Electric Guitars/Yet another Hondo II Les Paul...
QUESTION: Hello Johnny!
First off, Thanks for the wealth of info. about these babies!
I'm trying to nail down as close as possible the details about this Hondo II Les Paul I got at a pawnshop back in '88. It's been living w/a recently deceased band mate since '92, and in his honor I've decided to get it cleaned up and try these old hands at some guitar playin'...
My main question is what year did the changes happen with the "lawsuit" era Hondo's. I've seen anywhere from late-70's to the mid-80's, and I'd like to get a better date for this one. I've gathered it has the open book headstock, w/a bolt-on neck; does have Dimarzio pick-ups, and seems to be a "whole lot prettier" than ones I've seen anywhere online. Has model number sticker on the neck plate - HLP-2B. Plays like a banshee, too!
Check the pix, and lemme know what you think. Any and all info - dates, model specs, value - would be greatly appreciated! I can send more pix if need be.
ANSWER: Hey Joe,
Thanks for writing! The Hondo lawsuit copies were made right up until the lawsuit was settled in court. This model was made 1977-78. This model was basically a copy of a Les Paul except with a bolt on neck. The wiring is the same. The Hondo tuners aren't good but they can be replaced with a set of Grovers. As for value, it's worth somewhere around $700 in excellent shape. Hondo cranked out a lot of LP copies even after the lawsuit. The big difference is the quality. Anything made before the lawsuit was of better quality since Hondo was trying to get some of Gibson's business. Therefore, you have better woods, etc. Port lawsuit Hondo LP guitars are of lesser quality. Your Hondo LP looks like its in great shape. Let me know if you need any further information. Stay in touch...Johnny
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QUESTION: Hey Johnny,
Thank you for the details on this! About the tuners: my guitar guy did mention that they seem to be short posts, making the string winding awkward when tightening up. How would changing them out effect the value? Are Grovers era appropriate? I'm torn between keeping it all original or making the long term playability more viable. I'm looking to make this as great as possible, in honor of my friend, and to pass along to my now 3 year old son. Need to keep the fires burning, right!?!
Also, I've enjoyed reacquainting myself with your No Alternative stuff - had some foggy memories...it's a sound I've always dug. Fantastic!
Look forward to your thoughts.
Thanks for writing back and the kind words regarding No Alternative! Replacing the tuners will not affect the value as long as you don't have to do too much in the way of modifications, such as enlarging the holes. Try either Grovers or Gotoh tuners. I've used Gotoh tuners on old Hondo guitars I've owned. The early studio stuff that No Alternative did was done with a Hondo guitar! I replaced the tuners on the Hondo Les Paul copy used for recording with Gotoh tuners. However, I now use Grover tuners exclusively because they're so well made. However, either will do. Hondo tuners were always bad, especially the crummy height of the tuning pegs which makes it really hard to properly wind your strings. Let me know if you need anything else. I'll walk you through restoring your guitar which has such an interesting and cool back story to it. Stay in touch...Johnny