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Author Archives: Pete Prown

Musicvox MI-5 12-String

That Timeless Jangle
 
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The Musicvox MI-5 12-String Price: $899 Info: www.musicvox.com. Since its appearances in the Austin Powers movies, Musicvox guitars have received a cachet for cool ’60s hipness and wicked space-age designs. Their latest axe, the MI-5 12-string, continues that tradition with a double-cutaway body shape that sports an extra-long bottom horn. Let’s explore this groove machine. […]

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Michael Schenker

Acoustic Album, Electric Gear
 
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One of the most influential guitarists in hard rock history, Michael Schenker has imbued the music of UFO, Scorpions, and his own MSG with soaring, light-speed guitar solos. More recently, he released Gipsy Lady, an album by his Schenker-Barden Acoustic Project, one of several non-electric projects he’s working on, and he also maintains a brisk […]

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Budda’s Chakra and ZenMan Pedals

Zen and the Art of Tone Maintenance
 
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Budda’s Chakra and ZenMan Pedals Price: $149.99 Contact: www.budda.com Best known in guitar circles as an admired amp builder, Budda has released a pile of new stompboxes that cover all bases from modulation and delay to the crunchy stuff. Two of these offerings are the ZenMan overdrive/boost and the Chakra compressor, straightforward-looking boxes with some […]

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Providence Silky Drive and Stampede DT

Japanese Silk (and Stomp)
 
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Providence Silky Drive and Stampede DT Price: $394 (Silky Drive); $249 (Stampede DT) Info: www.providence-ltd.com. From the Land of the Rising Sun, Providence pedals have been building an audience among players in the Western Hemisphere thanks to a buzz regarding their versatility and stout construction. Indeed, two of Providence’s more popular overdrive/distortion units, the Silky […]

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Sixty Years of Tele-Kinetic Guitar Heroes

Flying Saucers! Tail Fins! Robots!
 
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Taking a cue from the burgeoning world of television, in 1951, Leo Fender married the name “Telecaster” to his new electric-solidbody guitar. Originally dubbed “Broadcaster” (which infringed on a Gretsch trademark), after being given a new name, the Telecaster became a new guitar for a new age of popular music. At the time, country, jazz, […]

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McElroy OM Model

OM, Gee!
 
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McElroy OM Model Price: $7,500 (base; $8,500 as reviewed) Info: www.mcelroyguitars.com. Brent McElroy is a Seattle luthier specializing in high-quality acoustics. One of them, the OM Model from his Generation 2 series, is inspired by old-school Martins. The concert-body guitar sports a bear-claw Adirondack spruce top (so named for its wide, raked grain), Madagascar rosewood […]

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Giffin Vikta

Feelin’ Special
 
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Giffin Vikta Price: $2,295 Contact: www.premierbuildersguild.com Roger Giffin is a guitarmaker to the stars, having built for Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, Mark Knopfler, Andy Summers, David Gilmour, and many others. He also ran the Gibson Custom Shop in California for many years before striking out on his own. Now producing his own […]

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Giffin Vikta

Feelin’ Special
 
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Giffin Vikta Price: $2,295 Contact: premierbuildersguild.com. Roger Giffin is a guitarmaker to the stars, having built for Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, Mark Knopfler, Andy Summers, David Gilmour, and many others. He also ran the Gibson Custom Shop in California for many years before striking out on his own. Now producing his own […]

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DiPinto Mach IV

Garage Days
 
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DiPinto Mach IV Price: $560 (street, with stop tailpiece); $654 (street, with tremolo) Contact: www.dipintoguitars.com There are times when a traditional Strat or Tele won’t scratch a particular itch, and you need a retro plank with a specific look and sound to get the job done. The DiPinto Mach IV might be a choice for […]

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Randy Rhoads

Diary of an Axeman, 30 years Later
 
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(RIGHT) Rhoads’ polka-dot guitar was built in 1979 by Karl Sandoval, with a mahogany body, modified ’60s Danelectro non-adjustable maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard and bow-tie inlays, two DiMarzio humbuckers (PAF in the neck position, Super Distortion in the bridge), separate Tone and Volume controls, a standard vibrato, and a selector switch on the […]

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