The Texas rockers have used the same tone formula for decades, but when it comes to gear and making a statement, they’re kings of style.

Dusty Hill’s new No. 1 bass matches Billy Gibbons’ No. 1 guitar, and both are chambered John Bolin creations. The new designs are called the “Peeler” guitar and bass, because of the paint-peeling look, which is a laminate sticker design that was inspired by the peeling finish of a ’56 Precision bass that was damaged in a flood. All of Hill’s basses are ’50s slab-body Precision basses that feature Babicz bridges and stacked Seymour Duncan Precision reissue pickups. The bridge pickup in Gibbons’ T-style is a Cream T Billy Gibbons signature Banger and Mash.

ZZ Top’s guitar and bass tech, Elwood Francis, explains the ins and outs of the newest guitars and basses that Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill have out on the road for 2015.

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This 1964 Vibrolux Reverb arrived in all-original condition, right down to a two-prong power cord and a death cap wired to the ground switch. The author’s well-worn Strat is the perfect companion.

How our columnist’s risky purchase turned out to be a dusty pre-CBS jewel.

This month, I’d like to share the story of my 1964 Fender Vibrolux Reverb. It was a really risky purchase that had some big surprises.

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Fat tones from a sweet niche where Les Paul, Gretsch, and Telecaster share the limelight.

Copious, unexpected tones. Cool, useful bass contour control. Very nice build quality. Excellent value.

Heavy.

$1,199

Reverend Flatroc Bigsby
reverendguitars.com

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4.5

If you only pay casual attention to Reverend guitars, it’s easy to overlook how different their instruments can be. Some of that may be due to the way Reverends look. There are longstanding styling themes and strong family likenesses among models that can make differentiation a challenge for uninitiated guitar spotters. For instance, the Flatroc reviewed here has more or less the same body as the Charger, Buckshot, and Double Agent OG (which has an entirely different body than the more Jazzmaster-like Double Agent W). If you don’t have an experienced Reverend enthusiast at your side, it can all be a bit mind bending.

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