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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

An Odd Gibson EH-150

10 Strings, Lap-Style
 
Gibson EH-150

Lap-steel guitars were the first commercially available electrics – ancestors of the guitars we plug in today, regardless of their shape. The popularity of Hawaiian music in the 1930s had a great deal to do with a surge in popularity of lap steels – and quickly after, the introduction of Spanish-style steel-string and electric guitars. […]

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Alvino Rey’s “Mini” Gibsons

 
Alvino Rey’s 1936 Gibson mini guitar Vintage Guitar magazine Home Main Big

Alvino Rey’s 1936 Gibson mini guitar. From (more…)

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National N-275

 
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Gibson is widely known for its guitars, mandolins, and banjos, but many are unaware the company built instruments for nearly 30 brands for several distributors and music store chains, primarily from the 1920s through the early ’40s. Some of the best-known names include Kalamazoo, distributed by Gibson, and Recording King, which was distributed by Montgomery […]

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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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Robin’s ’80s Import Basses

 
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While the Robin guitar brand’s reverse “imported then domestic” chronology has been documented in this space, the basses shown here are the first import models marketed by the company (and one of them is from the very first shipment). Robin guitars were marketed beginning in 1982, and basses (all manufactured by ESP in Japan) followed […]

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Hofner 185

 
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Have you heard the line, “If Hendrix had a Magnatone, Strats would be worth $200 now?” A highly debatable proposition, for sure! But if Paul McCartney had not used a Höfner bass through much of the Beatles’ career, few collectors would remember the Höfner line today. Unlike (more…)

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Gibson Grenada Five-string

 
Gibson Grenada Five-string

The Gibson Granada five-string banjo is primarily known for being played by Earl Scruggs, who had an enormous impact on the sound and style of bluegrass music after joining Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in late 1945. The Granada was first issued in 1925 with a ball-bearing style tone ring and two-piece flange. Though it […]

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Star Board: Jared Scharff

 
Star Board: Jared Scharff

“Saturday Night Live” staff guitarist Jared Scharff uses this custom pedalboard, built by Matt Brewster, 30th Street Guitars, New York City. “I’ve been using it for two or three years,” said Scharff. “For the first five or six years I was on the show, (more…)

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Lyon and Healy

 
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So what is it? Its original black-finished spruce top is simply ladder-braced from within, but its back and sides feature Brazilian rosewood with dramatic bookmatched figure. Its unbound 18-fret fingerboard –also of rosewood – sports only a few small, round dots for position makers, yet intricate multicolored wood purfling graces much of the rest of […]

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Fender Harvard

 
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Given the current craze for semi-small “home” and “recording” amps, Fender’s 5F10 Harvard of 1955-’60 could be the ideal tweed amp, yet, in its day, it fell between two stools and never sold in large numbers. Or, make that three stools. With the Champ and Princeton in its rear-view mirror and the Deluxe and Tremolux […]

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