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DIERKS BENTLEY TO HOST UPCOMING ACM AWARDS

The Martin Guitar Blog - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 05:00

Martin Ambassador Dierks Bentley will co-host the 2017 ACM Awards for the second year in a row!

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The Martin Ambassador will co-host alongside Luke Bryan. In addition to hosting the award show, Dierks Bentley will also perform and is nominated for Male Vocalist Of The Year, Album Of The Year For Black, and Vocal Event Of The Year For "Different For Girls" with fellow Martin Ambassador Elle King.

The 52nd ACM Awards will air on CBS on Sunday, April 2nd. You can learn more about the award show here.

Martin Ambassador Dierks Bentley's Martin guitar of choice is the D-28. You purchase your own D-28 by finding a participating dealer, ordering from an online certified dealer, or exploring the buy from factory program.

Categories: Manufacturers

Jackson JS Series Dinky JS22-7 – review

Lone Phantom - Tue, 03/07/2017 - 03:34

JacksonDinkyJS22-7I’ve been considering the idea of getting a seven string guitar for some time, and just before Christmas an offer that could not be refused for one came my way. The singer in my band was looking to sell a Jackson JS Series Dinky JS22-7, and since the price was right I jumped on it.

The JS22-7 Dinky is a fixed bridge 26.5″ scale guitar, with an arch-top poplar body, string through body hardtail strat style bridge, with a bolt on graphite rod reinforced maple and 24 fret rosewood fretboard. It is equipped with a pair of Jackson High Output 7 String Humbucker pickups, 3 way blade-style pickup selector, and a volume and tone control. Seven string guitars are commonly associated with modern metal music, and like the Model T Ford, the JS22-7 comes in one very metal appropriate colour, satin black. Hardware is all black, and the headstock comes with the slightly irregular 3×4 layout Jackson headstock in matching satin black.

Acoustically, the JS22-7 is quite impressive for a budget guitar. The example I have resonates very nicely, and the combination of poplar body and maple neck and rosewood fretboard offer a very nice balanced tone that doesn’t get too muddy. The 26.5″ scale length ensures that the lower strings don’t flub out too much, and whilst it feels like a bit of a stretch at first, the slightly longer scale length isn’t too unwieldy for the seven string newcomer.

Plugged in and the Jackson High Output 7 String Humbuckers offer a reasonable tonal palette. Most stock pickup in lower end guitars commonly range from rubbish to average, but the Jackson ones in the JS22-7 are fairly balanced, if a little two-dimensional in sound. The bridge pickup is a little muddy on the lower notes, but cuts through and cleans up generally pretty well. It’s a little too bright and brash with a strictly clean tone, but most players wouldn’t use it on it’s own for a clean tone. The middle position on the pickup selector offers both humbuckers together, and it provides a pretty decent clean tone, and a slightly less aggressive lead tone with some dirt added. The neck pickup on it’s own provides a reasonable warm distorted lead tone higher up the fretboard, but is probably a bit useless for most lower down. Clean it’s also probably a bit too muddy for chord work.

Jackson JS22-7 Dinky

The JS22-7’s neck is a nice slim “D” shape, and a relatively flat 16″ fretboard radius. As someone who has had a lot of experience playing Ibanez guitars, the JS22-7 feels quite natural to move onto, even with the extra string and neck width added in. The fretwork and general setup can be a little inconsistent with lower-end, budget guitars, but this example came very nicely set up, with no sharp fret-ends and nice moderately low action.

So far, the JS22-7 is scoring pretty well for a budget guitar, but it does have it’s downsides. The stock Jackson tuners are rubbish, and slip out of tune fairly easily. A tuner upgrade will do the JS22-7 a world of good, but the tricky part is finding tuners that are a direct fit. there are few stock packaged options for 3×4 tuner sets, and the ones available will require a little modification to install. The electronics are a little noisy as well, but it is cheap to replace pots with decent quality ones. On the subject of upgrades, a serious player would look at upgrading the pickups to a better quality set too.

The tricky part with budget guitars is that once you look at pickup, electronics, and tuner upgrades you may be spending close to the guitar’s original value on upgrades. Thankfully the JS22-7 provides a pretty sound base to build upon, and is definitely worth the upgrades if you plan on keeping the guitar for a while.

Overall, the Jackson JS22-7 Dinky is a solid guitar that provides massive bang-for-buck value. It plays a lot better than many may expect for a low-end guitar, and provides a solid foundation for those starting out on the seven string guitar, or even those looking for a backup for their higher-end seven string axe. A few upgrades will turn a nice guitar into an absolute beast of a guitar that would provide a player with many years of great service. If you are looking to jump into the seven string world without spending too much coin, or looking for a solid dependable back-up seven string, the JS22-7 Dinky is definitely worth checking out.

Categories: General Interest

MARTIN MONDAY: 000-17E Black Smoke

The Martin Guitar Blog - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 07:52

In the market for a woody, lighter sound? Meet the 000-17E Black Smoke.

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The satin black smoke finish offset with the grained ivoroid binding and pickguard show off the understated beauty of the guitar. The rosewood fingerboard and bridge pop against the rich, black satin finish which is designed to be thinner and provide more resonation. It is crafted with a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides for a comforting, warm tone. You can choose the acoustic-electric model that is equipped with the Fishman Matrix VT Enhance or simply go acoustic.

You can learn more about the 000-17E Black Smoke here. You can purchase the guitar by finding your nearest authorized Martin dealer, finding a certified online Martin dealer, or explore the buy from factory program.

Categories: Manufacturers

Inspiration for the Day

Guitar Gear - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 08:59
“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” ~ Jack London I was watching a documentary on the great Raiders quarterback, Ken “Snake” Stabler. In one segment, the narrator mentioned that Stabler was well-read, and an […]
Categories: General Interest

Pedals You Never Get Tired Of…

Guitar Gear - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 07:51
For me, it’s overdrive pedals. Transparent, amp-in-a-box, tone-coloring, you name it, I love it. To me, overdrive pedals are a lot like guitars. They all have their own unique sounds. And like guitars, when your wife or significant other asks you how many overdrive pedals do you need, for me, the answer is always: Just one […]
Categories: General Interest

Greenchild G777 Overdrive

Guitar Gear - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 17:04
No, sorry folks, but this isn’t a review of the pedal. However, it does seem promising. Not just a regular overdrive that’s patterned off the TubeScreamer or Klon, but something with an entirely different voice. On top of that, it has two independent overdrive channels that can be run in parallel or stacked and it […]
Categories: General Interest

Is There a Viable Alternative to Rosewood?

Guitar Gear - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 11:57
Before I share my own thoughts, I’d like to share an email I got this morning from MusicTrades.com. It’s a trade rag magazine that puts out email digests. I normally ignore them, but the title of the article caught my eye, and I thought I’d pass it along after I read it. Here it is […]
Categories: General Interest

Happy 10th Anniversary to GuitarGear.org

Guitar Gear - Tue, 02/14/2017 - 09:58
Wow! Ten years! It is hard to believe that GuitarGear.org has been around that long! What’s even more amazing is that despite having had lapses in posting, I’m actually still adding content after all this time. I thought about what I might write for this momentous occasion and played around with several ideas but in the […]
Categories: General Interest

Fighting with it… Working for It…

Guitar Gear - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 12:29
I’ve sung the praises of my 1958 Fender Champ in the past, and as I use it regularly, my opinion of the amp hasn’t changed. The Champ has been on several recordings of famous artists through the years, and it’s no small wonder why: With a Champ, it really is WYSIWYG as far as sound […]
Categories: General Interest

Gear: Markers Along a Journey

Guitar Gear - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 09:02
Besides music and golf, another passion I have – though nowhere near the level of the former – is wine. I’m not a collector, but I keep a modest amount of great bottles in my small wine cooler. But apart from the wine itself, I love keeping up to date with what’s going on in […]
Categories: General Interest

I’ll Be Damned… James Taylor’s Tuning Works!

Guitar Gear - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 11:11
A couple of days ago, I wrote an article about how James Taylor tunes his guitars, utilizing the “cents” on the tuner to compensate for the shape of an acoustic guitar, and how the bass notes ring sharper than their tuning, and also to compensate for a capo pulling the strings sharp. Here’s the video […]
Categories: General Interest

The More I See This Guy…

Guitar Gear - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 11:25
…the more I appreciate his virtuosity with the guitar. “This guy” happens to be Eric Rachmany of Rebelution, and he’s absolutely amazing. If you’re familiar with Rebelution, you know that they’re a reggae band out of Isla Vista, CA. And you might think, “It’s reggae – all um-chuck, um-chuck. How hard could it be?” Admittedly, […]
Categories: General Interest

To Attenuate Or Not To Attenuate?

Guitar Gear - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 11:13
For me, an attenuator was a key component in my live signal chain for many years. As I was playing live mostly in a church setting, in order to get my amp to “growl” levels, I had no other choice but to use output attenuation to control my volume. And for this, I used several […]
Categories: General Interest

James Taylor: Making “Cents” Out of Tuning

Guitar Gear - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 15:28
If you go to a gear board like The Gear Page and search on tuners, you’ll see a lot of talk about a tuner’s “cents.” A “cent” is hundredth of a 1/2 note. People like to talk about “cents” to compare the accuracy of the tuners that they use. In general, if a tuner is […]
Categories: General Interest

The Lowly Capo: A TOOL of the Trade

Guitar Gear - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 09:31
Repeat after me: A Capo is just a tool… A Capo is just a tool… Over the years, a few people have approached me personally or online and have said that they considered a capo to be a “cheater,” simultaneously proffering a backhanded insult at the same time. The first time it happened, I laughed […]
Categories: General Interest

Where Do I Put My Volume Pedal?

Guitar Gear - Fri, 02/03/2017 - 09:36
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked that question over the years, and my answer is pretty much the same: “It depends…” No, I’m not trying to be a dick, but it really does depend on what you’re after with your volume pedal. The reason I’m bringing this up is because of a […]
Categories: General Interest

Gig Report: TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb

Guitar Gear - Sun, 01/22/2017 - 11:30
Yesterday, I wrote an article about how my beloved Hardwire RV-7 Reverb had finally gone on the fritz, and I was going to try out the TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb, which I’ve had now for a few years, but hadn’t put on my pedal board. This wasn’t because I didn’t think it was […]
Categories: General Interest

That Feeling You Get When Gear Breaks Down…

Guitar Gear - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 11:00
That feeling is a mixture of sadness and sickness. After many years, and literally, thousands of gigs, my trusty Hardwire RV-7 Reverb finally stopped working. I remember that before I got this pedal, I went through several reverbs before I finally found one that inspired me, and that was the RV-7. Built in partnership with […]
Categories: General Interest

Roland JC 40 or Fender Ultra Chorus

Guitar Gear - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 11:03
You know what the best thing about guitar gear is? There's lots of it! You know what's the worst thing about guitar gear? There's lots of it!
Categories: General Interest

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