DeArmond M75 Upgrades
Several years back I got a Moon Blue DeArmond M75 guitar as payment for some studio time. It was in pretty bad shape; it had a bad nut, crappy tuners, terrible action, terrible intonation, and a big gouge on the back. Despite all these flaws I could tell that the base guitar was actually pretty special. When I found a position that I could play in tune it had a great tone and the neck was straight. I figured it could either be a good base for a dedicated slide guitar or, with some work, a good Gretsch Duo-Jet stand-in.
It sat in its case for about seven years until recently my favorite luthier, Gary Rosier, struck out on his own and his lead-time fell to a reasonable time. It used to be six to eight months(!) but now was six to eight days. I gave him the guitar and told him what needed to be done.
He replaced the nut, fixed the gouge, and intonated the guitar. What I got back was amazing! It inspired me to continue the upgrades and I made the following list and started upgrading, I’ve checked the completed upgrades:
- Sperzel Tuners ☑
- Graphite Nut ☑
- Graphite Saddles ☑
- Straplocks ☑
- Chrome Knurled knobs ☑
- Custom Pickguard ☐
- Dampened Tailpiece ☑
- Bourns 500k A-Taper pots ☑
- Bourns Push-Pull Pot for Series/Parallel ☐
- Gretsch Duo-Jet HS Case ☐
In the end I will probably spend nearly as much in upgrades as the entire guitar is worth, but nothing should stand in the way of great tone (and fun). I’ll post a pic as soon as it is finished.