On Location Chicago, Illinois

Hittin'' the road to find guitar-related hotspots in the Chicago area

Chicago, IL (May 1, 2008) -- This week Premier Guitar is “On Location” in Chicago, IL, where guitars are made, played and displayed in too many places for us to cover in a single swoop. In this first installment we get into the finer points of tuning with the folks who pioneered tuning gear, take you inside the factory of one of the country''s oldest guitar manufacturers where traditional craftsmanship and cutting edge technology are at work, introduce you to a repair guy/customer builder who was recently featured on national TV and take you to local music store with a nice selection of high end guitars. Keep an eye out next week for more from Chicago.

The Making of a Washburn Custom Shop Acoustic - Meet the man responsible for hand-made Washburn acoustic guitars. John Stover carries on a tradition that Washburn started more than 100 years ago.

The Making of a Washburn Electric - We take you inside the Washburn factory to show you how the company fuses hand-made quality with precision engineering. See how a guitar is made from start to finish. 

Schroeder Guitar Repair and Custom Building - One day he''s doing innovative things with guitar necks on national TV and the next day he''s building a custom amp for Nels Kline. Known for his refretting, Tim Schroeder is a repairman and custom builder who pretty much does it all. We bust into his shop to see what he''s up to.

Guitar Tuning 102 -  Perhaps you''ve had a tuning question or two go unanswered for years. Well, here are your answers... buckle up for an intense discussion of tuning matters. 

Get your strobe on - Some of us are old school, baby - only an authentic strobe tuner will do. Check out the light show as technician Todd Ackermann burns in and works on several Peterson SC5000s.

The Inventor of the Virtual Strobe Tuner - Strobe tuners are often preferred for their dead-on accuracy but it''s hard to fit a real strobe tuner onto your pedalboard. We talked to the man who changed that -- Mike Skubic.

Under the Hood of a Peterson Strobe Tuner - So what''s the difference between a strobe tuner from the seventies and a modern one? Check it out.

Naperville Music
- There are some great music stores in the Chicago area. Naperville music has succeeded with a local focus for 34 years. We were digging their selection, which included Don Grosh, New Orleans and McNaught.

Check back to PG.com for more On Location stops; to get the news first, sign up for our weekly updates.

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.

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

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A lightweight, portable amp series developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps.

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