346

Category Archives: Classic Instruments

The Roland Space Echo

Perfect Slap-Back
 
Roland Space Echo

When Brian Setzer kickstarted the Stray Cats into action in 1979, his gear lineup was a hodgepodge of orthodox rockabilly ware along with the bizarre. His ’59 Gretsch 6120 and his pomade were the real deal. But he played through a Vox AC50 Royal Guardsman because the band was first recording in England. To get […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

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 […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Danelectro’s Four-String Basses

 
4STRING_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

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 […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

The “Last” Trainwreck?

 
TRAINWRECK_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

Ken Fischer’s prolonged illness and subsequent death at the age of 61 remains one of the great tragedies of the guitar-amp world. Aside from the fact he was a good soul taken too soon, if this rare and genuine tube-amp guru had enjoyed better health and greater longevity, he would most likely have blessed the […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gibson GA-80T Vari-Tone

 
GIBSONVARTITONE_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Gibson was apparently convinced the Vari-Tone switch was the way of the future, with its instant access to six different tones. But a high proportion of players who clocked serious miles on their ES-345 and 355 guitars had the switches disabled (and the guitars rewired to mono!). As […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Heil Talk Box

 
HEILBOX_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

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. […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gibson Firebirds

 
GIBSON FIREBIRDS

Say the words “custom color” to a collector or enthusiast and most will think of “Fender.” But Gibson had its own multicolored baby – the Firebird. Born in 1963 and put to rest in ’69, the Firebird was Gibson’s third full-line attempt at the solidbody market. While it did not do as well as the […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged , | 3 Responses

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, […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

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…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment