Reviewed: Cort L100P Parlour Acoustic Guitar
If you did a survey of people’s idea of a typical steel string acoustic guitar, I’d think the common response would be something along the lines of a concert, orchestra or jumbo-style guitar – that is, a bigger bodied instrument that we’ve grown to see on TV in the hands of famous musos and what most music stores stock. Guitar history, however, is littered with small bodied examples from early Spanish explorers to Central America, Europe and indeed the United States of America. The Parlour guitar, as it is often referred to, became popular for its smaller size, projection and considerable volume. Whilst typically a mainstay of many brands’ lineups, the Parlour has enjoyed a resurgence over the last few years for anything from country and bluegrass through to singer-songwriters, rock and a range of other purposes and genres. Coming from its Luce series, the Cort L100P follows the traditional Parlour look at quite an affordable price.
Reviewed: Katoh Madrid Nylon String Classical Guitar
Nylon string guitars are an interesting beast. From the entry level models you often see in schools through to exquisite handmade instruments, they can have a huge variance in specs and quality. Specifically made for the Australian market, Katoh has been producing classical guitars for over 30 years and seems to have created a strong following for their reliable instruments that don’t cost the earth. From their Professional series, let’s have a look at the Madrid.
Reviewed: Fender California Series Acoustics
As the company from which the electric guitar took its first bold steps into the waiting world, Fender has a long and illustrious history flowing out behind it. To their credit, they have scarcely skipped a beat since shifting the paradigm and with many and varied pretenders to the throne falling foul of fashion and finance, the fact that they have simultaneously kept one eye on newness and the other on legacy seems to be the wind in their sails. This is one thing in particular that they have continually excelled at over the course of the last few years: tributes to historical builds with a few choice updates to add a pinch of freshness to proceedings. The California Series is a prime example of this as these three designs come plucked from the archives, without besmirching the pride of collectors the world around.
Reviewed: Martinez Southern Star Series MFPC-7C
The Martinez Southern Star series is all about the marriage of traditional style and modern production techniques. The MFPC-7C is a good example: it has a small ‘folk-size’ body construction and a smooth, rounded cutaway, giving it a bit of ‘old school’ and a bit of ‘modern boutique luthier’ look all at once. Of course, at this price point you’re not going to get a Breedlove or a Taylor, but it’s clear from even a cursory look that your dollar is going to the structural aspects of the guitar rather than the visual bling.
Reviewed: Yamaha APX 600 acoustic guitar
Yamaha have consistently produced instruments across a range of price points, perhaps lending themselves best to the mid-tier with stable quality control and proven practices. The APX series of acoustic guitars were a huge hit in the ‘90s and 2000s thanks to their slightly modernised shape, thinner body depths and increased playability. Continuing with that ethos sees the updated APX 600 and I’m interested to see what’s changed.
Reviewed: Yamaha Transacoustic Guitars
When I first heard of the concept behind Yamaha’s new Transacoustic guitars I had to do some thinking to work out how this idea would sound, what the purpose of it was and would it be useful? Yamaha contend that ‘Playing the guitar in a rich, live room is one of the most awe inspiring and engaging experiences imaginable’. Many would agree with this statement and those that have played an acoustic guitar in a big room, or through a great PA with good engineers could relate to the space and size of the acoustic guitar sound. Yamaha’s idea then is that the Transacoustic range of acoustic guitars can ‘Embody the same incredible sound without any external amplification or effects’. How do they do it? Let’s have a look….
REVIEWED: FENDER CALIFORNIA COAST UKULELES
Fender is, of course, synonymous with electric guitar, bass and amplifiers. You might have played one of their acoustic guitars, resonators or even a banjo or mandolin depending on your situation and location too. Well, now you can add ukulele to that list of instruments with the California Coast series offering a range of sizes, models and price points. Taking some cues from the California beaches and surrounding vibes, Fender have incorporated traditional ideas with some new design aspects for players of all ages and abilities. Let’s take a look at just a couple of the new models available.
REVIEWED: GRETSCH ROOTS COLLECTION
The Gretsch Roots Collection of acoustic guitars is inspired by traditional designs filtered through the very identifiable Gretsch sensibility. In some ways they have an ‘old Gibson’ appearance until you look closer and start to see their uniqueness. It’s in the visual flair as well as certain player-friendly improvements. There are three instruments in the line: the Style 1 Single-0 Parlor, the Style 2 Triple-0 Auditorium, and the Style 3 Double-0 Grand Concert. Fender Music Australia sent us the first two to check out.