Parts-casters: the subtle limit between experimentation, restoration and faking

Sometimes Guitars, Amplifiers, and in some cases effects, survive to the passing of time unaltered, and we
admire through these museum pieces the craft, the details, the secrets behind their construction.
But most of the time we get to find “player” grade guitars, gear, that have experienced virtually anything
you can imagine, from additional switches, to body shape modifications, various different finishes,
changed parts…and so on.
Among the most notable and iconic “partscaster” we find Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”, or David Gilmour “the
black strat”, just to name probably the two most famous ones ever! But Eddie Van Halen heavy
experimentation with shapes, pickups, finishes, Andy Summer’s Telecaster, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s strats
and so many more will come to mind.
Today we bring up the case of “vintage” guitars that have been modified in the past, in some cases several
times, for various reasons, but most of the times it all happens when something on the guitar gets broken
and the instrument needs to be repaired.
First question is: what you shall do? In Architecture, this same question is brought up every time a building
needs intervention, and the possible different approaches are mind-opening and useful for any kind of
One of the most ancient forms of “restoration” is the one that contemplates leaving the “building”, or, in
our case, the guitar, to basically….die! Yes, this philosophical approach believes that the best thing you can
do is let the guitar become “ruin”, and admire its final state at the end of his life. Imagine Stevie Ray
Vaughan’s “Number One”, or Rory Gallagher’s Iconic Strat, nobody would ever touch a screw on them
now, even if they’re absolutely a great example of “survivors” guitars that have been reworked so many
times in their life.

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