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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

Star Board: Bruce Kulick

 
Bruce Kulick

Bruce Kulick played lead guitar in Kiss for more than a decade, and today stays busy as a solo performer and tours as a member of Grand Funk Railroad. Speaking of, here’s his primary pedalboard setup for that gig. “It’s simple and old-school,” he said. “I (more…)

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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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Holy Cripes

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

 
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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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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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’62 Les Paul Rarity

 
'62 Les Paul Rarity

In its early years, the Gibson Les Paul Custom evolved through several body-style and spec changes and was the earliest Gibson solidbody to have a Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece; the Les Paul model (a.k.a. “goldtop”) did not have them until late ’55. First appearing in Gibson catalogs in 1954, the company actually made a […]

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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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National Bel-Air

 
National Bel-Air, Photo courtesy George Gruhn Big thmbnail

The idea of Gibson providing guitar parts to another prominent guitar maker is laughable today, but in the 1940s and ’50s, relationships were cozier between some of the major instrument companies. The evidence lies in this 1960 National Bel-Aire, one of several Nationals of the postwar era to feature a body made by Gibson. Outsourcing […]

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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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