Another year means another chance to show off your pedal playground.

Spencer Murch: Surf and Smurf
“My pedalboard is all about economy: how to fit my sounds in the least space for the least money,” says Spencer from Vancouver, Canada. The homemade board uses hardware store scraps and screws for a total cost of $3.75. The signal chain, while very indirect, tries to maximize usable space on the board. It goes: Dunlop Cry Baby GCB95 wah, Boss TU-3 tuner, Danelectro Cool Cat Vibe (“a total mess of a budget pedal that I love unconditionally”), Xotic SP Compressor, Heavy Electronics Red Eyes Overdrive, TC Electronic MojoMojo Overdrive, ’80s Ibanez GE10 (“found by my lovely girlfriend in a Hokkaido salvage shop for $40”), Ernie Ball VP Jr., EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master (“set to do a kind of always-on snappy reverb”), TC Electronic Flashback Mini Delay, and an Electro-Harmonix (un-)Holy Grail Nano.

Spencer uses a 2006 SG Standard and a Fender Excelsior amp. “The rig’s mascot is a sumo wrestler bobblehead who protects the Pedal Power. That’s my Surf and Smurf pedalboard!”

Pedals are universal. As you’ll see from these boards assembled by guitarists living across the globe, stomping transcends borders. From Connecticut to California, Canada to Mexico, Portugal to Slovakia, passionate players answered our call to share their prized collection with PG tone freaks.

This year’s submissions include an obsessive church guitarist, a 6-stringer with a penchant for gothic art, and a board with a sumo wrestler mascot. A few of you even showed us your effects overflow, including a dedicated room for pedals that don’t fit on the gig board … sounds about right!

Linda Manzer and Pat Metheny’s collaboration on the Pikasso guitar proves that a good creative chemistry between luthier and client can lead to extreme innovation!

Photo by Brian Pickell

The construction of your dream guitar can be a fun journey, but learning the language is essential.

You’ve visited countless websites, played as many guitars as you could lay your hands on, and zeroed in on the luthier that resonates most with you. You’re ready to take the plunge and your next step is to have a conversation with the builder. You’ll both have lots of questions. Be sure to listen and let them guide you through the process. This is when the fun begins.

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Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

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Gibson 1960 Les Paul 0 8145 is from the final year of the model’s original-production era, and likely from one of the later runs.

The story of 1960 Gibson Les Paul 0 8145—a ’burst with a nameplate and, now, a reputation.

These days it’s difficult to imagine any vintage Gibson Les Paul being a tough sell, but there was a time when 1960 ’bursts were considered less desirable than the ’58s and ’59s of legend—even though Clapton played a ’60 cherry sunburst in his Bluesbreakers days. Such was the case in the mid 1990s, when the family of a local musician who was the original owner of one of these guitars walked into Rumble Seat Music’s original Ithaca, New York, store with this column’s featured instrument.

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