Monday, 12 May 2003

London Guitar Show

This Sunday I went to the London Guitar Show in Wembley, and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I didn't even go and watch any of the gigs that had been lined up throughout the day; I was quite happy simply browsing the stalls and looking at all the wonderful gear (and buying one or two bits and pieces as well - but we'll get onto that in a moment).

There were lots of Paisley Pink Strats and Teles (and P-basses) in evidence. Perhaps I should be grateful that I sold mine last year - they're obviously getting old hat now. Alas, I couldn't find any of the new Fender Strat-O-Sonics anywhere (I really wanted to try one of those), although the Arbiter stand had a Stratacoustic and plenty of re-issue Thinline Teles in a variety of colours (pink, blue, etc).

Things that caught my eye:
  • These fabby African oil can guitars

  • The retro-classic stylings of Fret King Guitars

  • More retro-styled madness from Italia Guitars.
    Italia Guitars Rimimi Double
    This Rickenbacker-inspired double-necked Rimini model was truly a thing of beauty.

  • The Vox Brian May Special amp.
    Vox Brian May SpecialI had a go on this and it had a fabulous tone. I want one, but they are not going to be publicly available until next month, RRP £139. Incidentally, I tested the amp using a Burns Brian May Red Special type guitar which I hated, and also with a Parker Fly guitar which I thought I was going to hate but which played beautifully.

I also fell in love with this delightful guitar, the Traveler, so much so that I went home with one!

As the name implies, it's a travel guitar. It has a full scale length but packs away into a tiny little gig bag. The lower bout is detachable for tranpsorting purposes. As well as the single coil pickup which you can see in the picture it has a Shadow piezo pickup beneath the bridge and can produce some fairly respectable acoustic sounds, and two volume controls allow you the blend the tones produced from each pickup. Finally, and rather rather bizarrely, a pair of stethoscope type headphones are included for practice purposes. These pick up sound vibrations from a membrane mounted beneath the bridge and the system actually works quite nicely, even if the descrption of it makes it sound a bit Heath Robinson. It does mean that there are no batteries involved, as the sound is carried by air pressure alone.

Other things I bought included a couple of guitar stands and strings at those crazy low show prices, and the latest EBow Plus to replace my 20 year old EBow.

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