Well what a day. Maybe I should say what a guitar day as today is the first time in a long time that I’ve had a guitar day. That isn’t a day playing guitars, oh know that would be far too productive and useful! Instead it has been a day of mooching around some amazing instruments at The Guitar Show at the New Bingley Hall in Birmingham. My buddy Steve from the SixStringBliss days headed up by train and had a fantastic time.
The highlight of the day for me wasn’t a piece of kit but was watching Martin Simpson play. Martin is an amazingly talented acoustic and slide player and watching him play live was mesmerising. I’ll certainly be looking up more of his material and giving it a good listen. He covered a mixture of folk and blues, with and without slide on his PRS Acoustic. Martin used a tungsten carbide slide which costs an eye watering £250!
From a gear perspective it is difficult to pinpoint a highlight as I’m too scared to pickup and play in public so I go on looks! Firstly I think I got the PRS thing. I often finger through magazines and see instruments upwards of £2000 and can’t quite gut my head around the pricing models. Today I was presented with a wall of PRS guitars which were mostly (from what I could see), priced upwards of £2000. They were stunning. The finishes varied in cap and colour but all were equally beautiful and faultless in their finish. I didn’t have the balls to checkout the real deals but did have a good poke about the less expensive (I don’t want to say cheaper) range of SE model guitars which I believe are manufactured in Korea. These to me were impressive for their price range.
If I had very deep pockets I’d pick up my PRS (probably in green) and match it with a Marshall Astoria Series amplifier. Apologies for the naff angle of the photo but I’ve got a bad back and couldn’t crouch down to get a better shot (I’d still be there if I did). I didn’t get to hear one of these amps in action but they certainly look the business. The Astoria Series are point to point hand wired and designed to give a “more authentic tone”….whatever that may be. Either way they look bloody fantastic and the finish was perfect.
Gretsch also got me a little hot under the collar! The photo I’ve posted here is of their more expensive range of guitars but again their budget range looked equally nice with good unblemished finishes. That’s a bit of a naff comment really as I doubt they’re going to show any products with a crap finish, but I was impressed that players can go grab a proper Gretsch for not a lot of money and it is a really good quality instrument.
There was also lots of strange stuff! This double necked Dean was great to look at but I’m unsure how comfy it would feel on a strap 🙂
So, did I come back with a guitar? No. Old me would have walked away with a bunch of expensive gear but …. well I’m skint and thankfully have finally got it in my head that new stuff wont make me any better! Instead I got myself a lovely Overdrive handmade strap for my Little Martin LXK2 acoustic, a new winder as I’ve lost my old one, a second capo as I’m getting annoyed with moving my current one between guitars and a new cable as my current one is buggered.
I think a good restrained haul of stuff!
I have to admit that I really REALLY fancied a Blackstar Fly 3 mini amp to shove on my bedside table. However I’ve a Core ID 10 which is very portable so I’m really not sure it would be money well spend. I think I’ll save for another Overdrive strap for my Fender MIM Stratocaster.
I’ve written all of this and noticed I mentioned the “highlight” and then waffled on about big name and big brand stuff. In reality I think the highlights were presented by the smaller companies but I need to gather my thoughts (and photos).