Because I have a problem with buying guitars that need work that I tell myself "I'll fix that one day" and, until now have never got around to ...
This year I have been going through my kind of silly collection of guitars lying around the workshop and fixing them up and getting them playable for sale in the shop. I have owned and sold SO MANY vintage Japanese guitars I've lost count. It would be in the thousands since the mid nineties.
I've said before how much I love these Guyatones (and Mosrite inspired Guyatones in general) and I used to buy them whenever and wherever they came up for sale, in ANY condition. Consequently I have had quite a few lying around in various states of completion. With that in mind I have decided to "hotrod" some of the "almost complete" guitars lying around and get them into players hands. The idea is that if I can salvage parts to make a complete original guitar AND get another one playing with good non original parts that's more cool old guitars back out there.
I've had two of these set aside that were "nearly" complete that I've had sitting around thinking "I'll put them together when I get all the parts" which of course isn't going to happen so it was time to make both playable with what I did have.
I took the pickups and knobs from this one to make the other one original and decided to put some black mini humbuckers in this one. I'm a huge fan of mini humbuckers and I love the Firebird type a lot. I prefer the tone of the Firebird to the pole piece version just slightly, although I do love the sound of a good vintage Crestwood or Wilshire. Anyway, I digress.
With the mini humbuckers came a new scratchplate so I didn't have to cut a perfectly good original (the originals are acrylic) plate that might help restore another one one day. I used a one ply plastic blank and traced the old plate and cut it for minis. The body needed just a very slight sliver routed off each pickup cavity but you can easily put original pickups back in this without any external issues. No other mods were done to the body.
I decided to use all the electronics on the other one too as these were in better condition than the harness in there. I fitted the minis and put in all new pots, jack, switch, cap and wiring in this one.
Because I wanted the knobs for another project I used generic "Mosrite spun knobs" on this which look great.
Everything else was in good condition and wasn't needed for any other projects I have right now so I kept the original bridge, vibrato and tuners. This one has plenty of finish checking and a few minor chips and scratches but is in pretty good condition all up. The 24.75" neck is flat and slightly wider than a Mosrite with no zero fret and VERY comfortable. It now plays and sounds GREAT and these mini humbuckers really suit the looks and tone very well. It's hard messing with vintage stuff but if these get used again, that's a great thing, and you don't have to buy one off some online auction site and hope that everything works.
I still have a few of these that I will get playing and over to the shop in various states of originality soon. I'll probably keep the time capsule one I have for now unless there's someone/somewhere more deserving of protecting it.