December 2011 Mass St Music Staff Gear Picks!

Here’s the December roundup of gear that has captured our staff’s attention most recently at Mass St Music!

John FlynnGrosh ElectraJet MH
These pickups are incredible. Plenty of humbucking power but with a really sweet chime. They did a fantastic job on these mini humbuckers and the guitar is perfect.

Don Grosh ElectraJet electric guitar with mini humbuckers

This Grosh EJ with mini humbuckers is 'Perfect' says Boss Flynn.

Tim Nelson – Collings CJ Customs (yes, all of them)
CJ MH SS SB – Sitka top – this one is warm and sweet sounding.
CJ MH A SS SB – Adirondack top – this one is very punchy and a little brighter than the Sitka CJ.
CJ Maple G SB – German Spruce top and Maple back and sides – this one has the brightest trebles of the three. Even though it is bright, I don’t find the trebles distracting and the upper mid range on this guitar is stellar. It’s a very forward sounding guitar and is really responsive to even a light touch. I am so excited to have all three of these guitars in stock at the same time. All are killer sounding guitars and have a new (for Collings) bracing pattern based on the vintage J-35 that our own Jim Baggett sent to Bill Collings – which has non-scalloped X bracing and three transverse braces. (Note: Gibson also made some J-35s with scalloped bracing and two transverse braces as well). I was hoping for an even responding guitar with a nice natural compression and I am very pleased with all three of these CJs.

Detail of soundhole on Collings CJ styled after vintage Gibson J-35

Tim's favorite? All three of the custom Collings CJs!

Jim BaggettCollings CJ MH SS SB
It sent me home with tired fingers – I just couldn’t put it down!

Collings CJ MH SS SB custom acoustic styled after a vintage Gibson J-35

Jim's pick of the litter was the first to sell.

Matthew KhomsiFender 60th Anniversary P Bass
This is my favorite passive P bass Fender has made in a long time. The pickups are very balanced and the neck feels comfortable and fast. It’s also got the Fender tuners I really like which stay in tune, their new high mass bridge and the new washer underneath the “a” string tuner which keeps it from buzzing. I really enjoy playing this bass.

Fender 60th Anniversary P Bass

Matthew's favorite is this Fender 60th Anniversary P Bass.

Alek NelsonMono Guitar Strap
The new Mono straps are great – they have a wide design that distributes the weight evenly and a thin memory-foam core that makes it really comfortable whether your instrument is heavy or not. Plus they look awesome. This is on my Christmas list for sure!

Mono guitar Strap in black with detail

Alek's pick is the coolest guitar strap we've seen in a long time.

Ted KritikosMcPherson 5.0 XPW
I absolutely love the low-end projection on this guitar. It’s tone is crisp and defined, plus the workmanship is impeccable! The braces are like modern art!

McPherson 5.o XPW acoustic guitar with offset soundhold

Ted's pick, the McPherson 5.0 XPW, has a 'crisp and defined' tone.

Isaac FlynnSquier Vintage Modified J Bass
Cool design – not what you’d expect from Squier, and the Duncan designed pickups sound great. Nice price too.

Squier Vintage Modified J Bass in natural finish

Isaac's pick is the Squier Vintage Modified J Bass - super cool.

Zach MehlSquier Joe Trohman Tele
I love the H/S/H pickups in this and it has a great, classic look. It’s a lot of guitar at a decent price.

Squier Joe Trohman Tele with HSH pickup configuration

This Trohman Tele is another cool surprise from Squier.

Matt HarmonRepair Shop –  Xotic EP Booster
Awesome tones in such a small package thanks to the internal dip switches. My favorite setting was with the gain knob set at 12 o’clock with dip switch 1 off and switch 2 on.

Xotic EP Boost Guitar Effects Pedal

Matt Harmon's favorite - the Xotic EP Booster

Mike HoranRepair ShopCollings CJ MhA SS SB
We’ve just received three new very special Collings CJs.  They all share several custom features and my favorite is the CJ MhA SS SB.  Based on one of Jim Baggett’s favorite Gibson J-35s, Collings has mimicked the bracing pattern, tonewoods, short scale length, and the straight bridge with a cut-through saddle of a vintage Gibson.  This may be the ultimate modern slope-shouldered D guitar—uncharacteristically dry-sounding  for a Collings, each note has a really strong fundamental tone with volume to spare.  I wish it were mine….

Collings CJ MhA SS SB Custom based on a vintage Gibson J-35

Mike H.'s pick of the Collings litter is the CJ MhA SS SB: 'This may be the ultimate modern slope-shouldered D guitar'.

Jesse RobertsCollings MT Custom GT Mandola
As a viola player, I was really excited to see this Mandola on the wall. Of course, it’s visually perfect (it’s a Collings), but more importantly its sound is truly unique. The lower range creates a very interesting timbre, and it is rich, rich, rich. It has a full, resonant, even booming tone, yet still finds a way to be pronounced and clear. It does stretch out the hand a bit, but is easy to play and hard to put down.

Collings MT Custom GT Mandola in a burst finish

This Collings Mandola is 'easy to play and hard to put down', says Jesse.

Anne TangemanGretsch G5122 Semi Hollowbody
I’ve been thinking about replacing a hollowbody I had stolen a few years back – it sounded great live, but was also a lot of fun to just play around the house. This is a real contender for a replacement, with a nice weight and great pickups.

Gretsch G5122 semi hollowbody electric guitar in black

This Gretsch G5122 has a nice grrrrrrowl when you want it, plus a Bigsby style vibrato.

ChuchoFender Folding Guitar Stand
Chucho hasn’t quite picked up that this isn’t a bone just yet, but he can demonstrate how portable it is. You go Chucho.

Fender folding electric guitar stand

Ok Chucho, where did you bury it?

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