FENDER AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL STRATOCASTER
The hallmarks of an American-made Fender Stratocaster will forever be a classic combination, embraced by guitarists, and imitated by competitors. There’s no going past the versatility of three quality single-coil pickups, that classic double-cutaway body shape and a vibrato bridge. With rumours mounting in late 2016 that Fender was planning to discontinue the production of the American Standard Stratocaster, a sense of panic was unleashed amongst the guitar community. What we weren’t aware of at the time, however, was that Fender were planning to unveil a new Strat – the American Professional Stratocaster. It’s with this new model that Fender have both honoured and enhanced that of its predecessors – most notably with the instalment of newly developed pickups. For this reason alone it’s a welcomed upgrade from what we have seen in the past.
FENDER AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL TELECASTER DELUXE HH SHAWBUCKER
Fender is a guitar manufacturer always excited by the prospect of entering new ground, lead by a team intently focused on what will come next. Hence the decision late last year to discontinue their American Standard Series line of guitars, and to replace it with the freshly inspired American Professional Series. Rather than resting on their laurels, with this shift in production Fender have provided us with a newly evolved Tele and Strat, along with the addition of three new models – one which is the American Professional Telecaster Deluxe Shawbucker. This guitar here is an ode to The Deluxe of the ‘70s – when Fender made their first foray into the world of humbucker pickups – and is a reinvigorated upgrade of the Classic Series ’72 Telecaster Deluxe that the company released in 2004. Like the entire American Professional Series, this Tele Deluxe comes with new pickups, a new neck shape and a treble-bleed tone circuit – and as such, a whole lot of intrigue.
ERNIE BALL MUSIC MAN S.U.B. SILO3 ELECTRIC GUITAR
The Silo3 is based on the Ernie Ball Music Man Silhouette, a workhorse guitar that has proved itself popular in hard rock and fusion circles for decades. It offers much of the tonal muscle of a really nice Strat but with certain ergonomic tweaks. The Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Silo3 is a budget priced version of the Silhouette.
FENDER DELUXE NASHVILLE TELE
Fender is the undisputed home of the solid-body electric guitar. You simply can’t go past the trailblazing nature and subsequent longevity of their Tele and Strat models. For 66 years the Tele has been produced in multiple forms, never failing to surprise or surpass its own lofty expectations. It makes complete sense then that Fender would release the Deluxe Nashville Tele – channelling the sounds of Music Row in the home of country music. The guitar represents a total embrace of the typical Telecaster twang and bluesy warmth, with some juicy Strat-like additions.
Collings City Limits Deluxe
Collings Guitars is a guitar manufacturer that has a real appreciation for the craft. It was only in 2006 that Bill Collings – then a renowned acoustic guitar-maker – turned his focus towards electric guitars, bringing with him a meticulous and uncompromising approach towards construction and tone. A descendant of which is the Collings City Limits Deluxe electric guitar. This little known gem nails the classic shape of a Les Paul, draped in custom design features and sophisticated subtleties, matched by complex layers of satisfying tone. It’s the perfect introduction to a high-end guitar company determined to set new sonic standards.
PRS 2017 Custom 24 Electric Guitar
Paul Reed Smith started out just this way, building his first guitar as a challenge from his high school woodwork teacher.
Guild T-50 Slim Arch Top
Call me crazy but I’ve often wondered what it would’ve been like to live in the 50’s and 60’s.
Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent Signature Model
The concept of a signature guitar relies heavily on a unique design, innovation and communication with the artist at hand. If any of these three components are found wanting, there’s every chance you end up with an instrument that merely mimics the makers’ stock model. Ernie Ball Music Man’s St. Vincent signature guitar, thankfully, avoids falling into this trap; from design, to construction and playing experience, it’s a shining example of a signature model bringing something entirely new to the table.