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

"If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, then CBS-owned Fender was infatuated with Gibsonуs ES line of semi-hollow electric guitars. Gibsonуs ES models had been heavily used by guitar icons like Chuck Berry (ES-350T and eventually the ES-345 and ES-355), Eric Clapton (ES-335 with Cream and Blind Faith), and B.B. King (ES-355), virtually dominating the semi-hollow world and prompting Fender to release its own semihollow creationяthe Starcaster in 1976. To differentiate itself from the popular Gibson modelsяwhich generally had a maple body, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboardяFender took the all-maple approach when designing the Starcaster, which features an offset double-cutaway, asymmetrical maple body, neck, and fretboard. In addition, Fender stuck with its tried-and-true, bolt-on neck construction and 25.5"" scale length, which was in direct opposition to Gibsonуs set-neck design and 24.75"" scale length. "

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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