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Vintage Guitar magazine is a consumer publication that focuses on vintage and classic fretted instruments, amplifiers, effects, and related gear, as well as notable players from all genres and eras. The publication's feature stories and monthly columns cover a diverse range of topics by contributors including some of the biggest names in the industry and renowned authorities like Dan Erlewine, George Gruhn, Wolf Marshall, Richard Smith, and Seymour W. Duncan, as well as some of the best-known writers in the field, including Walter Carter, A.R. Duchoissoir, Dan Forte, Lisa Sharken, Rich Kienzle, Michael Dregni, John Heidt, John Peden, and others.The magazine’s classified-ad section provides readers with access to thousands of classic, used and new guitars, amps, accessories, books, videos, and more for sale. Other editorial content focuses on reviews of music as well as objective reviews of new gear. Vintage Guitar also includes monthly repair columns written by noted Luthiers Dan Erlewine and Will Kelly.
Originally published as The Music Trader, its inaugural issue was distributed in September, 1986, with the intent of achieving two goals; to supply musicians with a market to buy and sell instruments and equipment or locate other musicians, and to inform and entertain readers. Today, these remain the basic goals of the magazine. Though The Music Trader was a publication for all types of instruments, the majority of advertisements and articles were guitar-centric. In 1989, publisher Alan Greenwood changed its name to Vintage Guitar magazine because he felt it better represented the publication.
From 1993 through 1997, Vintage Guitar also published the periodical VG Classics. Much like the monthly, it focused on classic guitars and amps, but in a traditionally-sized format on thicker, glossy stock and employing layouts designed to highlight the artistic photography commissioned for its use. In 2001, VG transitioned to using glossy paper in the editorial sections of its monthly offering.
For more than two decades, the magazine has also published The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide through its Vintage Guitar Books imprint. Adapted from the 1988 article “Asking Price - Selling Price,” The Guide originally appeared as a monthly installment titled “The Instrument Price Guide” in the April ’89 issue. In 1992, the company issued the first version of The Guide as a booklet, and today, the annual book compiles historical data and lists values on more than 2,000 brands derived from comprehensive research and market analysis on thousands of vintage and recent-model guitars, amps, basses, effects pedals, mandolins, lap steels, ukuleles, and banjos. It is regarded by professional players, guitar dealers, and collectors as the premier source for accurate values on vintage gear. To date, The Guide has sold more than 150,000 copies, and in 2012 it became available on digital e-readers.
The company's Vintage Guitar Books imprint has published several other books:
Since 1995, VG has maintained a website at VintageGuitar.com that features archival editorial content, the magazine's Hall of Fame page, an RSS feed with the latest industry news, regular promotional giveaways, a store in which it sells books and other merchandise, and various other features. The magazine also maintains a Twitter account, handle @VintageGuitar, that features news from industry insiders and insight into the latest products, gear and technology, and more. And in 2012, the magazine began publishing a twice-monthly e-newsletter called VG Overdrive, or VGOD.
Each year, Vintage Guitar magazine honors those who inspire and awe guitar players, fans, and listeners by inducting great players, innovators, and instruments to the VG Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame began in 1990 with the induction of the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul Standard. Today, the Hall of Fame includes four categories: Instrument, Innovator, Player, and Album of the Year. Nominations are solicited from contributors and visitors to VintageGuitar.com.
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