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    Whitey Kirst

    Whitey Kirst jams for us on his late-’70s Gibson Les Paul Standard through through two Marshall MkII Super Lead heads – first a 50-watt, then a 100-watt. Be sure to catch our interview with Whitey in the May issue of Vintage Guitar. READ NOW!


    Dan Smith had an idea – a solidbody guitar with routed chambers that would provide unique resonant tonal characteristics. And he knew the shape he wanted. In the early ’80s, Fender became interested in building instruments that would be viewed as high-quality alternatives to Gibson. Not copies, but highly playable guitars with versatile electronics and

    The Mavericks

    Brand New Day

    Since reforming five years ago, the Mavericks have released two studio albums and 2016’s All Night Live, Vol. 1. And again here, the core quartet of vocalist-guitarist Raul Malo, guitarist Eddie Perez, keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden, and drummer Paul Deakin are augmented by added musicians. Malo’s original tunes remain powerful and eclectic, beginning with

    Fender Princeton, Deluxe, and Tremolux

    Three Small Tweeds

    Fender Princeton, Deluxe, and Tremolux

    From 1954 through ’59, the Fender Electric Instrument Mfg. Co. built guitar amplifiers with controls mounted atop using “chickenhead” knobs that go to 12, and covered with “the finest airplane luggage linen.” This line represents the company’s classic “tweed era,” and from the diminutive Champ to the mighty Twin, it remained virtually unchanged throughout the

    Marshall Amplifiers

    From Birth to the 21st Century

    From the first JTM to models for Clapton and Townshend, Jim Marshall has been building amps since the early 1960s. Though inspired by others, his amps are entities unto themselves. Marshall amplifiers have remained the choice of artists who wanted their sound to be as impressive as their look.

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    ZT Amplifiers Club and Lunchbox Acoustic

    Big Things, Small Packages

    In two short years of existence, ZT Amplifiers has found a unique place for itself in the world of boutique amplification. ZT engineering guru Ken Kantor’s flagship amp is called The Lunchbox, so named because of its compact physical size. But the moniker utterly belies the fact the amp can pump out 200 watts of

    Phil Campbell

    Motöring Ahead

    From 1984 through 2015, Phil Campbell was the guitarist in Motörhead, and for the last 20 years of the band’s existence was its sole guitarist, appearing on classic releases such as Orgasmatron, 1916, and Bastards, among others. With the 2015 passing of Lemmy Kilmister, the band came to an abrupt end. Instead of retiring, Campbell

    Sonny James's Epiphone Excellente

    Epiphone Excellente

    Sonny James' Epiphone Excellente

    The Epiphone Excellente was the fanciest flat-top Gibson made in the 1960s, and to some ears it was Gibson’s best. But in its seven-year production run, from late ’63 until the last were shipped in ’70, only 141 Excellentes were sold. A Brazilian-rosewood/square-shouldered dreadnought, the Excellente was almost called the Sonny James Southern Gentleman model. If

    Thurston Moore

    Rock N Roll Consciousness

    There’s always been a push/pull relationship between the worlds of hippie-inspired jam bands and punk-inspired indie rock. While the latter has been known to regard the former as self-indulgent, the former sometimes holds that the indie camp is uninspiring at best, technically incompetent at worst. But that’s not to say it’s been all push and

    M-Tone Slipstream

    M-Tone Slipstream

    Delicious Curves

    M-Tone Slipstream Price: $2,600 Contact: www.m-tone.com When it comes to custom, hand-made guitars, many prefer an instrument that innately reveals the work of its craftsman – the type that, instead of merely being a replica of a famous body shape, can be held and admired for its details. Matt Proctor’s M-Tone Slipstream is a good

    Ted Nugent 1962 Gibson Byrdland

    Ted Nugent’s 1962 Gibson Byrdland

    Anyone who’s ever caught Ted Nugent on tour has seen this instrument, and during the Summer of 2003 it was intended to be the only guitar used by the Motor City Madman during his one-hour slot. “That was pretty much due to time restraints,” said Dean Mitchell, who has been Nugent’s guitar tech for a

    Malcolm Brickhouse

    Malcolm Brickhouse

    Free As You Wanna Be

    Malcolm Brickhouse was excited but confident after his band, Unlocking The Truth, recently performed its first headlining gig, at The Troubadour, in Hollywood. The 13-year-old guitarist has seen his Brooklyn-based band emerge from humble beginnings – playing for tips in Times Square – to, in the span of just months, play the festival circuit and

    Shawn Starski

    His Own Blues

    After spending nearly a decade with harp ace Jason Ricci, guitarist Shawn Starski has stepped out with a self-titled album that establishes him as a triple threat, not simply a guitar ace. It’s a position he’s not altogether comfortable with, mostly because, prior to composing its songs, Starski had never written lyrics. “I wrote a

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    Avid Technology Eleven Rack

    Rack and Roll

    The proliferation of digital guitar gear grows by leaps and bounds every year as more players learn to love the world of tones and effects offered by the technology. You’ll obviously get no argument from us that tube amps and analog stompboxes are great, but for more and more musicians, digital is here to stay.

    Eliza Gilkyson

    Not Your Typical Folkie

    “My dad was my biggest influence, especially melodically. He loved dark melodies,” says Eliza Gilkyson of her father, the late Terry Gilkyson. As the title of her latest CD hints, The Nocturne Diaries mostly habitates the darker side. Her dad sang with the Weavers in the Folk Boom and co-wrote the Dean Martin hit “Memories

    DLS TR1 Tremolo and RotoSim

    Swirls and Twirls

    If you’ve ever played guitar through a Leslie rotating-speaker cabinet, you’re aware of its lush 3D sound. Many guitarists would love to be able to use that sound – and would, were it not for the fact a Leslie cab can test not only one’s lumbar region, but their wallet! Through the years, a host

    A Master’s Pallet

    George Fullerton’s Fender Jazzmaster

    A Master's Pallet

    This Jazzmaster is an interesting example of what went on behind the scenes at the Fender factory with the research and development of body shapes and materials, and during the pre-production phase for new models in the late 1950s and early ’60s. After having great success with the Esquire, Telecaster, and Stratocaster, in 1958, Fender

    1978 Steinberger Prototype Bass

    1978 Steinberger Prototype Bass

    When introduced commercially in 1979, the Steinberger bass was a truly revolutionary instrument employing graphite construction and a minimalist artistic concept in its design. Much like Leo Fender and John D’Angelico, builder Ned Steinberger wasn’t a musician. His interest in instruments began in the mid ’70s, when he joined a woodworking co-op in Brooklyn. There,

    Gibson Custom Colors in the 1960s

    Burning Embers, Chilled Whites

    Unlike its rival from the West Coast, Gibson did not readily embrace the concept of offering custom-color finishes. It wasn’t averse to custom work or colorful finishes, but saw them more as a consequence of its wider range of stringed instruments – acoustics, electrics, and associated clientele. While competitors like Fender, Gretsch, Harmony, and Rickenbacker