ICYMI: A year of historic gear ogling.

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.

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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Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

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Jazz virtuoso Lionel Loueke joins us in contemplating who we’d put at the helm while making the album of a lifetime. Plus, musical obsessions!

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