Friday, March 21, 2008

Squier Venus 12-String

Probably the most interesting thing about this guitar is how it arrived. I had decided I wanted a 12-string electric guitar and didn’t want to spend the money to get a Ricky and didn’t want to take a chance on a Danelectro reissue. I came across this Squier Venus 12-string, which is also sometimes known as a Courtney Love model...reason enough to not own one! These were made in Japan as part of the higher end “Vista Series” Squiers.

It actually played really well, though a friend of mine later owned one and didn’t have the same good luck on playability. I liked the seafoam green classic Fender color, which was the rarer color combo on these, and it looked nice with the matching headstock. I believe it was also offered in black and sunburst. I found that I didn’t really have as much use for a 12-string as I original intent was to use it for recording to give a little different layered sound.

Now the frustrating/interesting/significant part of the story is how this guitar arrived. I had bought a "few" things on eBay and had mixed results with the packing jobs people provided. When I have sold guitars on eBay I have packed them so that if a nuclear (pronounced “nu-cue-lar”) bomb landed on the UPS store, my package would probably survive. Some people don’t have the same theory. They just throw fine musical instruments in the box with some newspapers and toilet paper and hope for the best. Oh, I would have been happy with that on this one.

After completing my purchase (within 5 minutes of the end of the auction), I sent the seller a polite email detailing the trouble I’d had in the past, and I practically begged him to pack the guitar very safely. I was assured that, although it had already been packed, it was done very well and I should have no worries. I felt relieved. Imagine my horror when, 5 days later, the package arrived and I could physically feel a large object bouncing around inside.

I opened the box and was somewhat shocked to see the guitar with no case or packing materials of any kind (or even toilet paper), freely banging around in the oversize box.

It had come from Michigan to San Diego this way and I can’t even imagine how many times it was tossed around from loading dock to truck to conveyor belt to large canvas bin and back to more trucks as it made it’s journey across this great land of ours. I pulled it out of the box fully expecting to also have to tip the box up and pour out the extra broken parts. Again, to my surprise, there were no broken parts. In fact, as I gave the guitar a strum it was pretty much in tune except for one string. As it turned out, the seller was was packed safely.

I can’t really say I’d like to have this one back. I think I learned my lesson about 12-string electrics. I mean, I don’t think I’d turn down a free Rickenbacker (anyone, anyone, Bueller?), but I don’t think I’ll be seeking anything like this for a long time. But, the memory of useless guitars is a lot like childbirth. After awhile you forget about the pain and somehow you end up with another one.


Anonymous said...

Just had a similar Vista XII delivered, fortunately well packed, and in minty condition. Always wanted an electric XII and this is a treat: looks amazing, stays in tune too!

Jeff Zweygardt said...

I just ran across one of these and played it at guitar center and WOW! What a guitar! They neck is impossibly thin for a 12-string and WOW! If I had the cash...