So how did it play? Actually, not so great.
The frets were badly worn down and hard to
bend strings on. Also, the neck had a warp that
was impossible to get out with Kay’s abysmal
cantilever-style trussrod system. So, I took it
to my old friend and repairman John Wescott.
He said he could easily refret it and sand out
the bow in the neck with a belt sander, and it
would be pretty cheap to boot. I took him up
on it, and when I got it back a few days later, it
was like a whole new guitar! The action was
just right, I could bend strings easily, and it
The seller had done his best to describe the
guitar, but the worn frets and warped neck were
not a blip on his radar. Will Ray tip #731: It’s
always up to the buyer to ask questions before
an auction ends. It was my fault for not doing
so because I had stars and Kelvinators in my
eyes. Still, I feel like I got a good deal on it,
even factoring in the extra $125 refret, since I
see these on eBay now for $1,800-$2,500.
Will Ray tip #732: Always keep a good
guitar tech/repairman handy for those acquisitions
that need a little help. It’ll make you
feel better about the purchases you’ve made
that you’re on the fence about. I’ve had this
Upbeat for almost 12 years and it is one of
my favorite guitars. It’s still very easy and fun
to play, and it sounds great. I guess that means
it’s a keeper.
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