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    Robert Randolph’s “Live” Re-broadcast

    Don’t miss VG’s exclusive interview with sacred-steel specialist Robert Randolph in the May issue. Here is Robert’s Facebook Live broadcast from February 10, during which he jams and fields questions from the audience! READ IT NOW!!


    While many pedal makers tinker away on effects that exhibit their personal tonal philosophies, the fact is that most don’t play gigs or compose music. Seraphim Marcopoulous of ToneConcepts was keen enough to take advantage of his professional relationships with some of the finest guitarists in the industry, asking, “What’s missing?”

    Gibson’s 17″ Pre-War Electrics

    ES-300 of 1940-’43

    Among musicians and collectors, Gibson’s pre-World-War-II ES-300 may be less popular today than the ES-250, but in terms of sheer numbers, it was Gibson’s most popular 17″ pre-war electric, despite the adverse context of the early 1940s. Truth is, most of the more-prominent guitarists of the period continued to favor installing an old-style bar pickup

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    Improving on a Good Thing

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb Price: $999.99 list Contact: www.fender.com In 1968, Fender gave its amp line what collectors today look back on as a major facelift when it introdued the silver-and-turquoise silkscreened faceplate and aluminum “drip edge” grille trim. The company recently reissued that classic look with its ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb, but this

    Ernie Ball’s MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal

    Ernie Ball MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal

    Total Control

    Ernie Ball’s MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal Price: $179 (list); $129.99 (street) Info: www.ernieball.com. Just when you thought you were done building the perfect pedalboard with all the coolest overdrives and time-based effects, you realize you need to control your sound. No doubt, a volume pedal is the way to go for controlling the volume of

    Music Man’s JP13

    Petrucci Pick

    Music Man’s JP13 Price: $3,500 Info: www.music-man.com. Music Man has a knack for building blazing artist models for the likes of Steve Morse, Albert Lee, and John Petrucci – three artists known for their incendiary guitar styles. The latest Petrucci offering, the JP13, has a deceptively utilitarian appearance, but its neck, body, and electronics are

    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

    Terry Dolan

    Terry Dolan
    44 Years Later

    The market is flooded with previously unreleased albums and reissue CDs containing alternate takes. It must be simple to get something like that released, right? Guess again. It’s hard to imagine, but a major-label album by a popular San Francisco singer/songwriter languished in some warehouse more than 40 years after it was recorded – and

    Hull Amplifiers’ Model H5

    Hull Amplifiers’ Model H5

    Pretty, Stunning

    Hull Amplifiers’ Model H5 Price: $3,199 (list) Contact: www.hullamps.blogspot.com A beat-up ol’ blackface amp can be a thing of beauty, like an old muscle car showing its miles in patches of gray Bondo. But there’s something to be said for an amplifier that’s truly as beautiful to look at as it is to play, with

    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

    Holy Cripes

    Holy Cripes! The Story of Jerry Garcia’s Last Guitars

    Steve Cripe left a unique legacy in the annals of music history. He was not a guitar player, not a songwriter. In fact, you may not even know his name. But the guitar builder became part of the fabric that makes up the story of the Grateful Dead when he built guitars for the legendary

    Harvey Mandel and Dennis Coffey

    Snake Pit and Hot Coffey in the D
    Two Instrumental Masters

    If it’s possible to be both unsung and an icon, then guitarists Dennis Coffey and Harvey Mandel would fit the description. Mandel is one of those rare examples of a guitarist who’s not only immediately identifiable but whose style was almost fully formed from the moment he arrived, like Chuck Berry or Lonnie Mack. From

    DiMarzio’s Black Angel Pickup

    Got a Sweet...

    Back in the old days, adding a pickup to an acoustic guitar was a major operation that required a luthier’s services. There was one exception, however – the spring-loaded magnetic pickup from DeArmond. It was easy to install and very effective at making an acoustic sound more like an electric. DiMarzio’s new sound-hole mounted pickup,

    Visual Sound Route 66 V3 American Overdrive

    Visual Sound Route 66 V3 American Overdrive

    Get Yer’ Kick

    Visual Sound Route 66 V3 American Overdrive Price: $179 (street) Contact: www.truetone.com/ Over the years, the Route 66 pedal by Visual Sound (Ed. Note: the company is undergoing a rebranding, changing its name to Truetone) has gained recognition as a competitively priced, great-sounding overdrive and compressor in one. When Visual Sound announced they had reworked

    Dallas Shaftesbury 30

    We mine the rich seam of obscure vintage American tube amps on a regular basis here in the pages of VG, but less often do we delve into the equally fascinating histories of B- and C-list British guitar amps of the 1950s, ’60s, and early ’70s. Nevertheless, there was plenty of life in the British

    Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66

    Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66

    Welcome to the Machine

    Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66 Price: $2,799 (list) Contact: www.redplateamps.com Redplate builds boutique amplifiers with point-to-point wiring and meticulous hands-on attention to detail. Their BluesMachine66 1×12 was created for the discerning guitarist with a predilection for British flavors. Its 12AX7 preamp tubes run at 50 watts using KT66 power tubes. The BluesMachine66 has knobs and switches galore,

    Derek St. Holmes

    Making Rock and Roll Cool Again

    Derek St. Holmes has been in the rock and roll business since the early 1970s and is best known for his work as guitarist, vocalist, and co-songwriter with the original Ted Nugent band. Ever the unsung hero, St. Holmes was delivering the word on favorites like “Stranglehold,” “Snakeskin Cowboys,” and “Hey Baby,” back when people

    Wangs #2204 HW

    Chinese Rocks

    Even as new technology spawns new sounds, ease of use, and portability, there remains among guitarists a predilection for technologies of old. New sounds are inevitably compared to the earthy musical landscape of the classic era. After all, amp manufacturers got it extremely right in the 1960s and 1970s and an entire industry has ballooned