Category Archives: Classic Instruments

The Martin 000-18HS

Martin 000-18HS

According to Martin company records and research by late Martin Historian Mike Longworth, Cable Piano Company, in Atlanta, special-ordered at least three Martin 000-18HS guitars in 1937. Two others have previously emerged – serial numbers 67197 and 67198 – and this one recently found its way to Nashville for a Martin event featuring company historian […]

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Danelectro’s Four-String Basses


The guitars and basses made by Danelectro in the ’60s epitomized “no frills.” And though they were considered the nadir of American-made electric instruments of their time, many a babyboomer cut their musical teeth on one. The construction of most “classic” Danelectro-made guitars and basses – whether they were branded as Danelectro or the more-popular […]

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Heil Talk Box


When Peter Frampton began using the Heil Talk Box in 1974, he remembers it being viewed with skepticism as an “alien effect.” Similar contraptions had been around since 1939, but few people recognized them or their otherworldly capabilities. Frampton had yet to record with it, so when he used it onstage, it caused a furor. […]

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The Komet Constellation

Komet Constellation

Komet Constellation Preamp tubes: one 6SN7, two 12AX7 Output tubes: four EL84 Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume I, Volume II, Hi-Cut, three-way Vol I Bright Switch Output: 30 watts RMS Amid the general run of vintage amps we have explored in this space, the occasional “modern classic” has proved itself worthy through sheer quality of design, […]

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Star Board: Joe Moss

Star Board: Joe Moss

Joe Moss is the archetypical blues “road dog,” regularly rolling out of his home base of Chicago to wail for crowds in venues ranging from clubs to festivals around the world.

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Holy Cripes

Holy Cripes! The Story of Jerry Garcia’s Last Guitars

Steve Cripe left a unique legacy in the annals of music history. He was not a guitar player, not a songwriter. In fact, you may not even know his name. But the guitar builder became part of the fabric that makes up the story of the Grateful Dead when he built guitars for the legendary […]

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Star Board: Tom Guerra


Guitarist/singer/songwriter (and VG contributor) Tom Guerra recently released his first solo album, All of the Above, which reviewer Pete Prown says is “hook-laden rock and roll originals that pay homage to everyone from the Beatles to the Byrds, and from Led Zeppelin to Mott (more…)

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The Beatles’ Casinos


  Of all the guitars the Beatles made famous, the only one that John, Paul and George had in common was the Epiphone Casino. Each owned a Casino and used it for countless recordings and performances. Paul McCartney was the first Beatle to acquire a Casino. (more…)

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Beyond the Parlor

Part Three: Women
Beyond the Parlor Part Three: Women

Ed. Note: In the final installment in his series on the guitar in 19-century America, Tim Brookes offers a study of several women who played the guitar, and what the instrument meant to them. The first two parts are at Part One: The Guitar in Non-Anglo America and Part Two: Man and Machine. “The guitar before (more…)

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Gibson Super Jumbo 100


The Super Jumbo 200 is Gibson’s most celebrated flat-top model, and deservedly so, thanks to its use by cowboy movie stars in the pre-World War II years and by country music stars in the post-war years. The Super Jumbo 100, on the other hand, is one of Gibson’s more obscure models – a status it […]

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