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Author Topic:   Oahu squareneck
Kevin Ruddell

From: Toledo Ohio USA

posted 20 April 2000 06:47 AM     profile   send email     edit

I have been loaned a square neck acoustic guitar with a nut lifter that has Oahu - Cleveland Ohio on the headstock . Just a regular soundhole ,no cones or f- holes . Although the bridge string slots are cut , tuners are shot , and the fingerboard has some cracks on it it , it's ok for me to learn on . Can anyone shed any light on it's history or value ? It strikes me as a student guitar someone like Montgomery Ward would have sold in the early fifties although that is just a guess
Brad Bechtel

From: San Francisco, CA

posted 20 April 2000 07:54 AM     profile   send email     edit
The full story of the Oahu Publishing Company of Cleveland, Ohio, may be found in The Hawaiian Steel Guitar and Its Great Hawaiian Musicians edited by Lorene Ruymar and published by Centerstream Press. Oahu sold music lessons and guitars from 1926 on; the company was closed in 1985!
The guitar you have sounds similar to one pictured in this book. It was given to students after successfully completing 52 weekly lessons.
I see many of these guitars offered on eBay, but they don't typically sell for much money.
Pete Grant has a more ornate model, probably one used by teachers. It's a really nice sounding and nice looking guitar.

Brad's Page of Steel:
A web site devoted to acoustic & electric lap steel guitars

Ian McLatchie

From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

posted 20 April 2000 07:43 PM     profile   send email     edit
Kevin: As Brad says, these were student model guitars, of which thousands were made.
They're excellent players though, and in fact sound pretty good in the hands of someone who knows how to play one properly (hint: pick HARD). It's certainly worth investing the small amount it will cost to have the bridge touched up and a solid, raised nut installed.
You'll also probably find it a good idea to put on slightly lighter strings than one normally would on an acoustic lap guitar.
As Brad also suggests, Oahu acoustics are by no means all low-end instruments. The most expensive models are highly ornamanted, fully bound with "tree of life" fretboards. I know someone who's recently tapped into the motherlode of Oahus, a whole roomful of vintage instruments, some never played. But that's another story . . .
Kevin Ruddell

From: Toledo Ohio USA

posted 23 April 2000 12:33 AM     profile   send email     edit
Brad , thank you for the information on the Oahu guitar, and Ian , from a former Torontonian , I appreciate the tis , thanks !

All times are Pacific (US)

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