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Things have been so busy this summer that we need to do another July What’s New to tell you about all of the great new and used guitars and amps that have come in! In the past couple of weeks we’ve had a bunch of beautiful new Martin guitars come in, awesome new Marshall amps, a couple of classic reissues and two vintage shreddy beasts inspired by Eddie Van Halen. 


A Bunch of ‘Little’ Martins

The short scale Martin LX series ‘Little’ Martin short scale acoustic guitars are the smallest guitars that Martin makes, but that doesn’t mean that they have a small sound. These ‘little’ Martins still deliver the tone you would expect from a Martin of any size, but come in a short scale size that is extremely comfortable for use as a travel acoustic or student guitar. Made with Certified Sustainable wood components, these little Martin acoustics will sound great whether you are touring, sitting on your couch, or hanging around the campfire.


Martin Left Handed LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Electric Short Scale Guitar with Gig Bag- Natural 

This Martin LX1E acoustic features a solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides, and a warm satin finish that is extremely comfortable. Sporting a 23“ short scale modified low oval neck made from Rust Birch Laminate, with a Richlite fretboard, the LX1E little Martin feels incredibly comfortable in the hand, and delivers the silky playability you would expect from a full size Martin at a scale that is perfect for travel or student guitarists. Other premium appointments include a Fishman Sonitone preamp system with active EQ and built-in tuner, Certified Richlite bridge, compensated White Tusq saddle, and Chrome Enclosed Gear tuning machines for accurate intonation and excellent tuning stability.


This Martin LX Black acoustic electric features a high-pressure laminate (HPL) top, back and sides, and a warm satin finish that is extremely comfortable. Like all ‘little’ Martin acoustic guitars, the LX Black sports a 23“ short scale modified low oval neck made from Birch Laminate, and a Richlite fretboard that feels incredibly comfortable in the hand, delivering the silky playability you would expect from a full size Martin at a scale that is perfect for travel or student guitarists.



This right handed Martin LXK2 acoustic features a resonant Koa HPL top with matching high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides, and a warm satin finish that is extremely comfortable. Sporting a 23“ short scale modified low oval neck made from Rust Birch Laminate,  and a Richlite fretboard, the lefty LXK2 delivers the kind of buttery playability you would expect from Martin twice as expensive, at a scale that is perfect for travel or student guitarists.



The Martin 000-10E is a stage-ready auditorium style acoustic electric crafted with Sapele top, back and sides with Martin’s classic x-bracing for rich tone and excellent projection. This auditorium style acoustic sports a select hardwood neck with a high performance taper and a FSC Certified Richlite fingerboard, with incredibly low action that is nothing short of a pleasure to play. You will love the rich tone and responsiveness of the Road Series guitars, and Fishman MX-T electronics make the 000-10E stage-ready with a perfect blend of volume and balance. An onboard tuner in the soundhole is conveniently placed, making tuning a breeze, and prevents your tuner from being lost or ‘borrowed’ by bandmates. This small-bodied Martin is delivers the Martin tone and playability that today’s acoustic musicians are looking for at an affordable price.



Built for player comfort and massive tone, the new Martin Dreadnought Jr DJR10E delivers all of the thunderous volume you would expect from a Dreadnought in a slightly smaller body size designed for comfort and playability. The Martin DJR10E, in a beautiful vintage burst finish, has been newly updated with satin Sapele back and sides paired with a solid satin finish Sitka Spruce top with high performance scalloped X-bracing with a double asymmetrical tone bar, providing the massive volume and thunderous tone Martin Dreadnoughts are known for in a body size designed for comfort. 

Further refinements that enhance player comfort include a select hardwood neck with a hand-rubbed finish and a FSC® Certified Richlite® fingerboard, with a 24“ scale length and a high performance taper, making it extremely expressive with incredibly low action, and a shallow body depth with softened back edges that provide maximum player comfort.

The Martin Dreadnought Jr 10E comes stage ready with Fishman Sonitone electronics with built-in tuner and EQ and a host of hardware appointments, including plek dressed frets, a bone nut, FSC® Certified Richlite® bridge and all chrome enclosed-gear tuners that give this scaled down Dreadnought a premium feel and superior playability.


Great Used Amps

This gently used Line 6 Spider V 240 Watt 2X12 combo amp delivers a range of classic and ultra modern tones that will surely please the modern guitarist. The Line 6 Spider V is a 240 Watt digital modelling combo amp that is powerful and versatile enough for the working guitarist, perfect for the studio or stage, or any situation you put it in.

This 240 Watt Line 6 modelling combo comes equipped with a two 12“ speaker system, headphone output and auxiliary inputs and USB connectivity, making it a total solution for modern musicians looking to combine classic power with the latest in digital technology. Featuring hundreds of authentic sounding amp and effects models, and 128 professionally crafted preset guitar sounds with personalized editing features, the Line 6 Spider V 240W is capable of everything from iconic guitar sounds by classic artists to brand new guitar sounds the world has never heard before. 

With an onboard chromatic tuner, built-in metronome, headphone input and real-drummer loops, the Spider V from Line 6 delivers all of the features you have been looking for in a rehearsal or gigging amp, and Mac/PC, iOS and Android connectivity (through auxiliary and USB inputs) makes the Spider V at home in the studio as well. There is virtually no limit to what you can do with this amp!



The Marshall JCM TSL 602 is a 3-channel tube combo amp that delivers the outrageous overdrive you can only get from a Marshall, along with classic clean and crunch tones that make this a highly versatile tube combo amp powerful enough for any musical situation. Each channel has independent volume and gain settings, with an independent EQ for the clean channel and a shared EQ for the crunch and overdrive channels and independent reverb levels on the clean and lead channels.

Powered by 4 ECC83 tubes in the preamp and 2 EL34s in the power section, the Marshall JCM TSL 602 delivers enough power to rattle the windows, with a refined and versatile tone that travels well through a variety of musical genres. A tone switch allows you to instantly scoop mids, while a bass boost switch tightens up the bass, giving you instant access to a variety of sonic possibilities. No matter where you’re going musically, this incredible Marshall combo can get you there.




This gently used Marshall Origin 20 1x10 20 watt combo combines classic styling with modern features that allow you to craft your own individual sound. The single channel delivers 20 watts of classic Marshall valve tone and features new Marshall Powerstem technology that allows you to use high, medium and low power modes to craft your sound to your venue. Whether you are playing a small to medium sized venue, a recording studio, or just your bedroom, the Marshall Origin 20 has a power setting that’s appropriate to your setting, without sacrificing on any of that classic Marshall tone.

Powered by three ECC83 valves in the preamp section, and two EL34 valves in the power section, the Origin 20 delivers classic harmonically rich British tube amp tone in a stylish package that looks as . Don’t let the fact that this amp has a single channel fool you -- this Marshall is loaded with new features that make it incredibly versatile. Using the presence control, you can increase high frequencies, while increased volume will deliver a more overdriven tone. Using the ‘Tilt’ control allows you to blend voices while the footswitchable boost adds an extra level of gain that is perfect for lead playing.


 

Origin Series | Official Demo | Marshall - YouTube


Old World Craftsmanship

The left handed Kremona M25E steel string acoustic guitar features a solid Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides, giving it bright and singing treble tones with world class projection, with a sense of softness around the edges. With classic dovetail neck construction, you are assured of a faultless transfer of tone, while the 24.4 inch scale length delivers easy playability and perfect intonation.

The satin finish Mahogany neck feels solid and comfortable in the hand while the lefty M25E’s Venetian cutaway allows easy access to the highest frets of the 20 fret Rosewood fingerboard, making this steel string acoustic perfect for chording and lead playing. With a TUSQ nut and saddle and proprietary satin gold tuning machines, you will enjoy rock solid tuning and impeccable intonation. 

The lefty Kremona M25E acoustic electric comes equipped with LR Baggs EAS-VTC Element preamp, an active system with volume and tone control (VTC) pairs the Element undersaddle transducer with a preamp that includes a small, removable soundhole-mounted volume and tone control for additional convenience and sonic versatility. The VTC is designed to tame unnatural low-end thump by mimicking the actual dynamic response of the guitar, giving the M25E a natural, realistic acoustic sound when plugged in.


Two Classic Reissues 

The Gibson Firebird, made legendary in the 1970‘s by iconic players like Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton, Brian Jones, and  Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music, is back, available in this 2012 Gibson Tribute edition in a gorgeous satin sunburst finish. Featuring a distinctive Mahogany Firebird-shaped body with a revealing nitrocellulose lacquer Vintage Sunburst finish, delivering the vintage styling you’d expect from a modern Gibson classic.

The neck is all Maple in a classic 70‘s shape, which starts out thinnest at the first fret and gets progressively chunkier as you move up the neck to the 12th fret, but never too thick to hamper easy playability. With a scale length of 24.75“ and a 12“ fretboard radius, the string tension is low and the feel is extremely comfortable. The 22-fret Maple fretboard is baked to a beautiful caramel color and joins the body with a Mortise & Tenon neck joint which makes accessing the highest register of the neck extremely easy.

The Alnico Mini Humbucker pickups are brand new from Gibson and come both in the neck and bridge positions. Built with a kind of a hybrid design, these mini humbuckers combine elements of the pickups used in the Les Paul Deluxe from the 70s, and the Firebird pickups from the 60s.

The Tribute 70‘s Firebird is wired just like many other Gibsons with two volume controls, two tone knobs, and a three way pickup selector switch.

The Gibson Tribute 70‘s Firebird combines iconic Firebird styling with brand new innovations like a baked Maple fretboard and newly designed Alnico mini-humbucker pickups, giving this vintage reissue a new and more modern sound. If you’re looking for vintage styling you can’t get much better than this gorgeous Gibson reissue at this price point!




This gently used limited edition 2010 Epiphone Wilshire electric guitar evokes a bygone era in the history of American guitar making. The original Wilshire was one of the iconic “Kalamazoo-made and designed” Epiphones that came out in 1959, only two years after Gibson purchased Epiphone. For over a decade, Epiphone guitars were produced side by side with vintage Gibson guitars and were among the best sounding guitars of their era, loved by greats like Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Winter. 

This gently used Epiphone Wilshire is a reissue of the classic Epiphone Wilshire design featuring a vintage symmetrical double cutaway Mahogany body with set neck construction and a glued-in neck joint that makes the upper register of the fretboard extremely accessible. The Mahogany neck is made with the classic 1960‘s Slim Taper profile with a 24.75“ scale length and a flat and super comfortable 12“ fretboard radius. This Wilshire’s neck feels really comfortable in the hand and delivers the kind of smooth playability you’d expect from a much more expensive guitar.

This gently used limited edition 2010 Epiphone Wilshire electric guitar delivers all of the vintage styling and classic tone you could ever want from an affordably priced guitar. Featuring a highly resonant Mahogany body in the distinctive Wilshire double-cut body style, and a slim-taper mahogany neck with a 24.75“ scale length and a Rosewood fingerboard, this used Epiphone Limited Edition Wilshire delivers vintage tone and a luxurious feel at a surprisingly affordable price point.


Two Van Halen Inspired Vintage Beauties

This vintage used Kramer Focus 1000 FR features the classic pointed hockey stick style headstock made iconic by Eddie Van Halen whose influential Kramer design (the Kramer Baretta) changed the face of the guitar world forever. In the late 80’s, the Focus series were the more affordable alternative to the more expensive Van Halen models, featuring the same minimal styling and appointments that made Kramer a favorite of metal guitarists at the height of the hair metal craze.  

With the Focus 1000 Kramer pared down the classic double-cut design to the bare minimum with a single powerful humbucker pickup in a slanted position and a single volume knob for controls. The humbucker pickup is voiced for hard rock and metal and is very powerful, but cleans up nicely at low volume settings, allowing you to control your dynamics with ease.

The Maple neck is sleek, thin and smooth, perfect for shred, metal and classic rock, and has a 22-fret Rosewood fingerboard with a flat radius that will let you fly from one end to the other with ease. A Floyd Rose locking tremolo system ensures that your tuning will be locked down no matter how many dive bombs and whammy bar tricks you have in your arsenal.




The Peavey Wolfgang Special, named for Eddie’s son and bass player Wolfgang Van Halen, was designed in partnership with Peavey Electronics shortly after Van Halen’s departure from Ernie Ball in the mid-90‘s. With a body shape similar to the Ernie Ball Van Halen guitar, the Peavey Wolfgang  was produced between 1995 and 2004 and is still a highly sought after guitar to this day.

This gently used vintage collectible Van Halen Signature Peavey Wolfgang Special guitar offers many of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen’s favorite features for ultimate shredability including an ultra lightweight offset basswood body with belly cut to fit comfortably against your torso and deep cutaways to allow easy access to the highest register of the 22-fret satin finish maple neck. The neck itself is a thing of beauty, with a compound radius fingerboard that facilitates exceptional speed and comfort, and a silky smooth finish that makes it super comfortable to play.

Equipped with two EVH humbucker pickups that deliver an array of hard rock/metal tones including shreddy resonance, amazing sustain and full throttle crunch. The Peavey Wolfgang also has a special Floyd Rose locking tremolo system equipped with a special D-Tuna device that allows you to instantly access a drop-D tuning which Eddie is known to use frequently. With two versatile EVH humbucker pickups and a specially designed Floyd Rose trem with D-Tuna for instant drop tuning, you will be able to play through your entire set without switching your guitar once!


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For fans of nylon string classical acoustic guitars, Kremona certainly needs no introduction, but with their recent expansion into the world of steel string guitars, one of the premier European manufacturers of acoustic instruments is reaching out to a completely new audience. 

Today, many guitarists are adding nylon string classical acoustic guitars to their arsenals, largely due to the mellow tone and silky playability these guitars are known to have. Players who are used to electric guitars and steel string acoustics go to nylon string guitars because they know that they can’t get that soft, warm, yet mellow nylon string tone any other way.

With this in mind, many traditional classical guitar manufacturers are now creating hybrid products that offer the best of both worlds -- nylon string guitars with steel string appointments like thinner necks and onboard preamps to make them stage ready. Kremona Guitars is an industry leader in this regard, creating handcrafted classical acoustic guitars with the appointments that make them appeal to guitarists beyond the traditional Classical and Flamenco genres.

Kremona is the nylon string guitar of choice for a wide array of artists including Lulo Reinhardt, Eliot Easton of The Cars, Xavier Padilla of the Gypsy Kings, Russian 7-string virtuoso Vadim Kolpakov and pop artist Marc Ballas. In this article we are going to take a closer look at what makes Kremona Guitars such an amazing value.


A Brief History of the Kremona Lutherie

Kremona, known for their industry-leading nylon string classical acoustic guitars, was established in 1924 by a master luthier named Dimitar Georgiev. Beginning his career as a journeyman gunsmith, Georgiev had once taken the view that the weapons he produced were examples of mechanical works of art. However, being compelled to serve in the Bulgarian military during World War I and seeing the results of that his ‘art’ wrought in combat, he soon changed his view on weapons of war.

During his military service, Georgiev found his only relief in music. While on the front lines, he played his mandolin, which he learned how to fix himself when it was damaged by the harsh environmental conditions. At the conclusion of World War I Georgiev took his beloved mandolin and began an apprenticeship at the bench of the Markneukirchen masters, a legendary league of master luthiers founded in Germany.

Kremona's Inaugural Catalog Circa 1924

After working his way to the status of Master Luthier, in 1924 Georgiev returned home to Bulgaria with the hand-carved examples of his latest work. The examples he brought home gave him the credibility to establish his own luthiery. With the help of his entrepreneurial brothers,  the Kremona company was born and would soon become one of Europe’s leading producers of acoustic instruments, including mandolins, violins, and later nylon string classical guitars, for which they are best known today.


Kremona History Video

Exploring Kremona Bulgaria - YouTube


The Post War Era

Kramona Lutherie 1954

While Kremona has been building incredible handcrafted acoustic instruments for almost a century, after World War II Bulgaria was one of the Eastern European countries that fell behind the Iron Curtain, and trade with European countries and the United States was almost unheard-of. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990‘s, Bulgaria became a fully independent state and a member of the European Union, and trade opened again with the West. Since 1999, Kremona has again become a privately owned and operated company that employs about 120 people, including master craftspeople with a reputation for crafting some of the best acoustic instruments in production today.


Kremona Today

Kremona carries their long history of traditional workmanship and handcrafted excellence into the 21st century, using only the finest local building materials available, as well as imported materials that breathe new life into Kremona’s ever expanding line of instruments. New materials and methods are continually improving the looks, feel and playability of Kremona’s line of handcrafted guitars and other acoustic and bowed instruments. This expansion has led to innovative and great sounding acoustic electric nylon string classical guitars, and a brand new line of steel string guitars that are really making waves in the international market. Kremona’s main goal is to produce instruments of incredible quality, with flexible production methods, to build on their already successful history of custom projects.


Artist Series Guitars

Kremona Artist Series guitars are the flagship models of the Kremona line of nylon string acoustics, with a reputation for high quality craftsmanship and a versatile tone, these high quality nylon string acoustics feature solid tops, backs and sides built with superior tonewoods like Cedar, Indian Rosewood, West African Sapele, and Spruce, delivering a balanced sound with rich lows and clear mids perfect for classical, jazz, pop and more.


 

Handcrafted with a solid Western Red Cedar top and Solid Indian Rosewood back and sides, the Kremona Artist Series Fiesta FC is a favorite of guitarists around the world for its tone and playability. Featuring a 52mm (2-inch) width at nut and 650mm (25.6-inch) scale length, the Fiesta FC offers a balanced sound and silky smooth playability.

Kremona Fiesta FC: Prelude to Cello Suite #1 (BWV 1007) J.S. Bach

Kremona Fiesta FC: Prelude to Cello Suite #1 (BWV 1007) J.S. Bach - YouTube

Performer Series

The Kremona Performer series takes their Artist Series one step further by taking Kremona Nylon String favorites, like the Fiesta FC, and outfitting them with a Fishman preamp and dual-source pickup system. The result is a nylon string acoustic with the premium appointments that make it ready for the stage from the moment you take it out of the box.



The left handed Kremona F65CW-SB is handcrafted with a solid German spruce top and solid Indian rosewood back and sides giving it a great tone and nice projection. The lefty Fiesta F65CW-SB is a stage-ready lefty cutaway equipped with a Fishman preamp and dual-source pickup system. The left handed Fiesta F65CW-SB offers a balanced sound making it versatile enough to cover anything from classical to jazz and pop or anything else you may want to toss at it.

“The F65CW is hands-down my favorite. A guitar this soulful makes me wish for more hours in the day.” --Slick Aguilar, guitarist who has recorded with Buddy Miles, David Crosby, Jefferson Starship and many others.


Custom Guitars - Lulo Reinhardt Signature series

In 2014 Kremona created two new signature models for jazz guitarist Lulo Reinhardt, grand-nephew of Gypsy Jazz legend Django Reinhardt. The Lulo Reinhardt Signature Series guitars are built with an exotic look and familiar tone, perfectly suited to Lulo Reinhardt’s style of Jazz.


Lulo Reinhardt - Kiano, No. 2 (Audio Only)

Lulo Reinhardt - Kiano, No. 2 - YouTube

 Kremona Lulo Signature Series Kiano


The Lulo Signature Series Kiano is named for Reinhardt’s eldest grandson Kiano, and is the more traditional of the two Lulo Reinhardt Signature models. Featuring a 1.9 inch (50 mm) neck width at the nut, and a gentle 19 inch (500 mm) fingerboard radius, the Kremona Kiano is perfect for nylon players looking for a fast neck and easy playability. The Kiano also features Fishman Presys preamp system, giving performers the ability to plug in and be heard from the stage.


Steel String Series

At Kremona the stated objective is “...to craft instruments that blossom fully with tonal colors and musicality.” With this in mind, Kremona introduced their first steel string acoustic guitars in 2016. Kremona has come out with three new D-style guitars that have been built to deliver the optimal amount of clarity, power and responsiveness.



Kremona M series steel string acoustic guitars deliver a wide range of tonal characteristics with the power and responsiveness that is hard to beat. Play just one chord on the M25E Venetian Style Cutaway acoustic electric and you will be in love with the tone and feel of this handcrafted instrument.

The left handed Kremona M25E steel string acoustic guitar features a solid Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides, giving it bright and singing treble tones with world class projection, with a sense of softness around the edges. With classic dovetail neck construction, you are assured of a faultless transfer of tone, while the 24.4 inch scale length delivers easy playability and perfect intonation.

The satin finish Mahogany neck feels solid and comfortable in the hand while the lefty M25E’s Venetian cutaway allows easy access to the highest frets of the 20 fret Rosewood fingerboard, making this steel string acoustic perfect for chording and lead playing. With a TUSQ nut and saddle and proprietary satin gold tuning machines, you will enjoy rock solid tuning and impeccable intonation.

The lefty Kremona M25E acoustic electric comes equipped with LR Baggs EAS-VTC Element preamp, an active system with volume and tone control (VTC) pairs the Element undersaddle transducer with a preamp that includes a small, removable soundhole-mounted volume and tone control for additional convenience and sonic versatility. The VTC is designed to tame unnatural low-end thump by mimicking the actual dynamic response of the guitar, giving the M25E a natural, realistic acoustic sound when plugged in.


Industry-Leading, Old World Quality, and Surprisingly Affordable!

All of us at Adirondack Guitar are happy to carry handcrafted Kremona guitars in out Hudson Falls store and online on our website. Kremona offers an impressive selection of left handed classical acoustics, classical acoustic-electrics, and new steel string classical guitars. Featuring premium tone woods, high quality craftsmanship, and premium components, Kremona Guitars are impressively appointed, professional quality instruments that are surprisingly affordable. To find out more about the left handed and right handed Kremona guitars that we carry, or to see if we can order any for you, contact us and we will be happy to help you discover more about these incredible handcrafted classical acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars.


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Offset guitars have become incredibly popular in recent years. What is behind their enduring popularity?
G&L Doheny
What is an Offset Guitar?

Offset guitars come in many varieties, but what they all have in common is a striking asymmetrical body design, with an exaggerated waist and horns that gives them a characteristic ‘leaning’ appearance that sets them apart from traditional single and double cutaway designs. The original offset guitars were introduced by Fender in the mid-to-late 50‘s. The student sized Duo Sonic, introduced in 1956, was Fender’s first step in the offset direction and was quickly followed by the Mustang and full-sized Jazzmaster models.


Fender Duo Sonic

With its lightweight design and short scale neck, the Duo Sonic was a hit, and the Mustang had a similar appeal, but the Jazzmaster wasn’t quite as well received. In 1958, Fender applied for a patent for the offset body style, which was granted a year or two later, featuring a design that was concerned primarily with the needs of the seated guitar player. The offset body style was initially designed for Jazz players who played in the seated position, which is where the Jazzmaster got its name. The exaggerated asymmetrical waist and horns of the offset design made the Jazzmaster balanced and extremely comfortable to play while seated, and its innovative pickups and circuitry gave it a sonic versatility that was brand new at that time.

When the Jazzmaster came out in 1958, it was thought that it would replace the Stratocaster as Fender’s top selling model. With its balanced body style, and mellow sound coming from newly designed Alnico single coil pickups, and brand new Rosewood fingerboard, it was thought that it would ultimately have a wider appeal than both the Stratocaster and Telecaster.


What’s in a Name?
Fender Jazzmaster

 

Despite its name, the Jazzmaster would ultimately never catch on with Jazz guitarists, appealing instead to Rock and Roll guitarists. In the early ‘60‘s, Rock n’ Roll music bloomed into instrumental ‘surf’ music, and the popularity of the ‘surf’ sound led Fender to introduce new offset guitars to capitalize on the demand. This led to the release of the Jaguar in 1962, with its short scale neck and thinner and more percussive sound, which combined the Jazzmaster body style with traditional Strat-style single coil pickups, and complex circuitry that made it extremely versatile once you mastered all of the knobs and switches it was initially outfitted with.

The Jazzmaster’s design would be very influential in years to come, spawning guitar and bass models with a similar offset body design including the Jazz Bass (1960), the VI (1961), the Jaguar (1962), and the Electric XII (1965) from Fender, as well as the Guild S-200 T-Bird (1964), and a series of knock-offs that are too numerous to list which you can read more about here.


Fender Mustang P90
The Advantages of the Offset Design

Versatility

Offset guitars are so popular today largely because of the distinct advantages that they offer players. When first encountering offset guitars like Jaguars, Jazzmasters, and the Guild T-Bird (which was recently reissued), the first thing you wonder is what is up with all of these switches? The complex circuitry found on early Jazzmaster and Jaguar models was actually meant to make switching between lead and rhythm tones easier. 

The story goes that Forrest White of Fender had seen pioneering electric guitarist Alvino Rey at a gig in Ohio struggling to change from rhythm to lead sounds. Later, when Rey visited the Fender factory, White told him that they were coming up with a solution to his problem. The Jazzmaster was the first guitar designed for easy switching between rhythm and lead voicings. In the process, Leo Fender invented one of the first solid body electric guitars with a truly versatile sound. 


Balance and Comfort

Regular guitar bodies are designed with recesses that are directly opposite to each other. If you look at Strat, Tele and Les Paul body styles, they are symmetrical in design and tend to be a bit awkward when you are playing in the seated position. This is largely due to the way your picking hand rests on the body of the guitar relative to the recess on the bass or upper side of the body. The offset guitar moves that recess three to six inches in the direction of the headstock, promoting comfort and ease in the resting position of the pick hand.

Shifting the waist of the guitar’s body toward the headstock, also makes the guitar feel more balanced while playing in the seated position. Instead of resting the guitar against your body, you can play comfortably with the treble side horn resting on either leg. The Les Paul and Strat Style guitars tend to rest directly against your body, while the Jazzmaster and other offset guitars, like the D’Angelico Bedford, make fewer physical demands on the player. Watch in the video below how lightly the horn of this offset D’Angelico Bedford rests on the player's leg. The offset design is so well balanced it is possible to play all day long in total comfort.


Premier Bedford® Grateful Dead | Horace Bray l D'Angelico Guitars - YouTube


Playability

Many offset guitars, like the Duo Sonic, Jaguar and Mustang, as well as newer designs like the reissued Guild T-Bird, the D’Angelico Premier Bedford and the Eastwood Liberty MS150 have short scale necks that are designed for ease and player comfort. A short scale neck reduces string tension, making bends and vibrato easier, giving these guitars an uncommon amount of expressiveness. Many offset guitars also come with a silky smooth finish on the neck that makes the fretboard extremely easy to navigate, while the offset body style with its asymmetrical horns offers easy access to the highest register of the fingerboard. No matter what style of music you play, offset guitars generally have neck shapes and scale lengths that make playing easier and more comfortable.


Tone

When the Jazzmaster came out, it had a tone that was distinctly its own. While new pickups and advances in pickup switching gave it a more versatile sound, they also gave the Jazzmaster a fuller and richer tone than the Strat or Tele, which is why it became so popular among instrumental artists, especially those looking for a unique, new tone to use in surf music.

This rich and full tone would continue to be a desirable feature for many years. Though the popularity of offset guitars waned in the 1980's, when Strat and Super Strat styles were most popular, in the 90's, when guitarists like Kurt Cobain and other alternative musicians like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., and My Bloody Valentine, among others, came onto the scene, it sparked an offset guitar revival that continues to this day. 

The vintage looks, full, rich and versatile tone, and silky playability of modern offset guitars make them suitable for just about any musical style, which is why you can expect them to continue to rise in popularity for the foreseeable future.


Offset Guitars Available From Adirondack Guitar

Today, as offset guitars continue to grow in popularity in indie music circles, more and more manufacturers are releasing them, giving today’s players a number of options to choose from. While originally designed with pickups voiced for mellow Jazz tone or light and twangy tones, today you can find offset guitars with a wide array of voices suitable for blues, rock, alternative, shoegaze and metal. 

We have offset guitars available in all price ranges, from entry level affordable to custom shop levels, with a wide array of premium appointments. Read on below to learn more about the offset guitars available from Adirondack Guitar.



The Sterling by Music Man StingRay SR30 is a classic offset double cut powerhouse that is surprisingly versatile, making it perfect for just about any musical situation. Dual Music Man spec humbucker pickups with a 3-way toggle allow you to blend pickup voicings for rock, blues, jazz or metal, while premium appointments like a Music Man spec fulcrum tremolo and a silky smooth Hard Maple neck give the StingRay SR30 a luxurious feel that is not common in this price range.

 

Sterling by Music Man | StingRay Demo feat. Nicholas Veinoglou | SR30 - YouTube



The Eastwood Liberty MS 150 is a replica of the classic Japanese-made design from 1968, a design which was inspired by the Jazzmaster and other offset surf guitars released in the early 60‘s. Featuring the same quirky offset double cutaway body design as the original, the Eastwood Liberty sports a bolt-on maple neck with a 24 3/4“ scale length and a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard that is beautifully playable.

The electronics on this offest doublecut give it a tone and versatility that is at once classic and unique. Featuring impressive Vintage EW P-90 pickups with independent volume controls, on/off pickup selector switches, and a rhythm/individual volume control, with a single master tone knob, this Eastwood Liberty delivers impressive sonic versatility, serving up full and rich Jazz, Blues and Rock tones that will have you jamming away all day!




The second design in D'Angelico's exclusive partnership with the Grateful Dead, the Premier Grateful Dead Bedford is a modern sonic wonder! With its unique offset body style which is both lightweight and well-balanced, the Bedford features a super slim neck that is satin smooth and incredibly playable, perfect for any serious guitarist, and the Seymour Duncan designed pickups with coil splitting capabilities ensure that you will be able to get any sound you want from this guitar, from blues to jazz to hard rock. Simply put, this guitar is a powerhouse! You don’t have to be a Deadhead to love this guitar!




The Left Handed G&L Doheny takes the offset bolt-on guitar into brand new sonic territory thanks to the addition of G&L’s newly designed Magnetic Field Design™ or MFD jazz pickups with PTB passive tone circuit that allows you to dial the twang up or down as desired. The result is a surf guitar with more jangle than twang, delivering a full and warm tone that is rich in harmonics. Don’t worry, the twang is still there, but the Doheny also delivers more in output, featuring greater sonic range than its predecessors, making it an excellent option for just about any style of music. 


Live! At Leo's: G&L Doheny Full Demo with Griff Hamlin - YouTube




Perfect for blues, jazz, surf or rock, the highly versatile Jetstream 390 Oceanside Green Guitar from Reverend offers superior playability with a unique design, and gorgeous oceanside green finish. This amazing and surprisingly affordable premium guitar, delivers both clean and distorted tones with enough twang for surf, but enough kick for rock. Available lefty or righty, this offset sonic marvel delivers the versatility and playability modern musicians are looking for, with premium appointments that make it a joy to play! 

 

Reverend Bolt-On Jetstream 390 Demo and Tone Review - YouTube

Reverend offers a ton of offset beauties -- too many to list here. Go to our website to find more! 


The Buckshot, Air Sonic, Sensei, Super Rev, and Trickshot just to name a few...

Reverend Lefty Trickshot


The Ernie Ball Music Man Left Handed Axis Super Sport, in an eye-catching Trans Gold Flame finish, features a lightweight basswood offset body with a quilted Maple top and a sculpted neck joint that allows unfettered access to the highest register of the 22-fret maple fingerboard. The Maple neck is treated with a light hand-rubbed oil finish and sports a 10“ fretboard radius, giving it next level comfort and buttery playability. 

The key to the versatile tone of this incredible Ernie Ball Music Man lefty Axis is its pickups. Equipped with custom designed DiMarzio humbucker pickups with a 5-way pickup selector switch that allows you to split the coils on the bridge and neck humbuckers and blend them together in ways that create unique sounds. If you are looking for a guitar that can do everything from Blues and Country to Alternative and Hard Rock, this Axis is perfect!

To round out the picture of this powerhouse guitar you have a variety of premium hardware appointments that only add to its luxurious feel and professional studio quality sound. Featuring a Music Man designed Floyd Rose style tremolo with Schaller locking tuners, the Music Man Axis Super Sport delivers stable tuning and rock solid intonation no matter how much, or how aggressively, you use your trem.


Ernie Ball Music Man Axis - YouTube

 


Used Offsets Available at Adirondack Guitar

Developed in the 1960‘s as an ideal student guitar, the Duo Sonic HS is now a modern classic with the versatile sound and smooth playability of a much more expensive instrument. Featuring a 24“ scale length and a scaled down offset body, the Duo Sonic has a light and slinky feel, with a buttery playability and sonic versatility that will give you increased control of your playing and total command of your sound. Small enough for students and anyone new to the guitar, this used Duo Sonic is also sonically versatile enough for players at any experience level to enjoy.



This used 2017 Fender American Professional Jazzmaster, in Mystic Seafoam, is in excellent condition and delivers the versatile tone and sophisticated styling that is loved by musicians across a variety of genres. Featuring a highly resonant Alder body, a silky smooth Maple Neck, and incredibly versatile Michael Frank-designed single-coil Jazzmaster pickups with the proprietary Treble Bleed circuit giving you enhanced tonal control, this Fender American Pro Jazzmaster has the fat tone and silky smooth playability to make it a favorite guitar among professional musicians in many genres.



This gently used Guild ST-200 T-Bird is a reissue that is very faithful to the original in tone and looks. Featuring an iconic yet quirky asymmetrical ‘offset’ double cut body with versatile LB-1 Guild pickups, this used T-Bird delivers the classic sound you need with electronics that allow you to set your controls to whatever tone you desire. The Mahogany neck is extremely comfortable and easy to play, while the Hagstrom Style Tremolo system gives you the total picture of a revolutionary guitar with idiosyncratic features that make it an underground classic. 


Guild S-200 T-Bird Demo by R.J. Ronquillo - YouTube


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Things are really moving this summer! Already this June we’ve seen brand new AMI, D’Angelico and PRS guitars come into the shop, and now for July we have a bunch of new lefty Martins, lefty ESP/LTD‘s, new Vox Amps, and amazing hand crafted Spector Bass, as well as a bunch of great used guitars that we can’t wait to tell you more about!

Premium Instruments and Incredible Deals

The keyword for this installment of What’s New for July is PREMIUM. Think premium appointments, next level attention to detail, and incredible tone and playability. Since we last talked, an incredible array of left handed Martin acoustics, lefty metal beasts with gorgeous quilted maple tops, great new Vox amps with classic tube tone (and affordable price tags) and some vintage used wonders that won’t break the bank are in need of your attention! Read on to learn more:


New Lefty Martins!

All Martin Guitars are hand-crafted wonders that have set a standard of quality that is unrivalled in the industry. This month we’re happy to have received several new lefty Martin acoustic guitars and ukuleles that continue the incredible tradition of innovation and craftsmanship that is the best of what Martin has to offer.


Martin Left Handed DJR-10E Burst Dreadnought JR Acoustic Electric Guitar- Burst Finish

Built for player comfort and massive tone, the new left handed Martin Dreadnought Jr DJR10E delivers all of the thunderous volume you would expect from a Dreadnought in a slightly smaller body size designed for comfort and playability. The lefty martin DJR10E has been newly updated with satin Sapele back and sides paired with a solid satin finish Sitka Spruce top with high performance scalloped X-bracing with a double asymmetrical tone bar, providing the massive volume and thunderous tone Martin Dreadnoughts are known for.

Further refinements that enhance player comfort include a select hardwood neck with a hand-rubbed finish and a FSC® Certified Richlite® fingerboard, with a 24“ scale length and a high performance taper, making it extremely expressive with incredibly low action, and a shallow body depth with softened back edges provide maximum player comfort.

The southpaw Martin Dreadnought Jr comes stage ready with Fishman Sonitone electronics with built-in tuner and EQ and a host of hardware appointments, including plek dressed frets, a bone nut, FSC® Certified Richlite® bridge and all chrome enclosed-gear tuners that give this scaled down Dreadnought a premium feel and superior playability. This won’t stay in the shop long, so act fast!

2019 Martin DJR (Dreadnought Junior) Jr-10 Series Rundown - YouTube


Martin Left Handed OXUKEBAMBOO OX Bamboo Soprano Ukelele with Bag

A unique, hand crafted uke constructed of Bamboo-patterned High Pressure Laminate (HPL) top, back and sides. This little beauty sports a hand-rubbed natural birch neck with a beautifully dressed Sipo fingerboard and the soprano body size makes it ideal for ukulele enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels!

The Martin Left Handed OXUKEBAMBOO OX Bamboo Soprano Ukulele delivers incredibly rich and warm tone and remarkable volume, making this a uke that punches well beyond its weight class. 

Incredibly durable, this natural finish HPL ukulele is the ideal size for travel, and with a premium gig-bag this little uke can stand up to the rigors of gigging, family life and life on the road and still sound great!

Uke Demo (Sound Only):

Martin 0X Uke Bamboo SOUND ONLY for Got A Ukulele - YouTube


Martin Left Handed 000-17E Whiskey Sunset Acoustic Guitar

The Left handed Martin 000-17E Whiskey Sunset Auditorium acoustic in a beautiful Whiskey Sunset satin finish delivers a look, sound, and feel that is nothing short of amazing! The lefty 000-17E sports a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides with grained ivoroid binding, giving it a rich and full tone with plenty of volume.

The Auditorium acoustic is just the right size for player comfort, and the modified low oval neck with a Performing Artist taper has a very comfortable feel with incredibly low action and with Fishman Matrix VT Enhance ™ electronics, it comes stage ready from day one. Fishman Matrix Enhance electronics allow you to dial in the perfect sound when plugged in with ease, delivering that rich, full tone Martin guitars are famous for to any acoustic amplifier or PA system you decide to use. In terms of rich tone, vintage looks and modern playability, nothing beats a Martin!

Martin 000-17 Whiskey Sunset The Acoustic Centre - YouTube

Contact us for current build times!


Just Arrived From ESP/LTD

ESP/LTD Left Handed MH-1000 QM STP DUNCAN - SEE THRU PURPLE  

The LTD Deluxe series is made for professional musicians looking for instruments that deliver versatile tone and unparalleled performance. The MH-1000 QM Duncan guitar features Seymour Duncan passive pickups with push/pull coil splitting capability giving this guitar an incredible level of sonic versatility.

The left handed ESP/LTD MH-1000 QM Duncan features a mahogany double cutaway body with a flamed maple top in a See Thru Purple finish that beautifully highlights the look of the figured wood grain beneath. Also featuring a three-piece thin U-shaped maple neck, the lefty MH-1000 Duncan’s neck thru construction and highly contoured body ensures that you will have incredible sustain and unprecedented access to every bit of its 24 fret ebony fingerboard.

The key to this the LTD Deluxe MH-1000 QM’s tone is its passive Seymour Duncan pickups with push/pull coil splitting controls that deliver a wide range of tones perfect for a variety of musical styles. More premium appointments include a Tune-o-Matic bridge with string-thru construction, LTD locking tuners and a molded nut accurate intonation and rock-solid tuning stability. This is really a must-see lefty!


The left handed LTD EC-1000, in your choice of three burst finishes, offers the working musician a professional quality deluxe design, with plenty of aesthetically pleasing details and a bold tone to match. The EC-1000 features ESP/LTD’s take on the classic single cutaway double-humbucker style guitar with an impressive attention to detail. The body material is a sturdy but lightweight Mahogany with a Flamed Maple top in 3 see thru burst finishes with a gorgeous decorative full body/neck/headstock binding that really makes the finish pop.

See Thru Purple (Duncan)

The key to the lefty EC-1000's tone is its versatile electronics. Featuring passive Seymour Duncan '59 and Seymour Duncan JB pickups (active EMG electronics in the See Thru Black Cherry model), the EC-1000 delivers a tone that is aggressive and full of punch, yet versatile enough for just about any style of music. Wired with two volume knobs, a single tone and a toggle switch pickup selector, the LTD EC-1000 allows you to control your tone and volume while switching between and blending pickup voicings, changing between overdriven and clean tones with ease.

See Thru Green (Duncan)

The lefty LTD EC-1000 delivers the tone, feel and quality that professional musicians need at a price that the average working musician can still afford. The attention to detail that LTD has lavished on EC-1000 is amazing! The left handed ESP/LTD EC-1000 in your choice of three see thru flamed maple finishes offers reliable and consistent performance with killer looks, a luxury feel, professional grade sound, and superior playability -- all at an amazing price!

Video Demo:

ESP-LTD | The 'See Thru Purple' Beauty! - YouTube

New and Used Amps From Vox

Many guitarists prefer the sound of a tube amplifier, but the high priced components that go into making them gives them a premium price tag. For years solid state amps have been a reasonably priced alternative to expensive tube amps. The problem, however, still remains that so many musicians prefer the sound and response of tube amps.

In an effort to solve this problem, many companies have introduced hybrid products that put solid state and tube technologies together. In 2016, Vox developed the AV or ‘Analog Valve’ or ‘Valvetronix’ series of amplifiers which were designed to simulate the sound and response of an all tube amp by employing a series of tube-powered hybrid circuits.

The Vox AV15 Modeling Combo Amp is a single input, single channel amplifier powered by a 12AX7 tube, with one half of the tube powering the preamp section, and the other serving as the driver for a 15watt solid state power amplifier. The multi-circuit all analog preamp section models 8 different distinctive tube amp tones which can be modified using the valve stage section’s bright, fat, bias and reactor switches.

Vox AV15 Analog Controls

Built-in effects, which include chorus, delay and reverb, add depth to the tube valve’s already rich tone, allowing the player to enhance their sound further. Additional features like a sealed cabinet design and a retro-inspired aesthetic establish the AV Series as one of the most exciting, and unique offerings in the VOX lineup.  

This little Vox is famous for its ability to deliver classic Vox tube sound even at low volume, making it a perfect amp for home or studio use. Introduced in 1961, this little wonder has been one of the most popular amps in the Vox lineup for its ability to serve up an array of authentic VOX tones through its single Celestion 10” speaker. 

Want to go bigger? A speaker output allows you to pair the AC4C1-Blue with an external speaker cabinet for increased volume and sonic versatility. This classic 4 watt Vox amp delivers all of the warm clean tones and fat crunch tones you would ever need, and pairs extremely well with your pedal board if you’re looking for a more modern tone. 

With its cool vintage aesthetics that make it really stand out onstage, and easy to use controls, you will have no problem grabbing the tones you have been looking for in this compact and affordable authentic Vox tube amp.

This left handed Spector Bantam 4 Euro Series short scale bass comes equipped with a number of premium appointments designed for player comfort, superior playability and thunderous tone. Featuring a highly resonant, chambered Alder body in the popular Spector NS body style, and a short scale neck that is lightweight and extremely comfortable to play, this lefty Spector is hand crafted in Czechoslovakia and available in extremely limited quantities!

The lefty Spector Bantam 4 has a silky hard maple neck with a 30“ scale length which reduces string tension, making this bass incredibly easy to play. The 22-fret Rosewood fretboard has flat 16“ radius and the deep inset neck joint makes playing at the highest register of the fretboard easier than ever. The maple neck is fortified with Graphite support rods, making its intonation extremely accurate, while the professional grade Spector hardware, including a Spector locking bridge, ensure top notch tuning stability no matter what style you play.

Though the Bantam 4 has a short scale and chambered body designed for comfort and superior playability, EMG active electronics ensure that it still has the seismic tone that you would expect from a Spector bass. Outfitted with two EMG 35DC pickups and an EMG BTS active circuit, the lefty Bantam 4 gives you total control of your sound. With independent volume controls for each pickup, and treble boost/cut and bass boost/cut controls, you can dial in the exact sound you are looking for no matter what style of music you play. 

Review Demo - Spector Bantam 4 - YouTube

More Premium Used Guitars

Used Ibanez Premium RG950QM HSH Electric Guitar- Cobalt Blue  

This gently used Ibanez Premium RG950QM combines the best of what Ibanez Guitars has to offer in a precision instrument that is built for silky smooth playability and sonic versatility. Featuring a solid Basswood body with a Quilted Maple top in a Cobalt Blue finish, the RG950QM is lightweight and well balanced, with a high performance all-access neck joint that makes playing at the highest register of the fretboard a breeze.

The DiMarzio IBZ pickups give this axe a vivid tone that is both versatile and easy to control. Built for medium high output and clarity, these DiMarzio pickups are versatile enough for the modern music scene, with enough output for metal and ample clarity for rock and alternative music. While not ideal for vintage tones, the HSH pickup configuration and 5-way pickup selector allows you to blend humbucker, single coil, and split coil tones, making this much more sonically than just a metal shred machine.

Another incredible component is the Edge-Zero II tremolo system with ZPS3Fe. The Edge-Zero II has been engineered to remove all points of friction, making this the most stable and smooth tremolo system Ibanez has created to date. The Edge-Zero II also can easily be converted to a full floating tremolo system simply by removing the stop bar. If you like the way this one looks, you better act fast because this one is priced to move!   


And a Couple of Vintage Rarities…

Used Ibanez 1983 Right Handed Roadstar II RS505CS Electric Guitar with Hard Shell Case

This rare Japanese made 1983 Ibanez Roadstar II RS-505CS features a resonant yet lightweight Alder double cutaway body with a birdseye maple top and a cream body binding, combining for a vintage look that is at once classic and strangely contemporary.  The double cutaway body is contoured for functionality and comfort and the neck joint is shaped to allow easy access to the highest register of the Maple 21-fret Rosewood fingerboard.

In a lot of ways, this Roadstar II anticipates the later RG Series guitars that would be an incredible success from the late 80‘s to the present. In fact, with the thin and silky smooth playability of its Maple neck and the power of its proprietary Super Power 6 pickups, this vintage Roadstar is already moving in the direction that Ibanez would take us only a few short years later. Scoop up this vintage beauty while it’s still available


Used Framus 1974 Missouri Vintage Hollow Body Electric German Jazz Guitar

This used Framus Missouri is an arched-top single-cutaway hollow body with a laminated Spruce top and laminated Mahogany back and sides that give it a rich and colorful Jazz sound. This hollow body delivers a surprisingly bright tone when it’s not plugged in, while the two P-90 pickups color it with a richness that is perfect for Jazz, country, or early rock and roll. With master tone and volume controls and a 3-way toggle switch you can dial in just the right sound for your favorite style of classic music.

The neck on this vintage Framus guitar is where the bulk of its mojo resides. The neck is made from layers of sandwiched hardwoods giving it a unique feel and playability that you find in many of today’s leading acoustic guitars, in a size and shape reminiscent of many of the most modern guitars on the market today. If you love vintage jazz boxes, this rare find is perfect for you!

 

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All instruments have their strengths and weaknesses, and once you become familiar with a new guitar you may become frustrated by its limitations. It may seem like the best solution might be to upgrade to a guitar with a different tone wood if you aren’t satisfied with the guitar’s sound, or a new neck shape or scale length if you’re unhappy with the playability. But that is not always the best thing to do. In many cases, the easiest thing you can do is try a different type of strings. A new set of strings is usually the simplest and most cost-effective way to reshape your guitar’s sound and improve its playability.


So Many Options

Today there are more string options available than ever before in terms of string gauges, materials, brands and coatings. Each string option represents a potential change that you can use to reshape your guitar’s sound and playability. It’s important to remember that not every guitar is equipped to handle every type of guitar string. The bridge and nut on your guitar have been designed to handle a particular range of string gauges and certain types of string materials. Trying a new string gauge and material, or trying a type of string that has a particular coating, may be the key to getting the sound or playability that you are looking for from your guitar.


String Gauge

The nut on your guitar has been designed to handle a specific range of string gauges which the manufacturer is likely to put on your guitar’s spec list as the recommended brand and gauge for your guitar. Using strings that are too light or too heavy for your guitar can cause several problems that may make you unhappy with the way your guitar sounds and plays.

  • Too Light

If the strings you are using are too light, it can adversely affect the string tension, making the strings too slack, which can result in buzzing frets and a feeling that the strings are simply too loose for comfortable playing. Reduced string tension may cause a slight change in your neck shape, causing it to go from being slightly concave to being slightly convex, which can cause tuning and intonation problems as well, requiring a truss rod adjustment and other alterations to be necessary to correct the action and intonation. Playing a slightly heavier gauge string may solve these problems instantly.

  • Too Heavy

If the strings you are using are too heavy, on the other hand, the opposite problems are likely to occur. When your string gauge is too heavy, there will be too much tension on your guitar’s neck, the action will be too high and you will possibly experience tuning and intonation problems that will eventually have to be addressed with a truss rod adjustment. The strings will also feel tight and unwieldy, making bends and vibrato more difficult than they need to be. This can be corrected by trying a lighter gauge string.

  • What About Scale Length?

Diane Ponzio from Martin Guitars Discusses Scale Length

The Martin 000 vs. the Martin OM Style - YouTube

Guitarists are creatures of habit. When we get a new guitar, we are likely to put a set of our favorite strings on it as soon as possible after buying it, often finding to our chagrin that the guitar we fell in love with at the guitar shop doesn’t feel or sound the same anymore. One of the biggest reasons why this happens is that the guitars we've played in the past and the new guitar we just started playing do not have the same scale length.

The term scale length refers to the physical dimensions of the guitar. Specifically, it is the distance from the inside edge of the nut to where the strings meet the saddle, and this distance determines the character or voice of the guitar more than any other factor. For instance, the voice that we associate with a Fender Stratocaster begins with its 25.5“ scale length, which differs from a Gibson SG which has a 24.75“ scale length. Even if you have identical pickups on an SG and a Strat, they will have distinctly different tones due to their scale length.

In terms of acoustic guitars, this accounts for the tonal differences between smaller guitars, like Parlour acoustics, and larger guitars like Dreadnoughts. Shorter scale guitars, like Parlour acoustics and 3/4 scale guitars, can take lighter strings and will have a lighter and brighter tone, the down side of which is a lack of low end projection. Larger acoustic guitars, like Dreadnoughts, are generally strung with heavier gauge strings which give them that booming tone they are so famous for.

The rule of thumb is that heavier gauge strings have more volume and bass, while lighter gauge strings are more trebly and melodic. On acoustic guitars you may say that heavier gauge strings are for strumming and projection while lighter gauge strings are for finger picking and melodic playing. Because lighter gauge strings are more pliable and easier on the fingers, they are ideal for beginners who are just building their callouses, but the drawback is that they have less volume and bass, giving them a thin tone that does not project as well as heavier gauge strings.


String Material

After string gauge, the next key factor in the tone and playability of your guitar is string material and construction. Steel guitar strings are made from two basic components -- the steel core wire and the wire wrap. Differences in the material and shape of both the core and the wrap will account for vast differences in tone.  


Acoustic Guitar Strings

Today, the two most popular string types used on acoustic guitars are 80/20 and Phosphor Bronze. These are two variations of bronze alloys that have distinctive tonal colorations that have endured for decades. Another popular string formulation that comes from Martin, an industry leader in acoustic instruments, is called Retro Monel Wrap which is a revival of one of their vintage formulations from the 1930‘s.

80/20 Bronze -  80/20 bronze is a string alloy that contains 80 percent copper and 20 percent zinc. This alloy gives strong highs and lows with reduced mids, resulting in a vintage tone that’s both bright and warm. However, due to its high ratio of copper in the alloy, 80/20 strings corrode more readily than other alloys. 80/20 Bronze are ideal when you have a large-bodied acoustic guitar that may lack brightness. 80/20 Bronze will allow your full bodied guitar to retain its low end clarity while also gaining a considerable treble boost.

Phosphor Bronze - The Phosphor Bronze alloy was first introduced by D’Addario in the 1970‘s to deal with the problem of corrosion encountered in the use of 80/20 strings. The result was a string with a softer, more mellow tone that gave a boost to the mids and low-end tones, while toning down the treble register. Phosphor Bronze strings are perfect if you have a smaller bodied acoustic that is too trebly or ‘tinny’ and needs a warmer, softer, more mellow mid range, with a subtle low-end boost.

Retro Monel Wrap - Martin’s Retro Monel acoustic guitar strings are made with a solid nickel/copper wrap called Monel. The Retro Monel strings from Martin deliver a consistent tone without adding any additional tonal coloration. Martin Retro strings reduce the sound of pick attack, allowing the guitar’s tonewoods to be heard, rather than being overshadowed by the string’s tonal coloration. These are perfect if you have a guitar with a highly resonant, high quality top that you want to shine through. Martin Retro strings allow you to discover the true voice of your acoustic guitar.


Electric Guitar Strings

Like acoustic guitar strings, electric guitar strings are made with two standard components -- a core which is usually some type of steel, and the wrap material that is wound around it. The differences in tone, feel, and durability that can be found in electric guitar strings comes from the wrap, while the core is largely similar across brands and types.

Standard Nickel Wound - The majority of electric guitar strings are some form of nickel plated steel which gives a bright tone that is snappy and articulate. The tone of the strings can be altered by the amount of nickel and other metals that are used in the alloy. Pure nickel wraps are warmer and smoother sounding than those that contain more steel. Strings wound in pure stainless steel are even brighter and more articulate than standard nickel wound strings. Experimenting with these differences is as easy as simply changing your strings, and will usually cost less than $10, but may make a huge impact on the way your guitar sounds and feels.

Chrome - Chrome strings feature added warmth with reduced resonance and are often chosen by jazz and blues guitarists looking for a richer and warmer tone.

Titanium - Titanium strings have a fairly bright tone with enhanced tensile strength and lasting durability.

Cobalt - Cobalt strings feature a wide dynamic range with notable brightness and clarity, delivering enhanced output.

Flatwound Strings - Flatwound strings offer the most dramatic difference in sound and feel of all electric guitar strings. Compared to roundwound strings, flatwound strings are made with an extra layer of polished winding ribbon, resulting in a tone that is characteristically smooth and mellow. The smooth flatwound surface decreases the amount of detectable finger noise, making it possible to glide silently and almost effortlessly across the strings. This smooth, mellow tone is most often associated with traditional Jazz, but flatwound strings also work well for fingerstyle and slide guitar styles.


Strings Treated for Enhanced Tone and Durability

Another aspect of string choice is durability and long life. To achieve longer life, string manufacturers like Martin and Ernie Ball add special coatings or employ cutting edge technology, resulting in strings that maintain their tone for a longer period of time without corroding or breaking, and may also help protect your instrument.

Silk-wrapped - Silk-wrapped strings are so named because they have their ball-ends wrapped in silk. This is done to keep the raw metal of the string from coming into contact with your instrument's bridge plate and end pins. This protects the bridge plate and end pins from wear and tear, making silk-wrapped strings ideal for vintage and collectible instruments, particularly for acoustic instruments.


Ernie Ball Paradigm - Ernie Ball paradigm strings employ nano technology to strengthen the string core wires in a new state-of-the-art wire drawing process. This results in a new and much stronger grain structure, which simply means that the strings can take a lot more punishment and last a lot longer than standard electric or acoustic strings. Employing an exclusive ‘plasma process,’ the wire is exposed to high heat which removes contaminants and smooths out defects for a smoother, more consistent finish. As a result, the string wire has a more stable micro-structure before it is wrapped, which means that the strings will have a much longer life. A reviewer for Guitar.com reports that not only did his Paradigm strings survive strenuous play, and what he calls ‘abuse,’ but that they also lost virtually none of their tone after several weeks. Read more here.


Paradigm Strings Strength Test

Ernie Ball PARADIGM: Lab Testing at Sturbridge Metallurgical Services - YouTube


Finding the Right Strings For Your Sound and Style

Experimenting with new strings is a simple and inexpensive way to modify the sound and feel of your instrument. The next time you feel any sense of frustration with your guitar’s tone or feel, just try out a new brand or style of strings, and you may find new voices and colors that you never knew your guitar had. Take some time to experiment, and if you have any questions you can contact us online or call us  or speak to one of our knowledgeable staff by visiting our Hudson Falls store location.


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Summer Has Arrived!

Summer is upon us, which means that graduations, weddings, parties, BBQ’s and plain old Summer fun are just getting underway. What better time is there for a new guitar? New guitars are the ideal gift solutions for every occasion. Have a child graduating from high school or college? Get them a new guitar. Another boring family wedding? Guitar them. Want to spruce up a Birthday or a boring BBQ? Guitar. Whatever it is, you need to bring a guitar. And it just so happens that we have the best guitars, new and used, affordable and luxurious, classic, boutique and badass.

Many of the guitars we told you about back in February, March and April are actually in stock and ready to look at, try out, lust after and, with Klarna hassle-free financing, buy. Read on below for info on the new and used guitars and basses that have recently arrived in our showroom and then stop by our store to try them out, or just buy them online - your choice!

Introducing AMI Guitars

Since 1984, AMI GmbH, has been distributing and producing some of the finest acoustic guitars in their price range from their headquarters in Munich, Germany. Today, AMI-Guitars is a leading brand in the low-to-mid price range in international markets, and is now just entering the American market. These exciting new AMI Guitars have just arrived in our store and sound just as beautiful as they look! Learn more about AMI guitars here.


AMI-Guitars Left Handed 000M-15L 15 Series Acoustic Guitar

The AMI-Guitars 000M-15L Auditorium acoustic offers a variety of premium appointments and high quality tonewoods, delivering the sound and playability of a much more expensive guitar. Featuring a highly resonant solid Mahogany top, with Mahogany back and sides, a Mahogany neck, and bone nut and saddle, the AMI-Guitars 000M-15L delivers a warm, rich and mellow  tone with vibrant treble and mid tones and excellent lowend clarity. If you’re looking for a great sounding Auditorium acoustic at an affordable price, be sure to give this beauty a closer look!



The AMI-Guitars Left Handed 000MC-15EL 15 Series Acoustic Electric Guitar offers a variety of premium appointments, delivering the sound and playability of a much higher priced instrument. Featuring a highly resonant solid Mahogany top, back and sides, with a Mahogany neck and a deep cutaway to provide access to the fretboard beyond the 14th fret, along with hardware and electronic appointments like a bone nut and saddle, and Fishman preamp, the AMI-Guitars Left Handed 000MC-15EL delivers a warm, rich tone with vibrant treble and mid tones and excellent lowend clarity, whether you play as an acoustic or plug it in.



The lefty AMI-Guitars JM-AG45L AG Series Acoustic Electric is a slope-shouldered dreadnought offering a variety of premium features at a fraction of the cost of similarly appointed guitars. Featuring a resonant solid Sitka Spruce top in a beautiful burst finish, Fishman Sonitone electronics, a bone nut and saddle and Grover Nickel Open-Gear tuners, this slope shouldered dreadnought offers the tone, power and playability of a premium quality acoustic electric at an impressive price point.


Two New Reverends!

The new left handed Reverend Trickshot is based on the classic Charger body style with updated appointments to give it a sound all its own. The new Trickshot comes equipped with Reverend Alnico pickups that have a tone that hearkens back to the glory days of the 1950‘s with a twang that is balanced and never harsh. The neck single coil is reverse-wound giving it a reverse polarity and hum-canceling capabilities when used with the bridge pickup, giving this Reverend incredible tonal versatility and amazing functionality.

The lefty Trickshot features a lightweight Korina body with resonant tone and rich harmonics which give it a highly-prized midrange bump. With a silky smooth roasted maple neck, string-thru construction and a bridge with stainless steel saddles, the Trickshot delivers copious amounts of sustain and bite, and with the proprietary Reverend bass contour control, you can tighten up the low end and essentially revoice the pickups however the music requires.



The Reverend Decision is a modern-classic tone machine. The Reverend Decision P is loaded with a P-Blade pickup at the neck and a Jazz Bomb pickup at the bridge in conjunction with a pickup pan control making this super versatile covering anything from percussive funk to focused thump, and everything in-between with just the twist of a knob. The pickups combined deliver extended highs and lows with incredible punch and sustain.

Featuring a lightweight and comfortable Korina body with a gorgeous roasted maple neck, the new Decision has the harmonic richness, thunderous tone, and silky smooth playability that any bass player will appreciate, with the lockdown bridge that enhances clarity and attack, producing bell-like sustain. 

Video Demo:

Watch Andy Irvine demo the Reverend Decision P! - YouTube

 

New From D’Angelico

Many of the new D’Angelico guitars that we told you about back in March or April are coming in now and they couldn’t be prettier! From fresh new faces like the Brighton, to new takes on classic models like the new Premier SS, the latest arrivals from D’Angelico are sure to please!


D'Angelico Premier SS Semi Hollow Electric Guitar in Ocean Turquoise  with Stair Step Tailpiece


The new and upgraded D’Angelico Premier SS Semi Hollow electric features a laminated maple top, back and sides with a full size, lightweight center block for increased tonal resonance and reduced feedback when playing at high volume, making the new Premier SS from D’Angelico a modern powerhouse with the playability and sonic versatility to travel across a variety of musical genres. The Premier SS gives you the classic looks and tone of a D’Angelico Semi Hollow with a modern sound and playability perfect for today’s music scene, at a price that all musicians can appreciate.

The electronics on this semi hollow powerhouse includes two Seymour Duncan designed humbucker pickups with eye-catching chrome covers, voiced for everything from clean jazz to soulful rock. With volume and tone controls for each pickup, and a 3-way pickup selector switch, you can mix pickup voicings with ease, resulting in a sonically versatile semi hollow that travels really well across a wide range of musical genres. Comes in a signature D’Angelico stair step tailpiece, or classic stoptail tailpiece in three colors: Turquoise, Champagne and Fiesta Red. Check them out!  

Premier SS | Horace Bray | D'Angelico Guitars - YouTube


D'Angelico Premier Brighton Double Cutaway Electric Guitar in Ocean Turquoise

 

An exciting addition to the D’Angelico solid body lineup, the D’Angelico Premier Brighton in an Ocean Turquoise finish delivers classic looks and ultra modern sound at a price point that musicians everywhere are sure to appreciate. Sporting a classic double cutaway Alder body, with a silky smooth Maple scarf neck that is a pleasure to play, the D’Angelico Premier Brighton delivers the sonic versatility and silky smooth playability of a much more expensive guitar at a surprisingly affordable price.

The key to the Brighton’s versatile tone is its Seymour Duncan designed pickups. These HB-101 and HB-102 humbucker pickups have all of the power you would ever need for rock, with coil splitting capabilities that allow you to dial in spanky single coil tones from the neck pickup and twangy tones from the bridge pickup. D’Angelico’s unique wiring also allows you to activate the coil splitting functions on the tone knobs without any loss of volume, giving you the ability to travel seamlessly between lead and rhythm pickup voicings with ease. Available in Black with a tortoise pickguard as well!

Introducing The Premier Brighton® with Tyler Bryant | D'Angelico Guitars - YouTube


Just Arrived From PRS

Paul Reed Smith PRS Left Handed SE Custom 24 Lefty Electric Guitar- Tobacco Sunburst

The left handed PRS SE Custom 24, in an impressive Tobacco Sunburst finish, is a real stand out for its world class tone and amazing playability. The PRS 85/15 humbucker pickups deliver a highly versatile tone with high output, plenty of gain and great brightness and clarity, making this guitar perfect for just about any style of music. No matter what style you play, this PRS SE Custom 24 has the tonal versatility, power and price point to make it a good choice for guitarists of any experience level.

Video Review:

PRS SE Custom 24 Guitar Review with Michael Casswell - iGuitar Magazine - YouTube


What’s New in the Used Inventory - New Takes on Classic Offset Double-cuts

Used Fender 2017 American Professional Jazzmaster with Fender Case- Mystic Seafoam

This used 2017 Fender American Professional Jazzmaster, in Mystic Seafoam, is in excellent condition and delivers the versatile tone and sophisticated styling that is loved by musicians across a variety of genres. Featuring a highly resonant Alder body, a silky smooth Maple Neck, and incredibly versatile Michael Frank-designed single-coil Jazzmaster pickups with the proprietary Treble Bleed circuit giving you enhanced tonal control, this Fender American Pro Jazzmaster has the fat tone and silky smooth playability to make it a favorite guitar among professional musicians in all genres.



The Fender Duo Sonic HS in a light and bright Daphne Blue finish puts you in the driver’s seat with a light and slinky feel that is incredibly easy to play for hours on end. Developed in the 1960‘s as an ideal student guitar, the Duo Sonic HS is now a modern classic with the versatile sound and smooth playability of a much more expensive instrument. Featuring a 24“ scale length and a scaled down offset body, the Duo Sonic has a light and slinky feel, with a buttery playability and sonic versatility that will give you increased control of your tone and total command of your sound. Small enough for students and anyone new to the guitar, this used Duo Sonic is also sonically versatile enough for players at any experience level to enjoy.

The unique offset double-cut Alder body is thin and light, and extremely comfortable to play, while the modern C-shaped Maple neck with its 24“ scale length and 9.5“ fretboard radius delivers impeccable comfort and easy playability. The Duo Sonic HS has a 22-fret Pau Ferro fretboard which is extremely easy to access even at the highest registers due to its sculpted body with deep cutaways that put nothing between you and your axe.



This gently used Fender Mustang 90 delivers modern feel and playability with a strikingly vintage sound. With its compact and lightweight Alder body and 24“ scale maple neck, the Mustang 90 is extremely comfortable and easy to play all along the entirety of its 22-fret Pau Ferro fingerboard. Featuring Mustang MP-90 pickups in the bridge and neck positions, this used Mustang 90 easily delivers a variety of vintage tones that range from warm and aggressive to bluesy and soulful, making it perfect for a wide arrange of musical genres.

With a short 24“ scale and a 9.5“ fretboard radius, the Mustang 90 has a slinky feel, with easy bends and smooth playability that puts you in control of your playing, and with a hardtail string-thru-body bridge design, your tuning and intonation will remain incredibly stable no matter how long you play!

Video Demo:

Patrick Droney Demos the Fender Offset Mustang 90 | Fender - YouTube




This gently used Guild ST-200 T-Bird is a reissue that is very faithful to the original in tone and looks. Featuring an iconic yet quirky asymmetrical ‘offset’ double cut body with versatile LB-1 Guild pickups, this used T-Bird delivers the classic sound you need with electronics that allow you to set your controls to whatever tone you desire. The Mahogany neck is extremely comfortable and easy to play, while the Hagstrom Style Tremolo system gives you the total picture of a revolutionary guitar with idiosyncratic features that make it an underground classic. Very low hours with very few signs of use. Includes the original paperwork with operating manual, truss rod wrench, tremolo arm, and matching Guild gig bag.

Video Demo:

Guild S-200 T-Bird Demo by R.J. Ronquillo - YouTube


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“A New Brand - But Not a New Guitar”

In October of 2018, when asked for the difference between a Sigma guitar sold in Europe and an AMI guitar sold in the United States, a representative from AMI Guitars replied, “Same guitar -- different name, or as I like to say, AMI is a new brand, but not a new guitar.”

AMI, or Acoustic Musical Instruments, Gmbh, started out in 1984 as a distributor of acoustic instruments rather than as a manufacturer. The AMI company distributed Martin Guitars -- yes the Martin guitars we all know and love -- in Germany. In fact, they still do to this day.

Martin had started the Sigma brand in 1970 as a response to the ‘lawsuit era’ when guitar manufacturers from Asia were marketing convincing look-alike guitars at rock-bottom prices.

The Sigma brand, a subsidiary of Martin (the way Epiphone is a subsidiary of Gibson) manufactured guitars in Japan to CF Martin specs, but because of the lower production costs, they were able to compete with the lawsuit guitar manufacturers on price. In 2011, when AMI reignited the Sigma brand, they were not able to sell Sigma guitars in the United States due to trademark issues. The reason for this is explained in an article posted on AMI’s website

“First and foremost, it’s important for folks to understand that Sigma had been a brand offered by C.F. Martin for years and they made a decision to no longer offer that brand...When that happened, AMI decided to purchase the trademark rights in Europe for the brand Sigma. Once that was completed, they enlisted the services of the Cort factory to make a new version of an old name.” 

Winter NAMM 2019 - AMI Musical Instruments - YouTube

Sigma and AMI Today

The result has been an incredible surge in popularity as the Sigma brand has seen impressive growth in sales worldwide. However, in the United States, trademark restrictions stopped them from selling their guitars under the Sigma brand name, which is why they bear the AMI name when they are sold in the United States. This is how it can be said that they are the exact same guitars, with a different name on the headstock.

According to published sources shared on the AMI website (and cited above), in 2017 alone AMI sold 40,000 guitars in more than 50 countries, with a very favorable response from players, dealers, and industry professionals. Since 2011, when AMI´s owner and founder, luthier Günther Lutz, re-ignited the “Sigma Guitars” brand, AMI has built a “...proven track record of quality with a very low rate of warranty issues. A dealer can be assured that they are offering a quality product they can stand behind and be proud to sell to their customers.”

Now that the trademark problem has been resolved, dealers are lining up to carry these affordable, high quality acoustic instruments, with a strong selection of left handed models. Here at Adirondack Guitar we are proud and excited to offer these high quality, yet affordable acoustic instruments to our customers.


2018 NAMM Launch Video:

SNAMM '18 - AMI Guitars DM-18, GJA-SG200 & GBCE-3-SB Demos - YouTube


What Makes These Guitars Such a Good Value? 

AMI seeks to carry on the Sigma tradition begun in 1970 when CF Martin built the brand. This is a tradition of using high quality tonewoods like Mahogany, Sitka Spruce, with high end appointments like Grover diecast tuners, bone saddle and nut, Micarta fretboards and Fishman electronics to create great sounding, yet affordable instruments. For example, take a look at this Grand Auditorium Acoustic that retails for under $500:


AMI-Guitars GMC-STE-BKB ST Series Acoustic Guitar- Blackburst

AMI-Guitars GMC-STE-BKB ST Series Acoustic Guitar features a highly resonant Sitka Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides in an impressive Blackburst finish, giving this Auditorium acoustic a warm, rich tone with excellent projection and wonderful harmonic complexity. This single cutaway grand auditorium style has classic dovetail construction, and a low profile Mahogany neck offering comfort and easy playability. The cutaway provides easy access to the highest register of the neck where the body usually blocks off access.

The Micarta fretboard is extremely comfortable, and plays extremely well, delivering a tone that is comparable to Rosewood or Ebony with its own unique characteristics. Micarta is a synthetic material that is more dense than solid wood, giving the fretboard greater durability and resonance without absorbing finger grease and environmental moisture. Micarta is also 100% renewable which is important in this age of dwindling tone wood supplies.

This AMI-Guitars GMC-STE-BKB ST also comes equipped with premium hardware appointments such as an all-bone saddle and nut and chrome Grover diecast tuners, ensuring rock solid intonation and excellent tuning stability. The electronics include a Fishman Isys+ preamp with chromatic tuner,  featuring Volume, Tone shaping, and Phase controls and a Fishman Sonicore pickup with low profile control knobs, delivering a natural acoustic sound.

The matte finish on this model allows the grain of the Sitka Spruce top to shine through, while maintaining a gorgeous vintage look. Typical guitars at this price point tend to lack volume and projection, but the AMI GMC-STE in blackburst has a full yet mellow tone, with excellent projection, and electronics that allow you to shape the tone to the demands of the music when plugged in. The bottom line is that this is a lot of guitar for under $500!

Every attempt to create great sounding, yet affordable, instruments is sure to be met with skepticism, but AMI Guitars is quickly gaining a reputation for building guitars that far exceed expectations at their price point. For example, look at this all Mahogany lefty AMI 000-15 that comes in under $450:


AMI-Guitars Left Handed 000M-15L 15 Series Acoustic Guitar

The AMI-Guitars Left Handed 000M-15L 15 Series Acoustic Guitar features a highly resonant Mahogany top, back and sides, giving this auditorium acoustic a warm, rich tone with excellent midrange and bass emphasis. The Mahogany top has a gorgeous reddish-brown color with impressive grain patterns showing through the satin polyurethane-lacquer finish.

The AMI-Guitars Left Handed 000M-15L was designed with classic dovetail construction, and a low-profile Mahogany neck offering comfort and easy playability all the way to the 14th fret. The Micarta fretboard is extremely comfortable, and plays extremely well, delivering a tone and feel that is similar to Rosewood or Ebony with its own unique sonic characteristics. 

This Lefty 000M-15L from AMI-Guitars also comes equipped with premium hardware appointments such as an all-bone saddle and nut and chrome Grover diecast tuners, ensuring rock solid intonation and excellent tuning stability. The sound of this all-Mahogany auditorium acoustic is mellow and warm, with excellent volume and impressive projection, and excellent clarity in the low and midrange register.

Check out this classic-styled slope-shoulder Dreadnought for under $700!

The lefty AMI-Guitars JM-AG45L AG Series Acoustic Electric is a slope-shouldered dreadnought offering a variety of premium features at a fraction of the cost of similarly appointed guitars. Featuring a resonant solid Sitka Spruce top in a beautiful burst finish, Fishman Sonitone electronics, a bone nut and saddle and Grover Nickel Open-Gear tuners, this slope shouldered dreadnought offers the tone, power and playability of a premium quality acoustic electric at an impressive price point.


The AMI Standard Series

The AMI Standard series guitars feature solid Sitka Spruce tops with Mahogany backs and sides, giving these models the classic look and impressive sound of much more expensive guitars. Setting a high standard in quality, AMI’s standard series models deliver the look, feel and sound of guitars with premium appointments at prices that the average guitar player can afford. A perfect example is this Standard Series auditorium acoustic for under $500:


At this price point, the AMI-Guitars 000M-18 offers a variety of premium appointments delivering the sound and playability of a much more expensive guitar. Featuring a highly resonant solid Sitka Spruce top, with Mahogany back and sides, a Mahogany neck, and bone nut and saddle, the AMI-Guitars 000M-18 delivers a warm, rich tone with vibrant treble and mid tones and excellent low end clarity. If you’re looking for a great sounding Auditorium acoustic, with impressive volume, at an affordable price, be sure to give this beauty another look!

All of us here at Adirondack Guitar are excited to offer these high quality, impressive-sounding yet affordable AMI guitars to our customers. To learn more visit us online or visit our showroom where our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you discover more about the quality and value of AMI Guitars. 


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Remember when music lessons meant going to the music store and sitting in a small room crowded with music stands, guitar cases and amplifiers for a half hour a week? No wonder so many of us quit lessons when we were young! Today, you can get a lesson any time you want about anything you ever wanted to learn and carry it with you on your phone everywhere you go. It’s crazy! Of course, we’re talking about guitar channels on Youtube and today we are going to look at three of the best we’ve found so far.

If you’ve ever wondered how so many young guitarists like Taz Niederauer and Taj Farrant have developed such good chops at such a young age, the lessons and information available on Youtube must be at least part of the equation. Being able to see a lead or daunting riff played at reduced speed and explained to you can help anyone develop the guitar techniques they’ve always wanted, but these Youtubers also teach us the subtle nuances of each musical phrase making it possible for us to play them with confidence and, most importantly, with feel.


Taz at NAMM

Brandon 'Taz' Niederauer - Funk Jam | NAMM 2019 | D'Angelico Guitars - YouTube

Of course, there are so many guitar-playing Youtubers that there is no way we can give anything but a smattering of what is available for the avid guitar enthusiast to learn, so we looked for what we thought were some of the most inspiring, funny, and entertaining Youtubers who had a lot of great videos and a lot to teach. Here are three Guitar Youtubers you’ll learn a lot from:


Ben Eller - Weekend Wankshop

Whether you are looking to learn new lead techniques, riffs from many of hard rock and metal’s leading acts from Van Halen to Mastadon, or Blues, Jazz and Fusion riffs from legendary players like Stevie Ray, Django and Zappa, Ben Eller’s Weekend Wankshop is a great place to visit.

Uncle Ben’s thorough knowledge of modern guitar styles, coupled with his characteristic wit and humor give his lesson videos a binge-worthy quality that makes it hard to stop watching, even when Uncle Ben himself tells us to shut down the computer get 'wanking' on our own. With ample repetitions at ‘step-dad speed,’ and in-depth looks at what makes these iconic riffs tick, you can always count on Uncle Ben to offer all of the information you need with just the right mix of theory and technical tips to give you a full grasp of music he covers.

Below, Eller breaks down one of Stevie Ray Vaughan's most famous lightning-quick riffs:

Scuttle Buttin’ with Stevie Ray

Weekend Wankshop 60: Scuttle Buttin' with Stevie Ray Vaughan - YouTube



Jim Lill - Country Picking and Professional Music Tips

Jim Lill is a Nashville session guitarist and Country Music Youtuber with an energy and enthusiasm for traditional Country guitar that is infectious to say the least! Every lesson, like the first one I watched, 10 Country Licks You Need to Know, teaches you a lot more than just how to play some cool riffs. In each case, Lill takes you deeper, inside the music, explaining the most subtle nuances of the playing techniques, as well as the tricks the original musicians used to achieve the sounds you hear on the recordings.

Another useful feature of this guitar channel is the tabs that Lill runs under the video of each riff as he plays it, which, he explains, can be slowed down or paused while you get it under your fingers. Whether you are looking for tips on how to Chicken Pick like Brad Paisley or want to learn more about playing classic Country leads like Luther Perkins or Roy Nichols, Jim Lill has all of the bases covered!

Beyond learning specific country licks, Lill also has a lot to show you about gear and classic country instruments that you may not be very familiar with, like the Pedal Steel and the Dobro, revealing classic riffs on these instruments that are sure to enrich your music. He also runs down all of the gear you need to get a professional sound (All the Parts of a Pro Guitar Rig) and even how to build a professional recording studio in your home! (Step By Step Professional Home Studio).

5 Things That Make Country Songs Great:

5 Things That Make Country Songs Great - YouTube



Rick Beato - What Makes This Song Great?  

The thing that first attracted me to Rick Beato’s channel was his ongoing series ‘What Makes This Song Great?’ After watching and learning from Rick’s in depth breakdowns of Rush’s ‘Limelight’ (What’s Makes This Song Great Rush) and Van Halen’s ‘Running With the Devil’ (What Makes This Song Great Van Halen) I was hooked and I binge-watched ten or so episodes in this series and ended up moving on to even more Beato videos, including interviews with Marty Friedman and Paul Reed Smith and videos on Radiohead ( Why I Love Radiohead) and Smashing Pumpkins.

Just a quick perusal of Rick Beato’s channel will reveal a music obsessive’s delight of riches, with videos on every topic imaginable in the field of popular music, including Rock, Jazz, Metal, Fusion, and even Djent. Beato is equally at home explicating melodies and parsing out the subtleties of complex harmonies as he is discussing improvisation, gear and recording techniques. Just a couple of hours watching Beato’s Channel and you’ll gain a much greater appreciation of the complexity and richness of modern music, and an even fuller appreciation of our musical heritage and the long lines of musicians whose hard work formed the soundtrack of our lives.

What makes Beato’s videos so informative is his in depth knowledge of everything music. Not only does he show us how to play the riffs in each of the songs he explicates, but he also pulls apart the audio showing us how tracks are layered, taking a closer look at the bass, drums, keyboards and vocals and whatever else there is to listen to, showing us how our favorite songs tick. In terms of music, he breaks down the chords and modes musicians use in their melodies, harmonies and lead playing, as well as technical information about how the musicians created their iconic sounds. Where else will you learn that Runnin’ With the Devil’s vocal falls in the Mixolydian mode, or take a journey through the layered chord structures in Radiohead’s Paranoid Android? Only on Rick Beato’s channel!


What Makes This Song Great? Paranoid Android, by Radiohead

What Makes This Song Great? Ep.31 RADIOHEAD - YouTube


There are plenty more where that came from and in the future we will bring you more of our favorite guitar and music Youtubers who have a lot to teach us about our instruments, music and gear. If you know of a Youtuber you think we'll like, tell us about them in the comments below!
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Of course, there are many types of guitars that are considered the top of the line in modern culture. There is no question that millions of individuals enjoyed playing them, but the guitar legends are the ones who have truly made all of these guitars stand out. It’s much like how you can do things with basketball, but an NBA star can literally make magic with it. It’s the same way with these guitar musicians. To that end, here are four different guitar types, along with the legendary individuals who made them famous.

Semi-Hollow Body Electric

The most famous semi-hollow electric body guitar is the Gibson Lucille played by B.B. King. He gave it a special sound simply by eliminating the f-holes in order to reduce feedback. Moreover, King was able to blend some sweet acoustics with an electric edge.

Cigarbox Electric

There is no question that the Cigarbox Electric brand has many examples of unconventional body types. These would include such examples as The Twang Machine, popularized by well-known '50's and '60's musician Bo Diddley. He was able to engage in a lot of showman tactics even with a guitar that normally has the sound effects of a tin can!

Les Paul

Buddy Holly's 1952 Les Paul Goldtop can be seen in the famous Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX, just ten minutes from the airport. Holly is depicted in a few early photos playing this Les Paul guitar, but there are no known recordings that exist with this guitar in the background. Interestingly enough, Buddy Holly actually etched his original name, “Buddy Holley” onto the sound box that came with the guitar. It’s probably a good thing he did that, especially considering that the original spelling of his name would be lost to history.

ESP MX220

This is an active electric guitar that was distinguished by the style of Metallica’s James Hetfield. One of the things that the ESP MX220 is known for would be an “active pickup”, which is a great way to distinguish the sound tones. Moreover, the ESP MX220 is a good instrument to use overdubbing to create some of the massive riffs that Metallica has become known for.

As you can see, the guitars themselves are very special. However, when they are paired with a legendary guitar player, they take on a whole another dimension. It truly is a thing of beauty, and it’s not limited to just one musical genre either.

Guitars can be pretty pricey, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options! Check out our financing options!
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Guitarists talk about their instruments like they're their children, yet many overlook the fundamental importance of proper maintenance. If you own a guitar and want to keep it as good as it was when you first bought it, you have to be able to take care of it. These tips will help you keep your guitar in good order.

Cleaning Strings

It's hard to tell from the naked eye, but your fingers transfer all sorts of dirt to your strings. While strings need to be changed regularly, cleaning them after each playing session can help to greatly increase their lifespan. Use something like a T-shirt to go up and down your strings. Makes sure to also get in between your frets so that you can keep your guitar as clean as possible. You want to get your money's worth from your strings and have them sounding as sweetly as possible.

Inspection

Just because your guitar seems like it's more or less operating fine doesn't mean that there couldn't be hidden issues that you need to address. Bring your guitar into an expert, such as a luthier, and see what sort of advice they have. You might need to have new pickups installed or get a new finish. Bring your guitar in for inspections on a yearly basis.

Safe Storage

You need to keep your guitar in a place that's not only secure but also not going to cause any serious issues in regard to its playability. Make sure you know the optimal conditions necessary for storing your guitar. Wooden instruments are famously responsive to changes in temperature and humidity, so keep in mind the optimal conditions necessary for storing your guitar safely. Environments should be neither too hot nor too cold.

Careful Movement Guitars, especially acoustic ones, aren't terribly heavy. The unfortunate flipside of that is it can be easy to scuff up the body of your guitar if you're not careful with it. Putting it down too quickly or bumping it into walls can really hurt its quality as well as making it look shoddy. Be gentle with your guitar wherever you go, and get a sturdy case for it. Put your guitar in and take it out of the case with your full attention.

It doesn't take much for a guitar to lose its integrity. A guitar's quality depends on how much care its owner puts into it. You need to never take your instrument for granted as guitars can be expensive to replace. Taking a moment to think about how your actions are affecting your guitar will help bring about much greater longevity.

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