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

"The 1985 Performer has a Strat-meets-Warlock, double-cutaway body that was made with alder, basswood, or birch. (The design appears to be modeled after the flat part of the Stratуs body.) It features a maple neck with a 24-fret rosewood fretboard, a two-pivot bridge with a floating Fender System 1 vibrato made by Schaller. The pickups are two slanted humbuckersяmimicking the positioning of the bridge pickups in Teles and Stratsяand are controlled by a volume knob, a tone knob, a 3-way pickup selector switch, and a coil-tapping switch. The tone knob has stacked potsя250k and 1Mяwith a center detent, which couldуve been a predecessor to the TBX tone control used in later Fender models. The impetus of the Performer was to propel Fender forward, but the guitarуs headstock nods to the past with its arrow-like design reminiscent of the companyуs 1969 Swinger model."

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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