Crafter TMC 035 N
This is my go to guitar, and an instrument that is very dear to me. I have been playing guitar for more years than i care to remember, I have owned numerous acoustic guitars of all types, each guitar i have owned has had something that i particularly liked about it so i started to make a list of those things.
This isn't sales talk, nothing to do with solid wood tops or a special type of
bracing, I mean things that drew me to guitars, maybe nothing that affects the playing, things like, bound fretboard, slightly wider neck (finger picking), beautiful position markers, Abalone bound body, slotted headstock, the list is long but this guitar has everything that i want in an acoustic, for some reason they are rated much higher in the US than here, which means we get them cheaper!!
Ibanez 2351 AV
Another guitar that is special to me, (you may get sick of hearing it). So many people talk about 70's lawsuit guitars, but this is the actual one, the one that Gibson took to court because it was so much like their product, (and maybe even better), it's a 1977 Ibanez 2351 AV (Antique Violin) with the now famous Super 70's pickups from Maxon.
The tone from these pup's is so mellow and the neck so comfortable that it's a dream to play.
Love or hate 70's guitars there's no doubting that some very special instruments came out of
Japan during that period, I do however try not to fall into the trap of thinking anything Japanese is special, as some do at the moment, some of them were cheap for good reason, but a few were very special!
GC 29th Anniversary Mex Strat
The finish on this Mexican Strat is incredible, and until recently I was told that it was a fake!
It is in fact a very rare Guitar Centre 29th Anniversary mexican strat.
Fender designer of that time John Page confirmed that all of the parts are original. It is only recently that these have started to appear online, and in fact as I write there are three of them for sale on Ebay.
The rosewood fretboard is very comfortable and the American vintage pickup's sound very nice, all in all a definite 'keeper'
M-Audio Keystation 88es
I do use keyboards a lot in all of my recordings, in particular piano, but also for strings, synth etc; with the help of vst software.
For orchestral sounds I use Garritan Personal Orchestra 5, I find the price very reasonable considering the quality of the sounds, the string sections in particular are very authentic.
For straight piano, I use Toontrack Ezykeys Grand Piano, which is amazing, I suppose there are better are there but I really don't think that my ears would notice any improvement on what I
already have, it suits me just fine. As for the keyboard itself, unfortunately, I always have to factor in the cost, and this one I feel is pretty good, the semi weighted full size keys are brilliant, and affordable!
Hohner marine band/Pro Harp
There isn't a lot I can say about harmonicas, but i'll have a go, to be honest, I always use either the Hohner Marine Band or Pro Harp, maybe there are much better one's available, but I stick with these because I always have, and don't need to find anything better, simple as that.
Of the two i do find the Marine Band slightly easier to play, although the Pro Harp is better to bend notes on, not that I do that
much, as I say, I like the Hohner's, and don't feel that i need to look for something better
Barnes & Mullins Empress
An instrument that I really should play more, I love the sound of the banjo, and in particular, the 5 string, this Barnes and Mullins banjo is very good value, although I have to admit in time I will probably buy an open back, they just have a much warmer tone.
I understand why people who play live would prefer the resonator banjo, as the sound is so much louder, but, as I only use it in a recording set up an open back suits my circumstances better.
Not much more I can say about banjo's really, other than that I tried various pickup's, and none seemed to reproduce the sound realistically, so I resorted to using a condenser mic, which, although not perfect
sounded a lot more authentic after learning not to move about as the banjo needs to stay the same distance from the mic