2013 Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro II
An epitome of rock! This particular model was originally an exclusive to a US retailer, but a selection of them made it to the UK. No weight relief yet has modern features: Split coil modes, locking tuners and a boost switch! An absolute steal with the end of 2013 sales. As is typical with a Les Paul, it bludgeons your ears with tone!
2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
My very first guitar was a battered Squier strat. I had it for many years and it played many gigs! However, it would go out of tune if you so much as dare touch the trem and the pick-ups would squeal very easily. I’m really happy to have a so-called ‘proper’ strat now. She’s a beautiful cherry red and equipped with the Custom Shop Fat ’50s pickups. It took me a while to get used to just how bright and chime-y this guitar was. The definitive blues guitar.
2012 Fender American Standard Telecaster
I never used to be a fan of Telecasters. However, I fell in love with one when trying it out at Andertons and home it came! The single-cut body is thicker than a strat which lets it have a really thick rock sound (No wonder the likes of the Rolling Stones and Foo Fighters are users, to name just two). Yet it has that ‘twang’ that helps it cut. The clean sounds are also fantastic. Already giving my Strat a run for its money!
2011 PRS Custom 24
PRS make quality guitars. The mahogany body and maple top combined with the 25″ scale length give this a gloriously thick rock tone. The scale length puts it at a half-way house between a strat and Les Paul. Tuning is very solid due to the bridge design (the way the tremolo arm is held is genius) and locking tuners. The split-coil positions add more tonal options. Oh, and she looks absolutely stunning.
2009 Ibanez JEM7V (‘Jemma’)
Otherwise known as ‘That Steve Vai guitar’. Stunning to look at, especially the ‘Tree of life’ fretboard inlay. Plus who can argue with a guitar that has a built-in carrying handle?! The Edge Pro trem works very well but I’m not a fan of how the arm attaches (it relies on bushels to keep it in position, which wear out, and it therefore, ahem, goes floppy).
1980s Shadow S-120
I picked up this guitar from some shop in Southsea during my university years. Cheap ‘n’ cheerful super-strat. It’s only recently that I’ve found out a bit more about the history. In the 1980s, this was a high-end quality guitar: Shadow just priced themselves out of the market as no-one really knew who they were compared to the likes of Ibanez. She plays beautifully with Schaller hardware and Floyd Rose bridge. I only really appreciated how good this guitar was when I did a full set-up on it myself (I taught myself how to do this stuff as it is an essential skill for any guitarist to have). It’s certainly been in the wars with numerous dings and missing paint but it gives her character. The pick-ups are special too: Shadow EQ-5. Active with adjustable EQ, although unlike EMGs they seem pretty noisy. I’m thinking of replacing them. I nearly sold this on eBay but am very glad I didn’t: Shadow haven’t made guitars for a long time so this is now a piece of history.
Takamine EG361SC electro-acoustic
I don’t play a lot of acoustic, but picked up this simple electro-acoustic when I intended to just get a pack of strings! Not a high-end model by any means. However, you can get a lot of acoustic for your money nowadays. Back in the day, getting an acoustic with built-in pre-amp and so on would mean silly money, or it would just be awful, of course.
2013 Ibanez SR700 Bass
This is my token bass. Only really used it for recording so far. I really like it though. Superb action (very ‘slappable’) and the 3-band active EQ gives a HUGE amount of tonal variety. The amber finish looks edible.
Kala KA-FMS soprano ukulele
Ukuleles are cool.