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Acoustic and Electric Guitars & Basses


   Nobody can argue with the fact that Martin guitars are the most sought-after acoustics on the planet — hey, the company has been building these fine guitars since 1833. I should warn you right now, however, that since these instruments are in such exceedingly high demand, and because each one is lovingly handmade (a process that cannot be rushed), Martins can't ever be considered to be an "in-stock" item. Musicians are only too happy to put deposits on instruments that won't ship for years, but thanks to our enormous buying power, odds are we can get your dream guitar in a matter of months, not years. Whether you are looking for a surprisingly affordable D1 or D15, or one of the highly-prized Martins like the D28 Dreadnought (with solid East Indian rosewood

The J200: A timeless classic from Gibson
The J200: A timeless classic from Gibson

back and sides and a solid spruce top) or the D35 (with its striking three-piece back and lighter top bracing for clear, bell-like treble), call us first for a Custom Select great price.

   Of course, Martin isn't the only company that builds acoustics with tender loving care. Gibson also crafts some astonishingly beautiful instruments in their facilities. The superb J200 acoustic (also known as the Super Jumbo 200) features a select Sitka spruce top with maple back, sides and neck, an ebony fingerboard (which really gives each note extra crispness and definition) gold-plated Imperial tuners and that distinctive Gibson mustache bridge (historical sidenote: this "King of the Flat-top Guitars" was originally built in 1937 for one of Holly-wood's earliest singing cowboys, Ray Whitley). With a smaller list price, but still plenty of tone, you might also consider the J45, a wonderful recreation of the classic 1940s design with vintage reverse belly bridge, dot inlays and early binding package.

   If you want a wonderful sweet-sounding guitar at a surprisingly affordable price, I know you'll be impressed with the choice woods, excellent craftsmanship and exquisite finishes available from Washburn, not to mention their full lifetime warranties. I was particularly blown away by the sound and playability of their D24S12 12-string. The company's D10 also holds the distinction of being the best-selling acoustic in the world — dollar for dollar this is a great choice for any guitarist. But if you're like me and love choice wood, you might consider spending the extra bucks and go for the D47 with its solid spruce top and sycamore back and sides.

   You also cannot go wrong with one of the acoustics being built by Takamine. Pete Townshend, Bruce Springsteen and Glenn Frey (among others) play them. Very high on my list is the Santa Fe Series with its turquoise and green abalone appointments combined with select woods. Other top-sellers include the CP132SC nylon string acoustic-electric, the N10 dreadnought, and the G-Series, the perfect choice for musicians who want high quality at a down-to-earth price.

   Finally, no acoustic guitar collection would be complete without a selection of exceptional guitars from the company that essentially invented the modern acoustic-electric, Ovation. From the least-expensive Celebrity to the top-of-the-line Adamas, every Ovation is built to last and sound incredible for a lifetime.

   Space restrictions prevent me from listing every guitar we have in stock, but if all this seems confusing, just pick up the phone and call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer. They will be only too happy to point you in the right direction and get you set up with a great Custom Select guitar from our huge inventory. And don't forget, each guitar purchase includes our G-Kit bundle: Polish, polishing cloth, strap, picks and stringwinder. Very, very cool. Next issue: Amps and effects!

— William Hoover

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