The Martin style 5-18 is the smallest guitar in Martin catalogs; at the lower bout, it measures 11.25″, while at the upper bout it is 8.25″. And its body is just 16″ in length, with a scale of 21.4″. In 1930s catalogs, the style 5-18 and the less expensive matching size 5-17 were listed with

JORDAN BOSS TONE

Jordan Boss Tone

Little Fuzz with the Big Buzz

In the august and revered Hall of Fame of Fuzz, the Jordan Boss Tone deserves a prominent pedestal. Perhaps it should be in a cabinet of cute curiosities. Or maybe it’s as a memento mori, an example of a dead end in the search for overdriven guitar tone bliss. Either way, there should be a

Tim Lerch

Tim Lerch

Tele Jazz Master

If you watch any of Tim Lerch’s videos online, his virtuosity is immediately apparent. What may throw you is his use of a Telecaster, an axe more closely associated with blues, country, and rock. But in Lerch’s hand, it becomes a killer jazz-blues machine, perfect for his tasty single-note runs and jaw-dropping chord improvisations. Lerch’s

Robert Cray

Robert Cray

Four Nights Of 40 Years

Five-time Grammy winner Robert Cray has always played serious blues. But, early on, he sidestepped a genre that would descend into pentatonic hackery in favor of brilliant songs, soul-drenched vocals, and emotional guitar playing. Cray is all about dark, passionate yarns and hypnotic groove. His current project, 4 Nights Of 40 Years, is a retrospective

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Valvetech Suplex

A Kinder, Gentler Plexi

Used by rock royalty, the 100-watt Marshall Model 1959 Super Lead unleashed hellacious tones. Problem was, it was ridiculously loud and lacked a master volume. Rob Pierce of Valvetech Amplifiers may have the solution. Based on the Model 1959, his four-input, all tube 50-watt Suplex head was built to produce an array of tones, from

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Gibson ES-335 Joe Bonamassa Signature Model

A Semi-Hollow For Joe

Gibson ES-335 Joe Bonamassa Signature Model Price: $3,335 (street) Contact: gibson.com. The collaboration of Gibson and blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa began with a limited run of goldtop Les Paul’s in 2009, followed by a more-affordable Studio version and another Custom Shop version, the latter sporting a beautiful flamed-maple top. Gibson and Bonamassa have teamed up again

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Gemma Ray

The Exodus Suite

Gemma Ray might rock the neo-’50s look, but she’s no Wanda Jackson wannabe; her songs and guitar work are not held in check by any known musical category. Instead, the tunes are like escapees from the expectations and trappings of mainstream pop. And she’s been prolific, cutting six previous albums as well as several EPs.

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Larry Alan Guitars’ The Harlot

Siren Song

Hot idea: pack a sturdy-yet-petite 1590B casing with specially selected parts rendering a powerful, variable guitar overdrive, add a couple of vintage-look knobs, a titillating pinup-girl graphic, and call it The Harlot. On second thought, include a pinup graphic inside the meticulously wired box. That’s right, there are two pinup girls. We know – we

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

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The DGN Custom Guitars Paragon Standard

In Search of Perfection

DGN custom guitars paragon standard Price: $3,000 (base) Contact: DGNcustomguitars.com. For the past few years, luthier Dan Neafsey has been making a name for himself from his small workshop in southern Connecticut, and for good reason. The instruments from DGN Custom Guitars are customized, hand-made, and of very high quality. One of his newest models is

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50 Years Ago Today

The Beatles Conquer America

Sunday, February 9, 1964, was the day that forever changed music and pop culture. “The Ed Sullivan Show” was one of the most popular television programs in the United States and at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, The Beatles made their live debut on American national television before an estimated 73 million people. This single

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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

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Eddie Clarke

Ex-Motorhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke is back with his first Fastway album in more than two decades. It’s called Eat Dog, Eat and it’s a hard-hitting heavy-duty rock record with the kind of blazing guitar tones that brought Clarke to prominence. The current lineup of Fastway has been playing Europe and Japan, and has lost

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Misty Lakes, Foamy Shores

Fender Custom Colors in the 1960s

In the 1950s, America’s fascination with the automobile was running at a fever pitch. The booming economy of the country’s post-war years pushed the car from a purpose-built means of transportation to the center of family and social life. As a result, automakers started to offer their wares in ever-better dress. Beyond plush interiors and

1963 Fender Twin Reverb Prototype

1963 Fender Twin Reverb Prototype

The Twin has long been the flagship of Fender’s high-wattage amp lineup, and it achieved/retained that status through several iterations in the company’s formative years. In the October issue, we studied a rare early-’54 “wide-panel” tweed Twin from the era of sub-50-watt amps. After the bump up to 80-plus watts, then a brief pit stop

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Budda Verbmaster 112

Versatile 18-Watter

Budda Verbmaster 112 Price: $1,800 (street) Contact: budda.com As part of its Hand-Wired series, Budda has reissued the tube-rectified Verbmaster 1×12 combo that differs from similarly powered amps because it’s a two-channel with reverb and a second (hotter) input. The Verbmaster uses the same A/B high-gain, low-wattage circuit as Budda’s Twinmaster, but with a three-spring

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Michael Sweet

Frontman, Shredder

The yellow-and-black attack of the Christian-metal band Stryper has returned. The band’s new album, Second Coming, helps mark 30 years of preaching their metal gospel and selling more than 10 million albums worldwide. The band returns to the spotlight with a renewed sense of vigor and passion. Second Coming is 16 tracks including re-recordings of