Electric Guitars/My Beloved Hondos
QUESTION: Hey there, i see you're the hondo man. I have two, my first guitar was my Yellow Hondo 2 Strat. I got it for free from a buddy, and it's probably the most awesome guitar in existence. It's kind of a freak of nature; It's built surprisingly well even for plywood, and it's solid. The action is the best i've felt on any guitar let alone fender strats. It's got really really great pickups for what i do, they're like a swarm of hornets trapped in a tin can, you can make it pretty or you can make people's ears bleed with it. I can dump the tremolo with impunity without it going out of tune, maybe a tweak to the G string here or there. I can tell it's older because the electronics in it are go on the fritz here and there, the selector switch has seen better days. when i first got it they needed reworking. True to form, Hondo gave us nothing to go on to identify it. I loved it so much, i bought my second Hondo, a Les Paul 737 deluxe that was neglected a bit. it needed a bit of TLC, but it works after i replaced the selector. I'm sure it's an early 80s built in korea, but it's a little atypical of any other hondo similar to it that i could find. It has these Kluson tuners on it, they aren't aftermarket because they kinda suck, and you can't take them apart; but do the job, i added the pick guard the original didn't come with it. I'm pretty sure the knobs are not original, the little pointer things aren't there. Like my Yellow Terror it is built rather well even though it's plywood and the phony humbuckers sound humbucker-y enough for it to be a nice switch over from my delightfully noisy strat. The necks are straight on both, but the strat is clearly of better guitar. It just feels nicer in my hands.it wasn't played as much as the LP back in the day.
Apologies for the smudges on my LP, it's hard to keep it looking shiny for more than 10 minutes because of it's color, and apologies for the aesthetic stuff i've added. I'm an artist and i can't help but to make things my own, i won't paint all over my LP though, i actually regret doing it to my strat a little.
I would like a value and confirmation of the origin of my LP, and just some information on my strat. Bought the LP for $100, strat was free. that thing is a mystery in that it's just such a great guitar. I've only found 1 similar to it with little info, but the truss rod cover did not match and i have a feeling that might be a clue of sorts.
Thank you for your time. It seems i can only add 2 pictures, so i made a photobucket album for you to view the rest: [http://s1353.beta.photobucket.com/user/ForbiddenZones/library/for%20johnny%20Gen
ANSWER: Hey Kerry,
Thanks for writing and happy holidays! My first guitar was a Hondo II Strat and I loved that guitar. The strat, if the headstock looks like a strat headstock was made between 1978 and 1980. This was when Hondo made decent strats and were not forced to change their headstock profile due to lawsuits. It is worth around $450 in today's market. The Hondo LP copy is another story. Prior to Gibson's lawsuit against makers of copy guitars, companies like Hondo made very close replicas. Your headstock maintains the open-book profile and the classic LP tuner knob profiles which would put it around 1980. The truss rod cover is interesting because I've never seen one with the 737 on it. Two questions, one is the neck bolted on and the other is, is it a decal on the truss rod cover or embossed into the plastic/ I'd put a value of around $600 on the Hondo LP but let know about my questions so I can get a more accurate value. Write back...Johnny
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QUESTION: This should help, i took some decently hi-res photos of them. My strat...The past week i've probably done a hundred hours of research, i think it's some wacky Indonesian guitar that is juts amazing, but really there is just no way to know. It does not by any means feel or look like a guitar from 1999 on, as a "hondo guitar familiar" dude that works at a shop. I've found some kind of like it, definite differences. I was able to contact a guitar shop that has interests in them, he said it's like over year 2000 production, i don't believe him quite yet. I went and looked at the body wood, it's not plywood, i think it's Aldar and some other darker wood mixed in, maple i think. I actually started hot rodding my strat last night and i'm still working on it, it's gonna be sweet.
The photos will answer your questions about the LP, the 737 deluxe is a decal or painted on just like the Hondo logo.
In this album i added the only Hondo strat i have found similar to mine, but there are many subtle differences. Arm rest taper on mine is tiny, that one has these black screws for the PuPs mine were just chrome, truss rod cover, tuners ( i think mine are aftermarket or something, they are good tuning machines). I found a video of a blue guitar identical to that yellow one, it had a squared off neck joint, mine is rounded. also, this yellow strat and the blue one in the video had different saddles, serial numbers too. I just don't know. The only things i hear about them is "buzzy frets up and down the neck" "total POS" "unplayable" "neck snapped right off" "Pickups suck" "plywood POS" blah blah blah, but in that album i added the Fender strat i used while my hondo was out of commission due to decrepit electronics. My hondo crushes that thing in every respect i wouldn't lie about it, people have told me dude this guitar is incredible! albeit scratchy Pots and beat old 5 way switch, it doesn't seem to be a modern switch as around 50 different google searches only show them with all 6 lugs going across the bottom, or a circular fender design. The one on mine there are 3 on each side facing to the volume pot, and a comically the lugs on the damn thing are all old and weak so i have to be tender, i already snapped the lug for the V pot to the switch. I probably should not have started the rewiring, i just kind of gave up trying to identify it, and i already had the neck and bridge and electronics out of it. I'm wiring the neck pickup to utilize position 2 3 4, so it can be used for SUPER crunchy and burly tone with my bridge PuP and so that all 3 pickups have tone control, the bridge and neck sharing when selected together, middle will be standalone i guess, it's a nice mellowed out tone. i'm beefing up the wiring and cleaning out the horrid solder job, i shielded the entire body cavity and Pick guard, going to ground to a common point for all of the electronics and shielding. I'm figuring how to partially shield the base plates of the pickups to get rid of hum that i don't want and so that i can just make it squeal at my will, not it's haha. They are already wax potted pick ups, but it seems to do nothing to help. the magnets are really strong in those things. My camera is out of commission right now, so i can show you a picture of the body wood when i get it back running. I do not believe that guy from DeMonte guitars, i think he mistook my strat for the ones i've been finding. I explained in great detail everything about my guitars, and everything about others i've found that didn't match up. As a matter of fact i found everything out about my Les Paul by myself before he answered my questions and you, i had no idea it could possibly be worth that much money though...He wasn't very helpful, and ignored my biggest question; that being the tuning machines on the LP. The neck is actually binded, the body it looks to be painted on. The tuners i've only found 1 other time, it was a guy that asked you about it and that's how i came to asking you.
You know something strange here, the Pots and just all of the electronics in my strat are old, i have no doubt. They are in worse shape than my LP copy's, not like just beat up but seem to be aged. If they were beat up, i doubt they would still work, and it has failed on it's own in the passed with old dry wires disconnecting themselves. the strat seems to be built a little better. I'm still getting used to going from the really thin strat neck to that fat LP neck, huge difference but i recently adjusted the action on it more than before. Well no, that LP is a burly guitar it's prtty damn heavy and all the hardware is good, only the tune o matic is a little pitted. The tuners on it aren't bad after i took the damn tack nails out of the headstock holding the D machinehead out. As i pulled it off, it has nothing written on it at all, and no way to take it apart. I have seem other Hondo tuners that look the same on the backside that is facing the headstock, but not like my Gibson styled ones. The people that owned it before me neglected that thing a bit, it just sat with the same 4 strings on it in a drrryyyyyyy basement for 10 years i believe she said, it definitely looked that way. The fingerboard was dry and Lemon oil nipped that in the bud, this baby plays really nice after that. It's been played a often in it's early years then sat for a long time, which is a ridiculous shame.
Thanks for getting back to me, here is the photo album. http://imgur.com/a/jgeQD
There are a few pictures of the strat with less decorations on it there, i don't have photos of it before i added that base coat of graphics.
Looking forward to hearing back from you, - Ebin
Thanks for getting back to me with links to the photographs. I had the exact same model, purchased in 1979. I loved that guitar. The electronics are probably all original which adds to the value. This model was probably Hondo's best Strat copy because it was solid. The tuners look like Gotoh tuners which were not stock. Funny thing, I installed Gotoh tuners on my Hondo Strat as well. A for age, neither guitar could have been made later than the mid 1980s because Gibson went after a number of companies, including Hondo, and they had to change their designs to accommodate the patent laws. The LP copy definitely is close to the lawsuit timeline. Those tuners actually were stock on a few models. I'm going to do some further research so I'll give you my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email me Sunday and I should have some further answers for you. Hondo guitars are hard to accurately research because of the lack of support. I want to try and get you some quality info. There's a time crunch with answering questions here on allexperts so I think we shoudl do this via my email. I'll continue to do research this week so email me SUnday at the above email. Talk to you with further information...Johnny