The Origin of 'Reloved Guitars'
Despite playing guitar on and off for over 30 years, in all that time I never took a guitar to a tech or luthier to have it set up. Nobody had been able to show or explain to me what the benefit would be...so I kept my money in my pocket and carried on struggling with high actions, lousy intonation and terrible sound.
A few years ago, I bought a Taylor Baby travel guitar in Edinburgh.
It looked lovely and sounded pretty but before long I realised I wasn't happy with it. I couldn't quite say why - just that it seemed to me that I could never get it in tune properly. I'd tune it perfectly on open strings, then play an open chord and it would sound...wrong.
I spent the next couple of years trying to find answers to 'tuning problems with my Taylor Baby' and got nowhere. I came close to selling it. Then I decided to work it out for myself - and I did just that.
What I learned from that guitar was a series of critical steps required to make any guitar play well. I now put these to good use on every guitar that comes through the Reloved Guitars workshop no matter how much or how little it costs.
As you may know from watching the Reloved Guitars channel, Maurice the Cat (in his capacity as company mascot and CEO) frequently visits the workshop to oversee the jobs Sam performs on each and every Reloved Guitar, just to give them his paw of approval.
All of this supervision is incredibly hard work so he does have to take the occasional nap, a very important part of the quality control process here at Reloved Guitars.
The 'Maurice' Logo
When I started Reloved Guitars I didn’t want to get to hung up on names and designing logos. I wanted to be spending more time on learning about guitar setups so once I’d come up with ‘Reloved Guitars’ I committed to that and moved on. At first I just needed some sort of logo for the Facebook page and quickly mocked up a graphic of a Strat volume knob with the word ‘Reloved’ on top instead of ‘Volume’. It looked good so I set it as my ‘profile’ picture. It might have stayed that way had not our handsome young cat Maurice (one of a litter of 5 born last year) not taken to spending so much time with me in the shed while doing setups. He took so much interest and seemed to really enjoy time in the shed with me, giving me little nuggets of advice now and then. I took loads of picture of him and noticed that in most of them he seemed to be…smiling.
One day I turned one of these pictures into a black and white image…which made him appear to smile even more. He looked so cheeky that I just knew he had to be the Reloved Guitars logo or mascot. I put the word ‘Reloved’ underneath his grinning mug and put that up on Facebook.
I didn’t really even think of making decals out of Maurice’s face until I discovered (to my surprise) that you could buy inkjet ‘waterslide decal paper’. Even more surprising was how easy it was to use (print it, give it a coating of lacquer to seal ‘fix’ the ink) and how effective it looked. From that point on, it was only a matter of time before Maurice’s smiling face went onto a headstock.
Which guitar to put it on was made easier by buying a good quality ‘partscaster’ with a fake ‘Fender’ decal on it. I hate things pretending to be what they’re not, so it was a great opportunity to put it right by scrubbing of the fake decal and replacing it with a proud Maurice. So now if I find a good quality guitar with either a fake decal or no decal at all, it’s just a perfect opportunity to get a Maurice on there ☺