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Peavey Classic 30 Amp

Summary: Great looks, great sound, and at a GREAT price!

Pros: Beautiful cleans with a sweet, airy reverb, and smooth overdrive tones

Cons: This is a nit, but I was a bit annoyed at the labeling of Pre- and Post- volume controls on the Lead channel. Why not just follow convention? It’s obvious that “Pre” is volume, and “Post” is master. But when I first saw it, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of them until I turned the amp on.

Features (from the Peavey site):

  • 30 watts (rms) into 16 or 8 ohms
  • Four EL84s and three 12AX7s
  • 12 inch Blue Marvel® speaker
  • 2-channel preamp
  • Pre- and post-gain controls on lead channel
  • Normal volume control on clean channel
  • 3-band passive EQ (bass, middle, treble)
  • Boost switch
  • Reverb level control
  • Effects loop
  • Footswitch selectable channel switching and reverb
  • External speaker capability
  • Chrome-plated chassis
  • Classic tweed covering
  • Footswitch optional (not included)
  • Weight Unpacked: 39.50 lb(17.917 kg)
  • Weight Packed: 46.00 lb(20.865 kg)
  • Width Packed: 13″(33.02 cm)
  • Depth Packed: 21.5″(54.61 cm)
  • Height Packed: 19.25″(48.895 cm)

Price: $599 street

Tone Bone Score: 5.0 ~ Even my little nit couldn’t keep this amp from getting my top score. It’s simply a great-sounding amp!

I’ve been a big proponent of: If it sounds good to you, then brand and price don’t matter. This goes back to my very first guitar, a Yamaha FG-335 Acoustic that my dad bought me for my 18th birthday. I still have that guitar. But I remember a jam about 25 years ago I was having with my brother at a party. We were sitting in our living room, and we pulled out our guitars to have a jam and singalong. When I got my guitar out of its case, my brother remarked facetiously upon seeing its worn condition, “Dude, you should turn that into a beach guitar.” I just looked at him blankly and replied, “Nope. It may not look like much, but it has a great sound. Why the f&%k would I want to trash it? I’ll never get rid of this guitar!” Ahh… brotherly competition. 🙂 But I digress…

The point of me mentioning that is that nowadays with boutique gear being all the rage with “tube” this, “mustard cap” that, “hand-wired” this, etc., it’s so easy to dismiss some excellent gear that sounds absolutely KILLER! If you can get said killer-sounding gear at a fantastic price, then that’s even better. Now I admit that I have some expensive gear, but not once have I purchased gear because of a name or because someone told me to buy something because they love it. I suppose with this blog you might accuse me of doing just that, but I always suggest people try things out for themselves before making any buying decisions. Damn! Again I digress! Let’s get on the with the review, shall we?

Fit and Finish

Talk about vintage mojo! The first time I saw this amp in a local shop, I was stunned by its looks. With its vintage-style front panel and dark brown cloth grille, and tweed covering with chrome-plated corner protectors; what’s not to like? Weight-wise, at 40 lbs, it’s not light, but it’s also not a behemoth that you can’t lug easily into a gig. And don’t let the small size of its cabinet fool you: It’s quite resonant, but more importantly, its size doesn’t make it unweildy in the slightest. Simply put, the Classic 30 just plain looks great!

How It Sounds

In my test, I used a Squier Classic Vibe Tele 50’s, a Custom Shop Strat, and a Les Paul Standard. I always start out all my tests with the amp clean, and playing finger-style. No matter what guitar I used, the cleans were absolutely spectacular. I love EL84 cleans. They’re sparkly and chimey, and the Classic 30 simply delivered that EL84 clean goodness! The single coils sounded chimey as expected, but I totally dug the cleans with the LP! Adding a bit of grease with the reverb brought out the  lush, deep tones of the Les Paul nicely. I believe the reverb is a digital reverb, but who the hell cares? It sounds incredible! I guess that’s the point I was trying to make above. If something works well, it doesn’t matter what it’s made of.

As far as overdrive is concerned, as its name implies, the Classic 30 isn’t going to get you modern high-gain overdrive tones, but there’s tons of overdrive on tap. Once I dialed in the Pre and Post volume control balances, I was able to get nice overdrive tones that weren’t at all harsh, no matter how hard I pushed the amp. Since I was in a shop, I didn’t get a chance to record clips, but here are some clips from Peavey:

Clean

Clean, Reverb

Channel 2 Flat

Channel 2 Preamp

Channel 2 Boost

As you heard, great tones out of this little beastie. Even completely dimed, you don’t get over the top overdrive, but for classic rock and blues, this is a GREAT amp. That Blue Marvel 12″ speaker works great in this cab!

Overall Impressions

At $599, this amp looks and sounds as good as many boutique amps I’ve played. I love this amp, and it’s definitely going to be added to my amp collection. 🙂 I didn’t get to try out the effects loop, but I love the fact that it has one. It just adds to its versatility. If you’re looking for a vintage-style amp for a great price, this is definitely an amp to consider!

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…to get me inspired.

I’m on vacation right now up at Clear Lake, CA. It’s one of those family vacations where we do pretty much nothing but chill out. Our resort is on the lake, and it’s absolutely gorgeous! We don’t have any plans, no itinerary; there are places to go, but we have 10 days of just clearing out our minds.

This afternoon after attending morning Mass, we headed back to our resort. The rest of the family went to the pool, while my oldest son and I hung out in our room. He was “PhotoShop-ing” some pictures, and I was just tooling around on my acoustic. I was just messing around when I came upon a chord progression that kind of stuck. So I pulled out my IK Multimedia StealthPlug (it goes everywhere with me), opened up GarageBand, laid down the chord progression, then laid down a melody with a counter-melody.

This was total stream-of-consciousness. I LOVE THAT! I told myself when I started my vacation that my aim was to chill. Not think about work, not think about stuff to do around the house, and not think about music to write. Clearing out my mind made room for some creative juices to flow. So here’s a rough cut of the song I came up with; it’s called “Down Highway 29:”

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…if I’m playing acoustic or electric guitar. I love to gig! Mind you, it’s not an ego thing. I just love performing; always have. I’ve been doing the same weekly gig at a local restaurant going on seven years, and I never get tired of it! I love it because it’s such an intimate venue; especially when I can play outdoors. As the patio is in one of the busiest areas of a fairly popular outdoor shopping mall, I get to entertain more than just the restaurant-goers. And the cool thing is if people weren’t planning to stop and have a drink or a meal, many sit and don’t leave for a couple of hours. A lot of that probably has to do with song choice, but I think a lot of that also has to do with passion.

My thought about performing is that I just do what I do, and as I love music, I put everything into it. I don’t want to give this false persona just to make people listen to me. It’s a risky proposition because there’s always this “what if people don’t like it” thought that looms in the back of my mind. But I truly believe that putting your entire soul into your performance makes a huge difference. It’s easy to tell when people are just going through the motions – their performance and how they interact with the audience seems contrived. And putting your entire self out there also helps you connect with your audience.

I suppose that what it’s all about for me: Connection. I thrive on that connection. I thrive on taking people on an emotional journey with me when I perform. When I do my solo gig, I flip through my song book, not looking for charts, but to see what’s appeals to me emotionally. Last night, I was in kind of a romantic mood, so I did a bunch of love songs. Here’s a cover of one of them:

That song, no matter how many times I’ve played it over the years, always moves me, and when I perform it, I do my best to convey how I’m moved by it and the images I get of my lovely wife when I sing it.

If you’re a performer of any kind, here’s a suggestion next time you gig: Put your entire soul into your performance. It’s easy to say, but not easy to do. And for some, it’s terrifying. But it takes shedding your conscious vision of yourself and how you should comport yourself, and letting your true self shine through in your performance. You might be surprised at the depths of passion you can tap into…

If you ever get a chance to see Steve Miller live or a recording of a concert of his, watch both him and especially his sideman. Miller’s sideman is the epitome of passion when he plays. He doesn’t move around much at all – he leaves that up to Steve – but when he gets a lead break, that dude puts everything into it. I was actually more blown away by him that I was Steve Miller when I saw a recorded concert last year!

By the way, I may be on a short hiatus with GuitarGear.org for a week or so. I’m going on a much-needed family vacation!

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Click to enlarge

1959 Les Paul Replica

Summary: About as close as you can get to the real deal without paying hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Pros: Bright and super smooth tone, and sustain that’s absolutely to die for! This guitar is everything I imagined a ’59 Les Paul to sound and play like. Sounds and plays better than any Gibson re-issue I’ve ever played.

Cons: None

Features:

  • One piece Honduran (Old Growth) Mahogany body and neck (long tenon), 1959 neck profile
  • Brazilian rosewood fretboard with trap inlays
  • Lightly figured (realistic) maple top
  • Holly headstock veneer
  • RS Guitarworks (Winchester, KY) Nitro Lacquer finish with light aging in a Perryburst (Joe Perry burst colors), includes RS Guitarworks Certificate of Authenticity
  • PLEK and nut work
  • RS aluminum tailpiece
  • Tonepros AVRII bridge (Locking) ABR-1 Bridge with Maple Flame Mod (extra long stainless steel bridge studs)
  • Pots and Tone Capacitors from RS Guitarworks
  • Bone Nut
  • Wolfetone Dr. Vintage pickups with aged Nickel covers
  • Single line Kluson tuners
  • Weighs 9.68 lbs and is a rock machine
  • Year Built:  2008

Price: Vary from $4000 to  $20,000 depending upon who builds it (more on that below)

Tone Bone Score: 5.0 ~ This guitar is a dream come true! I recently wrote on my Facebook status: “There are guitars and then there are Les Pauls. There is no substitute.”

The first thing you’ll notice in the review is that I didn’t name the luthier of this guitar. That’s because I didn’t want to “out” the luthier, lest Gibson finds out and sues them for copyright infringement; that’s how close these replicas get to the original. But despite the risk of litigation, there’s an incredibly active underground market for these replicas, and having played around with this one for a few days, I don’t think that market will ever die. BTW, if you want to know who the luthier is, just send me an e-mail (goofydawg “|” guitargear.org), or if you’re on TGP, send me a PM.

Besides, replicas like this put Gibson back on the relevance map. Can you say Slash and GnR’s “Appetite for Destruction?” Whether or not Gibson likes it, the replica that Slash played made the Les Paul popular among guitarists again.

Forget how close it may come to the sound, feel, and dynamics of the original. Playing this guitar is like a religious experience! With this particular model, the original owner had the neck slightly tapered near the heal to relieve some of that “baseball bat” girth. It worked marvelously! Combined with the PLEK treatment, this guitar is absolutely easy to play. I usually have to take a few days to get to know the feel of a new neck. I even had to do this with my beloved Gibson Nighthawk. But with this guitar, I felt right at home!

Weight-wise, it has some heft at 9.6 lbs., but it’s so comfortable, and once I started playing, I completely forgot about the weight.

Here are some pictures:

Pictures courtesy of Bennie Delumpa (my son).

Fit and Finish

As you can see from the pictures, the guitar has been lightly relicked. I’m not normally a fan of aging a perfectly good guitar, but the purpose behind the aging was to produce a guitar that looked like a well-taken-care-of guitar from 1959. It has a couple of nicks on the binding of the body, and the lacquer has been very, very lightly checked. But other than that, it’s gorgeous.

How It Sounds

Unfortunately, my studio is still in a bit of disarray after the construction I had done on my house, so I don’t have my usual sound clips. But all I can say about the tone of this guitar is that it is nothing short of spectacular. The tone is on the brighter side of midrange, but the guitar produces all sorts of overtones and harmonics. The pickups used in the guitar are not hot at all, but that just makes it real smooth. Another thing is that the cap values used for the tone knobs make them quite usable. You can really knock the tone down, and the tone will not muddy up. I love that, as it gives me that much more tone shaping capabilities that I can do right at the guitar, as opposed to doing it at the amp.

The guitar also sports the classic Les Paul “bloom” as the body resonates, and boy does it resonate! Pluck a string, and you get your note, and then the body starts resonating, and you can hear AND feel the swell of the string vibrations as they course through the tone woods. I just close my eyes and go off to Never-never land.

There’s a lot to be said about old growth wood that has been drying for 50 years. Jeff Aragaki, who is quite knowledgeable about Les Pauls (he has many) is convinced that the combination of materials (old growth woods, hide glue, nitro-cellulose lacquer, correct hardware, etc.) that were used on this guitar make its sound that special. I really have never played a guitar that sounds and responds to like this!

I was just thinking that once I do manage to get a recording of this guitar, it just won’t do justice to the feel and dynamics of this spectacular specimen. I’ll hopefully be able to capture at least some of what I’m talking about.

Overall Impression

As I said above, forget about how close it may come to the original. I’ve never played a guitar that felt and sounded as good as this. I’ve never played a real ’59, but this guitar just oozes Les Paul goodness, and it’s everything I believe a Les Paul should be!

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This is a song that I just wrote this evening. I’ve been wanting to write a song about my family’s obsession with Facebook for awhile, but couldn’t come up with lyrics nor the genre. So I decided to try country western, but with a bit of a twist. Then the words just kind of came. My studio isn’t up right now, which is why I recorded this on video to start out with. I’ll do a regular recording once I have my studio set up again. BTW, I used my wonderful Yamaha APX900 acoustic.

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Even though I got this news via a press release, it doesn’t surprise me at all that DBZ won the Best In Show award this year. I’ve been quietly following DBZ since they hit the scene, and I’ve appreciated what Dean Zelinsky  (founder of DBZ and famous for Dean Guitars) has been trying to accomplish with his guitars from the start; that is, build great looking, great sounding, and great playing guitars at a GREAT price. Yeah, that’s a common formula, and lots of people try to do that, but Dean has accomplished that.

Take, for instance, the Imperial Premier model to the left. I had the chance to hold and play around with one of these exact models in Transparent Wine a couple of weeks ago (didn’t get to plug it in, though hopefully the DBZ rep will let me borrow one for a review). The Imperial has some classic styling – it’s shaped very similarly to a Gibson SG, but that’s where the similarities end. If you look at the picture to the right, you’ll see how incredibly thin the body is. That makes for a super, super, super light weight. All I could say when I first picked it up was, “Wow!”

Now you might think that that would never fly, but I have to tell you, that guitar felt absolutely wonderful, and I could feel the string vibrations resonating through the body as I played. The soft v-shape of the neck stands for Very comfortable. The fretboard is nice and smooth. DBZ calls it “ebonized” rosewood – not sure what that means, but it’s as smooth as ebony, and I just love the feel of ebony fretboards.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to plug it in because I was busy picking up my Fishman Solo Amp. But just based upon my initial inspection, and just holding it it in my hands, if I wasn’t getting the Fishman, I wouldn’t have let the rep leave the shop with the guitar. Yup, I was THAT impressed! Even the store manager was completely blown away by the guitar. He’s a jazz player, and while he said he prefers archtops, he loved that guitar.

Here are some specs:

  • Construction/Scale: Set Neck 24.75″
  • Body: Mahogany/Maple Top
  • Flamed Maple Top
  • Natural Scrape Binding
  • Fingerboard: Ebonized Rosewood
  • Neck: Mahogany Soft V Neck
  • Frets: 22
  • Inlays: Premier Series
  • Pickups: DBZB/DBZ5
  • Electronics: Vol/Tone/3-way
  • Tuners: Grover
  • Hardware: Gold
  • Bridge: DBZ Custom Stop Tail

Pretty nice features. You can see more pictures and other information on the DBZ site.

Here’s the real kicker: You can get this guitar for $649 online!!! Fat Tone Guitars outside of Chicago has these in stock. So how is the price so low? Simply put, it’s due to technology. Dean Zelinsky isn’t shy nor embarrassed by this blatant use of tech to build guitars. And why not? With computerized routers, you can ensure build consistency. Plus, I believe all the heavy work is done overseas, so that keeps the prices down. Even though I try to stick to US-made gear where I can, in the end, geographic location is far less important to me than how the gear plays and sounds.

DBZ is still trying to build its dealer base, but I encourage you to check one out if there’s a shop near you.

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If you read this blog with regularity, you know that I love NOS tubes. Who knows? Maybe I’m being a cork-sniffer, but the significant impact NOS tubes have had on my amps has led me to preferring them over new production tubes. Unfortunately, NOS tubes are getting scarcer and scarcer, so I suppose that eventually I’ll  have to get new production tubes.

Now a company that I’ve tended to steer away from is Groove Tubes, mainly because they’re just re-labeler of various OEM tubes. They just measure voltage, match ’em up, relabel them and sell them as their brand. Nothing wrong with that, but I haven’t met a Groove Tubes tube that I’ve liked, until I discovered the Groove Tubes GT-6L6GE Re-issues.

Before I go on, I should clarify that I’m not talking about the current production 6L6GE’s, which are assembled overseas. The tubes I’m talking about were made in the USA up until about 2003, as far as I can tell.

What makes these tubes special is that they’re constructed of NOS materials (except the glass), and to the same specs as the original GE 6L6’s of old. Plus they were constructed in Southern California, so the quality is incredible. These tubes rock! To be honest, I’m not sure of all the details of their production, but I got the information from Brent Jesse @ audiotubes.com who recommended them to me.

I bought two sets so I could have a spare set, and have been in tonal heaven with my Hot Rod Deluxe! The cleans are lush and deep, and the overdrive is creamy smooth. I have other GE power tubes, and I’ve gotten used to their smooth distortion. These GT-6L6GE’s are no exception! In addition to their smooth breakup, they also don’t compress much, which is another thing I just dig. I prefer a more open distortion.

I compared these to both JJ’s and regular Groove Tube 6L6GT’s, and these just blow them away. The JJ’s and GT’s have nice, clear cleans, but forget about their tone when cranked up. The tone is harsh and gritty, even if I bias them a little hotter than spec; whereas the 6L6GE’s remind me of the breakup I get from my Plexi clone – without hot biasing! Amazing!

As these are no longer in production (don’t confuse these with the new 6L6GE’s), they’re a bit more expensive than the new production 6L6GE’s; $80 per pair as opposed to $55-$58 a pair. And because they have the same labeling as the new ones, it’s hard to tell them apart. So I recommend that if you want to get a pair, get them from a source you trust. As I mentioned, I get them from Brent Jesse Recording and Audio, and having purchased several tubes from him, I trust him implicitly.

All that said, I will be getting a set of the new production tubes to make a comparison, as they are also made with NOS materials, though assembled overseas. Who knows? They may just sound killer as well!

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Fishman SA220 Solo Amp

Summary: Compact and weighing in at just 25 lbs., the SA220 Solo Amp is an ideal PA solution for the solo acoustic guitarist/vocalist, but it’s versatile and loud enough to be used as a PA for a band (if you have a couple of them).

Pros: It may not have the Bose name, but I’d put this up against the L1 Compact system any day. With built-in, independent, 3-way EQ, and a variety of other features, if you’re a solo acoustic artist, you owe it to yourself to check this unit out! I got it set up in less than a minute!

Cons: None

Features:

  • Drivers
  • – Six 4″ mid-woofers, patented dual gap, high excursion design, neodymium magnets (200W)
    – One 1″ neodymium soft dome tweeter with level control (20W)

  • Auxiliary Stereo Input with Level control
  • Four Digital Reverb effects with master level
  • Balanced XLR D.I. outputs for both channels and main mix
  • Independent effect loops for Channel 1 and Channel 2 (OMG!!!)
  • Unique Monitor I/O for improved on-stage ensemble monitoring
  • Mute with remote footswitch input
  • Tuner Output
  • Ships with Stand and padded Carry Bag (w/ wheels)
  • Dimensions: 41.5″ H x 5.6″ W x 6.6″ D
  • *Weight: 25 lbs without Stand, 35lbs with Bag and Stand

Price: $999 Street

Tone Bone Score: 5.0 ~ Talk about ease of use! As I mentioned above, I got the SA220 set up in less than a minute! And my Yamaha APX900 sounds absolutely killer through this, not to mention the great clarity of the vocals. This is a winner, folks!

Year over year, I play between 100 to 150 gigs a year, with about half of them as a solo acoustic act. My solo gigs have consisted mainly of my weekly restaurant gig, but I do lots of weddings and special events throughout the year as well. Of late, the restaurant I gig at moved my act outside in a public patio area as the weather is gorgeous.

To make a long story short, even though the restaurant has a decent PA system, I ended up bringing my own PA last week, which was the first week we did the outdoor show. That worked pretty well, and my PA has a great sound. But it also made me realize that the old mixing board, and big 300 Watt speakers was just too much gear to haul around. Even if I ended up using the restaurant’s PA, which is a nice one, I’d still have to lug the board and speakers and stands down from the office upstairs. Enter the Fishman SA220 Solo Amp.

Plug It In and Go!

I finally received my SA220 today after having to wait for a couple of weeks for it to arrive (had to be ordered). So when I got home, I knew I had to try it out to see how it sets up, and of course, to work out kinks before I gig with it. There’s nothing worse than fighting your rig or sound DURING a gig – especially when you’re solo.

The guys at the shop assured me that Fishman’s claims of easy setup were true. I am now a believer! I had the SA220 set up in exactly 42 seconds!!! That didn’t include hooking up my pedal board, guitar, and microphone, but I had the system on its tripod stand and plugged into power, ready to go, in that short amount of time. That just blew me away! Plus, everything you need to get up and running fits into a single carrying unit that consists of two bags: One for the array/PA, and one for the tripod that buckles to the main bag. Talk about convenience! Fishman really had the solo artist in mind when they built this!

How It Sounds

For my audition, I just plugged my guitar into the SA220 directly, and hooked up my microphone. All I can say is that the sound is spectacular! I was actually concerned about the bass response of the unit, but apparently Fishman distributes the bass response among the six main mid-woofers. It may not get boomy with the bass, but the sound is absolutely rich, and vocals are clear and full. Normally, I use a DI to go into a board – and will probably do the same with this unit, but my guitar sounded clear and natural and full plugged in directly without those annoying high-end transients and flattened tone that is so annoying with plugged in acoustics. Admittedly, the ART system in my Yamaha APX900 has quite a bit to do with that, but Fishman really knows how to condition sound.

At first, I had a bit of a problem with feedback, but setting the phase switch and tweaking the anti-feedback knob (it’s a variable frequency notch filter designed to subdue a resonant peak – just turn it to where the feedback gets reduced or eliminated – very cool), and attaching the rubber sound hole cover on my guitar took care of the feedback problem.

Luckily no one was home when I tested the SA220. I set it up outside so I could see how it performed. Damn! Even with just 220 Watts, the SA220 is LOUD!!! I had the Master volume set at around 10 am, and that will be enough to fill the large patio space I’ll be playing in tomorrow! It’s not a stretch to say that the SA220 can cover a lot of venues.

As far as listening angle is concerned, the SA220 disperses the sound incredibly well! Even at extreme angles, where I was almost even with the array, the sound was clear with good volume. Of course, narrower angles are better, but this unit will have no problem playing in the open space I’ll be playing.

Talk About Bang for the Buck!

The sound is great, but I have to tell you, I was ready to get the Bose L1 Compact, which is a great unit, but the mere fact that if I wanted more EQ control and other features, I’d have to spend another $499 really soured my taste for the unit. On the other hand, Fishman has packed all sorts of features into the SA220 that make it hands-down the better value. Independent 3-band EQ for each channel, phase and anti-feedback control, 4 types of digital reverb, a mute switch (that is REALLY handy!), independent balanced XLR outs to go into a board, and my favorite feature: independent effects loop for each channel! You just can’t argue about with what comes built-in on this unit!

Overall Impression

It’s hopefully obvious that I love this unit! For me as a solo artist, it’s a true game changer! It’s light and versatile, and the sound is spectacular. What more could I ask for?

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Why? Because every time I satisfy my GAS, they come out with new stuff that gets me GAS-ing all over again, dammit! 🙂 Here I was innocently reading my e-mail this morning when I got Prestige’s latest newsletter that said they were about to release a line of acoustic guitars! Knowing the fantastic stuff they produce, and given that they didn’t release anything more than announcement that they were releasing a new line, I had to give them a call to get more information. I shouldn’t’ve done that. I’m now GAS-ing so damn bad that it’s killing me!

But I got the scoop on these guitars, and before you start thinking, “Yeah, here we go, another import guitar… How good could it be?” Well, let me just say that a major publication already reviewed it and gave their top-of-the-line model a very – excuse the pun – prestigious award. And after I heard the details of these guitars, it’s not a surprise that even before their official release, they already won an award. So here’s at least some preliminary information that I found out…

They will have three guitars in various price ranges. I didn’t get model names, but I did get the makes of each model:

  • The top-of-the-line model has a koa body and koa top
  • The intermediate features a rosewood body and Adirondack spruce top
  • The lowest tier (and only by materials) features a mahogany body and Adirondack spruce top

Though not set, the guitars will range in price from about $1000 to $2100 street, so even the lowest-tier model isn’t anything to shake a stick at; and before you balk at the price, there’s a good reason for the pricing. Prestige didn’t skimp on the features that all three models share:

  • Adirondack spruce X-bracing designed in partnership with Balaz Prohaszka, a well-known European luthier
  • 12″ radius
  • 25.35″ scale length
  • 1 3/4″ nut width
  • D-shape neck
  • Split Bridge Saddles
  • Bone nut, Bone Saddles
  • Ebony Fingerboard, Ebony Bridge, Ebony Bridge Pins, Ebony Strap Pin.
  • Ebony Headstock face
  • Satin Mahogany Neck, Laser Etched Logo and Serial Number behind the headstock.
  • Beveled Cutaway with Paduck inlay, Mother of Pearl Logo, Mother of
  • Pearl Eclipse Fingerboard Inlay, Abalone Rosette
  • Gotoh 501 21:1 Tuners with Ebony Buttons.
  • Paduck/Abalone Body Binding, Paduck/Maple fingerboard binding.

An option for each guitar is the Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend pickup system. This is a very non-invasive soundhole pickup system that combines an undersaddle pickup with a gooseneck condenser mic. I’ve heard one of these installed in a Taylor acoustic, and it sounds marvelous!

So the pricing is really a reflection in the difference in tone woods used; otherwise, they’re all the same. That is incredibly COOL!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t have pictures, so here are a couple of the Koa/Koa model. These aren’t the pro pics as you can see the reflections of background objects – that’s how glossy the bodies are! Freakin’ awesome!!!

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These are serious guitars, folks. Can’t you just DIG that beveled cutaway? Damn! I dig little things like that, and the outer bracing is absolutely superb! And another nice touch is the satin finish on the neck. I always prefer that because it allows me to polish it with my own body oils after time. For me, the ebony fretboard is a HUGE selling item! There is absolutely nothing like the feel of ebony; it’s smooth as silk and feels so nice to the touch!

I can’t wait to get a demo into my studio to give it a whirl! I TOTALLY DIG the Koa/Koa! Now do you see why I hate Prestige Guitars?!!! 🙂

For more information, please go to the Prestige Guitar web site!

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That’s right! As I mentioned in episode 1 of the series, the Dumble can shred, and it sound unbelievable. In this part, Doug talks in-depth of the tonal capabilities of the Dumble amp and demonstrates it versatility by shredding on it!

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