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Missing Link (ML-1) Baritone Banjo – Abigail Washburn & Bela Fleck

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn playing full live set at Morning Becomes Eclectic KCRW

“Inspired by John Hartford’s love for low-tuned banjo, Bela Fleck conceived the Missing Link, Baritone Banjo. 

Bela’s previous experience with the Gold Tone Cello Banjo brought him to Wayne Rogers.  The two collaborated in the design and, after many months of experimentation and various challenges, we are ecstatic to present the ML-1!

To produce the lower tone with a traditional sound in the lower register, we use a 12 inch, 3 ply Maple Rim with a Bronze Tone Ring. 

After Beta Testing a variety of neck and bridge options, Bela signed off on the Compound Radius (5”-9”) Ebony Fingerboard attached to a Hard Rock Canadian Maple Neck and a Cathedral-like Radius Bridge standing 7/8” over the signature black Remo head. 

Jumbo Frets, our exclusive Terminator Tailpiece and our Patented ZerO Glide Nut complete the perfect formula for the throaty ML-1.

Bela’s Noveau inlay design courses the length of the fingerboard and finishes on our C-Cut Headstock.  Black Binding, Black Tuner Buttons and the Black Head create a bold, autonomous look.” – Gold Tone

 

For specs and more information including the Missing Link Teaser click HERE

The ML-1 is hard to get but we have one in stock!

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Thomas Leeb’s Lowden Baritone (GoPro) Pink Floyd Cover – Awesome Video!

Check out this video of Thomas Leeb’s acoustic version of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” on his Lowden Baritone. He attached a couple of GoPro cameras so you can see the vibration of the strings. Pretty rad!

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Bedell “Summer of Love” Brazilian Dread – Special Preview

Only 12 were made and we’ve got one of them!

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Winter NAMM 2015

Here’s a quick little snippet from this year’s Winter NAMM show – shot, edited and published by George Lowden Guitars. It was a great show this year! See if you can spot our Founder Jeff Looker being interviewed  with George?

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Martin D-35 Brazilian 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Guitar

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ONLY 100 Being made available World Wide-and we are the one of the few US dealers to get one- Pre Order today or it will be gone!

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Martin’s famous D-35, they are quite proud to introduce to all of us guitar geeks and fanatics the D-35 Brazilian 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. This model is constructed with solid Madagascar rosewood sides and back wings, a Brazilian rosewood back center wedge and headplate, an FSC certified European spruce top with ¼” high performance non-scalloped X-bracing, and ivoroid bindings throughout. Each D-35 Brazilian 50th Anniversary Limited Edition model bears an interior label personally signed by C. F. Martin IV, an Anniversary booklet and is numbered in sequence with the edition total. Only 100 of these will be made – and we’re excited to get one here in our shop!

 List Price: $6,999.00

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Steve Kaufman Workshops and Concert 2015 – At our Shop!

ALMOST SOLD OUT! DON’T WAIT!!

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Guess who is back at our shop this January to put on couple of his famous workshops and a concert to boot? You guessed it!

Steve Kaufman is a Three Time Winner of the National Flatpicking Championships. Steve has over 100 award winning instructional books, CDs and DVDs to his credit and 19 CD recordings.

 

Guitar Workshop (All Levels) $110 (CLICK FOR TICKETS)
Steve will be conducting his “Award Winning” ALL LEVEL – Two Day – 8 Hour – Hands On Flatpicking Workshop here at our shop.

Where: Acoustic Vibes Music – 2070 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282
Times: Friday, January 30th, from 7pm-9pm and Saturday, January 31st from 9:30am-3:30pm

 

Mandolin Workshop (Beginner/Intermediate Levels) $55 (CLICK FOR TICKETS)
Steve will be conducting his “Award Winning” Mandolin Workshop here at our shop.

Where: Acoustic Vibes Music – 2070 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282
Times: Thursday, January 29th, from 7pm-9:30pm

 

Concert $20 (CLICK FOR TICKETS)
Where: Acoustic Vibes Music – 2070 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282
Time: Saturday, January 31st at 7:00pm

Pre Registration Required. Call today to reserve your place! SEATING IS LIMITED FOR ALL 3 EVENTS.

 

Don’t forget to bring your instrument, a recording device if possible and lots of questions!

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Taylor Guitars Redesigned Maple 600 Series

600Series_ALTaylor has applied its latest tone-enhancing design strokes to the maple 600 Series. The result is a transformation of maple’s historically bright tone profile into a richer, warmer, more complex voice. Players who consider maple’s tone too bright or one-dimensional will be pleasantly surprised by the more musical, versatile nature of these next-generation maple guitars.

For more information, photos and specs click HERfor a pdf!

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Player’s Choice Awards 2014: Guitar of the Year!

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Martin, Taylor and Eastman were all voted to be winners in the 2014 Player’s Choice Awards – Guitar of The Year. Here at Acoustic Vibes we stock all three of those guitars as well as a hefty handful of the winning accessories and toys below – so give us a call! PLUS, Steve Kaufman (who won the silver medal for Music Camps and Workshops) comes to our shop every year at the end of January for a 3 day workshop and concert – It’s something you don’t want to miss out on! Fair warning, seats fill up fast.

 

Countless makes and models were mentioned during the voting for the 2014 Player’s Choice Awards—but only a handful of guitars were in competition for the coveted Guitar of the Year award. Here are the Big Three:

GUITAR OF THE YEAR
Gold: Martin D-28
Silver: Taylor 814CE
Bronze: Eastman E10D

And that’s not all, folks! Not only are all 16 Player’s Choice Award winners in AcousticGuitar.com’s guitar categories viewable here, but the PCA’s wouldn’t be what they are without AG readers’ weighing in on accessories, sound systems, and educational resources. Check out the winners in those categories below:

AMPLIFIERS
Whether in the smallest coffee house or on the biggest stage, no performer can go without a vibrant, full-range sound
Gold: Fishman
Silver: Fender
Bronze: AER

STAND-ALONE PREAMPS
Boost your pickup, add EQ, battle feedback—often all at the same time
Gold: LR Baggs
Silver: Fishman
Bronze: Radial Engineering

PA SYSTEMS
Make sure they hear you in the back row with a balanced system that properly encompasses the room
Gold: Bose
Silver: Mackie
Bronze: Yamaha

UNDERSADDLE PICKUPS
These transducers are the norm for amplifying a flattop—whether as factory installed equipment or after-sale add-ons
Gold: LR Baggs
Silver: Fishman
Bronze: DiMarzio

MAGNETIC SOUNDHOLD PICKUPS
Easy to install in a steel-string flattop’s soundhole, their convenience is matched by a warm tone and ability to capture nuance in a guitar’s sound
Gold: LR Baggs
Silver: Fishman
Bronze: Seymour Duncan

COMPUTER RECORDING SYSTEMS
The days of the 8-track are over—your laptop is the recording studio of the 21st century
Gold: Apple
Silver: Avid
Bronze: PreSonus

MICROPHONES
Whether for singing, recording or amplifying your guitar on stage, you only sound as good as your microphone
Gold: Shure
Silver: Neumann
Bronze: Sennheiser

STEEL STRINGS
Whether it’s the warm, airy tones of phosphor, or the bright sound of bronze—steel strings have been the staple of acoustic guitars since the turn of the 20th century
Gold: D’Addario
Silver: Elixir
Bronze: Ernie Ball
 
NYLON STRINGS
In the tradition of 19th century Spanish luthier Antonio de Torres, these soft synthetic strings are a favorite among classical, flamenco, and quite a few jazz guitarists
Gold: D’Addario
Silver: Martin
Bronze: Ernie Ball

EFFECTS
Reverb, distortion, compression, delay—nothing enhances your sound like putting the “peddle” to the metal
Gold: BOSS
Silver: Line 6
Bronze: DigiTech

ELECTRONIC TUNERS
Nothing saves valuable playing time like a trusty gizmo to help you get to “low E”
Gold: Snark
Silver: Korg
Bronze: BOSS

CASES
Whether packing it for your tour bus, or (heaven forbid) storing it in your garage, it pays to protect your guitar from the unforgiving elements
Gold: Fender
Silver: Gibson
Bronze: Gator

CAPOS
Stay in key—any key, in fact—with these simple string-clutching devices
Gold: G7th
Silver: Kyser
Bronze: Shubb

OTHER ACCESSORIES
There’s no shortage of cool doodads and thingamajigs for the guitar-accessory junkie in all of us
Gold: Dunlop
Silver: Fender
Bronze: D’Addario Planet Waves

MUSIC CAMPS AND WORKSHOPS
Few methods of guitar training can equal the old mainstay—play with other developing musicians, while learning from the masters
Gold: Berklee Guitar Sessions
Silver: Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamps
Bronze: Guitar Workshop Plus

ONLINE GUITAR RESOURCE
The information superhighway has become a one-stop-shop for excellent ax instruction
Gold: Guitar Tricks
Silver: Jam Play
Bronze: Justin Guitar

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL
From the chords to “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” to a note-for-note transcription of Van Halen’s “Eruption,” the secrets to your favorite songs are only a strum away…
Gold: Guitar Tricks
Silver: Hal Leonard
Bronze: Legacy Learning Systems

For more 2014 Player’s Choice Award winners, check out AcousticGuitar.com.
– See more here!

*Disclaimer: Acoustic Vibes Music, Inc does not own and did not produce any of this information. All information in this blog was found at www.acousticguitar.com*

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The Importance of Humidifying Wood Acoustic Instruments

The single most important thing you can do to protect your wood instruments is to learn about humidity control. Have you ever felt sharp fret ends or low, buzzing action on your acoustic guitar? If so, you may be experiencing the effects of low humidity.

 

Every guitar is different. Finishes are different, woods are different, glue is different, and the list goes on. You may have 2 identical guitars both made from Rosewood but that Rosewood is most likely cut from different trees, so they may not react the same to humidity. Every guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukelele, etc will react relatively different to humidity and temperature. That’s why it’s very important to keep a hygrometer inside your case. If you over humidify your instrument that can cause it to swell up and warp as the wood expands, which can cause it to lose volume and tone. When the humidity is too high it can also cause finish discoloration and even allow mold to grow on the inside of the guitar and perhaps the inside of the case depending on what material it is made of. If your humidity is too low or (gasp) non-existent, your have a lot more problems than the cracks that will start to appear. When the cracks show up, the beautiful tone and structure of your instrument hit the road and the party’s over. Take that frown and turn it upside down because it is possible to repair damage caused by over or under humidifying your instruments. It’s typically expensive and it will also depend on how much damage has been done, so make sure to keep your beloved beauty properly humidified to prevent tears from running down your face.

Dave Doll from Martin Guitars tells us that you will need to keep a close eye on a new guitar for the first 4 or 5 years. Why, you might ask? Because a lot of new guitars usually move a lot within the first 5 years before they get acclimated to the environment that they’re in.

While it’s important to keep your entire instrument humidified, the most important part is the body. There’s a great product recommended by both Martin and Taylor called “Dampit” which is a humidifier for acoustic guitars. It looks like a pool noodle or a snake and the purpose of it’s shape and structure is so it can humidify as much of the inside of your guitar/ukulele as possible. 

So, what can you do to keep her in shape?

1. Store your instrument in its case. The case will shelter your instrument through many extreme conditions. We know it looks rockin’ hanging on a stand by your fireplace or hung up on the wall next to an autographed shirt from your favorite performer. BUT…unless you’ve got your entire house at a constant 45-55 percent humidity, you’ll regret it.

2. Use a humidifier in your instrument case during the cold winter season or at all times if you live in a dry climate. You don’t have to go crazy about it, because like we mentioned before, it is possible to over humidify your instrument. Keep an eye on it. Some instruments are thirstier than others and will require more refills. There’s a number of different products you can purchase to keep your instrument humidified but if you’re strapped for cash you can always use a wet (not drenched) sponge in a Tupperware container with some holes on the lid. Just make sure your lunch isn’t inside.

3. Keep a digital hygrometer enclosed in your case and look for 45–55% readings. Digital hygrometers seem to be the most reliable, as some have said that the analog ones that come with a barometer don’t work.

4. Premier Guitar recommends that “if you choose not to store your guitar in its case, at least put it there for one week a month with a humidifier. Think of it as a week at the spa. It will thank you”.

Premier Guitar also provides some great information regarding low humidity levels and what will happen to your instrument.

Below 35 percent humidity:
• Action (string height) changes.
• The top flattens out.
• Fret ends feel a little sharp.

Below 25 percent humidity:
• Fret ends become very sharp.
• There are drastic changes in the playability.
• Seams begin to separate.
• There’s a slight separation between the bridge and top.
• The finish starts to sink.

Below 15 percent humidity:
• Cracks appear in the top and body.
• The bridge and fretboard crack.
• The glue joints in the neck, bridge, and braces begin to separate.

Acoustic Vibes Music Sells a nice selection of humidifiers and humidity control products. Stop in and we can show you the best way to take care of your guitar!

*Disclaimer: Acoustic Vibes Music, Inc does not own any of these photographs. All information in this blog was found on the internet, at premierguitar.com and at guitar.com*

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Banjos Heads – Calf Skin or New Technology?

Banjos originated hundreds of years ago somewhere on the African continent. They were brought over to America in the 17th century along with the African slaves. These “banjars” as the African’s called them, were made up of animal skin (also known as “vellum”) tacked on to a hollowed half of a gourd with three or four strings stretched over a planed stick. The strings were usually made from waxed horsehair or gut. Gut? Not terribly appetizing, but a musical instrument non the less and the beginning of a musical adventure in history – the evolution of the Banjo.

African Banjos a_daniiel-jatta-2011-10 AfroBanjosToday most banjos heads are made of mylar plastic or simulated calf skins which are also called Fibreskyns. Although you can still buy banjos (and banjo heads alone) made with authentic calf skin, it’s not as common and more costly.

The downside of calf skin heads is that they are affected by moisture. Humidity causes the head to become loose which then causes the banjo to lose high end response. Dry days would likely cause the head to shrink and tighten, which often lead to breaking.

Deering Banjos explains the difference between White Frosted Banjo Heads and Fibreskyn Banjo Heads. They have some video as well so you can hear the difference.

TOP FROSTED: crisp, bright, with a quick, snappy note response without too much sustain. Because the head has a slightly sand paper hard coating on the top, the bridge does not shift too easily if bumped/adjusted. This helps give the fast finger picking passages clarity with good note distinction and somewhat stifle some of the unwanted sustain.

FIBERSKYN: intended to approximate the look as well as the sound of the old calfskin heads. This head has a warm, round tone; oftentimes called a “plunky” or Appalachian mountain sound. Note distinction is not sharp but is deeper toned, with a roundness that works well with any playing style. Because of its appearance, this banjo is also a great choice for those players who are part of the re-enactment groups or those who are looking for a very traditional appearance.

We have banjos in stock here at Acoustic Vibes with all the above heads- Come in and try them for yourself?

So where can you buy calf skin heads? You can buy them here at stewmac.com

*Disclaimer: Acoustic Vibes Music, Inc does not own any of these photographs. All information in this blog was found on the internet, at frets.com and at deeringbanjos.com*skinheads

 

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