From super-clean grails to more modern classics to old-school obscurities, a look at the vintage gear in PG readers'' collections.

Brook Hoover - 1957 Gretsch 6121
Says Brook, "It stays in tune, intonates, and every fret plays perfect. It can do a full-on rock show no problem. The back of the neck has all the finish worn off from gigging, but the front of the guitar looks very good. It's been re-fretted, has a graphite nut, and the pickups were changed to TV Jones Power'Trons, though it had been modded before I bought it (Someone put a Bigsby on it, which works well), so I did no destructive modifications. I break it out for a few gigs a year. It's not my number one guitar, but it never ceases to get some serious attention from any hip guitarist in its vicinity. I bought it when I was very poor donating plasma, on food stamps, picking up cans and playing a few gigs a month to survive. I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to score a killer vintage Gretsch and it's never let me down."

Have your own vintage gear you want considered for our next vintage gallery? Send pictures, including year, make, and model, with a caption about why you dig it, to

Plus, the Fontaines D.C. axeman explains why he’s reticent to fix the microphonic pickup in his ’66 Fender Coronado.

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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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Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

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