth every penny. I got a LP style pickguard in Black Pearl and a Black "Poker Chip" piece for the switch.

Hey Paul, ya gotta be happy with that, looks great how does it play.


The frets are a little low, but that makes for good slides. The pickups are awesome, sound like the Gold Foils of old without the 60 cycle hum. This tremolo is expensive, but it's less than a Bigsby and works flawlessly.

It puts a big smile on my face that stays for a long time. This guitar is every bit as good as a New Gibson LP and cheaper. ;)


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