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Modern stomps offer more sounds than ever before, but a laptop can help you delve into an even deeper world of live sonic manipulation. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

The beauty of a great guitar plugged straight into a great tube amp is undeniable. Still, some might say the full potential of an electric guitar is realized only when processing that signal. Of course, some of the most groundbreaking players of all time—from Jimi Hendrix to The Edge—have illustrated this point, and the current deluge of new pedals and thriving builders seems to bear this out.

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These before and after photos show the rough condition that our columnist's '65 Super Reverb arrived in, and the worn-but-dignified look of his restoration. Of course, a shiny red ES-335 with a Bigsby pretties things up, too.

Our columnist shares a love story about his longtime passion for the 1965 heavyweight that’s his No. 1.

Let me tell you the story of my first vintage Fender amp, which I call “No. 1"—the 1965 Super Reverb that I consider the greatest guitar amp I've ever heard and played.

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