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Author Archives: Pete Prown

Ibanez Artcore AF105NT

Class Axe
 
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Ibanez has always had two distinct personalities – first as a purveyor of shreddy solidbodies for the hard rock/metal crowd, but also as a maker of fine archtops, thanks to famous users like George Benson, Pat Metheny, and John Scofield. In the ’90s, the company started to brand many of its low-/mid-priced hollowbodies as the […]

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Pierre Bensusan

Encore
 
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In a career spanning four decades, acoustic virtuoso Pierre Bensusan has created some of the most enchanting guitar music ever heard, much of it in his beloved DADGAD tuning. Oddly enough, even with near-continuous touring, he’s still a cult commodity. Encore, his three-CD set of live recordings from the mid ’70s to today, may cure […]

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Vintage Visionary

The First Golden Age of Ibanez 1973-1982
 
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Thirty-Five years ago, Ibanez was a scrappy upstart guitar company that dared to challenge the big boys at Gibson and Fender. Today, is a dominant force in the guitar universe. • Ibanez was – and still is – a brand of Hoshino, a Japanese company with a U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia. In the mid ’70s, […]

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Airline ’59 Custom 1P and Epiphone ’61 Casino 50th Anniversary

Having a Rave-Up!
 
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Epiphone ’61 Casino 50th Anniversary Price: $1,415 (with tremtone); $1,332 (with stop/trapeze tailpiece) Contact: www.epiphone.com Airline ’59 Custom 1P Price: $899 (with case) Contact: www.epiphone.com Fifteen years ago, you couldn’t give away some of the less-popular guitars from the ’60s, whether they were models with P-90s or cheapo imports from Japan and Germany. Today, however, […]

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Godin

Godin’s 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II and Richmond Dorchester - Funky to Fab
 
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We’re living in a golden age of retro guitars – a period when you can barely turn around without tripping over some cool, vintage-styled plank. Granted, the retro fad has become a bit cliché. But who cares? An avalanche of rose-tinted guitars sure beats the pointy, heavy-metal binge of the ’80s or the bottomless pit […]

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Ibanez RGA8

In the Deep End
 
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Ibanez RGA-8 Price: $1,102.21 (approx. $800 street). Info: ibanez.com In the annals of cool, weird, and unusual guitars, they’re nothing like an eight-string axe. It’s a strange beastie, sporting a mammoth neck that begs for new fretting approaches. The trend that’s driving eight-string guitars onto the market are metal and shred players who are searching […]

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Line 6 M5 Stompbox modeler

100 Sounds, One Box
 
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Line 6 M5 Stompbox modeler Price: $279.99 (retail) Info: line6.com Have you ever thought, “Maaaan, I wish I had that [fill in the blank with the name of that rare vintage stompbox], but I can’t afford it. Dang!” It’s a common malady. Enter the Line 6 M5. Simple in concept – sort of a “secret […]

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Knaggs Guitars’ Steve Stevens Signature Model

Rebel Yell
 
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Knaggs Guitars’ Steve Stevens Signature Model Price: $6,000 Contact: www.knaggsguitars.com Everyone wants to build a better mousetrap, and those who build solidbody guitars are no different. Frequently, they strive to make superior versions of classic archetypes like the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, etc. The Knaggs Steve Stevens Signature Model is derived from […]

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Echopark Ghetto Bird

Sweet Emotion
 
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Echopark Ghetto Bird Price: $6,800 (as reviewed) Contact: www.echoparkguitars.com You know you’re holding something special when the guy who previously borrowed your review guitar was none other than Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, who apparently used this very Echopark Ghetto Bird – officially called Ancient Sinker Redwood Case Study #002 – for some recent recording work. […]

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Egnater Tweaker 40

Small, But Mighty
 
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Egnater Tweaker 40 Price: $1,149 (approx. $800 street). Info: egnater.com Egnater has just amplified its Tweaker line with a new 40-watt, two channel, 1×12 combo. This amp has a Celestion Elite GH-50 speaker in a half-closed, birch-plywood cabinet and weighs a portly 53 pounds – though as many tube enthusiasts know, more weight often adds […]

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