Acoustic Guitars en Review: Alvarez 50th Anniversary Grateful Dead Series Guitars — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In the history of modern music, few bands have captured as many hearts and inspired entire generations like the Grateful Dead. </p> <p>Alvarez, which has had a long-standing friendship with band members Bob Weir and the late Jerry Garcia, has commemorated the group's 50th anniversary by releasing its new Grateful Dead series of guitars—a stunning, limited-edition line. </p> <p>As <em>Guitar World</em> Tech Editor Paul Riario says in the demo video below, these new guitars are fun to play and look great—but they'll also most likely wind up as collector's items. </p> <p>"They're perfect guitars to hang in your man cave," Riario adds. "They're also great for strumming along to 'Ripple' as you're sipping Ripple."</p> <p>Grateful Dead enthusiasts will appreciate the artwork on the tops of the guitars, which is screen-printed using a blend of traditional and modern printing techniques; all guitarists will appreciate the fine construction, playability and tone of these guitars. </p> <p>Each model features a solid A-grade Western red cedar top, screen printed under a flawless satin finish. Other appointments include custom mother-of-pearl inlays, a rosewood fingerboard and bi-level bridge and 12th fret lightning bolt inlay. Both models are constructed using Alvarez's FST2M hand-finished, forward-shifted, scalloped bracing system for optimal performance and response.</p> <p>No two Grateful Dead series guitars are exactly the same, due to the design and printing process that allows the individual grain pattern and color of each top to contribute to the artwork. This process also helps create a vintage look to each instrument, as if they were made in the Sixties. </p> <p>Since every piece of wood is unique, the artwork of every top is as well, making each one of these Grateful Dead commemorative guitars a true, one of a kind collector's piece. </p> <p><strong>For more information on this series, visit <a href=""></a> and watch the videos below.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/grateful-dead">Grateful Dead</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Acoustic Nation Alvarez Grateful Dead Paul Riario The Grateful Dead Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs Videos News Gear Mon, 11 May 2015 20:47:02 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24445 at Ritchie Blackmore Shows Off His Favorite Guitars — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In the video below, former Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore—who now plies his trade with Blackmore’s Night—shows off and discusses several of his guitars.</p> <p>The video also features his wife, Candice Night, another key figure in Blackmore’s Night.</p> <p>The clip includes instruments Blackmore used during his Deep Purple and Rainbow days, including his main Fender Strat, which he says he’s played for the past 30-plus years. </p> <p>He also discusses scalloping his fretboards, a process that takes him three days to achieve, and shares a story about a luthier who undid his scalloping handiwork by replaning the fretboard to make it flat again. Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Ritchie Blackmore Acoustic Guitars Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Wed, 22 Apr 2015 19:39:15 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24359 at How to Buy an Acoustic Guitar: A Guide for the First-Time Buyer <!--paging_filter--><p>You've got the bug—you’ve decided to buy an acoustic guitar—and nothing will stop you, not even the haunted, hungry look in your children’s eyes. So you empty your bank account, raid your kids’ college fund and head down to a local house of ill repute: a music store. You’re gonna get that acoustic, practicality and your wife’s entreaties be damned. </p> <p>You navigate your way through the racks of gear and gaggle of fools trying to play the solo to “Stairway to Heaven” to find the acoustic guitar room in the far reaches of the building. </p> <p>As you close the glass doors, you take a deep breath and survey the room. Hundreds of acoustics of all sizes, shapes and colors hang, meat-like, from the walls and ceiling. You really want to take one of those lovelies home today, right now, but a sudden thought stays your trembling hands: I don’t have a clue what I’m looking for. </p> <p>My task here is to give you that clue—to ensure that prior to entering the unfriendly confines of a big, gleaming music store you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’d like in an acoustic guitar. </p> <p><strong>The Buck Stops Where?</strong><br /> Unless your dying aunt has willed you the vintage six-string that’s been gathering dust and accruing value in her attic all these years, your first question must be: How much do I want to spend? While there are respectable guitars to be had in any price range, the fact is that you do get what you pay for. And if a wily salesman convinces you that he’s got “just what you’re looking for, and it’s only a tad more expensive,” you need to be able to make an informed decision. </p> <p>If you’re a beginner or just want something to bang around on in your bedroom or at the beach, you’ll still probably want to spend at least $300 for a guitar. Anything less will almost certainly get you something that not only will be very difficult to play but will sound lousy, besides. Say you’ve got a spending ceiling of around $700. Guitars at this price range should have a solid spruce stop. Raise that to $1,200 and you’re talking about a solid- wood instrument. The word “laminate” should not appear in descriptions of guitars that cost close to or above four figures. </p> <p>Guitars in the range of $1,200 and $2,500 must get you nothing less than a pro-level instrument that you will love and never outgrow. Anything above that, and you’re in highly specialized and hand-crafted territory—a danger zone because if you buy a lemon for this kind of money nothing will ever blunt that sour feeling in your stomach. </p> <p>If you are particularly budget conscious, here are a couple of friendly suggestions. Don’t put your cash into expensive accessories—say, handtooled leather straps, or even more practical items like a high-end tuner. Instead, put all that money into the best guitar you can get. Remember that nobody in his right mind pays list price these days; discounts of ten to thirty (and often forty) percent are standard. Large music stores are no different from cut-rate clothing establishments and audio shops—they’ll use any holiday or other excuse to have a “Blowout Sales Event of the Century” that in truth won’t offer you much of a real savings. </p> <p><strong>Choosing Your Weapon</strong><br /> There is no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to choosing a guitar. Bigger does not always mean better, and the popularity of a particular guitar does not necessarily mean that it’s for you. Acoustics come in all shapes and sizes, and (this should be your mantra) what someone else finds appealing may not be right for you. </p> <p>The traditional workhorse of acoustic guitars is the dreadnought, of which the Martin D-28 is the standard bearer. Powerful, versatile and extremely coollooking, this model has graced countless recordings and is the classic rock acoustic guitar. The D-28’s success over the years has spawned countless imitations, good and bad. Pick one out, give it a few good strums and then go on to something with a different look, feel and sound—a small guitar, like a Grand Concert size Taylor, a jumbo Gibson or an Ovation Adamas. Even if you can’t afford any of these instruments, playing them will give you at least an idea of the kind of guitar you’re most comfortable with. </p> <p><strong>Set Up, Man</strong><br /> Obviously, whatever guitar you ultimately choose must be comfortable to play. If the action is too high—the strings are too far from the fretboard— your fingers will pay a price, and it may be an indication that the neck is bowed. Look for low, even action up and down the fretboard, with the strings slightly higher at the 12th fret. Check for fret buzz by playing chords and single notes at different spots on the neck. Some pro players like their action higher for a clearer, punchier sound, but if you are a beginner or an electric player buying your first acoustic, you will probably find light strings and a low action to be more suited to your needs. </p> <p>You may have heard players discuss how good or bad the “intonation” is on a particular guitar. This refers to how well a guitar is in tune up and down the neck. The easiest way to check this is to play an open D chord and then play the same D chord at the 14th fret. If the guitar sounds out of tune up there you know it’s got a problem. </p> <p>Although tuning and other problems like fret buzz can often be alleviated with simple neck adjustments, they sometimes require more involved bridge work. The odds are that this is something you don’t want to get into when buying a brand new guitar. On the other hand, if you’ve really fallen in love with a particular instrument that needs a little work, have the dealer take care of the necessary repairs and then try the guitar again before finalizing your purchase.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Sound Decisions</strong><br /> How does one confidently access something as subjective as sound After all, a guitar whose deep bass knocks me out may strike you as being too boomy. Every guitar style—every individual guitar, really—is unique, and there are no universal guidelines for what constitutes a “good”- or “bad”- sounding guitar. Again, you are the final arbiter—it’s your money, and your ears are the only judge and jury that matter. </p> <p>The best way to really hear how a guitar sounds is to have someone else strum it as you listen from a distance of a few feet. A guitar heard from this vantage point will sound completely different than it does when you play it. </p> <p><strong>Lumber Party</strong><br /> The type, quality and combination of woods used in the construction of a guitar all help determine its tone. Entry-level models are typically made of laminated wood, which does not mature as it gets older; what you hear is what you get. Intermediate guitars, on the other hand, generally feature solid wood tops combined with laminated back and sides. And the best instruments are made of solid wood, which produce a richer and more resonant sound. </p> <p>Guitar tops are most commonly made of spruce or cedar, while standard woods for the back and sides are rosewood, mahogany and maple. Synthetic materials are also used effectively by companies like Ovation and Rainsong. </p> <p><strong>Spruce</strong> - The most common choice for an acoustic guitar top. It has a very good strength-to-weight ratio that makes it possible for the top to be relatively thin yet still be strong and very resonant. Spruce tops can take whatever you dish out and will remain responsive even when played very hard. Spruce is perfect for strumming and flatpicking styles. </p> <p><strong>Cedar</strong> - You will recognize a cedar top because it has a darker color than spruce and has a slight reddish hue. Cedar responds nicely to a light attack, and is an excellent choice for fingerpicking and lowered tension tunings. Because it is softer and not as strong as spruce, cedar can be overdriven if played too hard, causing the sound to compress and lose some integrity. </p> <p><strong>Rosewood </strong>- This darkcolored wood imparts a deep warmth and complex richness to the tone of a guitar. Brazilian rosewood is the holy grail of tone woods and is much prized by luthiers and players alike. The scarcity of Brazilian, however, makes it very expensive. Indian rosewood has similar timbre qualities but is not as striking visually. </p> <p><strong>Mahogany</strong> - This is an excellent wood that falls in the middle of the tonal spectrum, imparting a bright and warm sound with sweet highs. </p> <p><strong>Maple</strong> - A maple body will produce a bright, dry tone with a very clear, well-defined high end. Quilted or tiger maple can be quite dramatic visually. </p> <p><strong>Synthetics</strong> – Although synthetic guitars will never totally replace the wooden variety, they have been around for decades and are quite popular. Ovation uses a fiberglass composite for the body and sides of its rounded body guitars, combined with a solid wood top, while Rainsong produces instruments made mostly of graphite. In general, synthetic guitars are less susceptible than wood to climatic changes and offer distinctive tonal characteristics. On the other hand, they tend not to improve with age. </p> <p><strong>Beauty Marks</strong><br /> Most acoustic guitars feature clear, natural finishes. Sunbursts and other colors have their unique appeal, but be aware that a heavier finish may hinder the sound. Look for a translucent finish through which you can see the wood grain. </p> <p>Mother-pearl-inlays, herringbone trim, gold-plated tuners and other decorative options certainly can add to the beauty of a guitar, but they do not necessarily make it a better instrument. On the other hand, if having your name inlaid on the fretboard makes you think you sound better, it might be worth looking into. </p> <p><em>Footnote: Some of the best-sounding acoustic guitars I’ve ever played were also the ugliest.</em> </p> <p><strong>Shop Talk</strong><br /> There are advantages to buying at a large national chain or regional music store. On the one hand, they usually carry a large selection of guitars and are well stocked. On the other hand, they are less likely to carry unusual or so-called “boutique”—extremely high-end—instruments. </p> <p>Specialty acoustic guitar shops offer very specific advantages, such as knowledgeable sales staffers who are more likely to spend a lot of time with you, as well as a wide selection of guitars with everything from drool-worthy boutique items to tried.</p> Acoustic Nation News Gear Acoustic Guitars Blogs Gear Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:10:12 +0000 Chris Gill 24310 at The Guitar Drum, a New Percussive Acoustic Guitar Device — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Check out this clip of guitarist Lenny Hatch demoing his creation, the Guitar Drum. </p> <p>Here’s some info from the Guitar Drum’s official wbesite: </p> <p>"The Guitar Drum was created when Lenny needed a cajon but he didn't have one. </p> <p>"He was also getting into percussive guitar playing and he thought it would be more convenient to have one on his guitar. After looking for one on the Internet, he didn’t find what he was looking for. So he set out to create the drum as you see it today."</p> <p>The Guitar Drum gives players an elevated pad for bass sounds or can serve as a scratch plate. The device also can serve as a snare mechanism for more consistent snare sounds. </p> <p>What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!</p> <p>Find out more about the Guitar Drum at <a href=""></a>. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation The Guitar Drum Accessories Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Videos News Gear Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:30:28 +0000 Acoustic Nation 23840 at Alpaca's Carbon Fiber Travel Guitar Is Built to Withstand the Elements — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Vermont-based news channel WPTZ (where my late-Nineties girlfriend used to work!) <a href="">recently published a feature</a> on the Alpaca carbon fiber travel guitar, a "special guitar made to withstand the elements."</p> <p>As always, we thought we'd share!</p> <p>"It can actually be put in the water, and then taken out and played, and be done again the next day. It is impervious to water," Alpaca Guitar Co. founder and designer Chris Duncan <a href="">told WPTZ.</a></p> <p>Duncan says it can also stand up to extreme temperatures that would destroy a wooden guitar. The Alpaca can also take bumps, whacks and various impacts.</p> <p>"We don't really know to what extent. We don't drop them on purpose any more. So, we know they will take a blow," Duncan said.</p> <p>Company literature adds that the Alpaca is a go-anywhere "adventure guitar." It is made (in Vermont, of course) of carbon fiber, flax fabric and bio-derived resins. This combination produces a lightweight and strong instrument with a resonant sound.</p> <p>"The Alpaca will handle anything a good adventure brings; dirt, water, bumps and bruises. An embedded daisy chain on the back provides a strong universal attachment to any of your outdoor gear," the company says.</p> <p><strong>For more about Alpaca guitars, watch the video below and visit <a href=""></a> For the WPTZ story, which features WPTZ's own video, head <a href="">here.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=658450&amp;show_artwork=false"></iframe></p> Alpaca Guitar Co. News Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs News Gear Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:04:10 +0000 Damian Fanelli 23652 at Ben Woods' Flamenco-Metal “Tarantula” — Presented by Guitar Salon International <!--paging_filter--><p>Get ready for some flying fingers!</p> <p>Here's Ben Woods playing his composition, "Tarantula," on a 2014 Ethan Deutsch flamenco negra with pegs recorded for <a href="">Guitar Salon International.</a></p> <p>A lovely guitar and some mad virtuosic flamenco-metal chops. What more could you ask for?</p> <p>Woods is a true master flamenco guitarist and innovator. Best known for his unique and virtuosic flamenco-metal style, He plays many music and guitar festivals, clinics and concerts around the world. Woods’ acoustic arrangements of rock/metal/surf/flamenco material add an interesting spin.</p> <p>Woods has had the honor of performing with some of the world’s best flamenco singers and dancers, including Rafael de Utrera of Paco de Lucia and Vicente Amigo group, Pastora Galvan from the Galvan family dynasty, Jose Anillo and more. </p> <p>He’s also performed with many well-known stars of rock and metal music including Steve Steves of Billy Idol, Marty Friedman, Glen Drover of Testament and King Diamond, Sean Reinert of Cynic and Death, Marc Rizzo of Soulfly, Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde and more. </p> <p>Woods has released a music book titled <em>Metal Classics for Fingerstyle Guitar</em> published by Hal Leonard, 14 albums on his own, two of which were licensed and sold in Costco Stores internationally.</p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Ben Woods Guitar Salon Guitar Salon International Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs Videos News Tue, 31 Mar 2015 01:53:43 +0000 Acoustic Nation 23835 at PRS Guitars Introduces New SE Alex Lifeson Thinline Acoustic — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>PRS Guitars is pleased to continue its relationship with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson with the announcement of its all-new SE thinline acoustic signature model. </p> <p>From the company:</p> <p>The SE Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic is a road-worthy guitar for players in need of a stage- and studio-ready instrument.</p> <p>Carrying over its unique appointments from the Private Stock Alex Lifeson acoustic, this model features a thinner body depth than PRS’s standard Angelus model and the “Birds in Flight” inlay design.</p> <p> "I was very pleased when PRS presented me with my SE Angelus acoustic, a beautiful guitar of stunning quality," Lifeson says. "It was in response to the challenge of building a guitar that shared the integrity and attention to detail that the Alex Lifeson Private Stock Angelus possesses in a package more broadly accessible. </p> <p>"The SE Alex Lifeson Thinline is that model. Carefully selected materials, expert craftsmanship and a smart approach to concept resulted in a guitar that is beautiful to look at and rewarding to play."</p> <p>As with all SE Series guitars, the Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic is a quality instrument and a great value. The guitar’s thinner body provides an added level of comfort for players and boasts PRS’s Hybrid X/Classical bracing pattern, which gives this guitar a resonance and warmth not found in some thinline models. </p> <p>The addition of an undersaddle pickup with both volume and tone controls gives this guitar a warm acoustic tone when amplified. To hear the SE Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic in action and for complete specifications, visit <a href=""></a></p> <p>This announcement is timed with Rush’s R40 LIVE 40th Anniversary Tour, which will be visiting 34 cities throughout North America this summer beginning May 8 in Tulsa, Oklahome, and finishing August 1 in Los Angeles. For a complete list of dates, visit <a href=""></a>. Be sure to use #R40 to follow the tour.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/rush">Rush</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Alex Lifeson News PRS Guitars Rush Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs Videos News Gear Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:54:52 +0000 Guitar World Staff 23748 at Maple’s Musical Revival: Taylor Guitars Introduces Inspired New 600 Series — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Taylor Guitars is known for advancing the design of the acoustic guitar, setting a modern course for playability, tone and style. </p> <p>In 2014, the company unveiled a comprehensive redesign of its flagship rosewood/spruce 800 Series, adding to its legacy as one of Taylor’s most popular acoustic offerings. </p> <p>This year, Taylor has applied the same vision to its maple 600 Series, connecting maple’s rich musical history with its stable environmental outlook as an important tonewood of the future. </p> <p>The new 600 Series guitars elicit the best of the inherent tonal properties of maple. In 2014, Master Builder Andy Powers began to experiment with how far bracing, thickness, finish and new seasoning processes like torrefaction, a wood-roasting method, could enhance maple’s tone profile. </p> <p>“I wanted playing a maple guitar to be a more gratifying all-around experience,” he says. “I wanted a tone that was richer, more complex, with longer sustain, without giving up the linearity that I like about maple as a builder.” The result is a warmer, more dynamic and more responsive instrument with more broadly appealing tonal properties than any maple guitar before it.</p> <p>As with the 800 Series, Powers re-imagined each component of the maple 600s. Notable design innovations include: </p> <p><strong>Customized Wood Thicknesses and Bracing</strong>: The top and back thicknesses have been specially gauged for each body shape. Powers also optimized the bracing for each shape. The backs feature new maple-specific bracing profiles and patterns to enhance the responsiveness. As a result, he says, “the backs of these guitars work a lot like an archtop guitar or a violin if you were to delete its soundpost. These braces allow the back to move in a much warmer, stronger way."</p> <p><strong>Torrefaction</strong>: This carefully controlled, high-temperature roasting process is applied to the Sitkaspruce tops to give a new guitar an aged or played-in sound. By aging the wood on a molecular level, torrefaction makes the top warmer and more responsive. “There’s less resistance in the wood,” Powers says. “As a result, it allows a more efficient energy transfer from the strings. A new piece of wood has quite a bit of resistance to moving. It’s not used to vibrating at a high frequency like that. An aged or played-in top is just waiting to be set in motion."</p> <p><strong>Hand-Rubbed Color and Finish</strong>: Not only do the new 600s feature the same ultra-thin 3.5-mil clear gloss finish developed for the 800 Series, the maple back and sides boast an additional breakthrough: the inclusion of a proprietary hand-rubbed color application process that adds no additional thickness to the finish. The stain enhances maple’s visual aesthetic without causing any damping in the natural movement of the guitar body, helping to boost the tonal projection and sustain. The new color, “Brown Sugar,” complements the slightly darker color of the spruce tops, a result of the torrefaction process. </p> <p><strong>Expression System 2 Pickup:</strong> The acoustic voicing enhancements designed for the 600 Series translate into amplified form with Taylor’s new Expression System 2 (ES2) electronics. The ES2 incorporates three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. These are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge and effectively capture more of each guitar’s dynamic properties and acoustic energy. </p> <p><strong>First World Tonewood:</strong> Maple is a tonewood that can be harvested specifically for instruments in the U.S., a project that longtime tonewood partner Steve McMinn of Pacific Rim Tonewoods is undertaking. Given its geographical location, maple grows in politically and economically stable environments and is considered to be “conflict free” and well-managed. This is important to Taylor co-founder, Bob Taylor. “Now and in the future, maple forests will be among the healthiest and most sustainable sources of instrument wood,” he says. “This is a species from our own backyard that can be formed into world-class instruments for generations to come."</p> <p><strong>The new 600 Series is available in the 614ce (Grand Auditorium), 616ce (Grand Symphony), 618ce (Grand Orchestra) and 656ce (12-String Grand Symphony). To locate a Taylor dealer, visit <a href=""></a> For more news from Taylor Guitars, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation March Madness Taylor Guitars Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos News Gear Wed, 18 Mar 2015 11:17:14 +0000 Guitar World Staff 23745 at Review: Taylor Guitars 618e — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>PLATINUM AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>Maple is the tonewood of choice for the back and sides of most acoustic archtop and jazz guitars, but relatively few flattop guitar models have maple bodies. </p> <p>Part of the reason is that attributes like impressive volume projection, bright treble and exceptional individual note definition that make maple ideal for an archtop are not always ideal for traditional flattop acoustic tones. However, these problems are less the fault of the materials and more due to construction techniques. </p> <p>Simply put, bracing patterns and other construction details that work fine with rosewood or mahogany backs and sides aren’t always ideal when the back and sides are made of maple. </p> <p>Maple has enjoyed popularity as a tonewood for jumbo flattops, but most players generally prefer these instruments for strumming loud rhythms and little else (which is why maple jumbos have been the flattop of choice for players from Elvis Presley to Pete Townshend). Taylor’s 618e Grand Orchestra model can be a big, bold and loud sound cannon that is certainly ideal for these applications, but it’s much more well-rounded, sweeter and warmer sounding as well thanks to construction refinements developed by master builder Andy Powers. As a result, it’s one of the most versatile jumbo flattop acoustics available on the market today. </p> <p><strong>FEATURES</strong> Measuring 16 3/4 inches across the widest part of the lower bout and five inches deep, the 618e is a big guitar indeed, but thanks to its slim upper bout and surprisingly light weight it’s not unwieldy or uncomfortable to play. In addition to maple back and sides, materials include a torrefied Sitka spruce top, hard rock maple neck, striped ebony pickguard and ebony fretboard, bridge and headstock overlay. The nut is Tusq and measures 1 3/4 inches wide, and the saddle is made of micarta. The ebony/grained ivoroid/abalone rosette and grained ivoroid winged fretboard inlays give the 618e upscale appearance that is classic and understated yet undeniably deluxe.</p> <p>The neck has a 25 1/2–inch scale, 20 frets and a slim, somewhat flat C-shaped profile that is very comfortable to play. The ultra-thin gloss finish, which measures 3.5 mils or less and was introduced last year on Taylor’s 800 series guitars, is now featured on this model as well, and, in conjunction with the protein glues used for the 618e’s construction, minimizes damping and enhances resonance. The back and sides are also finished with a thin, hand-rubbed “Brown Sugar” stain that is a rich, milk chocolate brown color.</p> <p>Taylor also outfitted the 618e with their acclaimed new Expression System 2 electronics. Controls consist of side-mounted master volume, tone and bass knobs, and the piezo pickup crystals are actually located behind the saddle instead of directly underneath it to provide warmer, more natural-sounding acoustic tone when amplified. Taylor also increased the output gain of the preamp to make the system more compatible with mixing consoles, mic preamps and other amplification gear.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE</strong> The best word to describe the sound of classic maple-body jumbo flattops is “donut,” as the middle is basically empty. However, the Taylor 618e delivers rich, warm and fat midrange thanks to Andy Powers’ newly developed back bracing profile—an important feature that many flattop builders ignore or overlook. The torrefied top also helps by providing the responsive dynamics and mellow tonal characteristics of an aged top. While the attack is still brilliant and fast, it’s not harsh like many maple jumbo flattops can be. With its impressive volume output, ideal balance across the entire frequency range, reverb-like resonance and stellar individual note definition, the 618e is the acoustic guitar equivalent of a grand piano. It’s the perfect choice for guitarists who prefer to play unplugged but want more tonal complexity than the average jumbo flattop offers.</p> <p>Taylor’s Expression System 2 ensures that all of the 618e’s finest natural acoustic attributes are retained when the guitar is amplified. There’s really no need for the multi-band graphic EQ sliders found on most other acoustic-electrics as the guitar already sounds good on its own, and the piezos capture the guitar’s natural sound in impressive detail. Should you need a little extra bite for playing rhythm in a band or a touch more bass for added warmth when playing solo fingerstyle, the single tone knob should meet the needs of most players. </p> <p><strong>CHEAT SHEET</strong><br /> <strong>LIST PRICE</strong> $3,798.00<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> Taylor Guitars, <a href=""></a></p> <p>A new back bracing profile and the torrefied Sitka spruce top enhance midrange and resonance, making the 618e sound fuller than other jumbo flattops.</p> <p>The ultra-thin finish measures less than 3.5 mils thick, allowing the tonewoods to vibrate with maximum dynamics and responsiveness.</p> <p>The maple back and sides feature a hand-rubbed “Brown Sugar” stain that provides the warm appearance of mahogany or rosewood.</p> <p>Taylor’s Expression System 2 incorporates piezo crystals mounted behind the saddle instead of directly underneath it to provide more natural acoustic sound.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong> With its ample volume output, balanced frequency response, thick midrange, and sweet resonance, the Taylor 618e is by far the most versatile jumbo maple flattop ever made.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> April 2015 News Taylor Guitars Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs Videos News Gear Magazine Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:41:37 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario 23598 at Breedlove Guitars Announces Updates to Studio Series for 2015 — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Breedlove Stringed Instruments is proud to present the 2015 Studio Series, designed and quality checked in Bend, Oregon.</p> <p>Designed for recorded acoustic guitar performances, the Studio series captures all the sparkling detail and nuance of your performance. The figured maple back and sides offer a clear, precise tone that rises above the mix. </p> <p>The Studio series is available in a concert, dreadnought and 12-string option. All have a new updated burst, and the concert and 12-string are equipped with the Breedlove Bridge Truss. </p> <p>The BBT is mounted to the bridge from the inside and is connected into the tail block of the guitar, pulling downward on the underside of the bridge to distribute some of the tension, relieving pressure on the top. The resulting tonal effect on BBT-equipped guitars is more resonance and livelier sound with enhanced overtones. </p> <p>The most exciting update for 2015 is the new pickup system. The Studio series is now equipped with the Fishman INK3 USB system. </p> <p>This onboard preamp features a Sonicore pickup, three-band EQ, chromatic tuner and a low battery LED. It also has a USB that allows for quick access and recording straight from your guitar to your favorite recording software. Additional appointments include an elegant abalone rosette, ivoroid binding and sparkling mother of pearl offset dots inlayed along the fretboard. </p> <p>All models include come with a deluxe foamshell gigbag and come with D’Addario strings. </p> <p><strong>Full specs:</strong></p> <p>• Solid Sitka spruce top<br /> • Laminate figured maple back and sides<br /> • Graduated top<br /> • Mahogany neck<br /> • Ivoroid binding<br /> • Indian rosewood fretboard<br /> • Pinless bridge<br /> • Breedlove bridge truss in Concert body<br /> • D’Addario strings<br /> • Fishman INK3 USB electronics<br /> • Deluxe foamshell case<br /> • Crafted in Korea</p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Breedlove March Madness News Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs News Gear Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:25:16 +0000 Guitar World Staff 23713 at Martin Guitar Receives Patent for Neck-to-Body Joint Router System <!--paging_filter--><p>C. F. Martin &amp; Co. announced it has received a patent for its guitar-neck-joint router system, originally introduced in 2012. </p> <p>Created and spearheaded by Theresa Hoffman, engineering project manager at Martin, the machine is a complex combination of measuring sensors, a scanning probe, aluminum tooling and three different cutting tools. </p> <p>The patented router system uses a scanning probe to measure critical areas of the guitar body and neck. The measurements are then compared to optimal neck fit settings required to obtain a perfect neck fit. </p> <p>The system will calculate the adjustments required for the proper setup for bridge height and neck centering and machines areas on the body to create perfectly matched parts. The system machines the fingerboard and heel areas on the body as well as the final dovetail dimensions, thereby providing a tighter neck joint, enhanced tone and improved playability. </p> <p>“We are proud to receive a patent for one of our technology systems,” said Chris Martin IV, Martin Guitar’s CEO and chairman. “Throughout Martin’s 182-year history, our skilled team of engineers and researchers have perfected the marriage of our traditions in craftsmanship with innovative thinking to produce new processes for the next era of guitar-building. This patent exemplifies that spirit.”</p> <p><strong>For more about Martin, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> Acoustic Nation C. F. Martin & Co Martin Martin Guitars News Gear Acoustic Guitars Blogs News Gear Wed, 11 Mar 2015 17:48:12 +0000 Guitar World Staff 23707 at Joe Bonamassa Plays 1919 Gibson Style U Harp Guitar — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Followers of <a href="">Joe Bonamassa's Facebook page</a> know the gear-loving guitarist likes to shoot quick, spur-of-the-moment videos backstage at his shows.</p> <p>These videos usually show him playing rare, oddball or just plain insane stringed instruments. As evidenced below!</p> <p>In one of his latest (although not <em>the</em> latest) backstage videos, Bonamassa is playing a 1919 Gibson Style U harp guitar.</p> <p>"Some backstage fun with a 1919 Gibson Style U harp guitar," Bonamassa wrote on his harp-guitar Facebook post from March 3. "Please keep in mind it was recorded on an iPad and not in Abbey Road Studios. Enjoy!"</p> <p>Harp guitars like this one (we're not sure if it belongs to Bonamassa, who has a lot of rare guitars—and a lot of rare-guitar-owning buddies, it seems) are early relatives modern doubleneck guitars, offering two stringed instruments in one, even though it's played as a single instrument. The top neck sports 10 sub-bass strings (earlier versions had 12 sub-bass strings).</p> <p>For more information on these guitars, visit <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a> (<a href="">You might as well try here too.</a>)</p> <div id="fb-root"></div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="" data-width="620"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="">Post</a> by <a href="">Joe Bonamassa</a>.</div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/joe-bonamassa">Joe Bonamassa</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Gibson Joe Bonamassa News Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs Videos News Gear Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:14:42 +0000 Damian Fanelli 23675 at Ibanez JS25ART Guitars Offer a Chance to Own Original Joe Satriani Artwork — and Great Instruments <!--paging_filter--><p>For longtime Ibanez fan <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SatchArtGuitars">(and current Guitar World cover star)</a> Joe Satriani, sketching and drawing have always been as much of a creative outlet as his game-changing, guitar-driven rock music. </p> <p>These two different hemispheres of his artistry converge beautifully in Ibanez’s new, limited 25th anniversary edition of Joe’s iconic signature JS guitar, the JS25ART. The body of each guitar bears a full color illustration, hand drawn by Satriani himself. </p> <p>Each one is different and there are only 50 of them, 25 of which are slated for sale in the U.S. Offering a unique opportunity to be a guitar collector and art collector all in one, this very special JS edition commemorates the birth of Satriani’s Ibanez signature model 25 years ago. </p> <p>“Ibanez approached me and asked if I’d do something special for the 25th anniversary,” Satriani recalls. </p> <p>“They didn’t know what I was going to do, but I decided to illustrate some guitars myself. The idea took a lot of setup, because I had to figure out, ‘Am I going to paint them or use pens? What would the process be? Could I erase?’ So I wound up using these color pens. I spent about a week down in L.A. late in 2014 doing the illustrations and it was a lot of fun. But it was intense. With the pens, you can’t really put color on color. Nor can you erase. Some of the ones I did are more detailed; others are just line drawings. They’re all signed.” </p> <p>Technically speaking, the JS25ART embodies all the design refinements distilled over Satriani’s quarter century of collaboration with Ibanez. This includes a maple, JS Prestige neck with hand-rolled fret edges, Satriani’s signature DiMarzio pickups (the Satch Track and Mo’ Joe), a hi-pass filter on the volume pot, a coil tap on the tone pot and a low-profile Edge tremolo bridge. </p> <p>Longtime fans of Satriani’s visual art many recognize some of the bizarre faces and characters depicted on some of the guitars. Many of these characters are soon to come to life in an animated sci-series, tentatively titled <em>Crystal Planet,</em> that Satch is working on with fretless guitarist and digital animator Ned Evett.</p> <p><strong><em>Below, be sure to check out our comprehensive photo gallery of all of Ibanez's current signature Satch guitars, including electrics and acoustics!</em></strong></p> <p><strong>For more about Satch's signature Ibanez electric guitars, <a href=";cat_id=1&amp;series_id=27">head here</a>. For more about his acoustic models, <a href=";cat_id=3&amp;series_id=81">head here.</a> For more about Ibanez Guitars, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SatchArtGuitars">Remember Satch is on the cover of the new April 2015 issue of GW! It's available now!</a></em></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> April 2015 Ibanez Joe Satriani Acoustic Guitars Videos Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:47:37 +0000 Alan Di Perna 23606 at Martin Introduces Ed Sheeran X Signature Edition Guitar <!--paging_filter--><p>C.F. Martin &amp; Co. and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran are teaming up for the second time to create another Signature Artist Edition guitar from the Martin Custom Shop, the Ed Sheeran X Signature Edition. </p> <p>In 2013, Martin Guitar and Sheeran unveiled their first collaboration, the LX1E Ed Sheeran Signature Edition, which sold out everywhere. </p> <p>The latest model will be available for pre-order starting February 17th. </p> <p>To find an Authorized Martin Dealer to pre-order the model, go to <a href=""></a></p> <p>Sheeran is once again donating 100% of his royalties from the sales of each guitar to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (<a href=""></a>), a UK-based charity in his hometown. The organization, whose Royal Patron is The Duchess of Cambridge, supports families and cares for young people with life-threatening conditions and provides services across several UK counties, including Suffolk, where Sheeran was raised.</p> <p>“It was a huge privilege working with the Martin team to create another Signature Edition guitar,” said Sheeran. “I’ve had the chance to bring the new model on the road with me already, and I’m excited that my fans will be able to purchase one of their own, with all the proceeds going to EACH, a charity very close to my heart.”</p> <p>Designed in collaboration with the Grammy-nominated artist and brand ambassador, the Ed Sheeran X Signature Edition features his signature “x” (Multiply) sign on the headstock and down the fretboard. The six times platinum-selling album’s logo is inlayed in solid koa on a solid spruce wood top. The model comes stage-ready, equipped with Fishman Isys T electronics, SP Lifespan Martin strings and a padded gig bag. </p> <p>“I take great pride in the relationship we have with Ed,” said Amani Duncan VP of Brand Marketing for C.F. Martin &amp; Co. “He is not only an incredible talent but also an extremely compassionate human being. Over 182 years, Martin Guitar has had the privilege of working alongside legendary Artists, and we are proud to be able to continue this long-standing tradition and musical journey with Ed Sheeran.”</p> <p>“This is the second time Ed Sheeran has launched a Martin Guitar Signature Edition in aid of EACH and we’re absolutely delighted that he has once again chosen to support us through sales of this special guitar!” said Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive. </p> <p>“The first guitar was a real success and raised a significant amount of money for the charity. We’d like to thank Ed, C.F. Martin &amp; Co, and absolutely everyone involved in the project. Ed has been an Ambassador for the charity for almost a year and has shown us tremendous support in that time, donating clothes for online auctions and paying a visit to our Treehouse hospice in Ipswich. Not only will the guitar raise much-needed funds for the charity, but will also greatly raise the profile of EACH and the vital care and support we provide to life-threatened children, young people and their families.” </p> <p>Sheeran’s career has skyrocketed since his debut album in 2011. Most recently he performed his hit “Thinking Out Loud” on the Grammy stage alongside fellow Martin Guitar ambassador John Mayer. His second album, <em>x</em> ("Multiply") debuted at number one on both the U.S. and U.K. charts. For more information on Ed Sheeran: <a href=" "> </a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Martin_Ed%20Sheeran.jpg" width="620" height="998" alt="Martin_Ed Sheeran.jpg" /></p> Acoustic Nation Martin Guitar News Gear Acoustic Guitars News Tue, 17 Feb 2015 18:05:19 +0000 Acoustic Nation 23528 at NAMM 2015: Taylor Guitars 600 Series — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Members of the <em>Guitar World</em> crew paid a visit to the Taylor Guitars booth at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.</p> <p>As you can see in the new video below, we got the run down on the company's new 600 Series guitars. That's master guitar designer (and killer guitarist) Andy Powers!</p> <p>For more about Taylor Guitars, visit <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>For more NAMM 2015 coverage, visit <a href="">'s official NAMM 2015 Zone,</a> get updates on <a href="">Facebook</a> and photos and more on <a href="">Twitter</a> and <a href="">Instagram.</a> It's like you're at the show!</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation NAMM 2015 NAMM 2015 video News Taylor Guitars Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs Videos News Gear Sat, 24 Jan 2015 15:46:27 +0000 Guitar World Staff 23360 at