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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Seymour Duncan announces the P90 Silencer Pickups: Vintage, Hot, & Jared James Nichols signature pickups.
Jared James Nichols Signature JJN P90 Silencer
Jared James Nichols burst onto the scene as a throwback to the P90 playing power trio titans of the 70s. To deliver his signature sound, he needed a P90 that was voiced with limitless range that could cover everything from sparkling cleans to barking dirty tones. In his own words, he needed something “delicate and strong, like a grizzly bear and a paper airplane landing.”
After years on the road playing different venues coast to coast and abroad, he’s encountered a variety of unique hum inducing sources. Having a pickup that could retain the quintessential tone and appearance of the classic P90 pickup without hum was a must. The JJN P90 Silencer was custom voiced specifically to Jared’s unique tone without the hum. The pickup is a drop-in replacement for any standard P90 route.
“Simply put, the Seymour Duncan Jared James Nichols P90 Silencer is my dream pickup.”
P90s have always been somewhat of an insider’s pickup. Those in the know recognized the P90 as the bridge between single coil and humbucker tones. With the bright and articulate treble tones you’d expect from a single coil and, due to their shape, also the warmer rounded tone that gets close to what you want from a humbucker. But, because P90s are single coils, they also bring the noise. The innovative noiseless design of our P90 Silencer neck pickup retains all the tone and appearance of the classic P90 pickup without the 60-cycle hum. The output for this model is matched to the vintage spec. These pickups are drop-in replacements for most standard P90 routes.
Pair this model with any of the P90 Silencer bridge pickups for a well-balanced set and classic P90 tone.
HOT (Bridge and Set):
P90s have always been somewhat of an insider’s pickup. Those in the know recognized the P90 as the bridge between single coil and humbucker tones. With the bright and articulate treble tones you’d expect from a single coil and, due to their shape, also the warmer rounded tone that gets close to what you want from a humbucker. But, because P90s are single coils, they also bring the noise. The innovative noiseless design of our Hot P90 Silencer retains all the tone and appearance of the classic P90 pickup without the 60-cycle hum.
The Hot P90 Silencer is a hotter version offering a more aggressive sound. These pickups are drop-in replacements for most standard P90 routes.
VINTAGE (Bridge and Set):
P90’s have always been somewhat of an insider’s pickup. Those in the know recognized the P90 as the bridge between single coil and humbucker tones. With the bright and articulate treble tones you’d expect from a single coil and, due to their shape, also the warmer rounded tone that gets close to what you want from a humbucker. But, because P90’s are single coils, they also bring the noise. The innovative noiseless design of our Vintage P90 Silencer retains all the tone and appearance of the classic P90 pickup without the 60-cycle hum.
The output for this model is matched to the vintage spec. These pickups are drop-in replacements for most standard P90 routes.
For more information, please visit seymourduncan.com.
This dialed-in flange/reverb combo sets the controls for shoegazing.
An interesting spin on a unique effect combo. Easy to use. Sounds great with fuzz.
Limited control set will be a non-starter for many flange and reverb afficionados.
The Catalinbread STS-88 flanger and reverb isn’t designed to be associated with any one genre or style. But pairing a 2-knob flange effect with a preset reverb is a strong stance. It’s as if Catalinbread were saying, “These tones are supposed to go together, deal with it.” Rather than provide a bevy of tweaking options, the STS-88’s simple 4-knob/2-effect design removes the potential for sonic option anxiety. It also arguably eliminates some possibilities. But shoegazers and space rockers should listen up.
Simple and Stripped Down
Using a stripped-down pedal can be refreshing, and advanced flangers and reverbs can both be more complex than fun. The STS-88, though, does not suffer from that malady. Instead, flanger control is limited to just two knobs, depth and rate, both of which have a nice, wide range. The STS-88’s flanger tone is warm, and I had no trouble conjuring airplanes and ooze as soon as I plugged in. But the limited nature of the pedal’s controls does mean a lack of sculpting nuance that I’ve enjoyed in some other flangers. Players who aren’t flange freaks, though, will probably find most of what they want in just two knobs.
I was compelled by the idea of a 1-knob reverb. It’s a bold move! And the STS-88’s lush reverb is perfect for washing out the gooey flange. But with just one knob, you can only select less reverb or more, and I couldn’t help imagining what else I could do if I was given just a little more control over decay or tone. The fourth knob is a wet/dry mix, which I’m surprised to say is my favorite option on the STS-88. I’m normally all in on flangers and content to go pretty wet with my tones. But having the ability to dial-in my mix allowed the STS-88 to play a bit better with other effects, which is, I believe, essential to its mission.
With the mix around 11 o’clock and a Fuzz Face clone cranked, I struck a balance between gnarly, cutting fuzz and washy flange and reverb that mixed into a booming, shoegaze-y slurry.
Mixin’ It Up
Catalinbread’s pedals always feel well-thought-out and unique. So, despite my desire for more control, I knew there must be something a little deeper behind the simplicity of the design. If this flanger and reverb are meant to live together within these parameters, what’s the angle? The mix knob, I found, is the key.
Take the way the STS-88 plays with fuzz. I’m a sucker for fuzzed-out flanger tones in the Dinosaur Jr. vein, but I don’t always love the way flangers play with fuzz. But the wet/dry mix on the STS-88 is an easy and elegant solution, and when I ran a fuzz through the pedal, I found my bliss. With the mix around 11 o’clock and a Fuzz Face clone cranked, I struck a balance between gnarly, cutting fuzz and washy flange and reverb that mixed into a booming, shoegaze-y slurry. Messing with the mix is rewarding, and I found many fuzzy, spaced-out sounds throughout the range of the flanger controls with this pairing. A noise gate on the wet side of the flanger circuit also helps the STS-88 pair more effectively with high gain. I also enjoyed overdrive sounds with the STS-88, but to my ears, the STS-88 really thrives with fuzz, and that’s what sells the pedal. In that setting, the limitations the designers built into the pedal make a lot of sense.
Option fatigue can be a real thing with feature-rich pedals, so I’m usually happy to have my options limited. It would be cool if Catalinbread built multiple versions of the STS-88, as they do with their Belle Epoch delay, which also comes in a more complex Deluxe version. Maybe it could include a searing fuzz circuit as well as a time or tone control for the reverb.
As is, the STS-88 is a fun and totally useful addition to a pedal collection. As a flanger, it’s less about Prince-style tones than space-rock sounds. The biggest hangup will probably be whether you like the reverb tone or not, or whether you miss more control. Considering the pedal’s $209 price, that’s worth researching, because it’s going to be a personal taste kind of thing. But if you dig it, the STS-88 sure is fun.
In the early days of electric bass, it seems ideas were just floating in the air. Here’s what one Japanese manufacturer came up with.
This month, I was asked to write about a bass guitar, which I think has only happened two or three times since I’ve been writing for this wonderful magazine. And since I’m the Wizard of Odd, I thought I’d pick an instrument that is probably one of the oddest around. So, we are going to look at the elusive and entertaining Teisco TB-64 6-string bass.
The history of 6-string basses begins in the mid ’50s with the Danelectro UB-2, followed by the truly awesome Danelectro Longhorn 6-string bass model. The initial idea for these instruments was to find a middle ground between electric guitar and bass. Almost immediately, these guitars found their way into the hands of players and ended up on many recordings, where they were often heard accenting a deep upright bass or providing a percussive “tic-tac” bass sound.
In 1961, Fender came out with its own version of the 6-string bass, called the Fender VI (or more commonly, the Bass VI). It was pricey and featured all the newest Fender innovations, including an offset body and a tremolo. This was a cool model that made its way into a bunch of studios and was most recently seen in the hands of John Lennon and George Harrison in Get Back.
Of course, across the Pacific, Teisco was crafting its own version of the 6-string bass, called the TB-64 (Teisco Bass from 1964). This guitar was similar to the Fender version, but, of course, is a little more extreme in all the right places. With its big, clown-nose headstock and the hole in the body, the TB-64 quickly became one of my obsessions. These are so hard to find in North America, although the same model was sold under a few different brand names, including Zim-Gar and Beltone. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this model in any English-language catalogs!
“From the big, clown-nose headstock to the hole in the body, the TB-64 became one of my obsessions.”
From my research, the TB-64 was first seen in Japanese trade magazines in June 1964. It was included in the 1964 Teisco catalog (Japanese language) and then it was gone in a poof. I know Teisco was making this model until mid to late 1965 (the striped-chrome pickguard era). Then it disappeared, which coincided with the sale of Teisco to the Kawai Company.
So, Teisco’s 6-string bass was very short-lived and is extremely rare today. It’s a shame, because these are perfect for bass newbies, and they just add an awesome new palette to your sound. With the tremolo, which works really smoothly, you can get a variety of spacey sounds. I play mine through regular guitar amps and these guitars love fuzz.
All versions of the TB-64 had the same basic components and features, except the pickups, which were rounded battleship gray on the earliest models. My version has the more commonly seen square-pole-piece units. Similar to the Fender VI, the TB-64 has an on/off rocker switch for each pickup. There’s also a mini-switch that toggles between a deeper bass tone and a brighter, guitar-like tone. There’s one volume knob and one tone knob, but the tone knob works backwards, acting as a bass cut. I’m not sure if they were all wired this way or not, but it all works well and gives the TB-64 a wide range of tones. The neck is fat and chunky, but still manageable. To me, it feels like I’m playing a long guitar. That’s 30" of scale length right there!
Some folks say these are baritones, and I suppose they can be with the right setup and strings. With my TB, I simply use Bass VI strings and tune E to E, one octave below a regular guitar. I know, I know…. You can argue all sorts of semantics and setups and string selection, but you can take that down the street! Why? Because during my last trip to Japan, I bought this here guitar, in its lovely green glory, from a fellow collector and historian. He bought it from the original owner, named Takayoki Ito (he engraved his name on the lower black control plate!). And guess what—Ito-san played the guitar the same way with the same setup.