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Josh Smith's signature Flat V pickup set features a blend of Alnico 2 and Alnico 4 magnets in the bridge, and Alnico 3 magnets in the neck.

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When Louis Cato received this Univox LP-style as a gift in high school, it needed some major TLC. A few years later, it got some practical upgrades and now makes regular appearances with Cato on The Late Show.

Photo by Scott Kowalchyk

The self-described “utility knife” played drums with John Scofield and Marcus Miller and spent time in the studio with Q-Tip before landing on Stephen Colbert’s show as a multi-instrumentalist member of the house band. Now, he’s taken over as the show’s guitar-wielding bandleader and is making his mark.

It’s a classic old-school-show-biz move: Bring out the band, introduce them one by one, and build up the song to its explosive beginning. It’s fun, dramatic, audiences love it, and that’s how every The Late Show with Stephen Colbert taping starts.

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This guitar certainly sounds superb, and thanks to its fine tonewood ensemble—which consists of a korina neck and body, figured maple top, and Brazilian rosewood—it looks great, too.

When it comes to electric guitar materials, choose the wood that looks good.

Nothing raises the hackles of electric-guitar players like the subject of tonewoods. Maybe that’s why I like to talk about the subject. Unlike many, I enjoy being proven wrong, and believe me when I tell you that, despite my decades of experience, it happens on a regular basis. And despite what may appear to be factual science, there’s also something that can change one’s opinion on matters that don’t get discussed: The practical application of the matter at hand.

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The Fluence Polyphia Signature Series were developed in close collaboration with Tim Henson and Scott LePage.

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The new LiveWirezsingle coils produce that much-desired vintage fat woody tone with enough sustain that remains crisp and articulate.

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