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Author Archives: Chip Wilson

AXL USA Hand-Aged Bulldog

Bark and Bite
 
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AXL USA Hand-Aged Bulldog Price: $699.99 (street) Contact: www.axlguitars.com Unabashedly inspired by the classic Les Paul Junior, AXL Guitars’ limited-edition USA Hand-Aged Bulldog is a single-pickup guitar with a slab mahogany body and set neck. Crucial assembly tasks are performed in AXL’s California workshop, where the Bulldog is fretted, set up, tricked out, and whipped […]

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Bergen Guitars ST and TL

Messing with Perfection
 
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Bergen Guitars ST and TL Price: $2,195 (ST, base)/$2,595 (as tested); $1,895 (TL, base)/$2,295 (as tested) Info: www.bergenguitars.com. If your goal, as a solitary craftsman, is to improve upon two designs that are acclaimed paragons of industrial perfection, what do you do? Paul Bergeson, owner and luthier of Bergen Guitars in Lake Zurich, Illinois, began […]

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New Orleans Guitar Company Model 8

Sonic Mojo
 
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New Orleans Guitar Company Model 8 Price: $2,999 Contact: neworleansguitar.com For over a decade, the New Orleans Guitar Company has been producing handcrafted electrics with an attention to design and detail possible only in a small shop. The vision of sculptor/luthier Vincent Guidroz was most eloquently conveyed in his Voodoo Custom and JB Custom guitars, […]

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Blues Guitars On A Budget

A New Breed of L-Style
 
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Picture the archetypal 1930s blues man, photographed with a studio backdrop, jaunty hat, knowing leer…. What else do you see? A guy with not too much money, that’s what! That’s why the guitar in his lap was usually something like a Gibson L model – small, shapely, and sunburst. The iconic Robert Johnson L-1 was […]

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Henriksen’s JazzAmp 112-ER

All That Jazz
 
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Henriksen’s JazzAmp 112-ER Price: $999 (retail) Info: www.henriksenamps.com. Traditionally, jazz guitarists have sought a mellow tone in which single notes exhibit a horn-like timbre. Unfortunately, this often means sacrificing chord clarity. Henriksen Amplifiers’ JazzAmp series is a bid to give jazz guitarists fluid solo lines and warm, clean chordal articulation. The JazzAmp series’ flagship is […]

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Babicz Octave Blue Flame

Flaming Glory
 
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When a vintage-minded guitarist recollects cracking open the case of a big ol’ hollowbody and catching a glimpse of flame, minds wander to dreams of Gibson ES-5 or Kay Jimmy Reed Thin-Twin axes. As one unboxes the Babicz Octane, many of the same emotions are stirred, given the classic look of the hollowbody beauty’s flame-maple […]

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D’Addario/ Planet Waves Accessories

Goodies Galore
 

The D’Addario family has been making musical-instrument strings since before brothers-in-law Rocco and Carmine moved to the U.S. from Italy in the early 1900s. A longtime music-industry fixture, D’Addario & Company long ago branched out from strings into other areas, like a recent crop of cleaning gear, tuners, and assorted goodies. Tuners The guitar-pick shaped […]

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H&D, Running Dog, and Gibson

Downsize, Upmarket L-Style Guitar
 

In the July issue we looked at affordable L-style flat-tops for the acoustic blues player. This month, we look at similarly inspired instruments, but at a premium price point. All three are American-made, one comes from a cadre of skilled workers, one was made by the hands of a solo luthier, and the third is […]

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H&D, Running Dog, and Gibson L-Style Guitars

Downsize, Upmarket
 

Huss & Dalton 00-SP Gibson Robert Johnson L-1 In the July issue we looked at affordable L-style flat-tops for the acoustic blues player. This month, we look at similarly inspired instruments, but at a premium price point. All three are American-made, one comes from a cadre of skilled workers, one was made by the hands […]

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LBenito Alerce-topped Grand Auditorium

Hot Stuff from Chile
 

How much more vintage can you get? If you’re talking about guitar tone woods, not much more vintage than the tops on guitars by LBenito. Built in Chile, using alerce trees that date back 3,000 to 4,000 years, the wood that makes up the top of LBenito’s guitars was 1,000 years old when Pythagoras (d. […]

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