A 100-watt, single channel design that cops Corgan's articulate, high-gain tones.

Chicago, IL (November 26, 2020) -- Carstens Amplification and Billy Corgan have collaborated to create the new Grace model amplifier.

This handmade/handwired, 100W, single channel amplifier offers a staggering amount of articulate high gain and is equipped with premium components, including specially designed, hand-wound Mercury Magnetics transformers. The result is a beautifully open and versatile high-gain overdrive with incredible note separation.

The Grace model is the result of a long-brewing creative partnership. Brian Carstens has long been working with the Smashing Pumpkins as an amplifier technician. In late 2018, Billy Corgan and Brian began discussing an amp collaboration. Billy expressed, in over 30 years of creating music, “I have never played a high gain amp that I like.” Billy’s lofty request: for Brian to make him an amp with an unheard-of amount of gain, high headroom and distinct tone. Brian got to work, and the Carstens Amplification Grace amplifier was born. Billy was so blown away by the Grace that this custom project turned into the signature Billy Corgan amplifier — his first and only.

To really understand why Billy Corgan calls the Grace “a game changer” and “a step forward,” take a listen.

Each Grace is completely handmade in a limited run of only 50 amplifiers. All are individually signed by Billy Corgan.

  • Completely handmade/hand-wired in the U.S.A by Brian Carstens
  • Custom cabinet handcrafted in the U.S.A
  • Specially designed, hand-wound Mercury Magnetics transformers
  • Mercury Magnetics hard-wired power cord
  • Premium capacitors
  • High grade vacuum tubes for low noise and peak performance
  • Powder coated/silk screened, high quality aluminum chassis
  • 100W
  • 4 x EL34
  • 4 x 12AX7

The Grace amp is priced at $3499.

Watch the company's video demo:

For more information:
Carstens Amplification

A few simple chords is all it takes.



  • Learn to play a 12-bar blues, in three different keys, using one shape.
  • Study an assortment of strumming and picking patterns.
  • Gain a basic understanding of the 12-bar blues form.
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As usual, there is more to this lesson than the title implies. We will be working with one chord shape at a time, but over the course of the lesson we’ll study three different shapes. The final example in this lesson incorporates all three shapes to demonstrate how a few basic ideas can provide us with infinite possibilities.

It is important to know that for every chord name in this lesson there are countless shapes—also known as fingerings or voicings—available. For this lesson, I chose what I consider to be the most practical and flexible shapes.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

My years-long search for the “right” Bigsby-outfitted box finally paid off. Now how do I make this sumbitch work in my band?

Considering the amount of time I’ve spent (here and elsewhere) talking about and lusting after Gretsch hollowbody guitars, it’s taken me a remarkably long time to end up with a big Bigsby-outfitted box I truly love. High-end Gretsches are pricey enough that, for a long time, I just couldn’t swing it. Years ago I had an Electromatic for a while, and it looked and played lovely, but didn’t have the open, blooming acoustic resonance I hoped for. A while later, I reviewed the stellar Players Edition Broadkaster semi-hollow, and it was so great in so many ways that I set my sights on it, eventually got one, and adore it to this day. Yet the full-hollowbody lust remained.

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