CHET AND CMHOF
on Chet Atkins
The Crooner Dishes
Deets on Guitar Slinger
NEW HALL OF
EXCLUSIVE! VAN HALEN BOOK EXCERPT · SWAP PICKUPS!
21 PRODUCTS THAT
ROCKED OUR WORLD
Satch and Mikey on
Their Refreshing Dynamic
photo is of a
by one of my
clients, it’s one of the only Chet protos
… check out the top—no F holes ... If
you want to contact him let me know.
Whoa—sweet guitar! We may just take you
up on that offer. Thanks, Tracy!
Rare CuNiFe Pickup Repros
Great article [“How to Install a Replacement
Pickup,” December 2011]. Very helpful and
informative. I’d like to add that a company
called Telenator offers real CuNiFe repro
Wide Range humbuckers that are so close to
the vintage originals that they’re practically
NOS. One main difference addresses the
polarity issue in your article: The Telenator
lead has two conductors and a braided
shield, making polarity matching a snap.
Thanks for the compliments—and for passing
along this cool lead, Bob! (Ha—pun intended) You’ve piqued our interest. We’ll have to
check them out.
Throwin’ the Horns
I recently started reading Premier Guitar,
and I’m really impressed with how much
quality magazine you get for such a low
price! Great job, guys—keep it comin’. \m/
Thanks, Tony. \m/ right back at you!
GaGa for Gear
Love Premier Guitar. Especially video gear
reviews. I research the heck out of gear.
These really help. I usually don’t go mainstream and have to order gear sometimes
before I try it out. Usually not a good thing
to do! Keep up the great work!
Thanks Paul, we’re glad to hear that our hard
work is helping. OK so it’s not always work,
but we always work our hardest to get it right.
Score One for Epis as Treasures
I gotta give Premier Guitar a big thumbs-up. It’s consistently jam-packed with usable
info and cutting-edge reviews.
Regarding Epiphone vs. Gibson, November
issue, page 68 [“Gibson vs. Epiphone: Are We
the Ones Being Elitist,” November 2011], as a
newer convert to Epiphone, I’ve learned—via
personal experience and the excellent Gibson/
Epiphone customer service team—a few more
distinctions between the two brands.
1. Epiphone is currently manufactured
in China, but in its own plant with
its own staff and quality-control
2. Epiphone finishes are super-hard
polyurethane. Gibson uses traditional
3. Epiphone pickups are built with
materials sourced from that part of the
world. They are built to the manufacturer’s spec, but there are bound to be
differences in source material.
4. Epiphone guitars often have big, fat,
D-profile necks that are well suited to
my big, fat fingertips.
Having bought several new and nearly new
Epiphone guitars (a Riviera Custom P93,
Firebird VII, Nighthawk), I’ve been
impressed with their overall build quality,
tonal versatility, ability to play and stay in
tune, and—in the one case where I needed
a new part—their quick, no-hassle customer
service. No longer do I regard Epiphone as a
cheapie, low-end student line.
So glad to hear you dug Zach Fjestad’s November
column, Tom. Like you, we’re often blown away
by the quality of many affordable instruments
these days, and plenty of us have had to revise
decades-old mindsets to jive with today’s more precise and consistent production methods and standards. Regarding your statements about Epiphone,
we ran them by the company’s president, Jim
Rosenberg. Although he added some nuance to a
couple of small points, the gist of what you said
seems pretty accurate:
“Epiphone owns two guitar factories in China
that produce the bulk of our guitars. These factories produce 100 percent Epiphone product. At
these factories, we have our own staff and QC
departments, as well as engineering, purchasing,
etc. We also have OEM factories to make some of
our guitars, because our two factories cannot produce enough guitars to meet demand or to meet
certain needs. Our guitars are currently made in
China, Indonesia, and Japan. In general, we use
urethane [for finishes], which is considered to be
softer but more abrasion resistant and durable
than nitrocellulose lacquer. Our factories have
state-of-the art electrostatic finishing systems that
allow us to apply a very thin coat while reducing
waste (overspraying) and airborne matter. All
our pickups are built to our specifications. Our
guitars use a combination of pickups made in Asia
and made in the USA (at Gibson, for example),
depending upon the model. Materials for our
Asian-made pickups are sourced from many locations, depending upon the particular component.
The neck found on most Epiphones is our historic
“Slim Taper” D-profile neck, which I would not
consider big or fat—it’s more of a medium-sized
neck that most players find very comfortable. We
do make a more rounded D-profile neck, such
as those originally used in the 1950s, on certain
models. We also have a very thin neck called the
“Speed Taper,” as found on our Prophecy collection, as well as V-shaped necks on some of our
Keep those comments coming!
Please send your suggestions, gripes,
comments, and good words directly to