The Guitar Show 2015

This weekend I went up to The Guitar Show with my buddy Dan Burvill and we had great time trying out all sorts of bits and pieces from some awesome manufacturers.

Particularly joyful was the PRS USA Tremonti which I hadn’t had an opportunity to try previously and which has now left a hole in my heart that I do not own one. It was absolutely killer and I have never played anything like it, even my own PRS Custom 24. The pickups are so distinct from each other and the range of tones available just from the guitar itself and astounding. This is definitely on “The List”!

Over at Fair Deal Music they had some of the Dunlop staff and they were raffling off some cool gear. Amazingly I picked up totally awesome Dunlop Clyde McCoy Wah as a prize. Big thank you to Dunlop and Fair Deal for that, can’t wait to get it on the board! While we were here we also got to try out the new Dunlop CryBaby Mini which was amazing and I know both Dan and myself will have them on order for release! I also picked up an MXR ’78 Badass Distortion pedal which is just a crazy pedal with a stunning finish!

Other cool things to note at the show were the Panama amplifiers. The Inferno sounded amazing and while the red tone woods were beautiful I just couldn’t get over the purple finish that was available! Absolutely stunning. Really looking forward to seeing that brand expand and the options that become available. Go and check them out wherever you can, you will not be disappointed. As some of you may know, Rabea Massaad is involved with this brand so it was cool to see him at the booth. Can’t wait for the Dorje gig down in Brighton in a couple of weeks!

D’Addario had a great deal on their NYXL strings so I picked some of those which I’m pretty happy about as they are great strings. I also picked up one of their tiny headstock tuners which is absolutely superb, I highly recommend getting one, especially if you have an acoustic with no built-in tuner as so far it’s incredibly accurate and it’s profile means you can easily just leave it on the headstock all the time.

The Bare Knuckle stand was pretty busy all day and there was a great display of the array of options that they offer. I would say I was a little disappointed with the selection of guitars to try the pickups out. There was not a single Gibson Les Paul, Fender Strat or Fender Tele. I would think that these would be the most important guitars to have there as the majority of people looking to upgrade will probably be looking for pickups for one of these three guitar styles (or the budget equivalent) as opposed to obscure, albeit lovely guitars that are strange shapes. I was impressed by the RiffRaff bridge and the Mule neck pickups (I tried in different guitars) and I’m seriously considering a set. The array of finishes if great but I do actually now find myself struggling to choose so perhaps they’ve even gone a little far for me. It is a shame that there wasn’t a Les Paul on hand with the Mule/RiffRaff setup as they said that is a very popular choice. Seems obvious to me and before you drop £200 or more on pickups you really do want to hear them. Still, don’t be put off by my slightly negative comments, the pickups sound great and the staff are very knowledgable and keen to get you exactly what you want. There was a guitar there with a Juggernaut set in it which actually sounded awesome. I hadn’t previously heard of this model and despite the suggested contemporary voicing I actually got some nice cleaner, bluesier tones from them as well so they were a real surprise to me. They’d probably go really well in a Jackson/Ibanez/Dean style guitar to really help improve the versatility of the instrument.

Sunday was a really great day and many lovely things were tried and I only narrowly avoided several very expensive purchases! I’m really looking forward to next years show now! And I have to have a PRS Tremonti so keep an eye out for that little gem!