The Guild X-50 was Guild’s response to Gibson ES-125. It was the smallest of Guilds hollowbody and the only model of the ‘X’ line to be non-cutaway. Early models were nicknamed Granada, up until 1961 when the guitar was renamed Cordoba.
Family-built by Brian May and his father, the Red Special has been reproduced several times by brands like Guild and Burns since the eighties. In 2006, May created ‘Brian May Guitars’ to market his own take on the ‘Old lady’. Loaded with three Burns Tri-sonic pups, it’s a great quality instrument for $800.
1987-1999 Alder or Ash / Maple / Maple or Rosewood
By many considered one of Fender’s finest, the Plus series was released and introduced a lot of new props. It was the first Strats to featured Gold Lace Sensor pickups as well as locking tuners. Those pickups were appreciated for keeping a 50s feel, but without the hum. Hear it
The very first humbucker and probably the most sought after pickup of all time, the PAF was invented by Seth Lover, then Gibson employee, as an answer to the problematic hum caused by single coils. Famously the de-facto pickup on Les Paul standards of that era, the PAF was the secret weapon to crush Fender.
PAF stands for “Patent Applied For”, as seen on the decal. Story goes that no PAF pickup sounds the same, but they all roar. This is probably due to the fact they were randomly stuffed with Alnico II, III, IV or V magnets. Modified patented versions were produced after 1962, marking the official end of the “Patent Applied For” era. Since then, countless reissues, clones and copies have been produced.
As cool as it is rare, the Gretsch 6117 Catseye got its name from the “Cat eyed” shape sound holes instead of the traditional F-holes. Common to Rickenbacker, catseye holes were only seen in acoustic Gretsch models.
Hard not be under the spell of the Skydog. The guitar prodigy that is Duane Allman has granted us with flawless studio work, sublime live improvs and electrifying slides, throughout a career interrupted way too early. Besides his talent, he made guitar playing look and feel so effortless, and that grants him a prime seat in the pantheon of guitar gods, very close to Hendrix.
Duane Allman is mostly remembered as a Les Paul Standard player. He also played a 61 SG for slides and Strats during his pre-Allman brothers session work.
Another superb Hofner. The President Electric was a variant of the acoustic model of the same name, which started off in 1953. It is easily recognized by its triple dot inlays and single cutaway (venetian or florentine). Early models had black bar pickups (pictured). Hear it
One of Fender’s prototype at NAMM 2012 this winter was the Fender Voyager. Designed by former Charvel master builder Josh Hurt, the Voyager has their pickups hidden below the pickguard, just like on the original Fender Marauder
Fender has honored each of the three member of the Hellecasters band with a signature stratocaster Fender. Jerry Donahue is a Telecaster player, so he “telifyed’ his MIJ signature strat by requesting a metal plate under the bridge pickup. Overall this rarebird (450 made) is considered very well crafted guitar and simply sounds fantastic.
Marc Bolan’s Les Paul was a FrankenPaul. It was built out of several LPs from different eras. Its whereabouts are unknown, but Gibson believed its last state to be a 50s Les Paul body with a 70s LP Custom neck. That’s on these specs that they built the Custom Shop Marc Bolan signature Les Paul. Of course, its a limited run of 100, on top of which another 350 VOS have been produced.
Gibson EB bass series was very popular, but getting old. They freshened up in 1973 with the release of two basses that would clash with the Gibson tradition: The Gibson Grabber and the Gibson Ripper.
Instead of the Mahogany body, the Ripper was built with Maple (and alder in 1975), woods usually found on a Fender Production line. The bass was kept at low cost by keeping it cosmetically basic. In 2009, Gibson released a limited edition reissue called the Gibson Ripper II.
Also known as the Harmony H-49, this is one of the Sears catalog guitars produced by Harmony. Two DeArmond pickups with a gorgeous tone, lightweight because of a semi-hollow body, it’s a very desirable guitar usually found under $1,000. Photo: Southside Guitars