Monday, April 7, 2008
Cort Jim Triggs TRG2A Model
Here's an interesting one for you. Ever wish you could own a nice old Gibson ES-175 or a 335 or a Gretsch but you just can't afford it? I happened across this guitar on Craig's List and was immediately intrigued. I had read with some skepticism the reviews of Cort product in magazines like Guitar Player that painted a picture of a guitar company with a reputation as an "affordable" brand, but one that actually made nice quality instruments. Now I have known the name Jim Triggs over the years as one of the top luthiers in the jazz box business, with instruments costing in the tens of thousands of dollars. This guitar seemed like it just had to be one of those sleepers that sneak in under the radar and sound like a million bucks. I was right.
I answered the ad and apparently I was the only one. The guy was very happy to have me come look at the guitar. Super nice guy probably in his mid to late 50s who very much enjoyed the playing of guitars. He had bought this Triggs model a few years earlier and it never left the house. It practically looked brand new. But he had inherited a very sweet 1930s Martin OM size guitar and he just wasn't playing the Cort any more. We plugged it in and gave it a test run and I was sold. This particular guitar was one of a limited edition 2003 100th Anniversary of NAMM model. Normally Cort made this guitar in black and in transparent orange, but this Anniversary model came in a beautiful tobacco sunburst. It featured two humbuckers and a Bigsby, with a 16" wide body that is 1 7/8" deep. It had a nice spruce top and maple back and sides and it really could pull off everything from jazz to rockabilly to whatever you wanted to throw at it.
Now, being a Telecaster guy, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I'm not a jazz player by any means and cool rockabilly licks are something I only dream about. I have to admit, the first thought I had when I saw it advertised was that it was a smokin' deal and I could probably resell it for a profit. But the more I played it around the house the more I liked it.
I kept trying to talk myself into keeping it.
I actually felt kind of bad thinking about the guy who had previously owned it. I'm sure he sold it to me thinking it would be mine for many years to come. But I really had something else in mind and was banking (quite literally) on the fact that I could make a little extra off this guitar and put it towards something else. The bank finally won the argument and it went on eBay. I did make a nice profit on it, but it was a little bittersweet, both sweet and bitter, bitter and sweet.
I really do wish I had this one back. What a beautiful guitar that played exceptionally well. In retrospect it was a great lesson for me. Open your eyes along with your ears and don't be afraid to go outside the box of familiar instruments. I'm sure whoever bought this one from me on eBay got the last laugh. Whatever it was that I used the money towards is now long gone and who knows when you'll run across another one of these.