Category: Guitars

Music Video Premiere: Buick Audra Unveils “The Melody” and Talks Guitars

music video premiere buick audra unveils the melody and talks guitars

Nashville-based Grammy award-winning musician and writer Buick Audra introduces her new single/music video, “The Melody,” a track lifted from her forthcoming album, Conversations with My Other Voice, slated for release on September 23. The album, which will be accompanied by memoir-style essays, was written and produced by Buick and marks her first solo release without […]

The post Music Video Premiere: Buick Audra Unveils “The Melody” and Talks Guitars first appeared on Guitar Girl Magazine.

The post Music Video Premiere: Buick Audra Unveils “The Melody” and Talks Guitars appeared first on Guitar Girl Magazine.

<aWhen Fender Customized the Tele … with a Little Help from Martin

when fender customized the tele with a little help from martin

In 1959, Alaska as well as Hawaii became the 49th as well as 50th states in the U.S. However guitar followers understand ’59 as an epic year for both Les Pauls and Telecasters– 2 preferred tastes among meat-and-potatoes 6-string connoisseurs. On the Fender side of the food selection, that’s the year the Telecaster and Esquire Custom models debuted, at the NAMM program in June.Honestly, there had not been much that was different about the 1960 Tele, exemplified by this month’s

Telecaster Custom

instrument. The greatest adjustment was a change from all-maple necks to slab rosewood fretboards installed on maple. This was likewise provided for Stratocasters and various other versions at the time.With its choice location, top bout, as well as back put on, this guitar has actually been used difficult– which is typically a sign that it’s a great-sounding and playing instrument.The 1960 Tele Custom likewise has what the 1960 Fender catalog rather undoubtedly called a” customized treatment of the body. “What exactly does that suggest? The catalog notes that” an attractive very refined sunburst coating is used, and also the bottom as well as top edges of the strong body are trimmed with contrasting white binding.” Fender originally had problem keeping that binding glued in position and also had to seek advice from the Martin Guitar business to learn the appropriate technique.Telecaster Custom Our well-worn 1960 Telecaster Custom appears to be ended up in a 2-color sunburst (as made use of on Strats from 1954 to 1958). After removing the pickguard, the original unfaded red from a 3-color sunburst can be seen. A.R. Duchossoir, in his book The Fender Telecaster, prices estimate Fender designer Bill Carson regarding this red pigment:” We needed to look as well as

1960 Telecaster Custom

so we splashed several blocks of alder and also put them on the top of the structure to see which ones would fade as well as which ones would not. The red just merely got gobbled up in this chemical interaction.” Probably this guitar belonged to that colorful experiment? For the record, Fender did take care of to locate a consistent red by 1961. This guitar, and all other Tele Customs from 1960, have an alder body with a 3-ply pickguard. Criterion, non-custom-color Teles kept a single-ply white pickguard for a pair much more years. The control set is the common T-style 3-way pick-up selector with quantity as well as tone dials. In 1972, the Fender Telecaster Custom first showed up with a Seth Lover-designed humbucker in the neck port, which’s the arrangement made well-known by Keith Richards– maybe the most notable Telecaster Custom player.With its selecting location, upper spell, and back wear, this guitar has been used hard– which is typically an indication that it’s a great-sounding as well as playing instrument. This version’s original list price was $239.50. The current worth for one in this condition is$ 20,000.

Behind the Tele is a Fender Pro-Amp from April 1960. From its introduction in 1946 as The Professional, this amp utilized a 15″ speaker. It evolved from the ’40s “woodie” version to numerous tweed looks, consisting of a television front, a vast panel, as well as a narrow panel. In 1960, the Pro et cetera of the line transitioned to brown Tolex covering. The 1960 Pro pictured has two 6L6 power tubes pressing 40 watts with a Jensen P15N. The typical network has treble, bass, as well as volume controls, while the vibrato channel has volume, treble, bass, rate, strength, as well as existence controls. The original rate was $289.50. The current worth is $2,500.

Resources for this article include The Fender Telecaster: The Detailed Story of America’s Senior Solid Body Electric Guitar by A.R. Duchossoir as well as Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years by John Teagle and also John Sprung.

Honestly, there had not been much that was various about the 1960 Tele, exhibited by this month’s tool.< div course =" rebellt-item col1" data-basename= "particle-7" data-href=" https://www.premierguitar.com/pro-advice/vintage-vault/1960-fender-telecaster-custom?rebelltitem=7#rebelltitem7" data-id =" 7 "data-is-image=" True "data-post-id =" 2657536404" data-published-at= "1655762237 "data-reload-ads =" real" data-use-pagination

=” False” id=” rebelltitem7″ readability=” 6″ > Severe belt breakout shows this 1960 Tele Custom has actually seen a considerable amount of playing time.

This guitar, as well as all various other Tele Customs from 1960, have an alder body with a 3-ply pickguard.

Note the distinctive upper-and-lower-case design name on the headstock, versus Fender’s traditional all-caps variations.

Behind the Tele is a Fender Pro-Amp from April 1960.

The Brains Behind Some of Matsumoku’s Wildest Designs

the brains behind some of matsumokus wildest designs

I never seem to get rid of anything, including clothes. I have Vans from the ’80s that my son swears are worth a “ton of money,” and I have t-shirts dating way back. Since I never embraced fads, most of my old clothes are retro cool—according to my daughter, at least. The other day she was going through some aged t-shirts of mine and managed to claim a whole pile as her own. I looked through the shirts she liked, and among them I saw a Univox shirt, which I had totally forgotten about, but I quickly recalled that angular logo. (Man, the Univox Super-Fuzz is still my favorite all-time fuzz pedal.)


Here’s some backstory on the brand. The Unicord Corporation in New York started to import various Japanese models under the Univox name in the early 1960s. Those instruments were made at the rather famous Matsumoku guitar factory in Matsumoto City. Unicord and Univox had a pretty good run and lasted until the mid-’80s, when the Univox brand was phased out and Matsumoku burned down. To be honest, I never really dug most Univox guitars, because I mainly remembered them as ’70s-era copies of other brands. But being the nut that I am, I was able to track down some of the earliest Univox models, which were the brainchildren of a rather creative dude.

At that time, Matsumoku had two employees who played guitar and really dove into the factory’s new endeavor.

Let’s take a trip back to 1964. Matsumoku was ending business with the Singer sewing machine company. Basically, Matsumoku was a wood-crafting facility that made the cabinets for Singer. (I even have a Matsumoku-made cabinet and sewing machine in my house.) Also in Matsumoto, Fujigen was starting its guitar line and soon had instruments made at Matsumoku. By all accounts, Matsumoku, which had plenty of old, properly dried wood, had an easy transition from manufacturing cabinets to making some good-looking guitars. Not always super playable—but cool nonetheless.

Matsumoku had two employees who played guitar and really dove into the factory’s new endeavor. An older designer named Noritkatsu Harayama created parts such as the infamous tremolo/bridge unit found on many Matsumoku-made axes. Harayama later went on to become a master guitar-neck maker, and his work was featured on many ESP, Kramer, Schechter, and Moon models. The other employee at Matsumoku was Nobuaki Hayashi. Let me tell you, H. Noble (as he calls himself) is a mad genius. His current company is Atlansia Guitars. If you want your mind blown, check out his creations. Back in 1964, H. Noble was filling notepads with guitar-design ideas. Tragically, most of his coolest never saw life. But the two early Univox electrics in this column’s photos offer some insight into the man’s vision.

univox UC 6-string

Now, I don’t know the exact model names, but many of the Univox guitars were called UC-2 or UC-1. Check out the design on these. I don’t even know how to describe them. The headstock shape with the little stack on the end, the double cutaways like two big horns, the sweeping lower bout.… Those pickups were in-house jobbies and always play with sizzle. The controls were totally simple volume/tone knobs with a 3-way switch.

Every time I’ve visited Japan, I met with H. Noble, which is not an easy task. He’s a great person with a superb mind. He’s very thoughtful and soft-spoken, and he values his time. I also visited the site of the Matsumoku factory, which is now a lovely park. There’s so much history to cover with Matsumoku, Univox, and H. Noble that I could probably fill a good-sized book with what I know. But for today, let’s give a nod to all these fine people, and to my daughter who gave me another idea for another column.

Rig Rundown: Train

rig rundown train

Like King Ghidorah, these rock fretmasters prove three heads are better than one.


After a five-year break in studio releases, Train came roaring back this year with AM Gold and a tour with dates stretching into 2023 that’s delivering their new songs and a sampling of the group’s 28 charting singles from their nearly 30-year history. PG’s John Bohlinger stopped in on the band’s two guitar players, Jerry Becker and Taylor Locke, and bassist Hector Maldonado, before their June 21 show at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater. They displayed the big bevy of instruments they use to recreate the Train sound live.

PS: Special thanks to techs Wayne Davis and Stephen Ferrera-Grand for help running down the rigs.

Brought to you by D’Addario Nexxus 360 Tuner.

Yellow Fever

Taylor Locke’s No. 1 is this all-stock, scarred Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Special in TV yellow. For the record, Locke uses Shubb and Kyser capos, strings his axes with Dunlops, and uses the latter company’s picks and slides.

Hum-Doozie

When the song calls for a guitar with humbuckers, Locke goes with his all-stock Gibson Custom Shop R7 Les Paul Goldtop. It’s essentially a re-do of a 1957 Paul right down to the chunky C-profile neck and Indian rosewood fretboard.

Double Trouble

Some of Train’s songs require both electric and acoustic tones, and for those Taylor employs an Epiphone Casino, which tech Stephen Ferrera-Grand has outfitted with Fishman’s PowerBridge pickup system. The jack on the Casino is stereo, which enables splitting the stock electric pickups and a piezo pickup to two separate wireless packs, mounted side-by-side on Taylor’s guitar strap. The piezo signal hits a Sound Sculpture Volcano expression pedal volume controller that routes to an on/off switch on his Line 6 HX Effects stomper. The piezo sound is sent to front-of-house and monitors via a Fishman Aura Spectrum DI preamp.

Fab Filtration Across the Nation

When it’s time to go Filter’Tron, Locke straps on this tuxedo’d G6128T Vintage Select ’89 Duo Jet with a trusty Bigsby. In case the colors aren’t shining though in the photo, it’s an impressive black with metallic green sparkle, and Locke keeps it tuned a half-step down and strung with Dunlop .011s

Old Frontier

Locke aims for a couple of classic acoustic guitar tones, and for vintage vibe he reaches for this 1964 Epiphone Frontier. It’s from the original ’58 to ’70 run, with a Sitka spruce top and maple back and sides. These days, the model has been restored to the catalog courtesy of Gibson’s acoustic builders in Bozeman, Montana.

Clydesdale Tone

The workhorse sound of the Gibson J-45 resonates in the Train catalog, and this is one of many the band keeps in their 6-string arsenal.

Reso-Phonics

When the language of roots guitar needs to be spoken, Locke grabs his Gretsch resonator—part of the company’s Roots Collection of guitars. This one uses Gretsch’s patented Ampli-Sonic biscuit cone.

Playing the Dozens

When it’s time to wrangle acoustic jangle, this all-stock 1971 Ovation Glen Campbell 12-string gets to shine and shimmer. Unlike modern 6-string Campbell signature Ovations, this guitar lacks a cutaway. It has a Sitka spruce top, a walnut bridge, and an ebony fretboard—and sounds killer.

It’s Pronounced Oo-koo-lay-lay in Hawaiian

The hit “Hey, Soul Sister,” which reached No. 3 on Billboard’s pop chart in 2009, is guaranteed set-list material for every show. So, of course, Locke always has a requisite ukulele onstage. Here’s a look at the pair of Godin ukes in his rack.

Lean, No Cheese, 35 Watts

Locke uses a Top Hat King Royal 2×12 combo kept slightly off stage but loud enough to be audible. The 35-watter has three 12AX7s and four EL84 power tubes, and a GZ34 governing the rectifier. There’s a fat-off-bright switch, too. How does he run it? See the next photo.

All Set!

Here are his settings for the Top Hat. Note the master volume riding at 1 o’clock and his preference for the hi-input jack.

Is That a Banana, or….

Locke isn’t monkeying around: If his Top Hat goes down, he’s got a Vox C4 tucked aside as a spare. And a banana—maybe to snack on while Ferrera-Grand powers the amp up?

The Great Switcheroo

Locke’s electric guitar signal hits a Shure Axient Digital wireless and zooms into a Radial SW4 switcher. Tech Stephen Ferrera-Grand does the wireless switching on the Radial unit, in his guitar rack.

Above the SW4, you’ll see, peeking out, the acoustic boss: a Countryman DI. The Godin ukuleles follow the same signal flow as the acoustics, but along a different path into a separate Countryman DI.

Treading the Treadles

From the rack, the signal is sent out to a Pedaltrain ’board, outfitted with a Best-Tronics patchbay. The board contains a Dunlop DVP1XL volume pedal to a Line 6 HX. A second DVP1XL controls certain effects parameters, such as delay repeats and Leslie speed. The signal is then sent into a Boss NS-2 noise suppressor and on to the Top Hat amp.

Each speaker gets its own microphone: a Shure SM57 and an Audio-Technica AT4040.

For the majority of the set, Taylor keeps his HX set up with the following effects models: a Tone Bender fuzz (for leads and solos), a Klon Centaur (primary overdrive sound, almost always on), an MXR Timmy OD (neutral volume boost), EHX Deluxe Memory Man (modulated slap delay), Boss DM-2 Delay (long delay), and a Fender Vibratone (rotary). Taylor scrolls to other pedalboard scenes for song-specific effects, using tremolo for “Meet Virginia,” a Small Stone phaser for “AM Gold,” and so on.

Butterscotch Bliss

Another entry from the realm of the classics: Jerry Becker’s 2011 all-stock Fender American Vintage ’52 Telecaster has an ash body, a large U-profile neck, and, of course, a maple fretboard. It is strung with Dunlop DEN1046 Electric Nickel Performance+ string sets, running .010–.046. PS: Becker uses Levy’s straps and wireless pouches, Dunlop custom graphic signature picks, and Kyser Quick-Change capos.

Red Horse

This Gibson SG Classic from 2010 is stock and strung with Dunlop Performance+ .010–.046 sets—as are all his electrics. It has P-90s, a rosewood fretboard, and pearloid dot inlays up the neck.

Guitar of the Beast

This second-generation Gibson Les Paul Special reflects the body style that led Les Paul himself to cut ties with Gibson in the early 1960s. Nonetheless, with their two P-90s and lighter slab bodies, these are killer guitars. The double-horn cutaways make this 1973 a rare beast. It’s stock.

All Stock and Ready To Rock

Here’s Becker’s 1973 Gibson Les Paul Custom, left as it came from the factory. As you may recall, this model comes with “banjo”-style fret wire, to earn their reputation as—as Gibson put it on the model’s introduction in 1954—fretless wonders.

Modern Classic

This Gibson ES-339 was built in the first year the model was issued: 2007. The company introduced this guitar as a smaller—Les Paul sized—take on the ES-335, with a laminated maple-poplar-maple body, a maple center block, and spruce contour braces.

One More 45

Here’s yet another of Train’s Gibson J-45s. This one is a 2013 Custom Shop model in a wine red finish, and it is strung with Elixir 11050 80/20 Bronze Polyweb lights, gauged .012 to .053.

Nashville Tuning

Becker’s 1966 Gibson B-25 is set up in Nashville, or high strung, tuning. In this tuning, the wound E, A, D, and G strings are replaced with lighter-gauge strings tuned an octave higher than usual. In the old days, this had to be done by raiding 12-string sets, but some modern string makers produce Nashville tuning sets. So, Becker uses D’Addario EJ38H Phosphor Bronze .010–.027s.

Canadian Nylon

This 2017 Godin Multiac Nylon Duet Ambiance Natural HG has Fishman electronics that allows the internal blending of four microphone settings. It also sports a slim nut width (1.9″), a Richlite fretboard, and a chambered mahogany body. The strings: D’Addario EJ31 Pro-Arté Rectified Nylon Hard Tensions.

In the Pedal Pond

Becker uses a Fractal Audio Systems FX8 MkII combined with a Mission Engineering SP-1 Expression Pedal. There’s a Lehle D.Loop SGoS Loop Switcher, a Boss TU-3 Tuner, a Radial JR-2 Remote, and a Lehle P-Split Passive Splitter. It’s all powered by a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 Plus.

But Wait, There’s More

Guitar tech Wayne Davis mapped out Becker’s signal flow for us. The electric guitars hit a Shure Axient Digital Wireless receiver and flow into a Radial JX62. There, the 6-strings can be directed into the Lehle D.Loop in and then out via a loop A send to the Fractal FX8. The loop A return then reroutes through a D.Loop out to the Radial again. Then there are amp options: a Matchless DC-30 or a Leslie combo preamp and 145 rotary speaker cabinet. Acoustic guitar arrives via the wireless and hits the PA via the JX62 DI out.

Green Sound Machine

This envy-shaded DC-30 is Becker’s big gun. It was the company’s first design and gets huff from four EL84s, with two preamp sections: one powered by two 12AX7s and the other by a single EF86. That’s a lot of tonal versatility.

The Understudy

This Vox AC30 acts as Becker’s back up.

Coming Up Roses

Bassist Hector Maldonado’s long search for an early ’60s P bass landed him this 1960 Fender Precision days before Train’s current summer tour. The gem was professionally refinished by Joe Riggio of Riggio Custom Guitars at some point, but other than that it’s as Leo intended over 60 years ago. Riggio helped connect Maldonado to the seller so he could acquire his dream bass.

No. 2

With the arrival of his new old P, this off-the-rack Fender American Vintage ’62 P bass reissue got demoted to the No. 2 slot. But Maldonado says it plays better than some of his vintage instruments, and this 4-string has been around the world a few times with Train. Both Fenders take D’Addario roundwounds (.045–.100).

Sir Paul’s Highball

If you’ve spent time with any of the last three Train albums, you’ve heard this limited-run Hofner Gold Label Violin Berlin model. It is made of German Nussbaum wood and has the company’s 511B staple pickups in a normal-spacing configuration. Hofner’s Gold Label instruments are highly limited editions.

Get Back!

For the ultimate Beatles’ vibe, Maldonado uses this Hofner B-Bass HI-Series Violin model. It provides the desired “pluck” sound of 1964. Both of his stage Hofners take D’Addario XL Chromes, flatwound (.045–.100).

Spanish Flair

“Cleopatra” off AM Gold has a flamenco guitar part. Maldonado is classically trained, so he was the obvious choice to handle it, plus Becker and Locke are already busy with their own guitar chores on the song. Hector’s setup on his Yamaha CG172SF is creative. He uses a blend of strings from his Fender Bass VI and nylon guitar strings to hold down the low end and shred fingerstyle.

Racked and Ready

A Mesa/Boogie Subway D-800+ powers his basses, while an Avalon U5 Class A Active Instrument DI give a clear signal to front-of-house. And like his compatriots, he’s running a Shure AD4D rackmount wireless system.

More on the Floor

Maldonado has more pedals on the floor than his fellow Trainmen. His stomp station consists of a trio of mini MXRs—a Carbon Copy, Phase 95, and Vintage Bass Octave—plus an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano reverb, a Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI, a DigiTech Bass Driver OD, an Origin Effects Cali76 compressor, and a Mesa/Boogie Five-Band Graphic EQ. A Dunlop Volume (X) DVP3 and a Boss TU-3s mini Chromatic Tuner keeps his instruments reined.


So, You Wanna Be a Luthier? Part 2: The Scoop on Lutherie Schools

so you wanna be a luthier part 2 the scoop on lutherie schools 2

In my previous column, “So, You Want to Be a Luthier?”, I talked about the types of people attracted to lutherie training programs, some of the possibilities and options these individuals have at their disposal, and discussed both long-term and short-term training, either of which have their place for primary or supplemental training. But the question remains, what school should you choose for your lutherie training? And what might a school have to offer that would best suit your educational needs?


Here’s some good news: While the guitar itself is of European ancestry, since we are a guitar-crazy culture, many of the premier schools for fretted musical instrument making and repair are right here in the United States. In fact, many international students travel to the U.S. to learn here and typically comprise up to one third of our student body.

With all schools, there’s not one that will check every box and perfectly meet everyone’s criteria. Students have different learning styles and personalities that flourish in various types of training programs. For example, my school, the Galloup School of Guitar Building and Repair, focuses on hands-on training to make sure students leave with a premium amount of time physically building and converging with musical instruments. But for some, this type of training may not be as flexible as they would like. So, let’s look at some of the options available in the world of lutherie schools.

Short-term training is geared toward students who want to quickly advance their skills and resumé in a reasonable timeline. At Galloup, we do offer short-term training, but it primarily focuses on bread-and-butter skills and problems that are commonly encountered in guitar repair and restoration. Additionally, the Galloup School has been authorized by Taylor Guitars as a Silver and Silver Plus Level Warranty Certification training facility. However, Galloup does not offer short-term training for guitar making.

Students have different learning styles and personalities that flourish in various types of training programs.

For those looking to build a guitar in a short amount of time, one of the most established short-term programs is the American School of Lutherie, operated by Charles Fox in Portland, Oregon. This is an incredibly well-balanced program focusing on the quality construction of a flattop steel-string and an electric guitar. Another great program is operated by Robert O’Brien in Parker, Colorado. O’Brien Guitars offers an all-hands-on-deck operation wherein students build a flattop instrument in roughly one week. For short-term archtop guitar training, Dale Unger at the Nazareth Guitar Institute does a great job. Students move through building 17″ L5-style archtops to completion in the white (no finish applied) in one week. I’ve spoken to many students who’ve taken Dale’s class and they were more than happy with the experience. These are great options since they’re short and the training style is typically more personalized.

Long-term training, on the other hand, is a completely different situation, where classes can range from a few months in a private trade school to two years in an accredited college-based program. At Galloup, we offer long-term training that can extend to more than 2,000 training hours if a student wants to take all classes available. But although we are a licensed private trade school, we are a non-accredited program. So, as with all non-accredited programs, students must finance it themselves or secure a loan through a private lending institution.

Minnesota State College’s Guitar Repair and Building program in Red Wing, Minnesota—often called the “Red Wing school”—is a great example of a two-year, college-level course of study. Another medium to long-term option is the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, Arizona. To my knowledge, it’s the longest-running lutherie program in the United States, and it has produced many fine luthiers over the years. Roberto-Venn offers an 880-clock-hour program that allows students to take part in more of the design elements of guitar making. With both Red Wing and the Roberto-Venn schools, their accredited backing makes it easier to secure financial aid for those in need of assistance.

There is no one right answer. It’s up to the individual to determine what school and curriculum best meets their needs and financial preferences. In fact, many students choose to attend multiple programs to fulfill their education requirements.

For a full list of lutherie classes offered worldwide, you can check the Guild of American Luthiers at https://luth.org/resources/lutherie-schools/lutherie-schools-usa/. Not only do they offer a full listing, but the Guild is also a great source of information for inspiring luthiers.

<aYamaha Revstar Standard RSS02T Review

yamaha revstar standard rss02t review

While the Yamaha name is renowned in circles past the guitar globe, they’ve made first-class guitars because the 1960s. And also while they don’t let loose new launches with the frequency of some larger guitar brand names, from time to time they boil down the hill with a brand-new axe that advises us of their ability to build wonderful electrical 6-strings. In 2015, Yamaha presented the first generation Revstar. With a good-looking aesthetic influenced by the firm’s motorbike auto racing heritage, the Revstar incorporated sweet playability and also classic design touchstones. This year, Yamaha gave the Revstar an overhaul– including body chambering, updated pick-ups, and new changing. What’s impressive is just how these changes enhance the already remarkable playability and flexibility of the original.Keyed-Up Cruiser At


a glance, the newest Revstars

look a whole lot like the originals. And streamlined controls suggest little distinction in between the Yamaha and a lot of various other simple 2-pickup electrics. There’s a volume knob, a tone knob, as well as a pickup selector. Simple? Not necessarily. The control design is cost-effective, it conceals a chest of tone possibilities. The pickup switch is currently a 5-way selector. Positions 1, 3, and 5 are neck, neck/bridge mix, and bridge pickup setups. Placements 2 and also 4 deal awesome out-of-phase noises. Yamaha additionally made the tone knob a push/pull pot which turns on a passive increase called the emphasis switch. It successfully kicks up the mid and also reduced arrays and also slashes off the higher frequencies. When it comes to our evaluation guitar, the revised circuit is paired with a collection of Yamaha-designed VP5 P-90s with alnico 5 magnets. A humbucker-equipped version is also available.The build high quality on our gorgeous sundown burst Revstar is very good.

The double-cut body, which tastefully mirrors vintage Yamaha style aspects with a trace of ’60s countered lines, is constructed around a layer of maple over chambered mahogany. And though the building and construction really feels considerable, it’s still light at nearly 8 extra pounds. The carbon reinforced neck is developed around a 24 3/4 “range as well as features a 12 “radius rosewood fretboard. The tastefully subdued pearloid inlays are positioned in between jumbo, stainless-steel frets that will weather years of roadway rash prior to showing any type of wear. Unlike the deep glossy finish on the body, the rear of the neck is completed in satin. It’s an absolute dream to hold and also really feels much faster as well as more accurate for the lack of gloss.In the context of a complete band, the emphasis switch is additionally a convenient solution when you need to duck right into the rhythm pocket.Shifting Gears on the Open Road Yamaha succeeded in their efforts to makethe Revstar extra comfy. Compared to a Gibson SG Classic, the Revstar feels a hair larger however a lot more well balanced.

Hanging over my shoulder from a strap,

it really did not exhibit any type of tendency toward neck dive. This isn’t the only advantage of Yamaha’s chambered style, but it pays a big reward in this respect.With the Revstar out in front of an Orange OR50 and also a 4×12, added comparisons with the SG classic were informing as well as enlightening. As a whole, the Yamaha’s P-90s have a reasonably lower outcome, are much less loud, as well as exhibit greater

overall clearness. While the pick-ups on both guitars sound likewise hefty playing campfire chords, the Revstar’s output was more express playing barre chords further up the neck. Lead lines from the Revstar likewise brandish a bit much more midrange honk that begs for funk riffs. Combined with a glass slide, the Yamaha gladly changed into a blues monster.Pulling up on the focus switch kicks maintain right into high equipment. That maintain comes with the price of some information in the leading end, yet it’s definitely perfect for long, drawn-out lead lines as well as slide. In the context of a complete band, the emphasis switch is additionally a helpful solution when you need to elude right into the rhythm pocket. It’s also a breeze to turn in between the two expressions. Eventually, the focus switch shines most with high-headroom amplifiers. With smaller sized amps, like a 5-watt Champ, the increased lows as well as mids cause audio speaker break-up as well as some mud at moderate quantities, while the “undistinct” result continued to be gritty, yet eloquent.The Verdict At just a shade under$ 800, the Yamaha Revstar is a large amount. The range of offered tones is impressive. And the sharp, one-of-a-kind looks promote themselves. While the P-90s are a natural fit for traditional rock and also blues riffage, the total capacity for selecting information, the out-of-phase switching capabilities

, and the low/mid increase function significantly prolong the guitar’s vocabulary– making the new Revstar an excellent buddy for many pedals as well as very with the ability of being the only phase guitar you require. Whether you desire crystalline, single-coil chime or punchy, bottom-heavy power chord tones, the Revstar handles everything as with dignity as a café racer leaning right into a sweeping contour, and also really feels fantastic doing it.Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS02T Demo|Look < iframe frameborder =" 0" height= "car" lazy-loadable=" true "scrolling =" no" src=" https://www.youtube.com/embed/-yuNsTAt6dY?rel=0 "design=" position: absolute

; leading:0; left:0; width:100%; height:100%;” width= “100% “>

Keyed-Up Cruiser At a glimpse, the latest Revstars look a whole lot like the originals.

The construct quality on our gorgeous sundown burst Revstar is really good.

With the Revstar out in front of an Orange OR50 and a 4×12, extra contrasts with the SG standard were edifying and also enlightening.

Pulling up on the emphasis switch kicks sustain right into high gear.

The Verdict At just a color under$ 800, the Yamaha Revstar is an excellent deal.

Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster Review

squier 40th anniversary stratocaster review

Premier Guitar doesn’t often review anniversary edition instruments—most of them being marketing exercises in disguise. But the Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster genuinely seems to embody much about where Squier has been and the reliable source for quality, affordable, and, yes, beautiful guitars they have become.


At $599, the 40th Anniversary Stratocaster lives on the higher side of the Squier pricing scheme. But there is much—in terms of both style and substance—that makes this Stratocaster feel special. The mash-up of 1950s design cues (gold anodized pickguard) and 1970s elements (block inlays) really works in spite of how easy it is to screw up a Stratocaster’s graceful lines. And the spots where Squier added flash, like those inlays and neck binding, reflect a genuine concern for craftsmanship and executing the little details.

In practical terms, the 40th Anniversary Strat specs out and feels quite like a Classic Vibe Stratocaster, which is a good thing. The body is nyatoh and the fretboard is laurel, but apart from the 9.5″ radius fretboard, which always feels a bit flat on a Strat for me, neither result in major deviations from classic Strat weight or touch. Output from the alnico 5 pickups felt a little more contoured, less edgy, and less punchy on the treble side than the pickups in the Vintera ’60s Stratocaster and ’80s E Series Stratocasters I used for comparison. But apart from missing that micro-trace of extra spank that cuts through an intense spring reverb signal, there was little to upset the surfy state of very stylish bliss this Squier induced each time I plugged it in.

Gretsch Electromatic G5420T Review

gretsch electromatic g5420t review

Though big hollowbodies like the Gretsch G6120 are beautiful and an essential ingredient in countless classic records, they can be a tricky playing experience for the uninitiated. Navigable fretboard space is limited by solidbody standards. Big bodies can feel bulky. They’re sometimes feedback prone in high-volume situations, too. Consequently, I’ve watched many solidbody-oriented chums who rarely play hollowbodies handle a big Gretsch with the baffled look of a spacefarer deciphering an alien tongue.


This latest affordable, mid-line evolution of Gretsch’s classic 6120, the re-designed Electromatic G5420T, smooths navigation of those intrinsic challenges. A new approach to trestle block bracing and FT-5E Filter’Tron pickups give the guitar a zingy, lively, and surprisingly feedback-resistant resonance. And the ultra-smooth playability makes it relatable for the average solidbody player. Together, the improvements make the G5420 a welcoming and intuitive-feeling vehicle for the less-orthodox modes of guitar expression that big Gretsch’s enable.

New Shoes in Blue

Trestle bracing, as a name and design concept, graced Gretschs beginning in the ’50s. That system utilized a bridge-like pair of laterally oriented braces. Trestle block bracing is different. It situates a slim, light center bock that is shaped like a bridge arch at a 90-degree angle between two straight, lateral braces. In one sense, the construction is akin to a center-block semihollow body. But the Gretsch trestle block has much less mass and a smaller footprint than the center block in, say, a Gibson 335, making the design a great compromise between rigidity, stability, and resonance. The effects, at least to my ears, are audible. And one thing every staffer that touched this guitar agreed upon was that this was the liveliest affordable Gretsch that any of us remembered playing.

The G5420T also feels like a dream underneath the fingers. The 12″ radius makes string bends extra easy. Hammer-ons, pull-offs, and, yes, fleet-fingered Chet Atkins picking feel effortless. And in general the playability is so nice you often forget that notes much past the 17th or 18th fret are a pretty uncomfortable reach. The control layout is a familiar take on Gretsch convention. The master volume control on the treble-side horn is always a blast to use for volume swells. And while the bridge volume is situated pretty far aft on the body, it’s easy enough to reach for fine tuning adjustments and corrections to the neck/bridge blend. The Bigsby, meanwhile, is both fluid, smooth, and, in relative terms, pretty tuning-stable if you’re not too aggressive.

You don’t achieve playability and intonation like that on our review model without sweating the details, and the 5420’s neck, nut, fretboard, and frets all feel very much of a piece.

Construction quality is typically very good in Gretsch’s more affordable Streamliner and Electromatic, and the G5420T does its part to hold up the family reputation. You don’t achieve playability and intonation like that on our review model without sweating the details, and the 5420’s neck, nut, fretboard, and frets all feel very much of a piece. Little details like the binding around the f-holes are also flawlessly executed. One of the only overt signs of the G5420T’s mid-priced status is the polyester-azure-blue finish, which, while dazzling, looks a bit ripply and thick in spots. Even so, in sunlight, it reveals traces of pearlescent turquoise and lake placid blue, depending on the angle from which you view it.

Balance and Brawn

As Gretsch tells it, the new Filter’Trons are designed for stronger bass output and more articulate high end. I don’t know if I would call the low-end exceptionally robust. But 6th string notes exhibit a concise, classy punchiness that resonates with just-right complexity and gracefully adds balance and ballast to chords. Some players expect low notes on a Gretsch hollowbody to explode with the heft of a grand piano. But the chiming low notes of a Fender Rhodes electric piano are a more apt analogy for the 5420’s present, overtone-rich-but-understated bottom-string output. This same knack for balance translates to awesome, articulate overdrive and fuzz tones (though, needless to say, it is important to mind the feedback when messing with the latter).

High-end output, meanwhile, is beautiful. First- and 2nd-string notes ring presently and in graceful balance with the rest of the strings, lending a kinetic but not-too-hot edge to leads and chords. And anyone with an affinity for vintage rockabilly or late-’60s West Coast psychedelia will love the way these high notes hop, quaver, and sing with a waggle of the Bigsby. For this author, anyway, it’s a visceral, addictive thrill—particularly with a big Fender amp and a heap of spring reverb and slapback echo.

The Verdict

Any player well versed and at ease with the idiosyncrasies of a Gretsch hollowbody will love the way the 5420 sounds and feels. And on the latter count, certainly, the 5420T is the equal of many much more pricey guitars. It’s very easy to imagine an upmarket or vintage Gretsch owner who sweats gigging with an expensive axe taking this guitar out instead and feeling right at home. The pickups are very well balanced, present, and detailed. And the Bigsby is smooth and invites all manner of twitchy or surfy vibrato moves. Most important is how these factors conspire to offer an uncommon playing experience with an upmarket feel. “Riff machine” may be a term that you could apply to many guitars, but the combination of the 5420T’s playabililty and open, detailed, and balanced pickups add up to a deep well of habit-smashing inspiration—all at a very nice price, to boot.

Gretsch G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Demo | First Look

Riversong Glennwood TS6 Review

The first and perhaps most important thing to know about Riversong’s Glennwood TS6 is that it aspires to hybridize elements of electric and acoustic guitars. This is not a new idea—certainly not in the amplified acoustic era, where the straightest route to eliminating feedback is by reducing the resonant elements that cause feedback in the first place. Some acoustic/electrics achieve these ends by slimming bodies down to electric-guitar thickness. Riversong, however, sticks to traditional acoustic formula by making the TS6 a full-sized instrument. Its dimensions are a little bit atypical: the 16″ wide body and 4 3/4″ thickness are about the same size as Martin’s “jumbo” J body and the Taylor Grand Pacific. The pretty silhouette also echoes the curvaceousness of those larger guitars. Those similarities sometimes feel like an exception, though. At nearly every other turn, the TS6 very happily breaks the acoustic design mold.


 A Nuts-and-Bolts Approach

You don’t have to look very hard or be an acoustic guitar construction expert to see that there is a strong deconstructive thread in the Riversong’s design. The gap in the top behind the bridge, the slim heel, and, above all, the bracing and neck-through build are major breaks from classic acoustic design philosophy. These very overt differences are also a clue to how the Riversong stretches the definition of what an acoustic guitar is.

Most tradition-minded acoustic builders would consider the small space aft of the bridge detrimental to a resonant top. And few would opt for the bolt-on neck and through-body re-enforcement that runs the length of the body. These obvious deviations from acoustic design dogma are just the start. Peek through the side port and you’ll see “skeletized” bracing that looks like sections of a cantilever bridge in miniature. Adjustment to the action and neck tilt? They’re made with an Allen key that you place through an access cavity on the back of the guitar at the heel.

All these very unconventional elements are executed at a very high level of workmanship. I failed to find a construction miscue anywhere. The fretwork is pretty much perfect and the solid wild cherry back and sides, Sitka spruce top, maple neck, and walnut fretboard are all shaped and put together with obvious care.

Electrified Vibrations

Considering that the TS6’s primary mission is that of a hybrid electric/acoustic—and that so many of its fundamental design elements would traditionally be considered detriments to acoustic tone—the TS6 sounds pretty good unplugged. If I had to guess, I’d venture that the Jumbo-like dimensions were adopted, in part, to offset the diminished volume and overtones that could result from the neck-through design. Yet the TS6 is notably resonant, particularly in the low-midrange, and exhibits nice sustain. It may not be as loud or detailed as a dedicated acoustic of similar dimensions, but it holds its own, and the combination of projection from the side port and soundhole creates a nice composite sound image that would be well worth miking and doubling with the pickup signal in a studio or on a quiet stage.

The combination of projection from the side port and soundhole creates a nice composite sound image that would be well worth miking and doubling with the pickup signal in a studio.

The TS6’s amplified qualities and its electric-like playability are the main attraction, though. The Fishman Flex undersaddle pickup and preamp hold up pretty well to hard strumming without getting quacky, but the guitar and pickup work best together in dynamic fingerstyle settings. I tended to work from fairly tame tone settings on both the TS6 and the Fishman Loudbox I used for amplification, but the TS6 left ample headroom for adding sparkle to the basically well-rounded tonal foundation. Playability, as advertised, is excellent for a flattop. The 16″ fretboard radius and jumbo frets make it easy to fret with a light touch. The 1 5/8″ nut width and the neck profile (which to me felt at various times like a 1960s Guild or a Rickenbacker) also conspire to lend a very electric-feeling experience. The neck-thru system’s ability to facilitate and withstand pitch-bending neck wobbles also checks out just as Riversong claims. I can’t remember using an acoustic in this fashion so readily, dramatically, and with such negligible effect on tuning stability.

The Verdict

At around $2,000, the TS6 is a flattop for players committed to the unconventional or performers that can also afford to keep a classic flattop around for recording pure acoustic tones (if they are concerned with such expressions). It’s a niche instrument, but it does a brilliant job of blurring the lines between acoustic and electric.