1975 Hand Made Murphy Shaw Guitar

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by gravy, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. jonesy2

    jonesy2 Junior Member

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    What a great thread! I've owned a Murphy-Shaw guitar(#2) since 1998. I moved in with a friend and saw a guitar case sitting in the basement. I opened it up and there was this cool Les Paul inside with the head stock broken off. He said I could have it. My friend Leonard Duke, who used to do repairs for Epiphone in Kalamazoo, gave me some ideas on how to fix it. It had already been fixed twice before I became the owner. My repair worked for a few years until it got bumped. Slowly, the head started to separate. Last fall, I took it apart again to start over. Now I'm debating whether to have it done professionally. Anyway, I love the guitar. As soon as I can, I'll post some pictures. And to Pat Murphy and anyone else: thanks for making my guitar!!
     
  2. straybeat

    straybeat Senior Member

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    Gravy, I wanted you to know that you JUST beat me for that guitar. LOL

    It was one of those things where I was just about to get it from the guy on Craigslist and my wife called me out to the kitchen. When I came back you had just gotten it. Damn!

    Mark
     
  3. pat murphy

    pat murphy Junior Member

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    Jonesy

    The one man that I would have told you to go to to fix that head is dead, Chuck Burge. His repairs were some of the best. What you experience with busted head stocks is why we made some radical changes to them on the Sunrise guitars. You would have to work at breaking them. The wrist area at the head stock is the weakest part of conventional construction. To make it unbreakable is expensive and demands some real engineering and design, but it can be done.
     
  4. jonesy2

    jonesy2 Junior Member

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    My guitar is getting fixed right now. It should be done this week. :applause: I still cannot post pictures. Maybe I do not have enough posts?
     
  5. beckeelynch@att.net

    beckeelynch@att.net Junior Member

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  6. tlindy

    tlindy Junior Member

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    I recently ran across this thread and have found it fascinating. It also solved a mystery as to the origin of a double neck guitar that I purchased from a friend nearly 30 years ago. I'm proud to say that I believe I have the first Murphy/Shaw guitar ever produced. On the back is a plate that has Murphy Shaw, Kalamazoo Michigan 1973 #1 printed on it. I hope to post some photos soon.
     
  7. smitty

    smitty Junior Member

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    Hey Mike.....

    Pat is still around. The info about him dying is un-true and was spread by his "ex". Pat lives in Oragon, and is well....In the picture you posted I am the one sitting next to you on your left with "overhalls" on and your Dad was on your right.
    Smitty
     
  8. johnwinlen

    johnwinlen Junior Member

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    Last week I've bought this sunrise guitar E335 (pictures), build circa 1995/96.

    So by looking, what I've bought, I came across this thread and I am happy to found so much informations. But also I've got a new question.

    Ok, first I know, this is no Original Murphy-Shaw-Guitar. But it's also a very very nice peace of handmade guitar with a super-58-PU and with an excellent sound. With inlays of mother of pearl and abalone! My guitar-dealer, a skilled builder for plucking instrument (is that the right job title?), told me about the quality of that instrument and you can hear it!

    15 years ago, I'd bought an Original Gibson E 335, so I have the direct comparison. And both guitars are almost or quite the same in quality and playability (is that the right word)?. The main difference ist, that I paid 2.500 DM -> about 3.000$ in 1996 for the Gibson and 500€ -> about 650$ for the sunrise !?

    But -> my sunrise-guitar was "Made in Japan". Is that any kind of copyright of Murphy-Shaw-Guitars or the sunrise-company in the 70th? Or can it be, that the "Japan-sunrises" are completely different to that guitars? In any case it's another logo.

    With greetings from germany :)
    Helmut









     

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  9. HOT-BRIT

    HOT-BRIT V.I.P. Member

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    cant see your photos
     
  10. johnwinlen

    johnwinlen Junior Member

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    now they are in....?!
     
  11. pat murphy

    pat murphy Junior Member

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    John Winlen and Hot Brit,

    Sunrise never made hollow bodies for sale. No idea what the Japanese Sunrise is about, haven't seen one. There is a Sunrise guitar mfg located in California, no relationship and completely different instruments. The Sunrise brand name for acoustic guitars is also made in CA. They were making our original design last I knew. Really good acoustic pickups. We did do a bunch of customizing on hollow body electrics, custom pickups, custom wiring harness, custom fret jobs etc.

    If more information is wanted on Sunrise from Kalamazoo, drop me a line.
     
  12. artis_xe

    artis_xe Christopher Premium Member

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    I also have a MIJ Sunrise guitar. I know that it was brought back from Japan in 1973 and is long tenon, all mahogany (no cap), an a different logo as well. Have not been able to find any info on the company though .

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Halloweenmarley

    Halloweenmarley Junior Member

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  14. J.T.

    J.T. Senior Member

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  15. Mikey57

    Mikey57 Junior Member

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    Wow! What a super cool thread. New member here. I was looking for info on my Murphy-Shaw guitar that I purchased online about 15 years ago. It is certainly the most unique guitar in my collection. Serial #104975. I would not part with it. I always thought it was one piece of mahogany but now realize the body is black walnut. I think the pickups may have been replaced since they are neither Bill Lawrence style or black epoxy.
     
  16. Buggy Bri

    Buggy Bri Junior Member

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    Its been so fascinating reading this thread. My dad always told me stories of his time in Michigan (we are from Massachusetts) and his experience with Sunrise guitars. He cherished his through the years - it has been passed on to me. It is, unfortunately, in rough shape. It has survived many moves and a lot of rough travel throughout his life - he took that guitar everywhere. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of him playing this guitar. I have a vivid memory of shooting down to the basement on Mother's Day 2007 when my family woke to torrential flooding weather and removing this guitar from the danger zone, water was just creeping up to the spot where the case was propped. Its not in great condition, but water damage would have just been devastating for him. I wouldn't be surprised if everything on it was original, he was a stickler for fixing anything that was broken, rather than replacing it. The pegs all say 'Made in Germany' and I remember him telling my boyfriend (with enthusiasm) about how amazing the pick ups were. The serial # on it is 107576. I would love to get it fixed up one day, I'm not sure if it holds more sentimental meaning to me in the condition he left it in. There is some body damage, knicks and scrapes, but as of last year, it was playable.. and boy did he play it :). I just want to thank Pat Murphy for all the memories and for making a guitar that my father loved enough to pass on to me. I know he thought VERY highly of you.. Bob Hanwell sends his respects :).
     
  17. J.T.

    J.T. Senior Member

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    Don't mess with it. Wipe it down, keep it safe, and enjoy it if you play. Cool story, thanks for sharing!
     
  18. rmutt

    rmutt Junior Member

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    My name is Leo Knapp and I had the pleasure of working at Sunrise for a few months. I had cobbled together a guitar of my own design and due to the lack of information sources I was going around to whoever would respond and would ask questions until thrown out. I lived in the suburbs of Detroit and a friend said I should make a pilgrimage to Kalamazoo. When I walked in cold off the street, Chuck Burge generously spent the afternoon with me, introducing me to Tim Shaw, Loring Janes and Pat Murphy. At the end of the afternoon, Chuck offered me a job, but I couldn't afford to relocate, so I drove up every weekend to have the pleasure of being trained in woodworking and pickup winding. Tim Shaw wound up providing me with references that would land me 2 jobs in the guitar business. I owe ya, Tim. Between these guys and Jeffrey Elliot (the guy that made the neck for my first guitar) I thought I had stumbled onto the coolest Illuminati-esque secret society ever. Everybody I have worked for since has suffered in comparison. Thanks, guys- lucky to have met you.
     
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  19. pedersenkirk

    pedersenkirk Senior Member

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    Leo Knapp? The same Leo Knapp who designed the Yamaha Pacifica? Awesome!
     
  20. rmutt

    rmutt Junior Member

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    Well, to be absolutely honest, Rich Lasner designed the Pacifica. I had plenty of input, but it was pretty much his. I designed the AES 500 and 800, and the metal tailpieces and f-holes that they used for awhile. I did these two custom Pacificas though. And this one for Brian Setzer. As well as an 8 string bass for Billy Sheehan and prototypes for the Neal Schon guitars.
     

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