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

"In 1976, Gibson looked to fancify their tuxedo of guitarsяthe Les Paul Custom. The Norlin-controlled company revamped the LPC by offering a natural or walnut finish showcasing the carved-maple topуs beautiful figuring. Other changes implemented on all Artisans included gold hardware, heart and flower inlays on the headstock and fretboard (very similar to Gibson banjos), a pre-war style Gibson logo, and a TP-6 tailpiece. Similarities between the Artisan and the Custom are the mahogany body with three-piece, carved-maple top, a three-piece maple neck, an ebony fretboard, and the bound peghead and fretboard."

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

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

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Jazz virtuoso Lionel Loueke joins us in contemplating who we’d put at the helm while making the album of a lifetime. Plus, musical obsessions!

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