vintage guitar

It’s hard to argue with an acrylic-top guitar when it looks this cool!

The Hagstrom F-11 was built with improbable tone materials, but it still sings with zing.

Growing up in the shadow of the Martin Guitar Factory, I learned a thing or two about tonewoods. Quite a few of my friends got jobs at the factory right out of high school, and over the years, I’ve seen how woods are cured, selected, and cared for. The Japanese factories I’ve visited really took this idea to the next level. I’ve seen curing rooms with classical music being played to stacks of wood. I’ve seen huge storerooms with different woods sorted by age (some well over 100 years old), country of origin, and quality of figuring. Hell, I've even seen logs that were dragged out of Mississippi swamps, shipped to Japan, and cured.

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In 1952, Gibson's ES-295 also went for the gold—and double P-90s—in a lightweight archtop body style.

When Ted McCarty was appointed general manager of Gibson in 1948 (he became president in 1950), one of his first major goals was to rapidly increase the range of electric guitars offered by the company. In 1949, the lineup, including the 17"-bodied ES-300 and ES-350, was joined by the mid-priced 16" Florentine cutaway ES-175. The ES-175 had a laminated maple arched top and back, with a 24 3/4" scale-length neck.

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Rig Rundown: Steve Earle and the Dukes

Songwriter extraordinaire Steve Earle and Dukes guitarist Chris Masterson go deep on their touring rigs.

Songwriter, performer, producer, author, actor, and activist Steve Earle has arguably influenced a paradigm shift in country music. His poetic storytelling mixed with folk, bluegrass, rock, and traditional country has expanded the music's boundaries and made him a pillar of the umbrella genre called Americana.

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