In today’s marketplace, there is no shortfall of audio interfaces that you can get readily available. Every week, it feels like there are new audio interfaces that are being designed and released into the market by the different manufacturers. In most budget studios, there is usually a high chance that all the audio needs rotate around a computer.
Regardless of whether you are using a powerful PC or a small MacBook, you are definitely going to want an audio recording device for your studio instruments and microphones. While shopping for an audio interface isn’t a hard task, knowing the right audio interface under $500 to purchase can be quite the task. That said, we have reviewed some of the best models that you can consider and may be well worth your time if you’re shopping for one of the best audio interfaces under $500.
Focusrite has dominated the audio interface market for long with their Scarlett series and have continued to manufacture high-quality audio interfaces that are suitable for home studio use. The Clarett 2Pre bus-powered device features an almost zero latency and has a powerful preamp that is able to deliver a transparent and clear sound.
The Clarett 2Pre audio interface is ideal for a passionate vocalist or guitar player as it can be a real game changer thanks to its numerous features. Another amazing asset that this interface boasts of is that it is a robust and attractive device that is compatible with all DAWs and platforms. It comes with a standard USB and USB Type-C cables that both connect to a Mac or PC.
In order to provide users with a precise and ideal signal path, it operates on 24-bit/192 kHz A-D and D-A transmission conversion. It is a high headroom instrument input that works well to record hot pickups without any distortion. It comes with a discrete headphone output that has a dedicated gain control, stereo pair and balanced jack output.
The Tascam UH-7000 USB interface is a 4-input and 4-output USB audio interface that comes with a boutique-style microphone preamp. It is built with for high-quality audio and low noise. This 4-input and 4-output audio interface can be used in a DAW production environment as well as AD/DA converter and as a standalone microphone preamp.
It has an inbuilt High Definition Instrumentation Architecture (HDIA) microphone preamps for high-quality audio and low noise. The distortion ration is said to be at about 0.0009% or less with the microphones performing at 117 dB and 128dBu EIN. The sound quality is high which is attributed to the careful attention paid when choosing the parts.
The UH-7000 audio interface has a powerful TCXO clock generator installed that has a precision of +/-1ppm. Its size adds to its ease of installation at a work desk or as a studio console. It has a high stability thanks to the chunky aluminum panels found on the front and sides of the interface’s body. A great add-on is the smooth tension aluminum input knobs that allow for precise level adjustments.
With a one-year free extended warranty, the Tascam UH-7000 audio interface and microphone preamp allows musicians, recording engineers and composers to create music in their private studios at a similar level as that achieved from professional studios.
The Apogee is the first ever studio quality audio interface and microphone designed for iPad and Mac. This device operates on a 24-bit/96kHz A/D and D/A transmission conversion. Users also get to enjoy a direct digital connection to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It has a complete input and output control that utilizes the Apogee’s Maestro iOS and Mac software and a low latency monitoring.
The inbuilt microphone is an omnidirectional condenser that comes with a mic stand adapter. The microphone produces an award-winning sound quality and is compatible with iOS or Mac devices that have Apple’s Final Cut, GarageBand, Logic and Core Audio-compliant applications. The microphone is also perfect for those who need to record while on the move.
It has an XLR input and breakout cable that gives ¼-inch as well as an external microphone input. The preamps offer a 62 dB of gain for microphones and a 45 dB of gain for any high-impedance instruments.
The Komplete Audio 6 from Native Instruments is a USB 2.0 digital audio interface that features a four analog input, four analog output, MIDI in/out for master keyboard and a digital stereo for lossless signal transmission input and output and a detailed software package that includes Traktor LE, Cubase LE, and Komplete Elements.
The Komplete Audio 6 interface gives a 24-bit/96 kHz operation and is compatible with PCs and Macs. Channels 1 and 2 found on this interface provide a balanced microphone, instruments and line inputs that have individual gain controls as well as a 48V phantom power for active DI boxes and condenser microphones. It is able to deliver transparent sound that is pristine thanks to the Cirrus Logic converters.
The chip technology used and driver build helps keep latency at a minimum. The Komplete 6 also has a mono switch and mono knob that provides direct monitoring for zero-latency when you are recording. For DJs who need to cue tracks, the headphone output that can be switched between outputs 1-2 or 3-4 comes in handy for them. In addition, DJs also get to enjoy the Traktor LE software that is designed to offer two playback decks that enable one to spin tracks from a hard drive.
When choosing an audio interface, it’s important to consider the features that are available and find one that suits your needs. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to buy the Apogee ONE Audio Interface if you don’t have an iPad or Mac as it’ll be a waste of money unless you are willing to invest in Apple devices as well. Factor in the design, software, internal hardware as well as connectivity to your already existing devices.
If you are interested in a Les Paul standard guitar but can’t get one, you won’t go wrong with purchasing the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar. The mahogany build means it is durable while the rosewood fretboard is a great bonus. This guitar’s pickups and tune bridge are quite similar to those enjoyed on more expensive guitars making it an excellent buy for its price.
The guitar is also available in different finishes/colors, which means you get to enjoy a broader range of options and can choose one that suits your taste and preference. The different finishes include ebony, heritage cherry sunburst, and vintage sunburst. Overall, it gives a great sound and is suitable for beginners who are keen on playing metal or rock music.
It has two Epiphone pickups which give it a boost when handling distortion compared to other electric guitars available in the market. Although it is quite limited when it comes to certain subtle tones, the guitar is well balanced, easy to set up and quite affordable.
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard electric guitar is one of the few guitars that has been designed to sound like an expensive Les Paul guitar. It has high-quality craftsmanship with complete controls that ensure you won’t struggle when using it to play your first song. This guitar has a perfect price point that makes it easy for any beginner to learn how to play it.
It produces excellent high-quality sounds of a wide range and is finely crafted. The rosewood fretboard and neck have a great feel which gives much ease to fast action play. The guitar is pretty much comfortable to play and quite affordable too. The aesthetics of the guitar and finish are well-crafted with the hardware solidly set in place.
The mahogany body ensures that this Epiphone Les Paul Standard has an amazing resonance. The guitar’s build enables it to hold tune nicely without any unwanted noise coupled with great pickups. This is a guitar that you will love as it is value for your money with great sound and quality build.
This Squier electric guitar by Fender comes in a variety of options. To begin with, it comes in six different styles: Flamed Maple Top, HSS Strat, Hot Rails, Left-Handed Stratocaster, Stratocaster, and Telecaster. If black isn’t the color you love your guitar in, you don’t have to worry. This particular guitar comes in five different colors; amber sunburst, black, antique burst, vintage blonde, and candy apple red.
In addition to the styles and colors, it also comes in three different configurations namely Laurel Fretboard, Maple Fretboard, and Rosewood Fretboard. With all the various features, the Squier series offers the best value when it comes to instrument design available in the market today. It’s also an excellent choice for an upcoming musician which makes it ideal for beginners.
The authentic Stratocaster tone that is provided by this guitar is thanks to the three single-coil pickups that have made the Fender a household name for years. It has a Vintage-style bridge that offers a classic Strat shimmer. The most valuable feature is the modern C shaped neck that it has as it provides great comfort for any style of play. Seeing that Squier instruments are made by Fender, they contain the Fender DNA that makes them iconic.
The Fender Modern Player Tele Plus Electric guitar while packed with modern features is still able to deliver some classic sounds beautifully and is a great buy as it provides any newbie guitarist player with everything that they need. Fender is one of the few brands that provide a wide range of instruments for entry-level players.
This electric guitar is not only affordable but can also be used by both beginners and experienced players. It is also flexible which comes in handy especially for a new player. It has a neck that is smooth and comfortable, and you will have no issues sliding your fingers when playing technical solos or heavy tunes.
It is a bit heavy but not quite as heavy as other makes and has a glossy finish that is smooth, glass and very attractive. While it has a classic look, it can play both modern and classical tunes quite well. The three pickups allow you to play without any hassle and are quite versatile as you can get both the classic sound as well as a wide range of other tones. You can also easily jump from one music genre to the next.
For its price tag, this guitar offers far much value for any newbie or experienced player and is a great investment.
When it comes to the best guitars for beginners, Squier has made a name for itself in designing nothing but the best. The size and shape of this Squier electric guitar feels a lot like that of a Fender Strat and allows players to explore a wide variety of sounds from Punk Rock to Jazz thanks to the three single-coil pickups, master volume, two tone controls, and the five-way pickup selector switch.
The Synchronized tremolo gives you maximum playability using the different string gauges that can be adjusted through the truss rod and the saddles. It has a basswood material that gives it a lighter and softer feel. However, the guitar’s components don’t move as smoothly as those from an expensive guitar tend to do and may need to be replaced for enhanced use. Given the affordable price point, this shouldn’t be a big issue for most players.
It has a superb look that makes it looks similar to any standard Strat coupled with the sunburst finish that this guitar boasts of. While most people think that an affordable price tag means that the sound produced is poor, that isn’t the case for this Squier guitar. The sound is well-balanced and high-quality compared to guitars that are priced in the same range. Again, just like every other guitar in our review, this guitar is a great buy for beginners not just because of how affordable it is, but because of the features it possesses.
A lot of people get overly anxious and joyful when they want to teach yourself how to play any musical instrument. These emotions may be heightened when one also has to buy a guitar. Being a novice at buying and playing the guitar, you must consider some things before buying one. It’s important to ask yourself what the purpose of your guitar will be. Is it something you need just for learning how to play and will need to upgrade after some time when you start getting gigs, recording or have joined a band?
The answer to this question is fundamentally important as it’ll act as a guide on the best guitar to choose. Next, you need to consider your budget.
Regardless of what your budget is, you’ll always be able to find a guitar that suits you. Some models sell for $100 and can allow you to learn as well as play in your band or some professional gigs. However, within that range, there are lots of guitars that can also be garbage, so one needs to be extra careful when deciding.
As always, there is a huge difference between cheap and affordable, and it’s crucial that you do proper research before rushing to buy one. Sometimes, opting for an expensive guitar may be your best choice as it likely means reliability and durability. Information and recommendations from people who have researched or used the different guitars are also essential especially when you are looking for your first guitar.
To help you make a wise decision, we have reviewed some of the best electric guitars for beginners that are available in the market today. But before that, let’s look at some of the factors to consider when buying one.
It’s quite easy to learn how to play an electric guitar than it is for an acoustic guitar. The chords of an electric guitar are much easier to hold down seeing that it has a shorter neck width. Besides, the strings are much softer compared to those of an acoustic guitar. This makes them softer on your fingertips and the guitar easier to learn. That said, you also need to consider other things. Below are some factors to consider when choosing one.
There are three different guitar body types: solid body, semi-hollow body, and a hollow body. The main differentiating factor among all three is the way they are built and the amount of resonance produced by each. The solid guitar style is ideal for guitarists who are into fast and heavy music while the semi-hollow and hollow body styles work for those who love softer music such as country, blues or jazz. For beginners, it’s advisable to go for the solid body style, which is mostly made from solid wood, as it’s easier to handle in the different scenarios.
Under the solid body shape, there are four different styles namely single-cutaway, double-cutaway, V-shape and explorer shape. When it comes to the body shape, it is up to an individual to choose one that they find attractive.
Guitars are made from different materials which determine the tone and sustain that it can produce. The materials used range from poplar, alder, basswood, paulownia to pine, swamp ash and mahogany. All these have a different tonal capability. For instance, swamp ash offers a brighter sound, mahogany is warmer, while alder and basswood are well-balanced.
When it comes to the neck, there is no right or wrong choice as it all depends on your preference as an artist. As such, ensure you choose something that is comfortable and smooth to play especially as a beginner. The neck comes in different profiles and shapes.
Two main pickup types in a guitar are ideal for a beginner: single-coil pickup and the humbucker pickup. The single-coil pickup gives a sparkly and bright sound while the humbucker pickup offers less background noise as it ‘bucks’ the hum. Both pickups are ideal for certain types of music but can still play most if not all sounds.
There are guitars that you can describe as ‘cheap’ or ‘affordable’ or ‘expensive.’ As such, when it comes to choosing a guitar, something that every buyer needs to have in mind is their budget. While there are guitars that go for $100, there are also guitars that cost more than $1,000. In addition, who are you buying it for? This question will help determine the size of guitar that you choose.
Choosing an electric guitar for a beginner can be quite a task! With tons of brands out there, you would be stuck when deciding to purchase one.
Thus, the best bet you can make for a beginner is to get a starter pack. This is a set of instruments and accessories that come with the actual guitar that are meant to make the learning phase quite easy. The starter packs are also quite inexpensive when compared to getting a regular guitar and having to purchase the accessories separately.
Electric guitars require an electric amplifier to produce sound. Without an amplifier, the guitar is barely audible. Electric guitars have electromagnetic pickups that pick up the vibrations from the strings, converts them to electronic signals then sent to the amplifier, which produces the sound. Guitars with multiple pickups mounted on them allow you to create a wide range of sounds. These pickups have controls with which you can select the output from each pickup, or you can blend the sounds from the pickups creating a wide range of sounds from one guitar.
With their smaller build, electric guitars are physically easier to handle. They have smaller bodies, thinner necks, and lighter gauges than the acoustic counterparts. With an amplifier to pick up the sounds, the electric guitar, thus can effectively produce sound from light touches on the strings. This makes it much simpler for a novice.
Electric guitars also have softer strings, allowing you to practice barre chords as well as other playing techniques. Most electric guitars also come with a headphone output port, allowing you to practice your tunes while making no (external) sound. You can practice all you want without someone complaining about the noise. This can be very helpful when taking skype or online guitar lessons. Electric guitars also come with more sound effects compared to the acoustic guitar.
Electric guitars need amplifiers to project the sound. The amplifier can cost anything from $300 which can be quite costly for beginners. This is why most people get starter packs. Also, little knowledge of amplifiers and the guitar can give wrong tones. This can be frustrating to the beginner.
It’s critical for the learner to know which style of music they aspire to perform. For example, a learner who wishes to play heavy metal tunes should not get an acoustic guitar. Instead, a guitar with multiple pickups and the right kind of amplifier. Always ask this question before settling on a particular instrument.
With the right settings, electric guitars can produce sounds ranging from country sounds to rock, jazz, blues, heavy metal and other possible sounds. This is why it is considered the versatile guitar when compared to the acoustic. The learner, however, has to learn how to adjust the sound on the amplifier to achieve these different sounds. There are essential accessories that you will get with your starter pack. For example, you will get picks for strumming the strings, a tuner, extra strings, a case, an amplifier, cables to connect with the amplifier and headphones which will come in handy for quite practice.
As a beginner, choosing a guitar can be quite an uphill task. This is because one has little to no knowledge on guitars. However, online reviews can come in handy when you are looking to buy an electric guitar as a beginner. Ensure that you do proper research so that you don’t end up making the wrong choice.
There is no greater or rewarding experience than getting one of the best tube amplifiers. Why? This is because having one enables audiophiles to achieve the quality of music that they warrant. However, since there is a growing number of available tube amplifiers available in the market that can make choosing the best tube amplifier to become an arduous task.
As such, those interested in buying one are usually advised to do a proper research before making any purchase. This can easily be done through online searches to identify the best products that are reliable as well as reviews from past customers who have bought one. In addition, you can visit your nearest store and check out their features.
To assist you to narrow down the options available in the market, we have reviewed some of the best tube amplifiers that you can consider when looking to purchase one.
The Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X 2 6N6 X 2 Headphone Amp Amplifier is one of the best tube amplifiers thanks to its lightweight which makes it portable as well as the design that is durable.
This product is designed to produce a sound that is more warmer and natural and is user-friendly which means it can be used by people who have zero experience in complex sound engineering. It is suitable for tube stereo amplifier enthusiasts thanks to its decent and functional design as well as the high-grade components that make it durable.
As mentioned, it is portable thanks to its lightweight which means that you can enjoy listening to quality music on the go. It comes with several user-friendly knobs and controls coupled with an RCA input jack which can be used with compatible audio sources. Another excellent feature of the Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X 2 6N6 X 2 Headphone Amp Amplifier is that is can be used for long periods of time without over-heating.
It doesn’t have a warranty and is only eligible for shipping in some countries.
The Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier is another popular tube amplifier available in the market today thanks to its small size that produces high-quality sounds and gives the performance that most audiophiles deserve.
The Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier is designed to power almost all headphones that are high performance. It is also comes equipped with a 3.5 mm input and output jack. The compact design that makes it lightweight is one of the features that pulls most people to buy this device. Notwithstanding its small size, it has the capacity to generate high-fidelity sounds.
This tube amplifier has a gold-plated front where the large volume control knob is found as well as the 3.5 mm input and output jack. This device also comes with a large switch button at the back that lets you easily turn it on and off. But the most outstanding factor is that it is very affordable with all the numerous features it comes with.
It isn’t sold with a warranty and doesn’t have an independent control knob for the treble and bass.
The Bravo Audio Ocean Mini Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier comes with a smaller dimension and is powerful enough and matches the performance given by the larger ones.
This product has a smaller dimension, is lightweight and produces high-quality sound. It has a simple design that is functional and straightforward and comes with an aluminum casing that quells heat allowing it to work longer houses without overheating. It is also compatible with some latest audio sources.
It comes with two input ports that allow it to connect to iPhone, iPod or laptop audio sources as well as three output ports that use a 3.5mm or a 6.35 mm RCA jack to connect. It’s also quite affordable compared to other tube amplifiers in our review.
Goes out of stock quite easily and doesn’t have any applicable warranty.
The Gemtune X-1 Class-A Integrated Tube Amplifier is one of the best selling tube amplifiers all thanks to the large number of features that it has.
The Gemtune X-1 Class-A Integrated Tube Amplifier is designed to produce exquisite music that is refined and is durable enabling it to handle the challenges that come with continuous use. It’s also designed to work efficiently with vocal cords and music and has the capacity to reduce the distortion of every played sound when used.
It is quite durable thanks to the high-grade materials used in designing it which makes it functional as well. The Gemtune X-1 Class-A Integrated Tube Amplifier is 100 percent handmade and is a single-ended amplifier.
This product comes equipped with a 5Z4P, 6N9P and tow EL34-B tubes that require an input voltage of 110V. In addition, the amplifier comes with a one-year warranty while the tubes come with a two-month warranty to guarantee 100 percent customer satisfaction.
This product is heavier compared to some of its competitors, it is relatively expensive, and availability is quite limited in the market forcing customers to wait until it becomes available again.
Although the market is saturated with different brands of tube amplifiers, it doesn’t have to be a difficult task when you need to choose one especially if you know what to look for. If you put into consideration factors like size, weight, available functions, and compatibility, you will be sure to end up with a tube amplifier that is suitable to your own individual needs.
The available functions is a tube amplifier will determine if the options it has are suitable for you. In addition, if you are looking for want a tube amplifier that you can move around with, then the size and weight is the fast thing you should consider.
One of the greatest creations by Leo Fender is the Fender Stratocaster which was in 1954, introduced to the world and happens to be on of the most stylish and most iconic versatile mass-produced guitar that has ever existed. It’s also commonly known to have been used by legends such as Eric Johnson. Eric Clapton, John Fruscinate, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix just to name a few.
However, none of those mentioned above guitarists would have been able to achieve the sweet, stimulating, chiming tones without owning a set of some amazing pickups on their ax. To help you choose the best Strat pickup, we have reviewed some of the best Stratocaster pickups that are available in the market today.
Our below review is ideal if you are looking to choose a Strat pickup that can roar but is also expressive and mellow at the same time.
One of the best and secure choices that you can make when it comes to buying a Strat pickup is the Fender Pure Vintage ’65 Strat pickups. Why? Because with is you get that classic, signature, staple, golden-era Fender Strat sound that most guitarists desire to recreate.
These three Hombres produce a sound that is not only warm and organic but fuzzy as well and is in a way, gain-driven. It gives out a natural sound that doesn’t have a hint of the modern digital vibe that tends to be too clean, too plastic or too perfect.
The tone from this Vintage ’65 Strat pickup is delivered through enamel-coated magnet wires as well as a set of Alnico 5 magnets that add more focus, are dynamic and authentically express every knack of your playing style. These Strat pickups are also wax-potted, feature a period-correct cloth wire with fiber bobbin construction and the staggered polepieces that balance volume and each string’s output.
With a one-year warranty and only weighing 5.8 ounces, this pickups have aged white pickup covers and comes from a company that is known to make the best Strat pickups.
Anyone looking to add some roar and bite in their sound should definitely consider getting these Seymour Duncan Strat pickups. They are not only well-rounded and versatile, but they will give any blues player the satisfaction they need if they are seeking a modern tone that is rooted in traditional values.
This set is designed to fit like a glove, and they operate quite well with the common Stratocaster-five-way pickup switch selector giving each position a distinctive color and character. The first position is suitable for blues-rock player and locks nicely in a warm rock-driven sound.
The second position leans more towards traditional blues but still carries with it the warmth that comes from the first position. The third position is crunch-driven and perfect for rock licks. Position four gives it clear-tone blues whereas position number five is thin and bright and perfect when combined with distortion.
While the California ‘50s set is ideal for blues, it’s not the only genre that it can suit. In fact, it’s not only the best Strat pickups, but it’s also best single-coil pickups in general from Seymour Duncan.
The Fender Tex-Mex Series are perfect for those seeking to save money but also a rich sound. And just because they are affordable doesn’t mean they compromise on quality. Far from it. This Tex-Mex series stands out with increased gain. Simply put, these Strat pickups are designed for blue rocks players than for fans looking for a clean sound.
It has a bright and warm tone and is designed for use with different guitar effects and pedals. They give out a very strong audio output that results in the increased gain which is still within the limits of normal blue sound. Although these pickups come in an aged white color finish, they are also available in different patterns which are bound to fit your guitar perfectly based on your choice and needs.
Its roar and bite can be nicely felt mid-range department making it the best fit for a Mexican Fender Strat. Of importance is that you don’t have to break the bank to get the sound you desire with this set.
There are lots of guitarists that want to sound as good as Eric Johnson. There is nothing wrong with that considering that Eric Johnson is among one of the greatest guitarists to have graced this earth. So if you want to sound like him, you most definitely can’t go wrong with the Fender Eric Johnson Strat pickups as they were designed in collaboration with him.
The set has three single-coils that give the sweet, melodic tone that Johnson is famous for. The three pickups each have their own eccentric sound. This is made possible by the differing constructions as the neck utilizes oversized Alnico III magnets while the middle, when used in position 2 or 4 is a reverse wound which cancels the hum.
Its bridge has an output that is quite hot than is usually expected by most people even though it keeps the desired sparkle.
When looking to buy a Stratocaster pickup, you need to ensure that the chosen pickup matches your style of the genre. You also need to choose a Strat pickup that is durable and worth the money you’ll invest in purchasing it. If you are a newbie or play the guitar for fun, consider buying an affordable device just to see how adequate it suits your needs before upgrading to the more expensive ones.
Also, consider your budget and needs. As mentioned, a Strat pickup should be selected based on your style hence it’s not a one-fit-all kind of instrument. Ensure you do a proper research and read various reviews and forums that discuss the best Stratocaster pickups that are ideal before spending your money on one that won’t work or worse off, won’t suit your needs.
Resonator guitars have been part of some of the greatest albums ever released. They also come in different shape and forms. You can opt to buy a metal or wooden one or choose a square or round neck. Of course, the design is up to you and what pleases you. When choosing a resonator guitar, it’s important that you make a wise choice as you don’t want to invest your money and then end up regretting it.
You first need to look at you needs and what sound you want to achieve as well as the style/genre of your music. While it may not be easy choosing one considering that the market is full of resonator guitars from different manufacturers all pushing why theirs is a much better option, choosing one doesn’t have to a tedious task.
As such, if you are struggling to pick the best resonator guitar, don’t sweat it. We have reviewed some of the best ones for you below.
The Recording Kind RM-991-S resonator guitar from Recording King is a tricone guitar which means it has three small aluminum cones that are connected by a T-shaped bridge that is aluminum. This guitar is perfect for a lap steel player that is interested in buying an instrument that has good style, sound, and quality.
The entire 25.5-inch body is made from nickel-plated bell brass that give it an attractive art-deco feel. It has a Honduran mahogany neck coupled with a padauk fretboard with 19 frets. This guitar is suitable for a beginner or intermediate guitarist. The 3 by 6 cones ensure that the player gets great playability.
The six continental cones help the guitar achieve an important sound transfer through its body. There are two cones on the bass side with one on the treble side which all work together to produce a high-quality sound that is both pleasing and warm. It also has a screen cover plate and a T-shape Bridge that have an ebony and maple saddle.
The bridge is linked to the cones at the center which gives room for vibrations to go through the saddle and into the bridge giving a unique tone.
The open sound well design found in the Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Round Neck Resonator Guitar helps make it one of the best resonators that you can get. This instrument is relatively affordable compared to other Hound Dog models that are more expensive. Besides, it gets the job done with no fuss. The overall body design of the guitar and the neck are marred by remarkable designs.
This guitar has a round neck that you can change for lap slide with the use of cheap nut extender considering there you can’t get a square neck version within this given price range. The sound produced by this guitar is a sweet high and growling low end.
This guitar has a solid build as well as a delicate balance and good sustain of range. While the guitar sounds better when played using the medium gauge strings, you can still achieve a deeper bass if you get heavier strings. It comes with Epiphone Hound Dog Grover tuners that can be used for proper tone adjustment coupled with a nickel-plated tailpiece.
The fingerboard of this guitar is made from rosewood, and the truss rod has a classy bell cover that is adjustable.
If you are a guitarist that fancies a tricone style body with authentic brass bell design, then you should get the Regal RC-55 Metal Body guitar. The plates of this guitar, made from nickel, produce a rich, authoritative and luster tone.
It also comes with a 9.5 inches spun aluminum build that integrates with a biscuit bridge to give a pleasing and warm voice with great carrying power. It has 12 frets found at the neck joint with an amazing Pearloid peghead overlay that adds to the ease of playing this instrument while giving it an excellent look and style build.
The mahogany neck is not only slim, but it is also perfect for traditional and bottleneck playing styles. If you want to get a precise and fast tuning, you can use the traditional 15:1 open back tuners. This is instrument has both a good finish and fit, is reliable and gives excellent performance. Due to its heaviness, it is ideal for use when sitting.
Gretsch is among the famous brands that is well-known and is reliable thanks to their high-end products. The Gretsch G9210 is an excellent resonator guitar that gives users an opportunity to enjoy and make use of a valuable and new tonal palette.
The guitar’s top is designed from a strong mahogany wood that is durable as well as the neck and body region. The wooden build makes the guitar last longer, and it also adds to the warm and rich sound. This is a great resonator that combines affordability and high sound quality as well as playability in order to achieve an amazing feat.
This guitar from Gretsch is perfect for both beginner and experienced players. The laminated mahogany neck coupled with a high bone nut has 19 frets. This is a simple instrument except for the pretty Pearloid headstock that adds some dash to the entire look. For its price, this guitar has excellent sound and a warmth and projection to it that is unique.
A resonator guitar is a worthy investment that can be passed down from one generation to the other. That means that you shouldn’t just buy any guitar because a friend has one like that. It’s very crucial to do your research and find one that suits your needs and is easy to use as well. Also, consider what type of neck you want, style and material used in building it. These are important factors that will help you make a good choice in the end.
A guitar capo is a must-have for any guitarist as it enables one to play different chords in different positions. A capo is a clamp-like device that is fastened over the strings of a guitar. Capos are used to raise the tuning of guitars by a selected amount and changing their open pitch. As such, a capo is one of the most useful accessories a guitarist can own.
The market is, however, saturated with lots of capos from different manufacturers and it can be difficult choosing the best guitar capo. Still, if you are looking to buy a guitar capo, it’s only good that you don’t go in blind. What does this mean? If you are still undecided about which capo is right for you, we have trawled the market on your behalf and bring you some of the best capos that most guitarists swear by.
The original guitar capo, Guitarx X3, happens to be one of the most highly-rated and popular capos found in the market today. And all, for a good reason.
This capo is designed from a lightweight metal – the aircraft grade zinc alloy and has a polished finish that makes it have a sleek look.
It gives a superb performance that ensures great intonation at all frets thanks to the high-quality silicone pad holding and the memory steel spring. This means that you never have concerns of falling out of tune.
Being the original capo, it is quite easy to move especially when you need to change between frets and is a good choice for your Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo, Electric, and Acoustic guitars as well as Folk guitars.
Some users say it’s too heavy and tends to clamp down a little too hard.
Shubb capos are greatly loved as Shubb was one of the innovators in the capo industry. In fact, their capos are well-known among the first c-clamp capos that achieved the usability levels found in trigger style capos.
One of the greatest features that make the Shrubb 12 – String guitar capo a good buy is the variable tension mechanism. This mechanism helps lower any possibility of you needing to re-tune your guitar when using it. In addition, its style has been adopted widely thanks to its reliability and simplicity.
However, with this design, you need to be careful not to scratch the finish of the guitar’s neck when using this capo.
Among its drawbacks is that it requires the use of two hands because of its design which makes it difficult to move mid-set when compared to other trigger style capos.
Kyser capos tend to be everywhere thanks to their affordability and the fact that they can easily be found anywhere.
One thing that makes the Kyser capos stand out is their ease of use – a great quality that most guitarists will look for in a capo – and how much of a simple design they have. This particular Kyser device most definitely fits the bill.
You can easily use this capo with just one hand, and when you don’t need it, you can clamp or clip it on your headstock. This gives you a great advantage especially if you remove or place your capo several times throughout your practice session or performance. This Kyser capo is also ideal in applying even and firm pressure across your guitar’s strings.
The Kyser capo is easy to use and excellent and is a common accessory that most guitar players of all levels use.
The real drawback in this Kyser capo is that the tension can’t be adjusted which means that some users may find that it’s too firm especially if the strings of your guitar are lighter.
The D’Addario Planet Waves NS guitar capo is a c—clamp tension style capo that has been designed for use on guitars that have curved fretboards.
It’s quite easy to fasten on your guitar as you will need to slide it to the neck and then tighten the mechanism. Should you need to remove it, all you will need to do is loosen the thumbscrew.
This D’Addario Planet Waves NS capo lets you adjust the tension – unlike the Kyser capo reviewed above – it uses on the neck which means you don’t have to re-tune it when in use.
One of the disadvantages of using this capo is that it doesn’t have a quick-release mechanism. This means that you will take longer when removing this capo than you would with one that has a quick-release mechanism or a trigger-style capo.
The G7th 6-String Performance 2 capo is essentially the most intuitive capo that we have on our list.
If you need to tighten this capo, all you need to do is grip it and squeeze it. This trait eliminates the need to fidget with it so as to get a good tone. Releasing the capo is also easy as you will just have to push it against the release mechanism.
The two features above enable you to operate the G7th 6-String Performance 2 capo single-handedly. It also comes in three different variations – 6-string guitar, 7.25 inches Vintage radius and classical guitar. As such, it’s important that you choose the right model for your guitar when making a purchase.
With a lifetime warranty it means should it fail, you can replace it for free.
It is expensive compared to other capos, and there are reports from users that it doesn’t have enough tension when used on certain guitars.
As mentioned, the market is full of different types of capos from different brands. When buying one, remember to consider the type of capo. There are currently three main types of capos – trigger/spring-loaded, partial and c-clamp/variable tension. Each capo has its advantages and disadvantages so ensure that you research on each type of capo before making a purchase.
Tuning a guitar is a necessary skill for any guitar player. Considering that the guitar is made of wood, changes in temperature and humidity can affect your instrument, knocking it off tune. Even simple movements like taking the guitar out of its case may knock some tunes off the strings.
Tuning an electric guitar, surprisingly, is exactly similar to tuning an acoustic guitar. You will not need special equipment or accessories to get your electric guitar back to tune that are any different from those that are used to tune an acoustic guitar.
Tuning your guitar takes some practice. In fact, you are encouraged to tune it as soon as you take it out of the case to play it. The more you practice, the more better you get at it. Initially, you will need about five minutes, and as you get better, you can be tuning it in a record 30 seconds! Tuning your guitar as soon as you pick it up allows you to practice this skill.
For you to begin, you need a ‘reference pitch’ from another source. The pitch could be from a digital tuning application, a tuning fork or another instrument like a keyboard. When you tune your guitar without a reference pitch, it will sound fine on its own, but when accompanying another instrument, it will sound off key. You need the notes to sound the same as the other instruments otherwise you will play out of tune.
As any good guitar instructor will tell you, tuning your guitar is the first step to being a good player. Here are 6 steps to follow for a quick and easy tuning:
After tuning the strings, you can check it against a pre-recorded MP3 file that is in perfect tune. You can adjust the strings until they sound similar to the notes in the MP3 file.
When tuning individual strings, pluck each string individually and then turn the peg to match the correct pitch. When using an electric tuner, hold it close enough to your guitar, then pluck the string repeatedly while turning the tuning peg until the pitches match. If you don’t have a tuner, you can make use of tuning examples that you can find online on YouTube.
If the pitch is too high, you lower it by loosening it by the tuning peg. If the pitch is too low (flat), you tighten the strings by the tuning peg, and the pitch will get higher as the tension increases. Continue with the process until the pitch the string emits is similar to the reference pitch.
Most beginner guitarists are torn between getting an acoustic guitar or an electric one. While the core features are exactly alike, there are a few factors that a beginner can consider before making the purchase.
These factors surprisingly have very little to do with music, but a lot to do with the beginner acquiring the guitar, and the ease of mastering the instrument.
Acoustic guitars differ from their electric counterparts in that the electric guitars can be amplified.
Beginners are normally advised to start with an acoustic guitar given that they are much simpler compared to the electric counterparts. It’s noted that the ease of learning increases significantly with the acoustic guitar due to their simplicity. Electric guitars tend to look a bit complicated due to their switchboards, and a person new to guitars will have some difficulty adjusting to the switches.
As for learning notes, both guitars can work as the core features of both guitars are exactly similar. From tuning the strings to playing them, the methods are similar.
A key factor before investing in a guitar is the cost. As a beginner who is investing several hundreds of dollars for the most effective guitar to use, one needs to make sure that the price range makes sense considering you may still need to pay for guitar lessons and other related costs. A quick guide though – anything below $100 will not last, or will be tricky to learn with.
Acoustic guitars are budget-friendly, due to their simplicity and few accessories needed to get you started. You should go for a starter pack which comes with: a guitar and its case, a tuner, spare strings and guitar picks. Most reliable brands like Yamaha and Fender will offer a starter pack guitar for between $100 to $150. A starter pack is the most cost-effective ways to start your journey.
Electric guitars cost a lot more and require more accessories. As mentioned, a starter pack will help keep the cost within budget. A regular electric guitar set will require an amplifier, guitar lead, tuner and picks. A starter pack will have these items at a subsidized price. If you choose to go for regular electric guitars, be ready to spend up to $300 on an amplifier alone.
It can be unsettling to splurge such amounts for a guitar, but if the instrument is truly your passion, you should stick with your selections as they are worth the investment.
While acoustic guitars offer great tones, electric guitars come with the versatility of sounds. Due to the external amplifier, there is a huge window for sound expansion. Most amplifiers have a clean channel and a distortion channel, giving you more options for sound as compared to the acoustic guitar. You also have the choice of enhancing the sound by adding effect pedals to your system.
Acoustic guitars offer great tones on their own, as they sound lovely whether the tunes are soft or quite loud. You also don’t need an external amplifier to be heard. Thus, if you are in the open spaces and an inspiration strikes, you simply whip out your acoustic guitar and play – no need to go back to your studio and hook up with an amplifier.
Jimmy Page is perhaps best known as rock and roll’s most influential guitar players. His guitar solos alone probably occupy a significant space in every rock fan’s heart. That being said, it is hardly surprising to find that he is one of the main subjects of the documentary film It Might Get Loud.
Like with most genius musicians, Page has had extensive experience using his trademark instrument, with his childhood days spent playing in a skiffle band. Of course, this does not mean to say that he spent his whole life playing it. In fact, for a brief period of time, he even decided to retire his guitar.
Luckily, this did not stick. Dipping his toes in music once again, Jimmy Page started playing as a session guitarist. However, he soon came to realize the fact that this was severely stifling his own creative growth. This frustration is what ultimately spurred his efforts to start writing his own songs.
Needless to say, Jimmy Page would soon become part of iconic bands such as the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. Nowadays, he is known mostly as one of rock’s greatest innovators.
Rock and roll, as a genre, is one that is characterized by its ability to incorporate several musical elements from a number of different sources and transforming it into something new. This is what enables it to continue evolving.
This characteristic is best embodied by Jack White, masterful musician and one of the film’s primary subjects. He is perhaps best known as the frontman for bands like The White Stripes and The Raconteurs.
Jack White traces his musical beginnings to his own childhood. During these early days, he struggled to find a musical identity of his own. This was mainly due to his family background where playing an instrument was deemed uncool. There is also the fact that he grew up in South Detroit where hip-hop and house music dominated the music scene.
Of course, as time went by, White eventually got comfortable in his own skin. Of course, it is also worth noting that that White fully embraced the influence of different musical genres on his music. In particular, he has been known to incorporate hints of the blues and soul into many of his songs.
Who hasn’t wanted to be a rock star, join a band or play electric guitar? Music resonates, moves and inspires us. Strummed through the fingers of The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White, somehow it does more. Such is the premise of It Might Get Loud, a new documentary conceived by producer Thomas Tull.
It Might Get Loud isn’t like any other rock’n roll documentary. Filmed through the eyes of three virtuosos from three different generations, audiences get up close and personal, discovering how a furniture upholsterer from Detroit, a studio musician and painter from London and a seventeen-year-old Dublin schoolboy, each used guitar lessons and the electric guitar to develop their unique sound and rise to the pantheon of superstar. Rare discussions are provoked as we travel with Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White to influential locations of their pasts. Born from the experience is intimate access to the creative genesis of each legend, such as Link Wray’s “Rumble’s” searing impression upon Jimmy Page, who surprises audiences with an impromptu air guitar performance. But that’s only the beginning.
While each guitarist describes his own musical rebellion, a rock’n roll summit is being arranged. Set on an empty soundstage, the musicians come together, crank up the amps and play. They also share their influences, swap stories, and teach each other songs. During the summit Page’s double-neck guitar, The Edge’s array of effects pedals and White’s new mic, custom built into his guitar, go live. The musical journey is joined by visual grandeur too. We see the stone halls of Headley Grange where “Stairway to Heaven” was composed, visit a haunting Tennessee farmhouse where Jack White writes a song on-camera, and eavesdrop inside the dimly lit Dublin studio where The Edge lays down initial guitar tracks for U2’s forthcoming single. The images, like the stories, will linger in the mind long after the reverb fades.
It Might Get Loud might not affect how you play guitar, but it will change how you listen. The film is directed and produced by An Inconvenient Truth’s Davis Guggenheim, and produced by Thomas Tull, Lesley Chilcott and Peter Afterman.
Nothing else quite captures the very essence of rock and roll than the electric guitar. Since the genre first came to be, it was characterized by riffs made on this very instrument. Yet, as generations of musicians come and go, the music they produce grows and evolves.