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Now at 80 King Street · Littleton MA 01460 · (978) 486-0112 · Interstate 495 Exit 30
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What's In Zach's Attic Today?

As of April 28, 2017 we have the following used and vintage instruments in Zach's Attic:

Click on one of these instruments or just scroll down for photos and more information.

Zach's Archives

Want to peek at the extraordinary range of cool and interesting instruments that have passed through Zach's Attic? Just click HERE!

Contributing to Zach's Attic

We're always looking for interesting used and vintage guitars, basses and other fretted instruments that need new homes. (Sorry, we don't accept used band instruments.)

If you have a used or vintage instrument that you think Zach might be interested in, bring it in and show it to him. (Call ahead to make sure he'll be in the store when you come.) If he likes your instrument we can work out a trade or buy it outright.

You can contact Zach by phone at the number above or via our Ask Us! page.

Our Guarantee

Buying a used or vintage instrument can be a scary process. If you don't know what you're looking for, you can easily overpay or end up with an inferior (or even unplayable) instrument.

When you buy a used or vintage instrument from The Minor Chord we guarantee it to be as described. If there are flaws in the instrument that we know about, we'll tell you. If there are significant flaws we didn't notice and disclose, tell us within 30 days and we'll cheerfully give you your money back.

The Minor Chord is a music store you can trust!

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Our Used and Vintage Instruments

Zach is our store manager and head instrument buyer. He hunts down the top quality used and vintage instruments that we feature here in "Zach's Attic".

1961 Gretsch 6192 Country Club

It's been a while since a vintage Gretsch has come through the Attic but here's a fantastic opportunity to own one of these iconic hollowbodies!

Arched laminated maple top, laminated figured maple back and sides. Single round-cutaway hollowbody, two f-holes, maple neck with ebony fretboard, pearl thumbnail inlays, zero fret, dual 'Filtertron' humbuckers with their cool-looking black covers. Gold-finish hardware, original 'G' tailpiece and roller bridge. Original string mute, padded back, and pickguard.

This guitar looks to be all original with the exception of the tuners, which have been replaced with gold-finish Schallers.

Gretsch only produced Country Club models with the 1-7/8 inch body thickness for a short time, from 1960 through 1963. Compared to models with the more common thicker bodies, this one is much easier and comfortable to sits nicely in the lap. We have it set up with flatwound .011's and it plays like a dream. The neck profile is a nice medium shape, not too chunky or slim. Great low action, and a sound that makes you want to dial in your best Chet Atkins!

What's truly remarkable is the condition of this vintage guitar... So often, vintage Gretsch instruments suffer from binding rot, or they're just beat up from having being played for so long. Not this one - it was certainly well cared for. Even the way the finish has checked over time looks fantastic! If not for the replaced tuners, it would be completely original.

This is definitely a rare opportunity! The original Gretsch hardshell case is included.

Collings D2A 'SB' Dreadnaught

Dreadnaught... Rosewood... Adirondack... Collings... Need we say more?

Well, yes, we will! We don't see many Collings acoustics here in Zach's Attic... their owners love them and rarely trade them. This one belonged to a local customer who needed to move to a smaller-bodied instrument. He ended up with a beautiful new OM by David Webber, so you get a chance at his Collings.

The specs: Classic dreadnaught combination of Indian rosewood and Adirondack spruce. The top has a nice wide grain pattern and a tasteful lightly-shaded sunburst finish. Ebony fingerboard and bridge for smooth playability. 1-3/4 inch nut width. Genuine mahogany neck with a headstock diamond. V-shape neck profile, but not too chunky. Waverly tuners.

This Collings has an exceptionally full, boomy sound, a clear tone across the range, with lows that are strong but don't overwhelm the tonal balance as happens with some dreadnaughts. Our bluegrass teacher, Jerry Wile, spent some time jamming on it and sounded fantastic. This is a great flat-picking instrument!

This is your opportunity to save thousands compared to the cost of a new Collings. Original hardshell case included.

Martin D-15 Mahogany Dreadnaught

Here's an excellent condition, very lightly used example of one of our decade-long bestsellers from Martin.

Fans of the 'mahogany' sound and loud, boomy tone seem to find their way to this iconic Martin model. All solid mahogany back and sides. Mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard. Rosewood bridge.

A one-owner, well-cared-for guitar, it has seasoned very nicely. The mahogany neck has worn in smoothly, and the sound has plenty of volume. When compared side by side with a spruce top dreadnaught you can really tell the difference in the mahogany top: toned-down brights, more warmth. This guitar can handle a more aggressive playing style without the sound turning harsh.

New D-15's get more expensive every year, so this one is a great deal!

Original Martin hardshell case included.

Martin D-42 Sunburst Dreadnaught

Quality instruments keep finding their way into the Attic. We are absolutely stoked to have this beautiful D-42 from 1996, the first production year of that model. Not only that - it's rare enough to find one of these at all, but the sunburst top makes it extra special.

This guitar represents a blend of quality materials and craftsmanship with tasty appointments. Select Indian rosewood back and sides with a rich reddish tint that you won't find in the average piece of rosewood. Sitka spruce top with a nice deep sunburst finish. Dark-stained mahogany neck with gloss finish, a 'C' shape profile and 1-11/16 inch nut width. Ebony bridge and fretboard. Classic headstock look with a neck diamond on the back. Gold-finish tuners, multi-stripe fingerboard binding. Stunning abalone appointments including around the 15th to 20th fret area of the top. 'Style 45' snowflake inlays.

Wouldn't it be disappointing after looking at this beauty if it didn't sound good? Well, fear not, it sounds great! Martin is famous for their full dreadnaught sound and with the quality of woods on this one, as well as the fact that it's over 20 years old now, it truly is a keeper. Big tone and clarity across every string. Plenty of volume and ring.

We have never had a used D-42 come through the shop and it may well be a very long time before another comes our way. These are guitars that folks hold onto. And at thousands below a new D-42, this one is a fantastic deal!

Original Martin hardshell case included.

Vintage 1959 Gibson A-40 Mandolin

We don't see many vintage mandolins, and this Gibson A-style mandolin is a nice one!

There's not much out there Gibson-wise from the 50's that's affordable but this gem is an exception. Mahogany back and sides, with a carved solid Sitka spruce top with creme celluloid binding. Adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge, mahogany neck with Brazilian rosewood fretboard. Mother of pearl dot inlays. Nice comfortable V-ish neck profile. Gold Gibson headstock logo, Gibson etched tailpiece. The Kluson Deluxe tuners and pickguard both appear original and are in good condition.

Recently set up, this old Gibby has a nice low action and plays easily. There are normal wear marks from someone enjoying this instrument for decades, but it was well taken care of.

Sound-wise, it has that cut-through bright choppy sound that one wants in a mandolin.

Priced well under $1,000 - this is your chance at a Gibson instrument from one of their legendary production years. Original hardshell case included.

Gretsch G5122

We are getting a lot of hollowbody guitars coming through Zach's Attic these days and for good reason...they're cool!

This time it's a Gretsch Electromatic Series G5122. Double-cutaway laminated maple body, rosewood fretboard and bridge. Dual-coil humbucking pickups. A Bigsby licensed B60 vibrato tailpiece. It is missing the pickguard but overall it's in excellent condition.

When you plug it in, it's very apparent that you're playing a Gretsch hollowbody - it has that nice clear, round Gretsch tone.

Both this guitar and the Samick are great ways to get into the jazzy/bluesy sound of a hollowbody at WAY below the cost of a Gibson.

Gig bag included.

Epiphone FT-112 'Bard'

This is a well-broken in Epiphone 12-string from the 60's.

Made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, it features mahogany back and sides, a solid spruce top, rosewood fretboard, trapeze tailpiece, rosewood bridge with adjustable saddle, and original tuners.

This guitar has had quite the storied life. Traded in by a local customer, it has been extensively used in recording sessions and played in clubs including the 'Rat' in Kenmore Square, Boston. Its sound reflects its history: A typical 12-string jangle but with a noticeable fullness that only a vintage guitar can produce.

It has its share of scratches and dings, and there have been some repairs done over the years, but it currently plays great and is priced to sell.

Want the genuine 60's sound? Legend has it that Roy Orbison recorded his classic Pretty Woman riff on this very model guitar!

Semi-rigid Access brand nylon case included

Hamer Improv Hollowbody

This is an extremely rare opportunity to purchase one of Hamer's highest quality instruments.

The Improv is made in extremely limited numbers and takes a long time to build. Featuring the highest grade woods available, this little hollowbody isn't by any means small in quality. The body and neck are hand carved from high grade Honduran mahogany. The top is hand carved spruce with X-bracing.

The detailed specs: Five-ply Italian cellulose body binding, two bound f-holes, hand carved ebony tailpiece, adjustable ebony bridge, ebony fretboard with mother of pearl inlays, raised ebony pickguard, Schaller tuners with ebony buttons, multi-layered ebony headplate, gold-finish hardware, single custom-wound Seymour Duncan pickup, two controls (volume and tone) with ebony knobs on pickguard, natural finish.

This guitar is designed to produce the sound of a much larger archtop guitar...and it succeeds! Without even plugging it in, you can immediately tell that this is a well-made, high end instrument. It feels superb in your hands, super lightweight, loud enough to enjoy without an amp.

Plugged in, the jazz-style hand wound Seymour Duncan really lets the guitar shine. Woody and warm is a good way to describe the sound. We have it set up for flatwound strings for that full-bodied jazz tone.

Hamer's website describes this as a jazz guitar for those who come from the solidbody world and don't want to play a monstrous instrument. Because of this, it's easier to travel with, less likely to get bumped at gigs, etc. Near mint condition. We have priced this guitar to move!

We include the deluxe hardshell case.

Samick HJ-850 'OR'

This is the first of two very nice affordable Samick hollowbody guitars that were recently consigned to us by an estate.

The HJ-850 'OR' model was only produced for one year in 2001. Korean-made Samicks from this era are widely recognized to be well-made instruments. This one features arched maple back and sides, an arched spruce top, a set maple neck with rosewood fretboard, two 'Gretsch-style' humbuckers, and a Bigsby-style vibrato.

With this model, it seems Samick was going for their version of the iconic Gretsch 6120 with its famous orange finish.

The humbuckers yield that classic full hollowbody tone... Throw on a bit of slap delay and chicken-pick away! Also nice for jazz as well. The Bigsby-style vibrato functions smoothly.

We include the original hardshell case.

Common problems with used instruments

We see a lot of used instruments at The Minor Chord and a few common issues seem to show up in many of them. If you are thinking of buying an instrument on the private market, make sure you can spot these common flaws.

Lifting bridges

Most bridges on acoustic guitars are simply glued to the guitar top. If the glue joint starts to separate you are looking at a dangerous guitar. Six steel strings exert a huge tension on the bridge, and if it suddenly comes loose it can seriously injure anyone nearby. The staff at The Minor Chord has seen this happen - so we always inspect the bridge of an acoustic guitar before restringing it.

Piece of paper under a lifting bridge

Piece of paper under a lifting bridge

If you can slip a sheet of paper under the bridge of your guitar (see picture) you should relax the string tension immediately and bring the instrument to us for inspection.

An experienced luthier can remove a bridge and reglue it, but the time and labor involved makes the process too expensive for beginner and intermediate guitars.

High action

The distance between the strings and the fingerboard is called the action height. If the action is too high the guitar becomes hard (or even impossible) to play because it takes too much effort to press a string against the fingerboard. In addition, the guitar will probably not play in tune because each string has to be stretched so much (which raises its pitch) as it is pressed down.

Proper action height depends on two factors: The alignment of the neck and the height of the saddle (the point at which the strings rest on the bridge).

Electric and steel-string acoustic guitars usually have a truss rod running down the neck that can be used to adjust neck alignment. Classical-style guitars with nylon strings typically do not have a truss rod, and the only way to realign the neck is for a luthier to remove, shim and reinstall the neck - a major operation. The same operation is required on electrics or steel-string acoustics if the truss rod doesn't have enough available play to achieve the needed adjustment.

Saddle height is easily adjusted on electric guitars using a very small allen-head wrench. The saddles on acoustics and classical nylon strings may simply lift out of the bridge and can be shaved or shimmed to achieve the correct height. If these adjustments cannot bring the action height to a playable level, an expensive neck reset is required.

A low action height is desirable for easy playing but the action cannot be lowered so much that the strings start buzzing against the frets. Inexpensive guitars tend to have uneven frets, which means that the action height cannot be brought very low at all. Resetting or dressing the frets can even them up but it is a time consuming and expensive process, worthwhile only for valuable guitars.

All of these adjustments related to action height are fussy and interrelated. It's best to leave them to an experienced luthier, which means it is usually not economical to rescue an inexpensive guitar having these problems.