Next up in my personal guitar collection is this model 77 DeArmond guitar that I bought sometime around 2004 when I joined a rockabilly/roots style band. I was looking for a guitar with attitude and a Bigsby tremolo, but I didn’t want to break the bank at the time.
I had done some heavy internet research, priced a few out, and had even tried some semi hollowbody guitars like a Guild for example. Then I stumbled upon this brand, which was owned by Fender at the time. This model in particular got great reviews and folks on forums had good things to say. The guitar is made in Korea, but has American made DeArmond pickups just like the ones they used to use in Gretsch guitar. It had the Bigsby and is also chambered to keep the weight down and add resonance.
So I called up some guitar stores, and lo and behold, Fender had discontinued the whole DeArmond line. A Sam Ash store way out in Ontario(Inland Empire) was the only one with any stock left; they had 6, AND they were blowing them out at only $267/each instead of the original $600 price. I hightailed over there the same day to check these guitars out. When I got there they had this Orange one and a few of the Gold Top ones left.
The guitar was alright, felt like it needed a setup bad, but for the money it was mine. I kept thinking maybe I should just buy a couple more and sell them at some point. In retrospect I should have, could have made some good money. There isnt a guitar in that price range that can sound like this guitar, and I have run into some folks since who love this guitar. Oh well, opportunities lost. At least I got this one, and its a prized possession of mine, and a staple in my guitar collection.
Those pickups and that Bigsby capture the blues/roots/rockabilly tone SPOT ON. The pickups are more of a single coil sound with sizzle; no heavy rock or metal here, but it will get to ACDC territory if pushed. Plus I just love the Burnt Orange translucent stained look of the front of the guitar, reminds me of an old Gretsch too. I would say this guitar is modeled for the most part on a Duo Jet.