Will Ray's Ebay Strategies

November 22, 2005

This is a reproduction of the old 1960s Danelectro Coral Electric Sitar. I’ve always wanted one of the originals, but I was put off by their stiff $1,500 to $2,000 price range. Last year, I started seeing these Rogue copies popping up on eBay for $299 brand new. They come fitted with three lipstick pickups, 13 sympathetic drone strings, and a buzzing Gotoh sitar bridge. I figured I could find one for about $150 used, but I was wrong. I looked and looked, but the people who bought these babies held onto them for dear life. Then I heard a rumor that Rogue had discontinued them, and I started seeing them going for $350 and up. Geez!

So I went into battle mode, and checked eBay continuously for a reasonable Buy-it-Now. A few months later, I was rewarded with a slightly used one sporting a BIN of $250. The seller warned me that he had trouble tuning the 13 sympathetic strings because the tuners seemed to slip. (The sympathetic strings are tuned like an autoharp with a special, supplied wrench.) But, after receiving and playing this guitar, I never seemed to have that problem. I think some owners have better “guitar Karma” than others. Guitars seem to like me. My wife says they like me a little too much.

I heard that the late L.A. session legend Tommy Tedesco turned the pickup for the sympathetic strings all the way up and kept the volume on the guitar strings at about 2. He claimed that it sounded much more Eastern with the drone strings ringing out louder. I think he was right on.

I’m sure these Rogue copies will appreciate in value over the next few years. This one plays pretty well, the Gotoh sitar bridge does a good job at “buzzing” like a sitar, and it’s really fun to play.

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