Micro-Frets Spacetone Reviews 5

I've been playing guitar for over 40 years, starting with garage bands and then mostly for my own enjoyment. I play mostly 50's, 60's and 70's style rock, alot of Ventures, Beatles, and the like. I've collected and played quite a few Gibson's, Fender's and Gretsch's and have recently added a Rickenbacker 360/12 fireglow to my collection along with an unusual Micro-Frets Spacetone.

I had stopped by an old mucic shop in Oklahoma just to look around, when I spotted on the wall, a very unusual looking guitar. At first it looked to be some type of old Rickenbacker but the headstock looked like a Fender. I asked the gentleman what it was and if I could take a look at it. He stated it was a Micro-Frets Spacetone from the late 1960's and took it off the wall and gave it to me. I was pretty heafty and solid. The first thing catching my eye was this unusual vibrato it had. Then I noticed an unusual nut configuration and pickups on it. I asked to plug it into an amp and was amazed at the bright rich sound and easy playability up and down the scale. It sounded so much like the old Gibson's and Gretsch's I played in the 60's, but since have had a hard time trying to find anything nowadays to compare with the vintage ones. That is till I found this Micro-Frets. I fell in love with it immediately and asked how much. The gentleman told me $1400 dollars and it included the original vintage case also signed Micro-Frets. I didn't even hesitate as this guitar was so unusual and great sounding. I said wrap it up and I brought it home.

I really like the look and feel of this guitar. Mostly the vibrato and fully adjustable nut. It also has an adjustable bridge with locking bridge saddles. Its a slim thinline 2 piece hollow body with one upper f-hole cut out. Its comfortable to play and the neck is fast and easy to play due to my smaller hands.

I tried to find something I didn't like on this guitar and I couldn't honestly come up with anything. Had I found anything, I doubt I'd have bought it in the first place. I usually don't buy what doesn't suit me in taste and looks.

The quality of this guitar is amazing. I did some research on the Micro-Frets by the manufacturer and found out even more about it that sets this guitar into a class of its own. The body is a 2 piece semi-hollow maple body which actually has internal clips, by which you slide the body pieces together during assembly. The neck is a bolt-on, with 22 frets, rosewood fingerboard, Schaller tuners, 2 soapbar type white plexiglass pickups, red sunburst finish, volume and tone controls. It also has a 3 way swithch and seperate 2 way pickup switch. The pickguards are the double stacked type in off-white, upper and lower white binding on the body. I found out the adjustable nut is called the Micro-Nut and the vibrato is called a Calibrato, both are a patented invention by the designer. The innotation can be set perfectly using the Micro-Nut and adjustable and locking bridge. It takes some time but once set up it stay in tune even with the vibrato being used. Overall quality is excellent and being that its almost 40 years old and still sounds and looks as good as it does, that in itself speaks volumes.

In closing, this guitar is really quite a gem and gives me the 60's sound I have looked for but haven't found in the newer guitar manufactured today. I found out in my research that Micro-Frets was only in business for a few years and only produced a few thousand guitars. They were out of Fredrick Maryland till the mid 1970's. Being that the company had such a short life, thats probably why I never heard of them or have never seen the guitars back in that time. I also found out that the company reopened in 2004 and was starting a re-issue of the Micro-frets guitar line, but that only lasted a short time, as I've tried contacting them by email and phone with no luck. I think the guitar is a great looking piece of American guitar history and will always have a place in my ever growing guitar collection. I'm now looking for several of their other models to collect but now I know they are going to be few and far between.

Green Lights rated this unit 5 on 2006-04-30.

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