GALLERY: Gear Ads of the 1980s
Take a trip back in time to see the gear, hair, and clothes that made the '80s most excellent—party on, dudes!
We're pretty sure the barely legal vixen in this Vester ad went on to great fame playing the cheerleader who kisses Mikey in the Broadway production of The Goonies. Vester subsequently went on to great fame...um, in this roast of '80s ads.
Happily, Alex Skolnick was soon moved to the Evolution exhibit, though his hairstyle was left in the Endangered Species wing. (Note that spandex was in the correct wing, but on the wrong side of the glass.)
While there's no arguing with the longevity of the Gibson brand, it's hard to look back at this ad and not see some heavy irony. That's all we're going to say...
Dean Markley's follow up to the rockin' grandpa ad pushed the needle just a little too close to the disturbing side.
Many people forget that the working title for Surfing With the Alien was Surfing with the Sideburns.
Seriously, Kawai? Wow. Just...wow....
Exhibit 2 in making the case that not everything from the '80s had a short shelf life.
The guitar that solidified Martin's leading role in the über-crowded crackle-finish "super-Strat" market: the Stinger. Judging by its logo, it...er, goes both ways?
What could've extended the Stephen's Extended Cutaway's lifespan a few years (or at least months)? Maybe a look that was more distinctive than the Martin Stinger's trademark finish we're thinking something like blood spatters or a kamikaze theme.
Gratuitous Mullet Joke #1: With all due respect to Carvin and Bob Bradshaw—for both surely deserve tons—but this mullet may be the single biggest reason why the FET has since played second fiddle to the vacuum tube.
Things would be so much different for Tom Anderson Guitarworks today if only they'd been able to coax Val Kilmer into a coordinated media blitz based on his 1984 breakout comedy hit, Top Secret.
Whadya know? The same three words describe how we feel about this ad a couple decades after the fact.
Luckily, this ad from Dean Markley was more funny than disturbing. (As media folks, we're pretty impressed with the analog photoshopping—although we do take umbrage with the subject-verb disagreement.) However, as luck would have it...
The single trend of the '80s that must be resurrected immediately: cable companies giving away Porsches.
Gratuitous Mullet Joke #2: Rocktron wisely hid Bob Bradshaw's FET-killing mullet behind its HUSH units. On the downside, they upped the ante with Steve Lukather's a Hairnet-teased, Sun In-treated 'do. Apparently the HUSH survived due to confusion over whether Luke's killing shoulder-pad jacket was included.
We've witnessed this undead ad campaign shuffle onward, feasting on our collective brains for what seems like an eternity now. And trust us, Mr. Perfect Pitch guy, we've laughed at a LOT more than your secret.
As Michael J. Fox's character found out in the Night Ranger-scored (and tragically Oscar-scorned) The Secret of My Success, 128 patches of preamp-tube distortion are the surest bet when reaching for that golden ring. (What's that? Yeah, yeah, we know Secret is the one '80s movie Fox DIDN'T play guitar in...but it worked here, all right?)
Guitar mags of the '80s offered information on ALL the essential tools for mastering guitar.
Exhibit 1 in making the case that not everything from the '80s had a short shelf life.
Ok, so Eddie designed the guitar. It's cool, we understand the switch. The only thing better would be having your own brand, but that's crazy talk...
Anyone who thinks Eddie switched endorsements a lot clearly hasn't seen this ad. Look how loyal he looks, raising the Kramer president's hand in triumph. He'd NEVER...
Ahhh...the golden years of Neanderthalic sexual objectification. Once you had the guitar, the only thing standing in the way of claiming your swooning prize was securing some badass spandex. Luckily...
- Echoes of the Past and Future - Premier Guitar ›
- The Legend of Slash's Appetite for Destruction Les Paul - Premier ... ›
- GALLERY: Gear Ads of the 1980s, Volume II - Premier Guitar ›
Sweetwater vs. Reverb
Which one do you prefer?
Rhett and Zach unpack the big news for secondhand guitar sellers and buyers: Sweetwater has launched their new Gear Exchange. How does it compare to Reverb, Craigslist, and Marketplace? To find out, Zach takes the site for a spin and buys a pedal. He calls the process both “very easy” and “normal.” They discuss the pros and cons of the various used-gear outlets and share tips for not getting got when buying gear. Plus, Zach grew a mustache, Mythos Pedals is moving, and he talks about his forthcoming line of Strat pickups inspired by Hendrix’s reverse-stagger setup.
Sweetwater vs. Reverb
Get 10% off from StewMac when you visit stewmac.com/dippedintone
D’Angelico Guitars Announces the Excel Tour Collection
The Tour Collection is defined by a minimalistic, vintage-inspired aesthetic, top-of-the-line components, and a simplified electronics configuration featuring new, custom pickups by Supro.
Available in the collection is the 16-inch-wide double-cutaway DC, the 15-inch-wide single-cutaway SS, and a 14-inch-wide Mini DC. Each model comes in three finishes: Slate Blue, Solid Wine, and Solid Black.
Every detail of the Tour Collection was chosen to achieve retro minimalism. Small diamond fingerboard inlays match 1930s-style diamond f-holes, and an undersized Throwback Scroll-style headstock achieves excellent head-to-body balance. The collection also features satin nickel hardware and custom Vintage Deluxe Grover tuners with a 15:1 gear ratio. Each model also features a simplified two-knob electronics configuration with 50s-style wiring to retain top-end clarity upon rolling off the volume knob. The neck shape in the Tour Collection is similar to the slim C-shape found throughout the D’Angelico line, but with more thickness in the shoulder to allow for snug hand fit as well as extra sustain. Medium Jumbo fret wire and a 12-inch fingerboard radius allow for quick navigation of the fingerboard while also prioritizing comfort for both rhythm and lead playing.
In 2020, Supro and D’Angelico became part of the same family of brands under Bond Audio. At that time, EVP of Product Ryan Kershaw and CTO Dave Koltai began designing custom pickups under the Supro name for the Tour Collection project.
“Supro Bolt Bucker pickups were designed to offer the tone of the most sought-after vintage "PAF" pickups from the late 1950's. Scatter wound, just like the originals, Supro Bolt Buckers utilize 42-gauge enamel wire along with a mixture of Alnico II (neck) and Alnico V (bridge) magnets to provide the perfect balance of warmth and clarity with unrivaled articulation and note bloom.” - Dave Koltai, Chief Technology Officer at Bond Audio.
Introducing the Excel Series Tour Collection | D'Angelico Guitars
All models are available for pre-order and will be in stock this holiday season. US MAP $1499. For more information, please visit dangelicoguitars.com.
Ananashead Announces the Cream Amp
The Cream Amp is a handmade low-gain overdrive pedal based on the Electra Distortion circuit.
The Cream Amp was designed to deliver full dynamics amp-like dirt to your clean and crunch amp or to another pedal in the chain without altering your tone too much. To add some grit at low volume or to make your amp sound more full, use the Drive control to set the gain and the Level control to match with your amp.
- Two knobs to control Volume and Drive
- Shielded inputs/outputs to avoid RF
- Filtered and protected 9VDC input
- Daisy-chain friendly
- Current draw: 7.5mA
The Cream Amp pedal is hand-made in Barcelona with carefully selected components and has a price of 100.00€. The pedals are available and can be purchased directly from the Ananasheadonline store.
For more information, please visit ananashead.com.
JET Pedals Releases The Red Sea
The Red Sea was born out of the vision to provide complex signal routing options available to the live/performing musician, that up until now, are only found in a studio mixing environment.
Introducing the Red Sea, an all-analog signal routing matrix, designed for countless stereo and mono signal path routing options. The Red Sea was born out of the vision to provide complex signal routing options available to the live/performing musician, that up until now, are only found in a studio mixing environment. The Red Sea has accomplished this in a compact, easy-to-use, and cost-effective solution.
Wet | Dry | Wet
The Red Sea gives you the ability to run a FULL Stereo wet dry wet rig using only 2 amps or just 2 signals to the FOH, while also giving you complete control over your Wet & Dry mix! Use the Blend knob to control the overall mix between stereo wet effects and mono dry/drive signals.
Stereo Dual Amps
Run dual amp modelers if full stereo w/ stereo effects. Gone are the traditional ways of one amp in the Left channel and another in the Right channel. Now use the Red Sea to seamlessly blend between two separate amps in true stereo. Think of this as a 2-channel amp where you can blend anywhere between both amps.
Stereo Parallel FX
Red Sea has two independent stereo FX loops. Use each FX loop to run stereo delay's and reverb's in parallel, where each effect does not interact with each other. Huge soundscapes can be achieved with washy reverbs and articulate delay repeats while being able to blend between each FX loops mix level.
The Red Sea can also do the following routing options:
- Wet | Dry utilizing a single amp
- Clean Wet | Dry | Wet (drives DO NOT run into wet effects)
- Wet | Dry | Wet with dual delays (one in the L channel & other in R channel)
- Parallel Dual Amps (run dual amp modelers in FULL stereo)
- Convert a tube amp's serial FX Loop to a parallel FX Loop
- Stereo and Mono analog dry through (avoid latency in digital pedals)