Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 133

FLYIN' HIGH AGAIN

a pickguard, although a guard is
standard on the black version and
is included in the gig bag for the
sunburst model as an option.
But how does the Bluesbird play?
"Effortless" comes to mind immediately. This is a very resonant
instrument that sounds bright and
lively unplugged. Single-string
riffing was a breeze, the intonation
was right on target, and plugged in,
a pleasing variety of tones were available: clean, rich mids and snarling
high end with added gain on the
bridge pickup.
The Bluesbird would be comfortable in almost any musical setting,
but make no mistake: this
is a rock guitar at heart.
The Duncan pickups
and TonePros hardware
are "built-in mods" that
ratchet up the desirability.
And with a street price
under a grand, the
Guild Bluesbird is
an extremely viable
alternative to similar looking, higher
priced solidbodies.

The Guild Bluesbird

T

he Guild Bluesbird has a long history that
began in the 1950s with Guild's answer to
the Gibson Les Paul -the M-75 Aristocrat, later
renamed the M-75 Bluesbird. The guitar appeared
in the Guild catalog for years before it was discontinued in the 1970s. It remained off the radar
until the mid-1990s, when Guild reissued it with
changes to the body shape and certain appointments. Then it disappeared again - until now.
The latest iteration of the Bluesbird is a mashup
of features from past models. The body shape is
nearly identical to the original M-75 Bluesbird.
The traditional crown-like Guild Chesterfield
headstock and logo are also employed, but that's
the end of its similarities to vintage models.
The new Bluesbird features a body measuring
only 1.5" at the edge, considerably thinner than
older Bluesbirds. A beautifully carved flamed
maple top sits on a chambered mahogany body,
bound on top and boasting a striking Ice Tea Burst
finish (Solid Black is the other color option). The
polyurethane finish doesn't feel thick or sticky.
Scale length is 24.75", and the bound neck
is a sleek vintage soft U shape that will please

Price: $999.99
Info: www.guildguitars.com

many guitarists (though those preferring
thicker necks may balk). The rosewood
fingerboard has medium-jumbo frets
expertly installed and finished, and
the nut is bone. Grover open
back Sta-Tite tuners keep the
Bluesbird nicely in tune. The
pickups are USA-made Seymour Duncan JB (bridge) and
'59 (neck) models. TonePros
locking bridge and stop tailpiece are included - very
thoughtful touches.
Bluesbird controls are
standard two Volumes
and two Tones with
clear plastic knobs
and a toggle. The test
model was shipped sans

BRING THE FUZZ
EarthQuaker Devices' Erupter

E

arthQuaker Devices is one of the most admired
pedal builders today, thanks to their original
designs that feature tweakable controls which allow
players to easily dial in their own unique sounds.
With more than forty pedal offerings, the EarthQuaker line covers everything from guitar synth
to psychedelic reverb. Their latest - the Erupter
- is a fuzz unit featuring an amazing amount of
sophistication under its deceptive single Bias knob.
Removing the back from most fuzz units, especially vintage ones, reveals a handful of components.
Not so with the Erupter. A look inside this small
box provides all the proof needed that the chaps at
EarthQuaker put a ton of thought into the circuit
design crammed
within.
Price: $145
First, there's the
Info: www.earthquaker
small transformer
devices.com
on the board that
mimics the output

October 2017

133

- Bob Cianci

of a pickup, thus allowing the Erupter to be placed
anywhere in your chain while remaining responsive to guitar volume changes.
Also, unlike most fuzzes, the Erupter has a
buffer to prevent loss on the high end. Other
upgrades include a relay and soft-touch
footswitch to engage true-bypass rather
than the typical mechanical switch that is
both prone to popping when engaged and
not very reliable.
As mentioned, the Erupter has a single
knob controlling the bias to the transistors,
with a center detent for the optimum bias
setting. Turn it to the right, and it becomes
louder and perhaps stronger sounding.
Go to the left, and the fuzz begins to spit
as it becomes more gated. The tone of the
fuzz is strong and forceful, and features a
significant volume boost to help keep the
effect from getting lost in the mix
The EarthQuaker Erupter is a powerful
fuzz device, with ingenious circuitry allowing, incredible signal-boosting capability, and variety of fuzz tones, all of which
conspire to make it a great fuzz contender.
- Zac Childs

VINTAGE GUITAR


http://www.guildguitars.com http://www.earthquakerdevices.com http://www.earthquakerdevices.com http://www.vintageguitar.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 3
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