View Full Version : the notorious Mahar carnival prize guitars

06-12-2011, 11:47 PM
I talked myself out of a pawn shop Epiphone Special II in Florida...halfheartedly looking for another Franken-project to modify. I don't want to mod anything of value...yet...

A neighbor had a yard sale today & had a Mahar Strat clone that he just took the plastic scratch-guard film off. The body looks like it might be plywood!

They are pretty hard to find any info on, and the only "documented" source I can find is people winning them as "carnival prizes" for knocking over three bottles at the ball toss. Oooh, maybe this qualifies as 'RARE'. Most of the Google finds are at thrift stores, Craig's List etc...with at least one broken string...hapless victims who had one bestowed upon them by sheer accident...apparently none were deliberate purchases...oh yeah, one guy won one with 15000 tickets at an arcade...there some rep there!

How bizarre...no worse than finding a cigarbox guitar at a yard sale I suppose...

I wonder if anyone ever touched one out of curiosity to see just how bad it could be. Maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, 3 single coils. Oh yeah, red sparkle paint over the body that sure looks lumpy from the side (like plywood or laminate if I want to flatter it)...probably leave sparkles on one's shirt!

The neck didn't look too bad...but looks aren't the important thing here. If I were looking for cigar box parts, I wouldn't hesitate. But to shield & rewire...hmm, it's gotta have a snowballs's chance of success...the carnies probably won't take it back!

He's down to $40...no tax, no shipping...:bigsmile:

06-13-2011, 09:20 AM
I have a friend who has one. His 2 kids pooled their tickets and got one at "Dave & Busters" (I think) for him for father's day10 years or so ago. It was not as bad as expected. He gigged with it numerous times (to make them feel good). He is a phenomenal player by the way so he can make anything sound good. I found it to play a bit better than I expected. The pick-ups were low output. Had to really turn up the amp quite a bit. For $40.00 I would say that's a fair price, especially considering it probably cost his kids about $2-300.00 in tokens to win one :bigsmile:

06-13-2011, 05:48 PM

There's a guy a work with a Yamaha 3 pup axe he gutted & put EMG's on. Offered to me a year ago for $50-55 with the original pup's and I wasn't looking then. I asked him this a.m. & he's using it!:banghead: He said to give him a couple days to think about it.

I think that would be a better idea...if not too late. I wouldn't mind finding an orphaned Starcaster to modify...they are better than people will acknowledge...some need some help. The neck I used on my daughter's FrankenStrat was an Indonesian one. Apparently the ones with the sharp frets tend to be the Chinese ones.

Something cheap I can turn inside out & do what I want with it...if it's not garbage to begin with...ya get what ya pay for...

06-15-2011, 12:38 AM
I left the Mahar seller a phone call that I wasn't going to pursue it.

It's just too much of an orphan with no past...maybe for half the price as a parts axe for the cigar box project, but that's a bit of a waste...

I'll cross my fingers for the Yamaha, but I'm already feeling again like I don't really need to start another guitar project...it was really about finding one at the right price...but I don't even know when I'd start it (let alone finish it).

Found a 25-key toy piano last week and jokingly threatened to put a pickup in it...well, it does have two piezos in it now, but I have to figure out a little more (a 1/4" jack, battery for piezo preamps, the preamps themselves, and maybe a blend pot).

Yes,another distraction from the other incomplete projects :O(

06-15-2011, 09:05 AM
focus murray, focus man!:chatter: