Gear of the Month

Josh Homme with his newest guitar thanks to Gabriel Currie of Echopark Guitars.

Photo by Ross Halfin

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme's custom Crow model built by Echopark Guitars is constructed with reclaimed 200-year-old mahogany that came out of the Los Angeles library.

Before Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, marketing was done through business cards. A well-done business card demands respect and attention. Case in point: Patrick Bateman in American Psycho shriveling when his business card was outdone by his colleague's.

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Photo by Jason Shadrick

Billie Joe Armstrong’s Martin GT-70 features a semi-hollow plywood body with f-holes, DeArmond pickups, and Bigsby-style tailpiece.

A name synonymous with acoustic flattop guitars, C.F. Martin has been an industry leader since 1833 when Christian Frederick Martin bucked the controlling European guild system (violin builders had exclusive rights to build guitars over cabinet builders) and emigrated from Germany to New York City to start his own guitar-building company. Five years later, Martin moved the company to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where it’s remained for 175 years, producing more than 1.25 million guitars and several industry-shaping innovations. In the 1850s, Martin implemented internal X-bracing using wooden struts to stabilize the top and back, which helped the guitar project more volume without distorting. The first dreadnoughts were built around 1916 and named after the Royal Navy’s HMS Dreadnought because it appeared so big, massive, and indestructible that it “nought to dread.” And during the late 1920s, Martin created their OM body shape with a 25.4"-scaled, 14-fret neck-joint.

While Martin has been a front-running mainstay in the acoustic world, they’ve attempted to enter the electric guitar rat race on several occasions to no success. First in 1959, the company equipped their D-18 and D-28 models with exposed pickups and knobs on the guitars’ tops. Then in 1961, Martin built its first true electric guitar with the F series archtops. By 1965 the F series archtops were replaced by the GT series, which was halted in 1968. After a decade, Martin chased their electric ambitions once again, this time with the launching of the E series—solidbody guitars and basses that were only built from 1979–1982.

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