Traditional touchstones and forward-looking design unite in a functional, playable, and hip-sounding whole.
Electric guitar culture has rarely strayed far from its mid-century birthing grounds. Manufacturers still cling to designs that were forged between the late-’50s and early-’60s. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to explore those themes in imaginative ways, and Eastwood Guitars—which based it’s early business on homages to oddball mid-century designs—is exploring its own retro-futurist tangents with guitars like the Model One, designed by Nashville-based luthier and tech Jeff Senn.
Though you can see bits and pieces of iconic guitar designs in the Model One—most notably, Fender offset cues—the Senn feels original and unified. You never get the sensation that you’re holding a cherry-picked mish-mash of classic parts. Even so, the vintage charm is strong. And while the Model One is clearly a product of lust for the Space Age (It actually looks like it’s flying when hanging from a strap!), there are certain aspects of the design, like the headstock, that look a little more streamlined and 21st century.
With its basswood body, our demo Model One weighed less than eight pounds and balanced nicely on a strap. (The streamlined headstock is almost certainly an asset here.) The fit and finish of the guitar is excellent where it counts most—the metallic red that covers its body and neck is free of blemishes. And the fretwork is smooth and consistent up the neck.
The Eastwood/Senn has a maple neck topped with a rosewood fretboard that’s built around a comfortable D shape that’s substantial without being chunky. In fact, it feels a little like a ’50s-style Stratocaster with a much flatter fretboard radius. While the Model One is built around a Gibson-style 24 3/4” scale length, the Jazzmaster-style vibrato provides a bit of extra string length and tension, which, to my ears, gives the Model One a little more top-end resonance. These specs add up to a playable and relatively pliable axe, but with a string tension that made it a killer rhythm machine.
The Senn/Eastwood’s control array is functional: a volume knob, a tone knob, and a 3-way pickup switch in the shape of a white flipper that looks nicked from an old tube radio. While the pickup selector knob looks cool, it didn’t always feel as immediate, accessible, or robust as it could be. The vibrato arm also could be more responsive. It had a loose feel that made deep bends seem a little imprecise. On the upside, the roller bridge is a big improvement over traditional Jazzmaster-style bridges and does a fine job of keeping the guitar in tune when you use the vibrato heavily.
Bell Chimes and Beefy Tones
Model One tones feel like the product of well-considered design moves. Clean tones are articulate and biting with plenty of chime—thanks in no small part to the duo of deceptive single-coil pickups lurking beneath the Model One’s chrome, humbucker-style covers. The pickups are the same single-coils Eastwood uses in its Airline guitars, which are inspired by the Valco models found in many late-’50s Supros, Nationals, and Airlines. I really liked the tones of the Airline Vintage Voiced Single Coils. But customers that dig the Model One aesthetic yet prefer the muscle of humbuckers can take solace in the fact that most PAF-style pickups fit without any additional routing.
As the Jazzmaster-style vibrato suggests, endless sustain is not a major part of the Model One equation. The attack is killer and the overtones are colorful, but you’re a long way from Les Paul-style hang-time. That said, through an Orange Rocker 30 1x12 combo, the Model One produced zingy high-mid jangle tones and lots of garage-rock snarl. The Airline VVSC pickups remained articulate when filtered through beefy Muff-style fuzzes and the Orange’s midrange-y EQ profile. And though it has great capacity for detail, the Model One just about begs you to bash away at simple, brassy chords. Using the bridge pickup and the Rocker 30 at full volume, the Model One dished muscular, MC5-riff tones and laser-sharp lead sounds that never seemed harsh.
Through a clean, Fender-style amp, the Model One happily delivered British Invasion chime and sparkle with plenty of plunky, twangy top end on tap, and I have no doubt it would excel with a set of flatwound strings and a touch of compression for even-more-vintage sounds. The neck pickup is smooth and flute-like with plenty of presence. It also flattens out gracefully for jazzier passages with a little tone attenuation.
If you’re looking for an original design that remains fundamentally rooted in a vintage aesthetic, the Senn/Eastwood Model One is a killer, affordable option. And for less than $700 (including a gig bag), you get a balanced, well-built, and thoughtfully designed guitar brimming with detailed vintage tones that can run from jangly to raunchy.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
Belltone P-90 Foil-Tron Pickup
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.