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  • Hondo ll Guitar Quality???

    I need some help from someone, who really knows about the old Hondo ll Les Paul copies, made in the period of 1977 to 1983 ( made in Japan at this time). I bought one for $50. It needs a new nut (bone is $40 installed), a set-up with new strings ($20 for neck set up, intonation and string height) and new electronics ( LES Paul rebuild kit from Guitar Electronics is $34 plus shipping).
    Pickups are DiMarzio humbuckers and are working fine. Roughly, I need to know if this guitar is worth spending $160 bucks on it to get it up and going again. I'm a 25 year experienced player, who is now just playing for fun. I can afford the upgrades and repairs.
    The neck is bolt-on and my luthier says the neck and body are OK. The body is tobacco sunburst and visually, the guitar is an 9 on a 1-10 scale.
    I'd appreciate anyone's opinion, or who can supply some information about the guitar in general, who is familiar with specifically the HONDO ll LES Paul copies...with the bolt on neck.
    Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    Well, I don't know how much this applies, but I got a Hondo II model 732 around Christmas for like $50. It needed a new nut, tuners, and a pickup, but I ended up giving it my first fret job and setting the neck foreward about 1/8 inch due to some intonation issues. I also made a pickguard, refinished the whole thing and added new electronics and GFS Mean 90s. Why did I do all this crap to a $50 guitar? Like you I knew it had potential, and "good bones" and now I couldn't be happier with it! Go for it. Hondo made a gajillion LP knockoffs back in the day and some are great and many are crap. Hell, your model sounds better than mine from the get go!
    All the parts makers got their sea legs modding Japanese seventies guitars, so do your best and have fun.
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    • #3
      I was gonna make jokes about Hondo quality, but just the fact that you are considering it, and your years of experience playing suggest that it IS worth it.

      I personally would use it to learn how to do this stuff yourself. You can't make it worse, right? And fixing it yourself will make it YOURS.

      But if you have more money than time, I understand, and that's not much money in the grand scheme of things. So go for it!
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      • #4
        I need some help from someone, who really knows about the old Hondo ll Les Paul copies, made in the period of 1977 to 1983 ( made in Japan at this time). I bought one for $50. It needs a new nut (bone is $40 installed), a set-up with new strings ($20 for neck set up, intonation and string height) and new electronics ( LES Paul rebuild kit from Guitar Electronics is $34 plus shipping).
        Pickups are DiMarzio humbuckers and are working fine. Roughly, I need to know if this guitar is worth spending $160 bucks on it to get it up and going again. I'm a 25 year experienced player, who is now just playing for fun. I can afford the upgrades and repairs.
        The neck is bolt-on and my luthier says the neck and body are OK. The body is tobacco sunburst and visually, the guitar is an 9 on a 1-10 scale.
        I'd appreciate anyone's opinion, or who can supply some information about the guitar in general, who is familiar with specifically the HONDO ll LES Paul copies...with the bolt on neck.
        Thank you for your time.




        Do you know the model number? Do you know if it is a solid wood model? Got any pics?

        Question : are you sure it needs all that work like a new nut, electronics, etc? YOu might want to spend as little as possible to get the guitar in playing condition and then after playing it a while decide if it needs further "upgrades".

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        • #5


          I personally would use it to learn how to do this stuff yourself. You can't make it worse, right? And fixing it yourself will make it YOURS.




          that's true but you CAN make it worse a lot of hondo's that stood the test of times are great players,( after a good setup) and with those dimarzio's you can't go wrong.
          but all the things the TS says that has to be done he can do it self easely only making an nut from bone can be tricky to get it right.
          overal the quality of hondo guitars was not great, a lot of plywood body's, this changed when the name changed to hondo II better overal quality and some models even were made at matsumoku and tokai.
          so go for it these hondo's are getting collectable, here in europe they are fetching prices vintage ibanez did a few years ago (300 + euro).
          they are ridnig on the vintage hype and not a lot of these hondo's are worth that imo.
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          • #6
            I was gonna make jokes about Hondo quality, but just the fact that you are considering it, and your years of experience playing suggest that it IS worth it.

            I personally would use it to learn how to do this stuff yourself. You can't make it worse, right? And fixing it yourself will make it YOURS.

            But if you have more money than time, I understand, and that's not much money in the grand scheme of things. So go for it!



            Have not had much play time on the MIK stuff but the older MIJ hondo guitars I have noodled on have had excellent quality. Solid guitars. Gigable.

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            • #7
              I have an LP copy and they are indeed pretty cheap. I think I paid $35 for mine. I also have two Hondo II Iceman copies of similar quality.
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              • #8
                My first was a Hondo 2 LP, I cant remember where it was made, but I always regret selling it.
                I remember thinking at the time, "what do I need 2 guitars for?" D'Oh
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                • #9
                  I had one and it was really ok. The neck was prety slim, and it looked very nice (after I removed the stickers ).

                  It was plywood, and the tone was not complex, but sustain was fine and unplugged volume was good - or maybe very good.
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                  • #10
                    I also have two Hondo II Iceman copies of similar quality.


                    pics?
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                    • #11
                      I have an LP copy and they are indeed pretty cheap. I think I paid $35 for mine. I also have two Hondo II Iceman copies of similar quality.




                      I used to have a Hondo II Iceman. Pretty good guitar, but I ended up selling it because I didn't like the neck profile. I think most of the Hondo II guitars came stock with DiMarzios.


                      So in summation, Hondo made some POS guitars, but Hondo II were pretty good.


                      IMO.

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                      • #12
                        I took my no.1 guitar back to the shop to have a few set-up tweaks, which he did FOC, and as I was leaving he said 'why don't you take this to practise setup on?' thrusting an old Hondo 'strat' into my hands....20 notes and a free packet of strings!
                        So I did and I did.......it now plays as well as my No. 1!!

                        They may well be a bit of a mickey mouse brand....but a bit of TLC seems to pay dividends?

                        Mine has a solid wood body and a very good neck so it was well worth the small investment.

                        flori

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                        • #13
                          I don't have the guitar at my home; but as soon as I get it back, I''l PM you the serial no. and some pictures. Thank you- to everyone for your replies. You have a great forum and great, sharing people. Please keep your input coming, I'm feeling much more confident about this project!
                          Bruce

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                          • #14

                            So in summation, Hondo made some POS guitars, but Hondo II were pretty good.



                            hat's true and some are more than pretty good i own 2 of those a dc model made by matsumoku, and a genesis model.
                            both set neck guitars and set neck hondo's are quite rare.
                            slimpicker a serialnumber wont help, in the most cases they just made those up, only the production date is sometimes to get out of it.
                            that is if you can find a serialnumber at all, only my uncle mat hondo has a serial number the genesis has no number at all.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">http://www.wietsesguitars.nl</div>

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                            • #15
                              I need some help from someone, who really knows about the old Hondo ll Les Paul copies, made in the period of 1977 to 1983 ( made in Japan at this time). I bought one for $50. It needs a new nut (bone is $40 installed), a set-up with new strings ($20 for neck set up, intonation and string height) and new electronics ( LES Paul rebuild kit from Guitar Electronics is $34 plus shipping).
                              Pickups are DiMarzio humbuckers and are working fine. Roughly, I need to know if this guitar is worth spending $160 bucks on it to get it up and going again. I'm a 25 year experienced player, who is now just playing for fun. I can afford the upgrades and repairs.
                              The neck is bolt-on and my luthier says the neck and body are OK. The body is tobacco sunburst and visually, the guitar is an 9 on a 1-10 scale.
                              I'd appreciate anyone's opinion, or who can supply some information about the guitar in general, who is familiar with specifically the HONDO ll LES Paul copies...with the bolt on neck.
                              Thank you for your time.


                              my singer just bought one of those for a comparable price. they get slated but i picked it up and found the acoustic qualities to be decent.
                              i think an important question is "does it sound acoustically resonant?"
                              if yes then doing those mods will only make it better and i would suggest some nice inexpensive pickups (probably GFS) - if it won't break the bank then what have you got to lose?
                              DO IT! AND POST PICTURES AND BEFORE/AFTER SOUND CLIPS!

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