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A vintage guitar is an older guitar usually sought after and maintained by avid collectors or musicians. The term may indicate either that an instrument is merely old, or that is sought after for its tonal quality, cosmetic appearance, or historical significance.
As early as the 1970s, musicians and collectors began to recognize the value of older instruments. The rising mass production of both acoustic and electric guitars in that era served to highlight the quality workmanship and materials of the older instruments. Historians, such as George Gruhn, helped to codify both the monetary value and sound quality of these guitars for both collectors and musicians.
Examples of well-known vintage electric guitars are 1950s and 1960s era Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul. Older electric guitars in general have become desirable, including "budget brands" such as Harmony, Danelectro, and Kay.
Examples of well-known vintage acoustic guitars are Martin and Gibson models previous to the 1970s, and 1930s-era Recording Kings, among others.
Values of vintage guitars have risen considerably in the past thirty years, and are considered by some as a stable long-term investment.
Joe Bonamassa is a well known collector with a massive collection. In 2018, Bonamassa has said that he has more than 1000 guitars and amplifiers.
The bass guitar, electric bass or simply bass, is the lowest-pitched member of the guitar family. It is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric or an acoustic guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and typically four to six strings or courses. Since the mid-1950s, the bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music.
An electric guitar is a guitar that requires external amplification in order to be heard at typical performance volumes. It uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals, which ultimately are reproduced as sound by loudspeakers. The sound can be shaped or electronically altered to achieve different timbres or tonal qualities, making it quite different than an acoustic guitar. Often, this is done through the use of effects such as reverb, distortion and "overdrive"; the latter is considered to be a key element of electric blues guitar music and rock guitar playing.
The Gibson Les Paul is a solid body electric guitar that was first sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1952. The Les Paul was designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty, factory manager John Huis and their team with input from and endorsement by guitarist Les Paul. Its typical design features a solid mahogany body with a carved maple top and a single cutaway, a mahogany set-in neck with a rosewood fretboard, two pickups with independent volume and tone controls, and a stoptail bridge, although variants exist.
The Fender Stratocaster, colloquially known as the Strat, is a model of electric guitar designed from 1952 into 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton and Freddie Tavares. The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has continuously manufactured the Stratocaster from 1954 to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance. Along with the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Telecaster, it is one of the most-often emulated electric guitar shapes. "Stratocaster" and "Strat" are trademark terms belonging to Fender. Guitars that duplicate the Stratocaster by other manufacturers are sometimes called S-Type or ST-type guitars.
A single coil pickup is a type of magnetic transducer, or pickup, for the electric guitar and the electric bass. It electromagnetically converts the vibration of the strings to an electric signal. Single coil pickups are one of the two most popular designs, along with dual-coil or "humbucking" pickups.
Superstrat is a name for an electric guitar design that resembles a Fender Stratocaster but with differences that clearly distinguish it from a standard Stratocaster, usually to cater to a different playing style. Differences typically include more pointed, aggressive-looking body and neck shapes, different woods, increased cutaways to facilitate access to the higher frets, increased number of frets, contoured heel facilitating easier higher fret access, usage of humbucking pickups and locking vibrato systems, most commonly the Floyd Rose.
Variax is the name of a line of guitars developed and marketed by Line 6. They differ from typical electric and acoustic guitars in that internal electronics process the sound from individual strings to model (replicate) the sound of specific guitars and other instruments. The maker claims it is the first guitar family that can emulate the tones of other notable electric and acoustic guitars. It also provides a banjo and a sitar tone. The Variax is currently available as an electric guitar, but modeling acoustic guitars and modeling electric bass guitars have been available in the past.
Silvertone was a brand created and promoted by Sears for its line of consumer electronics and musical instruments from 1916 to 1972.
Joseph Leonard Bonamassa is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. He started his career at age 12, when he opened for B.B. King. In the last 13 years Bonamassa has put out 15 solo albums through his independent record label J&R Adventures, of which 11 have reached number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts.
A headstock or peghead is part of a guitar or similar stringed instrument such as a lute, mandolin, banjo, ukulele and others of the lute lineage. The main function of a headstock is to house the pegs or mechanism that holds the strings at the "head" of the instrument. At the "tail" of the instrument the strings are usually held by a tailpiece or bridge. Machine heads on the headstock are commonly used to tune the instrument by adjusting the tension of strings and, consequentially, the pitch of sound they produce.
Tonante, initially called Ao Rei dos Violões Limitada, is a Brazilian guitar manufacturing company founded in 1954 by the Portuguese brothers Abel and Samuel Tonante, who artisanelly built musical instruments, thirteen years after their arrival in the country.
Kay Musical Instrument Company was a US musical instrument manufacturer of the United States, in operation from 1890. Kay was established in 1931 in Chicago, Illinois, by Henry "Kay" Kuhrmeyer, from the assets of the former Stromberg-Voisinet.
Aria Guitars Co. is a Japanese manufacturer of musical instruments. The company, sited in the city of Nagoya, produces electric, acoustic and classical guitars, electric basses and ukuleles through its brands Laule'A, Mojo Gig Bags, Fiesta, José Antonio, Pignose and Kelii.
Electric guitar design is a type of industrial design where the looks and efficiency of the shape as well as the acoustical aspects of the guitar are important factors. In the past many guitars have been designed with various odd shapes as well as very practical and convenient solutions to improve the usability of the object.
Vintage Guitar magazine is an American consumer publication that focuses on vintage and classic fretted instruments, amplifiers, effects, and related gear, as well as notable players from all genres and eras. The publication's feature stories and monthly columns cover a diverse range of topics by contributors, including some of the biggest names in the industry and renowned authorities like Dan Erlewine, George Gruhn, Wolf Marshall, Richard Smith, and Seymour W. Duncan, as well as some of the best-known writers in the field, including Walter Carter, A. R. Duchoissoir, Dan Forte, Lisa Sharken, Rich Kienzle, Michael Dregni, John Heidt, John Peden, Greg Prato, and others.
Memphis Guitars were guitars produced during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s.
The Fender Telecaster, colloquially known as the Tele, is the world's first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar. Its simple yet effective design and revolutionary sound broke ground and set trends in electric guitar manufacturing and popular music. Introduced for national distribution as the Broadcaster in the autumn of 1950 as a two-pickup version of its sister model, the single-pickup Esquire, the pair were the first guitars of their kind manufactured on a substantial scale. A trademark conflict with a rival manufacturer's led to the guitar being renamed in 1951. Initially, the Broadcaster name was simply cut off of the labels placed on the guitars and later in 1951, the final name of Telecaster was applied to the guitar. The Telecaster quickly became a popular model, and has remained in continuous production since its first incarnation.
Vintage musical equipment is older music gear, including instruments, amplifiers and speakers, sound recording equipment and effects pedals, sought after, maintained and used by record producers, audio engineers and musicians who are interested in historical music genres. While any piece of equipment of sufficient age can be considered vintage, in the 2010s the term is typically applied to instruments and gear from the 1970s and earlier. Guitars, amps, pedals, electric keyboards, sound recording equipment from the 1950s to 1970s are particularly sought. Musical equipment from the 1940s and prior eras is often expensive, and sought out mainly by museums or collectors.
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