Pictures from the Fuzz Guitar Show 2016

Finnish luthiers were well represented at this year’s Fuzz Guitar Show in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Fuzz 2016 – Vuorensaku

Vuorensaku’s Saku Vuori displayed his aged T-Family guitars and basses, as well as his hand-wound pickups.

Fuzz 2016 – Vuorensaku Schneekloth

Vintage & Rare’s Nicolai Schneekloth took time to check out Vuorensaku’s instruments.

Fuzz 2016 – Olli Viitasaari + Tommy Sahlin

Here’s Viitasaari Guitar’s Olli Viitasaari (r) together with Swedish guitarist Tommy Sahlin (l).

Fuzz 2016 – visitor at Viitasaari Guitars

This red Viitasaari OM comes equipped with three pickups and a five-way switch.

Fuzz 2016 – Ruokangas

Ruokangas Guitar’s display included a lefty Mojo model and one of the new Unicorn Supersonics.

Fuzz 2016 – visitor checking out a Ruokangas Unicorn Supersonic

Here’s the Unicorn Supersonic in the hands of a Fuzz Show visitor.


Fuzz 2016 – Tokai Guitars Nordic 1

Finnish distributor and instrument retailer Musamaailma now offers Tokai guitar and bass models in Sweden under the Tokai Guitars Nordic banner.

Fuzz 2016 – Tokai Guitars Nordic 2


Fuzz 2015 – Mad Professor 1

Finnish amp and effects company Mad Professor was represented at the show by its Swedish distributor These Go To Eleven.


Find Kitarablogi’s complete Fuzz Guitar Show 2016 picture gallery HERE.

Classic Guitars, part 10: PRS Custom 24

In the mid-Seventies both of the guitar industry’s giants – Fender and Gibson – had lost their innovative edge and much of their corporate prestige. Both companies had been taken over by large corporations, and profit margins started to push quality control into the background.

Many discerning guitarists were starting to subscribe to the notion of ”They’re not making ’em like they used to”, which left the doors wide open to Far Eastern copy guitars, as well as to small boutique makers.

PRS Guitars, just like Hamer Guitars, took Gibson’s classic solidbody designs as a basis for their ”modern vintage” models.

With PRS Guitars it all started with a young Paul Reed Smith converting one spare bedroom at his childhood home into a workshop in 1975. By the next year he had already moved into a small workshop in Annapolis, and started attracting customers such as Ted Nugent and Peter Frampton. His first guitars were based closely on the double cutaway Gibson Les Paul Special, but featured humbucking pickups.

A few years down the road Paul Smith added fancy flame maple tops into the mix, and he managed to sell four of these guitars to Carlos Santana. Santana’s signature PRS models are still based on these original guitars.

But Smith wasn’t satisfied with simply producing refined versions of past Gibson-classics, so he set out to develop the ultimate solidbody guitar.

By 1985 Paul Smith had finalised his vision and started his own production facility. At the NAMM shows of 1985 Smith unveiled the PRS Custom 24 – the model that has defined the whole brand to this day. The new guitar ingeniously combined the best features of a Gibson Les Paul Standard and a Fender Stratocaster, as well as including many of Smith’s own improvements – not least the smooth and reliable PRS-vibrato and his own (Schaller-made) locking tuners.

The PRS Custom 24 combines Gibson-style materials and construction with a Fender-like outline, balance and (in most cases) a vibrato bridge. Added into the mix are a middle-of-the-road 25-inch (63.5 cm) scale length – about halfway between the softer Gibson (24.75″/62.9 cm) and the harder Fender (25.5″/64.8 cm) scale lengths – as well as two PRS-humbuckers with coil-splits.

Originally the Custom 24 came equipped with two knobs and one mini-switch. The knob closest to the bridge pickup was (and still is) the master volume control, with the second knob actually being a five-way rotary pickup selector, and not a control pot. The mini-switch was called the Sweet Switch, and served in lieu of a regular tone control, by giving you a set tone with rolled-off highs.

The Sweet Switch was replaced by a regular tone control around 1989, and these days many Customs also feature a regular five-way pickup selector.

Over the years PRS have changed many details in the construction, harware and electronics of their guitars, but the Custom 24 still carries the essence of what PRS Guitars are all about – it is a beautiful, yet practical quality instrument. Or as Carlos Santana put it in an interview with Paul Reed Smith a few years ago: ”It’s a guitar that gives you no excuses not to play to the best of your abilities.”

Classic Guitars, part 9: Fender Jazzmaster and Jaguar

The Fender Jazzmaster was introduced in 1958 as a conscious effort to broaden Fender’s user base and appeal.

The company’s first efforts – the now legendary Telecaster and Stratocaster models – had already proven to be successful, but were then still widely perceived as bright-sounding guitars for Country & Western, as well as early Rock ’n’ Roll. Now Leo Fender and his team were aiming for the more ”serious” guitarists of the Jazz and Easy Listening genres.

Fender kept the standard long Fender-scale (25.5″), but – for the first time – added a rosewood fingerboard. The reasons for the rosewood board were both cosmetic – it looked classier than the lacquered maple of previous models – as well for tonal reasons, with rosewood imbuing the sound with a warmer timbre. The Jazzmaster was also the company’s first guitar with an enlarged version of the Strat-headstock, which was meant to combat dead spots and wolf-tones.

The body was a brand-new design premiering the company’s patented offset waist feature, meant to improve balance, especially when playing seated.

A new, front-mounted vibrato with a softer, spongier action (meant as a direct competitor to Bigsby’s models) was also devised. The vibrato – which worked with a separate, rocking bridge – was easy to adjust from the front, and also featured a locking mechanism for disabling the system (and keeping the guitar in tune even after a string breakage).

The most important changes took place in the electronics of the Jazzmaster: The pickups were clearly Fender’s attempt at getting a Gibson P-90 -type tonality, with the wide and flat coils. The controls featured two different circuits, with the normal circuit offering a 3-way toggle switch, as well as a master volume and tone control. A slide switch on the scratchplate’s upper shoulder engaged the so-called Rhythm Circuit, which switched on only the neck pickup going through its own set of volume and tone controls (above the neck pickup).

After a first wave of enthusiasm over Fender’s new top-of-the-line guitar, the Jazzmaster’s success sadly waned. Most conservative Jazz guitarists wouldn’t touch Fender’s ”plank” with a barge pole, and still considered the sound as too bright, while the company’s usual customers were perfectly happy with their more straightforward Strats and Teles.

The biggest genuine problem with Jazzmasters lies in their singlecoil pickups, which take in a lot of extraneous hum and interference (just like P-90’s do).

Modern players also tend to complain about the vibrato system’s flimsy bridge saddles, although, in fairness, one should note that this is mostly due to our modern light string gauges. The Jazzmaster-vibrato had been designed at a time when ”light gauge” meant an 012-set with a wound g-string.

Today the Jazzmaster’s appeal lies mostly in the alternative field, and not too many name players spring to mind:

Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), as well as British songwriter Elvis Costello are the most well-known Jazzmaster players.


In 1962 Fender took the Jazzmaster as the basis for a brand-new model, geared towards Surf and Pop guitarists – called the Fender Jaguar.

The Jaguar was Fender’s first guitar with 22 frets, and it featured a relatively short scale of 24″ (even shorter than Gibson’s usual 24.75″). The general look stayed in place, but the Jaguar was adorned with glitzy chrome control plates.

Fender took the criticisms over the Jazzmaster-pickups to heart and designed new pickups for the Jaguar. The new units are reminiscent of Strat-pickups, but feature slightly higher coils, as well as metal shielding plates that enclose most of the pickups’ bottom and sides.

The normal/Rhythm-circuit set-up stayed in place, but the normal circuit now featured three slide switches – an on/off-switch for each pickup, plus a ”strangle” switch that cuts all bottom end from the output signal.

The Jaguar originally also came equipped with a detachable mechanical string mute, which wasn’t well-received by guitar players.

Sadly, the Jaguar’s fate followed along the Jazzmaster’s lines – after a first wave of success sales dwindled in the wake of the British Invasion.

The most famous names associated with the Fender Jaguar are Carl Wilson (The Beach Boys), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and Johnny Marr (The Smiths, Modest Mouse).

As with the Jazzmaster, the Jaguar has seen a resurgence of sorts over the past few years, with many new and modified versions springing up, such as the Fender Blacktop Jaguar HH.

Klassikkokitarat, osa 7: Gibson ES-175

Pisin jatkuvassa tuotannossa ollut Gibson-sähkökitara on Gibson ES-175.

Kun sitä esiteltiin ensimmäistä kertaa vuonna 1949 malli oli varustettu ainoastaan yhdellä P-90-mikrofonilla, joka sijaitsi lähellä kaulaa. Koska ES-175 oli alusta asti tarkoitettu sähköistettuksi jazzkitaraksi, runkoa rakennettiin muottiin prässätystä vaahteravanerista, eikä kokopuusta. Kitaran kaula on mahongista ja reunalistoitettu otelauta on palisanteria.

Ensimmäisinä vuosina kitaran talla oli kokonaan puusta, mutta 1950-luvun loppupuolesta lähtien on käytetty lähes aina Tune-o-matic-tallaa.

ES-175-mallissa esintyvät kaksi erilaista kieltenpidinmallia: ensimmäisissä tuotantomalleissa oli trapetsin muotoinen kieltenpidin (katso Gibsonia ylhäällä), myöhemmin kitara sai ihan oman mallinsa, jonka näkyy Epiphonen ES-175-versiossa. Molemmat versiot käytettiin vaihtelevasti 1970-luvusta lähtien.

Vuonna 1953 syntyi se varsinainen klassikko – kahdella mikrofonilla varustettu ES-175D. Vuodelta 1957 lähtien humbuckerit kuuluvat molemman mallin vakiovarusteisiin.

Vuonna 1971 lopetettiin yksimikrofonisen version sarjatuotantoa, ja kaksimikkisesta mallista tuli ES-175, ilman D:tä.

ES-175 on orkesterikitaroiden klassikko – kitara, joka on yhä monen orkesterikitaran esikuva.

Yes-yhtiön Steve Howe on rock-piireissä mallin tunnetuin käyttäjä.

Vuosina 1952-’58 oli ES-175:lla myös hieman näyttävämpi sisarmalli, nimeltään ES-295:

ES-295 on periaatteessa sama kitara kuin ES-175, paitsi että se on kokonaan kullanvärinen, muoviosat ovat valkoisia, ja alussa ES-295:llä oli alkuperäisen Les Paul -mallin pitkä trapetsitalla.

Monien mielestä ES-295 on se ”Elvis-malli”, koska Presleyn alkuperäinen kitaristi, Scotty Moore, käytti tätä soitinta usein.


Classic Guitars, part 7: Gibson ES-175

The Gibson ES-175 is the Gibson guitar, that has been in continuous production for the longest.

When it was first introduced in 1949 it was a single-pickup model, with a P-90 in the neck position. The ES-175 was meant to be an electric Jazz-guitar from the start, so the body was constructed from laminated, pressed maple, instead of featuring a solid carved top. The neck is mahogany and the bound fingerboard made from rosewood.

For the first few years the guitar was equipped with a pre-compensated ebony bridge, later models feature a tune-o-matic bridge.

Two different tailpieces can be found on an ES-175: at first it featured a trapeze, like the Gibson at the top, later models were equipped with the special T-shaped tailpiece of the Epiphone below, but since the 1970s both types have been used on and off.

In 1953 the original ES-175 was joined by the now classic two-pickup model, the ES-175D. From 1957 onwards both models have been equipped with humbucking pickups.

In 1971 the single-pickup model was deleted from Gibson’s range, and the two-pickup model’s designation thus changed to ES-175 without the ”D”.

The ES-175 is an absolut classic among full-body Jazz-guitars, and its has become the yardstick most newcomers have to live up to.

In Rock-circles Steve Howe of Yes is by far the most famous user.

From 1952 to ’58 the ES-175 also had a foxier sister, called the ES-295:

The ES-295 is built exactly like an ES-175, except for the all-gold finish, the cream pickguard, and the fact that the original incarnation featured the long Les Paul -trapeze-bridge.

Most people associate this model with early Rock’n’Roll as well as Country-music. Elvis Presley’s original guitarist, Scotty Moore, was often spotted with an ES-295.


Epiphone-uutuudet syksylle 2011 ****** New Epiphone gear for autumn 2011

Epiphonelta on tulossa uusia malleja, joita pitäisi olla saatavilla lähiaikoina – juuri oikealla hetkellä joulutoiveitamme varten:

Epiphone will be releasing some tasty new models – just in time for your Christmas wish-lists:


Pete Townshend -faneille tarjotaan viimein kunnon Epiphone-versio vanhasta SG Special -kitarasta. Reunalistoitettu, liimattu kaula, kaksi P-90-mikrofonia sekä kiinteä talla – todella jeeeeees!

At last Epiphone is releasing a Pete Townshend -style SG Special with a bound fretboard, a glued-in neck, two P-90s and a wraparound bridge – Who-tastic!


Les Paul Ultra III on päivitetty versio Ultra kakkosesta. Ultra III:lla on vielä paremmat humbuckerit sekä USB-lähtö (NI:n Guitar Rig LE -ohjelmapaketti kuuluu hintaan).

The Les Paul Ultra III is a further improvement on the Ultra II. The Ultra III has even better humbuckers, as well as a USB-port (NI’s Guitar Rig LE is included in the package).


Ja puoliakustisen kitaran ystäville on tarjolla Epiphonen oma versio ES-339-mallista, jolla on ES-335:n rakenne, mutta pienemmällä kopalla klassikkoon verrattuna.

Friends of semis are treated to the Epiphone ES-339, which is basically an ES-335, only with a smaller body.

Classic Guitars, part 5: Gibson ES-335

Gibson’s ES-335, which was introduced in 1958, is one of the all-time bestselling models in the company’s history, and has been in production ever since, making it the Gibson model with the second longest uninterrupted production run (only the ES-175 has been in production longer, since 1949).

Ted McCarty, Gibson’s president from 1948 to 1966, has always stated that, looking back, he thought the ES-335 was his finest achievement.

The ES-335 has a thinline body made from steam-pressed maple plywood. Although the guitar does remind you of a classic Gibson hollow-body Jazz-box, this model is actually halfway solidbody in terms of its build.

This is because a semiacoustic electric guitar has a solid wood centre block running the length of the body from the neck joint all the way down to the back strap button. The centre block gives a semi a longer sustain, while keeping howling feedback at bay.

The block also allows the use of Gibson’s typical solidbody hardware – namely the Tune-o-matic-bridge and the stop bar – which add some clarity to the mix.

For their part, the ES-335’s hollow wings bring a bit of air to the mid-range, making the guitar sound more open and airy than a Les Paul for example.

Due to its relatively large body, a semi isn’t probably the best model for a small beginner (of less than 160 cm height), but as long as size isn’t an issue this lightweight and well-balanced ergonomic style of guitar is a fine choice.

Gibson’s subsidiary Epiphone has produced many of its own variants in the 335-style since the 1960s – from the glitzy Sheraton (the natural-coloured guitar in this post) to the minihumbucker-equipped Riviera, with its own, slightly brighter tone.

The relatively new Epiphone Dot Studio gives you superb bang-for-the-buck, with its pared down, no-nonsense looks. Here the body is made from mahogany plywood, with the controls streamlined to one master volume and one master tone.


I’m an avid fan of the semi-style body.

Here’s a snapshot of my Epiphone Casino and a late-70s/early-80s ES-335-copy made in Japan by Kasuga:

Listen to both guitars here



Klassikkokitarat, osa 5: Gibson ES-335

Vuonna 1958 ilmestynyt ES-335 on yksi Gibsonin suurimmista myyntimenestyksistä ja firman toiseksi pisin yhtäjaksoisesti tuotannossa oleva sähkökitara (ES-175 jazzkitara on tullut ulos 1949).

Silloinen Gibsonin pomo Ted McCarty on sanonut useissa haastatteluissa, että ES-335 oli hänen mielestään hänen paras saavutus – sekä ergonomialtaan että soundiltaan.

ES-335:n ohut runko on valmistettu muotoon prässätystä vaahteravanerista. Vaikka kitaran ulkonäkö muistuttaa perinteistä jazzkitaraa, on malli kuitenkin lankkukitaran ja onttokoppaisen jazzmallin välimaastossa.

Puoliakustisen kitaran rungossa on nimittäin sustainea pidentävä, ja feedbackin ulinalta suojava keskipalkki, joka kulkee koko matkan kaulalta toiselle hihnatapille.

Keskipalkki mahdollistaa myös Gibson-lankkukitaroista tutun palkkimaisen kieltenpitimen käyttöä, mikä lisää hieman soinnin kiinteyttä.

Ontot sivuosat taas tuovat ES-335-tyyliseen kitaraan avoimemman keskialueen ja pyöreämmän atakin, jos vertaa vaikkapa Les Pauliin.

Verraten ison koppansa ansiosta perinteinen puoliakustinen ei ole ehkä sopivin valinta pienikokoiselle aloittelijalle (alle 160 cm), mutta muille suhteellisen kevyt ja hyvin balansoiva ergonominen malli sopii hyvin.

Gibsonin tytäryhtiö Epiphone on jo 1960-luvulla teyhnyt omia variaatioita ES-335 teemasta – esimerkiksi alkuperäismallia prameampi Sheraton (vaalea kitara tässä jutussa) tai pikkuhumbuckerilla varustettu Riviera, jolla on hieman kirkkaampi soundi.

Yllättävän edullinen Epiphone Dot Studio -malli taas on uudempaa tuotantoa, ja se tarjoaa ES-335:n konseptin sopivasti pelkistetyssä muodossa. Runko on tässä mahonkivanerista, ja kolmiasentoisen kytkimen lisäksi on tarjolla ainoastaan master volume ja master tone -säätimet.


Itsekin pidän suuresti puoliakustisista kitaroista.

Tässä yksi kuva minun Epiphone Casinosta ja minun japanilaisesta Kasuga ES-335 -kopiosta (valmistettu joskus 70/80-luvun taitteessa):

Niiden soundeja voi kuunnella tässä.


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