Acoustic Gear Finds June 2021
Don't miss the latest and greatest gear finds for your acoustic!
The Cole Clark CCFL2ECRDBL Acoustic-Electric Guitar is designed for the guitarist who demands the highest standards in an instrument. The 2 Series FL Dreadnought guitar is the go-to choice for every player looking to have ultimate control of both the acoustic and plugged-in performance environments, with Cole Clark's signature 3-way pickup system and beautiful, sustainably-sourced, natural Redwood and Blackwood timbers.
"I love this thing, I can't put it down. It's kind of like having a piano in your lap, you got all the low end for bass lines, and you got chords that you can strum on top, even alternating simple bass lines. There's all kinds of fun you can have with this thing!" ~ Sean Harkness, NYC
Typically tuned to B, the Baritone provides a clear low end response perfect for soloists, singer-songwriters, percussive finger-style players, or guitarists who crave a walking bass line while comping chords.
With its offset soundhole, side-port, and solid Sitka spruce top with innovative low-mass bracing, the Walden B1E sounds sonically excellent while incorporating the more comfortable Grand Auditorium body shape. A graphite reinforced Mahogany neck contribute to stability and its 27″ scale length and 1-13/16″ nut width contribute to the B1E Baritone's transparent playability.
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The PRS SE P20E is a parlor-sized acoustic with a big voice. Features include all-mahogany construction and PRS hybrid "X"/Classical bracing, which allows the top to freely vibrate, the SE P20E projects with even, bold tone. Its smaller size makes playing for hours fun and comfortable and allows for more convenient transport.
Plug in the Fishman GT1 pickup system, and it delivers dynamic, organic tone. This electronics system features an undersaddle pickup and soundhole mounted preamp with easy-to-access volume and tone controls, which essentially transforms what some may consider a "couch guitar" into a workhorse stage instrument.
Available in three satin finishes with herringbone rosettes and accents. Other high-quality features include a solid mahogany top, ebony fretboard and bridge, and bone nut and saddle. Gig bag included.
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Inspired by the guitars made in the 1930s, the Tanglewood Blackbird series evoke traditional values, yet offer the benefits a guitar manufactured in the modern era. These guitars feature hand-selected tone woods and a unique bracing pattern. The Blackbird Orchestra electro-acoustic guitar is carefully braced to environments, with Cole Clark's signature 3-way pickup system and beautiful, sustainably-sourced, natural Redwood and Blackwood timbers.
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Taylor's popular, compact GS Mini has brought countless hours of guitar-playing joy to musicians of all stripes, and the GS Mini-e Koa Plus takes the fun to a new level with elevated aesthetic details. Back and sides of layered Hawaiian koa pair with a solid koa top for a punchy, bold sound with surprising power and volume for a small-bodied guitar with a scale length of 23-½ inches, while the 1-11/16-inch nut width makes forming chords a breeze. A dusky edgeburst accentuates koa's natural grain and luster around the top, back and sides, while other notable features include nickel tuners, a three-ring rosette, and a genuine West African ebony fretboard. It includes onboard ES2 electronics and Taylor's new AeroCase®, a soft yet sturdy case with all the protection of a hardshell case at one-third the weight.
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Adding to the company's line of premium capos, Shubb has introduced the new Capo Royale Series, featuring durable gold finishes that deliver long-lasting beauty.
Available in two lustrous finishes – Gold and Rose Gold – the Capo Royale Series brings a distinctive visual flair to Shubb's famed capo design, revered since 1980 for its ability to provide flawlessly clean fretting while keeping the instrument in tune.
For many years Shubb has received requests for a gold plated Shubb Capo. While gold is undeniably beautiful, it is not at all durable; it will wear off far too easily and quickly. It is also famously expensive. Now, Shubb has developed a high-tech technique for creating a gold-toned titanium finish. It possesses all the beauty of real gold, but is as durable as any metal finish in the world.
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Guild's most affordable jumbo yet! The F-240E is a tone cannon at a player's price. Built with a solid spruce top, mahogany sides, and an arched mahogany back, the full-bodied and powerful voice of this Guild Jumbo provides guitarists with historically-Guild acoustic tone and voicing. Guild's signature arched back design allows for enhanced volume and projection, long sustain, and a lush, full sound. The F-240E features Guild's Fishman-designed AP-1 electronics, a pau ferro fingerboard and bridge, bone nut and saddle, mother-of-pearl rosette, period-correct tortoiseshell pickguard, and a satin polyurethane finish.
The Blackstar ACOUSTIC:CORE 30 was designed to give singer/songwriters the ability to get a professional sound without any sound engineering expertise, then share it via live streaming or recording, or live performance. All in a compact easily portable combo with the option of battery power. This take-anywhere acoustic amp is designed for the way you play today: streaming, recording, practice or live.
Santa Cruz Guitar Company has made it even easier to order the custom acoustic you've always wanted. They invite you to email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to be walked through the design process, where they will take the time needed to answer all your questions about models, tonewoods, structural options and aesthetics to ensure you will receive the heirloom acoustic that is right for you.
The New MH8P Series Vegan Hemp Series guitar straps by Levy's come in four new beautiful motifs and measure 2"/51mm in width. These organic straps are cruelty-free using sustainable materials and extend from 37"/940mm to 62"/1572mm via silver-colored tri-glide sliding adjustment. Natural hemp webbing and durable 2-ply cork ends safely support your instrument, along with pinhole stitching on both ends to prevent stretching. To address the issue of pick dropping encountered by almost every gigging guitarist, the MH8P Series comes equipped with a convenient 2.5"/64mm inside pocket to provide quick access to extra picks. Hand-crafted in Novia Scotia.
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The product of nearly 3 years of intensive research and collaboration with a team of PhDs, LR Baggs is thrilled to introduce Voiceprint DI, the next breakthrough chapter in acoustic amplification. Voiceprint DI measures the acoustic response of your guitar by leveraging the processing power of your iPhone® to accurately capture your guitar's one-of-a-kind voice. A Voiceprint is created, transforming your pickup into the most authentic sound we have engineered in our 40+ years.
Raise your hand if you only own one guitar… that's what we thought. But do you need a different amplifier for each one? The Bud from Henriksen is no ordinary amplifier; it sounds just as amazing with your acoustic guitars as it does with your electric guitars, regardless of style. The Bud is just 13 lbs and 9"x9"x9" but packs 120 watts of power and a pro-grade feature set that you can truly gig with, record, teach, or just practice.
Powerful and responsive like a dreadnought, tonally the acoustic electric Breedlove Jeff Bridges' Signature Model emphasizes the unique qualities of myrtlewood, with a deep rosewood-like bass, the fundamental clarity of mahogany and the enchanting shimmer of koa. The Breedlove Jeff Bridges signature "All in this Together" project benefits Amazon Conservation Team, which works in partnership with indigenous colleagues to protect rainforests.
NUX Stageman II Battery-Powered Acoustic Guitar Amplifier features a pure analog preamp with NUX's iconic Core-Image post-effects. It has specific EQ scenes for finger-style as well as strum-style in channel 1, and you can engage built-in Acoustic IRs with a dedicated mobile APP. Acoustic IR is the new trend to make your acoustic sound as natural as micing. Stageman II keeps Drum & Loop, you can control by the original NUX NMP-2 foot-controller. And the built-in rechargeable battery can let you busk on the street for 4 hours.
- 80-watt rich warm sound acoustic amp with 6.5" premium speaker and 1" tweeter
- Rechargeable battery for 4.5 hours outdoor performing
- Built-in Acoustic Impulse Response
- 2 independent channels with routing adjustable post-effects
- Mobile APP for editing and control
- Drum & Loop (60s phrase loop)
- Bluetooth Audio Stream
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Its 38-watt output, powered by a quartet of EL84 tubes, is designed to provide lots of headroom and response for discerning players.
The original idea behind Jet Black was to bring the Black Cat’s trademark sound to players who needed more volume. With a second pair of EL-84s doubling its output, common sense suggested it’d be louder and tighter, but no one was quite prepared for the tones the Jet Black would unleash.
Unleash Your Creativity with the Jet Black
The Jet Black offers guitarists an unrestrained and visceral playing experience. Its 38-watt output, powered by a quartet of EL84 tubes, provides awesome headroom and response for discerning players. With two channels, tremolo, FX loop and reverb, the Jet Black is an ultra-versatile tool for shaping your sound.
Channel 1: The revamped first channel is bold and clear, making it perfect for clean tones and harmonically rich edge of breakup sounds.
Channel 2: The second channel is versatile and fresh, suitable for a wide range of rock-oriented tones. It successfully captures the essence of classic and modern guitar sounds, boasting its own unique character and swagger.
3-Band EQ: The new 3-band EQ allows precise control over your tone, with a pronounced mid/high response that cuts through the mix, unlike traditional "British Voice" amplifiers, the Jet Black carves its own niche in the sonic spectrum, ensuring that it shines in a two-guitar band setup without contributing to a volume war.
Reverb and Tremolo: Rarely found on rock-oriented amps, meticulously tuned reverb and tremolo circuits are included to complement the amplifier's ultra-wide range, delivering lush and noise-free effects with adjustable depth and speed.
FX Loop and Line Out: The Jet Black features a transparent FX Loop for connecting external effects without hassle. A line out simplifies the use of external impulse responses or re-amping. The amplifier also offers various speaker outputs to accommodate different setups.
Footswitch: The included two-button footswitch provides convenient control over the tremolo and channel selection.
The Bad Cat Jet Black amplifier will be available from, November 21, 2023, through select Bad Cat dealers and online retailers.
For more information, please visit badcatamps.com.
There are still special places where the heart of American music beats like a kick drum. Experience them while you can, and be inspired.
Since the ’80s, I’ve spent a lot of time traveling to the obscure corners where great American roots music is made. Recently, I went to Bentonia, Mississippi, for the 75th anniversary of the Blue Front Cafe, a little juke joint so close to the railroad tracks that its walls shake when the City of New Orleans rumbles by. The place is run by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, who inherited it from his parents. He was 1 year old when they opened its doors, and, at 76, Jimmy takes great pride in unlocking those same blue doors every day.
According to the 2020 census, there are 318 people in Bentonia. I would imagine all of them have been to the Blue Front, which, based on my two days there listening to local and regional musicians play on a plywood stage in the dirt and gravel lot surrounding the club, seems to be a nexus of community. Sure, there were tourists like me, including some from Maine and Japan, but many of the locals I encountered spoke about how they’ve been coming to Jimmy’s club for years—decades, even—for music and friendship. One patron told me he had his first beer at the Blue Front. Another got married there, right by the interior window to the kitchen, where you order catfish or cheeseburgers.
Stepping inside, the place has the funky furnishings you’d expect from a rural juke, right down to a jar of pickled pigs’ feet on the bar. But it also has a positive vibe. The crowd is racially mixed, and some patrons are gay and out, and nobody cares. The Blue Front is a place to hang out and be yourself.
“The place has the funky furnishings you’d expect from a rural juke, right down to a jar of pickled pigs’ feet on the bar.”
Of course, the future of the Blue Front is uncertain. It needs a new roof, and, at Jimmy’s age, the day will come when it also needs a new operator. What happens then, or if funds for the roof can’t be raised, is a question mark. Meanwhile, the club stands as a beacon of music history, past and present. It’s where Henry Stuckey and Skip James traded licks, and where both men indoctrinated Jimmy in the style known as Bentonia blues. That genre is the result of Stuckey learning open-minor-key tunings from Bahamian servicemen during World War I, and incorporating them into the sounds of home—then teaching his music to Skip James, who remains the style’s most famous exponent. (Check out James’ “Devil Got My Woman” for a case of the Bentonia willies.) Rarely can we point to a single town, let alone a single place, where a distinctive musical style ignited and was nurtured, to eventually reach the world. Bentonia and the Blue Front are such a place.
Earlier this year, the Blues Foundation presented Jimmy with a Keeping the Blues Alive award. It was a long overdue acknowledgement of all the sweat and heart he has put into making the Blue Front the longest operating juke joint in Mississippi—and possibly the U.S. Keeping the blues alive is something he does at the Blue Front every day, in the most practical way possible, without fanfare, advertising, or the expectation of awards. And as Stuckey and James did for him, Jimmy is passing the music to a new generation of players for whom the lonesome sound of Bentonia blues resonates.
For gas money and maybe a couple days on the road, or a flight and a car rental, you can go to the Blue Front, too. Or to Clarksdale, Mississippi, where the sound of unvarnished blues still rings out at places like Red’s Lounge, the Delta Blues Alley Cafe, Hambone Art & Music, the Bluesberry Cafe, and Ground Zero Blues Club. Or to Wild Bill’s in Memphis. Or the Sahara Lounge in Austin, Texas, where blues, free jazz, and African music rub elbows. Or Kermit’s Treme Mother in Law Lounge, originally opened in New Orleans by R&B singer Ernie K-Doe and now owned by trumpeter and singer Kermit Ruffins.These places are unique to the ecosystem of American music. Without them, the enlightening, inspiring, and entertaining experiences people share within their walls would not exist. And they are all fragile—potentially one more pandemic, a fire, or some unanticipated expense from going away. So, if you’re making travel plans for 2024, why not put a trip to the Blue Front, or the Sahara, or any other bona fide musical wellspring you’re aware of, on your agenda? These are places where magic happens. You won’t regret the trip. And if you do stop at the Blue Front, tell Jimmy I said hello.
Positive Grid’s mighty mini amp has taken the world of practice—and stage—by storm. Here’s the lowdown on the original Spark amp, the Spark MINI, the Spark GO, the new Spark CAB, and the company’s flexible, tone-hopping controller. Most are sale-priced for the holidays.
The holiday season is upon us, and if you're on the quest to find the ultimate gift for the guitarist in your life, or perhaps you're treating yourself, look no further. We're about to take you on a journey through the world of Spark series amps – the gifts that sound right for any guitarist's wishlist. With numerous awards and an ever-growing community of over 500,000 players worldwide, these amps have certainly made their mark.
And the best part? Fantastic deals on Spark start now. There’s a Spark for every type of player (bassists included!) – so let’s find the one that fits you.
Spark - The Complete Jam Package
Let's kick things off with the Spark guitar amp and Bluetooth speaker – the trailblazer in the Spark series. This 40W practice amp doesn't just fill the room with incredible sound; it puts you in the driver's seat of your own tone. But what really makes Spark stand out is the incredibly powerful smart app that works seamlessly with the entire line of Spark series amps. Packed with all the gear and innovative smart features, it's your gateway to instant jamming fun. Looking for that perfect tone? You've got access to a whopping 50,000+ tones and custom presets created by guitarists worldwide to get you started. Plus, who needs bandmates when you've got Smart Jam? Just start playing, and the AI creates a real-time drum and bass track for you.We're just scratching the surface here. It's no wonder why over half a million guitarists worldwide are playing more guitar than ever with Spark, now completely customizable to fit your unique style. And don't forget to check out the official Traveler Gig Bag – a must-have for any Spark owner on the move.
Spark MINI - Portability Meets Power
For those who crave portability without compromising on power, meet the Spark MINI. Don’t let its size fool you. This 10W portable beast of an amp features a passive radiator that delivers unbelievable sound and punchy bass that’ll have you questioning why all amps aren’t this compact. And our favorite part – Spark MINI features a built-in rechargeable battery that provides up to 8 hours of jamming or music listening, perfect for impromptu jam sessions at the office, home, or anywhere that inspires you. Seriously, take it to the park or the beach; it's always ready to roll.
Spark MINI has even earned the praise of guitar legends like Zakk Wylde and Paul Gilbert, both of whom crafted their own limited-edition versions which, unfortunately for you, sold out. But don’t fret, they also created custom presets that can be downloaded for free in the Spark app and are available to all Spark users.
Spark GO - The Ultra-Portable Wonder
Ever wonder what it was like to have an amp on you…all the time? Spark GO is a 5W wonder so small it can slide right into your gig bag or suitcase without hogging precious space. In fact, you might even forget that you packed it in the first place! It’s the personal guitar amp that fits the unique style of every guitarist – regardless of skill level. Touring guitarists across the globe are falling head over heels for this tiny powerhouse, and for excellent reasons. They've discovered that not only does it deliver surprisingly big sound for an amp its size, but also the incredible convenience of Spark GO, turning hotel rooms and tour buses into impromptu jam spaces.
Just in time for the holidays, you can take home a Spark GO for under $100 USD. While you’re at it, pick up the new carrying case, to ensure your musical sidekick is well-protected from the rigors of the road.
Spark CAB - It's Time To Get Loud
Sometimes, you need that extra oomph in your sound, and that's where Spark CAB comes into play. It's not just about making your music louder; it's about making it shine. But make no mistake, this cab is LOUD! Designed for Spark amp owners hungry for more volume during live performances or jam sessions, Spark CAB is a 140W FRFR (Full Range, Flat Response) powered cabinet that perfectly complements any Spark series amp. Plus, it's great for cranking up the volume on other gear like keyboards, modelers, or even an extra amp with line level outs.
Spark Control - Elevate Your Spark Experience
Now that you’ve decided which Spark series amp works best for you (or the lucky person you’re gifting it to), it’s time to pair it up with the ultimate Spark accessory – Spark Control. It allows you to effortlessly (and wirelessly!) switch between presets, fine-tune settings, control music, and more, and it’s compatible with every Spark series amp. Besides, a good pedal is something every guitarist needs. Say goodbye to fiddling with controls and knobs when you need to switch tones. Set up your favorite preset, assign them to Spark Control, and you can seamlessly switch them on the fly without ever missing a beat.
With the holidays racing towards us faster than one of Paul Gilbert's legendary solos, let this list guide you in your quest for the perfect gift. So, this holiday season, let's celebrate the joy of giving with the best gift of all: music. And remember to treat yourself; you've earned it.Looking for more gift ideas? Visit our Holiday Gift Guide to snag the best deals of the year.