MICRO-FRETS CALIBRA I Rare! Tremolo Vintage 60s / 70s Guitar Good Cond + HSC 2211
Rare vintage semi-hollow axe in good condish!
NOTE: Click on picture to open large gallery.
This is a late 60s/early 70s Micro-Frets Calibra I in red with tremolo. Guitar is in what I would call good condition. All original from what I can see except for the trem bar (and a couple screws on the back of tuners). Pickups are original and sound good. Neck feels good and action is low. Plays well. Comes with vintage hard case, but don't know if it's the original one. Case is covered in stickers. This is a really cool, vintage guitar that still plays great. Some scuffs around the edges but looks good in general. I will change strings and set intonation before shipping, but due to the vintage nature and special string length adjustments, you may want to set it up to your own specifications. Weight is nice and light at 6 pounds, 15 ounces. Thanks for looking.
See video demo of similar guitar below:
What You get:
-- Full setup, cleaning, and new strings.
-- FREE USA shipping.
-- 30-day return policy.
-- Ship within 1 business day--pro packing.
(Excerpt from a message board post found online at guitarattack.com. supposedly from a former designer at the Micro-Frets company.)
...We made the first FM guitar, called "The Orbiter". It was a Swiss cheese model -- front & back & white center piece. There was an FM box that came with that guitar, so you could set the box on top of your amp. The guitar had an antenna that came out of the upper cutaway. I walked down the stairs and out the door one day picking one of those, half way down the street to where the red light is now on Grove Road. It still picked me up through the metal wall to the amp upstairs.
We had wild names for the guitars but we all helped name them. Gary, Woody, and I designed the newer bodies, Micro Nut, and Calibratos. We had three different guitar styles: The Swiss Cheese, The Twin, and The Single.
First were the Swiss Cheese Models. They were really wild looking, like from outer space, hence the space names like Orbiter, Golden Comet, Calibra, Wanderer, and Spacetone. Ralph designed these guitars. They had Gretsch guitar pickups with a metal case. Huntington ( mine), Signature (mine), the Stage II, the Swinger solid body guitar, the Husky solidbody Bass, and The Spacetone (Woody and Gary Free) -- those were our guitars of the 60`s
Ralph Jones died and we kept the older guitars there for a while. All of a sudden the order came up to clean them up and get them out! So we sold those out fast. Some of those went overseas to England, Germany, France, Japan, and China. One of those shipments sank in the Atlantic.
These were the guitars of the 70's. At that time we bought our pickup formula from a guy at the Rickenbaker Guitar Company in California. We made the pickups out of White Plexiglas, and a few Black ones as well. Mrs. Jones did all the guitar pickup wire wrappings by hand. She had a booth 8 feet square. It was a big secret so they kept the curtain closed.
We would work all day and sometimes for no pay on the weekends. We redesigned the pickups, the bodies, and revamped the Micro Nut and Calibrato units.
The rumor is that the guitar just didn't sell so we had to close. NOT TRUE!!! We closed about four years after Ralph Jones died. Marion Huggins was the money man. He wanted to keep the place going, and would have if it were up to him. I would still be there making guitars! Mrs. Jones wanted the company to close with her husband. "It's his invention", she used to say. "I don't want anybody to take credit for it. I want to get my money back out of it, and I just want this place to just go away."
There was a court trial, I think in Frederick, Maryland. There would be a case on file. Jones v. Huggins Micro-Frets Corp. It is probably public domain now because it's been 30 years. Mrs. Jones won the case. I watched people's jobs get cut one at a time. They cried as they walked out the door!...
Someone asked me," What makes the Micro-Frets guitar different from the others?" Most other guitars have a tunable bridge that sets the harmonics up to the twelfth fret. The Micro-Frets has the Micro-nut. It's 52 pieces of adjustable nut. Each string can be adjusted up or down in height, which is convenient as the weather changes. This is especially true if you're very picky about you string height. As for back and forth, the back and forth is what sets the harmonics above the twelfth fret. The guitar was totally in tune all the way up the neck. The stainless steel rollers don't roll, but they let the string slide across without sticking. Their are little ears that stick up just behind the roller that allow you to set the width of your strings.
The necks were called Speedline necks because they were the thinnest around at that time. Made of solid maple, most with rosewood fingerboards (some with Maple fingerboards), the necks were fantastically quick! But it was always my opinion that the frets were cut too low. We at the factory always argued about that...
The Calibrato was not your normal vibrato tailpiece. The Calibrato was designed to shift chords. You can tune the Calibrato to dive in a chord, and ends up just barley one octave lower while still in tune. This was done as a steel guitar effect. Or the bar could be set to just really dive until the strings were floppy. In 1971 I came up with a locking nut, but we never made it part of our line. We didn't think it would ever get used.