February 2014 Staff Gear Picks
Here are, in our humble estimation, the best of the best that have captured our staff's attention lately:
Josh Baldridge – Don Grosh NOS Retro Classic
This NOS is one that I asked Don to build when I visited his shop last November. The NOS is quickly becoming my favorite S style guitar. The gold sparkle on this one is flawless and beautiful – as with all Grosh guitars. It has tons of resonance, sustain and balance. Great guitar!
Josh actually asked Don to build this NOS beauty -
no wonder it's his pick
This Fender 1960 Jazzmaster is Jim's pick 'o the litter.
The Bart Reiter Standard Open Back Banjo
- more bang for your buck!
Eric Putnam - Fender Vaporizer Tube Amp
This is one of the coolest amps to come from Fender. I love 2x10 combos and it's hard to find one that is as affordable as this one and actually sounds great. The Vaporizer breaks up nicely on the normal setting, and when you kick in the footswitch, it bypasses the EQ and volume controls and gives you tons of grit and volume.
The new Fender Vaporizer Tube Amp caught
Eric P's attention the second it arrived.
Ted Kritikos – Wren and Cuff Box of War Fuzz Pedal
I was pleasantly surprised by just how musical this pedal is. Even at high gain settings, this pedal doesn't get muddy, and my notes still sound articulate. Very Cool.
Matt Harmon - Skreddy Screw Driver Mini Deluxe Pedal
This is a really cool overdrive pedal sits between the Skreddy Lunar Module and the Hybrid Fuzz Driver - it has some of the best of both, but is super versatile.
The Skreddy Screw Driver
- incredibly versatile pedal!
Anne Tangeman – Fralin Dogear P90 Pickups
The shop installed these for me over a year ago into a very inexpensive, used Gretsch Junior Jet and it transformed a guitar I liked into one I'll never get rid of. I was just playing it the other day and it still blows me away what a difference these made.
Fralin P90 Pickups can breathe new
life into a guitar
Thomas Hamm – Collings C10 Deluxe Acoustic
These days, if I'm not playing a classical guitar, it's probably a parlor guitar, and this Collings C10 Deluxe is arguably the best I've heard and played. Sometimes playing fingerstyle on a non-nylon-stringed guitar is a pain, but there's something decidedly enjoyable about it on this one—maybe it just makes me sound better, I don't know; I just dig it. And what Collings says about it being great for electric guitarists switching it up is absolutely true: I learned to play on Les Pauls and SGs, and I feel like I could blast out some acoustic Dillinger Escape Plan on this in a heartbeat . . . in 33/16. And no pick.