Fender’s Princeton Reverb-Amp!

Fender’s Princeton Reverb-Amp!

1964 was a transitional year for the entire Fender amplifier line. All amplifiers were now covered in a new black material that was striking in appearance and extremely sturdy: black Tolex! Much of the line was already utilizing brown or white Tolex material but the Champ was still dressed in the cool looking but very fragile tweed covering. Not only that, but effects were starting to become standards in guitar tone. Fender's Reverb unit was a hot seller but required hauling around and servicing an additional piece of gear. Fender's research and development…Read more
Stephen Kellogg’s 1948 Gibson Southerner Jumbo

Stephen Kellogg’s 1948 Gibson Southerner Jumbo

  Stephen's beloved "Forty-Eight" rolled through the shop a few weeks ago for a little maintenance before going back to work fleshing out songs. It's a rare bird with that cool belly down bridge. I took a little time to enjoy it myself before shipping it back up north. The best Southerner Jumbos come out of the South. Safe travels, friend.  Read more
The BEST hard shell case for Gibson LG-1, LG-2, LG-3, LG-0, & B-25!

The BEST hard shell case for Gibson LG-1, LG-2, LG-3, LG-0, & B-25!

I get this question a lot: What is the best replacement hard shell case for my vintage Gibson LG-2, B-25, LG-1, LG-3, or LG-0? There are a lot of good replacement hard shell cases out there but my favorite for small body Gibson guitars is the Silver Creek Classical size case. While it may say "classical", it seems to be taylor made for the Gibson LG body and neck shape. It has a great fit, offers excellent neck support, and is light weight. I don't even feel the need to add extra padding…Read more
“Should I buy a tweed Fender Champ if I already have a blackface Champ?”

“Should I buy a tweed Fender Champ if I already have a blackface Champ?”

I recently received this question from a friend: "Hey John, As my most trusted source on music equipment, can you help me understand if I should purchase a tweed fender champ?  I already have a 1965 blackface champ.  Am I incorrect in thinking the tones will be worlds apart? --Friend" I'm flattered! I've narrowed my focus for vintage amps largely on clean examples from Fender recently because of the intersection of their prevalence here in the US and desirability. Champs are some of the most fun because they are simple, affordable, and can…Read more
The 2018 Vintage Guitar Price Guide

The 2018 Vintage Guitar Price Guide

We've just received Vintage Guitar Magazine's Price Guide for 2018 and have been pouring over the data. We've used the Price Guide for the past 6 years or so to add another data point to our pricing calculation when we're preparing a listing for any vintage guitar. Do you have one? Maybe one from a few years back? It's time to update your guide: Vintage Guitar Price Guide 2018 on Amazon. If you buy through that link then you'll pay Amazon's lowest price and I'll get a little kickback for directing you there.…Read more
True Vintage Guitar on The Fire Escape Podcast!

True Vintage Guitar on The Fire Escape Podcast!

Want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at True Vintage Guitar? Check out the latest episode from The Fire Escape podcast wherein we discuss early mistakes like getting shocked by unserviced two prong amplifiers in my dorm room in college but also recent triumphs like booking a one way ticket to Reno, NV to buy a rare 1959 Fender Twin (painted brown of course) from a sweet songwriter lady in the middle of the desert. You can find more information on The Fire Escape at fireescapepod.com! https://soundcloud.com/fireescapepod/13-john-shults-true-vintage-guitarRead more
The Fender Telecaster: 1969

The Fender Telecaster: 1969

By 1969, the Telecaster model had been relegated to fifth place on the price list for standard solid body electric guitars. The top of the line Jaguar was offered at $429.50 but a standard Telecaster with Rosewood fretboard could be purchased for almost half that at $269.50. It's possible that the Jaguar and Jazzmaster's high prices helped kill their popularity in the 1970s while the Telecaster shined as one of Fender's flagship designs and helped keep the company afloat. As the Telecaster's popularity surged in the late 1960s, Fender started developing unique variations…Read more
Gibson’s ES-335 from 1958 to 1968

Gibson’s ES-335 from 1958 to 1968

The folks at Gibson didn't think very highly of Leo Fender's Esquire solid body electric guitar introduced at the 1950 National Association of Music Merchants show. It looked rather crude compared to the nicely appointed archtop electric guitars made by Gibson and Epiphone that were popular with the Jazz and Big Band guitar players of the time. The almost instant commercial success of the guitar changed Gibson's mind and enter the market for solid body electric guitars with the Les Paul Model in 1952. The 1950s saw many innovations in the Les Paul…Read more
Fender’s Thinline Telecaster

Fender’s Thinline Telecaster

The recently purchased Fender company was noticing some complaints about one of their most popular models in 1967: the Telecaster was gaining weight. High quality (read: light weight) Ash to make guitar bodies was becoming scarce while the heavier stuff was readily available. Legendary German guitar designer Roger Rossmeisel was then employed at Fender and set out to design a guitar that could utilize the more abundant (heavy) Ash and yet not break the player's back. Rossmeisel's first design was to route away body material underneath the pickguard. The modification was completely hidden…Read more
Gibson Firebird III non-Reverse in rare Frost Blue!

Gibson Firebird III non-Reverse in rare Frost Blue!

Gibson's Firebird range of guitars consisted of four trim levels and one major body style change in 1965. The trim levels mirrored that of the Les Paul line where the I = Junior, II = Special, V = Standard, and VII = Custom. The initial Firebird run utilized a revolutionary neck through body design but the entire line was updated in 1965 to an easier to manufacture standard neck joint similar to the joint on an SG. The body shape was also changed to what was essentially the mirror image of the original.…Read more