Guitar Gear Archives

Epiphone Limited Edition Wilshire Pro Electric Guitar

If like me you like Guitars which are a bit different then you’ll love the look of this new Epiphone Limited Edition.

Looking like some fort of strat/tele/Gibson hybrid – the Wilshire Pro comes with a funky double cut away humbucker configuration. Personally I love this look (in particular the tone/volume knob placements) it really has that 60/70′s vibe. And so it should! – the Wilshire’s were originally avaialble during the ’60s and shared many features with the Gibson solidbody’s like the SG.

Epiphone Limited Edition Wilshire Pro Electric Guitar Aged Pelham

Epiphone Limited Edition Wilshire Pro Electric Guitar Aged Pelham

Epiphone have tried to remain faithfull to these originals employing many of the features of the original at an affordable price. We think they look great!

Epiphone say:

The Epiphone Wilshire Pro electric guitar has a double-cutaway mahogany body and set mahogany neck, which joins the body at the 22nd fret, giving you the ultimate in upper-fret access. The Wilshire Pro is lightweight and comfortable, with excellent resonance and natural acoustic tone—even unplugged! Featuring Epiphone’s LockTone Tune-O-Matic/stopbar combination, the transfer of string vibration is improved even more, giving this it excellent sustain and clarity.

The neck pickup is Epiphone’s Alnico Classic. It provides warm and subtle tone with a full, even response that doesn’t hold back when you need that classic humbucker crunch. An Alnico Classic Plus is in the bridge, and is over wound for a slightly higher output—without sacrificing its rich, vintage tone. Both feature Alnico II magnets, enamel wire, and are double vacuum waxed. Each volume control on the Epiphone guitar is a push/pull potentiometer that allows you to coil-split each pickup separately for a more twangy single-coil sound, as well as many other tonal combinations.

The Epiphone Wilshire Pro electric guitar features their own “batwing” headstock. A classic design that improves tuning ease and accuracy by offering a straight string-pull design, the headstock is adorned like the original with the vintage Epiphone logo in gold. Other features include a 1960′s SlimTaper neck profile with Rosewood fingerboard, premium 14:1 die-cast tuners, and individual volume and tone controls for each pickup.

Check out this video on Epiphone’s reissue Wilshire from

PRS 25th Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield

There’s something about PRS guitars – With the grip on the market that Fender and Gibson had PRS still had that hold over me – I was always a huge fan of PRS guitarist David Grissom – he was the first one that attracted me to them – I guess that I always held PRS in such high regard – they seemed to be the session musician’s guitar maker – and usually sat well out of reach financially.

They make some beautiful instruments – they have that warm fuzzy sound that envelopes you and is really quite different from your average Les Paul or Fender tone – really something unique.


Paul Reed Smith 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield Electric Guitar Smokeburst

Paul Reed Smith 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield Electric Guitar Smokeburst

PRS fans will be pleased to see the 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield model – (again just look at the thing – it looks like a work of art)

The Narrowfield refers to the pickups that resemble mini-humbuckers – but actually sound more like single coils (albeit with a bit more bite – fantastic for country rock tones. – The five way pickup option gives some fantastic tonal options and most musical genres can be covered – check out the vid below for those neck pickup tones – Awesome. Given PRS’s manufactruing standards and the sounds this can pull out the bag – this is one guitar that demands a look.

PRS say

This guitar is all about versatility. The 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special replaces the traditional hum-single-hum configuration with three Narrowfield™ pickups, which when combined with a five-way blade switch, supply a multitude of switching possibilities. The Narrowfield™ pickups focus the string attack much like a singlecoil but are hum canceling. The result is a new sounding pickup system, which blends features of single coil, soap bar, and humbucking pickups.
Additionally, the 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special Narrowfield™ features a shadow bird inlays, anniversary headstock eagle, and a bolt-on maple neck with a maple fretboard.

Ibanez Artcore AF75 – Ibanez Jazz guitar

Ibanez have been producing well made and great sounding jazz guitars for a while and its Artcore range is well known amongst astute jazz guitar enthusiasts as great guitars offering some pretty fantastic features at a fraction of the cost of say a comparative Gibson or Gretsch.

The Ibanez Artcore AF75 itself makes for a great jazzer – it is a true hollow body guitar and looks pretty lush from the outset – Ibanez makes has a tradition for making beautiful guitars and this Artcore is no different. With a fully bound all maple body that provides tight resonance without feedback the Artcore produces those perfect tones for those that crave an authentic jazz sound.

For those looking for some tonal flexability – this Ibanez also provides a more than credible take on rock, blues and punky tones offering a little something different from the usual tones of a Strat or Les paul. For those that love their rockabilly prepare to fall in love as with the right amp this guitar can growl with the best of them.

With features such as a mahogany set neck, bound rosewood fretboard and pearl block inlay your fingers will love it. While the lower end of the guitar market often get criticised for their pickups the ACH1 humbucker at the neck and ACH2 at the bridge provide a beefy, quiet signal with pronounced mids (check out the Youtube video below to hear the Artcore in action – Note:this is the AFS75T with Bigsby style tremolo).

Ibanez Artcore AF75 Electric Guitar Features:

• Full-hollow body
• Maple top, sides, and back
• Mahogany set neck
• Bound rosewood fretboard
• ACH1 humbucker at the neck
• ACH2 humbucker at the bridge

Rickenbacker 620

The Rickenbacker 610 electric Guitar is essentially a Rickenbacker 620 with some minor differences. The 610 has dot fret markers, no stereo output and no binding on the body

Manufactured in American the Rickenbacker 610 has two high gain pickups, which make it evoke classic early Beatles sound, a “Cresting Wave” solid body, Classic Rickenbacker tailpiece. The neck features a 21 Fret Rosewod Fretboard and a classic Rickenbacker shaped headstock.

The guitar is fairly light to play and has that iconic Rickenbacker vibe. Great for Pop, but versatile enough for Rock and Jazz – the guitar sounds great strangled with a light touch of overdrive. A lot of the versatility comes from the Rickenbacker blender control – this allows the bridge and neck pickups to be mixed and allows the player to dial in a wide variety of tones from thin to fat.

As usual these Rickenbacker’s are a quality instrument with great attention to detail and component selection – problems with them are few and far between however changing the strings on a Rickenbacker can be quite problematic – the Classic R Shaped tailpiece makes it difficult to access the strings or to adjust the “seat height” to correctly set intonation.

No – longer in production – check out the usual auction sites to pick one up – still a great guitar – with a great range of sounds – well worth checking out.

Check out more at


The Tennessee Rose features a 16″ laminated maple body, rock maple neck, ebony Neoclassical fingerboard, twin “High-Sensitive” Filtertron™ pickups, “tone-pot” circuitry, Gretsch by Bigsby® vibrato tailpiece, and is finished in a stunning deep cherry stain.

The body of the Tenessee Rose is laminated maple, it has a single cut-away design featuring f-holes. The neck of the guitar features a Rosewood ebony-stained bound fingerboard, a 25-1/2″ scale length with a pearl inlaid headstock. This Gretsch has two Filtertron pickups a tone control, pickup selector switch and a volume control for each pickup.

The guitar has been beautifully manufactured featuring Chrome parts, Deluxe machine heads, an adjustable bridge and authentic Bigsby Tremolo unit.

For those new to a Gretsch, well Don’t expect Strat or Les Paul sounds from the Tennessee Rose : however it simply produces that well known Gretsch sound beautifully. Mellow, smooth and rich – perfect for Jazz, great for country

The Filtertrons pickups produce a warm clear sound. The guitar is fairly quiet and the tone has just enough twang and jangle to emote a country sound, but enough mellowness to delve into Chet-land when desired.

The Tennessee Rose has a medium neck and fairly comfortable to play – Gretsch now build their guitars in Japan and over the years there have been some minor quality issues for example strap locks working loose, noisy pickup selector switches. Bigsby tremolo’s as ever are also not for dive bombing whammy enthusiasts – better suited to gentle waggling. However all these are minor complaints and don’t alter the impression of great instrument.

Gretsch have been played by a number of musicians over the years from George Harrison to Chet Atkins and this with their unique history add to the cost, Gretsch guitars do have some cheaper competition (Ibanez hollowbodies) however for a slice of classic tone they’re worth it – so why not give on a go!

Gibson V Factor Faded Flying V

When it comes down to iconic guitars there aren’t many that capture the imagination in the same way as the Gibson’s Flying V it’s just something about it’s shape that makes it so interesting – The Flying V design has been around since the 1950’s – and since it’s first introduction it garnered admiration from many of the worlds top artists (from Hendrix to Lenny Kravitz). There’s been a variety of issues and reissues over the years and in to this mix Gibson has recently added the V Factor Faded.

Manufactured in Gibson’s main factory in Nashville – the V Factor Faded Flying V attempts to provide the classic Flying V that vintage – well worn look and feel while underpinning it with the usual quality that Gibson’s manufacturing process adds.

The guitar features a Mahogany body (3 piece), shaped in the iconic V design – the neck is mahogany also and features a rosewood fingerboard – 22 frets and perloid dot inlays. The neck has a rounded profile and seems sculpted for those fast legato runs. The hardware is all chrome and features a traditional stop bar tailpiece – Tune-o-matic bridge.

Electronics wise – the Faded V has a two volume – one tone combination with the usual 3 way pickup switch. Output is provided by two Gibson humbuckers – a 496R in the neck position and a 500T in the bridge – the pickups are of the ceramic magnetic variety and offer a great high output sound – which fits the bill nicely for what this Flying V was made for – Rock!

Ceramic pickups are a great choice for Rock guitars as they tend to have an enhanced mid range with punchier bass which is great for the more aggressive tones. Coupled with the mahogonay body (great for that dark warm tone) the Faded V growls and purrs with the best of em – this guitar certainly isn’t for those looking for a pure clear tone (unless you want grit with it!) and it can be a bit noisy – however for rock aficionado’s it’s the business and it produces that thick trademark Gibson tone with aplomb. There’s some subtle differences in tone between the two pickups with the 500T producing some seriously heavy sounds while the bridge pickup is a little more mellow (only a little though!)

Available in “worn cherry” the look is down to your own taste and we’re shure that some will love it while others will equally hate it – with a bit of a look around you’ll note that the finish varies widely from guitar to guitar so do shop around to get the right finish for you.

With a retail of $1,000 (but actually available at much less) the faded V is one of the more economical Gibson’s available – so if your up for that authentic Gibson tone but don’t want to shell out on a Les Paul – and you like the styling then the Faded V is definitely worth a look

Epiphone Casino

The Epiphone Casino is an archtop guitar from Epiphone. The Epiphone company were once a rival to the Gibson Guitar company before being acquired by Gibson. The Epiphone Casino was designed to compete against the Gibson ES-330.

The guitar features a hollow construction, two black – P90 pickups a Stop tail piece, tune-o-matic bridge together with two volume and two tone controls. The guitar features standard stock tuners. The single coil pickups fitted to the Casino are known to hum a little but purely add to the authentic and familiar 60’s pop sound.

The tonal qualities of the casino make for a great rhythm guitar, with the instrument producing a thick heavy tone. However the guitar has tremendous versatility the neck Pickup’s makes it great for jazz and with the right tube amp the guitar easily obtains that classic 60′s jangle. With a bit of overdrive, the Casino is reminiscent of the classic blues rock bands from the 1960′s.

Due to the Beatles the Epiphone Casino has become more widely known. Both John Lennon and Paul Mcartney used the Epiphone Casino included on tracks such as “Ticket To Ride” and “Let it be”. In support of this heritage Epiphone recently released the John Lennon Epiphone Casino featuring the same specification as the John Lennon original.

For more information on the Epiphone Casino – visit the Epiphone guitar website

Line 6 Spider III 15

<p>For a company such as Line 6 that have been around only for a short time yet had the impact they’ve had on the guitar market has been quite phenomenal – originally best known for the POD effects unit they have continued to leverage their expertise in modeling into effects units such as the POD XT, the guitar market with the Variax series and a range of amplifiers including the Spider series.
</p><p>Line 6 have a number of different amplifier ranges, the Spider III  range has the edge in that it features a number of presets based to help the guitarist obtain the tone they crave instantly.  The range features a range of combos heads and cabs so there’s quite a choice.  The heavier duty amps in the range feature a number of “famous” presets which mimic the guitar tone from famous bands or tracks.
</p><p>The Spider III 15 is the entry level combo in the Spider family – with a list price of $199. Despite the 15 being the baby of the family you get an awful lot crammed under the hood. Clearly at this price it’s aimed at those looking for a decent practice amp on a limited budget – this market is fairly full so Line 6 has looked to provide a broad range of features in order to differentiate it from it’s competitors.
</p><p>Out of the box the amp looks a rugged little fellow , thick plastic corners and the traditional front mesh covering the 15.5L x 14.5H x 8.25D chassis.   There’s a thick carrying handle on the top of the amp and it looks like it could take a fare beating.  The front of the amp features the Line6 Logo the range of control knobs and input output sockets.  All looks well put together and robust.
</p><p>The controls are nice and sturdy and they are comfortably split into two groups one section to manage the EQ and volume a further group of 2 to manage the effects and a final Master volume control.  There’s a row of handy buttons and LED’s to show the amp model selected.  The EQ is split into Bass, Mid and Treble.
</p><p>The spider III features a 8inch 15 Watt speaker that despite being small – packs enough of a punch to make this a viable amp for jams or band rehearsals.  You could imagine that it would make a great amp for anyone looking for home recording.
</p><p>The main benefit of the Spider is it’s ease of use – Line 6 have opted to keep it simple which is refreshing – nothing is overtly complicated –it’s easy enough to dial in the tone your looking for – the 15 ships with four amp models.  Clean, Crunch (modeled on a ’68 Marhsall Plexi 100 watt), Metal (modeled on a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier) and Insane (modeled on a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier red channel).  It’s a simple enough job to switch between them and the sounds are surprisingly good for an amp at this price.
</p><p>There are 6 onboard effects (of which two can be used simultaneously) included effects are Phaser, Chorus/Flanger, Tremolo, Sweep Echo, Tape Echo and reverb.  The effects are easy enough to control, simply dial in the effects intensity from the relevant control and your done.  The effects are controlled by two knobs – one which controls the chorus, Flanger and tremolo and second to control the delay and reverb effects – that means that you can’t for example mix the chorus and Tremolo effects or Reverb and echo – but that’s a small price to pay.
</p><p>The Spider III also features a MP3 input so you can plug your iPOD or other MP3 player straight into the amp and jam along (great for bedroom rock stars).  There’s also a headphone out that can also double as a DI for recording purposes.
</p><p>It’s hard to quibble with what the spider III delivers – if we were to nitpick a footpedal to switch the effects on/off or change amp models would have been a nice edition – the way the effects are combined into two controls means that although there are 6 effects not all effects can be matched with each other.
</p><p>There’s a fair number of amp/effects units combo’s on the market now and the Spider III 15 will be competing with the likes of Fender’s Frontman combo’s and Marshall’s offerings – Line 6 have developed a strong reputation on the quality of it’s gear and there’s no reason that the Spider series won’t continue to add to that.

Marshall JVM410H

UK based Marshall have been making heads and cabs for as long as the guitar has been important in mainstream rock and roll – many of Marshall’s heads have become iconic (for this check out any amp modelling unit/software and you’ll be hard pressed not to
find at least one marshall imitated.)

New for 2007 is the Mashall JVM410H head. On first glance – it’s a plethora of buttons and knobs and just from the visuals, it’s clear from the outset that Marshall wanted to provide an unprecedented range of versatility to the modern guitar player.

First off, and typically Marshall, it’s all Valve – 5 ECC83′s adorn the pre-amp and 2 EL34′s go in the poweramp, featuring 100 watts of output, with four channels there’s enough for everyone here with a clean, crunch and two overdrive channels (all footswitchable) but it doesn’t stop there. Each channel has 3 modes, Green, Orange and Red (selectable via a pushbutton)- what that effectively menas is that there is 12 channels, fully footswitchable each with thier own gain settings – hey that’s 12 amps in one!

With all of this diversity the head does look a trifle complicated with it’s multitude of knobs and switches – the good news is that there sensibly laid out – each channel has a volume, bass, middle and treble controls, there’s a reverb control for each channel and
and four further master volume controls. Another good bonus is that the channels can be controlled by MIDI.

With built in digital reverb (again for each channel and footswitchable) and a dedicated emulated line out, the JVM410H is capable of producing crystal clear sounds to rip snorting overdrive. This makes it the ideal head for those that a broad range of tones which can easily be swapped over (covers band anyone?).

At around $2,500 list price – at first glance this is a bit expensive but when you consider the versatility that’s on offer here it’s a small price to pay. Marshall have a rich heritage producing quality amps, we can’t help feel a little that there trying to appeal to everyone here and I’m sure some will complain that the end result is a little unfocussed but considering the tonal possibilities and potential ease of use – it should be another great seller.

Fender Hot Rod 52 Telecaster

Fender obviously have a pang for vintage in 2007 – So far among their new releases we have seen the Hot Rod ’62 Stratocaster, ’57 Relic Stratocaster, HotRod 57 Strat, ‘60’s Closet Strat – the telecaster isn’t missing in this plethora of Vintage gear – as part of the Hot Rod series – Fender have introduced the Vintage Hot Rod ’52 Telecaster. However rather than just introducing another vintage replica range – this release looks set to meld vintage with contemporary with Vintage styling and hardware mixed with modern features such as pickups and other fixtures and fittings.

Based on a Ash body, U shaped one piece maple neck the hot rod has a lot of similarities with the standard tele however Fender have dipped into it’s archives for the looks with Fenders apparently targeting those wanting their vintage build quality and components but with the benefits of today’s modern pickups – (Fender have also tinckered with the neck adding modern Medium Jumbo Frets for a more modern playing feel..)

Seymore Duncan’s mini humbuckers aim to bridge the gap between traditional single coils and their humbucker counterparts – the result is a brighter tone that should suit the Tele to a tee and should add a tad more versatility to this classic.

With a RRP of around $2,000 there are some cheaper Telecaster’s around, however we think there’s enough here to interest those seasoned Telecaster lovers who want that little bit extra.

For more info check out

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