Billie Joe Armstrong’s Martin GT-70 features a semi-hollow plywood body with f-holes, DeArmond pickups, and Bigsby-style tailpiece.
A name synonymous with acoustic flattop guitars, C.F. Martin has been an industry leader since 1833 when Christian Frederick Martin bucked the controlling European guild system (violin builders had exclusive rights to build guitars over cabinet builders) and emigrated from Germany to New York City to start his own guitar-building company. Five years later, Martin moved the company to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where it’s remained for 175 years, producing more than 1.25 million guitars and several industry-shaping innovations. In the 1850s, Martin implemented internal X-bracing using wooden struts to stabilize the top and back, which helped the guitar project more volume without distorting. The first dreadnoughts were built around 1916 and named after the Royal Navy’s HMS Dreadnought because it appeared so big, massive, and indestructible that it “nought to dread.” And during the late 1920s, Martin created their OM body shape with a 25.4"-scaled, 14-fret neck-joint.
While Martin has been a front-running mainstay in the acoustic world, they’ve attempted to enter the electric guitar rat race on several occasions to no success. First in 1959, the company equipped their D-18 and D-28 models with exposed pickups and knobs on the guitars’ tops. Then in 1961, Martin built its first true electric guitar with the F series archtops. By 1965 the F series archtops were replaced by the GT series, which was halted in 1968. After a decade, Martin chased their electric ambitions once again, this time with the launching of the E series—solidbody guitars and basses that were only built from 1979–1982.
Shown here is Billie Joe Armstrong’s Martin GT-70 that he acquired from eBay right before Green Day’s most recent U.S. tour. It features a semi-hollow plywood body with f-holes, bound 22-fret mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, two DeArmond pickups, Bigsby-style tailpiece, and a larger, bound, non-traditional Martin headstock. After acquiring the eBay steal, Armstrong’s tech Hans Buscher had to heat press some neck relief—this is done because the truss rod is maxed out and needs to be reset to remove the unwanted curve. He also leveled the frets and adjusted the neck angle/pitch so the strings weren’t too close to the pickups. “Like a Fender, the pole pieces are the magnets, so having the strings too close to the magnets and the guitar will never tune or have any appreciable tone,” Buscher says. “The GT’s tone—with the DeArmond pickups—is a really bright and strident sound that needs to be matched with an appropriate amp. I don’t think that Martin really wanted this guitar to have the same characteristics as their acoustics—the GT-70’s bolt-on neck, flat fretboard, and plastic nut kind of let you know that Martin was trying something different for their electrics.”
Since acquiring the semi-hollow Martin, Billie Joe has made this GT-70 his unofficial hotel and backstage guitar.
A special thanks to Billie Joe Armstrong’s guitar tech Hans Buscher for the opportunity to feature this fine piece of gear and its story.
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Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
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Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more!
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.
Dunable announce new Minotaur model featuring Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners.
The Minotaur's DNA is rooted in their classic Moonflower model, which Dunable discontinued in 2017. However, they have long since wanted to create a fresh take on a carved top guitar design, and various attempts to rework the Moonflower led them to a brand new concept with the Minotuar.
Dunable's goal is to give the player a guitar that plays fast and smooth, sounds amazing, and gives maximum physical ergonomic comfort. The Minotaur's soft and meticulous contours, simple and effective control layout, and 25.5" scale length are designed to easily meet this criteria.
- 25.5" scale length
- Dual Humbucker
- one volume, one tone, push pull for coil splitting
- Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners
- Grover Tune O Matic bridge with brass Kluson top-mount tailpiece
- jumbo nickel frets
- 12" fretboard radius
This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA