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Custom Select Acoustic and Electric Guitars & Basses    For years, Sweetwater customers have asked, "When will you carry guitars, basses and amps?" We knew it was important to keep our music technology focus, but still we pondered: When the time was right… Well, that time has come! And to make sure guitars get the full attention they deserve, we've started a new division, Custom Select Premium Direct Luthiers. Now you'll enjoy Sweetwater's service and Best Value Guarantee on all your guitar and bass gear.


   For you Gibson lovers, there are lots of superb new Les Pauls in stock (including the much sought-after gold tops and many with great-looking, highly-figured maple tops), as well as other popular models like the semi-hollow ES335 dot neck reissue (a particular favorite of mine), the BB King Lucille signature model (essentially a customized ES355 without f-holes) and the ES175, the full-size hollow body made famous by guitarists like Herb Ellis, Joe Pass and Steve Howe of Yes. I've personally never seen instruments coming out of the Gibson factory that look, sound or play better than the instruments we've just received. Yes, they are a bit more expensive than your "average guitar," but let's face it, the way these things are built, with proper care they will last a lifetime. Here's absolute proof that guitars can be built "just like they used to be"… maybe even better.

   Speaking of great guitars, we're also carrying all the top Paul Reed Smith models like the superb (and affordable) CE Series and awesome Customs (in 22 and 24 fret configurations, many with absolutely beautiful flame maple "10-tops" and mother-of-pearl bird inlays). Then there are the McCartys (with those sweet, smokey-toned humbuckers reviewers have been raving about lately), as well as their top-of-the-line Santana model (24 frets, abalone bird inlays, mahogany body with East Coast maple top) and the absolutely gorgeous Artist models with their extra resonant bodies and exceptionally figured maple tops.

A G&L Legacy Special
A G&L Legacy Special

You can also check out Tech Notes on page 11 of this issue for a more personal look at PRS Guitars. Order a PRS from another dealer and you might have to wait a while to get your guitar. Here at Sweetwater, we have them in stock right now!

   Now if you want a solid body guitar built by G&L, the company Leo Fender founded in 1980 (you may have heard of him — he only invented the Telecaster, Stratocaster and electric basses to name just a few), we have a fine selection of them available right now. From the ASAT and ASAT Classic (with vintage style pickups and bridge) to the timeless design of the Legacy and Legacy Special (with the great G&L Dual Blade pickups—single coil and humbucker all-in-one), these are guitars built with consumate skill and craftsmanship. We even have the versatile new G&L basses with active EQ: The L1500 and L2000 (with two special design humbucking pickups). These are awesome instruments that are still remarkably affordable (check out page 8 for more).

   For those of you who live to shred — and you know who you are! — we have just the thing: Finely crafted instruments from Jackson, a company that has been famous for its lightning fast necks and dive-bombing whammy bars. For Floyd Rose trem lovers, there's the best-selling Dinky and Soloist models (with red hot Seymour Duncan pickups), as well as the Rhoads RR1, which was designed by legendary Ozzy Osborne guitarist Randy Rhoads. Created by Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, there's also the Jackson King V, a not-for-everyone guitar that absolutely lives to rock.

   Need the ultimate in versatility? How about a guitar that will give you a superb electric sound, as well as beautiful acoustic timbres and can even trigger your synths? It's the Godin LGX SA, available with a gorgeous, carved, highly-figured maple top. We've actually been stocking this guitar for quite a while and it's an astonishing instrument (at least three of us here at Sweetwater own one and love it). Also available is the MIDI-ready Multiac in steel or

A Tobias Killer B Bass
A Tobias Killer B Bass

nylon string versions and the solid body, nylon string ACS (also with full MIDI capabilities). For you bass players out there, Godin also builds two superior basses, the BG-Series (in 4 and 5 string versions), and the Acoustibass with L.R. Baggs pickup system (available in fretted and fretless versions).

   Speaking of basses, we are also carrying the handcrafted Tobias line. These are instruments built by a company that knows just one thing: Bass guitars! Available in 4, 5 or 6 string fretted or frettless versions, there's the Killer B which features versatile EQ, Bartolini pickups, incredible sustain and precise playability thanks to a 5-piece MultiLam maple neck. Meanwhile, the newest addition to the Tobias line is the Growler, which features an onboard 18-volt stereo preamp connected to quad-coil, custom-designed Bartolini pickups. Two tone shaping switches and a three-piece asymmetrical heelless neck with Pau Ferro fretboard make this a bass player's dream come true! We're also stocking the Tobias Basic, which is anything but.

   If you're looking for one of the primo headless basses made by Steinberger, we have the XL and XQ Series bass guitars available, as well as their fine six string GL and GM Series instruments.

   Finally, rounding out our electric guitars selection is Epiphone. I probably don't have to tell you that Epiphone guitars are basically lower cost alternatives to the high end Gibson instruments, but that's only part of the story. Not long ago, I was sitting in with a local group and the bass player, who admired my Les Paul, asked if I wanted to see his… well, sure. When he opened the case, I saw a beautiful guitar with a nicely flamed top in a honey sunburst finish. It actually took me a while before I realized this wasn't a vintage Gibson at all, but a recent Epiphone! That should give you some idea as to the overall quality of this line which includes the Les Paul, Sheraton II (a slight variation on the ES335 theme), the G400 (almost identical to Gibson's SG series) and the G1275 which is virtually an exact duplicate of the double neck guitar (6 and 12 strings) used by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin. Also available are two very impressive jazz boxes, the Broadway and Joe Pass Emporer II.

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