ICYMI: A year of historic gear ogling.

Vintage Vault

January 2014

1966 Fender Jazz Bass in Firemist Silver
The 1966 Jazz Bass pictured this month is finished in firemist silver, a striking custom color introduced the previous year. While this finish is very rare, the rest of the features are typical of a ’66 Jazz Bass. These include a rosewood fretboard with pearl block inlays (replacing the previous dots), white binding (there was no binding in previous years), a three-ply white vinyl pickguard (changed from greenish nitrocellulose in 1964), two volume controls, a master tone (replacing the stacked volume/tone controls Fender used until 1962), and metal pickup covers. The amp in the background is the session player’s dream—the world renowned Ampeg B-15N.

Original price: 1966 Jazz Bass, $285 plus $59.50 for the case; 1963 Ampeg B-15N, $355
Current estimated market value: 1966 Jazz Bass, $12,500; 1963 Ampeg B-15N, $1,400

For your viewing pleasure, we’ve put together this abbreviated gallery of the vintage gear highlighted last year by Laun Braithwaite, Tim Mullally, and Dave Rogers of Dave’s Guitar Shop in their monthly column, Vintage Vault. To read the full context behind each of these stunners and their parent companies, visit the Vintage Vault page under the “Premier Blogs” section above. What models do you want to know more about in 2015? Let us know in the comments below.

A compact pedal format preamp designed to offer classic, natural bass tone with increased tonal control and extended headroom.

Read MoreShow less

In their corner, from left to right: Wilco’s Pat Sansone (guitars, keys, and more), drummer Glenn Kotche, Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen.

Photo by Annabel Merhen

How Jeff Tweedy, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone parlayed a songwriting hot streak, collective arrangements, live ensemble recording, and twangy tradition into the band’s new “American music album about America.”

Every artist who’s enjoyed some level of fame has had to deal with the parasocial effect—where audiences feel an overly intimate connection to an artist just from listening to their music. It can lead some listeners to believe they even have a personal relationship with the artist. I asked Jeff Tweedy what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that.

Read MoreShow less

Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

Read MoreShow less
x