One man’s trash is another man’s treasure:
I chose to do my video blog on Lignatone guitars. I knew nothing about the brand name even though I have been playing one off-and-on for over a year. I found a lot of people in similar situations. They owned a Lignatone model, wanted to find out more about the company, but simply couldn’t find any solid information on the brand. After scouring countless forums and reading dozens of reviews I found very little on the company. However, what I did find was pretty damn interesting.
Lignatone guitars were made in Cremona Luby, Czechoslovakia anywhere between 1955 and 1989. The guitars had some presence on the “communist” market but were mainly used as export. Lignatone mainly made acoustic instruments of a fairly conservative design. There were only 2 guitar companies in Czechoslovakia during communist rule, Drevokov in Blatna from 1955 to 1963 and then the big national CSHN in Krnov, Hradec Karlove, Horovice and various other places from 1964 to 1989. This means these guitars must have been made by one of these two establishments and branded as Lignatone guitars. Drevokov and CSHN made several very similar guitars under the names Resonet, Arco, Arioso, Grazioso, Neoton, Jolana, Tatra, Delicia and of course Lignatone.
I found this guitar in my friend’s basement, he owed me a couple bucks so he said, “Hey man why not just take this little guitar and well call it even.” Before I even picked it up I agreed. The guitar itself is in rough shape at best. The truss rod has been completely destroyed, so the action is so high it is unplayable without a slide. It looks like someone cranked the rod too far and cracked the wood surrounding it. This also means is inevitable going to cave in on itself from the constant tension of the strings. The machine heads are rusted and a real pain to tighten. The bridge moves around so it required tedious measurements and adjustments every time you re-string the guitar. Overall for ten bucks, the Lignatone was a steal. It doesn’t by any means have great tone, sustain, or playability, but it’s a fun time to fiddle around on. I keep it tuned in open E or Em depending on how I’m feeling.
Bottom Line: This guitar is not the most playable and it sure is not the prettiest but its got something 98% of guitars don’t have. The guitar has history and charisma. With a little bit of love, time and money it could be fully restored to near its original condition.