Fender’s alternative to strap locks taking the world by storm

For years guitars have been falling off their straps; for years they’ve been taking damage. And for years people who care about their guitars have been fitting strap locks to prevent this problem. So no problem then? Well not until you forget the strap with the lock heads on… or until you get a second or third guitar…

Strap locks work great, but they can get a little expensive if you have several guitars; but Fender have come up with a cheap, incredibly simple and highly effective alternative. They cost under $2 for a pair, are pretty durable, and they are easy to move to a different guitar, installing in seconds. And THEY WORK GREAT! We can’t recommend them enough. Strap Blocks are available from Amazon, and most music stores. Check out the Guitar Savers Strap Block, for an even cheaper, unbranded version.

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Original Fuzz handwoven Peruvian guitar strap

I was lucky enough to receive an Original Fuzz guitar strap as a gift this year, and I’m absolutely delighted with it. Firstly, they look great – somewhat reminiscent of the woven straps produced by Gibson, and other companies in the 1970s. Mine is called Rust Stripes, but there are a lot of cool designs to chose from – with names like Kurt Vile, Doug Martsch, Duane Eddy, Cusco and Dick Dale. I play a lot of older instruments from the 60s and 70s and these straps suit my vintage guitars perfectly.

Vintage styling

Original Fuzz Peruvian strap - rust stripesBut better still is the fact that they are so well made, of high quality materials, and each one is unique. The patterned side is actually hand-woven in Peru, under fair-trade conditions – “Each strap is as unique as the artisan that crafted it.”

And they don’t suffer from some of the failures off other straps. It’s thick; the woven ‘pattern side’ is backed with a similarly thick plain fabric – but one that has sufficient friction to reduce slipping and neck dive – something you normally need a wider leather strap to achieve. The end pieces are rigid leather- they shouldn’t deform in the same way that thinner straps do. And they are long; mine has a maximum length of 5 foot; sufficient for all but the lowest slung guitars.

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Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar, Worn Brown Satin

Gibson Faded Sg Special Electric Guitar Worn Brown
Gibsons are expensive. We all know. So how about this? A fantastic SG, at a great price – the satin finish is not as shiny as a regular finish. But that’s it. it’s still a fantastic sounding SG, with it’s trademark bite. With the full pickguard it’s very much late sixties style. Think Pete Townsend on Live at Leeds, or Carlos Santana at Woodstock.

Gibson Faded Sg Special Electric Guitar Worn Brown

  • Powerful, intense, and affordable 6-string electric guitar with solid mahogany body and ’50s rounded neck profile
  • 490T and 490R pickups–“T” for treble, and “R” for rhythm
  • Swirl acrylic inlays for classic “pearl” look
  • Gibson Tune-O-Matic bridge; 2 volume and 2 tone controls plus 3-way toggle
  • Worn brown finish with chrome hardware; comes with Gibson Deluxe Gig Bag

The Gibson Faded SG Special is an electric guitar that maintains the tradition of looks, functionality, and value for which the SG guitar is known. Under its attractive faded finish, the Faded Special SG is still the traditional SG, with mahogany body and neck, Tune-O-Matic/stopbar bridge, and alnico 490 pickups. The guitar’s faded finish gives it the look of an electric that started its rockin’ days in the ’60s.

The Gibson SG range was first popular in the mid 1960s . Very influential guitarists such as George Harrison of the Beatles, Eric Clapton of Cream, and Robbie Kreiger of the Doors all played Gibson SGs. But this  model, the full-scratchplate Gibson SG Special is most associated with Pete Townsend of the Who around 1969-1970.  

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Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute Electric Guitar

Yeah vintage Gibson Les Paul guitars are cool – but who can afford a real one?

Well, with a Gibson Les Paul 60s tribute, you get 60s styling, Gibson quality, and a price point that us non-bankers can afford. A fine looker for sure, based on their 1960s Kalamazoo-built classics. And incredible value for money; an outstanding guitar for any price!

Gibson Les Paul ’60S Tribute Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst

Gibson Les Paul '60S Tribute Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst

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Epiphone Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar

Epiphone Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar, Vintage Sunburst

The Thunderbird bass is a staple of rock and heavy metal bands everywhere. Gibson Thunderbirds cost an arm and a leg (well, Gibson’s always do…) but Epiphone Tbirds are very very affordable, and they just happen to sound great! Really great!

A fine looking bass, no mistake, and one that simply screams rock

  • Four string electric bass guitar in vintage sunburst with classic shape and a classic sound
  • Alder body with bolt-on maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard with dot inlays; 34-inch scale
  • Dual TB Plus Humbucker pickups
  • Black hardware, volume and tone controls

Featuring both a classic shape and a classic sound, the 4-string Epiphone Thunderbird IV bass guitar in vintage sunburst finish has a reverse body styling, carved top and the Thunderbird insignia on the pickguard. The alder wood body and generous bolted maple neck work together to deliver warm bass tone with plenty of attack from the dual TB Plus Humbucker pickups. Other features include a 34-inch scale, rosewood fingerboard with dotted inlay, 1.73-inch nut width, volume and tone controls, and black hardware.
List Price: typically around $400 (check latest prices here)

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Ibanez Soundgear GSR200 Bass Guitar – Black

Ibanez Soundgear GSR200 Bass Guitar – Black

For this months GuitarFact bass guitar review we’re going to have a closer look at this Ibanez bass

Quite a good looking Ibanez bass for sure; black on black underlying it’s rock credentials, but how does it play?

  • PHAT II active bass boost offers additional
  • low-end power on all GSR200 models
  • GSR offers famous Soundgear pro comfort and playability at “entry level” prices
  • The GSR series includes the most affordable 5- and 6-string basses of any major brand
  • Phat II active bass boost adds additional low-end power to the affordable GSR200 models.
  • GSR200’s powerful Powersound pickups deliver full tones and strong low-end.

GSRs offer famous Soundgear sleekness, comfort, tone, and playability. GSR Mikro basses are perfect for anyone who needs a compact axe or the comfort of a smaller neck.

Great for rock, superb for metal, this Ibanez has to be played to be believed!

Typical Price: $200 (Check price here)

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Best Beginner Guitar

What is the best beginner guitar? OK, theres no such thing. There are hundreds of entry-level guitars, all basically doing the same job, in pretty much the same way, with most of them sounding pretty darn good. But today I put forward the proposition that the best beginner electric guitar is the Fender Squier Affinity Strat.

Squier by Fender BulletStrat w/Trem, Brown Sunburst

  • Basswood body with gloss polyurethane finish
  • Maple neck with 9.5 in radius rosewood fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets
  • 3 Single-Coil Strat Pickups
  • Synchronous Tremolo with Cast Saddles
  • Master volume with 2 tone controls with 5 position pickup selector switch

Our Bullet Strat with tremolo is a simple, affordable and practical guitar designed for beginners and students. Classic styling includes the added benefit of a single humbucking pickup/ two single-coil pickup configuration. Other features include five-way switching, synchronous tremolo and a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and 21 frets.

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Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo Review


Figure 1 – The Seagull Entourage mini jumbo

Seagull (by Godin) produces some of the finest acoustic guitars for under $500. The Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo is currently priced around $400. Not bad at all.

This guitar was hand crafted in LaPatrie, Qu’bec Canada. Lets take a look at the features:

Body: Mini Jumbo
Top: Solid cedar
Back: Wild Cherry
Sides: Wild Cherry
Neck: Silver Leaf Maple
Fretboard: Rosewood, 21 frets
Bridge: Rosewood
Finish: Rustic Burst Semi-gloss
Nut: Tusq®
Saddle: compensated, Tusq®
Nut Width: 1.72″
Upper Bout: 11.59″
Lower Bout: 16″
Waist: 9.53″
Body Length: 2.0″
Body Depth: 5″

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The Fender PT-100 Guitar Stage Tuner

Fender PT100 chromatic pedal tuner

Figure  1 – The Fender PT-100 chromatic guitar tuner

I think i’ve found one of the most useful pieces of equipment any guitarist can own! Such statements shouldn’t be made lightly, but in this case I stand by it. If you need a new tuner you really should consider this one. In the PT-100, Fender have a solid, durable and, most importantly, easy to use tuner that works for guitar and bass. It does the job, and it does it well.

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