In the early 20th century, Epiphone was known as one of New York''s premier archtop builders. See 14 exquisite examples of early works and learn how the company changed in the first three decades of the 20th Century.

1923-25 Banjo Mando
"This early Banjo Mando still bears the House of Stathopoulo stamp. The first decades of the 20th century saw a mandolin boom, but after WWI, banjos had begun to overtake mandos. In the early '20s, Epi oversaw the design of the company's banjos, patenting his own tone-ring and rim construction. This Banjo Mando bridged the gap between the company's two popular instruments. It features flamed-maple sides, a maple neck, rosewood fretboard, rim-mounted bridge, and a pigskin head."

A chambered body and enhanced switching make this affordable Revstar light and loaded with tones.

Scads of cool tone combinations. Articulate pickups. Relatively light. Balanced and comfortable. Well built.

Some P-90 players might miss the extra grit the Revstar trades for articulation.

Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS02T
usa.yamaha.com

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While the Yamaha name is famous in circles beyond the guitar world, they’ve made first-class guitars since the 1960s. And while they don’t unleash new releases with the frequency of some larger guitar brands, every now and then they come down the mountain with a new axe that reminds us of their capacity to build great electric 6-strings. In 2015, Yamaha introduced the first generation Revstar. With a handsome aesthetic inspired by the company’s motorcycle racing heritage, the Revstar combined sweet playability and vintage style touchstones. This year, Yamaha gave the Revstar an overhaul—including body chambering, updated pickups, and new switching. What’s impressive is how these alterations enhance the already impressive playability and versatility of the original.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein unveils a new line of strings, collaborating with Josh Vittek of Sheptone.

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