Maestro Elite ET-1 | The Aspiring Custom


'Cos every guitar deserves to be beautiful.


For the longest time, I have been wanting to get a travel-sized guitar.


So I jumped at it when a Maestro ET-1 with a cracked neck and separated fingerboard was available at a cut price.



The lazy part of me wanted to send it in to my trusted guitar tech.


But on seeing my neglected stash of wood glue and clamps, I decided to have a go at it.


And like how plastic surgeons operate, if you are fixing one part, might as well do up the whole package.


So here goes.


ET was covered with a layer of filth; took several damp paper towels to clean it up.


Applied copious amount of wood glue on the neck, fingerboard and in between the cracks and fixed up the assembly of clamps. Wiped up the excess glue and left the clamps on for 24 hours.



Fingerboard re-glued!



Next step was to clean up the dirty fingerboard and tarnished frets with steel wool and lemon oil.



After the clean-up. ET met big brother Raffles and asked why he didn't have a soundport.


So out came the drill, pen-knife and files.


Masking-taped the side and drew an oval shape using a template. Made a series of small drill holes around the perimeter, sawed out the cavity and then filed to shape with loving kindness.



Soundport was sanded up to 1000-grit and finished with a thin layer of superglue applied with a toothpick.



Had to sand the finish once more to bring down the gloss so that it is consistent with the satin finish on the guitar.


Then ET saw the Grover tuners on big brother Raffles and asked why he only had der Jungs.


So I bought a set of used Grover mini-rotomatics harvested from a Maestro Vera K (Thanks Jonas!) and swapped out the der Jungs.



ET saw the bling-bling abalone ebony pins on big brother Raffles and asked why he only had plastic pins.


So I got a set of bling-bling ebony pins and swapped out the plastic pins.


While I generally prefer shaving of pins to fit the pin holes, I got lazy this time round and reamed the holes instead.



ET then asked about the Florentine cutaway and wood purflings/ bindings on big brother Raffles.


So I gave him a lesson on contentment.


After stringing up with D 'Addarios (EJ16), the makeover was complete. And ET was ready his photo shoot.


Introducing ET-1 reimagined.


36" GS-mini shaped with solid Western Red Cedar top.



Laminated Khaya Mahogany back and sides. With custom soundport! 



Black ABS rosette and bindings provide a tasteful minimalist look.



X-braced with quarter-sawn Sitka Spruce.



The new slim Maestro headstock which I have very mixed feelings for.



Rosewood bridge with abalone inlay ebony pins.



After the restoration, ET began to sing confidently once more. Nonetheless with a hint of boxiness due to its modest build.



'Cos every guitar deserves to be beautiful.

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