Guitarist Presents: Historic Hardware

magazine Guitarist Presents: Historic Hardware · Guitarist Presents: Historic Hardware

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Explore the beauty, craft and heritage of over 66 stunning vintage guitars, from the 1933 National Duolian resonator to the legenday 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard in this lavishly illustrated, reference grade companion for any guitarist who wants to immerse themselves in the history of the great 20th century guitar makers.


PRE-WAR GUITARS • Steaming out of World War I and roaring into the 1920s in hot pursuit of volume...

GIBSON NICK LUCAS • A round-shouldered acoustic with radio-star appeal that still looks like a celebrity today…

1924 GIBSON L-4 • The early stirrings of the archtop era are visible in this characterful acoustic

DUST DEVIL • Meet the budget classic that saved Gibson’s neck, survived the dust bowl of Depression-era America and played a role in the very strange life of Satan’s guitar hero…

ROCK OF AGES • How did a guitar owned by Booker White, one of history’s most influential bluesmen and an early inspiration to BB King, come to rest thousands of miles away in the north-east of England? We meet its current guardian, photographer Keith Perry, to find out how an unlikely friendship carried this iconic instrument all the way from Memphis to Newcastle

THE ARCHTOP ERA • When Orville Gibson fused a violin and guitar in the 1890s, he can’t have imagined the revolution to come. Here’s how the archtop leapt from inception into the electric era…

1940 GIBSON L-30 • BB's famous long line of 'Lucilles' began with this workmanlike archtop

1947 LEVIN SOLIST • A post-war sunburst Swedish archtop that would be a dream companion for any jazz player

1951 GIBSON ES-5 • Back in its day, Gibson lauded the ES-5 as the “supreme electronic version of the L-5”

GIBSON SUPER 400 • Glitzy, ritzy and opulent, the Super 400 was every jazzer’s dream

1953 GIBSON L-48 • Before pickups took over, Gibson had time for one last classic acoustic archtop…

1957 EPIPHONE ZEPHYR DE LUXE REGENT • A heavenly hollowbody from the jazz era with luxury appointments and twin humbuckers

1955 GIBSON ES-350T • With one of these slick-playing hollowbodies in hand, Chuck Berry redefined rock ’n’ roll

1958 GIBSON ES-225T • An early thinline whose ephemeral production makes it a rare and sought-after vintage find

HOWE NICE • Steve Howe of prog giants Yes made an unusual but iconic choice of guitar when he began a lifelong association with this Gibson ES-175

1964 GIBSON BARNEY KESSEL CUSTOM • This signature model is a serious jazz guitar that’s so sophisticated, it even has bowties for inlays

1959 GRETSCH WHITE FALCON & PIGGYBACK FENDER BASSMAN HEAD • Intended as a showpiece, not a production model, the White Falcon is the last word in guitar luxury. Teamed with the Piggyback Fender Bassman Head, it’s a prime choice for some classic vintage tones as well as being a great option for a modern player with a packed pedalboard

1960 GRETSCH 6118 DOUBLE ANNIVERSARY • This 75th anniversary model was a fairly affordable guitar. Here's one with a difference (or two)

1965 GRETSCH 6122 COUNTRY GENTLEMAN • A mid-60s Country Gentleman that's intrigued a succession of players, from Elvis to John Squire

HARMONY H54 ROCKET • Adrian Utley is just one great player who’s found a modern-day use for the super-thinline Rocket

1963 HARMONY H75 • A classic example of the US mail-order guitars now spiralling in value on the vintage market

THE SOLIDBODY REVOLUTION • It began as the black sheep of the guitar industry, but by the 50s, the solidbody guitar was top dog. Here’s how the format slugged its way into contention…

1950 FENDER BROADCASTER • The first-ever mass-market solidbody was a masterstroke of pragmatic engineering


Guitarist Presents: Historic Hardware