303

Category Archives: Classic Instruments

Kay Jazz Special and Value Leader

 
Kay Jazz Special

Kay entered the electric bass market in the mid 1950s with the K162, which later morphed into the similar K5965 (VG, March 2011), and while each met with a modicum of success, in 1960, the Chicago-based instrument maker introduced two near-polar-opposite four-strings. The epitome of the aesthetic excess for which Kay’s electric basses became known, […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fender 5E7 Bandmaster

 
FENDER BANDMASTER 5E7

• Preamp tubes: one 12AY7, two 12AX7 • Output tubes: two 6L6s, fixed biased • Rectifier: 5U4G tube • Controls: Volume, Volume, Treble, Bass, Presence • Output: 28 watts RMS +/- • Speaker: three 10″ Jensen P10R Two decades ago, when renewed appreciation of Fender’s narrow-panel tweed amps of the late ’50s really started to […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

1934 Gibson F-7

 
GIBSON F-7 1934

Prior to Gibson’s innovations, mandolins were bowl-back instruments with a lute-like back usually constructed with rosewood or maple back ribs and a bent spruce top with an oval sound hole. Earlier guitars typically had flat tops and backs, and were designed for gut strings. In 1898, he received a patent for the concept of (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fender Competition Mustang

 
FENDER-MSTNG-MAIN-BIG

Little Deuce Coupe. T-birds. Cars and the California lifestyle are inextricably intertwined… and of course, guitars figure in, too – just flash back to those mid-’60s Fender ads showing surfers and guitars on the beach. So it should come as no surprise that Fender would market a guitar – entry-level, of course – to potential […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gibson’s Depression-Era Exports

 
GIBSONDEPRESSION-HOME-MAIN-BIG

Many aren’t aware that some of the archtop guitars Gibson produced during the Depression were marketed under different brand names, including Kalamazoo, Recording King, Cromwell, Fascinator, and Kel Kroyden, among others. These shared similar features and construction techniques with the low-line Gibson-branded instruments such as the L-30 and L-50: a spruce top, mahogany body and […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Realistic Entertainer-34

 
REALISTICENT_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

As prolific as the Radio Shack chain was in the ’60s, it’s surprising we don’t see more vintage Realistic guitar amps today. Maybe they were never valued enough to be handed down, much less hunted down. If anything, you’re likely to have stumbled on the Carnival 34, a straightforward 1×12″ combo, but even those are […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Charvel Model 4

 
CHARVELMODEL4-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

Certain guitar brands develop a mystique among aficionados – sometimes it’s even deserved! Somewhere on this continuum lie Charvel USA guitars made in the early ’80s in San Dimas, California. Curiously, that “San Dimas guitar” mystique didn’t rub off to its foreign cousins like the Model 4 – the fine Japanese-made Charvels produced beginning in […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | 1 Response

Rosewood Dobro

 
Rosewood Dobro

In the 1930s, the original Dobro company went through a series of ownership changes and licensing agreements. It did not regularly publish catalogs, and its model numbers were typically also the price of a model, which may have varied from one distributor to the next. Specifications (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Movie Star, Rancher

Mid-’50s Muse of Wire and Wood
 
RANCHER-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

In the years immediately after World War II, Americans were settling into a new way of life, and plunging headlong toward an economic prosperity never before experienced by everyday people. Change was also afoot among the nation’s guitar manufacturers. Having been restricted by materials shortages and/or re-tooling to bolster the war effort, guitar makers like […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gibson’s First Reissue Les Pauls

On the Road to ’59
 
GIBSONREISSUE_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

You can receive more great articles like this in our twice-monthly e-mail newsletter, Vintage Guitar Overdrive, FREE from your friends at Vintage Guitar magazine. VG Overdrive also keeps you up-to-date on VG’s exclusive product giveaways! CLICK HERE to receive the FREE Vintage Guitar Overdrive. Strings and Things Les Paul Many (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | 2 Responses