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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

Gibson Tal Farlow

 
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The Tal Farlow is one guitar in a quartet of full-depth Gibson Artists models first cataloged in the early 1960s. Introduced in ’62, it was based on the ES-350 – the guitar Farlow used with Red Norvo and his own trio in the mid ’50s. A truly professional instrument, built in the tradition of ’50s Gibson […]

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The Vox Saturn IV

 
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In the mid 1960s, England’s Vox company was in the right place at the right time. Buoyed by frontline British Invasion endorsers such as the Beatles and American bands such as Paul Revere & the Raiders, the instrument/amplifier maker signed deals with almost every popular band. Even one-hit-wonders such as Music Machine (“Talk Talk”) brandished […]

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Gibson Johnny Smith

 
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In 1961, Gibson’s Johnny Smith model not only associated Gibson with one of the most popular guitar stylists of the day, it also brought high-quality amplification and high-quality acoustic sound together for the first time. From Gibson’s first electric “Spanish” guitar, the ES-150 of 1936, Gibson had fashioned an electric guitar by cutting a hole […]

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Supro S6651

Supro S6651 Big Star
 
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Don’t we guitarists just love gear that looks like it was salvaged from our mom’s kitchen circa 1961? Give us something in high-gloss pastel, with Formica styling, gas-cooker knobs, plenty of chrome, and an emblem lifted off a fridge door and we go weak in the knees every time. When it comes to kitchen kitsch, […]

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1964 Fender Bassman

 
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1964 Fender 6G6-B Bassman Preamp tubes: four 7025 (12AX7 types) Output tubes: two 5881 (a more-rugged 6L6 type), fixed-bias Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Bass Instrument channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; Normal channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; shared: Presence Output: 50 watts RMS Utter the word “Bassman” in guitar circles, and most players’ minds rush to the tweed-covered 4×10″ […]

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Peavey T-20

The Next Step
 
1983 Peavey T-20 and T-20FL Vintage guitar magazine

Introduced in 1982, Peavey’s T-20 was different from other basses in the Peavey lineup, the two-pickup T-40, and the single-pickup T-45. The T-40 (“Bass Space” October ’06) and its six-string sibling, the T-60, debuted as the first instruments to be made with parts carved using CNC machines, and their necks were bilaminated and pre-stressed. Their […]

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Gibson EB-2

Kalamazoo’s Biggest Bass Innovation?
 
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In the mid 1950s, Gibson president Ted McCarty was paying close attention to two new instruments impacting the musical-instruments market – the solidbody electric guitar and the electric bass. Both had been developed by an upstart company called Fender, and Gibson’s original solidbodies, the Les Paul guitar and Electric Bass (VG, February ’06) were introduced […]

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Big Beat Boys

Musings on Fab and Gear, 50 Years Ago
 
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Americans tend to link the beginnings of the Beatles phenomenon to a specific date – February 9, 1964, when the group first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The truth, as always, is that the band’s records had crashed the American charts weeks before, and the run-up to this seemingly overnight phenomenon had taken years. […]

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Fender’s 6G9 Tremolux

 
Fender’s 6G9 Tremolux

Preamp tubes: two 7025, two 12AX7 Output tubes: two 6BQ5/EL84 Rectifier: GZ34 Controls: Bright channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; Normal channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; tremolo Speed and Intensity for both channels Speakers: two 10″ Oxford 10K-5 ceramic speakers in a closed-back cabinet Output: approximately 35 watts RMS We tend to think the EL84 didn’t become a […]

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Kramer Aluminum-Neck Basses

 
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When it entered the music-instrument market in 1976, Kramer Guitars made a big splash with an aggressive marketing campaign, big-name endorsers, and – most importantly – an improved approach to the then-fresh concept of aluminum necks. In terms of stability, the aluminum neck was seen as an improvement over wood. And while Kramer Guitars followed […]

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