Working at the Acoustic Centre is a bit like being a kid in a candy shop - it's almost impossible to be surrounded by the world's best guitars all day and not want to take them home! So which guitars did our staff add to their collections this year?
Josh - Demos / Sales
This year I was very pleased to finally buy a Santa Cruz guitar. It is certainly an exciting moment when you finally own a guitar you have dreamt about for many years - through the years I have demoed and played well over 100 of their guitars, and have felt a real connection with every model that has come through the store. It seems to me that these guitars have a musicality that pours out of them. I imagine every person who takes one home has the same feeling of joy, and in my case, slight disbelief. It's hard to believe a guitar can sound and play so well, not to mention the perfection in finish and detail. I don't think I'll ever really get over the three dimensional immersive experience of playing a guitar of this caliber. I feel as if it's a new musical exploration every time I pick it up. Thus far, I have recorded well over 6 hours of music not to mention countless hours of playing late into the evening. Let's just say guitar appreciation never diminishes with time.
Dennis - Sales
I gushed over the Martin 00-17 Authentic in our Desert Island Guitars article a couple months ago, and a few weeks later when a second-hand one of these passed through our store, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Since then, it's become my go-to songwriting instrument. I'm stunned by how light and responsive it is, and tonally it's just a joy for the ears: It's warm, clear and complements vocals beautifully, especially when recorded. The 1 7/8” nut width and hand-carved neck is also one of the most comfortable I’ve played: wide enough that I can sneak in some classical repertoire, yet I can still get my thumb around it for those cowboy chords!
Hamish - Sales
Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved the Fender Telecaster. In those days the tele was uncool and everyone played Strats, but there was something about the feel, look and sound of the tele that I gravitated to. Being a lover of jazz, I felt like I could get a good jazz sound and found them very versatile and easy to work on.
As a got older I became obsessed with vintage tele’s, and my favourite era was mid 50’s, but of course, they were out of my reach except for a set of original 55 pickups I acquired a little while ago. But then a great friend of mine offered me his 1955 telecaster and, well, I just had to do it.
Owning an original 1955 telecaster is a dream I thought would never come true. But it’s reality now and I feel so blessed. I called it Claudia after my friend that sold it to me, and it will be handed down to my kids to be kept for generations to come. The best part is it is an amazing guitar with more mojo than one could ask for. I’ve played a lot of Tele’s in my day, but this makes me smile more than any other.
Ben - Repair Tech
People who know me also know that I buy and end up selling quite a few guitars. But one that I got this year that has stuck is a Gretsch Electromatic Series Duo jet. I did do a few minor mods to it to suit how I like it, but it’s basically as I bought it. It was affordable, it's easy to play and it sounds great. Having owned the Professional series Duo Jet, to me it’s that far off the mark of the more expensive models. The pickups sound a little bit different than true Filtertrons, but I love the way that they respond - bit meatier sounding to my ears. All in all a very cool guitar that I can use live, and not break the bank account!
Bella - Sales
I was very fortunate to welcome a new Gibson into my collection this year! I have been on the lookout for the perfect J-45 for years and in November a found a pretty special pre-owned all Mahogany J-45. My colleagues and I were all astounded to see such a rare all Mahogany J-45 and it definitely did not disappoint. It is full of character and never fails to make you smile and that is exactly why I love it! She now goes by the name of "Miss Molly."
Ryan - Store Manager
Like many people, I ended up buying more musical gear this year than in most other years combined. More time at home meant more playing guitar, which meant more time thinking about buying more guitars.
Late last year, after spending too much time on various guitar forums, I ordered a Santa Cruz OM, with Mahogany back-and-sides and a Tunnel 13 Redwood top. And in January it arrived, and exceeded all my expectations by a country mile. It's just a fabulous guitar in every possible way, and I look forward to growing old with it. It's exactly the sound I had in my head, and I'm still stunned that Santa Cruz made it a reality!
But later in the year, I was showing a customer a few Rosewood / Spruce dreadnoughts when I picked up a Guild D-55E and strummed a couple of chords... And I was hooked. The new Californian-built Guilds are phenomenal, and the D-55E has it all. That amazing headstock, the huge body, the tasteful gold appointments - it came home later that week. Sometimes the guitar finds you.
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