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GALLERY: Stevie Ray Vaughan Gear

GALLERY: Stevie Ray Vaughan Gear


It’s a stretch to call the Diplomat one of Stevie’s guitars, but he definitely played it at least once. He purchased this guitar in New Zealand in late 1986 for his girlfriend Janna to learn to play on. The only markings visible without taking it apart are “Diplomat” in abalone on the headstock, and “Made in Japan” on the neck plate.

The Diplomat guitars were apparently made in Japan by the Aria company, which exported guitars under the names Diplomat, Diamond, Arbor and Conrad, among others. One fan says that he took the Diplomat badge off his guitar to find Ibanez underneath. I’m told The Cure’s early sound is from Diplomat single coil pickups installed in a Fender Jazz Master guitar.

This guitar is now owned by the author.

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