We were in sunny California last
week at the NAMM show and we stopped at the Danelectro booth
to complain that we missed the old "Dan-Echo" pedal.
It was one of the original large metal Dano pedals, before they
came out with those little cheap plastic mini pedals. The Dan-Echo
is a solid, relatively inexpensive, great sounding delay pedal.
You can get a wonderful "slap-back" echo and really
nice delay. It's loads of fun, and we sold a lot of them a few
years ago. The guy at the booth said, "Oh, I have some of
those left!" So we bought a bunch to offer to YOU, our favorite
See You soon,
PS: In case you're wondering
what happened to the Danelectro guitars, here's the story in
1000 words or less: Five years ago a guy named Steve bought the
"Danelectro" name and started making vintage-style
Dano guitars... He sold tons and tons of them worldwide, and
just when the market seemed totally saturated he redesigned some
old models and introduced some new, wacky ones. A couple of years
ago he leased the designs to a wholesale company. (They sell
a variety of brands of small goods like strings, and some company-branded
big stuff like guitars and drums.) The wholesale company made
and sold Danelectro guitars for a while, but the new wacky stuff
didn't sell as much as they had hoped and so they stopped. Right
now no Dano guitars are being made. And, as always happens when
you can't get something anymore, we get emails almost daily from
people looking for the original 1998-99 Danelectro models. We
have long-since sold all of ours... (Wow.... As I'm typing this
a guy just called looking for one! Coincidence? I think not.)
However, the wholesale company's leasing agreement runs out later
this year, and Steve will be making guitars again. I don't know
which models... but based on requests we've been getting, he
should go back to the vintage styles. We'll see. (This whole
time he kept the rights to make Danelectro effects, so all of
the pedals are from the original company...)
PPS: Yep, as you guessed, we
couldn't help ourselves and we ordered lots of Gretsches. I checked
them out and they've really put a lot of effort into design and
quality. They seem much more impressive than the early reissues
from a few years back, so we're gonna go for it. I'm just not
sure how we're going to fit them all in the store... More news
PPPS: This week's Customer web site:
Last Monday I drove to Nazareth,
PA, for a private tour of the Martin factory. I was just there
a year ago, but it's such fun that I had to go back. Besides,
I had to see first hand what the internal differences were between
the Martin HD-28 and the HD-28V... (You can read about these
things, but that's not the same as actually seeing the guitars
as they are being assembled...)
It turns out that the biggest
behind-the-scenes difference between the two models is the HD-28V's
forward shifted bracing. As you probably know, there is bracing
under the face of an acoustic guitar to help the top withstand
the tension of the strings. In 1840 C.F. Martin introduced an
"X" bracing pattern, with the cross of the "X"
between the soundhole and the bridge. This cross was about an
inch from the soundhole. Well, sometime in 1939 the cross of
the "X" braces moved about an inch toward the soundhole.
No one knows why. (My guess is that one day someone lined the
braces up on the wrong side of the little pencil lines that they
draw on the underside of the guitar face...and then...it just
stayed that way.) To give the HD-28V true "vintage"
specs they move the bracing to the pre-1939 position... now referred
to as "forward shifted bracing."
I enjoy the 1939 inadvertent-brace-shift
story because it's an example of how hand-made Martin guitars
are. Even now there are a hundred folks sitting at workbenches
carving little pieces of purfling and gluing on multiple layers
of binding. It's cool that in this technological age there is
still hands-on work being done. Guitars, like people, should
have a personality. And personality comes from the human touch.
And just to visit the other extreme...
This week's special are things that most likely no human ever
touched, until we opened the box....Fender "Electro-Volt"
See You soon,
PS: I was also able to visit
the old factory, where my favorite acoustic, my 1954 D-18, was
born! Back then they were cranking out three or four guitars
a day, in an area about the size of our store.
PPS: This week's Customer web site:
The Granati Brothers
Boss is introducing two new multi-effects
pedals, so yesterday we ordered some. As we were talking to the
sales rep I looked over our current inventory... to see what
we were low on. When I glanced through the Boss Pedal pile I
noticed that we had 82 Boss pedals in stock! Now admittedly,
we do have 32 different models, but still, I think 82 is too
So I picked one, and we're going
to have a super sale on it.
Since I wanted the sale to be
truly super I picked the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive. It's your
basic distortion, except.... it's Super! And the Price- 66.667%
See You soon,
For this week's "Read Carl's Mind" Contest, we're offering
a FREE Boss SD-1 Pedal (a $97.50 value!) (Unless you have this
coupon, in which case it's a $32.50 value...) to the first person
who correctly fills in the missing three words in this phrase:
"It's SUPER! ___ ___ ______!"
The phrase doesn't particularly make sense, but it made me laugh
when I thought of it... If you can read my mind and are the first
person to reply, you win the pedal. Then you'll be Super.
PPS: Yea! The Gretsch Guitars are starting to arrive! AND
since we've gone this far (Hofner, Rickenbacker & Gretsch) we've decided
to go one step further and we ordered Vox Amps, too! The first batch arrived this
week and they're great! And look fabulous! And even the little
ten-watt one sounds wonderful! (OK, that's a lot of exclamation
points for one paragraph. Sorry. I just got done watching that
stupid stupid "Are You Hot?" TV show, and my brain
hurts... I wanted to turn away, but I couldn't...)
PPPS: This week's Customer web site:
Mr. Small's Funhouse
Early this week a guy from Italy
was in buying a guitar and he jokingly said "Where's your
'No Stairway To Heaven' sign?" He was, of course, referring
to the guitar store scene in "Wayne's World," and the
repeated playing-of-hit-song riffs that we hear in this biz.
I explained that I opened Pittsburgh Guitars 24 years ago and I've
heard a LOT of song licks played a LOT of wacky ways. "Stairway
To Heaven" was certainly big, but it was long ago out-played
by the riff from "Crazy Train." Another one that we
heard for a year or so was Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O'Mine."
And of course, Metallica's "Enter Sandman." And ALWAYS
popular with folks trying bass or guitar is Nirvana's "Come
As You Are."
It's never bothered me to hear
these riffs played over and over. After all, they're a part of
our musical heritage. In fact, I think, as a guitar player, it's
your duty to know at least the main riff from these songs.
That's why I was so amused when
I saw this new series of books from the Hal Leonard Publishing
Company. (And, since our primary business plan here at Pittsburgh
Guitars is to carry stuff that amuses me, I ordered them!) Yes,
it's a series called "Riff Notes" and in one book you
get up to 63 memorable guitar riffs!! And there's different books
for different decades: "`70s Guitar Riffs," "`80s
Guitar Riffs," etc, plus "Famous Bass Intros"
and "Famous Acoustic Guitar Intros."
They're pretty cheap to begin
with, so the email special is only a few dollars off But if you've
ever wanted to go into a guitar store and reminisce about the
hundreds of famous licks that have been played there, these are
the books for you!
Come on, let's hum "Come
As You Are": da da da da dum dum dum da da da da...
See You soon,
PS: This week's Customer web site:
PPS: Congratulations to Steve
Belfi for winning the Boss SD-1 pedal in last
week's contest. Steve correctly guessed that I was thinking
of the song "I'm Super! Thanks For Asking!" by Big
Gay Al in the South Park Movie.
PPPS: The new Vox half-stack arrived today, and, boy, is
it cool looking! It's really more than a half-stack... it has
a 4X12 cabinet, but it's big like a Super Beatle, except without