Other Guitars

Under USD 500… in other words M75T content…

1

Hey all... So I made it to Poland with my M75T. I think I have a new finish crack on the bottom edge from when the TSA dropped the guitar on inspection (and should I do the super glue trick to make sure it does not spread?), but generally, all okay, and here are my reactions after putting it through it's paces:

1) First, it can't get the tone of my Silverjet (or not yet anyway). It just misses that Great Gretsch Sound, but okay, this is a USD 500 guitar. The issue is that compared to what I'm used to, it's a bit soft/mushy, but the strings are from... 1999! So it's too early to make a call. Maybe the hairline finish crack needs to be filled in too... But that's prolly just me being my typical neurotic self. 2) This is without a doubt the most comfy neck I've ever played. No comparison. I'm rather shocked actually. 3) Tiny frets. But no, I'm not changing anything--learned my luthiere lesson well. Wish they were bigger though. 4) Mega great tuning. 5) Digsby works great. Even dived bombed it and it generally sticks in tune. Suprising. 6) Huge variety of tones--the dearmonds are simply fantastic pickups. 7) Great sustain with the set neck. And pickups.

Did I mention I like the pickups?

Not sure if this could ever be my No. 1, but its a great No. 2, and maybe with new strings it will be a cheater No. 1. Kind of a mojo guitar. A bit heavy though.

I honestly would spend real money on the same guitar with 1) real mahogany and not agathis 2) better tuners (they seem okay, but who knows what they are and I wish they were locking) 3) locking strap buttons 4) real inlay--I think this may be plastic.

Still--I'm quite pleasantly surprised--and the neck pickup gets a fantastic sound for srv-esque (emphasis on "esque") lead. Good clean tones, works well with effects.

one oddity is that Tavo's Dynobrain doesn't seem to do a lot for this guitar. I really feel the difference with my Gretsches, but with this the change is not as dramatic. Still worth using though.

K

2

The late 90's/early 2000's DeArmond guitars were/are great bang for the buck (almost too good). They are great guitars but not very much Gretsch about them. The pickups are DeArmond 2k's, which are basically P90's, so that might be why the Dynobrain isn't hitting the mark.

Again, great guitars. I wouldn't mind picking up one myself. Play 'er in good health, K!

3

The whole Dearmond line were way too nice for the money. Still are. The only one which seems to command a high price is the T-400. I'm assuming yours has the 2K's and not the Goldtone's, yes? They came both ways.

The 2K was intended to be a "jazz pickup". I've had M75's with both types of pickups...I think in the solid bodies I prefer the Goldtone but the 2K in the neck of a hollowbody or semi is lovely.

I'm actually in the process of getting the guts of a 2K into the gold housing of the 2000 Dynasonic for the neck of my 3110 Historic (the 2000 came with gold housings, the 2K only came in chrome). In that big ol' fat body, I'm thinking it could be magical.

They never made an M75 with 2000's. That could be a cool combo as well....

4

A guy can’t disagree with any DeArmond praise; the guitars perform so above their price that cost becomes an irrelevant consideration.

I think the M75 is gorgeous, such a perfectly proportioned shape, with elegant appointments. No argument with the 2k pickups either.

But DANG, them things is heavy! One wishes they were chambered - or hollow. But then, I guess, it would be a Guild Aristocrat.

OK, that cooks it. A solidbody Aristo is a fine idea. I’ll get an M75.

5

A guy can’t disagree with any DeArmond praise; the guitars perform so above their price that cost becomes an irrelevant consideration.

I think the M75 is gorgeous, such a perfectly proportioned shape, with elegant appointments. No argument with the 2k pickups either.

But DANG, them things is heavy! One wishes they were chambered - or hollow. But then, I guess, it would be a Guild Aristocrat.

OK, that cooks it. A solidbody Aristo is a fine idea. I’ll get an M75.

– Proteus

It is a heavy beast. I had one that I traded for my first Gretsch, the 3140.

6

I had a blue sparkle M75T back in the day, when I worked in a music store. I bought it as a back-up for my 6120-60, after my oldest son got a leftie one in champagne sparkle, and I realized how much bang-for-the-buck these guitars were. Then came the Electromatics, so I bought a 5129, and the DeArmond didn't get much action. The house we owned at the time didn't really have much space for musical equipment, so I decided to let it go. My son's buddy bought it, with a promise to give me a heads-up if ever he wanted to sell it.

Then, four or five years ago, I got the offer to buy it back. Which I did - we'd moved into a bigger house by then. And in the meantime I'd picked up a pair of used Dynasonics (taken from a Duo Jet, which had been TVJones'ed), so I decided to swap the 2Ks for Dynas. Had to route the cavities a bit, but the footprint was pretty close (not 100%, though). But after a few gigs with the DeArmond, I found myself leaving it at home again. It's just so freakishly HEAVY!!!!

The successor to the M75T, the M77T, was routed a bit for weight relief, wasn't it? No sparkle colours, but there was a "kinda gretschy orange" one. And the whole line disappeared before I was able to order one for the store. Did the 77s even make it to Europe at all? I just saw them in the Fender Frontline magazine...

Anders

7

Bummer about the crack Konrad, that had to hurt seeing the TSA drop it. I'm neurotic about that kind of stuff too, the first ding is the hardest. After all the careful packing you did to make sure it got there in one piece, then it gets dropped by a careless inspector.

I don't know much about the M75, having never owned one but she sounds like a beauty. I'm glad you all made it safely to Poland reasonably intact, I hope you have a wonderful time.

8

The weight really isn't bothering me, but I've always wanted to try a M77T simply because chambered sounds good.

I'm wondering if I should superglue the finish crack. Sometimes little things like that actually can worsen (and they affect the sound--in my head at least).

I'll update again once I gig with new strings on it. If I can get around to putting them on. I've gotten so lazy with string changes lately that it's obscene.

K

9

Unless the finish crack is actually a wood crack - or you can hear a loose finish chip rattle - it's not affecting the sound. But yeah, it wouldn't be stupid to drop a dab-o-glue on it to prevent it from spreading.

Also, new strings = new guitar.

10

I'm glad you're happy Konrad, but I'm not a big fan. The M75T's kinda look like a Guild 75, until you pick one up, and you feel it's an M75 that was filled with concrete and steel pellets. Try the current Guild M75 "reissue" some day if you see one. It's the guitar that (at least cosmetically) inspired the one you just got.

11

20 year old strings? Good for another decade, at least.

It's a perfect time to try out different strings. Try flats or half rounds.

How many DeArmond guitars can there be in Poland? Or Guilds, for that matter. Nothing wrong with P-90-ish pickups, either. Enjoy!

12

A guy can’t disagree with any DeArmond praise; the guitars perform so above their price that cost becomes an irrelevant consideration.

I think the M75 is gorgeous, such a perfectly proportioned shape, with elegant appointments. No argument with the 2k pickups either.

But DANG, them things is heavy! One wishes they were chambered - or hollow. But then, I guess, it would be a Guild Aristocrat.

OK, that cooks it. A solidbody Aristo is a fine idea. I’ll get an M75.

– Proteus

Too bad you're not coming to the Roundup Tim. I'm likely bringing mine with the idea of parting with it for cheap. Champagne sparkle with T-armonds, Schaller roller bridge, an actual Bigsby and not super heavy.

Just not getting the play it deserves...

13

Ohman. Champagne sparkle! Email me! We'll talk before the Roundup.

14

I actually like the M75T a lot and prefer it over the current Newark Aristocrat. But they vary. A friend got one after playing mine and the one I had was the better guitar. It's a completely different animal compared to a Guild M75 but as Konrad somewhere mentioned: It rocks. I like Les Pauls with P90s and this one is in the same family. I put some spacers under the "Digsby" and that improved the string angle. I also don't think it is overly heavy. Coming from playing Gretsch guitars it might feel a little more "solid" but a Les Paul player wouldn't complain for sure. I swapped the PUs for DA2000s out of curiosity and it didn't change as much sonically as I expected. The 2Ks are great.

After all I sold my DeArmond M75T because it didn't get the playtime it deserved and I couldn't bond with the funny body shape. I loved the finish, though. Champagne sparkle that - despite being poly - yellowed beautifully over the years. It was a top-quality guitar.

16

Like this?

– Rhythmisking

Mine had the original 'Digsby' and I made a back-painted silver pickguard. Otherwise it looked very similar with the black DA2000 covers and the lovely finish. I wonder how it aged so nicely. Still... this body shape. But the Talman in the background says you're way more tolerant than me anyway. :)

17

Cool! I have the white pickup covers, which I really dig. I actually love the body shape too.

K

18

Definitely change the strings! I've gotten to where I dislike changing strings as well. 20 years is at the way outside edge of needing to be replaced! The longest I've ever been guilty of is about 6 years, on my wore out Les Paul. It's 36 years old, and had sat in the case unused for about 6 years. It was in desperate need of new frets and I had it re-fretted a few years back. I played that guitar into the ground, it was my first Gibson, and my number one for a long time.

19

dearmond 2k's are beautifully made in usa pickups...dyna/p90 mash...they can sound great...try putting some pure nickel strings on your m-75..or better yet, pure nickel flats like thomastiks or pyramids...

m75-t was a heavy beast..m 77-t slightly lighter, but no flyweight either...but both capable of great tones

two of the better guitars from fmic's short lived dearmond guitar line

cheers

20

My M75T was heavy but the M75 with gold tones I still have weighs 8 lbs 8 oz so they weren’t all heavy.

21

The M-75 and M-75T also have huge frets. The M-77 and M-77T have much smaller, but not "vintage" sized frets. I think the M-70 is the sleeper of the DeArmond line.

The DeArmond Gold Tones and 2Ks are fine pickups in their own right.

22

Mine was one of the first, and it has tiny frets.

23

Mine was one of the first, and it has tiny frets.

– Konrad

You are lucky then. I sold my M-75 and M-75T because of the fret size. The weight didn't bother me and I liked everything else about them. I believe another GDP member had a sunburst M-75T refretted because he liked the guitar so much.

They are fine guitars. Congrats on your find and sorry about the TSA mishap.

24

Like this?

– Rhythmisking

I believe that's a Solar Bronze M-77T. Looks great.

25

This is a photo of the Champagne Sparkle M-75T I owned.


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