Words by Neil Boland
You know Lewis Boyes. No, really, you do.
When you walk into Found Sound in Elgin St, Carlton, you’ll know what I mean.
“Aren’t you the guy from…”
“The Swop Shop, yep, that was me.”
Over two decades of used musical instrument experience now gets channelled into a tighter niche, just a couple of doors closer to Lygon Street: unique vintage instruments. It’s always been Boyes’ passion. Just point at anything in his store and there’s a story.
With a bit of modest cash and some time to spare you can put together a pretty spot-on vintage-tone-oozing rig, as Found Sound is a one stop shop.
Start with a Yamaha SG-2, a vintage 1966 sunburst electric guitar — classic 60s Japan through and through. The two pickups could be described as slightly oversized single-coil or undersized Gretsch-style, with straight-ahead clean twang. Add Jazzmaster-inspired wiring and Mosrite-inspired body shape and you have an alt-grunge-surf-stoner dream.
And then plug it into an obscure Aussie classic: a Goldentone all tube combo amp from the mid-1960s. With lots of clean headroom, tremolo and reverb effects, original cream vinyl covering and a crazy configuration of SIX 6-inch speakers, it’s a great amp…for hire. Sorry to raise your hopes like that. Boyes won’t actually sell this one. But dig around the store and check under stuff. You might actually find one or two other types of Goldentones that Lewis might part with. You never know…
Not enough vibe? Now add the classic 1970s Roland RE-201, also known as the Space Echo. This isn’t the digital emulation version found brand new today. This is the original device that produces the most rich echo effects via magnetic tape. Boyes even keeps the replacement tape in stock knowing that users won’t be able to stop using it.
Now, kit out the other band members with their own toys like an Epiphone EB232C Rivoli, a 1967 cherry red electric bass, all the way from Kalamazoo USA. The original neck has been lovingly replaced with a handmade 34” long scale modern equivalent, with an ebony fingerboard and gold machine heads. This bass was discontinued in 1969, just before the Epiphone plant was moved to Asia. It feels magic and sounds warmly fluffy for early pop, soul, blues and motown styles.
Finally, for the knob-tweaker keyboard geek: an Australian-made ETI International synthesiser, a big wooden monster sure to delight Dr Who and Dr Funkenstein fans alike. Get in and try it, and take it before Boyes changes his mind and only puts it up ‘for hire’. I dunno what’s so ‘International’ about it, however, because with its weight, it sure as hell isn’t for taking on board as hand luggage on a long-haul flight…
Check this synth out on YouTube and marvel at its position in history and how far ahead of its time it was.
Over and out! And out you go to Carlton’s little instrument precinct in Elgin Street — now!
Check out what’s in stock at www.foundsound.com.au