Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. For guitarists, that better mousetrap arrived in the early ’70s when Keith Barr gave the world the MXR Phase 90. It was the first of many brightly colored effects pedals that would find their way onto stages and into recording studios worldwide.

Barr and his partner Terry Sherwood owned an audio repair shop in Rochester, New York, where they were shocked by the poor quality of the guitar effects their customers brought in. Barr and Sherwood decided they could give guitar players a better sounding, cooler looking, and more reliable stompbox. MXR was born, and the company gave guitarists access to amazing sounds—some of which were previously available only in high-end studios—delivering those sounds in rugged, roadworthy enclosures.

One of our guys recently found this Hamer guitar in a storage facility and brought it into the Dunlop shop for some TLC. It’s an early 2000s Hamer Newport Pro, a US made semi-hollow body beauty that was suffering, not so much from abuse, but just from lack of use. We decided to give it the Dunlop restorative treatment, utilizing Formula 65 products, Miracle Cloth, a little tape and steel wool, some elbow grease and attention to detail to bring this beautiful instrument back to top playing form. Here’s how it went down…

The first thing we noticed was how corroded and nasty the frets were. The corrosion had overtaken each fret, and the fingerboard was in desperate need of oil conditioning. The strings were in the same shape—they were rusted, and felt and sounded completely dead.