Mass St Music May 2012 Staff Gear Picks!

Changing up gear for spring has hit the staff like hay fever – everyone  is making some changes and tweaks to their rigs – from repair shop upgrades (installing Fralin P90s, oh yeah)  to new pedals (Little Black Buffer!) and more. Here are a few of the coolest things we’ve been gawking at around the store lately:

Helweg Pedal Board, closed

John's own Helweg Pedalboard (& pedals!) will be featured in next month's newsletter

John FlynnHelweg Pedal Board
Impeccable quality and an essential part of my rig. (Note: We’ll be profiling Boss Flynn’s own pedals & board next month!)


Collings MT GT Mandolin

Jim's pick is this 'perfect' Collings MT mandolin

Jim BaggettCollings MT Mandolin
Beautiful, plays great and you do not want to put this mando down. It’s absolutely perfect.


Bourgeois OMS custom acoustic guitar with burst finish

This beautiful Bourgeois OMS Custom is Tim's favorite

Tim NelsonBourgeois OMS Custom
I really like this guitar – it has a smooth, even, and mellow sound. It’s equally at home either strummed or finger-picked. I love the look too – a very cool sunburst set off nicely with a slotted peghead and Waverly tuners with Snakewood buttons. Even has a Fishman pickup.


Mogami 12 foot right angle instrument cable

Matthew still has his 4 year old Mogami cable, which he says is 'worth every penny'

Matthew KhomsiMogami Platinum 12′ Right Angle Cable
I must have gotten one of these cables four years ago and I still feel this was a great investment.  Occasionally, I’ll compare it to some cables from one of my band mates and every time this Mogami is drastically better.  These cables are worth every penny.


Analog Outfitters Sarge Amplifier Head in metal box

Alek's pick is a "15 watt monster!"

Alek NelsonAnalog Outfitters The Sarge Amp Head
The Sarge is a 15-watt monster! Unreal tone that will go from rich and warm to throaty and angry. The tubes easily break up at lower volumes, also it’s really touch sensitive. One of the best sounding and looking heads in the store by far.

Ted KritikosAnalog Outfitters The Sarge Amp Head
I think this is the most exciting new amp we’ve seen here at MSM in awhile.  I love the tone of this amp as it opens up – it’s gritty in a cool, natural way.  I’m not an electrical engineer, but I suspect that the amazing tone has something to do with the HUGE Hammond transformer in there – that’s a serious hunk of iron!  And, best of all, I dig its re-purposed nature and vintage vibe.  This is one all-around amazing head!


Demeter Fuzzulator guitar effects pedal

We'll have more of these Fuzzulators in soon - dang, Eric bought the last one!

Eric PutnamDemeter Fuzzulator
This is the best fuzz I’ve heard. I have been searching for a fuzz that sounds great in a full band situation and I found it. I was also surprised to find that it sounds just as good with humbuckers as it does with single coils. It remains very articulate and does not get too muddy. I liked it so much that I bought one.


Ome Bright Angel banjo

Horan's pick is the exceptional Ome Bright Angel, "Almost plays itself". That'd be a neat trick, but really cut into the banjo player jokes...

Mike HoranRepair ShopOme Bright Angel Banjo
This Bright Angel is an excellent example of a traditional music machine with all the amenities of a modern artisanal instrument. The lustrous finish is beautifully off-set by the ivoroid-bound rim and moon and stars inlay. This banjo has a clear, crisp tone with excellent mid-range projection, and Ome’s fret work is the best in the business; it almost plays itself.


Harmon Doc Brown T electric guitar

Runyon's pick, the Harmon Doc Brown T, is a "boutique quality instrument with a production price tag" - sweet!

Mike RunyonRepair Shop –  Harmon Doc Brown T
Excellent value! Wow. This was assembled and customized by my Repair Shop compadre Matt Harmon. The body and neck are All Parts parts, but the body has a tasty nitrocellulose burst finish and the neck and frets have been expertly dressed (nice job Matt!). The real kicker though is the electronics – the concentric pots ensure you get pure signal paths from the neck humbucker and the bridge single coil for both traditional and unique tones. It’s seriously a boutique quality instrument with a production price tag. Awesome!


Fender Blacktop Baritone Tele electric guitar

"Way cool" Jesse says of his pick, the Fender Blacktop Baritone Tele

Jesse RobertsFender Blacktop Baritone Tele
This bari tele is rich. Long scale but still has great playability. With the HSS configuration, you can easily get lost in the spacious rumble, or still dial in some twang if you want. And to top it off, it has a smooth copper finish with just a bit of sparkle. Way cool. Way cool.


Kala KA-SEM Soprano Ukulele

Anne has her eye on this Kala KA-SEM Soprano Uke

Anne TangemanKala KA-SEM Exotic Mahogany Soprano Uke
What a sweet uke! I started playing uke not long ago and I’ve been wanting to get a new one with geared tuners – this beauty fits the bill and more. Looks amazing, sounds great and is priced well – I can’t believe how nice this is for the price. There are a lot of cheap ukes out there and I highly recommend getting a decent one with geared tuners – definitely worth the dough.


Shure SE215 Earphones

Chucho's new favorite earphones are super sleek with really true sound

ChuchoShure SE215 Earphones
When Chucho’s rocking out to the new Jack White album, he prefers to use these earphones as they’re discrete, super comfortable, and have impeccable sound.

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