Paul alcantara
Buying a vintage archtop guitar by Paul Alcantara

Dealer, private sale or online auction? In the past, used instruments were purchased from a store, found in the ‘for sale’ columns of a local newspaper or bought from a friend or…

Richard barnes
Eddie Lang Day

“I joined a band playing 1920s style jazz in the early 1990s and was given a cassette tape of songs to learn,” says guitarist Richard Barnes. “The first one was ‘Dinah’ by…

Eddie lang
Eddie Lang’s Guitars: Part Two

In Part One of our feature on Eddie Lang’s guitars, luthier and guitar historian Todd Cambio looked at the instruments played by Eddie Lang before he settled on Gibson guitars in the…

Eddie Lang’s Guitars: Part One

Musician and luthier Todd Cambio established Fraulini Guitars (https://fraulini.com) to offer traditional performers’ instruments modelled after the classic designs of the early 20th century. As a result of his research into the…

Paul alcantara
Gibson’s Post-1934 16-Inch L-5s

The Gibson L-5 went through a number of modifications before it was relaunched in 1935 with a larger 17-inch ‘Advanced’ body. The most notable of these included the switch from a birch…

Gibson’s 14 fret oval hole L-4s

Introduced in 1912, the Gibson L-4 had a 16-inch wide body, an oval soundhole, a neck that met the body at the 12th fret and a 20-fret fingerboard (below, left). By 1928 the…

Paul alcantara
Plastic rot on vintage instruments

Nitro Nightmare One of the first thermoplastics, Celluloid – a material produced by combining nitrocellulose with camphor and added plasticisers – was widely used by Gibson and many other manufacturers for bindings, pickguards and other plastic parts.…

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