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Gear History

Vintage Vault: 1961 Gibson Hummingbird

November 20, 2014
Gibson’s first “square shoulder” flattop was a warm-toned classic.
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Esoterica Electrica: Bending to Your Will—The Simple Little Rod

October 26, 2014
Simple in design yet crucial to a guitar’s playability, the truss rod gets its just due.
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Bass Bench: How Headless Hardware Works

October 3, 2014
Discover the advantages of a straight-pull tuning system.
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Trash or Treasure: A Look at the National Newport 50

September 16, 2014
A reader scores a $50 treasure at a rummage sale.
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Bass Bench: Why Headless?

August 29, 2014
What makes a headless design better than a traditional headstock?
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Echoes of the Past and Future

August 27, 2014
Effects guru “Analog Tom” Hughes chronicles music’s most influential time machines—from rockabilly echo chambers to space-rock oil cans, ’80s racks, and modern stompbox marvels.
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Vintage Vault: 1965 Gibson Firebird III

August 25, 2014
Discover how classic Detroit auto design influenced one of Gibson’s now-iconic solidbodies.
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Undervalued Gear: The Gibson Les Paul Junior GA-5 Amplifier

June 26, 2014
Classic vintage amps typically come with hefty price tags. But if you know what to look for, you might find a bargain hiding in plain sight.
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Trash or Treasure: Kay K6868 Style Leader

April 28, 2014
A reader considers selling his vintage Kay guitar, but first needs to find out what the actual model and value are.
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Pre-War Perfection: The Martin D-45

April 10, 2014
The 91 D-45s that Martin produced between 1932 and 1942 may be the most coveted flattops ever made. What makes them so special?
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Book Excerpt: "Rolling Stones Gear"

February 6, 2014
If you've ever wondered what instruments and gear the Stones have used to make their iconic music over the years, Andy Babiuk's new photo-rich book tells all.
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Musicon Valley: The Home of German Lutherie

January 16, 2014
PG’s German correspondent guides us through the storied town of Markneukirchen in the heart of Germany’s “Music Corner,” where centuries-old instrument-making traditions live on.
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Trash or Treasure: Fender Bassman 20

December 31, 2013
A historical look at one of Fender's rare amplifier models.
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Vintage Vault: 1958 Guild M-75 Aristocrat

December 15, 2013
This vintage Guild Aristocrat M-75 borrows design elements from both upscale archtops and Gibson Les Pauls.
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Lust for Power

November 28, 2013
How Marshall went to hell and back to create their first 100-watt amp.
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24 Windy City Gems

October 17, 2013
For much of the 20th century, Chicago was the epicenter of musical instrument manufacturing and distribution. Here, guitarist Daniel Ivankovich shares two-dozen favorites from his personal collection.
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A Brief History of Tremolo

October 10, 2013
Tremolo is as old as the human voice. But how and when did it become a guitar effect?
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Three’s Company: The Pickup Placement Paradigm

July 18, 2013
Why do guitars have two or three pickups? Why not four, or even six for that matter?
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The North American Guitar Amplifier Museum

July 17, 2013
Invisible Sound Studios has collected so many rare and amazing amps—Marshalls, Fenders, Gibsons, Ampegs, Voxes, Hiwatts, and more—they decided to designate part of their studio as a museum. Here, East Amplification’s Jeff Bober gets their story.
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GALLERY: Mike Robinson’s Wacky 1960s Electric Collection

February 28, 2012
A sampling of Airline, Domino, Eko, Kustom, Hagstrom, and more from the collection of Eastwood Guitars founder Mike Robinson.
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