Martin HD28 Fender Blues Jr Fender Stratocaster Hunter alto sax Taylor DDX KORG SV1 Webber OO12 Sunburst
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 January 12th, 2018 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".

Taylor K14c

This stunningly gorgeous Taylor has just found its way to the Attic. Its one local owner did a fantastic job of keeping it in pristine - almost mint - condition.

Built in early 1998, this instrument is all solid koa rather than the cedar top construction that was more common in the Taylor workshop at this time. This one is the rarer (and we think more desirable) all-koa version.

We can't stress enough how nice this guitar feels, plays and sounds. It has barely a nick on it after 19 years, plenty of fret life left, a nice low action, and is set up for light gauge (.012) strings.

The gooseneck microphone-style pickup sits centered in the body under the sound hole and delivers a full, open sound.

Offered at $2,199, this guitar is a wonderful opportunity to own an all-koa Taylor guitar at a very reasonable price - new Koa Series Taylor guitars are going for much, much more. The original Taylor hardshell case is included.

The specs:

  • Grand Auditorium body with hard cutaway
  • Solid koa top, back and sides
  • Ebony bridge and fretboard
  • Tortoise binding on body and neck
  • Abalone rosette
  • Mother-of-pearl inlays
  • Original gold-finish tuning machines
  • Ebony tuner buttons (not original)
  • Fishman gooseneck microphone system

Vintage Martin 1974 D-28

Another very nice vintage Martin Dreadnaught has found its way to the Attic.

Folks appreciate the rich sound of a well-broken-in guitar - and now that this classic is over 40 years old, it sounds great - big and boomy, but clear too.

This D-28 had a neck reset a few years back, and we've given it a fresh setup and a thorough cleaning. It's been well cared for overall and is in very good condition. Original hardshell case is included.

The specs:

  • Martin's all-time classic Dreadnaught
  • Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Ebony bridge and fretboard
  • Mahogany neck with soft 'V' profile
  • 1-11/16 inch nut width
  • Grover tuners

Harmony Rocket

We've had a few Harmony guitars come through Zach's Attic and this Rocket is in especially great shape. Made in the 60's in the USA, they are a good alternative to spending thousands on another hollowbody name. There's a certain 'plunkiness' to their sound that people tend to like. Lightweight and certainly vintage, it's a nice find! Includes a hardshell case.

The specs:

  • H54 model with vibrato unit
  • 40-1/2 inch length, 15-3/4 inch width, 2 inch thick body
  • Short scale neck
  • Single cutaway
  • Celluloid binding
  • White pickguard
  • Two volume and two tone controls
  • Gold-finish hardware

Vintage 1967 Epiphone Riviera

This very easy-on-the-eyes 1967 cherry-red Epiphone Riviera just arrived at Zach's Attic, and it's a beauty.

Made in the original Gibson Kalamazoo, Michigan factory, these are very desirable vintage guitars. The Riviera is a pretty tough to find model, especially in the cherry red finish which was only offered after 1966.

The specs: Classic thinline semi-hollowbody, bound body and neck, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with parallelogram inlays, original pickguard (the 'E' has come off), original Kluson deluxe tuners, and a 1-9/16 inch nut width.

It seems that this guitar was modified in the late 1960's to be more of a '335' style instrument. The original 'Frequensator' tailpiece has been replaced by a trapeze tailpiece. The original mini-humbuckers were also changed out for full size humbuckers.

Although these changes may not make a collector happy, the good news is that whoever did it kept period-correct parts on the guitar. The trapeze tailpiece looks to be from the 60's era. The humbuckers carry Gibson patent numbers from the late 60's and are therefore valuable in their own right.

The guitar is in excellent condition. It was well cared for and stored in a good climate. Very minimal fretwear with plenty of life left. All of the white binding has aged beautifully.

Unplugged, the guitar is very resonant and a joy to just sit on a stool and play. Plugged in, it sounds fantastic with the Gibson humbuckers, it can be loud and bright or warm and mellow. Bottom line is it sounds authentic vintage. The neck may be slim for some people but it makes playing chords very easy. The depth of the neck is a medium profile.

A vintage triangular hardcase is included

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.