353

Category Archives: Classic Instruments

Martin 0-28K

 
Martin 0-28K

The exotic figuration of Hawaiian koa wood on this Martin 0-28K from 1923 has a visual appeal that matched the exotic sound of Hawaiian music in the 1920s, and koa guitars accounted for a significant part of Martin’s sales through that period. Koa guitars played a larger role in Martin history, introducing steel strings to […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Watkins Rapier 33

 
WATKINSRAPIER-HOME-MAIN-BIG

If you were an American teenager in the late 1950s or early ’60s, and you wanted to play the new rock music, you likely did not have a solidbody electric guitar from Fender, Gibson, or Rickenbacker. More likely the guitar would be from Harmony, Kay, or Supro. If you lived in the U.K., you probably […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gibson Basses in The ’70s

Plucky Trio from the “Downer Decade”
 
Gibson Basses in The ’70s

Guitar enthusiasts have long heard that the 1970s were the “downer decade” for Fender and Gibson, both of which introduced a few duds and struggled with quality control. Their travails continued until both were sold to new owners – Fender in ’85, Gibson in ’86. Exemplary of those unsuccessful instruments was a trio of solidbody […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

’39 Gibson EH-185

 
'39 Gibson EH-185

Preamp tubes: three 6J7, one 6N7 Output tubes: two 6L6 Rectifier: 5U4 Controls: Instrument Volume, Microphone Volume, Bass and Treble Speakers: one 12″ field-coil speaker Output: approximately 20 watts RMS Guitarists playing anything other than big-band jazz or Western swing tend to approach pre-rock-and-roll tube amps with reservation. (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fender Precision Bass

The “Final” Configuration
 
FENDER_PRECISION_HOME-MAIN-BIG

The Fender Precision Bass was the first commercially successful solidbody electric bass. Played somewhat like a guitar and sporting a fretted neck, the “P-Bass” won over players in almost every genre who previously had to contend with the cumbersome upright bass. In its original configuration, the instrument, introduced in 1952, had a maple neck with […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Traynor YBA-2 Bass Mate

 
TRAYNORBASS-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

Canadian amp maker Traynor gets a lot of respect in some circles for turning out solid, good-sounding tube amps that are built with quality components and, in many cases, can easily be modified toward a sonic condition more substantial than when they left the factory. It’s also frequently noted that they “blend British and American […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fender “Korinacaster”

Double-Cut Kuriosity
 
KORINACASTER_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

There’s a bit of irony in the fact that Leo Fender, creator of the first solidbody electric guitar to be mass-produced, wasn’t known as the adventurous sort. Rather, history tells us he was a pragmatic, downright conservative guy for whom form very much followed function – a fact borne out in the bread-and-butter realities exhibited […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Horray For Hollywood

The Guitars and Amps of Jersey Boys
 
Horray For Hollywood

Movies made in the 1950s and ’60s that included rock-and-roll music acts typically showed them performing in segments using their own equipment (Little Richard and others in 1956’s The Girl Can’t Help It), or cast them in fictional stories in which they were usually given some inauthentic guitar (for example, Elvis in 1957’s Jailhouse Rock). […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gibson SG Les Paul

Classic shape that filled big shoes... for awhile
 
GIBSON-SG-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

In 1961, Gibson replaced its Les Paul series with a new line of lightweight, ultrathin, all mahogany, double-cutaway solidbodies the SG (for solid guitar). Developed under the aegis of Ted McCarty and introduced as the “new Les Paul,” the SG heralded new directions (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | 1 Response

L-5 to Super 400

The Story of Gibson’s Big Archtops
 
L-5 to Super 400

The archtop guitar is a uniquely American instrument which can be traced directly to the creative genius of one person – Orville Gibson. In the mid 1890s, the man who later formed the company started building guitars and mandolins with carved tops and backs, and though his creations were quite different from a modern jazz […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment