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Author Archives: Gil Hembree

Seth Lover

Humbuckers And other Lover innovations
 

A noted creator, Seth Lover’s achievements include numerous amplifiers and circuits, but none have been so highly recognized as his humbucking pickup, which became the Patent Applied For (P.A.F.) humbucker. The following is excerpted from an interview with Seth Lover conducted by VG’s Stephen Patt in 1996. At the time, Lover was working with pickup […]

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Gibson Humbucker

50 Years of Crunchy, Clean Dirt
 

The 1955 Gibson Les Paul that served as the PAF test guitar, with its longtime companion Gibson GA-55 Ranger amp. Photo: Ward Meeker/Doug Yellow Bird. Guitar courtesy Gil Hembree. Gibson and Fender may be the longstanding heavyweight rivals of the electric guitar game, but they have one very important thing in common: they revolutionized the […]

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Gibson Kalamazoo Award

Designer's Dream Come True
 

In 1978, Gibson craftsman Wilbur Fuller produced the company’s first hand-carved, tuned-by-ear custom guitar. The instrument, which in a blind sound-off with some of the best instruments of its era, won the hearts of Gibson brass, ultimately became the Kalamazoo Award. Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars tells us that the Kalamazoo Award was a 17″ […]

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Kenny Olson

The Detroit Fender Bender
 

If you’re talkin’ Detroit rock, vintage guitars, muscle cars, then you’re talkin’ Kenny Olson. VG met Olson at the Detroit Guitar Show, and it didn’t take long before he was talking about old Strats and Teles. That seemed natural for a Fender-endorsed lead guitar player, but for Olson it was more. He loves the old […]

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Gibson Collector’s Vault

Heavyweight bodyguard for your rock stars!
 

Can you truly put a price tag on peace of mind? For guitar collectors, the answer often is “No,” because like many other increasingly valuable collectibles, vintage guitars cannot be replaced. So it is that we record, photograph, catalog, and insure our collections so that if they’re stolen, we’ll have as much info as we […]

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Gibson Electric Uke

By Request of Arthur Godfrey
 

Ted McCarty, Gibson’s president from 1948 to ’66, was responsible for some of Gibson’s greatest designs. While McCarty cites the Les Paul Model as his most important design, his other credits include the ES-335, the Flying V, the McCarty pickup, and McCarty bridge. But one design that never appears on McCarty’s list of accomplishments is […]

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Les Paul

Birth of a Guitar Icon
 

Fifty years ago, Gibson’s new Les Paul Model was quickly becoming one of the company’s most popular guitars, and (though there was no way of knowing it at the time) was on its way to achieving mythical status in the realm of the electric solidbody. With the recent observation of the model’s golden anniversary, Vintage […]

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