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Tag Archives: overdrive

Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster

 
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In 1949, Gibson did something nifty, introducing the ES-5. The number 5 had special significance for Gibson, dating back to the Lloyd-Loar-inspired master Models of 1924. Each of these – guitar, mandolin, mandocello, and mandola – bore that numerical designation. And, when a deluxe and pricey electric made its debut, what better name than “Electric […]

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Brad Paisley

Two Vital Guitars From the Collection of a Modern Superpicker
 
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Brad Paisley’s 2011 book, Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me, is essentially an autobiography. But really, it’s not so much about him. Anyone who has ever spoken with Paisley will tell you the “aw shucks” humbleness he exhibits on awards shows, in concert, and in the […]

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Hofner 185

 
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Have you heard the line, “If Hendrix had a Magnatone, Strats would be worth $200 now?” A highly debatable proposition, for sure! But if Paul McCartney had not used a Höfner bass through much of the Beatles’ career, few collectors would remember the Höfner line today. Unlike other German-brand guitars, such as Klira, Hopf, or Framus, […]

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Vox AC50

 
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Vox AC50 Preamp tubes: one ECC82 (12AU7), three ECC83 (12AX7) Output tubes: two EL34s, fixed-biased Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume, Treble and Bass for each channel. Output: nominally 50 watts RMS, but upward of 70 watts flat-out. Where the evolution of guitar amplification in general traces musicians’ needs to be louder, the history of Vox follows, […]

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Johnny Marr

Brit Gets a Git
 
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When pop-music fans in the U.K. talk about guitar heroes, they tend to put more stake in the way a player’s work fits, contextually, into that of his band. To wit, in a 2006 poll, BBC listeners were asked to choose the best guitarist to emerge since 1980, and many of the 30,000 who responded […]

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Paul Gilbert

Mr. Big Takes it Down a Notch
 
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Paul Gilbert and the crew that makes up Mr. Big – bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Pat Torpey, and vocalist Eric Martin – reunited a couple years ago on the heels of a Gilbert gig at the L.A. House of Blues where he, Sheehan, and Torpey jumped onstage together. Digging the vibe, they soon called Martin, […]

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Three Small Tweeds

Fender Princeton, Deluxe, and Tremolux
 
Fender Princeton, Deluxe, and Tremolux

From 1954 through ’59, the Fender Electric Instrument Mfg. Co. built guitar amplifiers with controls mounted atop using “chickenhead” knobs that go to 12, and covered with “the finest airplane luggage linen.” This line represents the company’s classic “tweed era,” and from the diminutive Champ to the mighty Twin, it remained virtually unchanged throughout the […]

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Ampeg R-12-R Reverberocket

 
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1962 Ampeg R-12-R Reverberocket Preamp tubes: two 6SL7, two 6SN7 Output tubes: two 6V6, cathode-biased Rectifier: 5Y3 Controls: Volume, Tone, Dimension (reverb), Speed, and Intensity (tremolo) Speakers: Jensen Special Design C12R Output: approximately 18 watts RMS In the view of Ampeg main man Everett Hull, rock and roll was not a musical form to which […]

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Giffin Vikta

Feelin’ Special
 
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Giffin Vikta Price: $2,295 Contact: 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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Martin OM-18 and 000-28

 
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What makes these two Martins remarkable is not necessarily their rarity or historical importance, though both would be welcome additions to any serious collection. Martin has offered sunburst finishes as an option since the 1930s.The earliest Martin catalog reference is a 1932 C-1 archtop with a “top shaded golden brown;” sunburst R-series archtops and dreadnoughts […]

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