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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

The G&L El Toro

 
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At the beginning of 1983, Leo Fender was just more than three years into his last guitar-manufacturing venture when he decided to diversify the company’s bass lineup. Until that point, G&L had marketed the one-pickup L-1000, the two-pickup L-2000, and the no-frills SB-1 and SB-2 models – all with fairly traditional, straightforward designs. The brand’s […]

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Ampeg VT-22

 
Ampeg VT-22

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 Insiders from the golden era of the New Jersey amp manufacturer have frequently (more…)

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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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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‘s 50th Anniversary Strat

Height of the Reissue
 
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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 pop music legend, and (more…)

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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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The Rickenbacker 4000

 
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The model 4000 was not only Rickenbacker’s first foray into the electric-bass market, it was decidedly different from Fender’s Precision – the original electric bass. Beyond frets, four strings, and their role in a musical combo, they have little in common. In the 1950s, F.C. Hall forged Rickenbacker into a modern guitar manufacturer. Striving to […]

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Guild in the Post-Fender Era

Round and Round She Goes
 
Guild in the Post-Fender Era

Since its beginnings in 1952, Guild has gone through many changes in ownership, location, marketing approach, and design philosophy. In the course of a change in ownership and three moves, the Guild line has seen major changes in materials, structural specifications, equipment, personnel, and techniques. It has been a strange odyssey, indeed. When Fender bought […]

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Martin 0-28K

 
Martin 0-28K

The exotic figuration of Hawaiian koa wood on this Martin 0-28K from 1923 has a visual appeal that matched the exotic sound of Hawaiian music in the 1920s, and koa guitars accounted for a significant part of Martin’s sales through that period. Koa guitars played a larger role in Martin history, introducing steel strings to […]

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Watkins Rapier 33

 
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If you were an American teenager in the late 1950s or early ’60s, and you wanted to play the new rock music, you likely did not have a solidbody electric guitar from Fender, Gibson, or Rickenbacker. More likely the guitar would be from Harmony, Kay, or Supro. If you lived in the U.K., you probably […]

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