Martin DRSGT Acoustic-Electric Guitar
One of Martin’s Dreadnought Road Series acoustic-electrics, the DRSGT brings to mind the company’s Style 18 dread. The sound is nicely balanced from bottom to top, with clear harmonics and no untoward overtones, and the black Richlite fretboard is smooth and fast. With 14 frets clear, the top and side braces are reliable Sitka spruce, and the back and sides are made of sapele. The low-oval style neck is made of sipo, and the back, sides and neck have a satin finish. The bridge style is modern belly.
This guitar has the classic Martin look with the iconic Martin & Co. signature on the headstock, and clean construction, with no top, back or sides inlay, and a simple single-ring soundhole rosette. Fishman’s Sonitone preamp system provides the amplification, and a handy USB port allows for easy computer plug and play recording. It sounds great plugged in or not, and it’s made for everything from campfire pickin’ to gigging to recording an album.
Casio CGP-700 Keyboard
Casio sure has come a long way, from making some pretty cheap instruments for novices – which are still great, by the way – to making instruments the caliber of the really nice 88-key CGP-700. A variety of grand piano, organ, string and other sounds – 550 total – make this a good keyboard for live and recording situations alike. But it also has great capabilities as a writing instrument. And if you’re a piano player first, the keys have a heavier weighted action that feels very acoustic, but they can also be adjusted to one’s preference for a lighter touch.
It has both MIDI and USB onboard audio recorders, built-in speakers (in the stand as well as the keyboard), an effects system and ensemble rhythms. The duet mode, which splits the keys into two equal ranges, is great for teaching. This is a versatile instrument that is at home on the stage or in the living room, and the price is right.