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Classic Instruments

Classic Instruments

Roy Smeck’s Gibson L-5

Player endorsements are part of the tradition of guitarmaking going back to its earliest use for public performance. LeRoy G.A. Schmeck, a.k.a. Roy Smeck,...

Familiar Names Create Music as J&B Brothers

The J&B Brothers make a sound equal parts Texas country, blues, folkie, rock, jazz, and soul – the spices that make music from the...

Freddie King’s Gibson ES-345 Keeps on Playin’

Watching her baby boy become rapt whenever his grandma played country blues on her guitar, Ella May King had a notion... So, as soon...

Lloyd Loar

The Master Model instruments created at Gibson in the early 1920s are famous for their sound and build. Credit for their design is often...

1968 Fender Vibrolux Reverb

Amplifier collectors swarm to models with descriptors like “first year” and “golden age,” but other types can be far more interesting; a transitional model...

Fender Custom Shop Marks 30 Years

In “official” terms, the Fender Custom Shop opened in 1987. But its story actually began February 1, 1985 – the day CBS announced the...

Vintage Instrument Research

Fretted instruments can be examined in much the same way as zoological taxonomist or forensic pathologist would approach them. They fit well into a...

Matchless JJ-30

Rare and sought-after, in part because only about 40 were built, the Matchless JJ-30 John Jorgenson is the only Signature Series amp ever made...

100 Years of Boston’s MFA

Musical instruments – guitars – present an interesting philosophical dichotomy. On one hand, they’re utilitarian objects whose very purpose – arguably their only purpose...

Mark Erlewine’s 40 Years with Willie Nelson’s Trigger

For a decade, Willie Nelson chased fame as a performer in the Nashville mold of the ’60s – hair coifed, striding to center stage...