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Mountainview Publishing, LLC

INSIDE the
Vince Cunetto on
the birth of
Fender’s classic
The Player’s Guide to Ultimate Tone
$10.00 US, March 2004/VOL.5 NO.5 Report TM

Relic beaters and


the new Vinetto
guitars!
Vince Cunetto
14
I f you currently own a pristine vintage Stratocaster or Telecaster built during the Golden Era in
Fender history (1952-1964), odds are you rarely take yours out of the house. Yes, Keith, you do,
but you also have an army of gremlins to watch over them and you’ve probably given away more
Relics revisited… blackguard Telecasters than you own… For the rest of us, unless we’ve managed to hold on to a
great old Strat or Tele since the days when they were affordable, these guitars have just become
Our take on a too dear. Well, don’t despair… not all of the classic Fender guitars of old are necessarily stunning

‘Cunetto’ relic
14
The new Vinetto
Legato
16
Meet Lou
Rosano…
Custom amp
builder for Danny
Gatton & Keith
Richards... tone monsters or great players today. In our experience, most 40 year-old guitars require some
restoration to be truly playable again. Tuners wear out, pickups die, and necks just get played out
19 over time. Once you’ve replaced them, there goes the integrity of your ‘original’ guitar, if you
care about such things. We don’t, but when you’re paying $10,000 for a vintage Strat or Tele that
Ruined by the is supposedly “all there,” you better. So how did prices for vintage Fender guitars climb from

Louis Electric $200 or less in the ‘70s to $10,000 or more ($20,000 for a custom color Strat, and there are far
more around today than Fender ever painted). Did a hurricane level all the good punk ash grow-
Amplifier Co. KR12 ing in the Louisiana bayous in 1956? Was the sole copy of the recipe for Fullerton’s secret sauce
lost by CBS in 1964, never to surface again? Was Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl half time nipple
‘reveal’ a random act of nature? No! As Baby Boomers grew older and their spending power bal-
24 looned with their waistlines, the market for vintage Fender guitars exploded simply due to supply
(dwindling) and demand (ballooning). Oh… and Japanese dealers were among the first willing to
Back Issue Index pay top dollar, so while we were still whining over the demise of the $200 ‘60 Strat, container
11/99 - 1/04 loads of vintage Strats and Telecasters were leaving the country by way of Los Angeles and
Seattle. If you are willing to buy a $250 ticket to a big guitar show on Friday before the doors

www.tonequest.com
cover story

open to $10,000 each. We have bought, played, restored and upgrad-


the pub- ed Strats and Teles from virtually every era, including a 1956
lic, you hardtail Strat (pictured left) and a ‘54 Tele, stock American
may Vintage reissues, Custom Shop Strats, early and more recent
still see Relic Nocasters and Stratocasters, and many Japanese
dozens Vintage reissues made during the past 10 years. We’ve played
of gui- Masterbuilt guitars by John English, Mark Kendrick and
tar John Page, and we’ve sat cross-legged on the Philips Arena
cases stage, six inches from Eric Clapton’s tour rack, eyeballing his
stacked curiously plain (by request) Stratocasters built by Fender
on dol- master builder Todd Krauss (thanks again, Lee). We’ve
lies in otherwise empty booth space rented by Japanese deal- played utterly inspiring $400 Japanese reissues (after making
ers. By Sunday, the only evidence of their presence will be the a few upgrades, of course), plain vanilla American Vintage
torn paper bands littering the floor in which their crisp, new reissues that often
$100 bills were bound, and still more guitars will be headed seemed as good as it
to Japan. What else is new? We happily relinquished our gets, stellar early
world domination of the TV and automobile industries to Custom Shop Strats
Japan, why not our finest guitars, too? You’ll see ten times as (one of our favorites
many new Fenders at a vintage guitar show today than any- was an 8.5 pound
thing that remotely qualifies as ‘vintage.’ Does a 10-pound, Shoreline Gold ‘62 reis-
mustard yellow ‘79 Telecaster really deserve ‘vintage’ status? sue with an offset neck
Does a 20 year-old bottle of Mad Dog? One of our favorite signed by Kenny Gin),
amusements at big guitar shows is to linger near the main and lots of superb
entrance, scanning the crowd for gimpy old guys toting a Relics. But the defining
beat tweed case and a wary, “Ain’t gonna get screwed on this moment for the Relic
one” scowl. Old school, Bryl Cream and dip guys from Series occurred for us
places like Oak Cliff in Dallas, home of the first 7 Eleven, two years ago at the
The Bronco Bowl, Charco Broiler, The Pig Stand, chicken Dallas Guitar Show…
fried steak and gravy and Stevie Ray Vaughan. If you call a Like everyone else, we
cab late at night from certain places in Oak Cliff, they just spent most of the day
won’t come get you. Not for love or money… not even for Joe admiring notable exam-
Barden. Now that’s our kind a party! We do digress…Dealers ples of classic vintage
are supposedly prohibited from lurking near the entrance at guitars. But twice dur-
guitar shows (also called the ‘shark pit’) and pouncing on ing that day, pro gui-
unsuspecting sellers, but if you want to see the dark under- tarists whose opinions
belly of the used guitar bidness, watch the entrance. Or the we respect mightily
parking lot. We’re not mad or bitter about it, we’re just urged us to check out a
sayin’… new 2001 Relic
Stratocaster at the dis-
As the supply of vintage Fender Strats and Teles grew play booth of Dave’s
increasingly scarce and expensive in the ‘90s, the timing was Guitar Shop. Think
perfect for aged ‘replicas’ of old Fender guitars, and who about that… At the
better to knock off vintage $10,000 classics than the company Dallas Guitar Show — one of the largest vintage shows in the
that built them in the first place? Fender delivered, and the world — a new Relic created the biggest buzz among the vet-
Relics were introduced in January 1995. The focus of our eran players present that we knew.
cover story this month is on one of the principle members of
the team that created the first Fender Relic guitars, Vince The point is, each guitar is as different as the people that
Cunetto, and his new Vinetto guitars. play them, and anEric Clapton’s main Strat
instrument that truly connects with you is
a priceless find, regardless of its age, value or scarcity. On
Not every player embraced the idea of buying a beat up new that weekend in Dallas not so long ago, it was a Relic
guitar, but the Relic and Time Machine Series are among the Stratocaster that made a connection with us, and with some
most successful lines in Fender history. Some models are very experienced and knowledgeable veteran guitarists…
back-ordered six months, and the limited edition Stevie Ray With that, it is our pleasure to introduce you to Vince
Vaughan #1 Relics being built now will all be pre-sold at Cunetto. Enjoy…
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2 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


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TQR: Did your interest in guitars develop more as a play- while he worked the saw. You could sense the satisfaction he
er or as a builder? got from building things, so between that and the guitars and
the Beatles and the time, it all just came together. I remember
Actually, I think it started from being a listener first. I have a cutting my first solid body from a chunk of 2" by 12" scrap I
sister who’s about 8 years older than me, and she was sort of found at a construction site. I traced out the shape and walked
our babysitter. I’d hang with her a lot, and of course she up to a local cabinet shop to have the guy band saw it out.
always had the radio on. She’d tutor me about the tunes on You couldn’t get parts, and trying to find a pickup was
the radio and the bands. Little did we know at the time what insane. There was nothing out there unless you cannibalized
kind of ground was really being broken by those bands we from something else. I screwed on some parts I’d stripped off
were hearing. Then she when she got a car, we were mobile a Japanese black beauty and thought I was on to something.
and there were always garage bands you could check out. No neck pocket, no cavities… just stuff screwed on a piece of
There was a great music thing happening in St. Louis — I wood. I guess I was always foolin’ around with something
guess it came from that old R&B, soul and blues vibe from electronic, too… speakers, amps and tape recorders. When I
Ike & Tina, Johnny Johnson, Albert King and Chuck Berry. was about 13, we moved to a new place that was a stone’s
There was this great radio station, KSHE — they called throw from a small auto body repair shop. The owner hap-
themselves “Real Rock Radio,” and they meant it. They were pened to be a friend of my older sister’s, and he used to let
bringing Janice Joplin to town way before anybody knew me hang out. That’s where I learned how to paint. I’d do
who she was. So the good stuff was always around. Then one whatever I could to be helpful so he wouldn’t run me off too
day my sister brings home this gigantic Kalamazoo acoustic. quickly, and I eventually learned how to paint and prep-sand
I have no idea what model it was, but I’ll never forget the and I learned about lacquers. He would let me use his guns to
huge fingernail divots in the first and second frets on the first paint our bikes or whatever, and that was kind of going along
three strings. Somebody had put gut strings on it, so the frets with the guitar thing.
were OK, but the ebony board was dipped! Every time she
went out, I’d sneak into her room and play it. It was the first TQR: How did you acquire such a thorough knowledge of
‘relic’ I ever saw. I got my own guitar on my ninth birthday vintage Fender guitars?
and I’ve been cursed ever since.
What I really wanted was a Les Paul growing up, but there
TQR: Did you ever receive any structured training in gui- just weren’t that many around, which was fine, because I
tar construction, repair, or finishing? couldn’t have afforded one anyway — but there were always
Fenders… Mustangs, MusicMasters,Teles, maybe a Strat.
Not really. Like Guys had ‘em here and there and you got to check them out
a lot of guys, first hand. You talk one of these guys into letting you borrow
I’m pretty much it for a while, and the first thing you do is take it home and
self-taught. take it apart! You
There really study it inside and
wasn’t any for- out and find out
mal training what it’s all about.
back then. You They were simple,
start by taking yet pretty damn
guitars apart, effective. There was
putting them just something that
together, appealed to me
destroying a about their simplic-
few, and build- ity and their tone.
ing a few that Eventually, I started
don’t even doing repairs and
work. Maybe refins for people.
you end up Then in the ‘80s, I
doing repair in a store somewhere, and you learn on some- began making bod-
body else’s stuff. Everybody has a different path. It’s funny ies, necks, parts,
how you come into experiences that eventually evolve into and building repli-
your passions. My dad was a pharmacist, but he used to do cas. By then I was
carpentry on the weekends to relax. I think that’s where I living in Kansas
started to pick it up. I’d hang with him and hold the cut end City and I’d started
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TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


3
cover story

playing in bands again and hanging with Jim Colclasure. He Customs or mid-sixties Strats they were building. I told him I
worked out of his house and he would call me up and say, could do all the art work for him, which I did, and they made
“Hey, I’ve got this cool guitar,” and I would go over and take some of the specialty decals off that artwork. Of course, this
a look at an old Broadcaster or some old Strat, 335 or an was way before Adobe Illustrator and scanners. I had to use
amazing, pristine whatever. All I ever really wanted was a reference shots from headstocks, old “stat” cameras, rubdown
sweet old blackguard Tele, but there was no way I could type and a lot of hand work, but they looked pretty darn
afford it. I started to run local ads, buying and selling some good. I guess that was the start of my relationship with
vintage guitars myself, and I went to the vintage shows to Fender, the company.
hone my knowledge of the old stuff — specs and things like
that. When you’re laying out your hard-earned cash for an old TQR: And the relic concept came out of your relationship
guitar, you have to know what you’re looking at — it’s that with Jay?
simple. But I know in the back of my mind I was always
thinking that eventually I was going to get a call from some- Well, the concept of aging had been unofficially happening in
body with a ‘52 Tele they wanted to sell for $200. Needless the repair industry for a long time. A lot of the guys would
to say, that never happened. That’s when I really started to restore a repair or a spot refinish to make it match the rest of
work on building my own reproductions for myself. I started an old guitar. I’m sure there are lots of old guitars that had
making pin router templates for Telecasters, templates for been repaired in that fashion, and probably nobody will ever
pickguards and necks, and just trying to make the ultimate know. That’s the idea, right? You want the repair to be as
replica of a guitar I couldn’t afford! invisible as possible, and if the guitar is old and beat, then the
repaired area has to match it. But as far as the concept for an
TQR: Where did you learn to use the pin router and all aged production guitar? I’d have to say it became a reality
the skills that you needed to build the parts? because of Jay Black’s persistence and John Page’s vision.

That was pretty much just self-taught. You start digging TQR: So how did you get the gig?
around, and the books were coming out by then, and you just
had to figure it out. You might not do it exactly like the way Well, now it’s the
they did it, but once you realize what the tool is and how it ‘90s and I’d been
works, then it’s just a matter of putting your brain to it and doing guitars and
doing it. Some of the specs were there, but I would also take parts for Teles
guitars apart and spec them out. If I didn’t have the tool, like and Strats — like
a pin router, I’d find a shop that had one and then con them bodies and pick-
into selling me some tool time. Of course, I was always inter- guards. I’d take
ested in the finish aspect of it because it went back to that this stuff to guitar
whole thing about cars when I was a kid. shows and sell
them to dealers
TQR: How did Jay Black and Fender enter the picture? and repairmen.
Then I started
One night in like ‘85, Jim Colclasure came over with Jay and fooling around
they hung out when I was working on some Teles, and we got with aging the
to know each other. When I’d be in New York for business, parts, because I
I’d stop by and see Jay when he worked at Roger Sadowsky’s was just trying to
shop. Eventually, Jay moved to Corona to work with John get myself a gui-
Page and Michael Stevens at the Custom Shop, and one day I tar that looked
was talking like the guitar I
to Jay and wanted. I still have a couple of aged guitars that I built for
he was myself back then that are as good as, if not better than the
telling me originals, in my mind. Anyway, I just kept working on it and
about not building guitars. Sometimes, I’d take them to guitar shows
having the and show people just for fun, but I had to be really careful
right about it. Remember, I was doing quite a bit of vintage trading
decals for myself, so I didn’t want people thinking I was faking vintage
some gui- guitars. I would show a few select people a guitar I’d built,
tars, like but then they’d give you this cross-eyed look like, “Don’t you
Vince Cunetto
Tele sell vintage guitars too?” and I’d say, “Yeah, but I never mix
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4 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


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the two, I swear!” I remember having a lot of fun with Norm So, to
Harris at one of the shows. I put one of my guitars in a real me,
brown tolex Strat case and pulled him over. “Hey Norm, what you’ve
do you think of this one?” and he pulled it out and he was got a
like, “Wow, this is really nice. Where’d you dig it up?” Of few
course, when I told him that I built it in the garage he was a events
little surprised, but that was really fun, because Norm is one and
of the best there is. At that point in my life, I thought the ulti- some
mate dream job would be to just make reproduction Fenders impor-
from the ‘Golden Age.’ tant
artists,
Vince with John Page
In 1993, I moved to Colorado with my family and I got back and all
into the advertising and marketing communications consult- of this stuff was working in Jay’s head. We were just shooting
ing business. I’d sworn to myself that I was going to grow up the breeze one day and talking through it. People were buying
and never work on guitars again. I guess I thought it was blue jeans that were already beat up, they would spend a lot of
counter-productive and wasn’t really ever going to pay off — extra money for a worn leather jacket, and the vintage market
like the guy that sells all of his equipment because he never was going nuts with people paying $10,000.00 for an old
got a record deal. I didn’t take a single tool to Colorado. I’m Strat. Why not guitars? It wasn’t more than a couple of days
living in the High Country and Jay Black and I are talking before Jay called and asked, “Do you still have any of those
one day and he asks, “Are you still doing that stuff?” and I aged guitars — that thing you were doing a while back?” I
told did, so he says, “Why don’t you send one out? I want to show
him, it to John Page and see what he thinks.” I sent him a Strat and
“No, I he took it in to John, who looked at it and said, “Cool, another
decid- old Strat.” Jay said, “No, this is a new Strat.”
ed to
leave it That’s when John and Jay started putting two and two togeth-
all er and John greenlights the project. “Okay, this might work.
behind This is something I think we can do, but don’t tell anybody.
because I have children to raise now and I don’t really have Don’t tell management. Do it under the radar. Take the parts
time to diffuse the focus of my life…” He says, “Great, but that you need and we’ll go from there.” This was the Fall of
do you think you could do me a little favor? I have an artist 1994, and we started doing it. I was getting boxes full of
and he needs a pickguard.” I said, “Yeah, I could do that. In parts to play with — mostly scrap raw bodies and necks for
fact, I think I have a couple of the pickguards with me.” I finish tests. Jay was sending me the parts that were painted
sent one out to Jay and he really didn’t tell me much about it, with the undercoats and finishes they were using back then,
but I think it was for Ronnie Wood. At that time, Jay was which was poly and some lacquer. The finishes were really
working on guitars for a lot of high profile clients like the thick, and I just couldn’t make them look real. We tried lots
Stones, Clapton, Jeff Beck, on and on. In fact, Jay and I were of stuff with the stock paint on them — sunburst, blondes,
talking about this just the other day — about how we got butterscotches, but they just looked stupid. Finally, I said,
started on the entire idea of doing the whole guitar. He “Jay, I can’t do this. Send me some raw parts.” So he sent me
reminded me that he had a guitar he was working on for the completely unfinished necks and bodies and I immediately
bassist and producer, Don Was. Jay built him a bass and Don bought all the tools again and set up my shop — compressors
really liked it, but he was like, “I can’t play this. It’s not me.” and guns and everything. So much for swearing off guitars…
It’s like coming to school with a brand new pair of shoes, and
that was sort of Don’s take on the whole thing. I kept at it and finally nailed it with what we had to work
with. All the time, I was keeping lab notes to translate them
TQR: Didn’t that story get attributed to Keith Richards? into production if we needed to. After looking at prototype
samples, they settled on the Nocaster and the Mary Kay Strat.
There may have been a similar incident with Mr. Richards at Page saw the final samples and said, “OK, we’re going to
some point, however, I can’t say for sure. I do know that on show them at NAMM.” You know, I’ve always thought John
more than one occasion I had the opportunity to be in very was a great guy personally, and of course he was very well
close proximity to Keith’s gear, as well as Ronnie’s guitars, respected, but this was a pretty risky move. I don’t think he’d
and I have seen some that looked incredibly similar to guitars really told anybody outside of the Custom Shop. He went out
I’d worked on with some of the Custom Shop builders. But and had a couple of Lucite display cases made for these two
then again, if I’d really done my job, who could be sure? guitars. This is NAMM 1995, and they set the whole thing
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TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


5
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up. He’s got these two museum display cases with little brass lacquer they could spray with the exhaust equipment they
plaques on them that say ‘50s Nocaster and ‘50s Strat. had. From a business standpoint, without having a crystal ball
Dealers are coming up and looking at them and saying things to see how successful the line would be, out-sourcing was the
like, “Hey, that’s really cool that you guys have included a right decision. John agreed to it, and we put the business plan
couple of your old guitars in here for a tribute to your her- together — a rough plan with the pricing and how we would
itage and your history.” Of course, the Fender reps were eat- send parts back and forth, and all of a sudden I’m looking
ing it up… “Yeah, great, but how many do you want to buy? around in Colorado for a place to do this, and the Relics are
These are new guitars.” People went nuts. In the first three in the Fender catalog. It was my dream come true. I was
days we had 200-plus guitars on order. actually going to build vintage reproduction Fenders for
Fender. So, after looking in Boulder, which didn’t work out,
TQR: Then what did you do? we decided to make the move back to Missouri. We picked
my ex-wife’s home town of Bolivar so the kids could be by
We really didn’t know what to do. We didn’t have a produc- family and I did the advance work in May of ‘95, rented a
tion plan going into NAMM, and we just thought that for facility, hired staff, designed the production and shop layout,
whatever might get sold, I’d consult with the Custom Shop to put in the spray booth up and got it going. Our first day in the
show them my techniques and the guitars would be done shop was the 5th of May and we shipped the first batch of 20
there. We didn’t really have a plan in place for setting up pro- Relic Telecasters on June 27th.
duction for a big order. So I stuck around Corona for a couple
of days after NAMM and stayed with Jay, and I would go TQR: How many people did you need to hire initially?
into the shop and work with the guys to try and get it started.
The plan then became one where I was going to go home and Two. It was myself and one guy and my sister-in-law at the
write the manual to send back, but while I was on my initial time. She was working for someone else, and she knew this
consultation it quickly became apparent where the biggest guy was a guitar player who was interested in the whole idea
problem would be. and we started setting everything up. For quite awhile it was
me, Tony Morford, and my then sister-in-law, Terri Shaw. I’d
TQR: Were they shooting nitro? prep, paint, do the aging and the body and neck relic’ing, and
Tony would do some of the final sanding and wear spots. He
Yes, they were, but not in a way we could use. Remember, started
building replicas of old, thin-finish vintage Strats wasn’t real- with
ly their bailiwick at the time. They were into making nice the
shiny new guitars with durable finishes. It’s not like they’d less
developed any new processes to do these two spec pieces. intri-
They just didn’t have the paint system to the point where it cate
could work for that stuff
particular process. until
We looked at it, he
and getting the sys- started
tem over the hurdle getting
would have been his
dumb. At that chops down, then he started doing more and more. Terri was
point, you don’t handling the parts. She was aging the plastic and the all the
really know what hardware, all the while keeping meticulous production notes
the future’s going so we could improve our production and the look of the gui-
to be beyond those tars. In the spring of ‘96, we found another facility that had a
initial orders, so nice open area, a good office area we fixed up, and lots of
you can’t tell how room. I bought a very nice state of the art spray booth and we
much to invest, if were set. That’s when we really got our production up, and
anything! Plus, by that time the concept had really taken off. So I hired five
there were a lot of people plus some part-timers, and even with all the improve-
environmental reg- ments in our process, the new guys I’d hired and the
ulations in advances we were making, I think we had something like 900
Southern California guitars back-ordered at one time (laughing). I looked at some
that regulated what of the old records the other day, and on April 1, ‘97 we were
kind and how much back-ordered 552 line Relics! That’s not counting the huge
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6 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


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order of customs and one-offs we were doing with the master working on a guitar and I’d ask why they were putting the
builders for various stores and artists. It was amazing! fingerboard wear where they were. Then they would give me
their rationalization for it. “Well, I did it like this because the
TQR: Which standard line models were released dur- guy that owned this guitar played like this.” We gave each
ing the time you were doing the Relics? guitar its own personality. David Jensen, one of my Relic
artists, would say, “I think the guy plays like this… He is a
Well, we introduced the Mary Kaye ‘50s Strat and the Relic country player, so he is going to fret in the country corner. He
Nocaster at Winter NAMM ‘95, then added the Olympic strums up here, so I’m putting more strum wear at the 20th
White ‘60s Strat and Three-Tone Sunburst Jazz Bass at and 21st fret, and I’m going to age the pickguards to match
Winter ‘96, then the custom color ‘60s Strats, the Three Tone that.” It sounds nuts, but it worked. Then we even took it a
‘60s Strat and the Oly White Jazz Bass in Winter ‘97, and step further. You see, you can’t really pull off the illusion
finally, the Two-Tone Sunburst ‘50s Strat at Summer NAMM effectively by just throwing a bunch of parts together — you
‘97. The stock custom colors for Strats were Burgundy Mist, can’t just take any old aged part and put it any place on a gui-
Lake Placid Blue, Fiesta Red and Daphne Blue. tar and make it look realistic. It doesn’t work. You just get a
guitar that looks like it was put together from a bunch of old
TQR: What was your weekly production? parts. So every Friday before we shipped, we would take all
these parts that we’d done that week and lay them out on a 24
At first we were doing 20 guitars a week, and that’s how the foot long table. We’d put all the bodies and necks and pick-
cycle was set up. We’d get the parts in batches of 20–20 bod- guards and bridges and tuners and whatever else out, then
ies, 20 necks, 20 sets of parts. As we got better and more effi- we’d “make” the guitar. We’d lay each guitar out and start
building it for the right visual vibe. You match the right neck
to the right body, and of course, you’re looking for a good
neck fit to make sure all the mechanics work, but you’re real-
ly going after the vibe. Then you put on a pickguard and you
make sure it works with the body and neck, then a bridge and
tuners and hardware… like that. You’re going after the visual
so you just let the guitar speak to you. Then once the parts
were matched, we’d package them and put a sticker on each
part with a particular number of that guitar by batch number
and serial number from that batch. Then we’d send them all
back in these “kits” we’d put together based on the batch
cient with more people, we’d get it up to an average of 25 to numbers.
35, sometimes more. But there’s a ceiling on that. You can’t
really push it. I mean, the stuff has to look right, and that’s TQR: Is there a way to date the Relics that you built?
the main thing. So, until you’ve got the right people trained
to do the right thing, you ship what you can. That’s something I want
to clarify. We didn’t actu-
TQR: How did you train your relic ‘artists?’ ally build the guitars. All
we shipped out were fin-
It was pretty intense. We’d get in as many old guitars as we ished and aged parts. The
could. I’d do slide shows and training seminars from refer- guitars were built in the
ence shots I’d taken over the years, and I took a lot of the Corona Custom Shop.
guys to the Dallas vintage shows on several occasions to But, the answer to your
study guitars and bring back reference shots. I’d just give question is “yes.” On the
them a camera and tell them to go crazy. When we got back, day we received a ship-
we’d review everything. “Look at this screw. Look at why it ment of parts and put
looks that way. Look at the screw above the pickguard and them into production,
how much more rust is on it than the one up on the tip of the we’d ink and stamp the
horn because it was in contact with the player’s hand. Look at wooden parts with a date
how the bridge is more rusted on this side because that’s code. The first digit was the year, next three the day of that
where the hand rests. Look at the strum wear here, the finger year, and the last two digits were the piece number from that
wear there. Look at this. This is why.” I was talking about batch. For example, you’d have a batch number… say 6241.
this all the time and it got to the point where they would do That batch was put into Relic production on the 241st day of
things for a reason. For instance, one of the guys would be 1996, whatever day that is. Then each guitar in that batch got
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TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


7
cover story

a number, like 1 through 20 or 1 through 40. So in that batch going on and it kind of became public knowledge.
you’d have a guitar marked 624101, 624102, and so on, up to
624120 or 624140. TQR: Did Fender send you mostly figured necks, and was
there a cut-off for body weights?
TQR: So a Relic Strat with number 632513 was #13 of a
batch put into production on the 325th day of 1996.
Where did you stamp these numbers?

They’re inked on the heels of necks and stamped in the pick-


up routs of bodies. On the Nocasters, sometimes they’re in
the bridge pickup rout, so you can’t see it unless you take off
the bridge. The necks coming out of the Custom Shop to us were fig-
ured, for the most part. I don’t know if there was a formal
TQR: Was this system pretty consistent? spec for what we got on body weights, but I do know I saw
quite a bit of outrageously light stuff, medium stuff, whatev-
For the line Relics, yes, pretty much until the very end in mid er. You know, weight is not necessarily a measure of tone. We
‘99 when we were doing the end of the line stuff in less than did get a lot of lightweight ash, though. We used to weigh all
full batches. Then we went with a straight 6 digit date code, the bodies just for fun and in case we got a special weight
like 041499, for April 14, 1999. But for customs and one- request. I think the lightest Strat body I’ve ever seen was
offs, we always used the Fender order number and not the right at 3 pounds even. It was like picking up a piece
date or batch code. Some of these were 6 digit codes as well, Styrofoam with wood veneer stretched over it! It doesn’t nec-
so I guess a few could look like line Relic date codes, but if essarily sound so great though. You know, a real lightweight
they don’t start with a 4,5,6,7 or 8, they’re custom. I think ash guitar might be great for your bedroom, but it just doesn’t
there are a few that could be mistaken, but then the spec or hold up at stage volume.
color should tell the story.
TQR: Did you paint a wide range of custom colors?
TQR: Today, the early Relics are often described as
“Cunettos,” and a higher value is placed on them Yes, we did literally every custom color that Fender ever pro-
because of it. duced, and we used Dupont Lucite just like the originals. I
remember when I was shooting guitars back in the ‘80s try-
Yeah, I’m aware of ing to find some custom colors, you had to go with a
that. I guess the Duracryl or a different manufacturer — like a PPG paint —
“Cunetto Relic” thing and you would have to cross-reference it and maybe you
just works for folks to could find a lacquer or some other thing. At some point,
differentiate the differ- somebody at Dupont went in and reformulated all of the old
ent eras of the line colors and made them available again as Fender numbers. So
more easily. I’m cool you could go to a Dupont paint store and ask, “Can you look
with it, and it’s flatter- up Lucite #4692L?” and they would say, “Oh yeah, that’s
ing in a way. What’s Blue Ice Metallic. That’s a Ford Motor Company color.
really cool is that not
only did I get to make TQR: I’ve got a ‘99 Strat
my guitar building stamped with John Cruz’
dream come true, but name, but I don’t know what
out of that I somehow some of these other stamps
get my little page in signify.
the history of a guitar
that I’ve really been Usually, the last guy at
into all my life. That’s Custom Shop to touch them
amazing to me. The put his stamp on it. That was
weird thing is, we never really publicized or broadcast our usually the person on their
involvement while we were doing it. The whole mojo was end responsible for getting
that it was coming out of the Custom Shop, and I was fine us the parts we needed, and
with that, because it was and still is a Custom Shop product. I there were different guys
was just a vendor. I guess enough people knew what was over the years. So you might see a S. Murillo, a Kenny Gin,
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8 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


cover story

or a John Cruz. They did the final inspection before it coats, and that’s it. But the
shipped. John Cruz is a great guy and went on to do the Time way we laid the color down
Machine Relics, some QA, and lots of other things. He’s a was critical to making them
master builder now and he’s doing that amazing SRV #1 look right, as well. Take a
Relic series. My hat’s off to him, ‘because I know how much Mary Kaye blonde for
work that’s going to be! Hey John, I love ‘ya, but if you get instance… The color coat
behind… don’t call me! is the classic translucent
blonde in a nice cream
TQR: The neck profiles vary, too. Sometimes we’ve seen color. Then on top of that,
an offset neck profile, for example. Can you review you lay an aged yellow
exactly what was done to the guitars at your shop? transparent coat and a clear
coat on top of that, and
Well, then the guitar is ready for
depend- relic-ing. And the nice
ing on thing about that, and the
what reason you do that, is when
kind of you go to wear out a spot
guitar it where the arm wear
was, appears, you see the layers
we of color, just like on an old
would guitar. We used to call it
do dif- the ‘jawbreaker’ effect.
ferent When you look at old gui-
things tars, the color underneath
to it. When we got the bodies, the first thing we would do the arm wear or the case wear on the lower bouts is different
was stamp the bodies with the batch number to identify them than the color in other places where there isn’t any wear-
and then we would stamp color numbers into them. So if it through
was going to be a batch of Butterscotch, we would stamp the
Butterscotch blonde number. Some of them were going to be TQR: It changes and fades in a different way. Same thing
used for Sunburst, and we would stamp that and then they with the back of the neck… The fingerboard and
would go into our prep process. We had a completely sepa- the back of the neck can be artfully done, and they
rate preparation process on top of what they did at the can be done in a way that is not very convincing.
Custom Shop, because a lot of times the sanding on the bod-
ies wasn’t quite right for our process. So, we’d hand sand all You bring up a good point. Like I said, what you have to do
the bodies to get out any orbital sanding marks that would be to make it convincing is give the guitar a personality. You
OK for a thicker finish, but not with the kind of lacquer that can’t just beat up a guitar and make it look like an old guitar.
we were shooting. For that, the prep had to be perfect It was never about just making them look beat up, and I do
because we were really barely putting any paint on them. So, enjoy seeing them well done. People will bring me guitars —
we’d hand sand the bodies and necks, roll the edges of the guys locally will say, “I think I’ve got one of your guitars,”
fingerboards to make them feel and play better, and do the and they will bring it by and I’m like, “Yeah, that’s one of
other prep steps like paste-filling and sealing. Then they went ours,” and it’s really cool to see them after a few years. It’s
into paint and relic’ing after that. great. I love looking at them and seeing how they have aged.

TQR: Would you agree that one of the reasons why the TQR: You mentioned Relic Jazz Basses were part of the
Relics often sound so good is due to the finish line. I have never seen one. Did you do any P-
being thinner? Basses?

That’s one theory, but I think it’s a pretty solid one. To me, the Relic Jazz Basses are sweet, and we did quite a few. We did
more the wood can do its thing without being encumbered, the do a few P-Bass one-offs, but not as line product. There were
better. Same reason why dancers wear tights and not coveralls, two 50’s P-Basses I did with Mark Kendrick that are particu-
I guess. The finish we shot was definitely thin. It was like three larly memorable. The assignment was to duplicate the bass of
or four or five coats of really thin, watery lacquer on those a very famous player who didn’t want to keep touring with
bodies. Our finishing schedule involved the prep, then a light his old one anymore. We made two of them, and now when I
sealer coat, a couple of coats of color and a couple of thin clear see the artist, I can’t tell which one of the three he’s playing!
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TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


9
cover story

TQR: I had this thing for Shoreline and Aztec gold Strats
for a while, and we would get them and it was like,
“Yeah, this is good, oh… this one is even better,”
and you are always looking for that special
one, whatever that may mean to you, and I’m not
sure that it ever really ends. It hasn’t for us…

In my mind, the reason why the Relics were so successful


and why they are still so highly regarded is that they speak a
language that more people can understand and one that they
want to hear. It’s like what Gordon Kennedy says about a
planning it for a while, doing a few more Relics in-house,
good song… Not only does it have to be well-crafted, but it’s
and they had completed the R&D and tool-up for the Time
got to be what people want to hear. Those guitars connected
Machine series for Winter NAMM ‘99. John Page had left the
with people. The only reason that you would have an affinity
Custom Shop to do the Fender Museum, and there was new
for any guitar is because of the unknown thing about it that
management in the Custom Shop. And there was the new
connects you to the guitar. I know how much work we put
paint capability… Fender invested heavily in a new ‘clean’
into making those guitars connect. It wasn’t about making a
painting facility in Corona. It meant they could shoot more
perfect thing, but it was about putting something into the gui-
lacquer and be in compliance with environmental laws, so
tar. When a person realizes that something has had a lot of
they didn’t need us for that part of it. Of course, I’d like to
attention put into it, there is a connection there. It’s like walk-
think that the success of the Relics and their thin lacquer fin-
ing into a Frank Lloyd Wright house or driving a Jaguar. You
ishes helped facilitate the decision to make that big invest-
realize that everything about this has been thought out.
ment, but you never know. I do think management was learn-
Somebody took a lot of time and devoted a lot of care to
ing what consumers were looking for, and having new paint
make this. That translates when you pick up the guitar. It’s
facilities fit into that. But I’m sure Fender was also just doing
totally about the connection between the player and the gui-
the math. Obviously, if you are paying someone to do some-
tar. That’s why guys like old guitars. It’s like, “There is
thing for you, it’s going to be cheaper to do it yourself if you
something
can figure it out and make it work. During the time that we’d
about this
been doing our thing, they’d had plenty of time to figure out
guitar that I
their own techniques. We never did share our process, by the
feel, that I
way, but it’s not rocket science. You just have to figure it out.
Custom “one-off” order code connect
I knew it was coming, and by then I was ready for a change,
with.” And
with no regrets. Remember, I got into the whole thing think-
that’s also
ing I’d do 200 guitars or so and maybe, if we were lucky, it
what I’m
would go a year and a half and that would be it. Well, four
trying to do
years and 4800 guitars later things were looking like they’d
with my
gone pretty well, and I was damn happy with it all the way
new guitar.
around. The cool thing was that the Relic project was done
I just want
without any contract, ever. I did it on a handshake with John
it to have a connection. If a guitar doesn’t resonate with you,
Page. He said, “This is what we are going to do,” and it was a
and I mean that figuratively, you’re not going to get into it. I
done deal. That’s the way it worked for us. I had done way
think the Relics just seem to resonate more with more people.
more than I’d ever set out to do, or imagined I could in that
Then again, there are a whole lot of people who never under-
realm, and I’d been part of a pretty outrageous and revolu-
stood the Relic concept — who would never buy one and
tionary concept in the industry, taking their product mix in a
think it is ridiculous.
new, yet old direction. I’d been part of putting some really
great guitars in the hands of lots and lots of people who real-
TQR: How did the Relic chapter of your life end?
ly liked them, including some of the biggest names in the
music business — my heroes. Where do you go from there?
Well, by ‘98 things had evolved to the point where I think it
The thing is, David, it was a great run, and I was damn lucky
just made business sense for Fender to take the work we did
to get it. So, officially, they took over in January of ‘99, but
on the Relics in-house, and they started to plan how to make
we had stock and back orders that kept us shipping until June
the transition happen. Custom Shop management at the time
of ‘99 — almost four years exactly to the day when we
never really came out and told me who would or wouldn’t be
shipped the first batch.
doing what by any particular date, but I knew it was coming.
You could just tell something was up. I know they’d been
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10 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


cover story

TQR: This is mildly reminiscent of the conversation we Yeah, I went back into the advertising industry.
had with Tom Murphy and the story about who was
involved in getting the Les Pauls right at Gibson. TQR: Let’s talk about your new guitars.
He is still doing it with a razor blade… sitting there
paint-checking those guitars. I don’t know how he I feel like the actor that comes onto the Tonight Show to plug
does it. his new movie and they make him talk about his old career
and all he wants to talk about is the new movie. Sure I want
Tom’s a genius and to talk about it (laughing). The Vinettos… Yeah, we are get-
a real artist. I’ve ting that going.
known “Murph” for
a long time and TQR: How did you end up with the first design — The
I’ve looked at his Legato?
stuff and just been
blown away. The Well, I’d been working on that one in my
first time I saw head for a while. I wanted to do a guitar,
some of it, I asked but I didn’t just want to do a clone with a
him, “Murph, how different headstock. I wanted a design that
in the hell do you would be different enough that it would be
do it, man? It looks my own and be proprietary, but be familiar
so right!” and he enough that it wouldn’t be inaccessible
says, “Don’t tell from that connection standpoint that we
anybody I told you talked about before. So, I kind of took my
this, but…” He let favorite things from my favorite guitars
the secret out, finally. “I do it with the knife,” and I’m like, and put them together. Then I came up
“Kiss my ass, you do not!” and he says, “I do, too. I cut with the swooping pickguard, which is
every one of them open.” That’s why it looks so real. I know pretty much our trade dress, and it all kind
he didn’t let that out publicly for a long time, but then he out- of fell together. Design is pretty much the
ted himself. same no matter what you are looking at.
There is good design and bad design, and
TQR: How did you do the finish checking? I’m not saying mine is the best
ever, but I’m saying that I have
We didn’t actually do any finish checking on any of the line seen a lot of stuff that just
guitars, because it wasn’t part of the spec at the time for us. doesn’t make me want to pick
Only later with the Time Machines did they start that as a it up and play it. I have always
regular feature. But we did offer it is as an option on some of been a Fender fan, and so I guess
the customs and one-offs. I worked with my old buddy the my guitar came out of an evolu-
chemist at my lacquer vendor’s to develop a lacquer that tion of what I would like to see,
actually did the checking on its own. He blended some stuff but presented in a way that
using old materials and some very brittle solids so that you looks a little different. I didn’t
could actually shoot it on the guitar and it would check. want to do another Telecaster
Sometimes you would have to enhance it with a little bit of knock-off with a different
temperature change, but for the most part it would do it all by peg head or another
itself. It was formulated in a way that you could shoot it on, Stratocaster, because there
let it dry and hit it with a flow coat — a thin coat of lacquer are plenty of them out there
on top of it, which would change the surface tension of the and there are lots of good ones. I just went at it like anything
layer enough to make it crack. It was cool. It worked great. In else, “What do I like the most? What do I like about the Tele?
fact, I still have a bunch of it left that we never ended up What do I like about the Strat? What do I like about this fin-
using. I was thinking about repackaging it and selling it on e- gerboard radius? What am I looking for in this pickup? What
Bay! do I want the control layout to be? Do I want to make some-
thing that is so complicated that I can’t remember how to
TQR: So we’ve covered the end of your Relic era. It was play it at the gig? No. What do I do?” I try and make it close
time to move it in-house and then you got out of to something that everybody is going to be able to work with.
guitars all together… It’s like you wouldn’t build a new car and put the steering
wheel in the back seat, because everyone is going to ask,
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TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


11
cover story

“How do you drive it?” So you have to follow some of the TQR: Are you using bigger fret wire than what you
established rules that have been laid down by the guys that would find on a vintage Fender?
have come before you and then you try and work within that
and do something a little bit different. I’m not trying to take Yeah, it’s Dunlop 6150 — a little taller, but wider. It’s about
over the world. I just want to get out some good guitars — the same size as the medium size. It’s a nice versatile wire
some great playing, great sounding guitars that a player can and it feels great on the guitar. Of course, I’ll do other wires
pick up and say, “Yeah, man, this is what I want to play.” It’s if ordered. I went with a 25" scale for this guitar instead of
not really a lot different than, say, having a couple of favorite the usual 25.5". It makes a nice difference. Plus, the guitar
restaurants or something… If a guy wants to have Chef John has a compound radius because I like it a little tighter up top,
Suhr’s take on a guitar, he picks up a Suhr. If you like the fla- but it tapers off from 7-1/4 to 9-1/2, which is kind of a nice
vor of a Tom Anderson or Don Grosh, then you can buy one compromise. The necks are a little bit bigger. The 500 series
of theirs. I guess I finally decided that there might be enough runs about nine-hundred and ten thousandths to a full inch.
people out there who would enjoy what I do, so I started It’s a fairly good-sized neck, but we can make any size if
Vinetto. If it’s not just about the colors or the features or this someone wants. The C-shaped 600 series is more of a medi-
or that or the other thing… if you are the kind of player that um sized C-shaped starting at .840. It’s a nice 60’s feel. They
understands there is a connection between the right guitar and both feel great. We’ll do any color anyone wants, too. In fact,
the right player, and if you like what I put into my guitars, we are getting ready to put a new thing up on the web site.
then maybe my guitar is right for you. People will actually be able to pick the guitar and the colors
and the neck/guitar combination — all that stuff— and see a
TQR: How are they being built? shot of a real guitar. We took all the guitars and lined them up
on top of each other and you will be able to scroll through
I’m doing them myself. Of course, I don’t have a huge facto- every color. We call it The Virtual Showroom.
ry with tons of machinery, so like everybody else, there are
parts that I have to out-source. But everything I out-source, TQR: That should help your customers, since you’re only
with the exception of stock parts, is made from CAD draw- selling online, right?
ings I generate, all to my pretty exacting specifications. For
amazing accuracy and repeatability, the CNC is the only way Well, online and through a few selected regional, personal
to go. Remember, a CNC router is a very precise instrument reps. I really didn’t want to foray into the retail music store
that gives you very precise and repeatable results. A guitar is realm, so, buyers get to deal directly with the builder. I like it
also a very precise instrument, so why wouldn’t you use the that way, and so do they.
CNC? Anyway, it’s my design, my specifications, my paint,
assembly and set up. TQR: Tell us about the pickups.

TQR: Are you doing Alder? Ash?

Yes, and
mahogany. We
are doing all
kinds of classic
combinations.
Ash, alder,
mahogany,
maple and rose- We’re using DiMarzios in the Legato. I tried a lot of different
wood finger- ones, and the DiMarzio’s just did what I wanted. Plus, I’ve
boards. We had a good relationship with Steve Blucher at DiMarzio for a
have a couple long time. He’s a great guy and he will work with us in any
of model num- way we want. I’m using their ‘Virtual Hot T’ in the bridge
bers and I basi- and their Minibuckers in the middle and the neck. They just
cally just con- really work for what I want to hear in the guitar and they
figure the really sound great. They are really articulate and hi-fi. Why
Legato models by neck shape and wood combinations. A 552 not single coils in the neck and middle? The answer is
is a 50’s style soft V to C shape with a maple board on an ash because they do what I want the guitar to do. I chose what I
body. A 660 is a 60’s C shape neck with a rosewood board on chose and put them where I did because they give the guitar
an alder body. the voice I wanted it to have. I love a single coil in the bridge
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12 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


cover story

position for the bite and snarl, and especially for how they player lower while still making it worth my while to build it.
work in combination with other pickups. But the Minibuckers So, I’m doing it direct and I’m going to do it through a cou-
just do things that a single coil can’t do in the neck and mid- ple of select regional representatives that I trust and who
dle. They keep that clarity and articulation, but they just have know what guitars are all about. I mean, I realize that select-
a nice, sweet added dimension that seems to work better to ing a guitar is a very personal thing, but my customer base is
bring out that sound you go to those pickups in those posi- pretty savvy. They can read the specs and know what the gui-
tions for in the first place. tar should feel like. The mission is not to build a million gui-
tars and be a rich guy. The mission is to build some guitars
TQR: How are the pickups selections and combinations that work for guys that play guitar and who know how to
set up? play guitar. I sort of say this guitar is for the musically
mature player. This is for the guy who knows what he wants
Well, like I said, I wanted to do something that was easy to and knows what he is playing. Price wise, they don’t have to
use and understand, yet fully versatile for tones. I mean, you be outrageous — I mean, I’m keeping the price point reason-
don’t what to be having to think through what switch does able because this is a straightforward guitar and I don’t think
what when you’re getting inspired on stage and you’re ready it is necessary to charge $3500. That’s not to say that there
to rip into a solo. So I kept the familiar layout — a 5-way aren’t’ plenty of boutique guitars out there that are worth that
switch and three knobs. But instead of a second tone knob, kind of money — there are, but that’s not what I’m doing.
which I never use anyway, I put in a three-position rotary I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve for the future with
switch. It selects the switching mode, and the 5-way selects some fancier stuff, but we are starting the guitar at $1895 and
the pickups or the combinations of pickups in that mode. In with some of the particular wood combos and options, it goes
the “full up” or #1 position, the guitar switches just like a right up to two grand. I think that’s pretty reasonable for a
Stratocaster, so you can just use the old familiar switching if guitar that is built so carefully and with so much attention to
you want to. But then you turn the rotary switch down one making it right. Especially when I see how much some peo-
notch and you’re in what I call ‘Bucker T’ mode, and it ple are charging for less.
switches like a Telecaster. It just drops the middle pickup out
of it completely, so you get the neck or the bridge or the neck TQR: So, what’s next?
and bridge combo in the middle. Then
the third position on the rotary is all Well, more guitars, I hope. I’m happy to announce that my
three pickups on at one old friend James Pennebaker, who’s an amazing multi-instru-
time. It’s a jangling ment player, is now going to be one of our personal represen-
rhythm sound… James tatives in the Nashville area and the South, so that’s cool.
Pennebaker calls it a We’ve also had some good luck with artists. I just delivered
cross between a Gretsch my second one to John Mayer, who’s a great player, and
and a Ricky… and in that we’re working with
position of the rotary, the some other visible
5-way doesn’t do a thing. players, so I think
So you can pre-set it for you’ll start seeing
your next move and more Vinettos pop-
then roll to it with the ping up in the near
rotary switch. A lot of future. We are tak-
guys say, “Well, that ing orders and
sounds weird,” but then building guitars,
they play it and they and we’ll see what
realize that it really works. happens. I want to
build great guitars
TQR: When are you going to be fully up to speed? for guys who love
guitars — visible
We’re rockin’ now and I’ve got a bunch of guitars in produc- artists are nice —
tion, and I’m always taking orders for more. Our web site is but I also get as
up and running at www.vinettoguitars.com, and we take John Mayer, courtesy Attila Hardy-Dreams Awake Music much enjoyment
orders that way. We are not doing a retail strategy. I just don’t out of putting a really nice guitar into the hands of a guy who
want to, for a lot of reasons. First, like I said, I like dealing never gigs at all, as long as he appreciates good guitars. You
with my customers directly. Plus, I don’t have to build the know, you don’t have to be Jimi Ray Clapton to do that!TQ
retail markup into my price, so I can keep the price to the www.vinettoguitars.com

TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


13
guitars

which acquiring guitars sight unseen on the Internet will give


you sweaty palms. We’re always amazed by the number of
guitars that have never had a truss rod adjustment, and until
you torque that truss rod, you’re never quite sure what the
Confession time… When your eyes pop open at 2:30 in the neck is going to do. Sometimes the results can be ugly, but
morning and a voice tells you that to interview Vince Cunetto the neck on the Shoreline Relic has turned out to be absolute-
and not get your hands on one of his early Relics would be ly solid.
sacrilege… well, you go find one, and that’s exactly what we
did. It was relatively easy (blind luck) and you would think We strung the guitar up with a set of .010-.048 Pyramids and
that with 4,800 or so of these early Relics in circulation, went about setting the intonation when the high E string
there would be a few for sale on various Internet sites on any broke as we were moving the saddle. The location of the
given day. Think again. We found just one among the 20,000- break was a dead giveaway — the oblong slot on the bridge
and something guitars on GBase.com and a few thousand plate that the string passes through on the way to the saddle
more Fender guitars on eBay. We’d like to thank Jim was sharp right where the string hit it. A Dremel tool will
Heflybower, owner of JH Guitars in West Chester, PA solve that problem, but we didn’t have one, so we rummaged
(www.jhguitars.com) for his very competent assistance in get- around in our tool kit and cut a short length of vintage cloth-
ting our review Relic down to us in Atlanta on short notice. covered wire, pulled the wire out and ran the cloth sleeve
Jim knows his stuff, and we recommend him very highly. down to the ball end of the string. Surgical tubing is the usual
choice for this fix, but the cloth insulation worked perfectly.
Our search on GBase.com produced a rare Shoreline Gold In case you’re interested, the Callaham bridge plate is
‘57 Relic Stratocaster circa 1998 in about 10 seconds. It’s an designed with longer oblong slots that eliminate any contact
amazing piece of work. The amber tinted lacquer on the between the string and the plate (www.callahamguitars.com.)

This 7 pound Strat turned out to be a righteous example of


Fender’s earliest Relics. It sounds fantastic, plays wonderful-
ly, and screams “play me now ” from across the room. We’ve
connected with it completely, and that’s about as much as you
can ask of any guitar. TQ

flamed birdseye maple neck looks older than dirt, and the fin-
gerboard wear is as authentic as we’ve ever seen. The body is The more we play new and old guitars and share our impres-
all nicked up, of course, and the spot of arm wear on the top sions of them with
looks completely legit, right down to the subtle discoloration other players, it
of the outer edges, as if 30 years of perspiration had worked seems that guitars
into the finish, exposing the primer coat. Rusty screws were often fill more
placed where they would have naturally rusted from contact roles than we
with the player’s body, and each pickup polepiece was also imagine. Among
lightly corroded. Even the single ply pickguard was aged in a them, functioning
manner that allowed for some slight warping between the adequately as a
pickguard screws… How the hell did they do that? If you can musical instrument
appreciate such things, the relic job on this guitar is a work of is the most obvi-
art. ous, but particular
guitars can also
By the look of the frets, our Relic hadn’t been played hard serve as a source
for long. The guitar arrived with a considerable bow in the of lifelong creative
neck, and since the truss rod was loose, it had probably never inspiration. Many
been touched. A full turn and a half put everything right — guitars also qualify
the neck is now dead straight on both the treble and bass as works of art,
sides (a very good sign) with no twist. This is the point at whether they are
-continued-

14 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


guitars

designed with feminine curves or The rolled fingerboard edges and fretwork were exceptional,
sharp, modernistic angles, and the 7.25" to 9.50" compound fingerboard radius on the
warm, natural wood hues Legato is great for playing chords in the box while also
or bold colors, intricate allowing easy string bending from the 5th fret up. The neck
inlay, or none at all. pocket fit was tight and right, the 16:1 tuners were smooth
But let’s not overlook with no play, and the nut slots were cut at the right height for
one of the least forgiving each string (imagine that!) with no string ping from the
and most subjective strings binding in the slots. The guitar was also very well set
aspects of our relation- up, with just enough lift in the string height to get under the
ship with the guitar… strings a bit. Kind of like a player had set it up…
that of the fashion
statement, stage prop The pickup wiring configuration on the Vinetto is pretty slick
and performance without becoming stupid, and it goes like this:
accessory. Whatever
term you wish to
use, there is the
issue of whether you
want to be seen play-
ing a particular guitar, because whatever you choose to strap
on or cradle on your knee says something important about
you in a very personal way. Quoting Ken Parker from his
April 2001 ToneQuest interview, “When I was in New York, I
was working for guys with the wackiest haircuts, hardware on
their lips, stuff on their faces, all trying to be as different as
they possibly could, yet they wouldn’t play a guitar built after
1960. Hell, they were built after 1960, so what’s up with
that?” Indeed, some new guitar designs fail to become clas- Controls: Master volume, master tone, 5-way pickup selector
sic archetypes because in the designer’s attempt to be differ- switch and three position rotary switch.
ent, our narrow standards of acceptable guitar fashion and
form are violated. If the axe is ugly (or too non-traditional), Switching Modes: The three-position rotary switch (in the
tone don’t matter. Nice legs — shame about your face. second tone control spot) determines how the 5-way lever
performs in each mode.
The Vinetto Legato design definitely works for us, and while
it is reminiscent of the classic models that originally inspired Mode 1: ‘Classic S’
him, it is a very unique, practical and thoughtful design that In the ‘Classic S’ position of the rotary switch the 5-way
Vince Cunetto can proudly claim as his alone. lever switch works in the standard way to select the five clas-
sic combinations of bridge, bridge+middle, middle,
Vince’s guitars are certainly not Relics. Far from it. More like neck+middle or neck pickup.
driving a hot rodded up ‘57 Chevy Bel Aire with a new paint
job. It’s a new guitar, but it feels like my favorite old pair of Mode 2: ‘Bucker T’
boots. I love the pickup combo and wiring he has going, too. ‘Bucker T’ is the two pickup mode (eliminating the middle
It’s very versatile. A lot of the session guys have been using pickup) for the player’s choice of bridge, bridge+neck or
the “3 pickup Tele” thing for a long time. Vince has taken neck minibucker pickup. In this mode, positions 2,3 and 4 on
that and added a couple of twists to it. You can get all the the 5-way switch default to the bridge+neck combination.
way from a Tele to a Les Paul and all points in between. This means easier selection of the middle combination set-
– James Pennebaker ting, but also lets the player preset the Classic S in-between
sounds in the 2 or 4 spots for later selection with the rotary.
The Legato we received for review featured a flawless see-
through blonde finish over a straight-grained, 7.5 pound, 2- Mode 3: ‘The Trio’
piece ash body. Options on the Legato include ash, alder and The Trio gives an articulate and jangly sound. All three pick-
mahogany in no less than 48 different colors, including 2 or ups are on, and the 5-way lever switch is de-activated, allow-
3-tone sunburst. You can also specify a full, soft ‘V’ neck ing for silent presets for any of the other pickup combinations
profile or a contoured ‘C’ with Dunlop medium jumbo 6150 from the other two modes, reached with a turn of the rotary.
fretwire standard and other sizes available by special order. Our first pleasant surprise was the DiMarzio Virtual Vintage
-continued-

TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


15
amps

bridge pickup. It’s noiseless, looks like a Strat and sounds he sent us a ‘KR12’ — the same amplifier he built for Keith
like a Broadcaster with the treble gootched down a tick — Richards. Our review follows, but first, let’s learn a little
thick, focused, and plagued with none of the shortcomings more about ‘Louie.’
common to Stratocaster bridge pickups (thin, ice pick highs)
or many noiseless pickups (sterile and lacking the character TQR: How did you begin working on amps?
that comes with the noise). Moving through the 5-way switch
in the ‘Classic S’ position, we were also a little surprised to Well, back
hear the familiar out-of-phase hollowness of a Stratocaster in 1987-88
with the neck and middle or middle and bridge pickups com- I was play-
bined. With the neck or middle pickup selected alone, the ing guitar
Legato moves into a smoother, darker Gibson-esqe tone, but and I had
still with a hint of scooped mids that translates into a ‘woodi- really got-
er’ vintage tone than a traditional humbucker. Very bluesy, ten interest-
and very cool, like a Strat, but way more of it! ed in the
sound that
The ‘Bucker T’ second position on the rotary selector adds Jerry Garcia
the option of combining the neck and bridge, eliminating the was getting.
middle pickup altogether… another very cool, jangly-yet- It was very
thick sound that seems unique to the Legato. Somebody’s unique,
Twinmaster
been thinking… because he
was plugging McIntosh amps into his Twins and I eventually
The ‘Trio’ mode produces maximum jingle/jangle/inside/out figured all of that out. There was a guy up here by the name
tone and a discernable thwack when you hit a chord. Very of Jeff Block, and I used to buy amps from him. One day he
Fender-like, but over the top in a way — perfect for Motown called to tell me that he had an old ‘59 tweed Twin for sale. I
rhythm tracks and Robert Cray-inspired shuffles. bought it, and when I got it home I just thought it was the
most magnificent sounding amplifier I had ever heard. At that
OK… let’s review our review. The Legato is built right, looks time, no one was really building them, and I was spending a
new, and plays like an old friend. It feels good. Tone? lot of time in New York hanging with players and they were
Everything from heavy to bright, bouncy and even threaten- all complaining about wanting better sounding amps, and I
ing, but with its own vibe. The Vinetto really does have a thought, “You know, I should build one of these.” It didn’t
woody thang goin’ on. Some day soon we’d like to hear the look that complicated, frankly. I had worked on cars, you
alder and mahogany models and a slab board version, too. All know, and my uncle, Al Rosano, was a radio and TV repair-
in all, the Vinetto is a great new guitar that we can welcome man in the ‘60s and I had spent enough time around him
and embrace. Wait a minute… they already sound and play growing up to have been exposed to all of that. So looking at
‘old,’ so when will Vince Cunetto start banging them up the Twin, I wasn’t intimidated by it, and I felt like I could
again? Everything in its time… build them. I got a good friend of mine and a terrific engi-
neer, Chris Merren, to help me with the transformers. We had
Here’s you chance to win a new Vinetto, but don’t delay! the original wrapping sheet from Triad, and we put an origi-
Register for the ToneQuest Vinetto Legato Giveaway at nal transformer together. Chris can reverse-engineer any
www.vinettoguitars.com. The deadline for entry is June 1, transformer, even without a data sheet, and he is the best
2004. TQ transformer guy on the planet. He taught me everything I
know. But I knew there was going to be a problem with the
speakers… There weren’t many old speakers around and it
wasn’t like you could go on the Internet and find them back
then. I built the amp with some Jensen speakers out of a sil-
verface Twin or something, and it sounded really good. But
then I began experimenting with Celestions Vintage 30’s, and
I found some 100W Fane AlNiCo speakers, and they were
Thanks again to our good friend George Goumas for turning very cool. In the meantime, I got to know Danny Gatton’s
us on to Lou Rosano in Bergenfield, NJ. Lou has not only guitar tech, Jay Monterose, and I met him one night at the
built custom amplifiers for players like Duke Robillard, Bottom Line and gave him one of the tweed Twins I had built
Hubert Sumlin, Danny Gatton, Arlen Roth and Keith so that Danny could check it out. Danny just flipped over it.
Richards, but he also repairs and restores vintage amplifiers. At that time, he was playing two ‘58 Twins with EV SRO
We asked Lou to send us an example of his custom work, and speakers in them, and after he played my amp he retired both
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16 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


amps

of them. We’d TQR: The guy that always has the smokes in his shirt
go down to pocket? He is a machine. I saw Les at the
Tramps, and Irridium Club in New York and I don’t know who
what was really was more amazing, Les or Lou.
cool about
Danny was that Danny Gatton said that Lou was the greatest rhythm player
we would just he had ever seen. I met Lou at Danny’s benefit. Anyway, I did
keep tweaking the work for Les and Lou said to me, “No matter what you
the tone. We do, he will never be happy — no matter what you do.” Well,
wound up using when I think about it, I’m the same way. I think that’s one
a Vintage 30 and reason why I have never really gotten my amps out there in a
a JBL D120 in his Twin, and he used that amp right up until big way — I’m always tweaking stuff, never satisfied. Back
his passing. to Keith… I’m hanging out at the Irridium and I hear some-
body say, “Get a table ready — Keith Richards is coming.”
TQR: What happened from there?

After Danny’s death we did a big benefit at Tramps, which is


where I met Warren Haynes and Jimmy Weider… I asked
Warren if he wanted to play through the Twin and he said,
“No, that’s OK, thanks. I’ve got my amp here,” etc. But the
next night he decided to take me up on my offer to try the
amp. When he saw it he said, “That’s it?” He was used to
playing big amps and cabs, you know? Anyway, he hit the
first note and said, “Leave it right there and turn it up to ‘8’!”
After he got off stage he literally backed me up against the
wall and asked me how he could get one of my amps. He told So I’m hanging out by the door and here he comes. He sits
me that he was doing a Government Mule record up at down with his guys and I said to Rusty, Les’ son, “Rusty, I
Bearsville and he wanted to use the amp on a couple of gotta talk to Keith about the Twin,” and he says, “You need to
tracks, which he did. At that time, I believe he was playing talk to Rob Fraboni, the guy who came in with him.” So I go
Soldano amps on the road. Ronnie Earl also played two of over and I start telling Rob about the amp and he says,
the Twins at Danny’s benefit… A lot of connections came out “That’s perfect, because we’re cutting this blues album for
of that benefit, and then I did a NAMM show, but with Hubert Sumlin. I’ll talk to you after the show.” Well, after the
Danny gone, I eventually took a little break and experimented show there was a huge crowd gathered around Keith — his
more with different things. father and mother were there, too — and I’m thinking, “Shit.
This could be a problem…” So I grab the amp off the stage
TQR: How did you hook up with Keith? like I’m a roadie and yell, “Coming through!” and the crowd
parted and I walked right up to Keith and gave him the amp
to take home (laughing). I loaded the amp into the limo and
they told me they’d call me, and they did. They were very
cool. So I went up to Showplace Studios and we had the amp
there, Keith played it and it was great. Then I found out that
they were looking for some smaller amps, too.

TQR: And that’s where the KR12 came in?

Yeah, it’s based on the one I built for him, although the cabi-
net back and sides on the amp I sent you are made from 100
year-old pine. The story about the speaker is interesting. I got
some old blown frames from John Harrison at A Brown
Soun, and I hooked up with Jim McGourty, who had been
That happened as a result of working with Les Paul. I black- building speakers for Ken Fischer for awhile. Jim was build-
faced a silverface Twin for him, and he wasn’t happy ing Greenbacks from the ground up before Celestion began
(laughs). I was friends with Lou Paolo, who is the rhythm building the reissues, and after they were released, Ken told
guitar player with Les… Jim that his worst effort was better than the reissues. So I had
-continued-

TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


17
amps

all of these frames, but I didn’t want a Greenback for this TQR: Do you use the same
amp — I wanted something that could handle about 40 watts, speaker that is custom built
and that’s what is in your amp — the speaker that Jim built. on the Celestion frame?
Not that I don’t like Greenbacks… we’re using them in a
Marshall Plexi-style amp that we’re building. Yes, but we wind the
speaker coils differently for
TQR: The speaker in the KR12 is outstanding — incredi- a British or an American
bly warm and detailed. Tell me about the trans- sound. We also build our
formers and the gain circuit. own custom AlNiCo ‘bull-
dog’ speakers.

TQR: Tell me about the


DR12 amp…

We began working on that model for Duke Robillard. He’s


playing it now, but we haven’t actually locked into what he
will be playing permanently. We’ve been experimenting with
a combo with one 12 and a 10, and eventually we’ll be build-
ing a new amp for Duke, maybe with that speaker configura-
tion.

We custom wind the output transformers ourselves, and the TQR: The V4 looks very impressive…
power transformers are built by Shumacher. The amp has four
levels of gain, and you can use a single or double footswitch I always wanted Derek Trucks to try that one, but I didn’t
to get two or all four, or you can just plug a 1/4 inch jack into have it ready for him when I was working with him last year.
different inputs with the guitar plugged into the gain channel Derek did play a 2x10 Gattone, and a lot of people really flip
for different levels of gain. And we biased it so you could run over that amp. Originally, we built the V4 with Celestion
6L6’s or KT66’s with that 5U4 rectifier. Vintage 10’s, and they stopped making them. That’s when I
discovered another fantastic 10… it’s the 10” Eminence
TQR: In addition to the KR12, what other types of amps speaker that is sold in the Electro-Harmonix catalog. We
do you build? designed an output transformer around that speaker for
Duke’s amp, and I have never heard anything like it. I think
I build a ‘54 wide panel tweed Twin with dual rectifiers, and what
the ‘58 Twinmaster is the model Danny played. The reason I makes
call it a ‘58 is the cabinet dimensions are different from a our
‘59. The Hubert work
Sumlin model is unique
very similar to the is that
KR12 that we sent every
you, but the cabinet amp
is also a little small- we
er and the output build
transformer is dif- is real-
ferent. Hubert’s ly a
amp is voiced to custom
sound more like an one-off designed for each owner. We can tweak the output
American amp, transformers, the voice coils in the speakers…
Hubert Sumlin where Keith’s has
more of a British vibe. Hubert’s amp has an actual covering TQR: So if someone came to you and said, “I’m a Strat
on it too, although we build them either way. I try to steer player,” or they are a Tele player, or they play
people toward the uncovered wood cabinets because once P90’s…
you’ve heard one, you’ll appreciate the fact that the tolex or
tweed covering dampens the sound somewhat. If I know that you exclusively play a Strat, I’m going to voice
the amp around that. I will also choose components based on
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18 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


amps

whether the amp will be used in the studio, on stage, or both. ent at
I like to use carbon comp resistors, but if an amp is going to lower
be used for recording, I tend to use carbon film, because they vol-
are much quieter. I have discovered a type of carbon film ume,
resistor that is just as warm as carbon comp, but quieter. I and
also use Teflon wire and a G10 epoxy circuit board, and I’ve grow-
done a lot of experimenting in the past with high-end compo- ing
nents, like Solen caps, for example. In our cabinets, we can sweeter
use either 100 year-old pine, or something new. as it’s
pushed.
TQR: What is your favorite style of amp to build? The amp
sounds
Well, I’ve been building the tweed Twin amps for a long happy,
time, and I’m very fond of them. That’s a very special sound cranked. The KR12 blooms,
like nothing else in the world. But the amp I’m building for and with the 4-position variable gain struc-
Duke will have reverb, and I like that amp, too. I like them ture, you can dial in everything from clean Fender-like head-
all, really, and as I said, I have never stopped trying new room (with midrange!) to increasing levels of thick tube dis-
things. The sky’s the limit when it comes to tone. tortion at variable volume levels.

Our review model was constructed with 100 year-old finished


REVIEW pine boards, which made us re-think the idea of covering cab-
Over the years, it has occurred to us that among certain ‘old inets with glue and fabric when we heard it for the first time.
school’ guys who build amps for and have worked closely The heart pine boards in the KR12 are much heavier than
with legit, superstar players, there seems to be a shared con- typical pine, and combined with the custom-built speaker,
cept of what this amp possesses a remarkably solid, throaty and confident
defines tone somewhat reminiscent of a tweed Twin. Lou shipped the
great tone amp with a pair of the ‘old’ Svetlana (now referred to as
in an amp. ‘Flying C’ from the original Svetlana plant in St. Petersburg,
Now, we’re Russia ) 6L6’s and a pair of Russian KT66’s. We liked the
not saying KT’s for a slightly darker, more compressed tone — perfect
that they’ve for slide. The harmonic overtones coming off the slide were
gotten some of the juiciest we’ve ever heard. The 6L6’s opened the
together in tone up a bit more (picture a wider grin), and we were capti-
a back vated by the KR12’s ability to produce a clean, woody tone
room some- and one of the sweetest overdriven sounds imaginable, just by
where on tweaking the volume pot on our guitars. The KR12 is the per-
Mulberry fect foil for bright single coils, and with a little change in the
St. above Canal and EQ settings, it really plays the honey dripper with a Gibson.
conspired to promulgate a new world And the big 5U4 tube rectifier adds just the right amount of
order… but there are similarities among their amplifiers that sag (you could also call it ‘sweetener’). In all respects, the
transcend chance or random selection… Like what, you ask? KR12 is an incredibly versatile stage and studio friendly amp
Well, low-mids and full midrange presence, for example. at 35W, and it’s got some major mojo workin.’ The sad part
Remember what Joe Bonamassa said in his interview last of this story is that after bouncing between the KR12 and our
month? “Midrange is really where it’s at, but the problem favorite blackface Fender amps during our review sessions,
with the midrange frequencies is that they can expose a lot of the KR12 has kicked all but our tweaked and coddled Deluxe
flaws in your playing, because now you’re hearing it. If you Reverb straight to the curb. Now that we’ve been so cruelly
get used to dialing in the mids, you become a cleaner play- spoiled, we can’t let the KR12 go. Is the quest for tone ever
er.” The first time we played through Lou Rosano’s KR12, over? Absolutely not, and Lou Rosano is writing a new chap-
we immediately noticed the warmth and smooth midrange ter with every amplifier he builds. Quest forth… TQ
voice that Lou has designed into the amp. Another character-
istic common to exceptional amplifiers is something we have www.louisamps.com, 201-384-6166
often referred to as bloom. As you increase the volume, dis-
tortion and pick attack, the amp actually blooms and blos-
soms, while losing none of the musical character that is pres-

TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


19
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complete range of finished and unfinished guitar treated, pre-wired vintage pick guards for Strat The board is then assembled with electronic
bodies in a variety of premium tone woods, style guitars, and his exclusive formula for cold- components and soldered from the bottom side
including alder and swamp ash, with optional rolled steel alloy tremolo blocks continue to for a reliable connection. The custom-wound,
highly figured maple tops. Finishes include all of delight players around the world with improved paper bobbin transformers, pots and switches are
resonance and sustain. Callaham vintage saddles installed into the 16-gauge steel chassis which
the most popular vintage colors, including see-
also improve sustain while minimizing string provides road-worthy strength. BCS then installs
through blonde! Premium necks are also avail-
fatigue and breaks. Additional Strat parts include their proprietary Magic Wand ground bar system
able with maple, rosewood, and ebony finger-
stainless steel trem arms, string ferrules, bridge
boards in a variety of neck shape profiles, with or and the final wiring process begins. Before any
plates and mounting screws, and string retainers.
without binding. Custom design your next guitar tube is installed, each undergoes a stringent
Attention Tele Players! Callaham now offers a
with AllParts, including tailpieces, tuning keys, hand-selection process. The boards are vibration-
complete line of custom Tele parts. Please visit
bridges, nuts and saddles, pickups, pickguards tested for intermittent connections, lock-tight is
their web site for information on pre-wired con-
(that really fit), knobs, hardware, and electronics trol plates with premium pots, capacitors, and applied to hardware, and wires are twisted and
for many popular models. Bass players and left- cloth-covered wire, specially wound and cryo- bundled.
ies can also find the parts they need at AllParts! genically treated Fralin vintage Tele pickups,
You can also rely on Allparts for hard to find compensated brass bridge saddles, bridge plates, Before any amp leaves the Butler Custom Sound
parts, along with vacuum tubes and amplifier knobs, jacks, tuners and string trees! The only factory, each undergoes 60 hours of sound and
hardware. thing better than Callaham parts is a Callaham quality testing. “We're players, not only engi-
AllParts, Houston, TX guitar. We said that, and you can take it to the neers and technicians, so part of our job is to
www.allparts.com 713-466-6414 bank. plug in to each amp and test for output noise lev-

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20 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


Resource Directory

els, vibration and most importantly, tone,” says and extremely knowledgeable about the instru- George L’s Clean, clear sound is their business at
BCS president, Dan Butler. The Chicago Blues ments and gear they sell, because they’re players, George L’s! George Lewis is a seasoned veteran
Box has captured the elusive 3-dimensional, har- too. Please check the web site for current inven- of America’s rich musical heritage and an origi-
monic rich tone that is missing from so many of tory, and you are welcome to call for more infor- nal co-owner of such respected companies as
today's new amplifier designs. This amp is alive mation or an accurate, in-hand description. GHS Strings and Sho-bud Steel Guitars. For the
and ready to help inspire any player's art form. Dave’s Guitar Shop, LaCrosse, WI past 30 years, George has been dedicated to pro-
Chicago Bluesbox, Butler Custom Sound www.davesguitar.com 608-785-7704 ducing his legendary line of guitar cables, pick-
chicagobluesbox.com.630-832-1983 ups, strings, and steel guitar accessories.
Eminence Eminence is proud to present the
CR Coils founder Jim Wagner has devoted years Patriot and Redcoat series of guitar speakers. Judged Best in Sound Clarity by Guitar Player in
of research in his relentless quest to capture the Incorporating both British and American cone 1997, George L cables were also recently elected
classic tones of our guitar heroes. The recent technology into speakers that we manufacture to the Guitar Player Hall of Fame in December
review of his Crossroads humbucking pickups in in the USA gives us the ability to provide you of 2001. George L cables will enable you to
The ToneQuest Report and enthusiastic testimoni- with virtually any tone you desire. Be it eliminate line loss with low-loss cables rated at
als from WCR Guitar Pickups' players leave no British or American, clean or dirty, big bass 19 pf per foot capacitance. George L cables
doubt that Jim has indeed cracked the code on or screaming highs, we have a speaker that require no stripping or soldering, and with a
the elusive tone found in the best vintage PAF's will allow you to “Pick Your Sound”. Choose choice of straight, right angle, or stretch jacks,
and Stratocaster pickups.What's his secret? Jim from one of seventeen new models! Eminence guitarists can customize their rigs with traditional
personally hand-winds each coil, using his own has been building speakers to custom specifica- black or vintage red cable and sound great the
unique combination of wire type and gauge, tions for nearly every major manufacturer of gui- very same day! We can think of no tougher critic
magnets, tensions, etc. Each set of WCR pickups tar amplifier and sound reinforcement products than guitarist Eric Johnson, who said, “It’s my
is custom wound by Jim and voiced to precisely since 1967. Their new Legend Series of guitar favorite cable ever made for guitar.” George L
produce the tone guitarists have been chasing for speakers captures the essence of the vintage cable is available at fine music stores worldwide,
decades, such as: American and British speaker designs that are and we invite you to visit their website for the
The Fillmore Set held in such high regard today by so many dis- complete story about their products. NEW! Gold
Humbuckers that capture exactly the smooth, cerning players. The Legend Series includes clas- plugs, right angle plugs for George L’s .225
airy, open tone of Duane and Eric's live Fillmore sic British and American designs for 6,” 8,” 10,” cable, RCA plugs for all cable sizes, and the
recordings, with musical highs, balanced mids 12,” and 15” speakers utilizing ceramic and George L’s pocket cable checker!
and with no muddiness or screeching treble bite! AlNiCo magnets, British or American cones, and George L Cables, Madison, TN
The Goodwood Set Kapton polyamide voice coils for superior heat www.georgels.com 615-868-6976
This pickup is a "hybrid" between the Fillmore dissipation and durability. Best of all, because
Set and the Crossroads Set. It has a thicker tone Eminence has been successfully competing for GHS – The String Specialists
than either one, with a good bottom-end bite, years with other speaker manufacturers as an Who plays GHS strings? Artists as diverse as
smooth top-end roll-off, great harmonics, wood, OEM supplier, the Legend Series speakers are Eric Johnson, Martin Barre, Charlie Sexton, Will
and sustain. More balls ! If a "Patent-Applied- priced far below those of many other popular Ray, Warren Haynes, Tom Morello, Ritchie
For" is not enough, and 70's style hard rock is manufacturers of “reissue” and custom speakers. Sambora, Steve Howe, Brent Mason, Junior
too much, this is the set of pickups you need. The Eminence Legend Series delivers all of the Brown, Zakk Wylde, Tommy Castro, Rene’
The Crossroads Set tone and durability you need, at a lower price, Martinez and TQR advisory board member and
The new refined "Patent-Applied-For" version . with no compromises in quality. To locate gen- AC30/Telecaster stud Mr. James Pennebaker, to
This set of pickups was built to replicate the tone uine Eminence dealers in your area, please visit name just a few! GHS has been manufacturing
from the song "Crossroads" from Cream's their web site or call Eminence Speakers. guitar strings since 1964, and whatever your
"Wheels of Fire" album. They have been tested Eminence Speaker LLC, Eminence, KY musical tastes, GHS has the right string for you.
extensively in an SG, a Firebird, and a Les Paul. www.eminence.com 502-845-5622 You’re invited to try a set of GHS classic
They absolutely NAIL that sound! Contact: Chris Rose Boomers, brilliant Nickel Rockers, Burnished
The SR Set Nickel strings for a warm, vintage tone,
Finally, the perfectly balanced, not too weak, not Fishman TQR is honored to welcome Larry Compound Nickel strings for electric archtops,
too hot sounding Stratocaster single coil set, Fishman to our advisory board! Since1980, the and the recently introduced Infinity Bronze coat-
available with classic cloth-covered wire or Fishman name has been synonymous with ed acoustic strings for extended tone and bril-
shielded wire. acoustic amplification, continually improving and liance. All GHS strings are available in a wide
Please visit our web site to place your order or creating innovative products to meet musicians’ range of gauges to appeal to every player. Refer
listen to the sound bites available for all WCR changing needs, Fishman’s commitment to inno- to the GHS “Brightness Bar” found on select
pickups. Have any questions? Jim is available by vation has created a reputation of respect and packages of strings and at our web site. It’s your
phone or e-mail to answer your questions about reliability throughout the industry. Fishman’s guide to determining which strings will produce
WCR pickups and re-winds. product line began with the BP-100 Acoustic the specific range of tone you’re seeking.
www.crcoils.com, 209-588-0621 Bass pickup, which was developed to meet Larry Please check out the all new GHS web site at
E-mail: jim@crcoils.com Fishman’s own needs while performing Jazz. www.ghsstrings.com for expert information
Besides their broad assortment of pickups for about GHS strings, including technical documen-
Dave’s Guitar Shop offers Fender, Gibson, PRS, acoustic instruments, Fishman also manufactures tation on the entire GHS line of strings for fretted
McInturff, National, Taylor, Gretsch, Guild, an extensive line of complimentary electronics, instruments, tech tips, string tension calculations,
Rickenbacker, Martin, Santa Cruz, Lowden, and including portable, battery operated preamps, the “Brightness Bar,” and a comprehensive list of
many other fine new and used instruments, plus jack-style preamps, and onboard preamps with a the top artists who play GHS strings. All GHS
new and used amplifiers such as Fender, wide variety of features. The Fishman strings are manufactured to continually exceed
Marshall, Line 6, Carr, Matchless, Victoria, Bad Powerbridge is a piezo-equipped replacement your expectations.
Cat, and Ampeg, plus hundreds of guitar effects, bridge for Strat and Tele-style guitars that is cur- GHS String Corporation, Battle Creek, MI
aftermarket pickups from Joe Barden, Seymour rently used on tour by Pete Townshend, among www.ghsstrings.com 1-800-388-4447
Duncan, and more. Due to their inventory of over others. These bridges enable a standard electric
1,000 guitars, amps, and accessories, Dave’s is guitar to produce acoustic-like tones, and the best Hands On Guitars Informed and inspired by a 20
an excellent resource for top of the line Custom application of the Powerbridge can be heard on year friendship with James L. D’Aquisto, Eric
Shop and Historic reissues, to intermediate new Parker Guitars. Fishman’s impressive artist roster Miller has been building, repairing, and cus-
and used gear. Unlike some dealers’ out of date includes Dave Mathews, Pete Townshend, Doc tomizing instruments for over 18 years, and has
stock lists on the web and in print, Dave’s inven- Watson, Lisa Loeb, Barenaked Ladies, Arlo taught guitar repair and construction courses at
tory is updated daily. The selection of new and Guthrie, Fuel, and Sheryl Crow, among many Boston’s Berklee College of Music and the
used instruments is truly exceptional, and you others. Watch the Fishman website for exciting Evergreen State College. Eric is best known for
can often select among several models of the new product announcements. impeccable craftsmanship, extreme attention to
same new guitars to find that special instrument Fishman Transducers, Inc. Wilmington, MA detail and client’s needs, and an almost clairvoy-
that was meant for you. Dave’s staff is friendly www.fishman.com 978-988-9199 ant ability to bring out the best in an instrument.

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TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


21
Resource Directory

Meticulous fretwork is done using tension jigs www.juststrings.com info@juststrings.com cranked Fender Super amplifier sound. It has
and asymmetrical planing techniques for ultimate tremendous volume output, and it can be used as
accuracy, and Eric has pioneered fingerboard Klon Since its inception in 1994, Klon has been a a clean boost, driving your amp into natural
preparation and finishing methods that enhance one-product company, and given the overwhelming sounding overdrive. Other exclusive Keeley mod-
tone and playability as well as duplicating the success of that product, the Centaur Professional ifications include the Boss Blues Driver BD-2
look and feel of the finest vintage patinas. He is a Overdrive, it’s not hard to see why. Designer Bill Tube Mod, the PHAT Switch BD-2 Mod, Rat
dealer for Tom Anderson, Robin, Finnegan, assisted by two circuit-design specialists, Mods, Boss DS-1 Seeing Eye Mod, Boss SD-1,
Gretsch, D’Aquisto, Breedlove, Stromberg, set out in 1990 to create an interactive and ultra- and Boss Chorus CE-2. For detailed specs, user
Everett, Larrivee, Rainsong and Garrison instru- transparent overdrive, one that doesn’t put its own comments, dealer information, sound clips, and
ments, as well as crafting his own Eric Miller stamp on your sound, but rather brings out in a very ordering information, please visit the Keeley
Custom Guitars. Eric stocks and is extremely organic way more of what your rig was already Electronics website.
knowledgeable about most brands of aftermarket giving you. Bill’s premise was that there were many Keeley Electronics, Edmond, OK
and original equipment pickups, both electric and players who, like himself, had great guitars and amps, www.robertkeeley.com
acoustic. Hands on Guitars also carries designer and who, as he likes to put it, “were not looking to
pedals by Roger Mayer, Zachary Vex and reinvent the wheel,” and the fact that he has sold K&M Analog Designs — Two Rock
Frantone, and maintains a large inventory of gui- some four thousand Centaur units (as of November K&M Analog Designs, LLC, was formed in
tar “pro” products such as fossil ivory and wooly 2002) attests to his intuition, as well as to the northern California in1998 by Bill Krinard and
mammoth nuts, saddles, and bridgepins; Tone perfectionism that led him to spend over four years Joe Mloganoski. The company brings a com-
Pros locking bridges, tailpieces and studs; and developing a single product. That perfectionism, bined 60 + years of experience in tube amplifica-
Virtuoso Guitar Cleaner and Polish. of course, is also evident in the production unit: tion and guitar tone to the boutique amp market.
Hands on Guitars, Chehalis,WA Bill builds every Centaur himself, by hand, using As talented designer/engineer and seasoned gui-
handsonguitars@juno.com 360-740-9158 only the finest components and assembling them tarist (respectively), Bill and Joe have developed
Contact: Eric Miller with meticulous care. Each unit undergoes a series a uniquely toneful, dynamic and affordable line
of rigorous tests before shipment, and each is of hand built vacuum tube amplifiers that are
Jensen Musicians everywhere are thrilled to hear backed by a comprehensive ten-year warranty. instruments designed to completely complement
the unique sound of Jensen Vintage Series speak- Given the ongoing demand for the Centaur and your individual playing style. Each amp is
ers again. The Jensen re-issues of the famous Bill’s disinclination to let anyone but himself equipped with proprietary custom transformers
Jensen designs of the 50’s and 60’s are built to build them, expect a wait of several months for and coupling caps, the best available new and
the exact specifications of the originals to delivery, but also expect your Centaur, when you NOS tubes, and each model has unique build
achieve the same authentic sound in guitar ampli- receive it, to manifest a sonic superiority, a architecture and layout not found in other mod-
fiers today. Many current manufacturers are construction quality, a physical beauty, and a ern hand built designs. Each individual unit is
using them as well, such as Fender, Mesa conceptual rightness beyond your expectations. personally tweaked by both Joe and Bill through-
Boogie, Victoria and many more. Jensen Vintage Klon, Boston, MA 617 666-1551 out the build process. Early K&M customers
Speakers are available in both true ALNICO www.klon-siberia.com info@klon-siberia.com such as Carlos Santana helped launch the compa-
magnet models and ceramic magnet models. The ny to the forefront in its earliest days. Current
classic Jensen ‘P’ Series, features highly efficient Keeley Electronics - ToneQuest subscribers K&M and Two-Rock devotees include Steve
AlNiCo magnets and vintage style seamed cones, receive 10% off on all pedal mods and the Kimock, Mitch Stein, Barney Doyle, Terry
when applicable, resulting in the pure vintage Keeley comp, java boost and time machine Haggerty, Mark Karan, Michael Kang, and
tone loved by guitarists throughout the world. boost! Robert Keeley’s Time Machine Boost, Volker Strifler, among others.The company
The Jensen ‘C’ Series provides additional tone Keeley Compressor, and his custom, state-of-the- launched its line of Two-Rock amps in the sum-
choice and the advantages of lower cost ceramic art modifications for vintage pedals continue to mer of 1999. Past models include the Amethyst
magnets. Originally developed in the 1960’s to receive rave reviews from guitarists around the Special Indoor Storm Model, Emerald 50,
meet the demands of the emerging pop music world. Keeley pedals are used by Aerosmith, Sapphire 100, Emerald Pro and Topaz. Current
industry, the ‘C’ Series has remained a classic Abbey Road Studios, Steve Vai, legendary pro- models include the Custom, Custom Reverb,
ever since. CE Distribution is the exclusive US ducer Bob Rock, George Lynch, Peter Frampton, Onyx, Opal, and Ruby. A number of customized
importer and distributes the Jensen speakers to James Burton, and many, many more guitarists versions of the aforementioned have also been
distributors and dealers throughout the United and music pros around the world. The Time built for players seeking the ultimate personal-
States. Write to info@jensenvintage.com to find Machine Boost is a supremely versatile 2 chan- ized tone machine. K&M also recently intro-
a distributor or dealer in your area, or contact CE nel, 3 mode pre-amplifier designed to drive your duced its specialty guitar cables to rave reviews
Distribution. amplifiers into overdrive or saturation, as seen on both here and abroad. Currently K&M is also
CE Distribution, Tempe, AZ the cover of the March issue of VG. The two producing a cathode biased limited production
www.tubesandmore.com 480-755-4712 channels are labeled “Vintage,” and “Modern,” amp for Ultrasound Studios in New York City.
www.jensenvintage.com with the “Vintage” side inspired by rare germani- K&M Analog Designs,LLC. Cotati, CA
um boosts like the Dallas Rangemaster. The www.Two-Rock.com 707-664-0267
Just Strings.com Now more than ever, guitarists “Modern” channel is a new +23dB gain, dual In Japan: www.Two-Rock-jp.com
are reaping the benefits of technical innovations JFET transparent signal amplifier. The Keeley
in string making that have led to the widest Compressor is a superb audiophile and studio Lollar Custom Guitars & Pickups
selection of guitar strings ever available. grade compressor with true bypass switching and Jason Lollar builds handcrafted solid body and
JustStrings.com is dedicated to providing gui- premium metal film resistors and capacitors for arch top guitars and custom pickups in Vashon,
tarists with the largest selection of acoustic, the cleanest Ross clone compressor ever avail- Washington. Custom, hand wound Lollar pickups
roundwound, and flatwound strings, compliment- able. Available with a standard Ibanez/Boss style are available in all of the most popular styles
ed by exceptional personalized service and out- adapter jack and/or battery power, you can say (Strat, Tele, P90, Humbucker), plus custom steel
standing value. Trying different types of strings goodbye to that old red Dyna Comp! pickups, Charlie Christian-style pickups, Lollar
often results in amazing new discoveries that not Robert Keeley pedal mods include 2 versions for Stringmaster and Chicago Steel pickups for tradi-
only improve the sound of your instrument, but TS9’s - the TS808 mod, and the “Baked TS9” for tional 6-string applications, and many more.
dramatically enhance your playing enjoyment. searing hot Tube Screamer tone. Keeley uses the TQR recommends Lollar pickups without excep-
From traditional hand-crafted strings to high-tech original TI RC4558P chip that appeared in the tion! Lollar guitars are built with a deep respect
exotics, JustStrings.com exists to help you get early TS808’s, while increasing the bass response for timeless tradition, using western curly Maple,
the most out of your instrument. Try a new set and overdrive range. The result is a perfectly Honduran Mahogany, Cherry, and Alder. Models
today, or order your favorite acoustic or electric voiced 808 that’s cleaner when turned down and include the Standard – an Alder solid body, tradi-
sets and SAVE! Juststrings.com offers the best produces twice the drive/gain when turned up, tional bolt-on design that will appeal to Tele-
prices on all of the major and specialty brands, with all of the stock 808 character in the middle. style players. The Tonemaster is an Alder off-set
promptly delivered to your door. Shop online at The Keeley modded BD-2 is not a fuzz pedal but waist, contoured, string-through solidbody guitar
JustStrings.com, or place your order by fax at has the best characteristics of a fuzz pedal, and with a Lollar Stringmaster style steel guitar pick-
603-889-7026 or telephone at 603-889-2664. it’s much smoother and more realistic sounding. up in the bridge and a Lollar Chicago Steel pick-
JustStrings.com, Nashua, NH This is the pedal if you’re looking for the up in the neck position. Jason also builds a solid
body ‘V’ style guitar from Honduran Mahogany
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22 TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


Resource Directory

with a Koa top. His ‘SG’ style guitar utilizes a the guitar market, including Jensen, Celestion, Toneman Veteran working guitarist Don Butler is
super light Alder body with a mahogany neck and of course, their own custom Mojotone speak- an experienced tech who specializes in servicing
and P90 pickups. All of Jason’s solid body gui- ers. The in-house cabinet shop at Mojo special- and restoring JMI-era Vox tube/valve amps as
tars are exceptionally resonant, balanced, and izes in making authentic Fender and Marshall well as many other vintage British amps includ-
feature his custom, handwound pickups. Lollar reproduction amplifier cabinets, custom cabinets ing Marshall, Selmer, Hiwatt, Sound City and
arch tops include the 16" Concert and Performer from your own design, as well as cabinet repair Orange amps. Don also services and restores vin-
models. The Performer is built with P90’s, rose- and re-covering. Mojo stocks over fifty different tage tweed, blonde, brown and blackface era
wood board, dot inlays, Grovers, single ply bind- amp coverings and grill cloths to insure that vin- Fender amplifiers. Don’s modifications and
ing, and a standard tobacco burst nitro finish . tage enthusiasts and custom amp creators have a upgrades to vintage reissue Vox, Marshall, and
The Concert features an ebony board, gold MOP large palette to choose from. Within the last two Fender amps have earned him a solid reputation
block inlays, aged binding, Grover Imperials, and years, Mojo has become one of the largest vacu- among players throughout the country for achiev-
Lollar P90’s. Options for both models include um tube importers in the world, stocking over ing dramatically improved, authentic vintage tone
Venetian or Florentine cutaways, standard body 20,000 tubes. Because they buy tubes in large from reissue amplifiers. Don uses hand-made
depth or thinline (with an alder center block on volumes, their prices remain very competitive. Mercury Magnetics Axiom Tone Clone trans-
request). Lollar arch tops are excellent instru- For completed electronics, Mojo is the east coast formers, along with the correct, premium signal
ments for blues, funk, and rockabilly, as well as distributor for Belov amplification and also the path components to bring reissues to vintage
jazz! home of Mojotone Custom electronics. Mojo specs. He also modifies reissue Vox wahs to vin-
Jason Lollar, Vashon, WA manufactures and markets the Tone Machine tage specs, and he offers upgrades to Vox Valve
www.lollarguitars.com 206-463-9838 amplifier, a powerful and eclectic tube guitar Tone pedals and reissue Ibanez TS9’s. For the
combo. They are also able to offer turnkey and past 6 years, Don has been building the famous
Midtown Music, Atlanta, GA is one of our very partial component electronics and cabinets for Rangemaster Treble Booster, which is an exact
favorite sources for guitars, amplifiers, effects, OEM’s and builders of all sizes. The future of replica of the original Dallas Rangemaster unit
and accessories. Midtown offers great deals on Mojo lies in their ability to work directly with from the early 60’s. In addition to the original
new amplifiers by Dr. Z, Victoria, Savage, Two manufacturers, or bring the manufacturing in treble model, Don builds a full range model and
Rock, and Roccaforte, all in stock! They also house. Our plans for the coming months and a switchable model combining the features of
carry the complete line of Blackbox effects, Wha years are focused on making quality vintage parts both Rangemaster units. Don was also the very
Whas by Geoffrey Teese, and new Jensen and available at even better prices, while assuring that first dealer for Pyramid strings, and you can
Celestion speakers. Current inventory includes: all of their products are of the highest quality. count on him to maintain a full inventory of
Aiken Invader...New, 18 Watt w/ Attenuator, Mojo Musical Supply Pyramids at all times.
Ultimate Bedroom Amp...CALL Winston-Salem, NC Don Butler, Newhall, CA
Bacino 18 Watt...New, 18 Watt Marshall Clone, www.mojotone.com 1-800-927-MOJO www.tone-man.com
Custom Colors...CALL 661-259-4544 10-6 PST, Tuesday-Saturday only
Balls M18...New & Used, 18 Watt Marshall Stewart MacDonald Stewart-MacDonald offers a
Clones, In Stock!...CALL complete line of hard-to-find tools, parts, acces- TonePros Sound Labs
Dr. Z Maz 18...New, 18 Watt w/ Reverb, Custom sories, instructional videos and books for build- All TQR subscribers will receive an exclusive
Colors...CALL ing, repairing, setting up, and optimizing the 10% discount when ordering TonePros compo-
Fender Stratocaster Relic...Aged Fiesta Red, playability and tone of stringed instruments. nents — just mention the “TQWD” discount
Maple Fretboard, Mint, OHSC...$1795 Whether you are just getting started or you're a code when ordering by phone or online.
Fender Super Reverb...1967, Original Speakers & seasoned luthier, you'll find everything you need TonePros Sound Labs International System II
Transformers, Excellent...$1595 in the Stew-Mac catalog, including: fret wire, fin- Guitar Components distributed by WD Music
Fender Tremolux…1964, Head Only, Original ishing supplies, glues and adhesives, wood, bod- Products “Making the world a better place for
Transformers, Very Good…$450 ies, necks, binding, tuners, nuts and saddles, guitar guitarists!” Ever since our first published
Gibson Les Paul Custom '61 Reissue...Historic inlay, bridges, tailpieces, electronics, pickups, review article, The ToneQuest Report has enthu-
Pelham Blue, Near Mint, OHSC...$2495 and free information sheets and professional siastically recommended the patented TonePros
Marshall JMP 50 Watt...1974, Four Inputs, No advice! Their friendly customer service and tech- system of guitar components. You deserve to dis-
Master Volume, Excellent...$895 nical support staff are trained to help you make cover why TonePros works!
Marshall JMP 100 Watt Super Lead...1973, Four the best product choices, and they also offer an
Inputs, No Master Volume, Excellent...$895 Unconditional Return Guarantee. If you're not TonePros tailpieces feature a patented locking
Matchless Clubman 35...1994, Mark Sampson satisfied with an item for any reason, simply design. For years, guitars with stop tailpieces and
Era, Excellent...$1995 return it. wrap-around bridges have been cursed by “lean”
Two Rock Custom Reverb...New, 50 Watt w/ or tilt on their stud mounts. Since string tension
Reverb, In Stock!...CALL Stew-Mac is the leading supplier of innovative was all that held tailpieces on, the only contact
Vox AC-30...Reissue w/ Celestion Blue Bulldogs, products for guitarists and repair pros, and every area was just a bit of the edge of the bottom
Original Cover, Near Mint...$1495 thing they make is guaranteed to work well, flange, just a bit of the lip of the stud top, and
Victoria 35310 "Bandmaster"…1998, Tweed, because every product is tested by the profes- often just as little contact with the intonation
Near Mint…$1395 sional luthiers at Stewart MacDonald first! The screws. TonePros® Locking Studs provide 100%
Roccaforte, Savage, O'Brien...New hand wired master builders and repairmen on staff include of the contact area of the bottom flange, 100% of
amps…CALL Dan Erlewine - well-known author of guitar the contact area of the stud top, no lean, and dra-
The staff at Midtown is experienced and helpful repair books and magazine articles, member of matically improved sustain, resonance and tone.
(they’re all great players), and Midtown has been the ToneQuest Report advisory board, and a reg-
the choice of working guitarists in the southeast- ular contributor to TQR. Dan and all of the expe- TonePros bridge and saddle components feature
ern U.S. for years. Highly recommended, and rienced luthiers at Stew-Mac personally develop the “patented pinch” — the lateral pressure that
definitely ToneQuest approved! and test every product the company offers, and is applied from the strategically placed “tone
www.midtownmusic.com they are also dedicated to education. The Stewart screws” that greatly reduce the play or wiggle of
404-325-0515 MacDonald catalog is packed with helpful tips, the bridge posts in their inserts. The posts are
and the company produces an extensive series of frozen in place, resulting in a solid connection
Mojo Musical Supply is the all-inclusive amplifi- training videos at their facility in Athens, Ohio. between the strings, bridge, and guitar top, trans-
er parts supply house. ToneQuest readers ferring more string vibration and resonance to the
receive an exclusive 10% discount on all Mojo For more information on the entire range of guitar body, resulting in an audibly stronger,
products! Just reference the “MojoQuest304” products available, please visit the Stewart sweeter, woodier type of resonance and sustain.
discount code when placing your order. Mojo MacDonald web site. In addition to their free And once your guitar is set up, it’s locked.
specializes in pre-1980 amplifier parts, including online help service, your telephone call is also Bridge height and intonation settings remain
a wide range of custom and vintage reproduction always welcome. intact and exact, even after re-stringing.
cabinets, a line of exact reproduction transform- Stewart MacDonald TonePros® System II Components are found on
ers, and hard-to-find electrical components. Mojo www.stewmac.com, the worlds best guitars, played by the world's
continues to supply a full range of speakers for 1-800-848-2273 best artists.

TONEQUEST REPORT V5. N5. March 2004


23
Back Issue Index

TonePros Sound Labs International, www.tonepros.com In a hurry? Back issues are also available as low-resolution PDF files,
www.wdmusicproducts.com, 239-337-7575 delivered via e-mail. Don't delay! Please place your order today while
supplies of original issues are still available. Call 1-877-MAX-TONE toll-
Vinetto Guitars Be sure to enter the ToneQuest Vinetto Legato Giveaway free or order online at www.tonequest.com now. This index is also avail-
by registering at www.vinettoguitars.com today! Deadline for entry is June able for viewing at www.tonequest.com. See 'back issue index.’
1, 2004. No purchase necessary to enter
November 1999 Vol. 1 Number 1 *
If you ask ten different guitar players for their idea of the “ultimate” gui- Dave Boze —Under 40W of Whoop-Ass—Vintage Fender ‘club’ amps
tar, you'll get that many different answers. But there comes a point, when Interview — René Martinez, Stevie Ray’s guitar tech
you've played and heard enough guitars, that you finally realize that find- Interview — Joe Barden, Joe Barden Pickups
ing the best instrument for you has nothing to do with the almost endless NOS Tubes — Mike Kropotkin
array of features and gimmicks out there today. It's about the connection-- Interview — James Pennebaker
the subtle, timeless connection that happens when the right player picks
up the right guitar. December 1999 Vol. 1 Number 2 *
Interview — René Martinez Part 2
For over two decades, Vince Cunetto has been making guitars that feel, The Reissue Vox AC 30 with James Pennebaker
play and sound the way a lot of very respected players wanted them to, Interview — Joe Barden Part 2
and most of these players were not too concerned with the bells and whis-
tles that come and go in trendy, modern guitar design. When Vince set out January 2000 Vol. 1 Number 3 *
to design his own model, he wanted to build a guitar that would be com- $400 of Blues Power — The Japanese Vintage Reissue Strats
fortable to anybody that picked one up – like an old friend – but different Review & Interview — Victoria Amplifier Founder Mark Baier
enough to still inspire new ideas in their playing. This was the inspiration Rhyne Guitars and Jay Riness
for The Legato, and remember – “legato” means smooth and connected. Introducing Todd Sharp
It's about flow and continuity. Q &A with Sheryl Crow Guitarist Peter Stroud
Rockindaddy Randy Volin on vintage gear
The goal for Vinetto Guitars is pretty simple… to put extremely well-
made, great sounding instruments into the hands of good players, so they February 2000 Vol. 1 Number 4
can find new ways to bring out their best playing. Review — The Epiphone Spirit — Old School Kalamazoo Cool
Review & Interview — Victoria Amps Part 2
Any Vinetto Guitar can be special ordered to the player's specifications Review — Vintage National Resonators
from a selection of standard neck profile, fingerboard, pickguard and The Dumble — Todd Sharp
body color options. We're also happy to discuss any special requests you Q & A with Mark Baier
might have for your new Vinetto. For more information, please visit the Dave Boze on New (Old) Amp Purchases
Vinetto Guitars web site.
www.vinettoguitars.com, 314-542-0808 March 2000 Vol. 1 Number 5
Interview — Double Trouble Bassist Tommy Shannon Part 1
Visual Sound Review — Vintage Resonators Part 2
Visual Sound Founded by guitarist, Bob Weil in 1994, Visual Sound has Review — ’64 Fender Vibroverb
become known for creating innovative effect pedals with impeccable tone Interview — Ben Cole — GHS Strings
at a reasonable price. The familiar “home plate” design of the Jekyll & Power Tubes — Mike Kropotkin
Hyde Ultimate Overdrive, Route 66 American Overdrive, and H2O Liquid Q & A with Dave Boze
Chorus & Echo makes them stand out on any stage. Each pedal is actually
two pedals in one, having two completely separate channels that can be April 2000 Vol. 1 Number 6
used individually or in combination with each other, just like two pedals. Interview — Bluesbreaker Guitarist Buddy Whittington Part 1
However, they are priced substantially less than one comparable “bou- Interview — Tommy Shannon Part 2
tique quality pedals, and even less than some mass-market pedals. Visual Review — The G&L ASAT
Sound pedals have been used on stage and in the studio with artists like Review — The Peavey Delta Blues
Eric Johnson, U2, Gary Moore, Phil Keaggy, Johnny Hiland, Jars of Clay,
Review — The Gibson ES 135
and many others. The latest addition from Visual Sound is the 1 SPOT
The Quest for Tone — Todd Sharp
space-saving adapter – the first 9VDC adapter to require only one spot on
Review — Ibanez Tube Screamers
a wall outlet or power strip. The 1 SPOT works with almost every pedal
Q &A with Dave Boze
in existence and can easily power an entire pedal board by itself with the
addition of optional daisy chain cables. It’s a fraction of the cost of brick-
sized pedal board power supplies and it takes up no space on the board. May 2000 Vol. 1 Number 7
As if that wasn’t enough, it even converts voltage automatically anywhere Interview — Albert Lee Part 1
in the world! For more information about Visual Sound, mp3 downloads, Buddy Whittington Part 2
and product information, please visit the Visual Sound web site, or con- Heavy Metal Dobro Mojo
tact Bob Weil personally. Pickups with Peter Stroud
Visual Sound Q & A with Ted Weber and Joe Barden
www.visualsound.net 615-595-8232
June 2000 Vol. 1 Number 8
Interview — Albert Lee Part 2

Back Issue Index November 1999 – January 2004 Interview — Sonny Landreth Part 1
Tube Rectifiers with Mike Kropotkin
Review — The Klon Centaur
Order the issues you have missed now by calling 1-877-MAX-TONE toll-
Todd Sharp on the Ampeg VT 40
free in the USA, or order online through our secure server at
www.tonequest.com. AMEX, VISA, Mastercard and Discover cards Pedalboard Setup with Peter Stroud
accepted! All back issues are $10 each. Issues noted with an * are no
longer in print. High-quality color copies will be provided for all out-of- July 2000 Vol. 1 Number 9
print issues. Please allow 10-15 days for delivery. Interview — Doctor Z Amps Part 1
Interview — Sonny Landreth Part 2
Review — The Fab, Groovy Danelectros with James Pennebaker
SPECIAL OFFER WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! Jazzmaster and Jag Setups with John Sprung
Order 10 or more back issues and save 10% off the $10/per copy price.
Order all back issues and save 20%! Orders of 10 issues or more will be The Leslie with Dave Boze
mailed via Priority Mail. International delivery charges vary based on the A Les Paul for Less
number of issues ordered and your location. Q &A with Todd Sharp

-continued-

24 TONEQUEST REPORT V4. N8. June 2003


Back Issue Index

August 2000 Vol. 1 Number 10 July 2001 Vol. 2 Number 9


Interview — The Amp Doctor Gives It Up! The César Diaz Interview — Bob Gault, Founder of Eminence Speaker Corporation
Interview Interview — Ritchie Fliegler Part 2
Interview — Doctor Z Part 2 Plus Amp Reviews Interview — Beckola! Jennifer Batten on the Jeff Beck Tour
Review — The Little Whirlwind Leslie Review — The Reissue '65 Super reverb
Review — The Martin D18 and Gibson J45 The Hall of Fame Triple Gold Les Paul and VP 90 Pickups
Q & A with Dave Boze Little Big Pedals from SRV Amp Guru César Diaz

September 2000 Vol. 1 Number 11 August 2001 Vol. 2 Number 10


Interview — Chris Larsen/Girl Brand Guitars The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — Page’s Supro, Joe Walsh & More
Interview — Andy Marshall/THD Electronics Interview — Greg Martin & The Kentucky Headhunters
Review — Mesa Boogie Blue Angel nterview — Chris Kinman of Kinman AVn Guitar Electrix
Interview — Lord Valve on Tubes Review — The Marshall PA 20
Review — A Les Paul for Less... Review — $600 of Blues Power — MIJ Strat Makeover with
Harmonic Design Pickups and the Super Tough Fret Job!
October 2000 Vol. 1 Number 12
Interview — Sean Costello September 2001 Vol. 2 Number 11
Interview — Tim Shaw, Fender Custom Shop Nashville The Eric Clapton Issue — Clapton's Gear from the Yardbirds to
Interview — Tom Holmes on PAF Pickups Reptile — EC's Guitars Shot on Stage from the 2001 Tour
Interview — Ted Weber/Weber VST on Speakers Part 1 Interview — Famed Producer Tom Dowd on Layla and Disraeli
Gears Sessions
November 2000 Vol. 2 Number 1 Interview — TQR Exclusive with EC's Guitar Tech Lee Dickson
Interview — Danny Flowers and James Pennebaker
Interview — Jeff Bakos on Classic Blues Recording October 2001 Vol. 2 Number 12
Interview — Ted Weber/Weber VST Speakers Part 2 Interview — Terry C. McInturff, McInturff Guitars
Review — Analog Delay Pedals Interview — Nashville Cats Todd Sharp and Kenny Greenberg
Interview — Chris Kinman Part 2
December 2000 Vol. 2 Number 2 * Review — More Picks for Undiscovered Small Amps
Review — The Gibson Firebird
Review — The Fender VibroKing Amp November 2001 Vol. 3 Number 1
Interview — Atlanta's Instrument Repair Shop Interview — Kal David — It's Time You Met the Real Deal!
Todd Sharp — The Redface "Blackface" Conversion Interview — Mesa Boogie Founder Randy Smith
Interview — Super Happenin' Effects with Analog Man
January 2001 Vol. 2 Number 3 Feature — Who's Playing What? Sonny Landreth, Kenny Wayne,
Interview — Telecaster Master Johnny Hiland Part 1 and Peter Stroud
Interview — Gregg Hopkins, Vintage Amp Restoration
Interviews — Gear Tips with West Coast Tone Kings Don Butler December 2001 Vol. 3 Number 2
and Mark Karan Part 1 Interview — The Mystic Travelers — When Vintage was $200 w/John
Sprung
February 2001 Vol. 2 Number 4 Interview — TQR Exclusive with Larry Fishman
Interview — Steve Carr, Carr Amplifiers Review — The Terry C. McInturff Taurus Standard
Review — TQR Picks for Vintage Cheapo Guitars and Amps Review — Bill Callaham's Cryo'd Pickups and Wiring Harness
Interview — Don Butler and Mark Karan Part 2 Interview — James Pennebaker on Building Amps at Home
Class A Q&A with Dr. Z
January 2002 Vol. 3 Number 3 *
March 2001 Vol. 2 Number 5 Interview — John Harrison of A Brown Soun — The Wizard of
Interview — Ken Parker of Parker Guitars on Guitar Construction Hemp Speakers Speaks!
Part 1 — “A must-read!” Interview — An American Treasure — Bob Benedetto
Review — Carr Amplifiers Interview — Mercury Magnetics Founder Sergio Hamernik on
Lord Valve on the No B.S. Approach to Tube Tone Transformers
Interview — Bonnie Raitt’s Reso Builder, Larry Pogreba
Review — The Vintage Reissue Japanese Telecaster February 2002 Vol. 3 Number 4
Interview — Mr. Ronnie Earl
April 2001 Vol. 2 Number 6 * Interview — A Conversation with the Founders of Two Rock Amps
Review — HIWATT Amps Review — Introducing Mr. Nasty — $300 of Bloody Good Whoop
Interview — Ken Parker Part 2 Ass (The Sound City 50R Amp)
Tube Substitutions by Mike Kropotkin Review — The Cooderizer (Gibson GA20)
Todd Sharp on Impedance Matching Q&A — From the Temple of Tone with Eric Miller/Hands On Guitars
Review — The New Dr. Z Z28 4x10 Amp
March 2002 Vol. 3 Number 5 *
May 2001 Vol. 2 Number 7 Interview — Meet Steve Kimock — The High Priest of Magical
Interview — Dick Boak, CF Martin & Co. Guitar Tone
Interview — Larry Wexer on vintage Martins Interview — Jimmy Page and Joe Perry Guitar Tech Jim Survis
Review — The HIWATT DR 505 Amp with Bakos and Sharp Review — The Mesa Boogie Maverick Review
EL 34 Tube Recommendations NAMM 2002 Hot Picks!
Review — The Ibanez TS7 Tube Screamer Review — K&M Two Rock Amps
TQR Quarterly Resource Directory
June 2001 Vol. 2 Number 8
Interview — Ritchie Fliegler, Fender Musical Instruments
1973 Super Reverb Super Beater Makeover April 2002 Vol. 3 Number 6
Interview — Scott Peterson, Harmonic Design Pickups Interview — Geoffrey Teese and RMC Wahs — The Search for the
SRV and Santana guitar tech René Martinez on Tuning Holy Grail
Interview — Introducing Terry Dobbs (That's Mr. Valco to You...)

-continued-

TONEQUEST REPORT V4. N8. June 2003


25
Back Issue Index

Article — Johnny Hiland Shares Practice Tips & His Pedal Board Rig December 2002 Vol. 4 Number 2 *
Review — The Fender Super Deluxe Reverb — Upgrade Your The King of Tone! If you aren't familiar with Jim Weider's work with
Deluxe Now! The Band and his solo recordings featuring his vintage Telecasters,
amps, and effects, it's time you became acquainted with one of the
May 2002 Vol. 3 Number 7 most accomplished Tele players of our time. We explore Jim's
Interview — Michael Guthrie's Outrageous Vox Amps, Plus entire stage and studio setups, and this interview is loaded with
Undiscovered British Bargains! practical tips on acquiring inspiring guitar tone.
Review — The Return of Todd Sharp — The Good Smell of a Review — AnalogMan's Sun Face Germanium Fuzz
Vintage Vox AC30 Review — Relic Tele Reviews! The Nocaster and '63 Tele
Interview — Meet Zachary Vex of Z. Vex Pedals Review — Chris Kinman's Superb Noiseless Tele Pickups from
Review — Damn Right I Play a Cyber Twin — Buddy Guy's Tech Down Under!
Mark Messner & the Cyber Fender Twin Interview and Review — Savage Audio with Jeff Krumm

June 2002 Vol. 3 Number 8 January 2003 Vol. 4 Number 3


Interview — Victoria Amplifier's Mark Baier on the new 4/EL84 Glaser Instruments — When Nashville's top players need their gui-
Victorilux with Reverb & Tremolo tars re-fretted, setup, or restored, they go to Joe Glaser. Our in-
Review — The New Jensen Mod Speakers with Orin Portnoy, depth interview covers Joe Glaser's career operating one of the top
Antique Electronic Supply guitar repair shops in the world, and we reveal his amazing PLEK
Interview — Good Wood from Puyallup — Ken Warmoth on machine from Germany, which dresses frets with a precision that
Warmoth Guitar Products will change the way you view a "great" fret job. This is one of the
Review — Pedalmania! Don't Get Bored with Your Peda Board! most requested issues we've ever published!
César Diaz Remembered Review — The Incredible PLEK machine!
Review — Our TQR picks for Way Cool Guitars
July 2002 Vol. 3 Number 9 — The Blues Issue * Review & Interview — Visual Sound Effects with Bob Weil
Interview — Muddy Waters Guitarist Bob Margolin Review — The Under 20W Chapter of Club Whoop Ass (revisited)
Interview — French Quarter Legend Mr. Bryan Lee Our picks for new, little BIG amps!
Interview — Jimi and Stevie's Favorite Guitarist — Hubert Sumlin
Review — TQR's Mighty Fine Tools for Tone Kings — Lollar P90's, February 2003 Vol. 4 Number 4 *
the Siegmund Midnight Special, and Roccaforte Custom 18 head. Coco Montoya — "Take this blues and make it your own." Coco
Montoya began his career as a drummer with blues legend Albert
August 2002 Vol. 3 Number 10 Collins, but during years of touring with The Iceman, Coco learned
A Trio of Tonefreaks... to play blues guitar from the undisputed "Master of the Telecaster."
Interview — Meet Chris Siegmund — Elevating Amplifiers and We delve deep into Coco's career with Collins and his role as gui-
Guitars to Timeless Works of Art. tarist with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and as always,
Jason Lollar — A Player's Take on Guitar Designs and Handwound there are plenty of tips from Coco on getting that tone and the
Pickups That Will Change Your Life intention of the blues into your playing.
Doug Roccaforte — Custom Amp Builder and Tech Busts Myths Review — Brown is back... Our discovery of the Diaz modified
About Building, Repairing, and Modding Amps blackface "brown" Princeton amp — and undiscovered bargain!
Review & Interview — Power Tools! The Blackstone Overdrive
September 2002 Vol. 3 Number 11 * with builder Jon Blackstone
Jim Marshall! Our exclusive, in-depth interview with Jim Marshall is
a rare treat for all fans of Marshall amplifiers. This is one of the March 2003 Vol. 4 Number 5
most extensive interviews ever published with the man who creat- Denis Cornell — Discover England's brilliant custom builder who
ed the sound of rock & roll. recently created Eric Clapton's newest amp! Cornell is a veteran
Interview — Doug Roccaforte reviews the great Marshall amps of amp tech and builder who worked with Vox founder Dick Denny
the past. You'll learn the subtle differences between models built and developed the early Sound City amps in England. His Plexi
from the mid sixties to the early eighties. 20W and 50W amps are some of the best Marshall-style amps we
Review — Our 1970 Park 50W, optimized by Doug Roccaforte have ever heard!
Review — The current production Marshall JTM45 Review — The Cornell Plexi Amps
Review — Acquiring maximum vintage Les Paul tone on a budget Review — A peek inside JJ Electronics Tube manufacturing.
Review — The Fishman Powerbridge with Peter Stroud Review & Interview — Gene Baker Guitars
Review — The Carr 1x15 Slant 6 with Danny Flowers Review — The new Fender '64 Vibroverb Custom — Better than
vintage!
October 2002 Vol. 3 Number 12 *
This is the issue everyone was waiting for... A 6,000 word, detailed April 2003 Vol. 4 Number 6
visit and gear exposé with the Reverend Billy F. Gibbons! Mr. The Gibson Custom Art & Historic Division — This special 24-page
Gibbons finally delivered the goods on how he gets his righteous edition of TQR is devoted to the Gibson Historic guitars and the
tone, from Pearly Gates, to the Marshalls, his studio toys, live Custom Shop. You'll literally tour the Custom Shop and see how
stage rig, and all points in between... the Historic Reissues are built, with detailed interviews with Historic
Review — The Les Paul Historic Double Cut Special Division manager Edwin Wilson, TQR advisory board member and
Interview — The Radiators' Dave Malone... More very cool gear Pro Shop manager Ernie King, and a must-read interview with Tom
tips from the pros! Murphy, plus reviews of historic reissue models.
Review — The Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb Interview — Edwin Wilson on the genesis of the Custom Shop
Interview — Ernie King on the historic reissues
November 2002 Vol. 4 Number 1 Interview — Tom Murphy on the historic Les Pauls and his aged
Introducing a guitar player's guitar player... Stephen Bruton! "Murphy" Les Pauls.
Stephen's interview is one of the most thoughtful and informative Interview — The Kentucky HeadHunters' Greg Martin on his vin-
we've ever published. If you don't learn something from this guy, tage '58 Les Paul, his historic reissues, tone tips for stage and stu-
it's time to hang it up! dio, and more!
Review — PRS Custom 22, and the MCCarty model
Review & Interview — Black Box Effects with founder Loren May 2003 Vol. 4 Number 7
Stafford When are expensive custom-built guitars and amps really worth
Review — The Maven Peal Zeeta Amplifier their heavy pricetags? Can you capture the signature tone you

-continued-

26 TONEQUEST REPORT V4. N8. June 2003


Back Issue Index

crave on the cheap? Uh, huh... Meet Joe Naylor, founder of Michael Burks — The Interview
Reverend instruments and amplifiers. He's figured out how to build Dan Erlewine Part 2 — Repair and restoration tips
affordable gear that sounds and plays like gear costing way more Review and Interview — Introducing the Balls 18 Amplifier
than you think! Review — 10 inch speaker swaps — what's hot, what's not!
Interview — Joe Naylor
Review — The Reverend Hellhound, Slingshot and Drivetrain II November 2003 Vol. 4 Number 12
Interview — Bernie Hefner & the B. Hefner Co. This is our fourth anniversary issue and double feature on award-
Review — The new AC30 Point-to-Point reissue - Better than vintage! winning Londoner Adrian Legg and Nashville songwriter and ses-
Review — Euro Tone — The Lehle Switching Boxes and Carl sion player Gordon Kennedy. Adrian discusses his incredible tone
Martin Pedals\ and unique stage rig in detail never before documented in print. In
Review — Callaham Custom Guitar Parts and Makeover fact, Adrian called our interview the best article ever written about
him in 20 years! Gordon Kennedy co-wrote Eric Clapton's most
June 2003 Vol. 4 Number 7 successful single of his career — "Change the World," and has
After a lifetime of playin' the blues, Anson Funderburgh earned the worked extensively as top Nashville session player, most recently
cover of TQR by a long shot. Check out Anson & Sam Myers, the with Peter Frampton. Both of our featured artists are hopeless
Bus, and Anson's main squeeze — his '57 Stratocaster. tonefreaks, and you'll learn a lot from their insights on guitars, gear
Interview — Anson Funderburgh and recording.
Interview — George Goumas (Anson's brilliant guitar tech and tone Interview — Adrian Legg and Gordon Kennedy
guru) Review — The Epiphone Elites... 'Affordable' just keeps getting
Review — The Dr. Z MAZ38 Senior — Anson's new amp better! Our review of the Epi Elite 335 and Les Paul
Review & Interview — Tone Pros Outstanding bridges and saddles Review — Introducing The Enhancer! Big tone for combo amps.
Review — Our makeover of the stock Gibson SG Special
December 2003 Vol. 5 Number 1
July 2003 Vol. 4 Number 8 Meet the Mighty Tone Kings! Eric Johnson and Sonny Landreth on
Pete Anderson tells all... You know Pete — the guitarist and pro- nailing it the first time, Gear, Tone, Technique and more! Two of the
ducer who shaped the authentic Bakersfield sound of Dwight most admired, unique and identifiable players in the world reveal
Yoakam. In our 2-part interview, Pete chronicles his dues-paying their tone secrets in this stellar issue, from Dumbles to Vibroverbs,
period out of Detroit, struggles with various guitars until finding The vintage Marshalls and a lot more! Don't miss this one...
One, modding his blackface Deluxes, and more! If you don't learn Interview — Eric Johnson, Sonny Landreth
some valuable lessons from Pete's own words, it's time to put the Reviews — Vintage Fuzz Faces and modern alternatives
guitar down, brother! Review — Wee heavy and bold as love... Our 1968 vintage
Interview — Pete Anderson... Guitars Cadillacs & Amp Farm... Marshall 4x12 cab meets the 4x12 TV reissue!
Review — The Tom Anderson Hollow Classic — A Big Step Up Review — Introducing the Victoria Sovereign
from 1954 Review — Introducing the Roccaforte 30W
Review — Midrange Deluxe — The "Raw Mod" for your Deluxe Review & Interview — The CR Coils Crossroads humbucker
Reverb
Review — Building the Perfect Plexi with Peter Stroud, Don Butler, January 2004 Vol. 5 Number 2
and Mercury Magnetics! The Leslie West Interview! The original king of big tone and wicked
vibrato let's it rip... This one will definitely go down as an all-time
August 2003 Vol. 4 Number 9 favorite, but you'll need to buy the CD release of the 1970
Meet master tonefreak Robert Poss! Mr. Poss defies description, Mountain Climbing album before you wade into this issue. Trust
but prepare for plenty of "Why didn't I think of that?" insights from us... we have forgotten what big tone is all about. This issue is one
one of the most articulate, thoughtful and wildly talented guitarists of our favorites!
we've ever met. Interview — Leslie West
Poss — Distortion Is Truth Review — Mountain gear (and you'll be surprised, believe us)!
Review — The rare and undiscovered G&L SC-1 — one of the last Review — The Gibson '54 Historic Goldtop — Still under the radar
Leo Fender designs. and a must-have!
Interview — Pete Anderson Part 2 Interview — Meet the Detroit Boogie King, Michael Katon from
Interview — Tom Anderson GuitarWorks Hell, Michigan!
Review — The Anderson Hollow T Review — James Pennebaker road tests the Gibson GA30RV
amplifier
September 2003 Vol. 4 Number 10
Legendary guitar repair and restoration expert Dan Erlewine
shares stories never told before in print, including eye-opening tips QUANTITIES ARE LIMITED!
on guitar repair, Dan's favorite instruments, his work building cus-
tom guitars for artists such as Albert King, and more! PLEASE ORDER YOUR BACK ISSUES NOW WHILE SUPPLIES
Erelwine — The untold story Part 1. LAST. ORDER TOLL-FREE AT 1-877-MAX-TONE (629-8663)
Tubes Count — A Vacuum tube update with Mike Kropotkin OR ONLINE WITH ANY MAJOR CREDIT CARD AT
The Ventilator — Another forgotten classic amp revealed — the
Ampeg V2
WWW.TONEQUEST.COM. VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX AND
Mojotone — A profile of Mojo Musical Supply and custom speaker DISCOVER ACCEPTED. THIS INDEX IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON
cabinets OUR WEB SITE. SAVE 10% ON ORDERS OF 10 OR MORE
ISSUES, AND 20% OFF ON ALL BACK ISSUES. ORDER
October 2003 Vol. 4 Number 11 TODAY!
Meet Michael Burks! If you smell smoke, it's the Dimble burning!
Our exclusive interview with W.C. Handy award winner and master
bluesman Michael Burks delves deep into his gear, which includes
an obscure and very rare Matchless 120W head, a Dumble
Overdrive Special, and a collection of customized guitars that will
definitely surprise you.

TONEQUEST REPORT V4. N8. June 2003


27
www.tonequest.com

coming in the
Future Issues ToneQuest
Report TM

Editor/Publisher David Wilson


Associate Publisher Liz Medley
INTERVIEWS: Robert Keeley Graphic Design Rick Johnson
Peter Frampton EDITORIAL BOARD
Jerry Jones Analogman John Harrison
A Brown Soun
James Pennebaker
Delbert McClinton
Don Warren Guitars Tom Anderson
Tom Anderson GuitarWorks Johnny Hiland Scott Petersen
Bill Nash, Nash Guitars Mark Baier
Victoria Amplifiers
Gregg Hopkins
Vintage Amp Restoration
Harmonic Design Pickups

Doug Roccaforte
Roccaforte Amplifiers
Jeff Bakos Phil Jones
Bakos AmpWorks Gruhn Guitars Paul Rivera
FEATURES: The Force Pedal Joe Barden
Joe Barden Pickups
K&M Analog Designs
Rivera Amplifiers

Roger Sadowsky
TV Jones Dick Boak
CF Martin & Co.
Mark Karan
Bob Weir & Ratdog
Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.

Tommy Shannon
More Tone From Jason Lollar Joe Bonamassa
Ernest King
Gibson Custom Shop
Double Trouble

Todd Sharp
Hemp Update with A Brown! Don Butler
The Toneman
Chris Kinman
Kinman AVn Pickups
Nashville Amp Service

Tim Shaw
Steve Carr Mike Kropotkin Fender Musical Instruments Corp.
Carr Amplifiers KCA NOS Tubes

AMPLIFIERS: Savage Macht 6! Mitch Colby


KORG/Marshall/VOX USA
Winn Krozak
Paul Reed Smith Guitars
Chris Siegmund
Siegmund Guitars and Amplifiers

Chicago Blues Box Ben Cole


GHS Strings
Sonny Landreth
John Sprung
American Guitar Center

Our Pro Bassman Dan Erlewine


Stewart-MacDonald
Albert Lee
Adrian Legg
Peter Stroud
The Sheryl Crow Band

PICKUPS: DiMarzio Bluesbuckers & Mini Larry Fishman


Fishman Transducers
Dave Malone
The Radiators
Randy Volin
Rockindaddy’s Guitars

Humbuckers Buzz Feiten Domenick Mandrafina


Donnie Wade
Jackson Guitars
European Musical Imports
Bill Finnegan Laurence Wexer
Klon Centaur René Martinez Laurence Wexer Limited

GUITARS: RI Firebird V Makeover Ritchie Fliegler


Fender Musical Instruments Corp.
The Guitar Whiz

Greg Martin
Fine Fretted Instruments

Buddy Whittington
USA Custom Guitars - Build a Lindy Fralin
The Kentucky Headhunters

Richard McDonald
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

Don Young
Billy F. Gibbons
ToneQuest Strat! ZZ Top
VP Mktg, Fender Musical Instruments

Terry McInturff
National Reso-phonic Guitars

Zachary Vex
Joe Glaser Terry McInturff Guitars Z Vex Effects
Glaser Instruments

The ToneQuest Report TM (ISSN 1525-3392) is published monthly by Mountainview Publishing LLC, 235 Mountainview Street, Suite 23, Decatur, GA. 30030-
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