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Taylor 914ce Acoustic-Electric Guitar
  • Features: Cutaway. Acoustic-Electric. Luxurious wood.
  • Review: A top-of-the-line Taylor guitar. Taylor necks are all about smooth, comfortable playing. Comfort translates to effortless. The spruce-top tone is also second to none.
  • Taylor 914ce Acoustic-Electric Hybrid Guitar
  • Features: Cutaway. Acoustic-Electric Hybrid. Luxurious wood. Electric pickups. Hollow body.
  • Review: This is not exactly dedicated to electric-guitar playing, but its hollow body makes it both resonance and clarity. It's often said there are a "variety of tonal possibilities." This is a versatile guitar!
  • Gibson Les Paul Supreme Electric Guitar
  • Features: Cutaway. Double humbucker pickups. Pure electric tone.
  • Review: The best-sounding electric guitar. A classic.
  • Music Man Cutlass HSS Electric Guitar
  • Features: Cutaway. Humbucker and Single-Coil 5-way pickup selection. Ultra smooth, playable neck.
  • Review: A modern take on the classic Fender Strat shape, this guitar is very versatile with numerous tones available on pickups. This is a truly modern electric!
  • Basses

    Hofner 500/1 Electric Bass Guitar
  • Features: Acoustic-like tone.
  • Review: Best to use with flat-wound strings, the "Beatle" bass plays like a breathing instrument due to its hollow body.
  • Aria FEB-FL Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar
  • Features: Acoustic-like tone. Cutaway. F-holes.
  • Review: A little sharp around the edges, this bass has beast tone! Fretless sounds very close to an upright bass. This Japanese maker is relatively unknown in the US, but the instrument is quality.
  • Fender J-Bass Electric Bass Guitar
  • Features: Fat, round bass tone.
  • Tonally unique among basses, the J-Bass is comfortable and holds tune well. With roundwound strings, this bass is capable of smooth, melodic as well as thumping rhythmic bass lines.

    Guitar Amps

    Bugera V5 Tube Guitar Amplifier
  • Features: a 12AX7 and a EL84 tube.
  • Review: This amp is the simplest tube setup an amp can have. Thus, it's perfect for practice — and maybe even recording. This amp has tone!
  • MESA Lonestar Classic Tube Guitar Amplifier
  • Features: EL34 or 6L6 tubes. EQ.
  • Review: This amp is known for its clean tone, but with with overdrive it also rocks a natural overdrive with 4 tubes.
  • VOX AC30 Tube Guitar Amplifier
  • Features: EL34. Classic circuitry.
  • Review: This amp is Beatles, Queen, and British rock legend. With high and low-power lines, it is also extremely versatile tonally.

    Condenser Microphones

    Neumann M149 Tube Condenser Microphone
  • Features: Warmest tone ever, with that Neumann sound.
  • Review: This microphone is the best-in-class modern tube microphone. The kind Sinatra would use today. The Neumann sound is worth it!
  • Neumann U87 Solid-State Condenser Microphone
  • Features: that Neumann sound.
  • Review: The frequency response may not be for everything, but when it works it is a perfect fit, especially guitar cab recording. The Neumann sound is worth it!
  • AKG C12VR Tube Condenser Microphone
  • Features: airy, crisp tone.
  • Review: An especially bright, airy, crisp mic. Sibellence can be an issue, but this mic has great "presence."
  • AKG C414 Solid-State Condenser Microphone
  • Features: a faithful reference.
  • Review: The AKG workhorse mic. This AKG sound is clear and fairly neutral. A great starter mic for one's first condenser.
  • Dynamic Microphones

    Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone
  • Features: the classic snare mic and dynamic reference.
  • Review: A simple, durable dynamic microphone.
  • Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone
  • Features: the go-to live-vocal mic.
  • Review: Known to be virtually indestructible, this mic is essentially the same as the SM57.
  • Shure SM7B Dynamic Microphone
  • Features: the best voiceover mic.
  • Review: This mic has excellent sound-rejection to the side and a unique EQ tailored to voice.
  • Ribbon Microphones

    Royer R121 Ribbon Microphone
  • Features: accurate and uncolored.
  • Review: The R121 has a figure-8 polar pattern, which can be useful, but is most known for accurate-to-source sonic reproduction. Combined with a Shure SM57, it is industry standard on guitar amps.

    Adam A7X Pro Monitor Speaker
  • Features: Full-body woofer, detailed tweeter.
  • Review: These Adam speakers are second to none. The pro audiophile would love these at a computer workstation or for a home theater.
  • Genelec 8020D Pro Monitor Speaker
  • Features: a flat, natural frequency response.
  • Perfect, compact near-field monitors. These have a flat, even frequency response which is great for mixing and enjoying ultra-detailed sound for professional ears.
  • Yamaha HS7 Monitor Speaker
  • Features: a flat, natural frequency response.
  • These are middle-of-the line speakers. Not as expensive as the Adam A7X, they are also in a class of their own for their unaffected sound.