Sunday, June 25, 2017

Waterloo guitar, Anthem pickup, and AER amp equals acoustic nirvana

Part of growing older gracefully as a musician is downsizing your gear. Reasons range from a sore back to more serious stuff. Whatever your reason, if you're looking to downsize your acoustic rig and lighten your load I have good news for you. You can do it without sacrificing sound quality.

Partly through trial and error and partly through research I have assembled a lightweight and small system that sounds natural and acoustic and has enough power to play in a noisy bar. These days I rarely review gear on this blog but each component in this rig gets my enthusiastic recommendation.

In the past when weight was less of a concern I used a mixer, power amp, and speakers. It was a lot of stuff to haul and it was heavy and bulky but that was part of the price you paid to get good sound in those days.

My new compact rig includes a Waterloo guitar equipped with an LR Baggs Anthem SL pickup system. This goes directly into an AER Tommy Emmanuel amplifier. Simple!

This small, lightwight guitar and powerful little amp combine to produce a sound which exceeds my expectations. It sounds lovely! Better in fact than any of the heavy and overly complicated component PA systems that I hauled around back in the day.

When I first decided to downsize I thought I would have to sacrifice sound quality. Instead I found the most natural and musical amplified acoustic guitar sound I've ever experienced outside of a recording studio. Bonus! I'm looking forward to getting out and playing music with this rig.

Even if you're not shopping for "geezer gear" you'll appreciate the sound quality you get out of a small, simple rig like this and you'll love how easy it is to carry and set up. It just works and that frees you from tweaking sound and let's you focus more on your music.

The Waterloo, Anthem and AER amp make setting up quick and simple and the sound is awesome. I wholeheartedly recommend these products with the caveat that you should always let your ear (and budget) be your guide. Adopt a less is more philosophy and I think you'll discover as I have that you don't need a van full of gear to sound your best in 2017.

Disclaimer: I purchased this gear retail and use it by choice. I received no special consideration and these are not specially selected "review samples". 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Apologies for the long silence

1949 Gibson J45
1949 Gibson J45 Guitar

Hi Friends,

Sorry I haven't updated my content here for a while. Three years ago I was struck inexpectedly by a catstrophic illness. While moving into my house I suffered an aortic dissection.

Fortunately before I blacked out I made an emergency call. Thanks to quick response from the EMTs, the helicopter team, and the open heart surgery team at UNM hospital I survived.

That's why I've been out of the music biz for so long. I'll to start playing out again soon by visiting some open mics in Taos and Albuquerque before I attempt a real gig. If you readers are interested in seeing reviews of the northern New Mexico open mic nights here in the future please let me know.

In the meantime check out this 1949 Gibson J45 that turned up in a small Albuquerque shop last year. It's been broken and patched up a few times (like me) but it still sounds great and––after some fret work and an ace setup by George at Langston Guitar and Amp Works––it plays great too.