Arlen Roth

No Stone Unturned

To guitarists raised on his “Hot Licks” instructional video series, session and touring great Arlen Roth is something of a legendary figure. His latest release, Paint It Black, is the third in a series of instrumental albums that takes a fresh look at timeless songs by preeminent figures in pop music. As its title infers,

Railhammer Hyper Vintage Humbucker

Poles Apart

Railhammer Hyper Vintage Humbucker Price: $139 list / $89 direct Contact: railhammer.com Developed by Joe Naylor of Reverend Guitars, Railhammers are passive humbuckers that use a combination of pole pieces on the treble side and rails on the bass side. It’s an interesting motif with an effective purpose. The Railhammers’s six oversize poles under the

Hofner 185

Have you heard the line, “If Hendrix had a Magnatone, Strats would be worth $200 now?” A highly debatable proposition, for sure! But if Paul McCartney had not used a Höfner bass through much of the Beatles’ career, few collectors would remember the Höfner line today. Unlike other German-brand guitars, such as Klira, Hopf, or Framus,

Peter Stroud and Audley Freed

Two Guys, Many Guitars, One Big Hat

Many a noteworthy rock and roll band from the Cotton Belt has been propelled by guitar-playin’ good ol’ boys with names that ring through music lore in (sometimes) poetic-sounding tandems – Allman and Betts, Collins and Rossington, Caldwell and McCorkle, Petty and Campbell, Hlubeck and Roland (or Holland!), Medlocke and Hargrett, Van Zant and Carlisi,

1944 Martin 00-28

This Martin 00-28 is a highly unusual instrument. Made as part of a group of six created with shop-order number 366 (dated 12/14/1944) and bearing serial numbers 90002 through 90007, they were entered on the Martin shop order slip as 00-28G, indicating they were classical guitars designed strictly for gut strings. There is no indication

'39 Gibson EH-185

’39 Gibson EH-185

Preamp tubes: three 6J7, one 6N7 Output tubes: two 6L6 Rectifier: 5U4 Controls: Instrument Volume, Microphone Volume, Bass and Treble Speakers: one 12″ field-coil speaker Output: approximately 20 watts RMS Guitarists playing anything other than big-band jazz or Western swing tend to approach pre-rock-and-roll tube amps with reservation. We’re often fascinated, and might enjoy a

Jeff Senn and Crazy Aces

Dealing Out Twang

When you build guitars for a living, you might unwind with another hobby – say, beer-can collecting or crochet. Not Jeff Senn, mastermind behind Original Senn Guitars. He started a band. Call it R&D or just plain fun, but Senn’s band, Crazy Aces, is a funky, kitschy ensemble that plays an amalgam of hard-driving surf,

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Mike Matthews

The Special Effect at Electro-Harmonix

As a child of four, Mike Matthews’ mother taught him how to play classical-style piano. Formal lessons followed; the child took to the instrument, and performed at elementary-school concerts from the time he was in first grade. His interaction with the instrument led to one of his fondest – and most prescient – childhood memories;

Tom Feldmann

No Need to Sell Your Soul

“And the Oscar goes to…” If they gave out Academy Awards for the best guitar instructional film, Tom Feldmann’s latest on Robert Johnson would be a shoe-in. We rarely review instructional videos, but this one is something special. And it’s more than just a how-to guide: it’s an in-depth, note-for-note documentary look at the playing

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Mu-FX Octave Divider

The Mu Is Back

This is rocket science. Or at least as close as a stompbox gets. Sure, building a pedal that tweaks a guitar’s signal around and about isn’t exactly putting a man on the moon. But then, when an effects mastermind like Mike Beigel launches a new box, it’s almost guaranteed to propel your sound into the

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Siegmund Missing Link

Rounding Out the Board

Looking like a Sputnik-era satellite, the Missing Link from Siegmund Guitars and Amplifiers may be the perfect way to – pardon the pun – round out a pedalboard. Encased in a very attractive polished stainless-steel half dome, the micro-tube clean-powered Missing Link is a unique effect: a transparent signal boost that does not alter the

Excelsior Americana

If you play any breed of twang, country, roots-rock or, well, “Americana,” could there possibly be a better amp than this? Okay, according to specs and tonal preferences, sure there could. But for sheer vintage-hip and all-out cool, you really can’t do better than dragging this 1966 Excelsior Americana to the next Gram Parsons tribute

Maestro Fuzz-Tone

Fuzz. It’s the sound of fury, aggravation, indignation, and – considering the history of the most famous fuzzbox of all time, Maestro’s Fuzz-Tone – dissatisfaction. It’s also fitting as some of the first recorded electric fuzz guitar was heard via Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Willie Lee Johnson, who cut tracks like 1951’s “How Many More Years”

EVH Stripe Series Star

Romeo Delight

There was time when guitarists waited for new Van Halen records like ferrets on crack. After all, in the early ’80s, Edward Van Halen was a huge deal – a revolutionary upstart who inspired young guitarists to think outside the blues box and diverge from the blues-rock sounds of Nugent, Clapton, and Page. Every new

Teye Guitars Gypsy Queen

Teye Guitars Gypsy Queen

The Art of Tone

For Austin-based Teye Guitars, taking guitar construction to new artistic heights has been a basic tenet since their inception. Mastermind luthier Teye Wijnterp, an accomplished guitarist, forged his concept of playable art during years of touring. Today, players around the world, including Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, Zac Brown, and Grammy-nominated guitarist Joe Taylor,

The Rickenbacker 4000

The model 4000 was not only Rickenbacker’s first foray into the electric-bass market, it was decidedly different from Fender’s Precision – the original electric bass. Beyond frets, four strings, and their role in a musical combo, they have little in common. In the 1950s, F.C. Hall forged Rickenbacker into a modern guitar manufacturer. Striving to

Victoria Vic 105

The Victoria VIC 105

Raw And Responsive

Victoria VIC 105 Price: $1,495 Contact: Victoria Amp Co.; phone (630) 820-6400; victoriaamp.com. In the 1990s, Mark Baier put himself on the map making quality reproductions of choice ’50s tweed-amp circuits. For the last decade, Baier has broadened his amp line with models that are not reproductions, but the product of his own fertile imagination.

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5

Tone To Carry-On

Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 Price: $249 (list) Contact: www.tech21nyc.com Long before the Line6 POD, the Box of Rock, or the iRig, there was the SansAmp from Tech 21 – the first tube-amp emulator. Twenty-five years into its evolution, SansAmp’s analog circuitry is now housed alongside other tone-building essentials in a super-compact, super-efficient multieffect. The