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’.
REVIEWED: STERLING BY MUSIC MAN CUTLASS CT50 GUITAR
The ‘Music Man’ portion of the Ernie Ball Music Man name was a company founded by Leo Fender in 1974, and the earliest bass and guitar models were new instruments that showed an evolution from what Leo had designed before. Since then - and especially under the guidance of Ernie Ball - the company has taken things pretty far from those original design styles, but they bring it right on back with the Cutlass. Available in EBMM and the more affordable Sterling By Music Man models, the Cutlass is a bolt-on, three-single-coil guitar that feels a little more ‘Leo’ than anything EBMM has released in years.
REVIEWED: THE CHARVEL USA SELECT SO-CAL
Charvel’s connection with the Strat hails back to the late 1970s when the guitar manufacturer had a penchant for producing reincarnations of the beloved model. Back then they were referred to as the Superstrat, and regularly featured a Strat-shaped body with a single humbucker and a tremolo bridge system. Within Charvel’s newly released USA Select Series the So-Cal model is the guitar that comes closest to the Charvel Strats of old. And while it’s a loosely tied ode to models gone by, it’s nice to see Charvel revive a long-running relationship with the guitar that helped them reach early prominence.