In the past few years I’ve seen a number of instruments listed on the ‘Really Great Guitars’ website which have interested me. I live in Scotland and am more of a player than a collector so would not normally buy a guitar from someone I didn’t know, without either playing it first or being confident that I could return it easily. But when I saw an extremely rare, one-owner Guild ‘Duane Eddy Junior’ from 1963, with its original case, advertised there recently, I felt it was too good an opportunity to miss. Up until this point, my main electric guitars had been late ‘50s and early ‘60s ES Gibsons with P90s, but I was looking for a guitar with early De Armond Dynasonic pickups and a Bigsby; I had somehow managed to avoid falling in love with a Gretsch. My main acoustic guitar is an ‘80s Westerly-made Guild and I had heard that their Hoboken-made electric guitars could be as good as, or even better than their Gibson or Fender counterparts, but I had never played one before ~ other than a friend’s Starfire, which I liked. So I registered my interest in the guitar with the site’s owner Andy de Looze and he called me up the next day, which I thought was a pretty good sign; I like it when someone decides to pick up the ‘phone, rather than send an email ~ especially when something of significance is involved. Although the website description was detailed and precise, I wanted to know what the guitar felt like to play and how it sounded. Andy’s been a professional guitarist for a long time and was able to answer all of my questions; the guitar had belonged to a friend whose late father was a professional musician who had performed all over the world with this guitar. So I decided to take the plunge and sent Andy the funds, via bank transfer. He acknowledged receipt of my payment immediately and the next day forwarded detailed images of the guitar being packed prior to shipping, so that if anything happened in transit, it would be easy to tell. It was delivered safely by APC the following day; their tracking system is the best I have ever encountered. The Duane Eddy Junior surpassed all my expectations; it’s the most resonant and versatile instrument I have ever played and I can easily see it becoming my main guitar. It lives up to that often quoted, but rarely met claim of it playing and sounding ‘as good as it looks’ and I’m convinced that the main reason Guilds like this aren’t better known as tone monsters, is just because so few of them were made. I was happy to tell Andy how much I liked the guitar, especially as he seemed just as eager to find out what I thought of it. So I’m writing to thank Andy for finding me a ‘really great’ guitar and for continuing to do something he clearly cares about, extremely well.
Paul (Edinburgh) March 25, 2021