See all 12 unique instruments featured as Gear of the Month in 2012.

"рIуve always had a great appreciation for our military at all levelsяfrom the guys at the desks to the guys in the fieldяfor what theyуve done for this country,с says Lillian Axe lead guitarist Steve Blaze. рWhen my friend Major Henry C. Cecil asked me if I thought itуd be a good idea to get luthier John Guilford to build a guitar to benefit the U.S. Air Force и [laughs] before he could even finish his sentence, I said, тYes!ус The USAF Redeemer guitar features a bound, poplar body covered with United States Air Force camouflage, and itуs finished in gloss nitrocellulose. The 25 1/2""- scale instrument has a 22-fret, quartersawn rock-maple neck and an ebony fretboard that has the words рU.S. Air Forceс inlaid in mother-of-pearl. It also features the Buzz Feiten tuning system, an original Floyd Rose tremolo, Gotoh Mini 510 tuners, and Seymour Duncan Blackoutsяa Metal model in the bridge and a Standard model in the neck position."

Linda Manzer and Pat Metheny’s collaboration on the Pikasso guitar proves that a good creative chemistry between luthier and client can lead to extreme innovation!

Photo by Brian Pickell

The construction of your dream guitar can be a fun journey, but learning the language is essential.

You’ve visited countless websites, played as many guitars as you could lay your hands on, and zeroed in on the luthier that resonates most with you. You’re ready to take the plunge and your next step is to have a conversation with the builder. You’ll both have lots of questions. Be sure to listen and let them guide you through the process. This is when the fun begins.

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Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

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Gibson 1960 Les Paul 0 8145 is from the final year of the model’s original-production era, and likely from one of the later runs.

The story of 1960 Gibson Les Paul 0 8145—a ’burst with a nameplate and, now, a reputation.

These days it’s difficult to imagine any vintage Gibson Les Paul being a tough sell, but there was a time when 1960 ’bursts were considered less desirable than the ’58s and ’59s of legend—even though Clapton played a ’60 cherry sunburst in his Bluesbreakers days. Such was the case in the mid 1990s, when the family of a local musician who was the original owner of one of these guitars walked into Rumble Seat Music’s original Ithaca, New York, store with this column’s featured instrument.

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