In this issue… Michael Dregni digs into the 29 weirdest, wackiest, and coolest effects of all time! We also look at 37 modern fuzz boxes. Michael Wright reminds us that while most Japanese electric guitars of the ’70s were inspired by American instruments, one major company didn’t get into “copy guitars” until late, and the Yamaha Superrivroller was testament to its skills. Dave Hunter recalls how Gibson began experimenting with stereo sound for guitar amps, using the GA-83S Stereo-Vib as a platform. George Gruhn explains why Gibson’s Style O Artist Guitar and K-4 Mandocello Deluxe exemplified high-end quality in the early 20 century. Jim Carlton interviews Bill Pitman, whose four-decade stint as a first-call session musician is part of a legacy shared by a rare few guitarists and includes notable contributions to America’s soundtrack. Discussing their latest work are Steve Gunn, Eric Gales, Warner Hodges, Tinsley Ellis, and Andy Stack. Peter S. Kohman highlights the earliest known Gibson L-5, while Will Kelly walks us through building a pedalboard and Dan Erlwine shows us a different way to tweak intonation. Wolf Marshall shows us three key licks in the repertoire of Peter Bernstein, the music review staff listens to the latest from Cream, Bob Marley, Robert Earl Keen, Steve Hunter, Sergio Diab, Glyn Johns, and others, while our gear grinders give the once-over to the Tone Pump Solara Studio, the EVH Wolfgang Standard, KJ Audio’s Hanwell 50, the David Allen Bazooka Overdrive, Korg’s Nuvibe, Xotic Effects’ Wah XW-1, and the Devi Ever:FX Big Distortion Sound Machine.
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The Yamaha Superrivroller
Japanese electric guitars of the ’70s arose from diligent study of American instruments. Yamaha, however, sharpened its building chops via original designs before, ironically, entering the fray late in the “copy era.” This model offers testament to its skills. By Michael Wright
The Gibson GA-83S STereo-Vib
In the 1950s, home audio went gaga over stereo sound. Gibson began experimenting with the concept for guitar amps in 1959, and this was its first effort. A 14-tube/five-speaker piece of tweed-covered art, its attributes include versatile tones and a unique application of the vibrato effect. By Dave Hunter
Two For the Scroll
Gibson’s Style O Artist Guitar and K-4 Mandocello
Deluxe models of exceptional quality, these instruments were part of a popular (but short-lived) musical movement. Given their roles in groups of the era, however, they are rare. By George Gruhn
The Man From the Wrecking Crew
His four-decade stint as a first-call session musician is part of a legacy shared by a rare few guitarists. A charter member of the famed Wrecking Crew, he played on countless hits and made many notable contributions to America’s soundtrack. By Jim Carlton
37 Prime Drive Effects
Regardless of their shape, color or label – “OD,” “distortion,” or “fuzz” – they are among the most-enduring effects used by guitarists. We offer a look at the latest, greatest “drive” boxes on the market.
The 29 Weirdest, Wackiest, and Coolest Effects of All Time
Long ago, guitarists – often young, restless, and seeking to better convey their emotions – sought to embellish the sounds being made by their mighty electric instruments. So they began plugging into devices that turned their tones bizarre, strange, and downright evil. By Michael Dregni
News and Notes
Marshall, Carlton Honor Howard Roberts; Johnny Winter wins Grammy; In Memoriam
Tougher Than Ever
Folk Rock’s New Visionary
VG on Facebook
In And Out of Scorcherland
Merch, Music, and Milestones
Winter NAMM 2015
Vintage Guitar Price Guide
Vintage Guitar Classified Ads
The (Way) Back Beat
Master Lloyd’s Six-String: The First Gibson L-5?
By Peter S. Kohman
By Wolf Marshall
Dan’s Guitar Rx
A Different Way to Intonate
By Dan Erlewine
Shop of Hard Knocks
A Step Above Jimi: Building Your Own Pedalboard
By Will Kelly
Q&A With George Gruhn
The VG Hit List
Cream, Bob Marley, Robert Earl Keen, Steve Hunter, Sergio Diab, Glyn Johns, more!
Check This Action
By Dan Forte
Vintage Guitar Gear Reviews
Tone Pump Solara Studio, EVH Wolfgang Standard, KJ Audio Hanwell 50, David Allen Bazooka Overdrive, Korg Nuvibe, Xotic Effects Wah XW-1, Devi Ever:FX Big Distortion Sound Machine
The latest cool new stuff!