some sweet gear choices to celebrate international guitar month
By Ian Freeman
April 27, 2021
April is International Guitar Month, and since guitar stores couldn’t keep enough products on their shelves during Covid lockdown, it’s a safe bet that more people are celebrating this year. So whether your journey into guitardom was inspired by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, H.E.R or Malina Moye, a result of trying to beat boredom or just a stimulus impulse, here are some gear choices we think will keep you interested in the journey and feed your bout of G.A.S. ( Gear Acquisition Syndrome).
Beginner Amp – Positive Grid Spark Amp
While on a guitar journey, a good amp will be one of your most important companions. Positive Grid’s Spark 40 fits the bill as it is versatile enough to go with you from beginner to advanced skills. The Spark boasts an impressive list of tricks, including Auto Chords letting you auto transcribe any song from services like Youtube and Spotify, Smart Jam gives you an accompanying track by learning how you play and giving you a virtual band, a library of over 10,000 sounds to help you start exploring or fine-tuning your signature sound and can be used as just a Bluetooth speaker. It might be a little pricier than a typical starter AMP and the options might seem daunting at first, but once you start getting into it, it will be a valuable friend.
Headphone Amp – Fender Mustang Micro
The Fender Mustang Micro amp is a headphone amp that punches way above its weight class. While most of its diminutive brethren are just headphone amps, Fender’s pocket rocket has learned a trick or two from the Fender GTX. It comes packed with a dozen amp and effect combinations giving users access to a host of emulations and effects at their fingertips. It also allows for Bluetooth streaming so that you can conveniently stream tracks or a metronome to play along with. If you’re looking for a particular sound, the pre-sets might make it a little difficult to get it just perfect. But, its size and functionality make it perfect for the beginner or the guitarist who doesn’t want to bug the music critics in their house.
Pedal – BOSS TB-2W Tonebender
Made iconic by guitarists like Jimmy Page and Mick Ronson, the Tonebender is one of the most revered and unique fuzz pedals utilized in music since the ’60s. So it’s no surprise that when BOSS teamed up with Sola Sound to recreate the MK II, tone addicts took notice. The Wazacraft TB 2W aspires to recreate the original’s tone and sports a three-way voltage selector, germanium transistors, chickenhead knobs, hammertone finish and styled reminiscent of the original. With only a select number being made available, this is a pick-up if you can find one.
Grammy Award-winning songstress H.E.R teamed up with Fender to become the first black woman with a signature guitar in the brand’s history. The new signature Strat made its debut during the 2020 Grammy’s Prince tribute performance. It sports a Chrome Glow alder body and a 9.5” radius, one-piece “ C” shape maple neck. The Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups, and six-screw, vintage-style Fender Synchronized Bridge makes this a balance of modern usability and classic Strat tone. And the custom neck plate engraved with H.E.R. artwork is the only deviation from the classic Fender look, unlike other signature collabs.
Guitar – D’Angelico Premier Bedford SH
The saying is, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. And D’Angelico has been crafting some of the most beautiful sounding and looking guitars in the Big Apple for decades. They recently announced some additions to their solid body line, and the Premier Bedford SH is a dream. Originally only offered as a limited edition, the Bedford SH joins their premiere line sporting a semi-hollow offset body with a single F-hole. It has an SSH configuration with a pair of single-coil Duncan pickups and a Duncan mini-humbucker giving it a blend of warm acoustic and electric edge. It comes with a tone and volume control and a 5-way blade switch. Different configurations are based on color as the blue comes with a mahogany body and 6-point tremolo bridge. The black and oxblood versions are basswood bodies with a Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stop bar. If you want to splurge, the deluxe version has an alder body and nickel or gold hardware, depending on the color choice.
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