The Holiday Gear Guide 2016

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Holiday Gear Guide

Martin 00L-17 Acoustic Guitar

(Street: $1,859)

It’s unusual to find a new guitar that looks, feels and plays like it actually came from the days when U.S. guitar-building was still in its infancy, but Martin has created just that with the 00L-17 acoustic. At first glance it looks like something from the history-making 1930s Gibson L-series guitars (think Robert Johnson), right down to the 12th-fret neck/body merge. But a couple good finger-pulled double stops with alternating bass leave no doubt that this is a Martin, in tone and in feel. With a smaller 000-14 body type, this axe is ideal for pickin’ out a mess of blues, or for strumming along on a retro country tune or a song of one’s own making.

With a well-balanced sound that’s supported by bone nut and saddle, and a body of mahogany and spruce, Martin scores big with a guitar is both classic and modern. The 00L-17 is available in either a sweet whiskey sunset burst version or in a black smoke model with a cool ivory pickguard, and comes with a hardshell case.

Holiday Gear Guide


Street $699

JBL Professional by HARMAN introduced JBL’s EON 208P at Winter NAMM 2016 as a very portable, self-contained PA system. It has two EON-style cabinets that lock into a unit that houses an 8-channel mixer and 300 watt power amp. The mixer also provides Bluetooth connectivity to stream audio from mobile devices. If portability is important to you, the 208P gives you a complete, rugged sound system in a 39-pound package.

The 208P’s first four channels can accept either ¼-inch instrument cable or XLR inputs and each channel provides individual volume, reverb, treble and bass controls. Additionally, channels 1-3 allow for both phantom power and Hi-Z direct inputs. Channels 5 and 6 can accept either a stereo pair of ¼-inch TRS connectors or stereo RCA cables for use with keyboards or line level devices. Channels 7 and 8 can accept a stereo 3.5mm input for mobile devices and Bluetooth-enabled devices are connected via a simple pair button.

With an 8″ woofer and 1″ neodymium black nylon dome tweeter, each EON speaker can provide a frequency response from 60 to 20,000 Hz and the speakers’ light weight makes for easy pole mounting. A complete, portable package, all power cords and speaker cables store neatly in the unit. — ANDY MCDONOUGH

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