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Hundreds of rare, notable guitars fill Surrey warehouse ahead of ‘amazing’ auction of music gear

Many of the collector’s guitars are ‘signature’ models either endorsed or co-created by rock stars, or replicas
Just some of the nearly 250 valuable guitars being auctioned in Surrey on June 10-11 by Able Auctions, along with amplifiers and other music gear. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

A North Surrey warehouse is filled with hundreds of rare and notable guitars to be auctioned this week.

Able Auctions is handling the sale of the mountain of music gear, owned by a single collector who lives in Vancouver.

“He’s been collecting all this for close to 30 years,” said auction company CEO Jeremy Dodd, who can’t name the collector due to privacy concerns.

On Friday and Saturday (June 10-11), the online auction will involve close to 250 guitars both electric and acoustic, 150-plus guitar amplifiers and hundreds of effects pedals.

Many of the guitars are “signature” models either endorsed or co-created by some famous rock stars, or replicas of guitars played by Eric Clapton, Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani and other musicians.

“A lot of this is pretty rare and some of it looks nearly brand new,” Dodd explained. “He (the collector) was a pretty discriminating buyer of guitars, so there’s no low-end or junk here. And even though some of them don’t look all that incredible, they are incredible, and there’s a reason why he spent his money on them.”

Video of the music gear is posted to Able Auctions’ YouTube channel, with Dodds’ narration, and details are posted to

Dodd first got a look at the gear about two months ago, after he got a call from the collector, a guitar player who’s been in some bands, the auctioneer noted.

“I went out to visit him at this big, beautiful house by UBC with quite a large basement, and all of this equipment was jammed in there, floor to ceiling, all of it. Everything,” Dodd recalled. “I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. The next morning we had trucks there hauling it all away.”

Then the hard work began.

“It’s a lot of work putting an auction like this together, researching every guitar, every amp, making sure the descriptions are correct, cataloguing everything and photographing all the equipment,” Dodd explained. “The guys here did an amazing job with that. Even a basic auction is a lot of work, but something like this is really a lot of work – it’s work on steroids.”

Dodd’s phone and email now buzz with inquiries from people looking to bid on the guitars and amps, which will be previewed Wednesday and Thursday (June 8-9) prior to the two-day action.

“I got a call from a guy in Ontario who’s driving here with a van and his intention is to spend over $400,000,” Dodd explained, “and we’ve had people from all over North America interested in this collection. It’s amazing what we have here.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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