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Guitarist Presents Acoustic: Spring

Guitarist Presents Acoustic: Spring

Guitarist Presents: Acoustic Spring 2019
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In this Winter edition of Guitarist Presents Acoustic we join David Crosby for a frank and wide-ranging interview about acoustic guitars, politics in music, the 60s and more. He's joined by the arresting talents of rising acoustic stars such as Colter Wall and Larkin & Poe in a richly Americana-themed issue plus Dire Straits superstar Mark Knopfler, who shows us his collection of vintage archtop acoustics. You'll also find an in-depth history of Takamine acoustic guitars in this packed edition, reviews of stunning new guitars from Taylor and Yamaha and much more!

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd

in this issue

1 min.
remembering renbourn

John Renbourn was one of the finest folk guitarists of his generation – and that’s saying something given that his contemporaries included acoustic luminaries such as Bert Jansch, Davey Graham and Wizz Jones. Sadly, we said goodbye to John Renbourn in 2014 – but he left behind a musical legacy that is arguably broader than some of his peers, taking in everything from laid-back JJ Cale-style ballads, such as Kokomo Blues, an echo of which you can hear in some of John Mayer’s work, to medieval influences, including arrangements of Italian manuscripts from the 15th century, which you can hear on The Lady And The Unicorn from 1970. A waft of esotericism can be heard in many of his albums, too – a searching for that ineffable magic that music…

1 min.
solid gold

John Martyn, pictured here in electric mode, remains one of Britain’s most revered songsmiths. Bullish, brilliant and, by turns, tender and fierce in his musical persona, Martyn was as mercurial as he was charismatic. For many, the high-water mark of his career was the nocturnal, beautiful Solid Air from 1973, which saw his regular foil on bass, Danny Thompson, add somnolent and atmospheric upright basslines to some of the most evocative songs ever committed to vinyl, such as Go Down Easy and the album’s title track, which was dedicated to his friend Nick Drake. As the image on this page illustrates, Martyn’s playing often straddled the border between acoustic and electric and the propulsive, ethereal sounds he created using an Echoplex tape delay, in conjunction with a magnetic DeArmond pickup…

3 min.
gas supply

Martin Modern Deluxe Series £3,649 to £4,349 CONTACT Martin Guitars WEB www.martinguitar.com Q&A What is it? Martin has taken four of its most popular standard acoustic models – the D-18, D-28 (£4,349, main image), 000-28 and OM-28 – and given them a high-end upgrade. The emphasis is on tone and volume enhancements made through selective use of advanced materials alongside the traditional tonewoods and heritagesteeped Martin features you’d expect. What kind of technology is onboard the new guitars – and what does it do? Martin is meticulously careful not to alienate traditional Martin fans when it introduces new design features, so all the technology that’s being debuted on the Modern Deluxe Series is very low-key and has quite traditional aims, such as improving volume. On that score, the distinctive ‘red-dot’ bridge pins are made of a…

1 min.
jargon crunching

VTS Stands for Vintage Tone System. This is a Martin-developed refinement of the wood roasting or torrefaction process that we’ve seen used on many electrics and acoustics recently. In Martin’s case, the company was looking to tweak the roasting process until it closely emulated the effect of several decades of ageing on the tonewoods used for guitar tops. In guitar tops, heavy cellulose material inside the cell structure of spruce degrades over time leaving the wood lighter, more resonant and structurally stable. Martin’s team argues that the industry-standard roasting techniques they tried proved too aggressive to mimic this accurately and refined the process until they achieved results that very closely emulated the gently beneficial effects of natural ageing. In other words, it’s intended to be a way of getting vintage tone…

1 min.
also out now…

PINEGROVE LEATHER STRAPS £VARIOUS There’s something really nice about slinging your favourite guitar off a high-quality, comfort-enhancing strap. You feel like a pro and sore shoulders are no longer an automatic consequence after long sessions. Pinegrove Leather makes some seriously good examples by hand in Hebden Bridge in the UK. Founder Rod Boyes, a musician himself, has been making high-end leather accessories since 2012. Prices start at £49 for the 30mm-wide GS55 strap made with 3mmthick vegetable tanned leather, with bevelled edges for comfort, adjustable with Pinegrove’s double-stud system. We also like the 60mm-wide GS61 double-padded leather strap (£55) made of oiled leather, which looks comfortable enough to hang a 70s Les Paul off without undue strain! Fancy two-tone and buckled designs are also available for a bit more gelt, as well…

1 min.
lowering the tone

I’ll quite possibly get thrown out of the Acoustic Guitar Magic Circle for telling everyone this, but sometimes you see something on another player’s pedalboard that doesn’t really make sense… until you see the way in which they use it. Let’s set the scene: you’re a solo acoustic player, up there all alone endeavouring to put across the fullest possible sound without a band to help out. In my case, the thing I thought was lacking was bass. Sure, I could tune my Fylde Falstaff down for a little more bottom-end – and I’ve tuned the bass string down to a B before now – but there’s only so far you can go on any acoustic before both tuning and intonation become a little wayward, to say the least. A chance…