60's Carved Vintage George Barnes Guild *Acousti-Lectric* Model Jazz Archtop

geo barnes headstock.jpg
geo barnes headstock.jpg
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60's Carved Vintage George Barnes Guild *Acousti-Lectric* Model Jazz Archtop

16,900.00

No 11/11 Floating PUPs Anchored within Body-No F Holes!

George Barnes was a murderously fast and accurate jazz player that not only kept up with Johnny Smith, but sounded like Les Paul on speed. In the 1960's Guild built a Geo Barnes guitar for him, and 10 others for sale before dropping the project.   This is a George Barnes Acousti-Lectric jazz archtop, number 11 of 11.  These guitars are known for their truly radical design which was developed for Guild by George Barnes and George Barnes alone.  He was an inventor as well as a musician.  10 of them  were completed and the 11th is the guitar that you see here was not completed until it left the factory.  The run was aborted due to very high production costs.  Oh for shame!  What a guitar.   This 11th guitar was left midway with the completed body and inlay and was being prepped for hardware addition when Guild abandoned the project.  The 10 existing completed models have been fetching in the $20,000 to $25,000 range.  What makes these so interesting is the floating seemingly in-air arrangements of the dual pickups which are attached within the body cavity to a longitudinal block of wood.  The PUP surround is therefore - air!.  The front plate made of carved quarter-sawn Alaskan Spruce at the insistence of Barnes vibrates freely without pickup-mount incumbrance.  Alaskan spruce is like gold in rarity and price apparently.   As you can see :no F holes!   Feedback is virtually eliminated!!  The sound channels surround the pickups if you look carefully at the photos.   It sports a 17" carved front of Alskan Spruce with carved maple back and sides.   The block of wood in the cavity to which the pups are attached runs longitudinally most likely an extension of the usual short block that you see with semi-hollow archtops.   The fancy headstock Geo Barnes inlay is a beauty supported by a volute.  Not all the of the models apparently had Georges name in the inlay.  The neck is a multi-piece C profile, with ebony fingerboard, of course, and MOP inlays.  

The journey of this guitar went from the factory sans hardware to Dale Wagstaff of Colorado Springs who was a friend, neighbor of Johnny Smith and music store owner.  He fitted the guitar with what looks like Gibson parts.  The tail piece looks like a Gibson L4 tail with ebony carving, and the pickguard  probably a Gibson design.  Mr. Wagstaff has owned the guitar, and played it since the 1960's.  It has some dings and bops (see photos) expected in a 50 year old guitar.   Will be shipped with a newer hard shell case.  Plays like its been attended to by 50 years of playing.  Smooth easy playability.  See photos below.  We will allow a 3 day examination period to the buyer and if not as described with be shipped back to us charged to Panther Guitars.  Else it will be the buyer's responsibility.  We stand behind what we sell and have a perfect feedback record.  The description is to the best of our knowledge accurate.  The buyer therefore will be receiving the original body and inlay, with the Barnes-Smith design.  The hardware although not from Guild is the handy work of Mr. Wagstaff and has a story therefore all its own.   We have priced the piece accordingly.  Photos below.  After the photos of this guitar are some photos of the original with the original hardware for comparison. All serious offers considered. Thank you. Panther.  The owner of the piece has informed me that the pickups are Seymour Duncan's  He is finding out the PUP models.   He has also put in $1000 worth of work on tuning the piece up for use on his big band jobs.  A receipt for the exact work is forthcoming.  He is letting it go because he does not like the feel of the large body.  It was purchased by him as a working piece.  

We have recently heard from George Barnes' daughter who has corrected some inaccuracies in our description.  The most egregious one being that anyone else other than George Barnes had anything to do with the design of this guitar.   Naturally the added Gibson hardware idea was that of Mr. Wagstaff.  Thank you.  

 

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