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Readers’ Choice Awards

...hout the Les Paul’s fancy carved top, gold finish, humbucking pickups, Tune-O-Matic bridge, fancy fretboard inlays, or binding, but still built to the company’s quality standards and at a price easy to reach for youngsters’ parents and adult beginners. Introduced in 1954 for $99.50 (when the original LP goldtop was $225), it delivered on the promise, with a full-length scale, set neck, and great-sounding P-90 pickup. It soon became Gibson’s best-s...
Vintage Guitar magazine Top 100 guitarists B.B. King: Heinrich Klaffs/Wikimedia Commons.

Top 100 Guitarists

...t resist!” 11) Edward Van Halen He was a mere 19 years of age when his very-So-Cal band recorded its first album, including a solo captured by engineer Ted Templeman that spurred legions of guitarists (and wannabes) to listen much more closely. Throughout the band’s catalog, what they heard was a guy whose solos were fresh and virtuosic, rhythms deeply melodic and often deeply syncopated in the context of the song. Also highly influential was his...

Recording Electric Guitars

...to record clean or mildly crunchy sounds, a revelation that often goes hand-in-hand with the fact that big amps tend to be more difficult to record satisfactorily in general. There’s such a broad range of potential guitar and amp tones out there that it’s impossible to say “this works, but this doesn’t.” As a rule of thumb, though, go into the recording experience with the knowledge that the guitar parts that work live with a lashing of overdrive...

Pat Metheny

...sound a lot better, too. I finally did a deal with Ibanez, because the day-to-day maintenance of the 175 was becoming almost overwhelming for me. I was constantly having to do things – raise the bridge, tweak the neck. Part of that is because, from the time I got it until now, I’ve never had it in the shop. It’s never had a fret job; it’s exactly the way it was (laughs). And it sounds amazing. Certain notes really sound great; I would never mess...

Warner Hodges

...s songs that were equal parts Faron Young and AC/DC, delivered with an over-the-top physicality epitomized by Ringenberg’s seizure-like stage moves and Hodges’ guitar-flailing spins and jumps that would’ve left C.C. Deville and Steve Vai neon green with envy – except maybe on those occassions where he bloodied himself by bashing his face into a mic stand or breaking a tuning key off his guitar – which he did while maintaining a rep for not missing...

Paul Gilbert

...esides that, there’s the hollowbody Artist 2630, which is just a real cream-of-the-crop awesome instrument. It’s the one that’s most valuable to me as a musical instrument. I play it all the time. It also looks great with that much binding, so many knobs and switches, the pickguard and inlays, and cool inlay on the headstock. It’s a Cadillac in its own way. Circa ’79 M Ibanez usician MC200 in Natural finish with neck-through construction, Super 88...

Martin Barre

...o use a different guitar on each track? I didn’t. Basically, I’m Strat-into-a-Soldano guy. That’s what I use. But at home, the first day in the studio I had a couple of Strats, then I did an acoustic track, so I brought a couple of acoustics over, then tried an old Gibson electric. I took a couple guitars with me every day I went over. It was like going to work with my sandwich box! I love guitars, and it was a luxury to do it that way. On the roa...

Slash

...on adult contemporary radio ever since. Was it odd to hear your music back-to-back with Kenny G! I actually did a gig at UCLA – some jazz festival – and Kenny G played, as well. It was a strange kind of surroundings for me! But over the years, I’ve managed to fit into all kinds of niches. I think it’s a good thing to do because it keeps you humble and keeps your chops up, and if it’s something that you actually like and don’t play all the time, i...

2018 Readers’ Choice Awards

...h that gorgeous tube-driven reverb and opto-cell tremolo, it really is a do-it-all combo for many players. Indeed, plenty would argue that its own particular bundle of features come together in a more-blissfully toneful end result than other Fenders of the era – if your gig can take the volume (and back can take the weight!). The Super Reverb is often referred to as “a tweed Bassman with reverb and tremolo” due to its 4×10″ speaker configuration a...

2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

...iggers.” Produced by Jeff Lynne and Walsh, the album included songs with co-writer Tommy Lee James, featured his brother-in-law, Ringo Starr, on drums for one track, and was named Vintage Guitar’s first Album of the Year. Beyond fame, fortune (/misfortune), and all the great licks, Walsh’s cred in vintage guitardom is punctuated by the fact he sold to Jimmy Page the ’59 Les Paul Standard that would become iconic in Led Zeppelin. – Ward Meeker (LEF...
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