Ohana Ukuleles Price: $249 (SK-35, CKP-70R); $259 (SK-28) Info: www.ohana-music.com. Just like guitars, ukuleles come in all quality levels, from uke-shaped objects made of plastic, composite board, and unidentifiable materials, to solid-wood professional-grade instruments. Ohana Ukuleles’ offerings are definitely in the latter category, geared toward the serious amateur and professional player on a budget who

Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive

Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive

Love That Yellow Snow

You may be wondering, “What in the world is an ‘underdrive’ pedal?” Good question. Well, you know the traffic-jam of overdrive pedals you likely have crowding around your amp, all designed to push it into blissful distortion? An underdrive does the opposite. It drives from your guitar. Which brings up that Beatles-versus-Stones-type debate about the

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Park 75

Park 75 Preamp tubes: three ECC83 (12AX7 equivalents) Output tubes: two KT88 Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume II, Volume I, Treble, Middle, Bass, Brightness Output: approximately 75 watts RMS We might not expect anyone to give much of a hoot for an amplifier with “Park” on its badge – a brand that has also graced budget-grade

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Burns Steer Cutaway

The Burns Steer Cutaway

The story of the Burns Steer Cutaway begins in 1925 with the birth of the “British Leo Fender,” James Ormston Burns. An avid guitar player beginning in his early teens, at 18 he joined the Royal Air Force and learned metalworking. In 1946 he returned to playing guitar professionally and by ’52 was playing in

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Bruce and Butter

It would be an understatement to say that REO Speedwagon bassist Bruce Hall and his 1965 Fender Jazz Bass, dubbed “Butter,” have been through a lot. Born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Hall, who has been with the band for more than 30 years, acquired this mainstay when he was 16. In an ironic twist,

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Standard in Custom

Schecter’s Custom Shop Marks 35 Years

Riding high after 35 years with an array of original instruments, an impressive artist roster that started early with Pete Townshend and Mark Knopfler, and a line of high-gain amplifiers, Schecter Guitars has come full circle. Established as Schecter Guitar Research by David Schecter in 1976, the company began repairing guitars and selling parts to

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Eastwood Marksman 5

Bullseye!

Eastwood Marksman 5 Price: $999 (retail) Info: www.eastwoodguitars.com. Reviving great and unusual designs from the past has been the focus of Eastwood Guitars since their inception in 2001. For well over a decade now, Mike Robinson and his crew of guitar fanatics have resurrected classics from the likes of Airline and Mosrite. In doing so,

Roland’s Blues Cube Artist

Roland’s Blues Cube Artist

Roland’s Blues Cube Artist Price: $1,169 (list)/$899 (street) Contact: www.rolandus.com Roland has reinvented and relaunched its Blues Cube combos with a series featuring Roland’s exclusive Tube Logic design that carefully emulates the preamp and poweramp tube responses of classic tube amps. One of these, the Blues Cube Artist, features a classic old-school appearance – cream-colored

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Martin’s “12-Fret” 000-42

Martin has never been a stranger to producing certain guitars in very limited quantities. But just how rare is the 12-frets-to-the-body 000-42? It has long been held that Martin has done a yeoman’s job of tracking its production through the years (few manufacturers have been so meticulous, especially going back so far), but it has

Vintage Instruments and the Ban on Ivory Trade

Vintage Instruments and the Ban on Ivory Trade

A presidential executive order issued February 11 proposes a wide ban on trade in ivory has widespread implications for trade in vintage musical instruments as well as antique art, furniture, firearms, swords, knives, and jewelry. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been tasked with writing and enforcing new regulations for import, export, and domestic trade

ZT Extortion Expressive Distortion

Mutant Distortion

ZT Extortion Expressive Distortion Price: $269 retail, $199 street Contact: www.ztamplifiers.com ZT Amplifiers put their name on the map four years ago with the compact Lunchbox solid-state amp. Now they continue along the road less traveled with the Extortion Expressive Distortion. For a departure from tonal convention the pedal features an analog overdrive that can

Paco de Lucia

Paco de Lucia

1947-2014

Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died February 26 after suffering a heart attack in Cancun, Mexico. He was 66. In the U.S., de Lucia was best known for his collaborations with jazz-rockers like John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Larry Coryell, and Al Di Meola, with whom he recorded “Mediterranean Sundance” in 1977. This seminal recording

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1964 Fender Bassman

1964 Fender 6G6-B Bassman Preamp tubes: four 7025 (12AX7 types) Output tubes: two 5881 (a more-rugged 6L6 type), fixed-bias Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Bass Instrument channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; Normal channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; shared: Presence Output: 50 watts RMS Utter the word “Bassman” in guitar circles, and most players’ minds rush to the tweed-covered 4×10″

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Ty Tabor

On a Roll

King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor is on a roll. Despite the band being on hiatus due to bassist Dug Pinnick’s health issues, Tabor stays busy with side projects like Jelly Jam, with Rod Morgenstein and John Myung. He operates a commercial audio mastering facility, and his new solo album, Nobody Wins When Nobody Plays, showcases

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Brimstone Audio Crossover Distortion XD-1

Bi-Amping in a Box

Brimstone Audio Crossover Distortion XD-1 Price: $299.95 Info: www.Brimstoneaudio.com. Brimstone Audio is a relatively new company that hit the ground running, entering the stomp-box arena with some innovative ideas that offer tone geeks unparalleled aural flexibility. The XD-1, for example, is essentially two amps in a box. It allows the user to generate the kind

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Shaw Audio Bass 130

Classic Tone for the Modern World

Tennessee amp builder Kevin Shaw loves restoring old cars – and creating fine-sounding amplifiers. His ToneRod SE and Fulltilt 18 helped establish him as a factor among amp builders, and his latest offering is (as the name implies) a bass head – the Audio Bass 130. Among modern Class D bass heads, and their enormous

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Fargen Olde 800 MKII, Sonic Edge J&J Overdrive

Decades of Tone

The Fargen Olde 800 MKII Price: $1,949 Info: www.fargenamps.com. For 10 years, Ben Fargen has established a reputation for building amps based on British and American designs, and for offering aftermarket mods to expand/enhance other builders’ designs. Fargen’s new nod to the British stacks of yore is the Olde 800 Mk2. A 25-watt head fueled

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Neil Giraldo

Guitarist, Producer, Partner

Quiz time, guitarheads. What was the second video played on MTV? If you guessed “You Better Run” by Pat Benatar, you win. And, since there was no guitarist in the Buggles’ video for the prophetic track “Video Killed the Radio Star” (the first video aired) that makes Benatar’s longtime bandleader/producer/husband Neil Giraldo the first guitarist