Christmas is now being smelled,
felt and even celebrated around us, so at Guitars
Exchange we have made a list of juicy gifts for you to give to someone
else, or to keep for yourself, because we know that this year you have all
behaved marvellously well; at least those of you who are part of our family of more
than 61,000 crazy devotees of the six strings. Thank you all! We leave you with
a small selection of items that seem pretty ‘Christmassy’ to us.
It is the time of the year when you want to give yourself that little bit of extra pleasure that you never normally do. You know that ‘your thing’ is the Les Paul sound and you know quite a lot about Telecasters and Strats or vice versa... Well, perhaps it's time to try other types of guitars and sounds. Here we suggest four options. The first is that you give a ‘big’ guitar a go; and so that you do not back out because you fear a possible problem playing one live we recommend one of the most beautiful guitars on the market: The Epiphone BB King Lucille.
The second option is from the German brand Duesenberg, of which we have already spoken to you before, because it is imposing itself little by little all over the world. Do you want to find out why? Well here you have one of its classics at a price that is more than reasonable. Find out why Gibson and Fender fear a great competitor with this guitar.
As a third option we chose something beautiful, versatile and economical. Featuring the ergonomic body carve standard across the Fusion-III series from Harley Benton, this model boast a thrillingly flexible pickup configuration of Humbucker-Single coil-Humbucker. The humbucker circuit even includes a coil split function; there’s almost no kind of electric guitar tone this model can’t achieve.
Finally, the last suggestion comes from Fender but from within what was once one of its greatest rivals. We are talking about Gretsch and its 'Tennessee Rose'. Perhaps the moment of your life has come when you have to discover that there are sounds beyond the single coil, the usual humbuckers and the guitars with classic lines because this also serves up the most powerful rock you can imagine.
We assume that you are no longer one of those who believe that the sound of your guitar comes from just that alone, and that of course you do not go around with a 2,000 euro guitar plugged directly into the line... Well, here are three options that will make your guitar a better instrument. The first has been included because of its small size and weight. The Vox VT40X is a tremendously manageable and transportable amplifier from which you can get pretty decent sounds for a very reasonable price. If you want mobility, take a look.
Pete Townshend persuaded Jim Marshall to create the first 100-watt guitar amp: the Model 1959 Super Lead. Marshall’s SV20C Studio Vintage is specifically designed to capture the 1959 sound in a compact 20-watt combo. Due to its weight and measures, it’s a practical gigging companion, with enough output to hold its own against all but the loudest drummers, so we have opted for it above all the others in its range.
Finally, we recommend Fender’s authentic jewel, the 57 Custom Deluxe. Three potentiometers, 12 watts and above all the Eminence Special Design speaker makes us break into cold sweats when we talk about it.
Maybe you started your journey with the guitar with an electric or a Spanish guitar, or perhaps you have not used your first acoustic guitar for so long that not even the best luthier in the world can give it back its old luster. Well remember, it's Christmas and you deserve something new. We therefore suggest three options. The first is quite incredible because of its price. Years ago the price of an acoustic guitar with Fishman and solid top was perhaps always 'too much money for me'. Now Harley Benton offers you those features for less than 200 euros.
The second option has been one of our favorites for years. It is true that they sell it to you as a quality guitar for beginners but we believe that it is also a great option for professionals. While it is true that it does not emit as much sound as its older sister, the Taylor Big baby does offer a wonderful sound and balance between treble, medium and bass that make it a great acoustic guitar below 500 euros.
Finally, if you are an Arab sheikh, a corrupt city councilor or if you have finally won the lottery, it is time that instead of squandering your money on pension plans you really invest in something beautiful and special like the Gibson Hummingbird Custom Koa, a guitar that we have never tried and perhaps will never try but we have included it here because Christmas is a great time to let our dreams overpower us.
In this section we have not suggested anything that is not good value. So first we will put forward the Proco Rat; a pedal that for quality/price we always strongly recommend. With it you can play anything from blues to metal simply by adjusting your potentiometers.
The second option is the limited edition of the Fulltone OCD, a pedal that is already starting to see its price inflate in the collector forums of those looking for early versions, and which is still a key part of the pedal boards of thousands of professional guitarists all over the world. It is certainly another sure bet.
Finally, if you have plenty of overdrives and distortions now is perhaps the time to play a little with all the possibilities offered by the Electro Harmonix POG 2, which is much more than an octave pedal, and with which you can produce the sound of anything, from a 12 string to a church organ.
We add this section mainly for the professional guitarist who at this time probably has a pile of extra concerts lined up, with so many Christmas parties. The solution to your problems may be to leave your amplifier at home and make music directly through these preamps. We have already talked about Vox VM50 around here. The headstock of half a kilogram of weight with a great sound that fits well with any pedals you want to add to your signal.
The other two that we suggest are in pedal format. One, the DSM & Humboldt Silver Linings preamp, is a novelty that we found very interesting and versatile.
The other is the AMT 11A. Both can not make you forget the 57 Custom Deluxe of which we have spoken before, because they can fit on your pedal rack or in the cover of your guitar… suck on that Fender!
Finally we recommend a few essential things for the care of your guitars because the end of the year is a good time for you to give them a good check over, so you can start the year with the guitar perfectly adjusted or, at least, clean. These are tools that probably many of you have and have accumulated over the years but now the people from Fender offer you well presented and packaged in their Fender Custom Shop tool Kit.
Two essential accessories in one (and for less than 10€!). Is there anything more important for a musician than being in tune and being able to keep time?
Finally, an ‘authentic multi-use key pass’ that if you have it with you, will take away more than one displeasure if you have any problem with your guitar before or during a concert.