History Of The “Steinberger GL Guitar”

Introducing a new twist on a legendary guitar. Over 20 years ago, Ned Steinberger revealed the Steinberger GL guitar, the first all graphite composite electric guitar. With its unusual headless design, it was quite a hit for years. The LBG guitar is the next generation of carbon graphite guitar, and at 4.5 pounds it is almost half the weight of the 8 pound Steinberger GL. As with the GL, the LBG’s body and neck is a single slab of carbon graphite, with a cover plate to keep the pickups from falling off.

The LBG guitar has a clear and airy resonance that is even on all notes across the fretboard. The sound of the GL is very “accurate” and “defined”, with lots of control over the vowel effect after the note is picked; the LBG guitar is more resonant, and sounds less “dense”. When holding chords, the notes seem to bloom over time. Put another way, if you blend a GL with a Parker, you will get an LBG, with the Parker adding the “ariness” to the GL sound. The neck profile is like a Moses but a tad wider, not like a Newburgh GL/GM.

The guitar has an ergonomic knee contour that helps angle the neck to a comfortable playing position when sitting. When standing, there is no neck hang: the guitar is very evenly balanced. It has similar edge contours as the GL so you don..t end up with any uncomfortable feeling with your right arm/hand.

Musician Dave Rowe had this to say about them:

When Jon first pulled out the guitars at my studio, I was immediately taken by the resemblance to the GL, but with the modified bottom bout—hey look mom, no leg rest! I’ll never forget the first time I picked up an L series Steinberger and was astonished by the heft of the instrument relative to its diminutive size. This experience was exactly the opposite of that! When Jon first handed the guitar to me, I believe the words out of my mouth were, “Holy-sh*t, what’s this thing made of?” The guitar is incredibly light, at 4.5 lbs. it really doesn’t seem like it could possibly be taken seriously…until you plug it in. From lightweight guitar to heavyweight tone. It can sparkle and growl. With a list of possible pickup configurations longer than my arm, Jon’s guitars will surely be a prized part of any guitar arsenal.

One of the buyers had this to say about the guitar:

Tonal quality of the guitar is excellent. I’m a mid and high person so the lighter low end of this guitar, even with a powerful JB, fits my taste. I once put a P-rail on my wooden-bodied headless but gave up after 30 minutes as it sounded unclear. The graphite body make this pickup sound surprisingly airy with clear contour even in the front. In fact P-90 setting of P-rail sounds so sweet on this guitar!

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Epiphone Guitars: A History

Straight From http://epiphone.com

Epiphone is one of American’s oldest and most revered instrument makers and since 1873, Epiphone has made instruments for every style of popular music. The name evokes both history and the spirit of invention. Epiphone has been an audible (not to mention visible!) presence in every great musical era from the mandolin craze of the early 1900s to jazz age guitars of the 1920s. From swing era archtops through post-war pop, jazz, r&b, and early rock n’ roll. From the “British Invasion” to heavy metal, punk, grunge, and thrash. And now, in the 21st century, new Epiphone technical breakthroughs such as the ProBucker™ pickup, series parallel switching, built-in KillSwitch™ pots, the Shadow NanoFlex™ and NanoMag™ pickup systems, and premier acoustic/electric guitars with the eSonic™ preamp have brought the historic name to a new generation. The story behind Epiphone’s improbable rise from a small family repair shop to a world-wide leader in the manufacture of quality instruments could easily be transformed into the great American novel. But our story is true. The Epiphone tale begins in the mountains of Greece and threads its way to Turkey, across the Atlantic to the immigrant gateway of Ellis Island, and into the nightclubs, recording studios, and coast-to-coast radio broadcasts of Manhattan in the 1920s and 30s. It’s the story of craftsmanship passed from father to son and the ceaseless American drive for innovation. Just a decade after Epiphone published a 46-page catalogue that included acoustic archtops, flattops, basses, electric guitars, banjos, and amplifiers, the company would be bankrupt and sold to a longtime rival, Gibson. Today, Epiphone is once again an innovator in guitar and instrument manufacturing. The variety of musicians that walk through Epiphone’s history is equally remarkable. Jazz greats like George Van Eps, country pioneers like Hank Garland, bluesman John Lee Hooker, and scores of mandolin, archtop and steel guitar players used Epiphone instruments daily over nationwide broadcasts. There are unlikely heroes and tinkerers in the Epiphone story too, like guitar pioneer Les Paul, who worked nights in the Epiphone factory to create “the Log”, his primordial version of what would eventually be called the “Les Paul.” Beatles’ bassist extraordinaire Paul McCartney choose an Epiphone Casino as his first American made guitar and John Lennon and George Harrison quickly followed. The Casino appeared on every Beatles album from Help through Abey Road. And today, Epiphone can be heard on albums by Gary Clark, Jr., My Chemical Romance, Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Machine Head, Dwight Yoakam, The Strokes, Slash, Jeff Waters, Paul Simon, Radiohead, The Waco Brothers, Lenny Kravitz, and Paul Weller. If a time machine could transport today’s Epiphone players to Epiphone’s Manhattan showroom of 60 years ago when it was a gathering place for all the Big Apple’s best players, the generations would agree that Epiphone has always been the House of Stathopoulo, and today is still innovating, still delighting musicians, and still frustrating competitors with daring designs and superb quality. “Epiphone always made a good guitar,” Les Paul once said. And that after all, is what all musicians are looking for.


The History Of Gibson’s “Flying V”

The Flying V was born on a field of battle that still rages: Gibson verses Fender. In 1957 Gibson’s then-president Ted McCarty wanted some new six-strings to tussle with Leo Fender’s popular Stratocasters. Sure, the Les Paul was already making history, but McCarty wanted more contemporary reinforcements with some eye-candy appeal. After all, the Les Paul had debuted in 1952 during the height of the Korean War. It was a new era.
So Gibson’s design gurus came up with patents for both the Flying V and the Explorer. They were modern looking instruments during a period when Americans were enjoying peace and prosperity, and more leisure time than ever before. And they smacked of the day’s yen for progress. Scientists had elaborated on technology from World War II and Korea to make great leaps in rocketry. Satellites began to circle the Earth. Science fiction novels and movies were the rage.
The aerodynamic charms of both models, but especially the “swept back, forward looking”—as Z.Z. Top’s Billy Gibbons has put it—Flying V made it seem like personal jet packs were just around the corner.
The prototype Flying Vs were mahogany and deemed a bit too heavy and a bit too costly to compete with the Strat. So the first models to leave Gibson’s original factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, during 1958 were made of the lighter and more readily available korina wood. Their sales didn’t break the sound barrier. According to Larry Meiners’ thoroughly enjoyable Flying “V”: The Illustrated History of This Modernistic Guitar, less than 100 were ordered by dealers in ’58 and ’59.
It would take another decade-and-a-half before the Flying V would have the last amplified laugh, but early sales were so slack that in 1960 the model was struck from Gibson’s catalog. Dave Davies of the Kinks tells a story about buying an original-production V from a Los Angeles guitar shop in 1964 at the fire-sale price of $60. The V’s suggested retail at the time was $247.50. Today a ’58 or ’59 V fetches between $120,000 and $145,000.


Hofner 500/1 Vintage 64 “Violin” Electric Bass Guitar

Because I am a Beatles freak, and because I played the bass guitar in bands for years, it has been a dream of mine for a long time to own one of these guitars. There’s not a bass player alive that can’t tell you what it is right off the top of his head. Most people feel that the “violin”style is so closely associated with Paul McCartney they won’t even play one in public because they just don’t feel worthy of the instrument, but they will hang it on their wall or put it in a glass case.

Master violin maker Karl Hofner founded Hofner in Schonbach, Germany in 1887. Hofner quickly gained a reputation for quality, craftsmanship and innovation. Hofner’s Son Joseph joined his father in 1919 and brother Walter joined the family business in 1921.
In 1955 Walter Hofner invented an amplified short scale semi-acoustic bass. This bass evolved into the famous 500/1 Hofner bass which was launched at the 1956 Frankfurt Music Fair. Hofner was relatively unknown outside Germany until the late 1950’s when a UK Distributor, Selmer began promoting Hofner. Hofner’s awareness grew exponentially after Paul McCartney and the Beatles became 60’s music icons. McCartney bought his first Hofner bass in a music shop in Hamburg Germany. The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 and millions saw Paul McCartney’s Hofner 500/1 bass. Fans nicknamed the 500/1 violin bass the “Beatle Bass”. McCartney’s 500/1 Violin bass was used on many Beatles songs and became a 60’s pop culture icon.
Today, Hofner continues to build high quality basses and guitars using old school quality craftsmanship. New generations of players now appreciate Hofner hollow body guitars and basses.