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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

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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Horray For Hollywood

The Guitars and Amps of Jersey Boys
 
Horray For Hollywood

Movies made in the 1950s and ’60s that included rock-and-roll music acts typically showed them performing in segments using their own equipment (Little Richard and others in 1956’s The Girl Can’t Help It), or cast them in fictional stories in which they were usually given some inauthentic guitar (for example, Elvis in 1957’s Jailhouse Rock). […]

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The Dallas Rangemaster

 
Dallas Rangemaster

Eric Clapton christened it “woman tone.” On the famed 1966 “Beano” album, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, the guitarist ran his Les Paul Standard into a Marshall Model 1962 JTM45 2×12 combo. Legend has it he added a Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster to his signal path on several tracks. With the amp controls […]

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The Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+

 
Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+

Preamp tubes: four 7025 (12AX7 types) Preamp tubes: five 12AX7. Output tubes: two 6L6, two EL34. Rectifier: solid state Controls: Volume 1, Treble, Bass, Middle, Master 1, Lead Drive, Lead Master, five-band graphic EQ; Presence and Reverb on back panel. Speaker: EVM 12L Output: approximately 80 watts RMS SimulClass, switchable down to 15 watts Class […]

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Perfect Curves

Fender’s Stratocaster Turns 60
 
Perfect Curves Fender’s Stratocaster Turns 60

Sixty years down the road since its creation, the Fender Stratocaster is the default image of the electric guitar for nearly all the human race. From early adopters like Buddy Holly to pioneering masterminds like Jim Hendrix and living legends like Eric Clapton, it has been a stalwart, always at hand for superstars, bedroom pickers, […]

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Gibson SG Les Paul

Classic shape that filled big shoes... for awhile
 
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In 1961, Gibson replaced its Les Paul series with a new line of lightweight, ultrathin, all mahogany, double-cutaway solidbodies the SG (for solid guitar). Developed under the aegis of Ted McCarty and introduced as the “new Les Paul,” the SG heralded new directions (more…)

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Parsons/White StringBender

 
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On September 20, 1983, Jimmy Page re-emerged into the public eye after the death of John Bonham and the breakup of Led Zeppelin with a thundering ovation at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Instead of a sunburst Les Paul, the model synonymous with his onstage persona with Zep, Page chose as his primary (more…)

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Carvin DN640K

 
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Doubleneck instruments have always been a unique niche in the guitar market, for good reason. They’ve also carried an air of superiority or the insinuation that they were intended for pro players; i.e., those who could deftly switch from one instrument to another (more…)

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Gibson Kalamazoo Award

Designer's Dream Come True
 

In 1978, Gibson craftsman Wilbur Fuller produced the company’s first hand-carved, tuned-by-ear custom guitar. The instrument, which in a blind sound-off with some of the best instruments of its era, won the hearts of Gibson brass, ultimately became the Kalamazoo Award. Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars tells us that the Kalamazoo Award was a (more…)

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