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Author Archives: Phil Feser

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 guitarfetish.com 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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Visual Sound’s Route 808, Visual Volume, and Comp 66

Sound and Vision
 

Visual Sound founder and president Bob Weil and chief engineer R.G. Keen have given their flagship combo pedals a face lift and introduced a new line of single pedals. These new V2 series effects are built on heavy duty die-cast aluminum chassis, replacing the steel housings on the old line, their in/out/power jacks are still […]

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Kustom’s ’36 Coupe

Ready to Rev
 

Kustom ’36 Coupe In the mid 1960s, Kustom amps were popular for their cool tuck-and-roll vinyl covering, and their solid tones. Today, most of the company’s new amplifiers are solidstate and devoid of tuck and roll covering. The exception is its line of tube combos, the ’36 Coupe and the ’72 Coupe, with all-tube circuits […]

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Gomez Amplificiation “G” Reverb

Wet, Hot, or Blue
 

Gomez Amplificiation “G” Reverb As amp builders go, Dario G. Gomez is about as fresh as they come. Though he has been repairing tube amps for many years, he started offering his own amp designs only about a year ago. His is a modest one-man shop, and though he has yet to build amp #100, […]

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