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Author Archives: George Gruhn

1965 Epiphone Emperor

 

The Epiphone Emperor has a long, convoluted history. It first appeared in Epiphone’s catalog in late 1935 as a response to Gibson’s Super 400, which was introduced in late 1934. Epiphone went one better on Gibson’s 18″-wide Super 400 by making the Emperor 181?2″ wide. This was the top model in the Epiphone line. By […]

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Stromberg Master 400

Power Projector
 

The Stromberg Master 400, measuring a gigantic 19″, is considered by many to be the ultimate orchestral rhythm guitar. The instrument of choice for Freddy Green with the Count Basie Orchestra and other players who needed the ultimate in power and projection to cut through a brass band or full orchestra without the benefit of […]

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Stromberg Master 400

 

The Stromberg Master 400, measuring a gigantic 19″, is considered by many to be the ultimate orchestral rhythm guitar. The instrument of choice for Freddy Green with the Count Basie Orchestra and other players who needed the ultimate in power and projection to cut through a brass band or full orchestra without the benefit of […]

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1952 Bigsby Doubleneck

 

Few instruments combine excellent craftsmanship, historical significance in the development and evolution of the guitar, and memorabilia appeal as much as this Bigsby guitar, custom made in 1952 for the late, great Nashville session player Grady Martin. Paul Bigsby was not the first man to make a solidbody guitar. Rickenbacker introduced a Spanish-neck version of […]

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Rickenbacker A22

Frying Pan
 

The Rickenbacker model A22 lap steel was the first commercially available electric guitar. Although it bears the brand name “Rickenbacker,” it was actually the brainchild of George Beauchamp. In the 1920s, Beauchamp was a talented vaudeville performer, as well as a tinkerer and inventor. He started experimentation with amplifying instruments as early as 1925 and […]

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D’Angelico Excel Plectrum Guitar

Superb Build, Sound Worthy of a Listen
 

John D’Angelico is widely regarded as one of the finest archtop guitar builders who ever lived. From 1932, when he started making guitars on his own, until his death in 1964, he made approximately 1,100 guitars and several hundred mandolins. All D’Angelico instruments were strictly hand-made, and a very high percentage were custom orders. But […]

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Martin F-9 Archtop

 

While the Martin Guitar Company is today best known for its flat-top steel-string guitars, from 1931 through 1942 the company produced a significant number of archtop guitars designed to appeal to players of the orchestral style of music popular at the time. Some of the ornamental features now associated with Martin flat-tops were in fact […]

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D’Angelico New Yorker

Top of the line from a Master Builder
 

The D’Angelico New Yorker has rightfully earned its place in the Vintage Guitar Hall of Fame as one of the finest guitars in the history of the instrument. While models such as the Gibson ES-150 Charlie Christian, Fender Broadcaster, and Gibson ES-335 have achieved recognition and are worthy of Hall of Fame status based on […]

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Martin D-28 and D-45

Definitive Flat-tops
 

Prior to WWII, only three dreadnought guitars were featured in the Martin catalog – the D-18, D-28, and D-45. The two models with rosewood back and sides, the 28 and 45, have both been inducted into the Vintage Guitar magazine Hall of Fame. Dreadnought-sized guitars were first made by Martin for the Oliver Ditson Company, […]

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Martin D-28 and D-45

Definitive Flat-tops
 

Prior to WWII, only three dreadnought guitars were featured in the Martin catalog – the D-18, D-28, and D-45. The two models with rosewood back and sides, the 28 and 45, have both been inducted into the Vintage Guitar magazine Hall of Fame. Dreadnought-sized guitars were first made by Martin for the Oliver Ditson Company, […]

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