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GALLERY: Gear of the Month 2012

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

February: 1976 Fender Starcaster
"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. "