Charles Saufley - Gear Editor
Santa Cruz Don Edwards Signature Cowboy Singer
Santa Cruz’s gorgeous, immaculately crafted small body acoustics are showstoppers in any incarnation. They unveiled three at this show, none more beautiful than the Don Edwards Cowboy Singer. The gloss-finished, all-mahogany OO was built in honor of legendary cowboy poet Don Edwards, but the guitar is a shining, chocolate-hued gem that sounds warm, alive, and sweetly popping whether I was fingerpicking or flatpick strumming. Drop-dead gorgeous, this one.
Hallmark Johnny Ramone
Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite is one of the most iconic of all punk-rock guitars. It was also a cornerstone of the Ramones' relentlessly roaring buzzsaw tone. Hallmark wasn’t one of the most famous ‘60s brands but, like Mosrite, they made some of the most distinctive-looking guitars of the era. So it’s no surprise that the resurrected Hallmark unveiled a Mosrite-style that’s a dead-ringer for Johnny’s guitar. Super-hot single coils and authentic details like a roller bridge and zero nut make this a sweet player, too.
Huss and Dalton 15th Anniversary TD-R Custom
On the totally opulent side of the equation, Huss and Dalton’s 15th Anniversary TD-R Dreadnought is built around an Italian bearclaw Spruce top, African blackwood back and sides, and Abalone trim that would make a D-45 lover weep. A spring vine inlay doubles the fancy factor. At 15 grand, it’s a guitar that’s way out of reach for most of us, but it’s a fine reminder of the insanely elevated levels of art and sound that acoustics have achieved in this latest golden age of lutherie.
Huss and Dalton
Choice Swag: DigiTech Amplifier Road Essentials Kit
The debut of DigiTech’s new line of amps inspired the company to hand out their Amplifier Road Essentials Kit, which included a branded fleece pullover, a T-shirt (lower left), a Nature's Valley Chewy Trail Mix bar, a bottle of water, a notepad, and a pen.