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Category Archives: Gear

Musicvox MI-5 12-String

That Timeless Jangle
 
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The Musicvox MI-5 12-String Price: $899 Info: www.musicvox.com. Since its appearances in the Austin Powers movies, Musicvox guitars have received a cachet for cool ’60s hipness and wicked space-age designs. Their latest axe, the MI-5 12-string, continues that tradition with a double-cutaway body shape that sports an extra-long bottom horn. Let’s explore this groove machine. […]

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Fargen’s John Lennon Signature JL-15 and Micro Plex

Instant Karma?
 
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Fargen’s John Lennon Signature JL-15 and Micro Plex Price: $2,700 (JL-15), $999 (Micro Plex) Info: www.fargenamps.com. From 50-watt monsters to 5-watt heads, Fargen Amplification is known for building amplifiers intended for working players. Two of Fargen’s more recent releases – the John Lennon Signature JL-15 combo and the Micro Plex head – may seem miles […]

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AXL USA Hand-Aged Bulldog

Bark and Bite
 
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AXL USA Hand-Aged Bulldog Price: $699.99 (street) Contact: www.axlguitars.com Unabashedly inspired by the classic Les Paul Junior, AXL Guitars’ limited-edition USA Hand-Aged Bulldog is a single-pickup guitar with a slab mahogany body and set neck. Crucial assembly tasks are performed in AXL’s California workshop, where the Bulldog is fretted, set up, tricked out, and whipped […]

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Analog Man BC183 Sun Face

Here Comes the (Black Hole) Sun
 
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Analog Man BC183 Sun Face Price: $185 Contact: www.analogman.com Mike Piera has been building his line of stomp boxes bearing the Analog Man name since the mid ’90s. Famous for a wide assortment of pedals with a vintage vibe, Piera boasts a customer list that includes guitar aficionados like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Doyle Bramhall II, […]

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Budda’s Chakra and ZenMan Pedals

Zen and the Art of Tone Maintenance
 
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Budda’s Chakra and ZenMan Pedals Price: $149.99 Contact: www.budda.com Best known in guitar circles as an admired amp builder, Budda has released a pile of new stompboxes that cover all bases from modulation and delay to the crunchy stuff. Two of these offerings are the ZenMan overdrive/boost and the Chakra compressor, straightforward-looking boxes with some […]

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Eastman AR905SCE Uptown Deluxe

Classy Jazz Box
 
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Eastman AR905SCE Uptown Deluxe Price: $3,650 retail Contact: www.eastmanguitars.com Over the past few years the negative stigma attached to guitars manufactured overseas has been altered greatly. Many builders from abroad have upped their games significantly, rising from mere copycats to top contenders. One such builder that consistently proves its commitment to quality is Eastman Guitars, […]

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Ernie Ball Music Man Luke3

Cool-Hand Luke
 
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The Ernie Ball Music Man Luke3 Price: $2,500 (HH, list); $2,550 (HSS, list) Contact: www.music-man.com The latest model in Ernie Ball Music Man’s Steve Lukather signature series was designed to answer Lukather’s demand for an instrument that is simple yet versatile. The Luke3 (a.k.a. LIII), available in dual humbucker (HH) and humbucker-single-single (HSS) configurations, is […]

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St. Blues Juke Joint Series

Domestic Bliss
 
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St. Blues Juke Joint Series Price: $1,798 (list, Bluemaster/Mississippi Bluemaster); $1,898 (list, Legendary Bass) Contact: www.saintblues.com With the elimination of its Korean-made Pro Series and the introduction of the Juke Joint Series, Memphis-based St. Blues can boast an entire lineup made in the good ol’ U.S. of A. St. Blues’ initial offerings in the Juke […]

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Railhammer Hyper Vintage Humbucker

Poles Apart
 
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Railhammer Hyper Vintage Humbucker Price: $139 list/ $89 direct Info: www.railhammer.com Developed by Joe Naylor of Reverend Guitars, Railhammers are passive humbuckers that use a combination of pole pieces on the treble side and rails on the bass side. It’s an interesting motif with an effective purpose. The Railhammers’s six oversize poles under the treble […]

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Traynor’s Darkhorse DH15H

Canadian Bakin’
 
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Hugely popular in its native Canada, Traynor amps are a formidable force from north of the 49th parallel and its line includes a variety of quality tube amps. The company’s latest “lunchbox” amp is the Dark Horse DH15H, little brother to the company’s Iron Horse model. The Darkhorse has a cool, old-school public-address-amp vibe, with […]

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