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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

Park 75

 
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Park 75 Preamp tubes: three ECC83 (12AX7 equivalents) Output tubes: two KT88 Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume II, Volume I, Treble, Middle, Bass, Brightness Output: approximately 75 watts RMS We might not expect anyone to give much of a hoot for an amplifier with “Park” on its badge – a brand that has also (more…)

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’68 Truetone by Kay/Valco

 
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The year 1968 was not a good one for American manu­facturers of stringed instruments. M.C.A. closed the original Danelectro, and what was left of Kay and Valco was locked in a tailspin. Valco bought the remnants of Kay in ’67, and attempted to combine the brand with their own products, but to no (more…)

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1933 Gibson L-5 “Special”

 
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Though many collectors focus on instruments in fine original condition, every so often one emerges that, regardless of condition, is no less exciting than a paleontologist finding the “missing link.” Everything there is to know about the Gibson L-5 designed by Carl Kress can be learned from this example, with the model designation “Special” hand-written […]

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Three Larsons

 
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At first glance, these three guitars appear to be a straightforward collection of different sizes of the same model. A comparable set of three Martins would be a 0-40, 00-40 and 000-40. However, these are Larson Brothers guitars, and when it comes to Larson models, nothing is that simple. Aesthetically, these guitars are identical (more…)

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DeArmond Tremolo Control

 
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Even now – four decades on – Billy F Gibbons remembers the first time he heard a DeArmond Tremolo Control work its peculiar magic. “We first heard the effect not knowing what it was,” he says, speaking in the royal plural and summoning up recordings including Muddy Waters’ (more…)

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Cole Eclipse Pro Special

 
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Straight-from-the-catalog instruments are fun – and reassuring – because you know exactly what you’ve got. But there’s another kind of thrill – and satisfaction – when you find something that’s totally off the radar, something that presents a mystery to be solved, like this circa 1913 Cole’s Eclipse banjo, which sports a Washburn headstock and […]

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Gibson’s ES-335

 
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Gibson’s first “semi-acoustic” thinline, the ES-335, was in essence a combination of features borrowed from earlier Gibsons. In an attempt to produce an instrument that was neither solid nor fully acoustic, Ted McCarty and the Gibson design team took inspiration from one of Les Paul’s earlier experiments. In the late ’30s, Paul built a prototype […]

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Gizmotron

Most Bizarre Guitar Effect of All Time?
 

Led Zeppelin’s final studio album, 1979’s In Through The Out Door, opens with an eerie, otherworldly drone that weaves and winds its way before segueing into the searing Stratocaster riffs of “In The Evening.” In the past, Jimmy Page played his Les Paul with a violin bow and waved his hands like a wizard over […]

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Gibson GA-200 Rhythm King

 
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Preamp tubes: two 12AX7, one 12AY7, two 6BJ8, two 6SK7, one 6V6 (used as a voltage divider) Output tubes: two 6550 Rectifier: GZ34 Controls: Ch1: Volume, Treble, Bass; Ch2: Volume, Treble, Bass, Compressor Speakers: two 12" Norelco/Phillips twin-cone speakers Output: (more…)

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Custom Color Stratocasters

 
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The Stratocaster was born in 1954. A solidbody with three pickups, contoured back and top, vibrato, and bolt-on neck, it was different. And it changed the way people looked at, thought of, heard, and played guitar. With the exception of opera and classical music, it has played a considerable role in modern music. Over the […]

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