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December 1st, 2011:

Martin Unveils Recycled Wood Guitar

If you heard the words “guitar” and “environment” in the same sentence in the last few months you were probably hearing about the raid on Gibson Guitar. While the August raid on Gibson’s factories continues to draw a lot of attention and still gets conservatives and Tea Party supporters angry, another guitar company is coming up this week with an innovative effort to connect the dots between guitars and the environment in a positive way.

On Tuesday, C.F. Martin announced that it will utilize FSC-certified recycled Sitka spruce in one of its new cutaway guitars in the company’s Performing Artist series – the GPCPA4 Sapele. Now, here comes the good part – the wood, which will be used on the tops of the new guitar, is coming from none other than dismantled Canadian bridges where it had been used in construction.

“Martin Guitar has long been committed to research and innovation to find alternatives to rare woods,” explained Chris Martin, the company’s chairman and CEO. “The use of this recycled traditional tonewood will complement the Sapele wood that this guitar utilizes, allowing us to achieve the same structural integrity and traditional Martin sound,” he added.

The search for such innovative solutions is not accidental, especially for a guitar maker with sustainability in mind like C.F. Martin. “In order for a musical instrument manufacturing company to become more sustainable, they have to look at the primary resources from the planet that they’re using and get those resources in the most environmentally sustainable way,” explains Scott Paul, director of the forest campaign for Greenpeace.

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Long Lost George Harrison Vox UL730 Amp to Be Sold at Auction

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A rare amp once belonging to the late George Harrison — and used for several Beatles recording sessions — will be sold at auction on December 15 at Bonhams in London, England.

The amp, a Vox UL730, was used during recording sessions for Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. Its connection to the Beatles and Harrison — who died 10 years ago today — has been discovered only recently.

Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order borrowed the amp from the current vendor in February 2011, as his guitarist needed a vintage amp for a recording session at Blueprint Studios in Salford. It developed a fault at the end of the session and was taken to a specialist engineer to be fixed.

When the amp chassis was removed from its case, the engineer noticed “George Harrison” scratched onto the chassis. After further inspection, he found a label on the inside of the speaker cabinet. Subsequent research led to a photograph of Harrison and The Beatles in the studio with a UL730, with visible chalk markings similar to those seen in the cabinet that will appear at auction.

A member of The Merseybeats who used to write the “Beatles Gear” pages for the monthly Beatles Book magazine, and who attended many Abbey Road Beatles’ sessions as a guest, has also identified this as Harrison’s UL730.

The guide price at the Bonham’s auction is £50-70,000 and will be auctioned on 15th December in London.

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