Guitarist August 2018

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!

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 期号


past and future

As we put together this issue’s cover story on Gibson’s path forward (see page 74), it was impossible not to reflect on the double-edged sword of heritage. A guitar brand starting out from scratch faces the massive disadvantage of not being known to anyone. But on the other hand, you have to wonder if the great American makers such as Gibson, Martin, Fender and others don’t sometimes secretly feel like all that weight of tradition is a bit of a golden straitjacket. Every time they bring out an all-new design it’s instantly held up to the standard of past glories – and often found wanting, dooming the guitar to an ignoble demise by the wayside of history not long after. Everyone knows what a Martin D-45 looks like, today, but…

naked ambition

George Lowden actually made his first electric back in 1969 but not as a professional guitar maker: that came nearly a decade later. “That’s right, the first one I made as a professional would have been about 41 years ago,” George considers. “It’s something I never thought I’d do again; it wasn’t on my mind. It was actually [Lowden user] Ed Sheeran who gave me a bit of a nudge. It’s the way these things often work. Professional players, famous or not, the interaction between them and myself is really important. Sometimes ideas that would sit on the shelf get taken down and dusted off and that’s what happened here really. “It took me a year and a half, there was a lot to think about, but then I went away…

lowden gl-10 wa

PRICE: £2,995 (inc case) ORIGIN: Northern Ireland TYPE: Single-cutaway solidbody electric BODY: Mahogany with walnut top NECK: Five-piece mahogany w/ rosewood splices,‘C’ profile, glued-in SCALE LENGTH: 630mm (24.8”) NUT/WIDTH: Bone/43.23mm FINGERBOARD: Bound ebony, 305mm (12-inch) radius FRETS: 22, medium HARDWARE: Gotoh GE103B-T bridge with thru body stringing, Gotoh 510 tuners with ebony buttons — gold-plated STRING SPACING, BRIDGE: 51.5mm ELECTRICS: Two Lollar Imperial humbuckers, shoulder-placed three-way toggle pickup selector switch, individual pickup volumes and master tone control WEIGHT (kg/lb): 3.62/7.96 OPTIONS: Maple Neck, Mother of Pearl fretboard dot markers RANGE OPTIONS: The GL-10 is also available with Tasmanian blackwood and koa tops LEFT-HANDERS: Yes, to order FINISHES: Natural hand-rubbed oil finish Lowden Guitars 02844 619161 www.lowdenguitars.com PROS: Design, build, sounds, feel, playability. Beautifully weighted and hugely comfortable CONS: It’s no cheap date and bigger frets and a more conventional finish might broaden its appeal…

big ideas

The rise of the compact travel acoustic has been surprisingly meteoric. The two dominant American makers, Taylor and Martin, have recently enjoyed huge hits in the burgeoning market for small acoustics. For Martin, Ed Sheeran’s preference for its diminutive LX1E ‘Little Martin’ meant the company could barely keep up with demand in the wake of his commercial breakthrough. He’s had three signature models since. Meanwhile, the success of Taylor’s trailblazing Big Baby concept led to the development of its GS Mini auditorium guitar under the design vision of luthier Andy Powers. Launched in 2011, it defied expectations about how big a small guitar can sound and met with huge commercial success. Not wishing to be left out of the party, Yamaha has now entered the ring with its own take on the…

yamaha csf3m

PRICE: £586 (inc hard bag) ORIGIN: China TYPE: CSF compact folk electro acoustic TOP: Solid Sitka spruce BACK/SIDES: Solid mahogany MAX RIM DEPTH: 105mm MAX BODY WIDTH: 340mm NECK: Nato SCALE LENGTH: 600mm (23.6") TUNERS: Die-cast chrome closed NUT/WIDTH: Urea/43mm FINGERBOARD: Rosewood 406mm (16") radius FRETS: 20, medium BRIDGE/SPACING: Rosewood/55mm ELECTRICS: Yamaha SRT passive undersaddle piezo WEIGHT (kg/lb): 1.1/2.42 RANGE OPTIONS: The CSF1M (£450) has same spec but with laminate mahogany back and sides LEFT-HANDERS: No FINISHES: Natural, Tobacco Sunburst (as reviewed) PROS: Yamaha’s design skills show in a rich, surprisingly full-bodied sound from compact proportions; impressive plugged-in performance CONS: Some players heading for the stage may demand onboard EQ/level control…

rock ’n’ volas

Based in Hong Kong, and co-founded by Ryan Wong and Cho Shi Hyung, Vola guitars, which stands for the “voice of life and arts”, are made in Japan – there is limited USA ‘custom shop’ build, too, but those models aren’t currently available in the UK. Along with a range that covers traditional styles, as here, Vola leans into much more modern rock creations like the Floyd Rose-equipped Ares and Blaze X. For the most part body shapes are original and quite stylish. Here, the Oz, for example, melds an old-style Manson-type cut-out on the base with pretty conventional Ibanez-y thinner horns and the requisite altered Fender six-in-a-line headstock. If this Oz is Vola’s most Strat-alike model, the Vasti recalls the Telecaster but retains that base cut-out, with an added chamfer,…