This rare native New Yorker blends old-world craftsmanship with rock ’n’ roll design.
There’s an oft-told tale about solidbody guitars in the early 1950s. It relates how California upstart Fender sparked the public’s fervor with its Broadcaster and Telecaster models, and how the established East Coast builders first denied that they had to respond, but then relented. The rest, and even that alone, is history.
While everyone knows how Gibson answered Fender, they weren’t the only notable East Coast brand at the time. Epiphone was a heavy hitter, too, and there were other significant labels, including the company behind this month’s guitar, New York City-based Premier. That guitar and amp seller was a division of the Peter Sorkin Music Company, and its guitars were made by Sorkin’s manufacturing subsidiary, Multivox. Premier was especially notable for its “scroll” electrics, like this month’s exceptionally well-preserved E-723.
This guitar’s belt rash proves it’s seen action during its more than half-century.
Photo by Lynn Wheelwright
With pots dated late 1958, this E-723 was originally offered in or around 1959 and is an early example of the scroll shape that Premier would continue to use throughout the 1960s. Check out that distinctive upper horn: traditional yet daring, almost like a mandolin’s curves transferred to one solid piece of mahogany. And, well, that’s exactly what it is.
Like Gibson’s urn headstocks, this Premier’s torch inset has a distinctly Greco-Roman look.
Photo by Lynn Wheelwright
Premier’s owner Sorkin had recently bought the Strad-O-Lin mandolin company, and he put its equipment to work on these solidbodies. In many ways, they’re a marriage of old-world craftsmanship and rock ’n’ roll design. The neck is one carved piece of Brazilian rosewood, yet bolt-on. The gold hardware and trapeze bridge could complement any jazz box, yet they sit next to a large crushed-plastic pickguard that’s almost garish. All those knobs and switches are functional and funky. The small black knobs include a volume and tone control for each of the three single-coil pickups, which get their own on/off toggles as well. The large gold dial is a master volume control.
Premier’s owner Sorkin had recently bought the Strad-O-Lin mandolin company, and he put its equipment to work on these solidbodies.
Premier’s scroll guitars were made in a variety of pickup configurations, model names, and finishes, and were originally sold for anywhere from $145.50 to $230.00 and more, depending on the number of pickups and factory upgrades. Nowadays, prices range from about $1,500 at the low end (for a single-pickup model in fair condition) to $5,000 or more.
The dials on the left side of the guitar are volume and tone controls for the pickups. The toggles at right are on/off switches, and the large dial is a master volume.
Photo by Lynn Wheelwright
This particular Premier is one of the high-end models, with three pickups and a Ruby finish that has faded over time. Guitar seller, tech, builder, historian, and writer Lynn Wheelwright has owned it for the last 30 years and says it is one of “only two other examples of this top-of-the-line, solid-carved, 3-pickup beauty” he’s found in decades of looking for guitars. He’s selling it for $4,899 through his Pro Musician Outlet Reverb shop.
Sources for this column include Vintage Guitar’s February 2020 article “Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Premier E-723” and Reverb listings from Retrofret Vintage Guitars, The Guitar Broker, and Rivington Guitars.
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Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.