premier collector

Name: Robert Anthony Navarro Years played: 23 years Home turf: Los Angeles, CA Current/former bands: Trip, Velvet Moon, Billy Mummys, Eccentromanics Website: First guitar: ''80s Gibson Kalamazoo hand-me-down Favorite

Name: Robert Anthony Navarro

Years played: 23 years

Home turf: Los Angeles, CA

Current/former bands: Trip, Velvet Moon, Billy Mummys, Eccentromanics


First guitar: '80s Gibson Kalamazoo hand-me-down

Favorite guitar: '80s Japanese Fender Squier Strat (with vintage tuners, vintage single coil pickups in the neck and middle, and a Seymour Duncan Invader in the bridge)

Favorite amp: Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier, Rectifier 4x12 cab

Favorite effect: What are effects?

Favorite strings: Rotosound Roto Reds 11 gauge

Favorite cable: My Star Sound

Favorite Pick: Dunlop Delrin 500 (Purple) 2.0 gauge

Other gear in my stash: Marshall JCM 2000 TSL 100W Head, Marshall Vintage (bottom) 4x12 cab, VOX AD30VT 30W 1x10, SWR Working Man's 15 Bass Combo, Danelectro Nifty Fifty, Dunlop Crybaby Wah.

Give us the back story on an item in your gear stash that you’ve sent a photo of: Back when I was in a punk band, my lead guitarist and I bought Marshall JCM 2000 TSL 100W amps. For some reason, we had the worst luck because both of the heads we bought did not work properly and had to be taken back to Guitar Center. This happened three more times! Apparently the shipment of Marshalls to GC were all bad, and we got stuck running back and forth returning the faulty gear. Eventually I hooked up with Hugh Gilmartin (now of Korg USA), and he promised if I sent my head to Marshall it would come back amazing. Hugh is a man of his word, because they put their best guy on it and bench tested, biased and tweaked my amp until no Marshall 2000 series would ever be its equal. Angus himself would drool if he played his SG through it!

Share a gear or gig story with Premier Guitar readers: I once played live on national television with my band Trip. We were invited to perform on Ed McMahon's Next Big Star, live from the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Next Big Star was the last incarnation of Star Search, and we had a blast. We got the royal treatment, and lived like rock stars for the weekend. We even landed clothing endorsements from Johnny Suede and Sha-Sha Shoes!

What’s your philosophy on tone? No effects! Aside from reverb, I don't really use effects. Let the guitar, amp and your hands make it happen. I have never been a big fan of pedals or effects processors. I rarely even use the tremolo bar. If you need a specific tone for a track, then do what you gotta do to make it happen, but at the end of the day... it's all in the hands.

ACOUSTICS (from left to right): Washburn EA20 Acoustic Electric (1990s), Ovation CC245 Celebrity 12-String (2000s), Martin D-42 Acoustic (2000s), Chinese Pipa (1990s), Ramirez Classical (1990s), Mexican Miniature Acoustic (2000s).

BASSES: Ibanez Soundgear 4-String Bass (Green, 2000s), Fender American Standard 4-String Jazz Bass (Tobacco Sunburst, 2000s), Hofner 500/1 Vintage '63 Reissue Beatle Bass (2000s).

AMPS (from left to right): Marshall JCM 2000 TSL 100W Head & Marshall Vintage 4x12 cab; Danelectro Nifty Fifty & VOX AD30VT 30W 1x10; Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier & Rectifier 4x12 cab.

ELECTRICS (from left to right): ESP Viper LTD 7-String (2000s), Carruther's Guitar Shop Custom Telecaster Semi-Hollow Body (2000s), Danelectro '59 Dano Semi-Hollow Body (1990s), Gibson Les Paul Studio Lite with Seymour Duncan Burst Bucker Pro pickups (1990s), Fender Japanese Squier Strat with vintage pickups in the neck and middle position and a Seymour Duncan Invader pickup in the bridge (1980s).

ELECTRICS (from left to right): Gibson Les Paul Custom (1990s), Ibanez RG-560 (1980s), Danelectro Convertible Reissue Acoustic Electric (1990s), Fender American '62 Reissue Strat (2000s), Joe's Guitars Custom "Diner Series" (2009).

Photos by Tommy Francis

To join Robert as a Premier Collector, send an e-mail with photos and a description of your gear to

Premier Collector #12: Vintage Grails & Boutique Beauties

Premier Collector #11: Unique & Custom Basses
Premier Collector #10: One of Everything
Premier Collector #9: Pre-Gibson, Pre-Samick Valley Arts
Premier Collector #8: Vintage Strats and Custom Colors
Premier Collector #7: Martins and More
Premier Collector #6: Custom-Built Strats and Fender Tube Amps
Premier Collector #5: The Vintage Room
Premier Collector #4: Oddballs
Premier Collector #3: Vintage Fender Amps and Guitars
Premier Collector #2: Gibson Customs and Modded Marshalls
Premier Collector #1: Kramers, Coronados and More

Our first Premier Collector has a slew of Kramers, along with Gibson RDs, Charvel Surfcasters, Kents and more!

Mark Schwarzel let the gear speak for itself when he sent in his expansive collection. Pictured are Mark''s 108 guitars and basses from Kramer, Fender, Gibson, Kent, and Charvel.

You, too, can have your collection featured on and in our weekly Backstage Pass e-mail updates. Just drop us a line with some photos of your guitars, amps, effects or any combination of the above, along with any interesting gear stories, and you could be featured next.

Kramer Series XL5, XL24 and XL98, plus the Simmons Axe

Kramer Series Wedge and Flying V

Kramer Headless Guitars

Kramer Series DMZ5000, DMZ6000 and Stagemaster Deluxe

Kramer Series DMZ1000, DMZ2000, DMZ3000, DMZ4000 and DMZ4001

Kramer Series 250, 350, 450 and 650

Collection of Kents

Charvel Surfcasters

Gibson Les Pauls

Gibson Flying Vs

Gibson Reverse Vs

Gibson RD models

Gisbon Firebirds

Gibson ES-335s

Fender Coronados

To have your collection considered for Premier Collector, just e-mail us pictures and descriptions. It doesn''t have to be the biggest or oldest, and it doesn''t even have to be guitars -- we love amps and effects as well. Send all requests to

And nothing is behind glass. No one is hovering over you. There are no signs warning you not to touch. You are left to enjoy the beauty of the instruments on your own. It was the definition of gear nirvana.

Dave Rogers'' CollectionDave’s Guitar Shop in La Crosse, Wisconsin is a guitar haven in itself; racks upon racks of guitars and amps sit waiting for you to plug in and tune out. But when word came down that we had the opportunity to spend a few days amidst Dave Rogers’ personal collection, taking up the sprawling second floor of his shop, we went into a temporary gear coma.

After coming to, and embarking on a long drive north, we spent two days surrounded by classic pieces of guitar history. Fenders of all shapes and sizes; a row of custom colored Jaguars, with some maple boards thrown in for good measure; mid-‘60s Esquire Customs, an Antigua Tele, a handful of Blackguards, all out in the open for the store’s guests to enjoy; two-tone, tweed and brown tolex Fender amps arranged neatly; rare Gibsons, Rickenbackers, Epiphones, Martins and Gretsches covered every wall.

And nothing is behind glass. No one is hovering over you. There are no signs warning you not to touch. You are left to enjoy the beauty of the instruments on your own.

It was the definition of gear nirvana.

» Online Photo Gallery
Click Here to see a photo gallery with pictures from Dave Rogers’ collection we couldn’t fit into the article

» Podcast Interview
Click Here to listen an exclusive podcast interview with Dave Rogers.

Dave Rogers'' CollectionAll of our favorite stores have had good people, who, in addition to being knowledgeable, make you feel comfortable and welcome. Being respectful of your customers seems like a no-brainer, but how many stores have you been in with “Do Not Touch!” or “Please Ask for Assistance” signs on all of the guitars?

It is akin to walking into someone’s living room with plastic covering all of the furniture, making it perfectly obvious that no one actually uses the room for anything close to living. Oddly, the stores with the admonishing signs are generally the places that are plagued with the most inadvertent dings and scratches. Asking to take a guitar down in a cool shop is more often than not met with the same response one would get after asking a good friend if it would be okay to grab another beer.

Making your way around, after the initial rush of seeing all of the amazing guitars in the main showroom, your eyes eventually wander over to the staircase, situated by a mess of Fender Custom Shop Teles. There is a velvet rope with both ends hanging on a hook at the base of the stairs, but it is rarely strung across. Taking the staircase leads to a small landing which spins you around 180 degrees, displaying a few framed photos of famous guitarists with famous guitars. As you complete the turn, Dave’s collection hits you square in the face.

Dave Rogers'' Collection They’re all there, lined up on the wall, treated like true art. Soft lighting from above beams down at the various mahogany and maple tops. We walked slowly past the rows, chattering excitedly amongst ourselves, wiping up drool when appropriate. It’s amazing that something many of us grew up with in our hands, learning and playing, has attained this sort of reverence. Dave’s collection celebrates a day where craftsmanship was paramount.

Over 500 photos and a lot of scribbled notes later, we headed back south. We flipped through them on our digital camera, discussing our favorites and debating the best. The Fiesta Red Strat. The Reverse Firebird. The ’59 Flying V. Being hungover, we kept the loud voices to a minimum.

Until next time, La Crosse.