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Author Archives: Sean OBryan Smith

Tremcaster Single Ninety

Best of Both Worlds
 
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Tremcaster Signle Ninety Price: $1,250 Info: www.tremcaster.com. Today’s guitar market is one of extreme preferences. For some, the idea of countless options and exotic woods and craftsmanship is the name of the game. For others, the tendency is more toward “aged” instruments that recall days (more…)

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DoleSonic Half Back Stack

Tone Meets Crafts-manship
 
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Shaw Audio Bass 130 Price: $1,350 Contact: www.tremcaster.com, phone: (330) 608-2043 In a day where gear companies often focus on utilitarian products, it’s nice when high-end craftsmanship rears its head. Ken Doles and the crew at DoleSonic Amplifiers are a good example with their latest (more…)

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Gretsch G5191BK Tim Armstrong Electromatic

Cool Player, Punk Heart
 
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Few punk-rock guitarists have made their mark like Tim Armstrong. Through his work with renowned punkers Rancid, Armstrong has torn it up on stages worldwide, and key to his presence is the fact he prefers hollowbody guitars. He recently teamed with Gretsch to design and build a new signature model. The G5191BK is the latest […]

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Cimarron Guitars’ Model P

From the Parlor to the Stage
 
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Cimarron Guitars has being making custom instruments since 1978 in the dry, mild climate of southwest Colorado. The company’s Model P guitar gets its name from its parlor-guitar-sized body (“parlor” guitars were popular in the late 19th/early 20th century, when small social events often occurred in (more…)

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Frenzel FM-DP1 Tube Preamp

Old-School Bang Without Breaking the Bank
 
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For five decades after he built his first guitar amp in 1952, Jim Frenzel designed tube and solidstate equipment for the military, FAA, and Texas Instruments. But it wasn’t until 2001, after his retirement, (more…)

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The Reverend Thundergun Bass

Three In One
 
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Players who love a hotrod Lincoln, a good drive-in, or a rocking retro guitar are familiar with Reverend Guitars, a brand that builds instruments that all but ooze vintage style mixed with modern amenities. And Reverend models like the Rumblefish have long been meeting the needs of session and touring bassists. Reverend’s latest bass, the […]

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The MXR M234 Analog Chorus and M87 Bass Compressor

Opposite Ends
 
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MXR M87 Bass Comp and M234 Analog Chorus Price: $318 (M87 Bass Compressor), $170 (M234 Analog Chorus). Info: jimdunlop.com For decades, players in virtually every musical genre have been familiar with MXR pedals; the name connotes a solid (more…)

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The DoleSonic Vintage 108 Woody

Not Your Dad’s Boutique Amp
 
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The guitarist’s greatest quests is most often that of the tone that resides within their heads. That quest drove guitarist Ken Doles to design his own amplifier. The tone in his head was a mix of (more…)

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Richmond Empire

Rocking the Dynasty
 
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Canada’s Richmond Guitars offers instruments with a retro vibe and styling coupled with fine modern components. Their latest offering, the single-cut Richmond Empire, epitomizes the company’s efforts. The Empire may look like old-school, but of course, looks can be deceiving. Close inspection reveals its three-piece body (more…)

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Epiphone Emperor Swingster

Juke-Joint Jammer
 
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Though its high-point in terms of popular exposure may have occurred when McCartney, Lennon, and Harrison “discovered” the Casino, Epiphone has historically been most known for its archtop guitars. Today, that legacy is largely carried by the Emperor model and its variants. The new (more…)

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