Inside Carter Vintage Guitars, home of the first Spanish-neck electric guitar

Walter Carter talks us through some of the most impressive and interesting instruments in his beloved store, from a guitar played by Bo Diddley to the electric guitar that started a revolution...

Back in 2019 we headed to Carter Vintage in Nashville where Walter Carter gave us a tour and pulled out some of the rarest and most valuable pieces in the store, including a 1958 Gibson Flying V, which retailed at $247.50 in the year of its release, a bizarre guitar made by Bo Diddley in 2001 that features a built-in CD player, which Walter afectionately calls the Bo Diddley CD Model, and a Selmer grand bouche, gypsy jazz-style model designed by Mario Maccaferri.

Elsewhere you’ll find the Ro-Pat-In Electric Spanish from 1932, the very first electric “Spanish” guitar, which was made by the company that would go on to become Rickenbacker. Ro-Pat-In’s pickup was the first to feature a string-driven design – where the vibrations of the strings alter a magnetic field to produce a signal, and this is the same principle used in every magnetic pickup made today.

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