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Guitar World Staff Picks: Paul Riario’s Top 5 Electric Guitars of 2012

Guitar World Staff Picks: Paul Riario’s Top 5 Electric Guitars of 2012

Choosing an electric guitar can be somewhat overwhelming, but I always say it comes down to the type of player you are. You should grab a guitar that suits the style of music you play.

Considering it’s the end of the year, a time when we love to look at lists of the things we want or need, below is my list of five very different guitars that will certainly appeal to the type of player you are — or aspire to be.

05. AXL USA Bulldog & USA 1216 Classic (tie)

Both the USA Bulldog ($549.99) and the USA 1216 Classic ($349.99) put familiar yet clever spins on the classic Les Paul shape. The thing to note here is the body and neck wood on both guitars are produced overseas, but final assembly (fretwork, pickup and hardware installation, etc.) is done in the USA.

The 1216 provides the bottom end and note definition that Les Pauls are known for but with a pro-setup and hefty sound that rivals just about every other Les Paul-style guitar five times its price.

The USA Bulldog is a flat-out rocker with its minimalist design inspired by the Les Paul Junior. What makes it exceptional are the TonePros wraparound bridge and Kluson-style tuners, Graph Tech nut, CTS pots and Orange Sprague drop capacitors and Lindy Fralin P90 pickup, all of which are premium components craved by professional guitarists.

Combining that with the meticulous fretwork and butter-like playability makes this Bulldog the one to adopt.

More info:

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Sitar Virtuoso Ravi Shankar, 'Godfather of World Music,' Dead at 92