Outside of a few minor tweaks in body shape, neck size and pickups, the essence of the GB remains.
When George Benson burst on the scene in the mid ’60s with The New Boss Guitar, he ushered in an era of modern jazz guitar that combined an adventurous harmonic spirit, blinding technique, and a no-nonsense tone that has influenced countless jazzers since. Those oft-imitated tones led to a line of signature Ibanez guitars that endured for more than 30 years.
The newest fruit of this long-standing relationship is the LGB300, which is a subtle update on the more recent GB30TH and GB10. Over the years, Benson has made subtle changes to his signature axes. Benson has always been hands-on with his designs and used some of his commercial artist training to sketch out design ideas. Outside of a few minor tweaks in body shape, neck size and pickups, the essence of the GB remains. The design of the LGB—which stands for “Little George Benson”—is inspired by some of his earliest guitar memories.
Benson wanted to design a guitar for the performing musician rather than something to hang on the wall. And his primary goals were to create a guitar that was solid as a rock, easy to play, and not unruly when volume creeps past coffee shop levels. The build quality of the LGB stands out from the first time you touch it. The heft of the LGB was a bit of a surprise as well, and it seemed slightly heavier than comparable archtops. But Benson expanded the body size to 16.5”, which is a slight increase over the GB10 and explains the added weight and increased resonance. Apart from the added girth and the Florentine cutaway, the basic outline has held its time-tested shape and the guitar is still built around a spruce top with maple back and sides.
The fretwork was immaculate with no sharp edges or gaps between the fretwire and fretboard. Inspired by a Guild Johnny Smith that Benson played as a kid, the 305mm radius neck was incredibly comfortable. A prime example of how a smooth, flat, and fast neck can work for more than just pointy guitar wielding shredders. The 24.75” scale length was also nicked from the Smith model and gives the guitar a feel that is somewhere between a Gibson and a traditional acoustic guitar.
When it comes to the electronics, Benson took a very traditional route with standard volume and tone controls for each pickup. The rubber ring around each knob is a nice touch that gives the controls a professional feel. The medium frets are a bit small for my taste, but with the right string setup, it could be very comfortable for most players.
Punch and resonance are the two descriptors that will come to mind when you plug in the LGB. Running through a Jackson New Castle loaded with a pair of EL84s,the Super 58 alnico neck pickup was warm and smooth as I dug into the flatwounds. And it was relatively easy to dial in the tone from some of Benson’s most famous organ trio albums. The combination of an amp with plenty of clean headroom and a resonant archtop is something to behold. And as the volume increased, I could feel the guitar becoming more responsive. During Benson’s press conference at the most recent NAMM, he made a point that he wanted the LGB to be less feedback prone at higher volumes. This isn’t an axe you would want to use in your Sonic Youth tribute band, but it does handle volume better than most of its hollowbodies. When you’re playing with instruments that occupy the same sonic real estate, it helps to have some added girth and midrange to cut through the mix. And the midrange presence on both pickups is a welcome sound for when you tread through the wake of a B3 pumping a Leslie cab.
Working through some of the greasy bebop licks I spent hours trying to cop from Benson in college, the merits of the wider ebony became more obvious. The 45mm string spacing at the nut is fingerstyle friendly (though much less so for those with smaller hands) and its very comfortable for stretchy chords once you get used to the feel.
The bridge pickup has some obvious added presence, but never became too shrill or percussive. Part of that can be attributed to the fatter sound of the flatwound strings, but credit is also due to the finely tuned pickups. Benson knows his way around both tube and solid state amps and even with the Newcastle chirping at a pretty good level the LGB never gets too trebly. Moving from jazz lines to big ringing open chords, the guitar’s acoustic properties gave each strum a clear ringing tone with each note of the chord sitting comfortably and prominently in the mix. Though after moving back and forth between the pickups a few times, it occurred to me that unlike Benson the player, the LGB can be a bit of a one-trick pony—there’s not a ton of variation in tone. Keep in mind, though that that one trick is a really good one.
When you make your living as a professional musician, you need reliable gear that sounds good and is fun to play. The LGB covers all those bases from a platform that’s simple, elegant, and just plain performs. The Ibanez is worthy update to the ES-175-inspired archtops that have been a mainstay of the harmonically exploratory types for decades and it’s designed with the input of one of the great masters of jazz guitar. And if you are willing to shell out the dough, the LGB has the goods to return on investment for years to come.
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
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.