NAMM 2014 – Sterling by Music Man

Here are new 2014 models from from Sterling by Music Man which wouldn’t hurt your pockets.

These award winning guitars are sure to give you the best value for money and redefine standards again for entry and mid range guitars in 2014.

Our pick goes to the long awaited Steve Lukather model and the limited edition John Petrucci JP-70D in pearl white this year. We should see the first shipment arriving at the store in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

 

Cort Earth Madagascar & Brazilian @ BGW Guitars

Here are two of the finest Cort guitars ever built.

A Cort Earth 20th anniversary madagascar rosewood dreadnought and a similar piece with brazilian rosewood.

The Cort Earth LE2 madagascar rosewood guitar certainly sings a chord with us. Cort has designed this beauty in lavish style starting by pairing a mastergrade sitka spruce top with rare madagascar rosewood.

The entire guitar is furnished with a generous amount of mother of pearl and green/blue premium abalone. The purfling extends beyond the entire top of the guitar into the fingerboard extension (A character often found only on fairly expensive builds). A full fingerboard custom inlay and fingerboard custom logo further decorates the guitar, making it an eye candy from every angle.

Looking further, you will sport flame maple bindings and heel caps plus premium gold Gotoh 510 tuners. All of which makes this anniversary build probably one of the finest and most value for money madagascar rosewood guitar in the market.

Madagascar Rosewood is one of the most desired tonewood for an acoustic guitar. It offers great bass response with an equally dynamic high-end (not found in east-Indian rosewood), hence is often deemed the modern equivalent of Brazilian Rosewood which is extremely rare today.

More high resolution photographs and information here.

Gibson 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII @ BGW Guitars

The “reverse bodied” Firebird VII was a revolutionary design when it first left Kalamazoo 50 years ago, and has remained about as “custom” as it gets in the years since.

This special 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue captures all the radical design elements and key features of this groundbreaking instrument in a guitar whose looks befit its status, with a stunning Golden Mist Poly finish in nitrocellulose lacquer, gold hardware, a 20th Anniversary medallion covering the rear control access cover, a custom-fitted dust cover with retro 1993 Gibson Custom logo, and a one-of-a-kind, hand-made, framed Certificate of Authenticity. Only 100 will be available worldwide.

Period-correct features on the 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue include the labor-intensive nine-ply mahogany and walnut “neck-through” design, solid mahogany body wings, three Mini-Humbuckers, banjo tuners on a stylish reversed-six-in-line headstock, nylon 6/6 nut, Maestro vibrato, a three-ply white pickguard with Firebird emblem, and of course the accurate “reverse-body” styling conceived by legendary Duesenberg car designer Ray Dietrich.

In addition, the 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue will be among the last Gibson guitars to be made with an ebony fingerboard. All in all, it’s a gorgeous tribute to the world’s best-respected Custom house.

Gibson J-45 Collection @ BGW Guitars

Here’s an addition to complete our obsessive collection of Gibson J-45’s in the house !

We now house the most complete range of J-45s in Asia with the addition of this J-45 Custom Rosewood with vine inlays. This particular custom model comes decorated with a generous amount of green paua abalone around the soundhole rosette and a lavish vine inlay across the fingerboard – lined with mother of pearl and abalone. A herringbone binding across the top perimeter and an intricate rose inlay engraved on an ebony peghead completes this custom built.

Also worthy of a mention is our favourite J-45 of the year, an adirondack top sunset burst J-45 (photographed beside the J-45 Custom Vine). If you’re a hog (mahogany) fan, this will certainly impress you !

More high resolution photographs and information here.

Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilts @ BGW Guitars

At Fender Custom Shop, a few selected instruments are hand built by senior master luthiers who build custom instruments for the likes of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Bob Dylan, just to name a few. These rare instruments are termed “Masterbuilts” and represents the finest of Fender craftsmanship.

There are currently 9 builders at Fender who have been accredited the title of Master Builder and it typically takes at least a year to two for a build to be commissioned by these acclaimed craftsman, making their hand-built guitars extremely sought after.

We have been building up our own stash of Masterbuilt guitars over the years as we aim to house the most complete collection within Asia. Here’s a handful of the most recent additions. Stay tuned for more to come  at our Fender Custom Shop section !

More high resolution photographs and information here.

Gibson Collector’s Choice 1959 Les Pauls @ BGW Guitars

In recent years Gibson Custom Shop has debuted a new series of Collectors Choice 1959 Les Pauls directly modeled after famous originals now in the hands of famed musicians and collectors.

As modern production techniques today didn’t exist back in 1959, every one of the less than 700 Les Paul Bursts created then had its own tone, feel and overall “vibe”. Gibson Custom recognized the need for a historically accurate recreation of these nearly mythical guitars and set off on a bold dream to recreate the unique personality and fingerprint of each piece.

The recreation process involves great passion, unmatched luthiery and meticulous attention to detail as Gibson Custom worked directly with dedicated owners and master luthiers such at Tom Murphy to methodically build a near perfect recreation of these truly one-of-a-kind guitars which only few have seen and fewer have held.

The Collector’s Choice Series has built its first issues since 2010. Collector’s Choice #1 is a 1959 Les Paul Standard that was owned by Peter Green and Gary Moore, nicknamed “the Holy Grail”. Likewise, Collector’s Choice #2, affectionally named “Goldie” by the collector who owns it, is a ’59 Standard currently valued in the high six figures.

Here at the store, we hold the biggest collection of Collectors Choice Les Pauls in Asia. They are a joy to behold and we can’t be more happy to snap one up whenever the opportunity presents itself. Drop by to try these fine works and let us share our joy of having a taste of a wondrous point in music and guitar history.

More high resolution photographs and information here.

Gibson Collectors Choice #2 “Goldie”

Our favourite in the house has to be the Goldie. Gibson says that the “Goldie” is an exciting opportunity not only because it is such a gorgeous Les Paul, but also because its ownership is extremely well documented, with only the first few years of its existence after heading from Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory to its first owner near Deer Park, Texas, remaining slightly hazy.

Having resurfaced in the early ’80s at one of the first Dallas guitar shows, “Goldie” has graced the collections of several noted burst aficionados including Vic Da Pra and Tom Wittrock, the guitar is currently in the care of an anonymous collector and on loan to Gibson Custom.

The guitar has also been extremely well cared for in its 52 years on this planet, suffering some of the minor nicks and dings that all well-played instruments experience in half a century of use – all precisely recreated by Tom Murphy’s hand aging – with no breaks, repairs, or modifications.

This ’59 Les Paul Standard’s finish has naturally mellowed to a sweet, rich, golden “unburst,” a luscious deep “green lemon” amber tone at the center with just a hint of darkening around the edges, giving it a look that many collectors adore. To precisely recreate the appearance of the original in the top, Gibson Custom has hand selected figured maple with a broad, elegant flame and “slip matched” the two pieces to present the same degrees of depth and dimension. Hand-finished in nitrocellulose lacquer and hand aged, this top is partnered by a light one-piece mahogany back which has faded to match the original’s soft, mellow reddish-brown.

The playing feel of “Goldie” is ensured by a precise analysis of the neck profile of the original 1959 Les Paul Standard upon which it is based, and its perfect recreation in the one-piece quarter-sawn mahogany neck of this Custom Shop creation. The rosewood fingerboard is bound in vintage-accurate and aged plastic, as is the body top, and a genuine nylon 6/6 nut and vintage-style tuners with single-band green keys grace the headstock.

Lastly, to recreate the tone of this rare Les Paul, Gibson Custom selected a Burstbucker 1 for the bridge position and Burstbucker 3 for the neck, a pairing that accurately reflects the mismatch in output that was often found in original PAF sets. Together, they present a woody, throaty tone from the neck, and impressive chime and clarity from the bridge.

Gibson Goldtops @ BGW Guitars

Here’s a splash of gold with a 12-string les paul traditional goldtop and a new 2008 les paul standard signed by famed American blues rock guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa.

Collings Ukulele @ BGW Guitars

Here’s something new for a change. “Adorable” may not be the best word to describe these ukuleles but they certainly deserve to be in every home.

Unknown to many, Bill Collings builds some of the finest ukuleles in the market. Here’s a sweet looking Collings UT1 Koa concert ukulele (Left) and a UC1 concert ukulele (Right).

Fender Custom Shop @ BGW Guitars

The sun is finally back out today so here are some sweet photos of a very rare 62 Relic Strat by Masterbuilder Jason Smith alongside a limited edition Custom Deluxe Stratocaster adorned with everything you could wish for on a “Super-Strat”.

Jason Smith’s wait time to commission a build is now a staggering two year hence we were pleasantly surprised to find his name on this masterbuilt stratocaster which instantly reminded us of John Mayer’s famed “Black One” stratocaster. This particular piece plays like butter and sounds amazing with custom wound pickups by retired Abigail Ybarra, making this extremely collectible. It is certainly one of the best best stratocaster we have ever had in the store.

Collings Koa @ BGW Guitars

Here are more Collings guitars built with some of the finest hawaiian koa procured by Master Luthier Bill Collings.

Koa can be highly figured or flamed, with darker wood usually being harder, lending to a brighter tone. The hue of Koa spreads from honey to a very dark brick red which provides for stunning visuals.

Koa typically produces slightly less bass response than east indian rosewood but provides for rich and woody sounding trebles with lots of pleasing harmonics. Its balanced, clear tone is only outshone by the beauty of its honey-rippled grain.

Dramatically figured Koa becoming very difficult to obtain these days and we can’t be more pleased to have a received such great pieces from our recent arrivals.

More high resolution photographs and information here.

Collings Shortscale @ BGW Guitars

This new batch of Collings guitars and ukuleles certainly brings a smile to our faces. A good number in this batch is built with a shorter scale which allows for even better playability and a big tone that rings even more right out of the box.

Here’s a pair of our favourite OM2H orchestra models with a creamy engelmann spruce top. One features a perfectly quartered indian rosewood while another is adorned with an insanely figured koa. You can always trust Bill Collings on procuring some of the finest woods available out there.

We will be adding more photographs on our website once we are settled down. Meanwhile, here are some teasers!

 

Stevie Ray Vaughan “Lenny” @ BGW Guitars

Stevie Ray Vaughan was just a struggling young guitarist in Austin, Texas in 1980 when his wife, Lenora ‘Lenny’ Vaughan, and seven friends pooled $50 each to buy him a used Stratocaster that had recently caught his eye in a local pawnshop for his birthday.

It was a 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar with the original pickups that, from the look of it, had seen better days. Although it began life as a three-color sunburst model, it had obviously been refinished (none too expertly) at some point and now features a dark natural finish bearing an elaborate inlay in the body behind the bridge. Nonetheless, there was something about it that clearly resonated deeply with Vaughan.

“It’s called Lenny. I found it at a pawnshop and didn’t have the money to buy it, and my wife and several other friends of mine put a pool together and bought the guitar. It’s always meant a lot to me. And I love what it sounds like. “Riviera Paradise” and “Lenny” (Texas Flood) are both played on the same guitar, and for some reason that guitar works for songs like that more than anything else.”

– Stevie Ray Vaughan, Feb 1990

That night, Vaughan took the guitar home and as his wife slept, wrote a new song on it. In the morning, Lenora Vaughan remembers, “He was sitting on the edge of the bed with the guitar and said, ‘Listen to this.'” He played her the song he had written that night, “Lenny.” The song later became one of Vaughan’s most well-known instrumental pieces, and he continued to perform it exclusively on the Lenny guitar.

Throughout the remainder of his career, the Lenny guitar traveled with Vaughan almost everywhere he went, and it was later autographed by baseball great Mickey Mantle during a chance meeting in Houston. That happened on 10th April 1985 when Vaughan had just performed the National Anthem at the season’s opening game for the Houston Astros where Mantle was a guest of honor. Without a baseball or bat nearby, Stevie offered up his beloved guitar to be touched with the magic of the American sporting legend.

Guitar Center bought the original guitar for USD$623,500 at a 2004 Christie’s auction in New York. In a historic collaboration among Fender, Guitar Center® and the Stevie Ray Vaughan estate, the famous Stevie Ray Vaughan “Lenny” Stratocaster® guitar was to be reproduced in a limited edition by Fender Custom Shop with 185 guitars offered for sale at USD$17,000.

This very special addition to the Custom Shop Tribute Series features an intricate reproduction of “Lenny” down to the smallest detail—from the customized neck (the original was a gift from ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons) to the reflective “SRV” stickers on the body to the battered headstock, the autograph that Stevie himself etched into the neck plate, and even an autograph from baseball great Mickey Mantle.

Here at the store, we were fortunate enough to track down a piece and it pleases us immensely to be able to share this great story with you.

Gibson Joe Walsh 1960 Les Paul @ BGW Guitars

Joe Walsh is a rare and distinguished member of the rock and roll élite who has managed to retain his distinctive and instantly recognizable tone and playing style through the course of a career spanning five decades. From joining the James Gang in 1968, to his long and ongoing solo career, to his pivotal role as lead guitarist with the Eagles, that thick, rich, sustaining Les Paul tone has remained the centerpiece of Joe’s sound.

Now the look, feel, and tone of his own exalted original 1960 Les Paul Standard has been recreated in exacting detail by the finest craftsman at Gibson Custom.

Working closely with Joe Walsh, the guitar’s current owner, and the guitar itself, Gibson Custom has analyzed this rare original ’Burst in exacting detail, reproducing it with unprecedented precision in a Limited Run totaling 250 guitars: 50 hand-aged by Master Luthier Tom Murphy and signed by the artist, a further 75 Murphy aged, and 125 treated to Gibson’s proprietary VOS processes.

The result is a dead-on 1960 Standard that not only offers every drop of that legendary Joe Walsh tone, but which also presents the magical look and feel of this beloved artist’s guitar.

We were extremely lucky to be granted number “#49” by the good folks at Gibson so here’s a glimpse of this gorgeous axe.

Marshall 50th Anniversary Les Paul @ BGW Guitars

We were extremely delighted to get our hands on this piece. The hand-aged top on the Marshall 50th Anniversary Goldtop is a breathtaking work of art sealed to perfection in a marriage between two of the greatest brands in rock music.

They might have originated from two very different companies on the opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, but the Gibson Les Paul and Marshall amplifiers were a marriage made in rock heaven right from the start.

From the time Jim Marshall put his name on the first fire-breathing JTM45 head in 1962, it was clear that this was the amplifier the Les Paul had been waiting for. A later that decade, stars like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Paul Kossoff, Slash, Zakk Wylde, and countless others would make groundbreaking music ramming their Les Pauls through a range of roaring Marshall amps.

To celebrate 50 Years of the most iconic amplifier brand in the history of rock, Gibson Custom and Marshall Amplification are proud to introduce the very Limited Edition 50th Anniversary of Marshall Les Paul Goldtop. Based on the highly sought-after Gibson Custom Shop 1957 Les Paul Reissue Goldtop, this guitar will be produced in a strictly limited run of 50 pieces worldwide, each one painstakingly hand-aged by Gibson Master Luthier Tom Murphy.

Gibson Harrison-Clapton “Lucy” @ BGW Guitars

Some guitars are highly prized for their vintage history; others are desirable for their associations with major artists; very few are both. Now Gibson Custom brings together George Harrison and Eric Clapton, two of the greatest rock legends of all time, with one stunning instrument—the Harrison-Clapton 1957 Les Paul Standard “Lucy.”

Thanks to the painstaking research undertaken by guitar writer Andy Babiuk (author of the book Beatles Gear), the Harrison-Clapton 1957 Les Paul Standard “Lucy” arrives at a time when the full history of this well-traveled guitar is finally known.

The music world knows this guitar best as the red Les Paul that George Harrison used on so many Beatles recordings in the final years of the band’s career, but the guitar—originally a 1957 Goldtop with Bigsby vibrato, with the serial number 7–8789—passed through the hands of three other major stars before landing with Harrison in 1968.

Babiuk traced the first notable ownership of “Lucy” to the Lovin’ Spoonful’s guitarist John Sebastian before it went to guitar-legend Rick Derringer around 1966. It was Derringer then who had it refinished to an SG-style cherry red, and the Bigsby removed at the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo. However, the guitar just didn’t feel the same to Derringer after the work, so he swapped it for a sunburst Les Paul at Dan Armstrong’s guitar shop in Manhattan, NY where Eric Clapton purchased it.

According to Mal Evans in The Beatles Monthly, Clapton gave the Les Paul to his good friend George Harrison in early August of 1968, but it first made Beatles history back in Clapton’s hands again on September 6 of that year, when Harrison invited the Cream star to record the now-legendary solo to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” for which he used his recent gift to the Beatle.

After a further hiccup in the ownership of Lucy—involving the theft of the guitar in a burglary of his Beverly Hills home and its convoluted recovery from an owner in Mexico—this refinished 1957 Les Paul stayed with Harrison throughout his career, appearing on several solo recordings and performances.

The Harrison-Clapton 1957 Les Paul Standard “Lucy” has been painstakingly recreated by Gibson Custom through intimate examination of the original, thanks to the generous cooperation of the George Harrison estate. Notable details include a plain-maple top with off-center seam (a feature of many ’50s Goldtops) now visible through its transparent Cherry Red finish; a one-piece lightweight mahogany body; a nylon nut; and two Custom Buckers with lesser-seen Alnico III magnets, wound to closely match the specs and tone of Lucy’s original 1957 PAF pickups. The playing feel of this legendary Les Paul is further retained in Lucy’s neck profile which has been taking from precise measurement of the original. Telltale modifications that Lucy received over the years—a set of nickel Grover™ kidney button tuners and a replacement ’70s truss-rod cover engraved “Custom”—completes this stunningly accurate recreation.

This entire guitar is hand-aged by Gibson Customshop to match Harrison’s original Les Paul as closely as is humanly possible, and is available in a strictly limited run of 100 guitars.

Photography Sessions @ BGW Guitars

Here’s another round of photographs on the ever popular Furch (Stonebridge) orchestra and grand auditorium models.

Featured here are the OM35-SR and G25-SR which comes adorned with a generous amount of pearl abalone fitted in the rosette, fingerboard inlays, body purfling and headstock logo. Both models come with a tight grained AAA Sitka Spruce top and a bookmatched AAA Rosewood back and sides

Our favourite shot has to be the last photograph where Dave framed the headstock perfectly.

Lakland Bass @ BGW Guitars

Lakland’s Skyline series has been highly popular amongst bass players for a decade owing to its characteristic modern tone and versatility in providing endless tonal options (Dual Pickup, 3-way toggle, pickup blend and active pre-amp bypass). Their 5-string basses, in particular, have a reputation for its tight and articulate piano-like low Bs which is a result of a 35″ scale.

Built in Indonesia, the Skyline Series is constructed using North American quality Ash wood and features largely the same overall design as its boutique USA counterparts. The only differences lie in that the Skylines are cut and finished overseas with quarter-sawn necks (instead of half-sawn graphite reinforced necks) and fitted with acrylic nuts (instead of bone nuts) before being shipped to USA for final assembly.

These basses goes through rigorous inspections upon arrival in Chicago USA where the company’s builders work to install its electronics and ensure the frets are leveled within specification of Lakland’s USA models. A PLEK setup and leveling system is employed to produce a highly playable professional instrument at a fraction of the price of its boutique USA models.

Do check out the video on our page for a short demo. Meanwhile, here’s a gorgeous Limited Edition 55-02 Deluxe with a sweet flame top and a Daryl Jones 5-string that arrived today!

Rainsong Parlors @ BGW Guitars

Rainsong guitars are the world’s first all-graphite acoustic guitar.

The strength of graphite means a guitar that can survive travel and maintain utmost stability under all conditions. Hence unlike traditional wood guitars, The soundboard will not belly, sink, or crack and the all-graphite neck will not warp with changes in humidity and temperature. Graphite is also extremely lightweight, making it great for travel guitars.

Rainsong uses the same technology in bonding its bridges and necks that is used in making planes, rockets and satellite equipment. Stronger than bonds of wood glue or off-the-shelf epoxy, this eradicates the worry of bridge lifts and neck resets commonly experienced on wood instruments.

Comparing tonally to other graphite guitars such as Composite Acoustic and Emerald Guitars, one will generally find the tone of a Rainsong warmer, more bell-like and modern (Think Taylor over Martin). Rainsong models also feature an adjustable truss rod (unlike most graphic guitars) thus allowing action to be personalized to the player.

The P12 Parlor in particular is Rainsong’s smallest and newest body shape. They come with a unidirectional soundboard which mimics the tight grain of a fine Spruce soundboard. This soundboard is RainSong’s lightest and allows blending of the crystalline highs of carbon with the mellow tones of glass to give a full and rich tonal palatte.

The P12’s neck joins the body at the 12th fret rather than the 14th. This movement of the bridge on the soundboard towards the center of the lower bout results in improved sonic energy transmission from the strings to the soundboard, thus enhancing bass response.

We have always been delighted by the tonal responses of these fine carbon guitars and we are sure you will too. Check out our videos on our product page and you will be surprised at how these graphite guitars consistently outshine some of their more traditional “wood” counterparts.

Fender “Shepard Fairey” Masterbuilt @ BGW Guitars

In 2005, Fender Custom Shop’s Master Builder Todd Krause teamed up with underground artist Shepard Fairey to create 25 completely unique works of art built to the specifications of the iconic ’50s era Stratocaster & Telecaster.

Frank Shepard Fairey (born Feb 15, 1970) is an American contemporary graphic designer and illustrator who emerged from the skateboarding scene. He first became known for his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” (OBEY) campaign, before becoming even more widely known for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston calls him one of today’s best known and most influential street artists.

The Barack Obama “Hope” poster is an image of Barack Obama which was so widely described as iconic that it came to represent the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. It consists of a stylized stencil portrait of Obama in solid red, beige and (pastel and dark) blue, typically with the word “hope” below.

The image became one of the most widely recognized symbols of Obama’s campaign message, and was proclaim to have acquired the kind of instant recognition of Jim Fitzpatrick’s “Che Guevara” poster.

Fairey’s decision to create a portrait of Obama stemmed from his feelings that Obama’s “power and sincerity as a speaker would create a positive association with his likeness”. On where he found his inspiration, Fairey said, “My historical inspiration was the well-known JFK portrait where he is posed in a three-quarters view looking slightly upward and out into the distance. The image of Lincoln on the five-dollar bill has a similar feel.”

Having found a photograph of Obama using Google Image Search, Fairey created the original poster design in a single day with the word “progress” but due to campaign concerns on the troublesome connotations of the original wording, Fairey changed the slogan to “hope”.

Fairey’s design has been so impactful we often see its adaptations in numerous forms of creative media today.

Premium Furch Guitars @ BGW

The Cocobolo and Madagascar Rosewood backs on these guitars were too gorgeous not to be taken “backwards”. We now build our premium Furch guitars with AAA Red Spruce tops for even more value and improved stiffness and torque to brings about more tonal benefits.

Furch guitars (aka Stonebridge) have traditionally enjoyed a strong following in Europe and Japan with a reputation of holding up to more established brands costing twice as much. Their near 100% positive reviews in various acoustic forums are a true testiment of 3 decades of hard work put in by Mr. Frantisek Furch since 1981. These guitars are now found in over 70 stores spanning USA, Canada, Japan and Europe.

Furch guitars are built light for reponsiveness and voiced to produce a modern tone. They sport a comfortable Taylor-like C-Neck and are built to high standards. It is a must-try for Taylor fans with a smaller budget or the player seeking the comfort of a grand auditorium body at a fraction of the price.

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