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Author Archives: Phil Feser

Arteffect Bonnie Wah

Cry No More!

Israel-based Arteffect’s new Bonnie wah pedal is an accurate re-creation of the highly soughtafter vintage Vox Clyde McCoy wah. The “Clyde wah,” you’ll recall, was designed to help guitar players sound something like a trumpet player manipulating a mute on their horn. Clyde McCoy, the man, was a player known for employing the technique, and […]

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Amalfitano Pickups

Houston Hot, Texas Cool

Texas-based Amalfitano Pickups specializes in hand-wound pickups as well as pickup rewinding and restoration. Owner Jerry Amalfitano uses high-grade Alnico magnets, 42-gauge vintage enameled magnetic wire, vintage-style cloth-covered leads, and he lightly pots his pickups to control microphonics. His line of pickups has a decided vintage bent and includes three single-coil replacement sets for your […]

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RS Guitarworks Rock Master

Lotta Green, Buncha Mean RS

RS Guitarworks Rock Master In 1994, RS Guitarworks was just another guitar repair joint that every so often did some refinishing work. But it has since grown to become a full-on custom builder that also offers parts-upgrade kits, as well as finish and hardware aging. The “R” and the “S” in RS Guitarworks are Roy […]

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SuperVee, Stetsbar T-Style, and StepMax Tremolo

Three New Approaches to Replacement Vibrato Systems

Three new aftermarket vibrato systems for common double- and single-cutaway solidbody guitars offer the convenience of “drop in” installation. Each system boasts unique features and improved performance. SuperVee Tremolo System Brainchild of designers Jeff Athrop and Marc Caldwell, the SuperVee is a direct-replacement (a.k.a. “drop in”) unit requiring no modifications, no drilling, and no routing. […]

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VVT Rick Derringer Hyperdrive

Quad-6V6 Hoochie-Koo

To a certain degree, the Vintage Vacuum Tube Amplifiers Rick Derringer Hyperdrive model was born of intimidation. When VVT proprietors Tony Albany and Jim Hill began discussing a signature amp head with a guitarist Rick Derringer, whose style can shift from hard rock to blues to jazz, they figured they’d have their hands full. Derringer […]

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Zemaitis GZA500-H&D

Tony's Vibe, Unplugged

The Zemaitis GZA500-H&D acoustic guitar is manufactured by Greco and boasts many features and the attention to detail players have come to expect from instruments carrying the Zemaitis name. Along with the Japanese-made GZA series Zemaitis also offers a custom shop series made in Ireland and features jumbos and small-body acoustics made out of some […]

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Fender ’57 Twin Amp and ’57 Deluxe

Tweed for Two

Fender “tweed” guitar amplifiers – the Twin, Deluxe, Bassman, Champ, etc., from the 1950s – are the most sought after amps in the annals of guitardom. Whether it is Leo’s legendary circuit design, their tweed covering, top-mounted controls, or just killer tone, the “tweed” amp is a true industry standard that has been copied, reissued, […]

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Xaviere XV 700

Lofty Promises, Fulfilled

The Massachusetts-based is an instrument/parts importer that carries a complete line of goods, from pickups and vibratos to knobs and pots. Its guitar line, dubbed “Xaviere,” consists of 11 single-cutaway solidbody guitars (the XV 500/700 line) and three thinline semi-hollowbodies. The solidbodies range in price from $300 to about $1,150, with the primary difference […]

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VVT Lindy Fralin Model amplifier

Toneful Tag-Team

Maryland-based amplifier builder Vintage Vacuum Tube Amplifiers (you may know it as VVT) recently fielded a request from renowned pickup winder Lindy Fralin. He wasn’t looking for advice on wire or how hot to wind a pickup for best interaction with a particular VVT; rather, Fralin wanted an amp built to his specs and taste. […]

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Eastwood Joey Leone Signature RBC

Tonal Crossover

Eastwood Joey Leone signature RBC If you’ve paid attention to these pages in recent years, you’re familiar with Mike Robinson’s Eastwood retro-styled electric guitars, which, along with the company’s proprietary instruments, have become ever-more popular with professional players (and collectors), not only because they’re cool and funky, but well-made and reasonably priced. The Canadian shop’s […]

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