Buchla 200e 2013

Are you wondering What/When/Why? People familiar with the original Moogs will recognise a modular synthesiser from a mile off. Random rows of sci-fi knobs and dials, with strings of patch leads strewn all over the place. Well, now we know

Buchla 200e 2013

Are you wondering What/When/Why? People familiar with the original Moogs will recognise a modular synthesiser from a mile off. Random rows of sci-fi knobs and dials, with strings of patch leads strewn all over the place. Well, now we know

Stash Stainless 2013

Admit it. You would love to get your hands on this item, for a few minutes at least. I don’t normally include instruments built solely for shock value, but this one has a little more going on than the usual electric

Stash Stainless 2013

Admit it. You would love to get your hands on this item, for a few minutes at least. I don’t normally include instruments built solely for shock value, but this one has a little more going on than the usual electric

Nyckelharpa by Bernt Södergård 1981

The Swedish nyckelharpa is a very old instrument indeed. Here’s a carved representation that dates from around 1350AD. The Swedes are quite proud of it, even placing one on their 50 Kroner banknote. So what’s it all about? It’s played

Nyckelharpa by Bernt Södergård 1981

The Swedish nyckelharpa is a very old instrument indeed. Here’s a carved representation that dates from around 1350AD. The Swedes are quite proud of it, even placing one on their 50 Kroner banknote. So what’s it all about? It’s played

Lowden F25C f/f 2010

In the Lowden parlance, ‘F’ means a mid-size flatpicker’s body; ’25’ means rosewood/cedar woods; and ‘C’ means cutaway. But it’s the ‘f/f’ that interests us here: ‘fan fret’. It’s a strange quirk of the compromised even-tempered scale that a fretted

Lowden F25C f/f 2010

In the Lowden parlance, ‘F’ means a mid-size flatpicker’s body; ’25’ means rosewood/cedar woods; and ‘C’ means cutaway. But it’s the ‘f/f’ that interests us here: ‘fan fret’. It’s a strange quirk of the compromised even-tempered scale that a fretted

Lowrey Cotillion organ 1981

As a kid, I was in awe of the Lowrey organ. It’s a massive piece of furniture with buttons, lights, and knobs all over it. It’s the kind of thing you’d see in the corner of a posh living room,

Lowrey Cotillion organ 1981

As a kid, I was in awe of the Lowrey organ. It’s a massive piece of furniture with buttons, lights, and knobs all over it. It’s the kind of thing you’d see in the corner of a posh living room,

Stewart Upright Harp 1843

The Met Museum on 5th Avenue in New York has an astounding collection of instruments. This one caught my eye. It’s an ‘upright harp’, or more technically a chordophone-zither; though I really doubt if I could have visualised it from

Stewart Upright Harp 1843

The Met Museum on 5th Avenue in New York has an astounding collection of instruments. This one caught my eye. It’s an ‘upright harp’, or more technically a chordophone-zither; though I really doubt if I could have visualised it from

Kalamazoo KG-14 acoustic guitar 1936

There exist only two-and-a-half images of Robert Johnson. By that I mean, two photographs are confirmed to be the legendary bluesman, and the third (discovered in 2005) is still under review. In what is probably the most famous one, he

Kalamazoo KG-14 acoustic guitar 1936

There exist only two-and-a-half images of Robert Johnson. By that I mean, two photographs are confirmed to be the legendary bluesman, and the third (discovered in 2005) is still under review. In what is probably the most famous one, he

Wurlitzer 120 Electronic Piano 1957

If you’ve seen the movie ‘Ray’ with Jamie Fox, then you should already recognise this piece. To be honest, when I first saw it I thought it was a reproduction or CGI — but no, it really is a pristine 1957

Wurlitzer 120 Electronic Piano 1957

If you’ve seen the movie ‘Ray’ with Jamie Fox, then you should already recognise this piece. To be honest, when I first saw it I thought it was a reproduction or CGI — but no, it really is a pristine 1957

Hohner Pianet T 1979

This is easily the heaviest instrument I’ve ever owned, per cubic centimetre. With the lid shut, it’s about the size of a thin electric guitar case and it weighs nearly 50 lbs (23 kg) — or about five Les Pauls.

Hohner Pianet T 1979

This is easily the heaviest instrument I’ve ever owned, per cubic centimetre. With the lid shut, it’s about the size of a thin electric guitar case and it weighs nearly 50 lbs (23 kg) — or about five Les Pauls.

Portugeuse Viola de Braguesa

The term ‘viola’ may be a bit of a misnomer to our ears, since this is clearly some type of parlour guitar or large mandolin — or ‘chordophone’ if you want to be picky. It has five courses (pairs) of

Portugeuse Viola de Braguesa

The term ‘viola’ may be a bit of a misnomer to our ears, since this is clearly some type of parlour guitar or large mandolin — or ‘chordophone’ if you want to be picky. It has five courses (pairs) of

Yamaha GS-1 FM synthesizer 1981

Way back in the mists of time, I owned a brand new Yamaha DX-7IId synth (the sequel to the infamous DX-7). The 80s were the glory years for keyboard players — every band needed one. A little known precursor to

Yamaha GS-1 FM synthesizer 1981

Way back in the mists of time, I owned a brand new Yamaha DX-7IId synth (the sequel to the infamous DX-7). The 80s were the glory years for keyboard players — every band needed one. A little known precursor to

Knutsen Dyer harp guitar 1901

This is easily enough guitar for two men. The Dyer Brothers began selling musical instruments in Minnesota during the late 1800s. One of them took a shine to a guitar design by Chris Knutsen — a harp guitar. They had a

Knutsen Dyer harp guitar 1901

This is easily enough guitar for two men. The Dyer Brothers began selling musical instruments in Minnesota during the late 1800s. One of them took a shine to a guitar design by Chris Knutsen — a harp guitar. They had a

The Vuillaume Octobasse 1850

I know from experience that the double bass is a massive piece of furniture. But the ones I’ve played have been the standard jazz 3/4 size. Orchestral basses are even larger, second only to the piano on stage — and

The Vuillaume Octobasse 1850

I know from experience that the double bass is a massive piece of furniture. But the ones I’ve played have been the standard jazz 3/4 size. Orchestral basses are even larger, second only to the piano on stage — and

Rhodes PianoBass electric keyboard 1960

The standard Fender Rhodes was a staple of 60s and 70s jazz, funk, and pop recordings, but this little brother was much more obscure and is rarely seen or heard of. This is a wonderfully made little miniature 32-note keyboard,

Rhodes PianoBass electric keyboard 1960

The standard Fender Rhodes was a staple of 60s and 70s jazz, funk, and pop recordings, but this little brother was much more obscure and is rarely seen or heard of. This is a wonderfully made little miniature 32-note keyboard,

Traditional guitarrón mexicano

This is an unusual instrument to be sure, but not really that impressive until you actually see someone holding one. I came across them in Southern California where there has always been a strong Mexican sub-culture, where mariachi bands wander

Traditional guitarrón mexicano

This is an unusual instrument to be sure, but not really that impressive until you actually see someone holding one. I came across them in Southern California where there has always been a strong Mexican sub-culture, where mariachi bands wander