Miami Vintage GuitarsGood Ideas?
As usual, I had found myself neck-deep in another fun project.  Three months have passed I’m asking myself why did I think this would be a good idea or for that matter “fun”?  Whenever I get excited about something I always think “I can do that!” eventually coming upon the cold reality that there is a reason everyone does not do technical things themselves on a whim.  None-the-less, I ventured into making my own bass guitar.  Not like the selecting and shaping wood version of “making” but the order all the parts I like on eBay, paint them up and slap-um together kind of “making”.  What could go wrong?  I bought a raw wood Fender(ish) Jazz Bass body and decided I would seal it, do some funky abstract art on it with acrylic paint and then put a thick luscious lacquer acrylic finish on it so shiny I could use it as a mirror over the studio bathroom sink (if I so chose to put in there).  Well… three weeks later I had the bass body finished.  It was sure colorful!  Artistic?  Eye of the beholder more or less or less than that.  Mirror finish?  More like the bumpy face of a 15-year-old.  When all the parts had arrived, I came to my next cruel realization.  I have no idea how to properly fit these randomly purchased parts together or how to properly set this instrument up to sound like… well…  an instrument!  No worries, that’s why God invented Google.  I searched to find a place where a real luthier / guitar tech might hide out.  You know the type, permanently covered in saw dust and smelling like freshly soldered wires.  The kind that is pissed off that they have to wear shoes to work but are a walking reference manuals for every guitar ever made and yearning to do anything that was remotely challenging and creative.  “This one looks promising” I thought when the google search came up.  “Miami Vintage Guitars” it said.  Well, if they can deal with vintage guitars (and make money at it) someone there must know how to tinker at high levels.  I sent an email to their general email address on the website.  Explained what I needed, and later that day received a replay;
We are capable of performing the assembly 
Please bring the parts so I can look at them And give you a price and time 
OK… Cool!
Meeting Frank & Eddie
Frank-Miami Vintage GuitarsI drove down to the warehouse district where the shop was located.  I felt less encourage as I got deeper into the area.  There it was.  A big yellow sign over the iron security gated door pronouncing “Miami Vintage Guitars.  I was buzzed in.  The tiny entry had a pressboard desk, a billowy couch with stains and worn spots.  Goodwill would not have accepted it.  A mix of Heavy metal, Pin-up girls, and Greatful Dead posters filled the walls in no particular order.  Frank, a big man with a welcoming smile and mischievous eyes greeted me.  I told him why I was here and he introduced me to Eddie who, you guessed it, had remnants of sawdust on him and had the faint bouquet of wire solder.  Flip flops, shorts, black rock t-shirt, and a big smile.  Even standing still Eddie exuded energy.  “Lets see what you got?” he said and I proceeded to lay out my swag.  A little nervous as to what they would think of my hand painted bass.  Eddies eyes lit up and he said “Awesome”.  I was redeemed and the self-doubt floated away.  Eddie started fitting pieces together and mumbling to himself.  It was obvious he saw some challenges here.  “A hundred bucks” he said to assemble and set-up the bass.  More than fair I thought and left it with him.

Day of Reckoning
Opus Sun BassA couple of days later I thought I would give Eddie a call to let him know the knobs had come in and I could drop them by.  He told me he was not there but Frank would be there to take them.  Eddie went on to say ” I can definitely tell you bought the body and the neck in to different places.  I’m having a hell of a time to get them to fit correctly.  I got a lot of time in on this”.  I told Eddie that if he missed quoted his price and it proved to me more work, I would be willing to pay a bit more for his time.  He refused and told me he just wanted me to be happy with the outcome.  I drove to the warehouse and Frank greeted me.  We walked over to the work bench where the bass was in pieces surrounded by wood shavings.  Frank added “he is really having a hard time with this.  A lot of trimming and altering”.  I felt ill.  Had I made a terrible mistake bringing the bass here?  “Is Eddie coming in?” I asked.  Maybe I should give them $100 and just take it in pieces and see what could be salvaged.  “No.  Eddie is at his other job.” Frank said casually.  “Other job?” I queried.  “He’s at the clinic” Frank replied.  “Guitar clinic?” still not understanding.  “No not the guitar clinic.  Eddie is and orthopedic surgeon.  He’s performing surgeries today.” Frank said a bit annoyed with all my questions.  It was then I decided to leave the bass in Eddies capable hands.
The Unveiling
Opus Sun BassI was rewarded for my decision.  Not only did the bass look good, but it played fantastic!  We plugged it in and Eddie jumped on a drum kit he keeps in the middle of the showroom and we jammed!  Since then I have heard nothing but great things from everyone who tries that bass.  Originally planned to be a wall ornament, she has been used on several studio recordings.
The Take-Away
If you are in need of a quality luthier or guitar tech, look no further than your local trauma center.  Good thing my bass had Obamacare!  Thanks Doc!

Welcome to South Florida’s #1 store for vintage guitars!
Miami Vintage Guitars is located in sunny Miami FL, and convenient to MIA international airport. We are dedicated to providing high quality vintage, collectible, and custom guitars, bass guitars, boutique and production amplifiers, effects, and accessories. Whether you are just starting out with your first vintage piece, a seasoned collector looking to expand your existing collection, or a performer looking for the perfect stage guitar.


They are a brick and mortar store, run by musicians, and the staff is ready to assist you. If you are a player, so are they! If you are looking for something specific, call or email them, and they will help you find the perfect vintage or collectible piece for you.
Also check out Miami Vintage Guitars custom line of guitars and basses!

7760 West 20th Avenue, Suite 11, Hialeah, FL 33012For appointments, please call 305-821-0077

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