Author Archives: Chip Wilson

D’Angelico’s EX-DC and EX-SD

D’Elegance and Power

D’Angelico’s EX-DC and EX-SD Price: $1,769 list/$1,259 street (EX-DC); $1,659 list/$1,185 street (EX-SD) Info: www.dangelicoguitars.com John D’Angelico produced just 1,164 guitars during his career on Kenmare Street in New York City, but each was a remarkable instrument created at the height of the jazz era. (more…)

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Saga Gitane DG-250M

One Loud Blond
Saga Gitane DG-250M

Saga Gitane DG-250M Price: $949 Info: www.sagamusic.com Features: Open-gear 14:1-ratio tuners, solid spruce top with “petite bouche” oval soundhole, birdseye maple back and sides, ebony fingerboard, maple neck, zero fret, bone nut, mustache bridge, Selmer-style tailpiece, wood binding. Saga Instruments has established itself as a (more…)

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Skatterbrane Pickups Jazzbranes

Who Woulda Thunk?
Skatterbrane Pickups Jazzbranes

Skatterbrane Pickups Jazzbranes Price: $295 (list) per set Info: www.skatterbranepickups.com. In the mid 1950s, Rickenbacker and Gibson began offering dual-coil, hum-canceling pickups. Jazz was still king, but rock and roll was in its ascendancy, and the smooth sound of a humbucker fit right in. (more…)

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Lazy J Cruiser Deuce

Revved Up
Lazy J Cruiser Deuce

Lazy J Cruiser Deuce Price: $420 Info: www.lazyjprojects.com. The Lazy J Cruiser Deuce is more complex than your classic stomp-and-go pedal, though its functionality is intuitive. The Cruiser Deuce’s brown finish and cream knobs (Gain, Volume, Drive, and Sat, i.e., saturation) give it (more…)

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JangleBox J-Gate Noise Suppression Gate

Silence, Please!

JangleBox J-Gate Noise Suppression Gate Price: $225 Info: www.janglebox.com Dynasonic, lipstick, and P-90 are all great names for pickups with iconic single-coil tones – typically accompanied by the 60-cycle hum we’ve come to accept as part of their sound. Now plug (more…)

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Blues Guitars On A Budget

A New Breed of L-Style

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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MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22

Crossing the Rubicon
MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22

MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22 Price: $999 Info: www.mtdkingston.com Intuitive, player-oriented design, prime materials, and first-class execution distinguished Michael Tobias’s work even before he began concentrating on innovative electric basses in the late 1970s. And let’s not forget Michael Tobias Designs (MTD) helped (more…)

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Phantom Reissue 1964 PH12

Ghost of Vintage Past

Phantom Reissue 1964 PH12 Price: $1,168 (retail) Info: www.phantomguitars.com. From the Hollies to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, from Robert Junior Lockwood to the Stones, the electric 12-string has a prominent place in modern music. And arguably, the most iconic of all electric 12-strings were those Vox guitars (more…)

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D’Angelico’s EXL-1 and EX-SS

Deco Redux

3rd Power Solo Dream/Switchback amps Price: $1,859 list/$1,149 street (EXL-1); $1,999 list/$1,409 street (EX-SS) Info: www.dangelicoguitars.com. Images of John D’Angelico crafting masterpieces in his Little Italy shop haunt guitar enthusiasts to this day, implying an era of lost glory. Happily, D’Angelico guitars, long inaccessible to (more…)

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AXL USA Hand-Aged Bulldog

Bark and Bite

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 (more…)

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