Featured Private Reserve Guitars

Each week The HUB presents an instrument selected by our Private Reserve Guitar advisors as especially noteworthy. These are electric and acoustic guitars and basses that reflect the highest levels of workmanship and employ the finest woods and components. For the most part they are one-of-kind or extremely limited production models, primarily crafted in the custom shops of some of the world's greatest makers including Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor, and PRS. We'll tell you what's cool about these extraordinary guitars and offer the insights of our guitar advisors who have personally examined and played each featured instrument.

Fender Custom Shop Proto Stratocaster

Fender Custom Shop Proto Stratocaster: The Icon Updated with 21st Century Refinements

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Think of today’s featured guitar as the result of six decades of continual fine tuning. Fender’s Custom Shop uses its Proto Series as a development lab in which they bring together the best elements from the past and present to create some of the sweetest Strats in all of guitardom.

ESP 3747 #36 Mystique CTM Electric Guitar

ESP 3747 #36 Mystique: Jaw-Dropping Visuals, Immense Sonic Power, and Playability Galore

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Hello there! Did you get lost in that stunning quilted maple top? It’s easy to do; the lavish figuring seems so three-dimensional you could get taken under by those glorious purple waves. Every other aspect of this guitar’s construction and material choices are top flight too.

Gibson Custom Wes Montgomery Hollowbody: a Fitting Tribute

Gibson Custom Wes Montgomery Hollowbody: a Fitting Tribute to the Jazz Maestro

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It’s hard to overestimate the influence of Wes Montgomery on modern guitar players. His signature picking technique using the fleshy part of his thumb produced the mellow tones that are a hallmark of Montgomery’s sound. (Prior to his music career, Wes worked long hours as a machinist and developed the technique during late-night practice sessions in consideration of his neighbors.)

Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Reissue VOS Electric Guitar with Bigsby

Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Reissue VOS Electric Guitar with Bigsby: A Classic Reborn

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If you’ve been on the lookout for a mint or near-mint ‘57 LP, you know that they command a king’s ransom these days. The pinnacle of Les Paul lore, goldtops make LP lovers go weak in the knees.

Martin Custom Sinker Mahogany Dreadnought

Martin Custom Sinker Mahogany Dreadnought: Crafted with Rare Wood Retrieved from the Depths

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The huge projection and reverberant bass notes that pour out of the Martin Custom Sinker Mahogany Dreadnought are largely the result of the extraordinary wood used for the back and sides. But before we get to the guitar itself, the story behind that mahogany is a fascinating one worth telling.

Gibson Custom Lee Roy Parnell Signature ‘57 Goldtop

Gibson Custom Lee Roy Parnell Signature ‘57 Goldtop: A Nashville Pro’s Dream Axe

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At first glance, the Gibson Custom Lee Roy Parnell ‘57 Goldtop looks like a typical LP. But when you inspect it more closely and play a few bars, you quickly realize this is far from ordinary Goldtop territory.

Rickenbacker 325C64 Miami C Series

Rickenbacker 325C64 Miami C Series: The Rick That Led the British Invasion Replicated

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In case you’re wondering what Miami has to do with this fabulous rock history artifact, a little Fab Four history is in order. In February 1964, The Beatles were hanging in Miami, enjoying the weather and getting ready for their second live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The guitar on which this week’s instrument is based was shipped direct to John Lennon from the Rickenbacker factory in California. Lennon promptly retired his road-worn ‘58 Rick and the following day was seen rehearsing with the new axe on the Sullivan set, which he later played live on the show. The new Rick had become his main stage and recording electric guitar.

PRG Fender Custom Shop Proto Telecaster

Fender Custom Shop Proto Telecaster: A Full Slate of Choice Mods Make it Extraordinary

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Bound to cause doubletakes with Telecaster fans, this modern Custom Shop rethinking of the icon is a delight to play and serves up an array of sounds broad enough to please just about any guitarist.

Ibanez JEM77FP2 Steve Vai Electric Guitar

Ibanez JEM77FP2 Steve Vai Signature: A Sublime Shredder’s Axe

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The Ibanez JEM series has its roots in an intimate collaboration with master shredder Steve Vai that goes back to 1986. Vai specified every aspect of his signature model from aesthetics and playability factors to perhaps most crucially, the pickup array, electronics and trem bridge. Remaining largely unchanged since the initial model was unveiled at NAMM in 1987, variations have mainly focused on pickup and bridge choices, dependant on the price points of subsequent sub-models.

Gibson Custom L-4 CES Mahogany: An Old-School Jazz Box with Enormous Warmth

Gibson Custom L-4 CES Mahogany: An Old-School Jazz Box with Enormous Warmth

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This week’s featured archtop is built for the guitarist who seeks an instrument that generates extraordinary warmth and couples that with inviting playability. Gibson Custom Shop luthiers have substituted mahogany back and sides for the usual maple on the L-4 CES, producing a bottom end that’s exceptionally round and resonant. The 175 body shape makes it a pleasure to play.

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