REVIEWED: PAUL REED SMITH SE 277 SEMI HOLLOW ZEBRAWOOD
The current guitar market seems littered with jet black extended range guitars, sporting the most modern hardware and pickups on offer, as though tuning low is an exclusive right only for players in the heavy music spectrum. With that in mind you can imagine my surprise when I opened up the bag for the Paul Reed Smith SE 277 Semi Hollow to find a gorgeous Zebrawood topped guitar with dual soapbar pickups. Aesthetically speaking, it is extremely elegant and a true testament to PRS’ long legacy of well made, beautiful guitars.
REVIEWED: GRETSCH STREAMLINER G2420T GUITAR REVIEW
Looking back at the last hundred or so years of popular music, it could very well be said that every era is defined and delineated by a particular make of guitar. It’s difficult to imagine music in the 60’s and 70’s without a Les Paul or a Strat showing up in your mind’s eye, it is well known that the 90’s was the age of the offset and, for better or worse, the arse end of the last century was littered with seven-strings and shredders. Before all that though, the first hero of guitar catalogues was the regal hollow body whose F-holes and rounded, sonorous quality set the benchmark for fans of jazz and blues alike. Big bands put the guitar player in the front row thanks to the inimitable talents of Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery who paved way for torchbearers like Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell, all of whom would be unrecognisable without their wide profile, single cutaway guitars. As I mention elsewhere in this issue, Gretsch have been a big name in the hollow body game since Robert Johnson made his infamous pact and it is with the full weight of that history that they present the Streamliner G2420T.
REVIEWED: J&D LUTHIERS JD-LS3 GUITAR
J&D Luthiers aren’t shy about explaining the inspiration behind this guitar, with their website quite clearly naming Mr. Les Paul and his namesake instrument. With a price of $499, this is one of the more affordable LP-style guitars out there, and it’s always great to see options beyond the typical Strat copies that proliferate the lower end of the market. So let’s have a look at how this compares to the real deal.
REVIEWED: GRETSCH ELECTROMATIC G5622T-CB GUITAR
From the outset of this review, I should make it known that I am above all else a hollow body guy. Even as a fat, gothic teenager I knew that eventually at least one of my guitars would be as empty inside as I was convinced I was. Now, some 20 years later, I’m addicted to the infernal things. There is something about the wild, James-Dean-on-a-motorcycle, maverick pride that they invoke that speaks to me as a player; strange given that there are few things that are further from my fingers than rockabilly pastiche. Even as far back as the 30’s, before rock‘n’roll was stolen from African Americans and proliferated globally by Brylcreem-ed hip-wigglers, the art deco Gretsch logo was synonymous with a style and grace that so few manage to pull off without looking like a certain Nickelodeon cartoon. Few things make me, and any number of sympathetic riffsters, happier these days than to quake in the presence of the likes of the Electromatic G5622T.
REVIEWED: GUILD GUITARS CE100D CAPRI WITH BIGSBY
Guild may not have had an overly strong presence in the Australian market of the last decade, but that doesn’t mean their guitars haven’t continued to deliver in tone, looks and build quality. It is only recently that we have started to see them finding their way back into discerning guitar stores around the country and it is with good reason, too. The range on offer from Guild and the quality at every price point means you can find that special guitar that you might have been struggling to find elsewhere. This month I got to put my hands on the first Guild I’ve come across in a number of years, and I wasn’t in the least bit disappointed. It was worth the wait.
REVIEWED: JACKSON SLAT7-MS AND SLAT8-MS X SERIES SOLOIST GUITARS
Jackson’s X Series Soloist guitars are built for speed, technicality and low-tuned djent-riff-ication.
REVIEWED: ERNIE BALL TAP TEMPO SWITCH
Milo and Otis; Scooby and Shaggy; Avocado and non-homeownership. History is up to its gills with classic duos that, once paired become inseparable and as a result greater than the sum of their parts. The delicate ecosystem at the feet of almost every modern sonic warrior is no exception. Combinations ranging from two overdrives stacked on top of each other to the humble one-two punch of tuner and reverb are the entranceway to a bottomless rabbit hole down which new and improved corners of the tonal universe abound. Where time based effects are concerned however, it is all too easy to become lost in the wilderness, throwing everything around you into an off-axis whirlpool of clashing tempos, phase issues and countless other horrors. The remedy is one of the simpler yet probably most effective pairings going; your favourite delay or modulation and it’s trusty side-kick, the Tap.
REVIEWED: FENDER AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL JAZZMASTER ELECTRIC GUITAR, SONIC GRAY
Following the discontinuation of the American Standard Series, Fender’s new American Professional series of guitars are a stab at some of the brand’s classic models, but with some notable advances like the ‘Deep C’ neck profile, narrow-tall frets and a brand, spanking new range of pickups dubbed V-mod. One of these revamped classics is the American Pro Jazzmaster in Sonic Gray. Though it is a stunning looking guitar, aesthetics are not the be all and end all, so we took it for a test run to see if it lives up to the American Pro series tag line: ‘these instruments were made to explore the creative space between today and tomorrow’.