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Author Archives: Pete Prown

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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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 (more…)

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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 (more…)

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Yes

Heaven & Earth
 
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Yes fans have long been waiting for the legendary prog band to deliver a comeback album. Rest assured, this is not it. Even with platinum producer Roy Thomas Baker and a Jon Anderson knock-off on vocals, this soft-pop collection barely resembles Yes’ thundering progressive rock from 40 (more…)

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Steve Khan

Subtext
 
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After a career of close to 40 years, Steve Khan now delivers Subtext, a mesmerizing Latin-jazz offering. But don’t assume that this is just another retro-Bossa album. The compositions, chord work, and improvisations speak to the dark, complex sounds of jazz-rock, a perfect starting point (more…)

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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 (more…)

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M-Tone Slipstream

Delicious Curves
 
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M-Tone Slipstream Price: $2,600 Contact: www.m-tone.com When it comes to custom, hand-made guitars, many prefer an instrument that innately reveals the work of its craftsman – the type that, instead of merely being a replica of a famous body shape, can be held and admired for (more…)

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Misa Kitara

Axe of the Future?
 
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Misa Kitara Price: $789 Info: www.misadigital.com. The guitar synthesizer has been around for more than 30 years and made significant inroads to contemporary music, thanks to fusion heroes like Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Steve Morse, and Allan Holdsworth. The latest wrinkle (more…)

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Eventide H9

Maximum Effect
 
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Eventide H9 Price: $499 Info: www.eventide.com. Stompbox evolution is getting to the point where huge libraries of sound are coming out of single pedals. You might say, “Well, those are just regular ol’ multi-effects pedals – big deal!” That’s partially true, but the latest twist is (more…)

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