Shawn Hammond - Editor in Chief
Framus Vintage 5/131 Hollywood Doublecut
The German amp and guitar manufacturer isn’t usually associated with retro designs, but this new semi-hollowbody strikes a great balance between cool features, nice playability, and a way-cool visual vibe. The body is plywood (like you’d find on an old department store guitar from the ’50s), and the set mahogany neck features a rosewood fretboard. The pickups look like something you’d see on a cool old Harmony, too, with intriguing, multifaceted crème-colored covers and adjustable pole pieces set in attractive brass rings. Controls include a 4-position selector knob (off/bridge/both/neck) and Bass, Tone, and Volume knobs. Framus
Sabre Guitars Seraph
This new UK company made its first gear-show appearance ever at this year’s NAMM, and their guitars have an impressive blend of intensive woodwork and ingenious hardware. The Seraph features proprietary built-in strap locks with smooth-operating, furniture-quality release buttons, a Schaller bridge, LSR nut, Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups. This semi-hollow version has a 12 mm figured maple cap, mahogany body wings, and a 9-piece neck (cherry, maple, and wenge), though solidbodies are also available.
Tone King Galaxy
Tone King came on the scene approximately 15 years ago with one of the most distinctive looks in all of boutique ampdom—a delectable blend of retro diner chic, ’50s sci-fi aesthetics, and functional furniture. The Galaxy has been out of production for several years, but now it’s back with a juicier, redesigned 60-watt, 6L6-driven power section, a long-spring reverb tank, a bias-vary tremolo circuit, and two uniquely voiced channels. The 2x12 cab is loaded with two custom Eminence speakers and features furniture-style legs that get it up off the floor to increase clarity and articulation.
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