Many aren’t aware that some of the archtop guitars Gibson produced during the Depression were marketed under different brand names, including Kalamazoo, Recording King, Cromwell, Fascinator, and Kel Kroyden, among others. These shared similar features and construction techniques with the low-line Gibson-branded instruments such as the L-30 and L-50: a spruce top, mahogany body and

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National Westwood

Whether Valco – the company that made National guitars in the 1950s and ’60s – was actually inspired by U.S. geography when it created its legendary “map” guitars is unknown, but they may well have simply meant to be eye-catching in the dry days before the Beatles ignited the mania for electric guitars. Whatever the

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25 Most Valuable Amplifiers

Text by Dave Hunter Data compiled by Alan Greenwood and Gil Hembree Vintage Guitar is marking 25 years of publication with a year full of features. Using data compiled for The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide 2011, we continue the celebration with a list of the 25 most valuable amplifiers – those that helped create

PRS 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special NF

From Jimi to Eric to Angus

PRS 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special NF Price: $3,908 (retail)/$2,329 (street) Contact: PRSguitars.com. The PRS 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special NF is a guitar that attempts to thread many needles: depending on your pickup and amp selections, it can cover most tonal bases between Fender and Gibson, and then some. And that’s just for starters.

Radial Headload Guitar Amp Load Box

Taming a Shrew

As low-power amps gain in popularity, one wonders what will happen to all the 50- and 100-watt amps starting to gather dust in storerooms. Radial Engineering’s Headload attenuator/load box to the rescue! The Headload’s attenuator section gives the player the option of dialing up 1% to 100% of the amp’s output (120 watts max) to his

Mike Keneally

Mike Keneally

Gainfully Employed

Mike Keneally has made a career of inconspicuously assisting Frank Zappa, Andy Partridge, Steve Vai, Dethklok, and Joe Satriani fulfill their musical vision. But, there is another side to this multi-instrumentalist and sideman. Besides pulling triple-duty as a keyboardist, guitarist, and producer, Keneally is a prolific composer. He is compiling a catalog of music from

Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom

Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom

Rockin’ Down the House

Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom Price: $999 (Space Cadet)/$699 (MVX-15) Contact: www.musicvox.com For nearly two decades, Musicvox’s designs have captivated players and fans, appearing in Austin Powers and in the hands of serious players and bands like Keith Urban, Allen Woody, Polyphonic Spree, and Redd Kross. The company’s latest super-retro entries are the

Amptweaker’s TightFuzz and Bass TightFuzz

A Good Buzz

Amptweaker’s TightFuzz and Bass TightFuzz Price: $280 retail/$199 street (TightFuzz); $310 retail, $219 street (Bass TightFuzz) Info: www.amptweaker.com. Since the birth of the fuzz pedal in 1960s, its scratchy, buzzy, sometimes “psychedelic” sound has freed the creativity of many guitar players. Now, the crew at Amptweaker is seeking to feed that creative “buzz” with its

Martin OM-28 Authentic 1931

Martin OM-28 Authentic 1931

Vintage Revolution

If you’ve ever played a fine vintage guitar, you know how two things jump out at you immediately: 1) they’re often quite light, and 2) they display a big, vibrant tone. Martin is one of several makers in pursuit of re-creating vintage lightness and big tone with pinpoint accuracy. Their OM-28 Authentic 1931 is a

Larry Campbell

All-Americana Multi-Instrumentalist

You’ve probably seen his face, and maybe even watched his hair and beard go from black to gray. Whether it’s fiddling with Bob Dylan, supplying steel at the Americana Music Awards, playing lead for Bruce Springsteen’s MusiCares Person Of The Year honor, or sitting in with the Roots on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,”

Ray Bonneville

Ray Bonneville

Easy Groove

Ray Bonneville’s latest album, Easy Gone, glides on a steady groove. “I really like the way it sounds with these guys,” he said of drummer Geoff Arsenault and bassist Gurf Morlix. “Their groove is in the same family as my groove.” It took Bonneville years to feel where that groove should come from, but, he

FENDER BANDMASTER 5E7

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

Shane Theriot

Shane Theriot

Diggin’ Daryl’s

What does it take to be the lead guitarist and musical director for one of pop’s most celebrated duos, transitioning between funk, rock, country, blues, and Cajun styles? Ask Shane Theriot, the Grammy-winning New Orleans native who serves that role with Hall and Oates and on Daryl Hall’s acclaimed television show, “Live From Daryl’s House.”

Return of the Trashmen

Return of the Trashmen

Bird Is Still The Word

Surf’s up – again! Thanks to the prodding of guitarist/impresario Deke Dickerson, The Trashmen recently recorded their first album in 25 years. “I was an obsessed fan,” Dickerson says of the band, whose 1963 hit “Surfin’ Bird” vaulted it to near-legendary status. “They were doing rockabilly mixed with surf, and it was unique in that

James Burton

James Burton

In rural Louisiana in the early 1950s, it was no small feat when a family scraping by to survive bought a new Fender Telecaster for their 13-year-old son, especially when that $280 had been set aside to buy a car so their father could stop thumbing a ride to work. Guy and Lola Burton, however,

Status Quo’s Francis Rossi

On Guitars, Music, and Elusive Success

“I’m only as good now as I should have been when I was 25,” laughs Francis Rossi, the 64-year-old lead guitarist, singer, and co-composer in Status Quo. “That’s why I practice at least two hours every night. I’ll watch some guitarist in a band opening for us and think, ‘I can’t bloody watch this,’ because

3rd Power Dream Weaver

Tone Cubed

3rd Power Dream Weaver Price: $3.299 Info: www.3rdpower.com. Purchasing a new amp is much more than buying a piece of gear – think of it as hiring out a job. In most cases, you hope this new employee will help you sound great, cover the required tonal bases, prove reliable, and have the right amount

PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow

Multi-Functional Gem

While most guitarists are familiar with PRS (and some dream every day of adding one of the company’s Private Stock axes to their collection), the company’s import SE line typically gets much less play in the git-tar press. Developed at the request of Carlos Santana so beginners and “weekend warriors” could experience playing a PRS