The historic axes from the Three Kings tour.

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1958 Gibson Explorer and Flying V
Originally purchased by a pair of Cincinnati brothers in 1958, this matched set of “Holy Grail” Gibsons is called upon during the Albert King portion of the set. The story goes that one of the brothers, named Big Ed, agreed to sell the Explorer to former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Rick Vito on one condition: Vito would need to buy his brother’s ’58 V as well. Ed’s brother was a lefty, so they kept both pickguards on and simply retooled the bridge and added fret markers.

CuNiFe-driven Wide Range pickups and a 7.25" fretboard radius make this the most period-correct Thinline since the original.

Awesome, alive, and individual Wide Range pickup sounds. Great neck. A 7.25" fretboard radius. Light weight. Period-authentic 1 meg pots.

Taper on 1 meg pots not very nuanced. Less-than-plentiful ash supplies could mean odd grain matches on natural-finish guitars.

$2,399

Fender American Vintage II '72 Thinline Telecaster
fender.com

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In the 50 years since their big, chrome covers first reflected a hot stage light, Fender’s Seth Lover-designed Wide Range humbuckers have gone from maligned to revered. The guitars built around Wide Range pickups are legends in their own right, too. Keith Richards’ Telecaster Custom is synonymous with the Stones dynamic and adventurous late-70s-to-early-80s period. Scores of punk and indie guitarists made the Telecaster Deluxe a fixture of those scenes. And Jonny Greenwood almost singlehandedly elevated the Starcaster from a curiosity to an object of collector lust. The fourth member of the Wide Range-based guitar family, the ’72 Telecaster Thinline, lived a comparatively low-profile life. Yet it is a practical, streamlined, uniquely stylish, and multifaceted instrument with a truly original voice—qualities that are plain to see, feel, and hear in this new American Vintage II incarnation.

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