The Martin F Series bit the dust in mid-’65, to be supplanted by the somewhat updated, nattier GT Series of bound archtop hollowbody electrics. The first few prototypes were dubbed the XTE Series and produced in 1965. The guitars were renamed the GT Series and swung into production in the beginning of 1966. The GT Series consisted basically of two models, the GT-70 and GT-75. These were thinlines with two f-holes, a 15th fret neck joint (actually more frets were clear of the body), bound 22-fret rosewood fingerboards, dot inlays, and new, bound, wide-flared three-and-three headstocks with a concave curve in the pointed crown.
Now, in the days of solid state signal processing, outboard units are available to produce a facsimile of the old tube-type distortion. Some units actually incorporate a vacuum tube and do it the old way. Other electronics packages simulate the effect. The "tube-type" distortion is preferrable to many over the kind of distortion produced by solid-state amplifiers because the tubes just gradually rounded over the peaks as they went into distortion, whereas the solid state devices just chop off the tops of the peaks cleanly at the supply voltage point, producing a harsh distortion. One type of distortion device, employed as a distortion pedal, was called a "fuzz box".
A final tip: not a lot of people know this, but Antares Auto-Tune works rather well with electric guitar. Of course Auto-Tune is monophonic, so it will dutifully ignore chords and double notes, but it will come into play when it detects a single note. You might reasonably ask whether a guitar tuner might not be a wise investment, but the reason I suggest Auto-Tune is not to compensate for a badly tuned guitar, but rather to pull imprecisely bent guitar stings into pitch.
Some Craigslist and EBay sellers have been claiming the 500 and 600-series Kents are made by Teisco. I think we’ve shown that that’s not the case. Some sellers also describe those early Kents as having “Ry Cooder” pickups. As most of you know, Ry Cooder is an incredibly talented multi-stringed-instrument musician. David Lindley, another great talent, gave him a pickup from an old Teisco guitar. The photo at left is exactly like it. Cooder put the pickup into one of his Stratocasters and liked the sound so much that he got another one and put it into another Strat. These pickups are also described as “gold foil” pickups. There are variations in the pattern of cut-outs on the chrome covers of different pickups. I don’t know if the others sound any different, but if I were looking for a “Ry Cooder Pickup”, something like the one pictured here is what I would be looking for. The pickups have become worth more than the guitars they are on, consequently, as the guitars are bought up and trashed for their pickups, their prices are going to rise.
The electric guitar was born out of necessity. Going back to the big band era, acoustic guitar players needed an instrument that could be heard over all the brass and woodwind instruments. They also need to be heard over the banjos and mandolins on the front porch. In the 1930s, companies such as Rickenbacker and Gibson started to add guitar pickups to their instruments, which allowed musicians to plug them into an amplifier for added volume. Rickenbacker added a pickup to their Hawaiian guitar (also known as a lap steel guitar) “Frying Pan” model, and similarly, Gibson added a pickup to their electric Hawaiian EH-150 model. Soon after that, Gibson introduced the iconic ES-150, which gave players the very best of both worlds. It gave guitarists a world-class Gibson hollow body guitar with a built-in pickup, which made it the perfect fit for guitarists who played large ensembles. In 1951, Fender revolutionized the electric guitar market even further by unveiling the first ever mass-produced solid body electric guitar, now known as the Telecaster, which was introduced in order to combat the feedback that hollow body electric guitars produced. Then in 1952, Gibson worked closely with one of the most widely respected guitarists of the era to create the first Gibson solid body electric guitar, now known as the Les Paul and named after its co-inventor.