Fri 2/17/2006 ~ New from NAMM!
OK, now, where were we?
Oh yeah, here's what happened
at the NAMM show:
Fender said they like me. (I'm not sure if it's my sparkling
personality... or the fact that I pay all of my bills on time.)
And I like them, `cause they make a good product. Oh, I have
a couple of issues... like, why do they make a thousand different
Stratocaster models? And what's up with the new advertising campaign?
But in general, we have a great relationship. The latest news:
-Fender Electrics: Remember the
50th Anniversary Strat from two years ago? Well, now you can
buy the 60th Anniversary Strat! I know, I know, those 10 years
went by fast!! You see, the Strat was introduced in 1954, so
2004 made sense as a 50th anniversary. But THIS year someone
in the marketing department noticed that 2006 was a potential
anniversary, too. Way, way back in the mid-1940s Leo Fender and
electronics wiz, Clayton "Doc" Kauffman, ran a small
amplifier manufacturing company called "K & F Manufacturing."
In 1946 they had a falling out... Doc Kauffman left... and Leo
changed the name of the company to "Fender Electric Instruments."
Thus: 2006 - 1946 = 60th Anniversary! (Note to self: Leo first
opened "Fender's Radio Repair Service" in 1938, so
in two more years, 2008, expect the 70th Anniversary Strat!!)
-Fender Acoustics: A few weeks
ago I mentioned that Fender was revamping its acoustic guitar
line. Well, the new ones are arriving daily. They're pretty much
the same as the old ones, but they have a slightly different
bridge, and slightly different model numbers. (Old DG-10 = New
CD-100) (It wasn't easy, but we broke the code!) Fender acoustics
have always been a great guitar for the money. And now we have
the remaining 2005 models on our "50% Off Island" so
they're a great guitar for even less money!
(You know, I should digress here
for a moment... Since this is my store, rather than a big corporation,
I always personally pick the stuff we have for sale. And I've
made it my goal to not sell junk. Sure, some guitars are cheaper
than others and you can only get so much quality for so many
dollars... But every guitar in our store is "worth it."
Naturally, I would love it if you bought a $1000 Martin guitar,
but if you only have $200 to spend, or even $135, I honestly
feel that the Fender acoustics in those price ranges are good
deals for the money.)
-Fender Squier Guitars: Well,
it surprised me, but we've already sold out of our first batch
of "Hello Kitty" Squier Strats. I'll get more, I promise.
Also in stock, the new Shepard Fairey OBEY Strats and Teles.
(I'll get back to you when I figure those out...)
My favorite guitar at the show? The new Gretsch Country Gentleman
12-string! Now, I know what you're thinking: "Why?"
Yeah, that's a good question. But wait until you see it... it
looks so beautiful. I had to order one! It's just like the `62
Reissue Country Gent that we have here on the wall, with a dark
walnut color and gold hardware. Plus, of course, a giant 12-string
(Now it would have made much
more sense for Gretsch to make this guitar with a natural finish
so it would look like the one played by Mike Nesmith in the Monkees...
then maybe five people would have ordered one, rather than just
me... but wait `til you see it!)
I also restocked our entire Gretsch
selection, so we now have more models than ever before, including
a cool White Falcon, a two-tone green Anniversary, a "G"
branded Nashville Western and a few of the less expensive Rock
Rickenbacker has an interesting marketing plan. They try to discourage
people from ordering their guitars. They are now sooooooo far
behind in the manufacturing department that they gave us a chart
explaining delivery times. If we order a 330 or a 360 (their
standard hollow bodies) the estimated delivery time is six to
nine months. A 12-string version of those guitars: at least a
year. Most other models from their line: at least a year and
a half! And a lefty, or a vintage reissue: over two years!! Now,
I love Rickenbacker guitars. They're a high quality, USA-made
instrument at a reasonable price. But they need to hire another
guy or two in the factory. I ordered six or seven guitars...
they should be here by Christmas... (I forgot to mention: If
you order a left-handed vintage reissue, the estimated delivery
The AC-30 is a wonderful amp. If you see a band on Letterman
or Leno or wherever, they'll most likely have an AC-30 onstage.
Well, Vox is now introducing a Limited Edition (only 200 in the
USA) "Brian May AC-30." I laughed out loud when I saw
it! From the front it looks like a regular AC-30, but if you
look at the control panel, instead of the usual ten knobs, it
has one: volume! It's an amp straight out of Spinal Tap. You
can turn it up, or you can turn it down. Those are your choices!
I don't know what it sounds like, but I ordered one!
(Also new from Vox: the reintroduction
of the AC-15. Now in stock at Pittsburgh Guitars!)
In the late 1990s Danelectro produced some really cool vintage
reissues. Then they disappeared. (It's a long story... but I'd
be happy to discuss it with you at Dees over a Bacardi &
Coke...) Now, after 4 years of hibernation, they're back with
updated versions of their vintage styles. Last year they released
the 56-Pro. We just received the 12-string and Baritone. And
in a few weeks we'll have the newest Longhorn and Longhorn Bass
See you soon,
PS: In addition to visiting with
the aforementioned manufacturers, while I was in California I
also had a chance to hang out with our former guitar teacher,
Korel. The last time I saw Korel he was touring in Ozzfest with
Jada Pinkett Smith's band Wicked Wisdom. He has now joined the
Goo Goo Dolls. (You may have seen him on VH-1 playing with The
Goo Goo Dolls at one of the pre-Super Bowl events.) They are
currently working on a new album, and will then hit the road
for a long tour. More news soon...
PPS: Customer web site:
Matt Pond PA