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Guitarist

Guitarist Summer 2019

Guitarist is the longest established UK guitar magazine. You'll find authoritative gear reviews, artist interviews, technique lessons and advice. Plus, Guitarist's digital edition now includes all of the same audio and video content as the print edition; available to download from a special area of the Guitarist website!

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
Frequency:
Monthly
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
old habits

This month’s feature on customising guitars once again underscored the importance of not getting too settled in your ways. For example, I have a very nice S-type guitar that a luthier friend made for me. It has a slightly chunkier neck profile than is usual for a Strat-type instrument and, combined with the 0.010-gauge strings he provided it with, it delivered absolutely beautiful tone – warm, expressive and classic. However, while perfectly playable, it was slightly harder work to get around the fretboard than on some of the slinkier guitars that cross my path at Guitarist. Without really meaning to, I started thinking of it as a great-sounding guitar but one that made you work for it slightly. No great shakes, just something you get used to. But you really have…

7 min.
jangle unchained

It’s 23 August 1966. The Warwick Hotel in New York City. As a press conference with The Beatles draws to a close, a young man steps forward brandishing a guitar. Mark Dronge – the son of Guild Guitars founder, Alfred Dronge – mounts the platform where John, Paul, George and Ringo remain seated behind a long table. “George thought the guitar was for him,” Mark Dronge later recalled. “He was annoyed when I passed him and presented the guitar to John…” The guitar John Lennon received that day was a Guild Starfire XII, a 12-string double-cutaway semi-acoustic with a brown stain finish, gold hardware and a pair of DeArmond 2000 single-coil pickups. The idea to get the guitar into a Beatle’s hands, and score the big sales like Gretsch and Rickenbacker had…

1 min.
guild starfire iv st-12

PRICE: £1,189 (inc case) ORIGIN: Korea TYPE: Twin-cutaway semi-acoustic electric 12-string guitar BODY: Laminated mahogany, with centre block NECK: Mahogany with maple centre strip, glued-in SCALE LENGTH: 629mm (24.75”) NUT/WIDTH: Bone/45mm FINGERBOARD: Indian rosewood or ebony (depending on date of manufacture) with pearloid dot inlays, 240mm (9.5”) radius FRETS: 22, narrow jumbo HARDWARE: Nickel tune-o-matic anchored 6-saddle bridge and stop tailpiece, 18:1 ratio closed die-cast tuners STRING SPACING, BRIDGE: 54mm ELECTRICS: 2x Guild LB-1 humbuckers, 2x volume, 2x tone, 3-way pickup selector toggle switch WEIGHT (kg/lb): 3.4/7.11 OPTIONS: None RANGE OPTIONS: None LEFT-HANDERS: No FINISHES: Cherry Red (as reviewed), Shoreline Mist Selectron UK 01795 419460 www.guildguitars.com PROS This reboot of a throwback offers sweet looks, tonal versatility, and one of the most playable 12-string necks we’ve encountered CONS There’s really nowt worth grumbling about…

6 min.
golden era

This year marks the 50th birthday of the legendary Californian amp builder Mesa Engineering, founded by amp hot-rodder Randall Smith, who profoundly influenced the electric guitar universe with a steady stream of game-changing innovations developed from the original cascaded gain Boogie amplifier series. As if the Boogie wasn’t enough, Mesa precipitated another paradigm shift in the early 1990s with the creation of the Dual Rectifier, which quickly became the benchmark for modern rock guitar tone, imitated by practically every digital modelling plug-in ever since. We’d hazard a guess that most people’s concept of a Mesa amplifier would include lots of functions and dozens of switches and knobs. However, from time to time, Mesa has tested the market with simpler stripped-down niche designs that draw on the brand’s heritage as the original…

1 min.
mesa engineering california tweed 1x12 combo

PRICE: £2,550 ORIGIN: USA TYPE: Valve preamp, power amp OUTPUT: 40W RMS, switchable to 30, 20, 10 and 2W VALVES: 5x 12AX7, 1x 12AT7, 4x 6V6 DIMENSIONS: 490 (h) x 580 (w) x 265mm (d) WEIGHT (kg/lb): 22/49 CABINET: Birch ply LOUDSPEAKER: 1x12”Jensen Blackbird Alnico CHANNELS: 1 CONTROLS: Gain, bass, mid, treble, presence, master volume, reverb, Multi-Watt selector FOOTSWITCH: Standard latching 1-button footswitch (not supplied) toggles reverb effect ADDITIONAL FEATURES: Multi-watt power switching, offering 5 choices of power, wiring and operating class, from 40W down to 2W. Series effects loop, spring reverb, extension speaker jacks OPTIONS: A wide range of finish options is available – contact dealer for details RANGE OPTIONS: The California Tweed is also available in head format (£2,275) with matching 1x12 and 2x12 cabinets at £799 and £1,199 respectively Westside Distribution 0844 326 2000 www.mesaboogie.com PROS Off-the-scale tone and response – a fitting…

8 min.
little & large

Available only through a select range of Takamine dealers, the company’s Collectors’ Series represents a special-edition run of hand-crafted instruments that have been fashioned by a small and select team of skilled luthiers. We count seven models in the current series, which ranges from the two you see here through to the nylon-string H8SS (£1,549), the dreadnought-sized CP5DCO-AD (£2,199), right up to the most opulent member of the magnificent seven, the abalone-encrusted Gifu-Cho NEX (£2,599). As you can see from the prices shown here, Takamine hasn’t aimed this particular series at hedge fund managers and their like, but is quietly offering up some premium limited-edition models that will appeal to the everyman budget. Good on ’em, we say. In many ways, our two models couldn’t be more different. The CP771MC-SB is…