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Author Archives: George Gruhn

Martin OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

 
Martin OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

While the most commonly played and collected Martin guitars have a six-string neck, the company has also made a number of historically noteworthy four-strings. Beginning in the 1920s and carrying into the ’60s, it produced several tenor guitars. In the ’30s, it offered plectrum guitars in an era when tenor banjos and guitars were far […]

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Epiphone’s Professional Guitar and Amp

 
Epiphone’s Professional Guitar and Amp

Since the instrument was introduced, those who play the electric guitar have modified it to create new sounds and interesting effects. In the late 1940s and 1950s, amplifiers followed suit by including tremolo and reverb with controls mounted on the amp (later, on a footswitch). Stompbox pedals followed in the ’60s, giving easy, portable access […]

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Gibson’s Earliest Dreadnought?

 
Gibson’s Earliest Dreadnought

Gibson was a late entry into the flat-top guitar market, offering its first model in 1926, but Gibson was a pioneer in developing a dreadnought-sized flat-top, as illustrated by this unusual round-shouldered guitar with a 1929 serial number. It was made during a period when Gibson’s flat-tops were evolving at a frantic pace as Gibson […]

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Gibson’s Style O Artist Guitar and K-4 Mandocello

Two For the Scroll
 
Gibson’s Style O Artist Guitar and K-4 Mandocello

The mandolin originated in the Middle East as a bowl-back instrument. Crusaders brought it back to Europe and early Italian builders evolved the design, giving it four paired strings tuned like a violin but with a back similar to a lute (also of Arabic origin). In the mid 1890s, Orville Gibson revolutionized mandolin design, structurally […]

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Vintage Instruments and the Ban on Ivory Trade

 
Vintage Instruments and the Ban on Ivory Trade

A presidential executive order issued February 11 proposes a wide ban on trade in ivory has widespread implications for trade in vintage musical instruments as well as antique art, furniture, firearms, swords, knives, and jewelry. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been tasked with writing and enforcing new regulations for import, export, and domestic trade […]

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An Odd Gibson EH-150

10 Strings, Lap-Style
 
Gibson EH-150

Lap-steel guitars were the first commercially available electrics – ancestors of the guitars we plug in today, regardless of their shape. The popularity of Hawaiian music in the 1930s had a great deal to do with a surge in popularity of lap steels – and quickly after, the introduction of Spanish-style steel-string and electric guitars. […]

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Rosewood Dobro

 
Rosewood Dobro

In the 1930s, the original Dobro company went through a series of ownership changes and licensing agreements. It did not regularly publish catalogs, and its model numbers were typically also the price of a model, which may have varied from one distributor to the next. Specifications (more…)

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Gibson Super Jumbo 100

 
GIBSON-SJ-100-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

The Super Jumbo 200 is Gibson’s most celebrated flat-top model, and deservedly so, thanks to its use by cowboy movie stars in the pre-World War II years and by country music stars in the post-war years. The Super Jumbo 100, on the other hand, is one of Gibson’s more obscure models – a status it […]

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’62 Les Paul Rarity

 
'62 Les Paul Rarity

In its early years, the Gibson Les Paul Custom evolved through several body-style and spec changes and was the earliest Gibson solidbody to have a Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece; the Les Paul model (a.k.a. “goldtop”) did not have them until late ’55. First appearing in Gibson catalogs in 1954, the company actually made a […]

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The Martin 0-42

 
Martin 0-42

Through the years, Martin’s dreadnought, OM, and 000 guitars may have gained the most notoriety. But for the sweetest and best-quality sound, Martin itself recommends the size 0, exemplified by this 0-42. There’s obviously a catch to that statement, since only two of Martin’s current offering of over 200 models are size-0 guitars. The recommendation […]

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