Premier Collector #12: Vintage Grails & Boutique Beauties

Scott Bradoka''s collection consists of over 120 highly-prized vintage and modern guitars. We look at 21 of his favorites.

Name: Scott Bradoka

Years played: 30+

Home turf: Lehigh Valley, PA

Current/former bands: I’ve been treading water in a sea of obscurity for the past 15 years under my own name.

Website: ScottBradoka.com

First guitar: My first ‘real’ guitar was a borrowed Martin acoustic from my cousin. When that went back, I got a Phoenix Electra Strat style electric.

Favorite guitar: I currently own 120+ guitars, many of which are featured in my new hardcover book, My Collection. My main guitar is my 1956 Les Paul. It has been with me on every gig since 2001. It’s well worn, but feels like home.

Favorite amp: My 1963 Vox AC30 is my go-to amp, though I used a Suhr Badger and Zinky pretty much on the new tracks of my latest 2CD/DVD release, Everything.

Favorite effect: A touch of delay. Live I use a Line 6 Echo Pro.

Favorite strings: 10-46

Favorite cable: Monster cable

Other gear in my stash:
I have a huge collection of guitars and amps. As stated above, over 120 guitars and currently over 25 amps. I have a number of old Gibson amps from the 1950s, a few Vox AC30s from the 1960s, a killer 1968 50 watt Marshall, along with some great new amps like a Zinky, Suhr and 65 Amps SoHo. My guitar collection focuses on 1950s and 1960s Fender, Gibson, and Gretsch guitars, though I do have some recent models plus oddball pieces.

Give us the back story on an item in your gear stash that you’ve sent a photo of: The black 1958 Fender Stratocaster was purchased from Eric Johnson. Eric originally purchased it in 1976 and it was stolen from him in 1982. In a Guitar Player interview he stated it was the best Strat he had ever owned. He eventually got the guitar back in 2006. I purchased it from him in Nov ’08. Out of the 15-20 Strats I own, it is definitely THE one.

Share a gear or gig story with Premier Guitar readers:
One of the coolest moments I have had was when we were opening dates for Jeff Beck in Germany back in ’06. The first date was Berlin. We were playing this old castle… full-on wall around it with a moat. The dressing room setup was a large area just partitioned off by velvet curtains. While I was sitting in my area changing strings, Jeff Beck was right on the other side of the curtain practicing for much of the afternoon. It was a pretty surreal afternoon for me.

What’s your philosophy on tone?
It really is in the hands. For better or worse, after a few minutes with a guitar and amp, it’s going to sound like me. Of course certain gear will enhance the sound or inspire better performance, but it will still be a variation of ‘your’ tone.

Scott's Collection - A Portion
Page 1 - Gibsons
'55 Les Paul Jr.
'55 Les Paul Special
'56 Les Paul Goldtop
'56 Les Paul Goldtop 2
'57 ES-225
'59 Les Paul Jr.
'62 ES-335
'62 SG Les Paul
'63 ES-355
Page 2 - Fenders
'52 Telecaster
'57 Esquire
'57 Stratocaster
'58 Stratocaster
'65 Stratocaster
'66 Stratocaster
Page 3 - The Rest
'58 Grestch Silver Jet
'69 Armstrong
'73 Gretsch White Falcon
Deusenberg Ron Wood Prototype
Trussart Steelcaster


1955 Les Paul Jr.


1955 Les Paul Special


1956 GoldTop


1956 Les Paul GoldTop



1957 ES-225


1959 Les Paul Jr.


1962 ES-335


1962 SG Les Paul


1966 ES-355

To join Scott as a Premier Collector, send an e-mail with photos and a description of your gear to rebecca@premierguitar.com

Premier Collector #11: Unique & Custom Basses
Premier Collector #10: One of Everything
Premier Collector #9: Pre-Gibson, Pre-Samick Valley Arts
Premier Collector #8: Vintage Strats and Custom Colors
Premier Collector #7: Martins and More
Premier Collector #6: Custom-Built Strats and Fender Tube Amps
Premier Collector #5: The Vintage Room
Premier Collector #4: Oddballs
Premier Collector #3: Vintage Fender Amps and Guitars
Premier Collector #2: Gibson Customs and Modded Marshalls
Premier Collector #1: Kramers, Coronados and More

Scott's Collection - A Portion
Page 1 - Gibsons
'55 Les Paul Jr.
'55 Les Paul Special
'56 Les Paul Goldtop
'56 Les Paul Goldtop 2
'57 ES-225
'59 Les Paul Jr.
'62 ES-335
'62 SG Les Paul
'63 ES-355
Page 2 - Fenders
'52 Telecaster
'57 Esquire
'57 Stratocaster
'58 Stratocaster
'65 Stratocaster
'66 Stratocaster
Page 3 - The Rest
'58 Grestch Silver Jet
'69 Armstrong
'73 Gretsch White Deusenberg Ron Wood Prototype
Trussart Steelcaster


1952 Telecaster


1955 Esquire


1957 Stratocaster


1958 Stratocaster (purchased from Eric Johnson)


1965 Stratocaster


1966 Stratocaster

To join Scott as a Premier Collector, send an e-mail with photos and a description of your gear to rebecca@premierguitar.com

Premier Collector #11: Unique & Custom Basses
Premier Collector #10: One of Everything
Premier Collector #9: Pre-Gibson, Pre-Samick Valley Arts
Premier Collector #8: Vintage Strats and Custom Colors
Premier Collector #7: Martins and More
Premier Collector #6: Custom-Built Strats and Fender Tube Amps
Premier Collector #5: The Vintage Room
Premier Collector #4: Oddballs
Premier Collector #3: Vintage Fender Amps and Guitars
Premier Collector #2: Gibson Customs and Modded Marshalls
Premier Collector #1: Kramers, Coronados and More
Page 1 - Gibsons
'55 Les Paul Jr.
'55 Les Paul Special
'56 Les Paul Goldtop
'56 Les Paul Goldtop 2
'57 ES-225
'59 Les Paul Jr.
'62 ES-335
'62 SG Les Paul
'63 ES-355
Page 2 - Fenders
'52 Telecaster
'57 Esquire
'57 Stratocaster
'58 Stratocaster
'65 Stratocaster
'66 Stratocaster
Page 3 - The Rest
'58 Grestch Silver Jet
'69 Armstrong
'73 Gretsch White Falcon
Deusenberg Ron Wood Prototype
Trussart Steelcaster


1958 Gretsch Silver Jet


1969 Dan Armstrong, set up for slide


1973 Gretsch White Falcon


Deusenberg Ron Wood Prototype


James Trussart Steelcaster, nicknamed "Skully"


To join Scott as a Premier Collector, send an e-mail with photos and a description of your gear to rebecca@premierguitar.com

Premier Collector #11: Unique & Custom Basses
Premier Collector #10: One of Everything
Premier Collector #9: Pre-Gibson, Pre-Samick Valley Arts
Premier Collector #8: Vintage Strats and Custom Colors
Premier Collector #7: Martins and More
Premier Collector #6: Custom-Built Strats and Fender Tube Amps
Premier Collector #5: The Vintage Room
Premier Collector #4: Oddballs
Premier Collector #3: Vintage Fender Amps and Guitars
Premier Collector #2: Gibson Customs and Modded Marshalls
Premier Collector #1: Kramers, Coronados and More

It’s not difficult to replace the wiring in your pickups, but it takes some finesse. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. After numerous requests, this month we’ll have a closer look at changing wires on a single-coil pickup. As our guinea pig for this, I chose a standard Stratocaster single-coil, but it’s basically the same on all single-coil pickups and easy to transfer. It’s not complicated but it is a delicate task to not destroy your pickup during this process, and there are some things you should keep in mind.

Read More Show less

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.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less
x