1956 Gibson Les Paul Jr

1956 Gibson Les Paul Jr

The Gibson Les Paul Jr was introduced in 1954 as a bare bones entry level electric guitar. It featured a slab Mahogany body, Mahogany neck, Brazilian Rosewood fret board and a single P-90 pickup in the bridge position. The Les Paul Jr is known today as a rock and roll workhorse. This Les Paul Jr's design is so well suited for rock and roll because of the average weight, single pickup, neck profile/width and the fact that it is a real 1950s Les Paul. The lack of a Maple cap on the body…Read more
1967 Epiphone FT-110 Frontier

1967 Epiphone FT-110 Frontier

The Epiphone Frontier was manufactured by the Gibson company in Kalamazoo, MI from 1958 until 1969. This model was a continuation of the Epiphone made FT-110 which also featured flame Maple back and sides. The Gibson made version introduced the square shoulder design for Gibson in 1958. In 1962, Gibson introduced the Dove which was based off of this guitar but with the bird motif. In 1963, Gibson added the cacti and lariat relief graphic onto the pickguard of the Frontier. Isn’t that a sexy guitar?! The time that I had with my…Read more
1963 Epiphone Coronet Silver Fox

1963 Epiphone Coronet Silver Fox

It's hard to beat a hot Gibson P-90, a wrap tail and a slab of Mahogany.  1963 was the first year of the batwing headstock and the custom color they called Silver Fox.  The early 60s saw many funky new designs including the Fender Jaguar, Gibson SG and endless Chicago made cheapies branded Kay, Harmony and Silvertone.  This guitar is light, super resonant and the P-90 just screamed.  The neck was actually 1 9/16" wide which was odd for Gibson pre-1965.  This bare bones rock machine paired with a tweed Fender Deluxe was…Read more
1943 Gibson J-45

1943 Gibson J-45

This 1943 Gibson J-45 came to me in the original case with zero prior repairs.  The bridge had pulled up and the bridge plate had puckered a bit so I had it expertly repaired by Jason Burns here in Birmingham, AL (burnsrepair.com).  It came out gorgeous and the tone is truly spectacular.  Collector value is one thing but true tonal superiority is quite another.Collector ValueI don't normally enjoy talking up the collector value on vintage instruments because it's usually pretty obvious.  However, this one deserves a bit of press for its rare features…Read more
1966 Gibson ES-330

1966 Gibson ES-330

Here's another ES-330 that I was lucky to babysit for a time.  This one was made in Kalamazoo, MI in 1966 but had been played very little before I snagged it.  This model is, in my opinion, the most under valued vintage Gibson electric out there.  The fully hollow body does make it a bit more prone to feed back at high stage volume but also makes it comfortable, resonant and warm. Do you have one of these that you would like to sell?  I'm looking for another.  Please email me about what…Read more
1949 Gibson Southern Jumbo

1949 Gibson Southern Jumbo

In 1942 the folks at Gibson's decided it was time to redesign the J-55 into something flashier, something that the folks south of the Mason-Dixon line would like.  What they ended up with was a model called the Southerner Jumbo which featured their split parallelogram inlays down the fretboard.  A few of the original batches even had Rosewood back and sides which command quite a premium over the Mahogany versions.  All further batches featured the J-45 base with the fancy inlays and thicker binding around the body.This guitar was manufactured just after the…Read more
1940 Kalamzoo KG-12 shade top

1940 Kalamzoo KG-12 shade top

The shade top Kalamazoo KG-12 is a bit of a rare bird and was worth the time it took to find a good one.  You'll more commonly see the natural finished version called the KG-12N or Oriole.  Those have the Oriole decal on the headstock.  The shade top version was devoid of the Oriole but received an attractive sunburst and darker natural stain on the back.  This time period at Gibson is known for great craftsmanship and is considered the peak of the golden age of lutherie.This model is constructed of an Adirondack…Read more
Rare Amplifiers: The DeArmond R5T

Rare Amplifiers: The DeArmond R5T

The 1959 DeArmond R5Tmay be the perfect recording amplifier if you are looking to compliment the tone of your guitar.  You could gig it but you aren't going to be blowing out your local amphitheater or even small club with it.  These were made by Rowe industries in Toledo, OH from 1959 to 1961.  It features a 5 watt "Champ" style circuit with a 10" Jensen C-10.  They came stock with a Tung-Sol 6X4 rectifier tube, a Magnavox 6V6 power tube and an Amperex "Bugle Boy" 12AX7 preamp tube.  The T versions included…Read more
1936 Gibson Trojan

1936 Gibson Trojan

The first Trojan shipped in October of 1936 and was marked in the Gibson Shipping ledgers as "Trojan."  This guitar has now been confirmed in the old Gibson ledgers as a Trojan shipped on November 26, 1936.  A gentlemen posted about this guitar on the Gibson forum and was kind enough to send me a bunch of pictures.The Gibson Trojan preceded the J-35 by a couple of months (October to December, 1936).  This Gibson Trojan matches all the features for a 1937 J-35 with the exception of a couple of key things.  The…Read more
Gregory Alan Isakov and his 1967 Gibson J-50

Gregory Alan Isakov and his 1967 Gibson J-50

"It was a gift from a friend of mine" Gregory Alan Isakov muses over his guitar as he rolls a cigarette.  It is the last day of September 2013 and Gregory was kind enough to chat a while about his beat but sweet 1967 Gibson J-50.  The weather was nice and it was time for a post sound check smoke.  We talk about how his guitar lay dormant in a barn in Colorado for about 40 years, just resting up for its second career. John: Do you mind if I check it out?  It looks…Read more