Why Did Eddie Leave Ernie Ball? - Van Halen Links.com
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Old 06.27.02, 09:07 PM   #1
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Post Why Did Eddie Leave Ernie Ball?

Why'd Eddie Leave Ernie Ball?

I can't any info about this subject on the web.

I've heard because Eddie was pissed because that they couldn't meet the great demand for his guitars and/or Peavey offered him some major $$$.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 06.27.02, 09:28 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure its cuz he found out they were making the guitars overseas instead of in the USA.
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Old 06.27.02, 10:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Monty-Jay:
I'm pretty sure its cuz he found out they were making the guitars overseas instead of in the USA.
That's his story of why he left Kramer. I've heard a thousand different stories of why he left EBMM.
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Old 06.28.02, 01:59 AM   #4
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In 1995 Hardcopy ran a story on EVH getting caught cheating on Val. It was speculated that the woman was Sterling Ball's wife.

Maybe that's why EVH didn't really have a good reason for leaving a company that made kickass guitars for him. In fact, in early '95 I saw an interview with him going on and on about how great the EBMM guitars were. And he left a less than a year later? Sounds fishy to me.
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Old 06.28.02, 12:11 PM   #5
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Question

I myself will not "pretend" to know either, however, I do know this:

Ernie Ball opened an *additional* factory back in 1998 and built Axis guitars there due to the increased demand in their guitars due to.....ahem....the Wolfgang.

It's not a quality issue, that much is certain. Anyone who has played the 2 guitars knows that the EBMM is the higher quality guitar (although NOT necessarily "better"....NO SUCH THING AS BETTER! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img] )

Now I love the Wolfgang, but let's be honest (if not humorous):

Peavey uses mechanical sterile android evil robots to make Wolfgangs. Stormtroopers help too, and they work for cheap. This helps them churn out a decent (although not excellent in quality) product more quickly, and most of all, more cheaply. Not to mention that Ed's name isn't on the front of it, which decreases its resale value by a couple hundred $$$. (Yes, that was a calculated move on Ed's part.)

Hartley Peavey is a master salesman and businessman, if nothing else. It was Sterling Ball who introduced Edward to Hartley, and it was Hartley who "stole" Eddie in the end.

Again, I do not know why. I barely have a clue, but it's NOT because of quality, and it's NOT because of sheer volume, as Music Man has had both since 1998.
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Old 06.28.02, 05:09 PM   #6
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Here is an interview that was posted on the EVH's Unchained World 2 site

Ed's Wood
Edward Van Halen develops a new line of signature guitars for Peavey.
by Tom Beaujour - published in Guitar World Magazine, November 1995

I was so closely involved with the development of these guitars that it's almost like I built them myself," says Edward Van Halen, as he cradles a prototype of his Peavey guitar.

"I'm going to name it after my son, Wolfgang," continues Eddie, who is, in fact, beaming down at the Peavey like a proud father. The new guitar, which will be available to the public as soon as Van Halen has given it his final stamp of approval, is not a radical departure from the Music Man guitars that currently bear the guitarist's name. "Basically, it's just a natural evolution of the Music Man guitar," says Van Halen. "I just blew it out on the top horn and the lower bout a bit and changed the location of the toggle switch, because it seemed to get in my way where it was on the old guitar."

The positioning of the toggle switch on the new guitar may be fairly standard, but any guitar played by Edward is sure to boast a few quirky departures from tradition. "Les Paul players might find this to be odd, but the toggle switch is reversed so that the up position selects the bridge pickup and the down position selects the neck. I did that because when I tap and the toggle is in the down position, I sometimes bump it up with my arm. I figured, `Whoever made the rule that down has to be the rear pickup? Fuck that shit, for me it's better the other way."'

While the final details of the new Peavey guitar could very well change before the instrument goes into production, much of the guitar's fundamental design characteristics are in place. Like Edward's Music Man, the Peavey will likely have a basswood body with a maple top. The top, however, will be arched and contoured,a refinement of the Music Man's Telecaster-inspired flat face. Like the Music Man, the guitar will probably have a birdseye maple neck and a locking Floyd Rose-licensed system. The Peavey tremolo, however, features a new Van Halen-patented pitch-dropping device on the low E string that will make a grunge-friendly dropped-D tuning instantly accessible. "I use it on all the songs with that tuning," says Van Halen. "`Don't Tell Me What Love Can Do,' 'Amsterdam,' 'Unchained'-it's just easy as pie. `Poink,' you're down and `poink,' you're back up. It's going to come standard on the guitar."

Peavey and Van Halen plan to release several models of the guitar,including a standard model that will list for approximately $1,200, a limited edition neck-through body version that will list for about $1,800, and a more affordable model that will be priced around $600. And while the new guitars, which Van Halen plans to use exclusively once they are perfected, are certainly intended for mass consumption, the guitarist stresses that they were developed to suit only one man's taste. "It's hard to design a guitar for everyone, so I designed a guitar for myself," says Edward. "If anyone happens to want one, then here it is."

GUITAR WORLD: Did you talk to any other guitar manufacturers before going with Peavey?

EDWARD VAN HALEN: No. Although Gibson's Henry Juszkiewicz did come to our Nashville show. I thought that he just wanted to say hello, but he actually wanted to discuss a deal. I was like, "Dude, you're about six months too late. [laughs] I've been working with Peavey." So he goes, "Well, what's your deal like?" And I said, "Well, it's my guitar, my design, I own it and Peavey builds it for me."

I own everything, so if I ever leave Peavey which I don't anticipate, because Hartley Peavey is just the greatest guy and we get along like friends, just like Sterling Ball and I are-then I take it with me.

GW: Have you ever been tempted to use a classic vintage instrument like an old Les Paul or a Strat ?

VAN HALEN: NO, there's really no point. The electric guitar has not changed a bit since Leo Fender and Les Paul. I get the same sounds out of my guitars that I get out of a Les Paul or any other humbucking-style guitar, and when I come out with the single-coil version I have planned, I'll be able to get the same sounds out of that that I can from a Strat. For Les Paul fans, there's also going to be a non-tremolo version of the Peavey, probably available with or without the piezo pickup that my prototype has.

GW: When did you make the decision to move from Music Man to Peavey?

VAN HALEN: When I started realizing what the drawbacks of working with a small company are, such as problems with product availability. Before I left Music Man, I had my management call 15 Music Man dealers from Ohio to Hawaii to find out how long the waiting period was to get one of my guitars. The shortest time quoted was 10 months, but most dealers said it could take anywhere from a year to a year and a half. Everywhere I went, kids were telling me, "I can't get your guitar!" Some kid is not going to shell out the $1,800 that guitar costs and then wait 18 months to get it! That's the reason I left. I'm not in the business of making guitars- that's not my livelihood. I make music for a living. I didn't go with Music Man for the money, and I didn't change companies for the money either-contrary to popular belief. People think I got a big lump of money from Peavey or something, but that had nothing to do with the switch. I went with Music Man in the first place because of their ability to produce a quality instrument. Also, my experience with my 5150 amps had proven Peavey's commitment to extremely strict quality control. So the most logical home for me to go to was Peavey, especially after we got the combo unit finished.

If anything, the new guitars are as good or better as the Music Mans because they have a contoured top which is more difficult and expensive to make. On top of that, the guitar's going to sell for about $500 less than the Music Man.

Gw: Is the lower price tag a result of the production resources at Peavey's disposal?

VAN HALEN: Yeah. So, if anything, I moved to Peavey to give whoever wants one of my guitars a better opportunity to have one. We're actually going to come out with three models: a neck-through-body version, which will cost about as much as the bolt-on Music Man, the bolt-on version that I have with me today, which will cost around $1,200, and a less expensive version for people on a tight budget-which will be about $600.

Gw: Will the budget version be an import?

VAN HALEN: No. All the guitars will be made in the U.S. That's actually another reason I wanted to go with Peavey. America can mass-produce a good guitar. They don't have to be made in Japan or Korea or in a small shop like Music Man. A big company can do it if they do it right, and they're doing it right.

GW: You've long been associated with bolt-on neck guitars, so it seems unusual for you to endorse a neck-through design.

VAN HALEN: It'll be a special edition, limited-run thing. Obviously, I generally haven't played neck-through guitars. I always played piece-of-shit guitars that I made myself, because I used to jump around so much that I would break necks off all the time, and it's easier to just screw another one on than to build a whole new guitar!

GW: As you mentioned, Peavey also makes your 5150 amplifiers. Were the new guitars built to work optimally with those amps?

VAN HALEN: Nope. They're just built to my ear. And, to be quite honest, I'm not completely happy with them yet. The guitars I have are just prototypes.

GW: How do they differ from what the final version will be?

VAN HALEN: The bodies on the guitars I have are made out of poplar instead of basswood, which is what the Music Man is made out of. But, to tell you the truth, I'm not sure what the final version will be like. It's not a done deal. I mean, it's a done deal that I'm working with Peavey; I'm not going to work with any other company. The guitar will definitely have the body shape it has now, but whether it has a solid body color, or a nice curly, flamed-maple top really depends on the sound. When you start adding maple to the equation, it really changes the tone, as does the contoured as opposed to flat-top. We're still right in the middle of it. Hopefully, it'll be ready by the National Association of Music Merchants show in January.

GW: Do you think you'll be able to have a flamed-maple top and keep the price down?

VAN HALEN: If not, then I'll just go with solid basswood and have it contoured, but use solid colors. I don't give a damn what the guitars look like. I want them to sound good. If it's a solid colour and if it's a nice curly maple design that's fine, too. It's gotta sound good.

GW: Your prototype models have two knobs, rather than the one-knob setup on your Music Man and on guitars you had before that.

VAN HALEN: I haven't decided yet whether the final version will have two knobs or not. But if it does, it will be a volume control for each pickup, not a tone and a volume.

GW: Hartley Peavey says he wants you to put a tone control in the guitar because it would make the instrument more versatile.

VAN HALEN: Yeah, but you just don't need a fuckin'tone control! I told Hartley I would split the difference with him on an extra knob, but it would be a volume control. That way you can execute dynamic changes from pickup to pickup by just flipping the toggle switch. So Hartley and I did have a little head butt about that, but ultimately it's my guitar, and that's the deal.

GW: I'm sure there will be speculation that working with a big company like Peavey means you'll have to make more concessions, like adding an extra knob, to promote the mass marketability of the guitar.

VAN HALEN: Not at all. I have complete control over the guitar, and that's why they're not out yet. Peavey wanted to show the guitars at the Nashville NAMM show in July, and I told them, "No way. It ain't going to come out until I say it's ready." And that's just the way it is. I don't put my name on anything unless I'm completely happy with it just like the combo amp. In fact, you guys reviewed the combo amp [GW, June '95] before it had final approval. The clean channel is 10 times better then it was then. At first I was like, "Yeah, yeah, it's good." And then I said, "No, I can't use it." So we tweaked it again. Now on stage I'm using the 5150 heads for my dirty sounds and the combo amps for my clean sound.

GW: The new guitar has an interesting dropped-D device for the Low E string.

VAN HALEN: That's my latest gadget. I own the patent for it. It wraps around the bolt that you use to lock in the string, and you just pop it out to drop the string's pitch. The unit is fine-tunable so as to accommodate any variation in the bolts, which sometimes aren't machined exactly to spec. If you wanted to, you could have six of these and be able to drop your whole guitar to a different tuning.

Gw: Will this device be available on other Peavey guitars as well?

VAN HALEN: I'm not sure about that. I own it, so it depends if Hartley wants to pay me or not! [laughs] But it will be available as an accessory for other people whose guitars have Floyd Rose bridges.

GW: You worked very closely with DiMarzio's Steve Blucher on the pickup design for the Music Man Guitars. Are those pickups going to be in this instrument as well?

VAN HALEN: I don't want to bad-mouth anybody or get into any stink here, but somehow behind my back, Music Man ended up owning those pickups instead of me-which is bullshit, because it was my ear, not Music Man, that made Blucher design those pickups the way they are. Since I can't use those, Jim DeCola and I started from scratch again,and the new pickups are great. To tell you the truth, I'm glad that I couldn't take the old pickups, because I like the sound of the new ones better.

GW: What are the characteristics that you look for in a pickup?

VAN HALEN: A warmth, sustain and not too much annoying 10k high end. Something fat-sounding, but not too muddy on the low end.

GW: In other words, something that sounds good.

VAN HALEN: Yeah! [laughs] But everyone's opinion of "good" is different, so I'm going by my ear.

GW: Are the pickups on the new guitar mounted directly into the body like they are on the Music Man?

VAN HALEN: Yes. I truly believe-and always have-that everything has to be connected. I don't like floating tailpieces, and I don't like the pickups floating. Everything has to be drilled into the wood, 'cause that's where the sustain comes from.

GW: Will the dimensions of the neck on the Peavey guitar be copied from those of the neck of your "5150" Kramer, like the neck on the Music Man was?

VAN HALEN: You can't patent something like that, so, yes, I'm going to make it comfortable for my hand and make it easy to play.

Gw: Has having the new guitar inspired you to write any new songs?

VAN HALEN: Big time. We were just on tour in Europe and Peavey sent me a guitar out there. 1 ended up writing four new tunes on it.

Gw: What kind of material have you been coming up with?

VAN HALEN: I don't know! That's like asking me what the difference between the first album and Balance is. I can't tell you that because I just write what comes to me.

GW: The last time we spoke you had recently quit drinking. Have you been successful in staying dry?

VAN HALEN: Oh, yeah. It's been 10 months and then some. I feel great.

Gw: Do you think your playing on this tour has benefited from your sobriety?

VAN HALEN: I think my playing is way better. I'm just so much more aware. I feel alive. It's like being on my first tour ever.

Gw: Are you getting the jitters more now?

VAN HALEN: Oh, yeah, I get nervous every night. That's why I used to drink.

Gw: The nervousness must be very difficult to overcome without a crutch.

VAN HALEN: I have to overcome it every night. I'll be out there tonight and I'll be nervous. But halfway into the set I'll loosen up and be like "What the fuck?" Being nervous is the strangest thing because sometimes I'm not and sometimes I am. We did the Letterman show the other night, and I have never been so nervous in my life! And I'm thinking to myself, "Why? What's the point of being nervous?" But then again, I guess I wouldn't be human if I wasn't.



MEANWHILE, BACK AT MUSIC MAN...

Although he was closely identified with the Kramer guitars he played throughout the Eighties, Edward Van Halen didn't actually stamp his name on an instrument until 1990, when he joined forces with the Music Man company. He is still using that signature-model instrument on Van Halen's ongoing Balance tour. At the time, the guitarist said he decided to go with the Music Man company because he was impressed by their attention to detail and confident that allying himself with a small company would be the best way to ensure the quality of his guitars.

Eventually, however, Van Halen grew frustrated with the production limitations of Music Man. He claimed that the signature guitars were up to 18 months back ordered, and that he was repeatedly confronted by fans who said they were unable to find the instruments. Music Man owner Sterling Ball, however, reports that, "Last year, the delivery time on the Van Halen guitars was 36 weeks, not 18 months. But the limitations of dealing with a limited-production, high quality guitar company like Music Man were clear to Eddie from the beginning. We did everything that we said we would and everything that Edward ever asked us to."

Music Man's ability to deliver Van Halen guitars in a timely fashion are not the only bone of contention between the two parties. Van Halen asserts that Music Man's acquisition of the rights to the DiMarzio pickups that were a standard feature on his signature guitar was not entirely above-board. Sterling Bail denies any wrongdoing. "It was widely understood when Music Man brought Dimarzio and Steve Blucher on board for this project that those pickups were to be proprietary to the Music Man guitar. Emie Ball has done nothing behind anyone's back or under the table."

Dimarzio owner Larry DIMarzIo, however, seems to have no bones to pick with Van Halen. "We've always enjoyed working with Eddie and would enjoy the opportunity to do so again," he says.

-Tom Beaujour
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Old 06.29.02, 12:36 PM   #7
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It's EVH's guitar and it'll be made just the way he wants it! Two volume knobs instead of a volume and tone knob! [img]graemlins/devil.gif[/img]
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Old 06.29.02, 05:16 PM   #8
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Higher production, lower price...without compromising quality!

RRrrrrrrright, Ed.

Ed's the reason I started playing, and the Wolfs are cool guitars, but don't piss on my shoulder and try to tell me it's raining.

ratter.

Oh, and interesting tidbit for all us EVH/Axis/Wolf players. John Suhr, longtime master builder for the Fender Custom Shop, and now builder of his own line (killer guitars!) says that basswood/maple is the holy grail of tonewood combinations! Check his website! So don't let those mahogany/koa/ash/whatever snobs look down their headstocks at ya! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
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Old 06.29.02, 05:29 PM   #9
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ratter.

Oh, and interesting tidbit for all us EVH/Axis/Wolf players. John Suhr, longtime master builder for the Fender Custom Shop, and now builder of his own line (killer guitars!) says that basswood/maple is the holy grail of tonewood combinations! Check his website! So don't let those mahogany/koa/ash/whatever snobs look down their headstocks at ya! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img] [/QB][/QUOTE]

Have you seen the Terry Rogers Mallie guitars that
John hand built? Beautiful guitars. Probably the best 'Eddie Van Halen guitar' on the market.
Maybe EVH should consider trying one of those.
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Old 06.30.02, 11:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ratter:
Higher production, lower price...without compromising quality!

RRrrrrrrright, Ed.

Ed's the reason I started playing, and the Wolfs are cool guitars, but don't piss on my shoulder and try to tell me it's raining.

ratter.

Oh, and interesting tidbit for all us EVH/Axis/Wolf players. John Suhr, longtime master builder for the Fender Custom Shop, and now builder of his own line (killer guitars!) says that basswood/maple is the holy grail of tonewood combinations! Check his website! So don't let those mahogany/koa/ash/whatever snobs look down their headstocks at ya! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
I'm a Wolfgang ownner but I won't pretend for a second that the building process isn't much more inexpensive and that Peavey pumps out some duds(I've played a few duds). I found a Wolf that that fits me perfect and I will probably never get rid of it. However I still search regularly for a blue quilt EBMM/EVH, and will have one someday,(if I can stop buying freaking amps!!) I won't even try to figure out Ed's reasoning to going to Peavey, except for maybe that Peavey was really low on the food chain and Ed came in and was able to have Peavey produce the gutiar but let Ed own all the patents. My main gripe with the Wolfgangs is like Tribb says, you have to sift through a couple of duds(perhaps the ones that the Stormtroopers or Clonetroopers worked on like Majestic said) to find a good Wolfgang, where it would be quite rare to find a EBMM/EVH that wasn't right.

BTW Majestic good to hear from you, I kind of missed our 5150 debates from the dome!

[ June 30, 2002, 12:25 AM: Message edited by: LarryJ ]
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Old 07.01.02, 09:19 AM   #11
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I've heard from a very good source about the same story Trennasol's been saying, but I don't really know or care if that's what really happened either.
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Old 07.01.02, 09:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Trennasol:


Have you seen the Terry Rogers Mallie guitars that
John hand built? Beautiful guitars. Probably the best 'Eddie Van Halen guitar' on the market.
Maybe EVH should consider trying one of those.
I had not seen them until I read your post and then I went and looked them up...they're beautiful pieces of work. And if John Suhr builds it, you know it's got to play and sound great too.

To be honest, though, the next guitar *I* would like to see Ed play is anything without quilted maple and a Floyd!! I love my EVH, but even it has sort of worn on me in terms of the gaudiness of the quilt/birdseye and the Floyd. Things like those Warrior guitars...they just look horrible to me anymore.

I'd like to see Ed march out on stage with maybe a Wayne Guitars monster series (oil-finished, one pickup strat)...or how about a Tele, even!

ratter.
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Old 07.01.02, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
BTW Majestic good to hear from you, I kind of missed our 5150 debates from the dome!
Well thanks, it's good to be back in the mix, I guess. I hate arguing with people. I always want VH fans to be as "clued in" as possible, though. I wish I'd had these boards back in the early nineties when I was honing my ear by making bad purchasing decisions. [img]graemlins/yell.gif[/img]

You oughtta head over to the "Holy Shit, they changed the EBMM" thread and throw in your 2 cents, whether or not you agree with me.

And for the record...and I'm sure you remember this from the Dome....I loved my 5150, it just wasn't how I wanted my Slurpee flavored every day, so to speak.

If I'd had the head, I'd have tossed it in the closet and played it every 3 weeks or so, but I had the combo. Too heavy to be a paper weight sitting in the corner.
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Old 07.01.02, 02:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Majestic:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> BTW Majestic good to hear from you, I kind of missed our 5150 debates from the dome!
Well thanks, it's good to be back in the mix, I guess. I hate arguing with people. I always want VH fans to be as "clued in" as possible, though. I wish I'd had these boards back in the early nineties when I was honing my ear by making bad purchasing decisions. [img]graemlins/yell.gif[/img]

You oughtta head over to the "Holy Shit, they changed the EBMM" thread and throw in your 2 cents, whether or not you agree with me.

And for the record...and I'm sure you remember this from the Dome....I loved my 5150, it just wasn't how I wanted my Slurpee flavored every day, so to speak.

If I'd had the head, I'd have tossed it in the closet and played it every 3 weeks or so, but I had the combo. Too heavy to be a paper weight sitting in the corner.
</font>[/QUOTE]I know what you mean. Believe it or not the 5150 is no longer my main slurpee any more either. I'm the proud owner of a 71 Marshall JMP 50, a Budda SuperDrive30, and a THD Univalve on the way. But since I have the head I still play it for some things, and I've tried a couple of little tweaks to the 5150 as well like installing a bias pot on one and the one I still have is currently running on EL84 power tubes with Yellow Jacket converters(very interesting tones).

I really can't add much to the EBMM neck thread because I have my Wolfgang that I like and I'm putting money away for a EBMM/EVH in blue quilt but I don't know as much about the specs on the axis guitars as you guys.
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Old 07.02.02, 07:46 PM   #15
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Yeah, I love how in the GW interview, he makes a point about the guitars being made here in the U.S. I wish I would have had that article when I was having my duel with the Peavy forum people.
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