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Category Archives: Gear

Lazy J 20

Deluxe inspiration
 
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The Lazy J 20 Price: $2,700 (reviewed) Contact: www.lazyjprojects.com After moving to England and leaving behind the vintage Fender Deluxe he modified as a gigging amp, Jesse Hoff decided to build a new amplifier from scratch, using the modded Deluxe as his inspiration. After many requests from other players for one for his tweed-inspired creations, […]

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Providence Silky Drive and Stampede DT

Japanese Silk (and Stomp)
 
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Providence Silky Drive and Stampede DT Price: $394 (Silky Drive); $249 (Stampede DT) Info: www.providence-ltd.com. From the Land of the Rising Sun, Providence pedals have been building an audience among players in the Western Hemisphere thanks to a buzz regarding their versatility and stout construction. Indeed, two of Providence’s more popular overdrive/distortion units, the Silky […]

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Carvin’s HH2 Allan Holdsworth

Off With Their Heads
 

Carvin HH2 Allan Holdsworth Price: $1,199.00 (base); $1703.00 (tested) Info: www.carvin.com. Headless guitars and basses, which had their heyday back in the big-hair/thin-necktie ’80s (think Power Windows-era Geddy Lee), still have a few diehard fans who like the instruments’ compact, lightweight design. But for the most part, headless guitars have, of late, been somewhat relegated […]

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HomeWrecker Pickups

Slumbering Strats, Awake!
 
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In 2011, session guitarist Joshua Hernandez began winding pickups in his living room. From these modest beginnings, and with no desire simply to replicate the sounds of vintage pickups, Hernandez went a step further and set out specifically to build modern pickups suited to the sonic idiosyncrasies of Stratocaster-style guitars – or, as Hernandez puts […]

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Rivera Shaman Series Pedals

Holy Tones
 
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Rivera Shaman Series Pedals Price: $299 each (street) Info: www.rivera.com. With roots stretching to the late ’70s, SoCal-based Rivera Amplification is best known for their handbuilt-in-the-U.S.A. tube amps. Not to be overlooked, however, are the firm’s pedal offerings, specifically their Shaman series of effects boxes. With the exception of the Acoustic Chorus Shaman, all were […]

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Louis Electric Buster

Beyond Deluxe
 
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Louis Electric Buster Price: $1,595 (street) Contact: louisamps.com. Lou Rosano has been building amps in the Fender vein for more than 17 years. His first build wound up in the hands of the late Danny Gatton, and other greats who have played through his Louis Electric amps include Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Jorma Kaukonen, and […]

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McElroy OM Model

OM, Gee!
 
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McElroy OM Model Price: $7,500 (base; $8,500 as reviewed) Info: www.mcelroyguitars.com. Brent McElroy is a Seattle luthier specializing in high-quality acoustics. One of them, the OM Model from his Generation 2 series, is inspired by old-school Martins. The concert-body guitar sports a bear-claw Adirondack spruce top (so named for its wide, raked grain), Madagascar rosewood […]

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Rebel Boards’ Rockstar Pedalboard

Songs from the Wood
 
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Rebel Board’s Rockstar Pedalboard Price: $159 (Rockstar); $199 (Rockstar Pro) Info: www.rebel-boards.com. Puzzle-piecing a pedalboard together is equal parts fun and frustration. If you’ve ever wished for a custom board but price got in the way, one manufacturer now has you covered. Rebel Boards produces a handcrafted wooden pedalboard called the Rockstar that measures 24″ […]

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Giffin Vikta

Feelin’ Special
 
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Giffin Vikta Price: $2,295 Contact: www.premierbuildersguild.com Roger Giffin is a guitarmaker to the stars, having built for Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, Mark Knopfler, Andy Summers, David Gilmour, and many others. He also ran the Gibson Custom Shop in California for many years before striking out on his own. Now producing his own […]

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Music Man Game Changer

Twelve Tons of Tone
 
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Music Man Game Changer Price: $2,275 (street) Contact: www.gamechanger.music-man.com Since the introduction of the electric guitar, builders have sought ways to increase the variety of tones that can be had from an instrument; in 1959, Gibson created the Varitone circuit for its ES-345, and in the decades since, virtually every company has attempted some means […]

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