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Gear Galleries

Eric Clapton’s 1958 korina Gibson Explorer on display is likely the second one he owned, which was acquired in the early ’80s. His more famed Explorer appeared on Slowhand’s 1975 live album, E.C. Was Here, and traveled the world with him on his 1974-’75 tour.

Photo courtesy of Frist Art Museum

Nashville’s Frist Art Museum’s new exhibit, Storied Strings, presents iconic guitars in wood, steel, paint, photography, and sculpture. The show runs through August 13 but catch a preview here.

Nashville, TN — Celebrity guitars, classic 6-string designs, photos of musicians from Woody Guthrie to Prince, paintings, and other works of art comprise the Frist Art Museum’s Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art, which will be on exhibit through August 13. It’s the first show to explore the instrument’s symbolism in American art, from the early 19th century through the present, and includes 125 beautifully curated works.

In addition to Eric Clapton’s ’58s Explorer, above, here are some highlights for gear fiends—and there are plenty of other instruments not pictured:

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The second day of NAMM was full of highlights from Vox, Jam Pedals, Catalinbread, Synergy, Soldano, and more!


Synergy Amps Signature

Synergy Amps came to Anaheim bearing the fruit of the partnership with Steve Vai that they announced here at NAMM exactly a year ago. The shred lord's signature tone module features dual 12AX7s and two channels—one dialed to match his Carvin Legacy amp, and another based on a Synergy module called Bman whose tonal bent you can probably guess at. The module goes for $399 street.

The first day was full of new gear from Two Notes, Revv, Gibson, Jackson Audio, and the biggest Metal Zone you've ever seen.


Dunlop Octavio

We started the day at Jim Dunlop and checked out their new octave fuzz, the Octavio. Hitting a note above the 10th fret creates some wicked overtones and Hendrix-style riffs come alive when the fuzz is cranked. Available now for $129. Quite the deal.

Chicago’s three-day, punk-rock carnival was host to Slayer, Jawbreaker, Raconteurs, Patti Smith, Rise Against, Bob Mould, Rancid, Bikini Kill, Lucero, the Struts, and more. Here are our favorite guitar-related moments from the 15th annual gathering.


Ween’s Dean Ween

One half of the offbeat alt-rock group Ween, Dean (aka Mickey Melchiondo) pays constant tribute to his Hendrix influences by primarily rocking a Strat onstage. His Frankenstein Strat’s cavity has a ’57 route with a dowel cut in half-lengthwise and glued to the outside wall to receive the extra screw hole for a ’62 or later pickguard. It was refinished Dakota red in the early ’90s, and its neck plate dates to 1962. The guitar has a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup in the bridge and Fender Lace Sensors in the middle and neck positions. The band played The Mollusk in its entirety.

The final day of this year's Summer NAMM show was filled with new gear from Korora, 3rd Power, Gillett Guitars, Ciari, and more!

Korora’s new harmonic tremolo was a trip. The Merlo offered three different EQ profiles, three different sine waves, and tap tempo. During the demo we heard everything from subtle and warm to choppy and unsettling. The color control acts somewhat like a tone knob by adding in more harmonic content. Streets for $249.