Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why
A: Because cheap, trashy, cheesy guitars rule! Too many people are only interested in the major brand stuff that has been done to death and anything else is "junk" to them. Most vintage guitar resources recycle the same ten models over and over, catering to those collectors partial to Strats and Les Pauls, but doing absolutely nothing for those of us more interested in a Kent or a Klira. I started in 2003 to rectify this situation, when it was much worse than it is today, and I am still at it 20+ years later, championing the underdogs of the vintage guitar world. As for the name itself, it was chosen because it's short and catchy.

Q: Do you have a store? Are these guitars for sale?
A: I'm not a dealer and I don't have a store. I sometimes do have a couple of guitars for sale, and if I do, they would be listed on eBay. Click HERE to view my current eBay auctions. All the other guitars pictured or described on this site are not for sale. In most cases, I don't even own them anymore. In some cases, I never did.

Q: Why do you like this old junk so much, anyway?
A: After many years of repairing old guitars, I have become a connoisseur of junk on many different levels. As a musician, I have learned to judge guitars by their merits as an instrument, not by the name on the headstock. As an artist, I have learned to appreciate their designs, their unusual features and fanciful aesthetics, whether innovative or merely tacky. As a historian, I have become fascinated with the way these guitars reflect their era and with the companies that created and marketed them. As a repairman, I simply enjoy working on something different - just how excited can you get about yet another Fender or Gibson clone, anyway?

Q: Wow, you have a lot of guitars! They must be worth a fortune, right?
A: Not really. These pictures have accumulated over many, many years. The guitars themselves are long gone. I don't believe in hoarding guitars; my interest is in guitar history, identification of obscure brands and restoration, not in collecting per se. I fix them and pass them on to new owners who will use them and appreciate them. None of my guitars would be considered valuable on today's vintage guitar market, but to me they're priceless for various other reasons. Each one has a story behind it, and this site was created to share these stories.

Q: I got an old guitar here! How much is it worth?
A: Try doing a completed auction search on eBay for your model and other similar guitars, those prices are usually pretty accurate. Unless it's a clean, fully original example, your guitar is probably worth LESS than you think. People have a tendency to overprice cheap guitars. Be realistic, and you'll have a much easier time selling it. For more about pricing guitars, read this article HERE.

Q: You wanna buy my guitar? How much will you offer me for it?
A: I'm probably not interested, unless it is a rare USSR or East Euro model in collectible condition and the price is right. By all means, please contact me if you have some obscure Akkord, Hora, Doina, Muzicka Naklada, Marma or some other Soviet, East German, Czech, Polish, Romanian, Yugoslavian and Bulgarian instrument that you think might be up my alley. Also any related parts, catalogs, sales brochures, owner's manuals, etc. These are always welcome. Otherwise, please understand that I am not a dealer. I do not pay retail for common models or inflated "collector" prices for obscurities. Oh, and please don't ask me to make an offer, if you wish to sell me something, have a price in mind. Thanks.

Q: I'm trying to find some info about this unusual old Soviet or East Euro guitar. Can you help?
A: You can post your questions on the Forum.

Q: Can you fix my guitar?
A: I currently do not take in outside repairs. I used to and might again at some point.

Q: Cool site! I think what you're doing is great! How can I help?
A: If you have any old catalogs, brochures, ads, period promotional materials or other documentation of Jolana, Musima, Orpheus, Migma, Defil, Kremona, Muzicka Naklada, Hora, Doina and other such brands that you could sell me or share scans of, I will greatly appreciate it.

Q: Do you play or collect other instruments?
A: I also play and repair drums. I do not collect them, though I do own a couple of vintage drum sets that I have restored.

Q: What's the cat's name?
A: Tiger. Being insatiably curious, like all cats, he used to come over to investigate whenever I was positioning guitars for snapshots, so he often ended up in the pictures. After 16 years of serving as the official cat of, he is now, alas, gone.

Q: Why is your name "Big Beat" and who the hell are you, anyway?
A: Big Beat is another name for Rock'n'Roll. If you're curious about me personally, click HERE.

Q: How can I contact you?
A: You can contact me through eBay or find me on the forum (same nick).

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