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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

Fender’s First Reissues

The CBS era concludes in style
 
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By the late 1970s, cumulative changes in the details of the various classic guitar models on the market – Fender’s Stratocaster and Telecaster, and Gibson’s Les Paul – were so numerous that the instruments barely resembled their original versions. Serious electric guitar players and collectors clamored for reissues of the original instruments. But both manufacturers, […]

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Fender‘s 50th Anniversary Strat

Height of the Reissue
 

In celebration of the 50th “birthday” of its famous Stratocaster model, Fender has taken the reissue concept to new heights. • And why not? Arguably the most popular guitar – electric, acoustic, you name it – ever built, the Stratocaster is the epitome of a (more…)

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Echoplex EP-2

 
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Sam Phillips didn’t invent tape echo with his mid-’50s recordings of Elvis, but he just as well may have. So influential, so inspirational were those songs – with their warm, glorious slap-back echo created in Sun’s control room by two jerryrigged tape recorders – that budding rock-and-rollers everywhere had to have it. With the arrival […]

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Realistic Entertainer-34

 
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As prolific as the Radio Shack chain was in the ’60s, it’s surprising we don’t see more vintage Realistic guitar amps today. Maybe they were never valued enough to be handed down, much less hunted down. If anything, you’re likely to have stumbled on the Carnival 34, a straightforward 1×12″ combo, but even those are […]

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The Guild Starfire Bass

 
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In the mid ’60s, Guild took its knocks for making guitars that looked “inspired by” Gibson models. Fans of the brand think the sterotype is unfair, of course, and certainly, many Guilds from the era have their own intrigue. One very good example is the Starfire Bass. Guild was founded by musical-instrument importer/distributor Al Dronge […]

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Dan Fogelberg’s Gretsch White Penguin

 

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Dan Fogelberg’s success as a singer and songwriter far overshadows his reputation as a musician, but the man whose tenor voice and sentimental songs ruled the Adult Contemporary charts in the early 1980s was actually quite an accomplished guitarist. Evidence is on The Innocent Age and Windows and Walls – the albums that yielded his […]

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Gibson Style R Harp Guitar

 
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Harp guitars with a standard six-string guitar neck and varying numbers of sub-bass harp-style strings have been made by a variety of American builders. Some of the best-known include Gibson, Joseph Bohmann (of Chicago), Knutson (Seattle), and the Larson brothers (Chicago), who made them primarily under the brand of Dyer (a distributor based in St. […]

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Fender “Korinacaster”

Double-Cut Kuriosity
 
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There’s a bit of irony in the fact that Leo Fender, creator of the first solidbody electric guitar to be mass-produced, wasn’t known as the adventurous sort. Rather, history tells us he was a pragmatic, downright conservative guy for whom form very much followed function – a fact borne out in the bread-and-butter realities exhibited […]

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Gretsch’s #1 Country Gent

 
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The Gretsch Country Gentleman 6122 was the third of four Chet Atkins signature guitar models created for the legendary guitarist in the ’50s. The little-known truth is it was also a response to all the things Atkins did not like about the first model Gretsch conjured for him – the 6120 Hollowbody. The reality is […]

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Premier Twin 12

 
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Sometimes it takes just the slightest aesthetic twist to get an amp nut all worked up. This 1960 Premier Twin 12 is a case in point; over the years, Premier also made these amps with a straight-edged front fascia, but somehow we’re much more excited to dive into this one, with the “widow’s peak” front […]

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