gear


As I’ve noted variously at the Pointy Guitar Facebook and Twitter pages, the most viewed ad in the site’s history is one for the Washburn Wonderbar Tremolo System, as scanned from Guitar for the Practicing Musician, October 1985. I cracked wise in the original post that “Mssrs. Rose & Kahler had the last laugh at this ad,” but it seems Washburn’s device has a devoted underground following. In fact, PG reader Steve Sparks operates a site devoted to the tremolo, “a place to host the docs/pics I’ve found,” as he puts it.

So, take a look at some schematics, fan photos and Mr. Sparks himself rocking an ’85 Washburn at washburnwonderbar.com.

Right here.

The famed 1954 Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty” formerly owned and played by the man himself sold at auction for $335,500 this week to Indianapolis Colts football franchise owner Jim Irsay. Irsay’s “guitar curator” Christopher McKinney placed the bid and came away with the iconic instrument. Speaking to the New York Times, McKinney summed the guitar up as follows, via Michael Molenda’s blog at Guitar Player:

We know the importance of the guitar historically. This guitar was used by Les in recordings, in television. It was his main guitar for innovations. It shows his thinking and progress as an inventor. A lot of the things that were done to this guitar went on to become industry standard.

Read much more, including the tale of the guitar’s controversial legacy, at Guitar Player.

Right here.

The list of guitars that have become as iconic as their owners is short: B.B. King’s “Lucille,” Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstrat,” and certainly Willie Nelson’s battered Martin known as “Trigger” come to mind. Rolling Stone has released a mini-documentary focused on Nelson’s instrument which, according to Chron.com reveals:

Trigger and Nelson met in 1969 when Nelson needed a guitar that had the same tone as the one used by influential guitarist Django Reinhardt, one of his idols. He named the guitar Trigger after Roy Rogers’ famous steed. In a way the guitar Trigger has been just like Rogers’ trusty horse.

Read more and watch the piece at Chron.com.

Right here.

Among the untold number of fantastic guitars being unveiled at NAMM 2015 are B.C. Rich’s new take on their classic Mockingbird, the Contour and Contour X models. What’s the deal? From Guitar Player:

In the past, the ability to duplicate the sleek and sultry details of the custom shop have been hard to reproduce on a factory floor, but new technology and production methods bring the Contour to fruition. Although it is not the first production Mockingbird to have an arched top, it is the first to come anywhere close to what was being done in the handcrafted shop.

Read more at GP.
Right here.

Gibson Custom has introduced another signature Les Paul, this time based on one of Robby Krieger’s personal instruments. The guitarist used his 1954 Les Paul Custom, nicknamed “L.A. Woman,” writing and recording classic Doors tracks after acquiring it in 1968. How accurate is the new model? Via Guitar Aficionado:

Notable details include the closely matched dish carve and neck profile carve, the accurate ebony fingerboard with aged pearl block markers, accurate vintage multi-ply binding, after-market Seymour Duncan neck pickup, and painstaking hand aging.

And for added authenticity:

(T)he first 50 guitars—hand aged by Gibson—will also be played, approved and signed by Robby himself.

Read more at GA.
Right here.

Singer-songwriter/producer Radney Foster has had ten guitars stolen. He has posted a list of the instruments and their serial numbers on his Facebook page. They include:

1958 Gibson Les Paul Jr. (Single cutaway sunburst)
serial #8-4239
This belonged to one of my dad’s best friends. He sold it to me, only after I promised to love it and play it on a record. 

1948 Martin 000-18 Acoustic
serial #111-578
This belonged to my cousin’s husband. She wanted me to have it, so that it would be played and loved again.

Familiarize yourself with the missing gear at Foster’s page.

Right here.

The amazingly robust reddit.com/r/guitar community is hosting an interesting conversation about guitar prices, “Is there a point where a guitar just becomes simply over priced?.” In an age where you can spend more on a Gibson reissue than on a decent used car, the answer seems to be a resounding, OF COURSE. But the opposite position has a surprising amount of support. User nobodygivesafuckk (!) describes a fleeting meeting with Vince Gill’s $12,000 Kelton Swade strat:

5 years and hundreds of guitars played later, nothing else has come anywhere close, both tone-wise as well as playability. I got to play it for about 3 hours, and to this day that memory is still my most vivid one when it comes to guitars. I’m sorry, but nothing even comes close. So yeah, I guess you get what you pay for.

Read along or join the discussion at Reddit.

Right here.

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