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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

Rickenbacker Transonic

 
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Rickenbacker Transonic TS100 Topology: Solid State Output: 100 watts RMS Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass controls and Hollow, Mellow and Pierce switches on each channel; Tremolo Speed and Depth, Reverb, and Fuzz-Tortion on Custom channel. Speakers: two 12″ Altec 417.

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Boggs’ Quad

Four-neck Fender from a friend
 
Boggs' Quad

Noted in musical history as one of the players who pushed the steel guitar beyond Hawaiian music to more-complex chording and wild interchanges with Spanish-style electric guitarists, Noel Boggs emerged from a tragic childhood, using the guitar and music as a motivator, guide, and ultimately, means to a make a living. Boggs was born in […]

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La Baye 2X4

 
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1967, the Summer of Love. Everything still seemed possible, and anything went. No more war, racial and gender equality, Fresh Cream, the Beatles best record ever, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Phew! What a difference the next (more…)

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National-Dobro 6107A

 
National-Dobro 6107A

Preamp tubes: 56, 57 Output tubes: two 2A3 Rectifier: 5Z3 Controls: Volume Output: 6 watts RMS +/- Speaker: one 10″ Lansing Model 112 Why doesn’t this ever happen to us? You ride along with your brother to an antique radio show just to give him some company – it’s his (more…)

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Custom-Order Gibson B-45-12

 
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The term “rare” is applied to guitars in far too many instances. Usually an appealing term, its overuse can be attributed in part to the fact it’s particularly catchy to the eye of anyone fond of a collectible vintage instrument. The subject here this month, however, is truly deserving of the label. A custom-order Gibson […]

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Cry, Baby!

The Story of the Vox Wah
 
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Beyond being crowned “Album of the Century” by Time magazine, Marley and the Wailers’ 1977 LP Exodus is a wah-wah masterpiece thanks to Junior Marvin and his Thomas Organ Cry Baby. Others – from Earl Hooker to Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa to Sly Stone – made their mark with the pedal, but never has (more…)

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Coral Electric Sitar

 
Coral Electric Sitar

For centuries, Indian musicians have utilized the resonant sympathetic strings of the sitar to create the unique sounds of classical Indian music. Traditional sitar design combines a body fashioned from a large gourd with a long, hollow neck made of teak or tun wood and two bridges made of bone, horn, or ebony at the base of […]

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Valco El Grande

 
Valco El Grande

Preamp tube: one 6SL7 Output tube: one 6V6GT Rectifier: 5Y3 Controls: Volume, Tone Speaker: 8″ Rola speaker Output: 5 watts RMS We dig old Valco-made amps wearing Supro, National, Airline, Oahu, Bronson and other badges for the way they deliver a sweetly burnished, chocolatey overdrive at studio-friendly levels when you inject a six-string electric and […]

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Maestro Fuzz-Tone

 
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Fuzz. It’s the sound of fury, aggravation, indignation, and – considering the history of the most famous fuzzbox of all time, Maestro’s Fuzz-Tone – dissatisfaction. It’s also fitting as some of the first recorded electric fuzz guitar was heard via Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Willie Lee Johnson, (more…)

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Beyond the Parlor

Part Two: Man and Machine
 
Beyond the Parlor Part Two: Man and Machine

Ed. Note: In part two of his series on the guitar in 19-century America, Tim Brookes addresses the common belief that the guitar was strictly a ladies’ parlor instrument by finding guitars being made – and played – by men. “Over the last century,” began a recent guitar history, parroting conventional wisdom, “the guitar has evolved from a […]

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