Micro-Frets Spacetone Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar , c. 1970

Micro-Frets  Spacetone Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar ,  c. 1970

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Item # 8531
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Micro-Frets Spacetone Model Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar, c. 1970, made in Fredrick, Maryland, serial # 1829, cherry lacquer finish, maple body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

Some of the most unique and original American guitars of the late 1960s and early 1970s came out of Frederick, Maryland, where the small Micro-Frets company built their beautifully engineered if slightly offbeat offerings. This colorfully named Spacetone is one of the more sought-after f their many models. The Spacetone is a symmetrical double-cutaway, semi-hollow body instrument built of a two-piece maple sandwich routed from the inside. This sports many of the firm's trademark design elements including unique white plastic-encased pickups and the patented Micro-Nut, which allows harmonic compensation at the headstock.

Anchoring the strings at the other end is the "Calibrato" vibrato unit, the heart of Micro-frets legend. This heavy duty floating vibrato and bridge assembly allows individual tension adjustments for each string, theoretically allowing entire chords to be raised and lowered while remaining in tune. The Calibrato was originally offered as an add-on for existing guitars; in some ways, the Micro-frets line was designed around it! The Calibrato was advertised as having "Precise Pitch modulation" and includes the "microsonic bridge with sustained harmonic action and floating power" -- you know that HAS to be special!

The body is finished in vibrant sunburst, bound on the edges with a single stylized F-hole sealed from the inside with a piece of fabric. The maple neck is natural finished with a thick unbound, dot-inlaid rosewood fingerboard. The controls are tone, volume, pickup select, and a second tone modification switch. They are carried on a top-mounted pickguard, which is bi-level in the Rickenbacker mode with a triple laminate upper section. Tuners are the original chrome Schallers and the face of the sculpted space-age headstock carries the brand logo and model name.

This is a extremely well-made and fine playing guitar with a slim neck and bright, responsive pickups. The sound is crisp and hi-fi with surprising depth when needed; the tonal range is impressive. A number of prominent country artists endorsed the Micro-Frets line in the late 1960s including Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers.

Micro-Frets may have had a fairly short history (although the company has seen several recent revival attempts), but the high-quality, well-engineered instruments they left behind are very fine examples of American guitar ingenuity and worthy of the attention of both players and collectors.
Overall length is 42 in. (106.7 cm.), 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 in. (610 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This guitar remains in fine condition overall, showing only some light typical wear. The neck has some finish worn down and there are dents and scuffs on the back of the neck and body, with one patch of buckle wear into the finish. It was re-wired around the early 1980s using the original switches, but there are new pots (the date on them is 1980) and the knobs were replaced as well. Everything else remains original, and this is an excellent playing and sounding example complete with the original HSC. Excellent Condition.