A 1921 A2 Gibson mandolin is reunited with a 1921 L2 Gibson guitar after an entire century.

For archtop lovers, there are few subjects more fascinating than the legacy of Orville Gibson.

One of my greatest inspirations as a guitar maker comes from my hope that the guitars I build will roam the planet long after I’m gone. Sometimes, when I’m on my some-hundredth hour of working on a guitar—sanding lacquer and chasing a flawless mirror finish—a vision of the instrument one hundred years from now will flash before my eyes. It’s a powerful reminder that along with a century of battle scars and music comes a certain beauty that only time will bring. With all the hustle and bustle of building brand-new guitars, sometimes I forget: I want to build guitars now, so that someday they will be old.

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The Japanese brand fancies-up a popular electric series and debuts new options in their archtop and acoustic lines.

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When you dig inside an old guitar, you have to be ready for anything.

Does this sound familiar? As you embark on a seemingly routine mod or wiring project, you suddenly discover something you hadn't considered about the guitar you've begun to disassemble. As you pop off a Strat's pickguard, for example, you might find a few non-standard parts, or unearth a less-than-stellar repair by a previous owner. Maybe the new bridge you've purchased to upgrade your favorite Tele requires a different neck angle to work correctly. It could be dozens of things, but they all have one thing in common: You have to solve a problem. And you are on your own.

The fact is, almost every mod requires some degree of improvisation. There's more to earning the “ace modder" merit badge than simply being able to read a schematic or follow directions printed off the internet. Guitars are unique, so it's important to develop a problem-solving mindset. Knowing how to deal with unanticipated issues is part of the game.

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