Widman Set Neck

An Eye For Detail

Widman Set Neck Price: $3,900 Info: widmancustomelectrics.com. John Widman is a custom guitar builder whose artistic leanings began while he worked as a graphic designer and photographer. After building bolt-neck instruments using off-the-shelf parts, he began crafting instruments from scratch, and recently introduced the Set Neck. A chambered single-cut, the Set Neck is built from


John Jorgenson

John Jorgenson’s Gypsy Jazz Orchestra

Call it a “Gypsy jazz wall of sound.” John Jorgenson’s new album, Istiqbal Gathering, features the master guitarist backed by the full Orchestra Nashville – strings, woodwinds, brass, even percussion. The result would make Django Reinhardt himself envious. For Jorgenson, it all came naturally. “Recording solo guitar with a full orchestra is very different than


National N-275

Gibson is widely known for its guitars, mandolins, and banjos, but many are unaware the company built instruments for nearly 30 brands for several distributors and music store chains, primarily from the 1920s through the early ’40s. Some of the best-known names include Kalamazoo, distributed by Gibson, and Recording King, which was distributed by Montgomery


Ibanez RGA8

In the Deep End

Ibanez RGA-8 Price: $1,102.21 (approx. $800 street). Info: ibanez.com In the annals of cool, weird, and unusual guitars, they’re nothing like an eight-string axe. It’s a strange beastie, sporting a mammoth neck that begs for new fretting approaches. The trend that’s driving eight-string guitars onto the market are metal and shred players who are searching


Uwe Kruger

Swiss Precision for Americana

Uwe Kruger’s professional musical career began at age 15, when he and his brother, Jens, left their small town home in Switzerland to busk in the cities of Europe. Quickly, the Kruger Brothers developed enough following to host a radio show on public broadcasting. In 1995, bassist Joel Landsberg joined them to form a trio.


Steve Wariner

The C.G.P. Connection Willie G. Moseley

Steve Wariner is among the handful of guitarists designated as a certified guitar player (C.G.P.) by Chet Atkins. The last guitarist to receive the personal honor, Wariner served a pallbearer at Atkins’ funeral in 2001. He also performed at the service. In the dozen years since the release of No More Mr. Nice Guy, Wariner


Wishbone Ash

Powell, Manninen, and Elegant Stealth

Fans of Wishbone Ash will consider the group’s newest release, Elegant Stealth, the type of innovative guitar music they’ve grown to expect. Since 2004, guitarist/vocalist Andy Powell and his V-shaped instruments have been accompanied by Finnish guitarist Jyrki “Muddy” Manninen. In the liner notes for Elegant Stealth , Powell cites himself as a singer first.


Paul Quinn

Relentless Persistence

For Paul Quinn, music begins and ends with the blues. The soft-spoken guitarist began playing by listening to British blues icons and helped make Saxon one of Europe’s biggest heavy-metal acts. Quinn has been there since the band’s inception in 1976, and it recently released its 20th album, Sacrifice. “It was good to make it,”


Fender 5E7 Bandmaster

Preamp tubes: one 12AY7, two 12AX7 Output tubes: two 6L6s, fixed biased Rectifier: 5U4G tube Controls: Volume, Volume, Treble, Bass, Presence Output: 28 watts RMS +/- Speaker: three 10″ Jensen P10R Two decades ago, when renewed appreciation of Fender’s narrow-panel tweed amps of the late ’50s really started to boom, the Bassman was generally considered


Gibson Johnny Smith

In 1961, Gibson’s Johnny Smith model not only associated Gibson with one of the most popular guitar stylists of the day, it also brought high-quality amplification and high-quality acoustic sound together for the first time. From Gibson’s first electric “Spanish” guitar, the ES-150 of 1936, Gibson had fashioned an electric guitar by cutting a hole


Lyon and Healy

So what is it? Its original black-finished spruce top is simply ladder-braced from within, but its back and sides feature Brazilian rosewood with dramatic bookmatched figure. Its unbound 18-fret fingerboard –also of rosewood – sports only a few small, round dots for position makers, yet intricate multicolored wood purfling graces much of the rest of

Roy Buchanan

Roy Buchanan

Roy Buchanan The Life and Times of Roy Buchanan By Phil Carson Roy Buchanan and his battered 1953 Telecaster guitar got inside your head and grabbed you in the gut. He had eclectic musical tastes, an arsenal of techniques, a devotion to craft, and something to say. And he said it with soul. Those are

GizmoAudio’s Ripsaw and Sawmill Jr.

GizmoAudio’s Ripsaw and Sawmill Jr.

Just Like the First Time

Durham Electronics’ ReddVerb Price: $180 each (list) Info: www.gizmoaudio.com Most guitar players’ first pedal was a distortion/OD, often acquired after enduring the taunts from friends and/or bandmates who whisper about how their tone was “thin” and “weak.” The experience takes them down the road to experimentation; the weeks and years that follow becoming a haze

Neal Schon

Neal Schon

“The Guitar Is My Voice”

Long before Neal Schon helped Journey sell more than 80 million albums, he was a rock-fusion gunslinger who turned down Eric Clapton’s request to join Derek and the Dominos so he could tour with Santana when he was 15. With all his success, Schon still craves the rock-fusion that was a part of the early


Brad Whitford

Aerosmith’s Master of Wicked Licks

Aerosmith’s 2011 Back On the Road tour was a two-month jaunt that consisted of 18 shows and took the band to places it had never been in Latin America before concluding in Japan. Normally, such a tour doesn’t create much hoopla, but this was different. The band hadn’t played there in seven years, but more

Delisle Island Carney/Drifter Amp-in-Case Combo

Delisle Island Carney/Drifter Amp-in-Case Combo

Econo Classic Reimagined

Delisle Island Carney/Drifter Amp-in-Case Combo Price: $4,000 (list) Contact: www.island-instruments.com A half-century ago, before Marshalls were stacked and ’Bursts dangled menacingly below hips, the marketing of guitars and amps targeted the teenage garage-band musician. Strapped for cash but looking to rock out, American youth turned to their parents’ Sears catalogs for the latest offerings. On


Gibson EB-2

Kalamazoo’s Biggest Bass Innovation?

In the mid 1950s, Gibson president Ted McCarty was paying close attention to two new instruments impacting the musical-instruments market – the solidbody electric guitar and the electric bass. Both had been developed by an upstart company called Fender, and Gibson’s original solidbodies, the Les Paul guitar and Electric Bass (VG, February ’06) were introduced

Five Classic Amps

Five Classic Amps

A Tone-Spotter’s Arsenal To Cover It All

When it comes to classic guitar tones – whether it’s blues through a Dumble, country through a Fender, rock through a Marshall, or jazz through a Roland – every player knows there’s a magical potion concocted of guitars, amps, and fingers. But, is it possible to cover the sonic spectrum of all genres with just