Jim Baggett – Collings CJ MhA SS Custom Acoustic (5725)
My staff pick is the latest arrival in our CJ/Collings Custom guitar project, and happens to have three non-scalloped tone bars, a Sitka Spruce top, bound fingerboard and peghead. It has been great fun to try to figure out if any of the combinations of bracing and tone woods we’ve chosen for these unique instruments make for the perfect guitar. So far all I can say is that the short scale and non-scalloped bracing definitely are key to the Gibson sound. This particular CJ is just one of those guitars that plays and feels like you have owned it for years. I am not saying it is the best of the bunch – it just works great for me. The beauty of these guitars is that not only the staff, but the customers who have been in the shop and had the opportunity to try several often pick different guitars as their favorite. This one is mine.
John Flynn – Dr. Z M12 Amp
Perfect power to meet the demands of lower stage volume without sacrificing tone…This is also the premier amp for anyone who relies on pedals to help create the ultimate tone. The Z M12 combo 112 combo too…
Tim Nelson – Bourgeois Country Boy D Acoustic
This is a great guitar with a huge sound. It’s very powerful and super responsive. It has a nice bass response that is in nice tonal balance, the mid-range is thick and the top end sparkles. Great workmanship.
Matthew Khomsi – Fender Acoustasonic 100 Combo Amp
Finally, guitar players looking for an amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitar have a convenient solution. It’s incredibly lightweight and has two input channels that can accommodate 1/4″ and/or XLR inputs. This amp is a great value overall and worth every penny.
Alek Nelson – Analog Outfitters Organic Amp
Using recycled wood and the transformers from vintage Hammond organs, Analog Outfitters has created an exceptional guitar amplifier. Two 12AX7 pre-amp tubes, two EL84 power tubes, and a 5U4 rectifier give this amp a super creamy and warm overdrive tone that is unique, and really ideal for just about any playing style.
Ted Kritikos – Blue Chip TAD 50 Pick
I keep one of these in a little pouch on my key-chain at all times. That way, I’m always prepared to rock at a moment’s notice. The texture is great, and it’s the fastest pick I’ve ever used.
Mike Horan – Repair Shop Manager & Luthier – Collings CJ MhA SS Custom Acoustic
I’ve liked all of the recent custom CJs we’ve had in the store and have had a chance to play a bit on each of them. But this Mahogany/Adirondack CJ is hands down my favorite so far. This is not a timid guitar. I can’t describe the sound as anything other than “savage.” It’s loud, like many Collings guitars, but has a honk in the mid-range and a pleasant lack of refinement that I find refreshing. And you don’t have to pound it to get full volume out of it—it jumps out of the guitar. I’ve swerved into hyperbole here, but only slightly. Suffice it to say, if I had the money, it would be mine.
Matt Harmon – Repair Shop Luthier – Fender Modern Player Tele Thinline Deluxe
The Maple neck has a C-shape carve to it and a 9.5 inch fingerboard radius – perfect for both chording and soloing. It already has great Fender vintage style tuners (the ones that keep the strings from poking your fingers.) and Fender vintage Strat style saddles. The Fender MP90 pickups here are pretty cool, but since the Fender rebate is still going you can save $50 to put towards some Fralin P90s which would make this even cooler.
Jesse Roberts – Gold Tone GRS Round Neck Resonator
This has a great blues sound you just cannot find outside of a resonator, it’s well made, is really playable and beats the price on some classic resonators by a mile.
Anne Tangeman – Gibson L-1 Limited Edition Acoustic
Unusual, beautiful and great sound – I didn’t want to put this one down! Feels great in your hands and cool vintage look too. Good enough for Robert Johnson, good enough for me.
Chucho – Acu-Life Impact Noise Reducers
Well, ‘impact noise reducers’ are the same thing as ear plugs but these won’t muffle things up at all. You can protect your hearing while still rocking out without losing anything. Chucho says they always come in handy when he’s hanging out in the repair shop and the guys are hammering frets or playing Tom Petty too loud. Most of the staff here can also vouch for these plugs to keep it down when gigging or just checking out shows.