The 2015 Holiday Gear Guide

Godin Multiac Spectrum SA Acoustic-Electric (left) (Street: $1,579) No matter what your taste or playing purpose, you normally can’t go wrong with a Godin guitar, and the company’s Multiac Spectrum SA is no exception. Godin has always been a rule-breaker, and they’ve done it again with this acoustic-electric that has a Seymour Duncan lipstick pickup in the neck, as well as individual transducer saddles under each string, giving the option of blending the bridge piezo and the Duncan. And for the player who takes things a few levels higher, it has a 13-pin connector for controlling Roland GR Series and Axon AX100 guitar synths. If you’re really adventurous, you can blend both pickups and the synth with each other using the sliders in the top of the guitar body. The guitar has a chambered mahogany body that’s designed to fight feedback, with a spruce top, mahogany neck and Richlite fingerboard. And it’s got a way-up-the-neck cutaway that allows access to the 22nd fret. A cool and versatile guitar for the player who’s looking for something out of the ordinary that’s sounds great and is highly functional. Made in Canada. Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 22 (right) (Street: $729) The PRS SE Custom 22 is a good all-purpose electric that can deliver everything from nice vintage rock tones to smooth jazzy sounds, and all points in between. Equipped with PRS Tone Furnace neck and bridge humbuckers, the guitar’s three-way toggle switch allows each pickup to be used separately, or for the two to be used together, with different tone combinations achievable using the single tone knob. The mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard lends itself to both speed and accuracy, and PRS-designed tuners and stoptail bridge help ensure the most perfect intonation available. On top of it all, this double-cutaway guitar is gorgeous, continuing the PRS tradition of making great-sounding axes that combine both fine art and engineering craftsmanship. The guitar features a beveled maple top and a mahogany back that comes in either a vintage sunburst or a sweet whale blue. And, of course, the neck inlay features the always-cool PRS bird inlay. A nice axe for both the stage and the garage.

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter


Fender Acoustic Pro Amplifier
(Street: $999.99)

Fender’s Acoustic Pro acoustic guitar amp does more than just provide professional amplification. This amp can help a not-so-great guitar sound awesome, and can make a great axe sound even better. The two-channel amp features (on each channel) low, mid level (as in the amount of) and high EQ controls, as well as reverb. It has a 12” woofer and a 2.5” tweeter, and with 200 watts of output power it performs well in any live or studio situation.

This is a great-looking amp, aesthetically complementing an acoustic guitar with its maple plywood shell. A tilt-back kickstand snaps in and out of the bottom of the amp, and combination input jacks accept both ¼’ jack and XLR. An aux in makes it easy to use a mobile device, and a headphone jack completes the package. With an integrated carrying handle across the top of the amp, this is a good-sounding portable unit, and a nice addition to the Fender products line.

Fender Acoustic SFX Guitar Amp (right)
(Street: $899.99)

Fender’s Acoustic SFX Guitar Amp, with a little dialing in, does a great job of communicating an acoustic guitar’s true sound. But it can also take any acoustic’s sound to a whole other level for both recording and performance with Fender’s Stereo Field Expansion (SFX) technology. The adjustable SFX effect, which creates a 360-degree stereo image, is projected through side and rear ports through a 2.5” tweeter, an 8” woofer and a 6” side mount SFX driver to deliver a sweet, room-filling sound.

Low, mid and high EQ controls, onboard slapback and multiple repeat delay, a deep-sweep chorus, reverb, and a vibraphone effect contribute to the versatile sound of this amp, making it suitable for everything from simple acoustic Americana to cranked-up, effected classic rock. A footswitch plugged into the back can bypass the effects (except the ‘verb), and a phase button helps reduce feedback. This amp has switchable voltage for international use, and is great-looking as well, with a bent maple plywood shell and chocolate brown front fabric.


TrueTone CS12 1-Spot Pro
(Street: $179.95)

Powering effect pedals is always an issue. Batteries die in the middle of a gig and power supplies are messy and clutter up the floor if you have multiple pedals. TrueTone’s CS12 1-Spot Pro solves your problem with a smart design that powers up to 12 pedals in a small brick-sized unit. Best of all, there are five voltage options for powering nearly any effect pedal — from 4-9V dc, 12V dc, 18V dc, to 9V dc and 9V ac. The TrueTone folks are smart — four of the 12 isolated outputs are switchable between 9 and 12 volt, just in case you have an odd pedal that works off 11 volts for example. With so many modern digital pedals running on varying voltages, the CS12 becomes the brain of your pedalboard, cleaning up both your sound (with noiseless operation) and your floor space (gone are the wall warts and pesky wires). It includes brackets for mounting onto your board, plus cables and converter plugs, and a switchable input voltage for use worldwide.

Daily Discovery: Old Man Canyon, “Back to the Start”

Daily Discovery: Victoria Canal, “Unclear”