Guitars

Reverend turns 20

Reverend turns 20

IT WAS 1999 when Ken Haas knew that he was destined to be in the guitar business. A chance visit to a Detroit-area Music-Go-Round introduced him to Reverend Guitars — then only a two-year-old company. One of the company’s early guitars was hanging in the shop and Haas noticed the Eastpointe, Michigan stamp on the head stock. Being nearby, he paid a cold-call style visit to Reverend headquarters both to ogle over the guitars and convince Joe Naylor to buy some sand paper. He was successful in both endeavors.  more...
Sweetwater’s annual ‘fest of fun!

Sweetwater’s annual ‘fest of fun!

WEATHER threatened for most of the 16th annual Sweetwater GearFest, but it was only the earliest arrivals on Day One that caught the brunt of some nasty storms that rumbled through the Greater Fort Wayne, IN area. After the morning deluge, the clouds broke up a bit and thousands turned out for what has become one of the go-to MI-centric events in the US.  more...
Mule kicks out the resonators

Mule kicks out the resonators

STUDENT OF Roberto Venn’s school of luthiery in Arizona and veteran of guitar-makers Huss & Dalton in Virginia, Matt Eich never expected to end up back in Saginaw. He moved to Chicago in the mid-2000s to be closer to ailing family members. Not long after that, his father was diagnosed with cancer, so the stay was longer than anticipated.  more...
Nelson’s hand-built, low cost mission

Nelson’s hand-built, low cost mission

THERE IS RARELY a time in the world of boutique guitar gear that the business and the artisan don’t butt heads. While the artisan just wants to be left alone to dream up, then conjure the ‘next big thing’, the business needs to make doubly sure that the investment of time and money, as well as the return on the “NBT” is in-line with keeping food on the table. It seems to always come down to a number. For Bobby Nelson of Nelson Instruments, that number is six. That’s how long the Northfield, Minnesota-based luthier has been building stringed instruments full time.  more...
Magnet-ficient! Inside Lollar Pickups…

Magnet-ficient! Inside Lollar Pickups…

THE TOUR OF Lollar’s newest headquarters starts with an impressive floor inlay proudly announcing the company’s two-decades plus of bringing high quality guitar pickups to throngs of tone-starved players worldwide — both pro and hobbyist. The building on A Street once housed a candy manufacturer, a coffee roaster and at least one hair salon.  more...
Ronin works with, among giants

Ronin works with, among giants

IT IS A HULKING, yet relatively unassuming building that backs up to North Channel Bay off Highway 101 in Eureka, California. At one time back in the 1970s, it was used by shipbuilders to paint the hulls of ships and other maritime construction tasks. Today, it is the unlikely home of Ronin Guitars — one of the world’s only guitar makers to use reclaimed old growth redwood for electric and acoustic guitars.  more...
Welcome to NAMM-aheim, CA. Pop: <i>Gear!</i>

Welcome to NAMM-aheim, CA. Pop: Gear!

THE 115th NAMM show is in the books, and it was a big one according to show organizers. The National Association of Music Merchants said a record 1,726 exhibiting companies representing more than 6,000 brands were showcased at the 2016 affair, a 7% increase in exhibiting companies over last year’s event.  more...
Sublime Guitar Company branches out

Sublime Guitar Company branches out

DID YOU EVER hear the one about the guitar start-up founded by a drum company? In 2011, Terry Platt, chief executive of Crush Drums and company co-founder Chad Huang returned from the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California, with the germ of an idea: What if Crush started a guitar line? Terry recruited brother Tommy to help create what would after several months of development become Sublime Guitar Company.  more...