Vintage

Vintage Bench Test: Les Paul Special shootout

Only a year separates these two Gibsons, but the sonic and structural changes are significant. Find out what happens when single and double-cut Les Paul Specials from 1958 and ’59 go head-to-head.

Vintage Bench Test: 1959 Fender Jazzmaster

This ash-bodied 1959 Jazzmaster sports a gold anodised pickguard and a blonde finish, making it one of the rarest and most collectible offsets in the Fender canon. Although its price tag that places it firmly in the wheelhouse of collectors and rockstars only, we wonder about the impact that ash has on vintage Jazzmaster tone.

Vintage Bench Test: 1964 Gibson Firebird III

Finding a vintage reverse-body Firebird without a headstock repair is hard enough, but when custom colours are thrown into the mix, they’re scarce indeed.

Vintage Bench Test: 1961 and 1963 Fender Stratocasters

If you’ve ever wondered whether vintage tone is in the wood or the pickups, this pair of custom-colour pre-CBS Fender Stratocasters may help settle the issue.

Looking for a bang-for-the-buck vintage Gibson archtop? Try this 1963 ES-125TCD

Some of Gibson’s more affordable archtop models offer the best bang for your buck on the vintage market. We check out one such example, purchased new back in ’63 just 160 miles west of Kalamazoo.

This 1956 Gibson ES-175D is one of Kalamazoo’s finest

The ES-175 was introduced as an affordable jazz guitar, but its popularity has endured because it can do so much more – just ask Steve Howe. We check out a 1956 ES-175D with a brace of P-90s and the early-style tailpiece.

Gary Richrath’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul is a raw, rock-oriented Burst

With its spectacular faded flametop and double-cream pickups, this 1959 Les Paul is a fire-breathing rock monster with a storied past. Time to meet the Richrath Burst.

This 1967 Epiphone Casino comes in an ultra-rare Pelham Blue finish

We have The Beatles to thank for the popularity of the sunburst Casino, but this custom-colour model from the psychedelic era is a collectible delight.

This 1961 Gretsch 6156 Playboy is the bargain vintage amp you’ve been looking for

Its name may have unsavoury connotations, but don’t let that put you off – this might just be the bargain vintage amplifier you’ve been looking for.

This 1957 Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster is a blues and country machine

The Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster is regarded as the first commercially available electric guitar with three pickups, and this example from 1957 is loaded with original PAFs.
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