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Classic Instruments

Classic Instruments

The Fender Stratocaster

In 1953, Leo Fender started planning a new standard guitar – the Stratocaster. His partner, Don Randall, who headed Fender Sales, Inc., came up...

Booker White’s 1933 National Duolian

“Hard Rock.” That’s the name used by Mississippi blues man Booker White to christen his 1933 National Duolian. And Hard Rock was a hard-traveled...

First ’Burst

In May of 1958, a worker at the Gibson factory pulled two Les Paul guitars – serial numbers 8 3087 and 8 3096 –...

Matchless Superchief 120

A maker at the forefront of the “boutique amp” movement, Matchless is known for its Class-A designs – that is, cathode-biased amps with no...

Border Crossing

It has often been said that today’s Martin guitars are direct descendants of the instruments made in Vienna by Johan Georg Stauffer, whose apprentices...

Revisiting The Jazzmaster

While volumes have been written about its more-famous sibling, the Stratocaster, surprisingly little attention is paid to the Jazzmaster – Fender’s top-of-the-line guitar when...

Recording Acoustic Guitars

Recording an acoustic guitar is very different from recording an electric, employing different microphones, placement, and technique. Here are a few essential steps.

Built to Survive

In our nation’s darkest economic times, one of its most-revered guitar manufacturers was treading headlong toward extinction before an unlikely hero started placing big orders.

Fender 6G13-A Vibrasonic

Amid the classics in Fender’s “golden-era” amp line, some remained in production only a short time because of timing, misjudgment of the market, or both. Such is the case with this brownface model.

Vega De Luxe Electric Plectrum Banjo

Billed as “the latest orchestral sensation... unparalleled for versatility,” Vega’s electric banjos – developed to compete with one being made by Gibson – were...
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