Mass Street Music Staff Gear Picks – January 2013!

Lots of great changes afoot at Mass Street Music as we head into our 30th year at the corner of 14th & Mass Street in Lawrence and music gear is foremost on our minds. Here’s what we’ve been eyeballin’ lately!

Jim BaggettCollings MT GT Mandolin
The Collings MT has always been a great playing professional Mandolin and a real value for Collings’ outstanding craftsmanship and tone. This one caught my attention the other day when I picked it up to demo a few chords for a customer – I ended up playing it for half an hour! It just has the perfect balance for  chopping out back-up chords and eases effortlessly into lead fiddle tunes. A perfect balance of playability, tone and dynamic range – the perfect recipe for fun.

Collings MT GT Mandolin front

Both Jim B and video wunderkind Jesse picked this Collings MT GT mando as the coolest instrument in the store right now. It’s a beauty.

John Flynn
Mass St Music 60 Cycle Buzz Special Blend Z’s Coffee
This is a great, rich coffee – not as strong as I usually drink, but I really love this blend. It has a full-flavor, yet clean taste with a great finish – not overbearing. It works well whether you’re using a drip coffee maker, French press, espresso or my favorite, the Aero Press. Z’s did a tremendous job working with us on getting exactly the blend and roast we were after.

Mass St Music Z's 60 Cycle Buzz Coffee

Boss Flynn’s been all about the Mass St/Z’s 60 Cycle Buzz this month, and he doesn’t mess around when it comes to something serious like, you know, coffee.

Eric Putnam
Gretsch Baritone
The Gretsch Jet Baritone guitar is awesome! The stock pickups sound great and work well for any genre – it’s versatile, with a great, deep tone. It looks cool, has a Bigsby, and a super comfortable neck too.

Gretsch Baritone Guitar

Eric P’s been eyeing this Gretsch Baritone guitar which adds a unique tonal depth – and looks pretty sweet too!

Eric Mardis
Anderson Bulldog
This guitar caught my eye right away when I returned to the store.  I’m a big fan of LP style guitars and I was initially drawn in by the stunning figured Maple top and ominous trans black finish.  I was very pleased to find the playability and tone of this axe to be so sweet!  Very versatile tone palette.  I had fun plugging this one into amps of every flavor.  From thick rock to sparkly spank, this one is a keeper and is going to elevate some lucky player to the next level of guitar giddiness.

Anderson Bulldog electric guitar trans black finish

This Anderson Bulldog electric caught Eric M’s ear and eye, and is an LP style taken to a new level.

Ted Kritikos
Presonus FireStudio Mobile
I’m having so much fun with my Presonus interface. Great sounding preamps, great audio conversion, and a rock solid build – who could ask for more? Also, the bundled Studio One software is quickly becoming my favorite DAW on the market!

Presonus Firestudio Mobile digital recording interface

Ted’s been making music with his own Presonus interface and is now a superfan. It’s super portable and incredibly easy to use.

Alek Nelson
Yamaha P105B Keyboard
Yamaha has made some big improvements with the new P105B Digital Piano, and it is still priced right for anyone on a budget.

Yamaha P105B Keyboard

This Yamaha P105B digital piano is Alek’s favorite this month – it delivers a whole lot for little dough.

Josh Baldridge
Repair ShopLR Baggs M80 Sound Hole Pickup
This pickup has really taken off lately. We have one installed on our demo acoustic Eastman guitar and when people hear it they are immediately impressed. The full and warm response fits into a live band situation very well, without the feedback worries of some other pickups.

LR Baggs M80 Sound Hole Pickup

Josh’s favorite, this LR Baggs M80 Sound Hole Pickup, works really well for those in a band setting.

Mike Runyon
Repair ShopBourgeois Vintage OM Custom
The OM has become my favorite size guitar for fingerstyle playing and this one is phenomenal. It reminds me of 50-60 year old vintage guitars. This has hide glue construction, scalloped bracing, really fine Mahogany back and sides with an Adirondack top and Waverly tuners – perfect.

Bourgeois Vintage OM Custom

Repair Shop Luthier Mike Runyon’s favorite is this sweet Bourgeois Vintage OM Custom, tailor-made for fingerstyle players with old school craftsmanship.

Anne Tangeman
Collings D1 – used
Granted it’s not ‘cheap’, but I think this Collings D1 is a total steal. You’d be hard pressed to find a cannon built this well, with such a powerful and beautiful sound at this price. I think you’d never need to look at another dread again, since this one has it all.

Collings D1 acoustic guitar used

Anne’s pick is this used Collings D1 acoustic – the guitar of a lifetime!

Jesse Roberts
Collings MT GT Mandolin
Not only does this mando look incredible (which is no surprise with a Collings), but its sound is mesmerizing. It has a superb top end. The higher notes ring out long and clear. Truly great sustain. The midrange is just right, with just enough sweetness in it, and the low-end is responsive and full. And of course, this A-style is a great player too.

Collings MT GT mandolin, angle view

Great minds think alike – Jesse agreed with Boss Jim that this Collings MT GT mando is the best instrument in the store right now.

Josh Huskisson
Souldier Ukulele Strap
Have you ever lulled yourself to sleep while gingerly playing your uke? It’s nice, try it sometime – but be sure you’ve got your Souldier uke strap attached.

Souldier Uke Strap blue

This Souldier Uke Strap caught Mass St photographer Josh H’s discriminating eye. All of Souldier’s straps are made so well – it’s easily one of the coolest new lines at the store, and this one is just the right size for uke.

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