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Showing posts with the label 1990s

JB Player Artist Semi-Hollow Guitar

Back in the 1990s, JB Player came out with some innovative guitar concepts. Yes, you have probably seen their Stratocaster copies with the Floyd Rose tremolos as were the fashion of the time. Some of them had those awful "crackle" paint jobs that were also in style. Yuck. They made acoustic and electric guitars, some of which were pretty unique, usually in the $300-$600 price range. They were marketed by Musicorp in the United States.  OK, it's now education time about how music stores operate. If you were the owner or manager of a music instrument retail store, you'd have your hands full trying to stock all the items for every different kind of instrument you'd sell. I used to run a small store in the Nineties and, believe me, it is a challenge. You have to keep stocked up with pianos, guitars, basses, violins, mandolins, banjos, amps, pedals, strings, plus horns, woodwinds, drums, heads, cases, reeds, straps, picks, capos, stands, sheet music, instruction books,

Sovtek MIG 60 Amplifier Head

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and a wave of freedom swept across eastern Europe. Nations behind the Iron Curtain opened up their economies and a new wave of entrepreneurship followed. So just what does a country whose economy largely focused on building military weapons and technology do to compete in a global market? Answer: build guitar amplifiers. There is an interesting story behind this development. U.S. military doctrine operated from the pretext that nuclear war would result in mutually-assured destruction of both sides and was, therefore, unwinnable. We abandoned hopeless measures like civil defense, building bomb shelters, etc. The Soviets did not subscribe to this doctrine. They believed that they could ride out the first wave of nukes and the survivors would continue to fight on until victory was achieved.  We used to laugh at how archaic Soviet military electronics were. For example, their military aircraft had radars, avionics, and radios that still used tubes. How ba

Steinberger GL4TA Guitar

Here we have for your viewing pleasure is a 1990s relic: the GL4TA Steinberger guitar. The Steinberger was an attempt to bring the guitar down to something elemental. No body. No headstock. The body was made of graphite composites. The neck was comfortably chunky with a luxuriously smooth fingerboard. This model offered active electronics which allowed cutting or boosting treble and bass frequencies. The instrument also featured the astounding Trans-Trem, which allowed you to lock the tremolo into position, instantly transposing the guitar up or down in half-step increments. Instead of pickup selector switches, there was a push-button control center.  The downsides of the guitar were what also made it unique. The balance, lack of body and head took some getting used to. It required special strings to go into the odd nut/bridge combination. To me, it felt weird not having a place to rest my picking arm. It was lightweight, though, and if you traveled a lot, it was easy to take it on an