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Latest eBay Refugees from Trumpsilvania

posted 12 Jul 2018, 15:16 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 18 Aug 2018, 15:42 ]
Bruno Lyra
My success on US ebay auctions is continuing, What I have managed to invite now is a 1960's Zim-Gar Pirles, actually made in Japan but imported for one of the major US retail firms of the time. The other one I have invited is a 1920's Bruno Lyra which may well have been made by the original New Jersey Oscar Schmidt Co. 

They're Here!

The Zim-Gar is a fine example of 60's Japanese craftsmanship. I didn't realise, until I got this, that Pirles was a fairly significant name in the Japanese home market though apare from the instruments Gar-Zim, (the name of the Zim-Gar distributor), imported I don't think many were sold overseas. It is fully laminate, but then it set out to be a fairly budget instrument and the black binding is just paint. Mine has a little bit of wear on the top part of the lower bout, but apart from that it's immaculate, no signs of wear on the plastic fretboard, the bridge or the very nice sharks toothesque, (not a direct copy of the Harmony one and I think a little better looking), tuners. The strings that came with it need trimming, (or possibly replacing? They feel quite new but they don't feel like the highest standard), and then it's ready to Rock'n'Roll.

The Lyra is even more immaculate given its greater age. The neck is tight, all of the frets are there, even the 12th, the bridge is firm and there is no splitting of any seams. And of course no cracks, not even any bad scratches! I think it is probably made of birch and just stained to look darker, but it has come up beautifully with a polish. It came with one old gut string and one tuning peg but I've quickly got rid of those and put some nice new steel friction tuners on, (they look the part other than the cross head screws). And the biggest question? Well its certainly not Regal, Harmony, or any of the other big Chicago makers, not with those chunky braces, (or the bridge, or the headstock), but I would like to see some more Oscar Schmidt's of this sort of tongueless, one piece backed but maked up level of Oscar Schmidt before I could say 100%