The local shops with the largest selections are quite a ways apart. has a good selection of Martin, Gibson and Taylor acoustics. I love this store! They are always so helpful! If I can’t find a piece of music, they order it for me which is awesome. The lessons are top notch and the teachers are nice and knowledgeable in their instruments. I highly recommend checking it out!



Hipshot tuners are usually overlooked when it comes to acoustic guitars in favor of usual suspects Grover/Gotoh/Waverly. My friend was looking for a relatively cheap replacement for GS Mini that would improve stability without having to pay a significant chunk of the price of the guitar for a set of tuners. Locking tuners are usually not associated with acoustic guitars, but my is friend used to locking tuners/nuts/bridges on electric guitar and like the extra stability they provide, so he wanted something like that on the Mini. Hipshot has both open and closed gear tuners, with or without the locking mechanism. What surprised me was the price – locking set runs for 50 bucks from an authorized dealer.

Another thing that makes them interesting are the UMP (universal mounting plates) they offer (extra 10 bucks or something) that allow installation without drilling any holes in the headstock. That’s a big plus for people who don’t want to deal with that or pay a tech to install the tuners. My friend was able to replace them for about the same time it takes to replace strings, which is amazing.

Finally, they have a significant number of custom buttons, both metal and plastic, plenty to match any guitar. My friend went with their standard modernized keystone look that matches Taylor headstock perfectly.

My friend took the open gear locking model which combines vintage and modern and matches acoustic guitar nicely. My friend have had them on the guitar for about a week now. Strings are settled in and they noticeably improved stability. 18:1 ratio is a bit smoother than 16:1 which many makers use as standard. I like finer ratio, especially for thicker strings. With lower ratio they change pitch way too fast, so it’s not easy to get the pitch just right.

Snowball USB Microphone

I’ve used their 8 Ball and that’s a cracking little mic for the price. If this is as cheap as $54 I’d buy as many as I could afford! Seriously tho, Blue are a pretty heavyweight mic company and even their budget range tends to be serious quality for any given price point, so with that reduction I’d say buy it. I’m actually a little envious of others good fortune! When I was looking for a Snowball USB Microphone, a friend informed me that there is a great deal here! on GC. I’m pretty happy with my Blue Snowball USB Mic.  I’ve had it a few years. It has survived the horrors that is the corner of my desk and the floor below and still works.


Tambourine at

Dynamicx makes great stuff. They have neat tambourines!

In all the mountable tambourine at that I have seen, the mounting bracket cannot be removed, but it looks like this one can. It appears to be a handheld tamb with a mounting bracket bolted to it. I think you can remove it with a wrench – not something to do between sets, but it looks to be fairly easily convertible. 

I heard that the triangular shape gives it a darker, drier sound. As far as sound goes, the best sounding one I have ever heard is LP Cyclops with brass dimpled jingles. It practically sounds EQ’d. It’s the opposite of harsh sounding. I know they make a mounted version but all I could find is the hand held one.


Local Store

I’m lucky to have a few good stores within range of me. The best one I have is Guitar Center. Brilliant range of stock, some of the best staff you could be served by. They also have loads of lovely ESPs, Fender, Jackson, Gretsch and more. Loads of acoustics as well as PA, pianos and electronic music stuff. Great chaps in there too, willing to let you try whatever, pretty much a half hour in sound booths, aren’t pushy and be as helpful as possible. Love those guys.  The local store also looks very nice.

Musician’s Friend

I have ordered accessories and guitars from Musicians Friend, Amazon, Sweetwater,  Zzounds and Guitar Center. While I never had a bad experience I have to rate Musicians Friend as my new top one. I ordered my last guitar through them and like my friends, I was impressed for the huge discount, fast and smooth transaction. Then the fact they called me to let me know they finished packing the guitar up, sent me an email with pictures of it, sent me candy with it, and called me a week or so after I got it to make sure it was okay and that I liked it all led to my decision to make them my go to play for my future guitars/amps/whatever purchases. The musicians friend store locator also is a powerful and easy to use location management system. It allows you to save time and money and is fast, accurate and allows clients to get the information they want without intruding on their valuable time. The musicians friend store locator is able to answer client enquiries 24 hours a day every day of the week – including holidays.

Guitar Center Dallas

My friend from Texas went to recently purchased a new guitar from guitar center dallas . He said that they have a nice selection of acoustics, electric guitars are more. Lots of sheet musics targeted for the guitar or stringed instrument players. Very knowledgeable folks.  Fantastic resource for every type of guitarist.  There’s a wide selection in all price ranges, and if you’re budget conscious, they work really hard to pick economy instruments that play well and are reasonably set up, action wise.

Guitar Center is the first place that I head to whenever I’m looking for sheet music, guitar-related books, or methods. In all my visits, there was only one instance where they didn’t have a publication that I was looking for, but that was because it had been initially published only four weeks before.

Godin Session

In this price range it is hard to find something so well-made. I have mine about a year, I’ve changed humbacker for SD SH-11, and both singles for Merlin (polish manufacture)- this guitar simply rocks. The godin session is very comfortable to play and very versatile in sound. Normally Godin Sessions would go from 600 to 800 dollars, because they are handmade and the best Canadian wood. Mine was a special deal, because I bought my Godin Session for 400 dollars.

Godins are very good axes indeed. Craftsmanship and quality control are really high. Plus the Canadian manufacturer. They are very much like Fenders should be, if they weren’t been manufactured in Mexico, China, Vietnam and other countries of this kind. My Godin session looks, plays and sound like heaven. And has all the finesse some American axes miss so badly.

Apogee Mic 96k

Works well for me on my 15″ MBP i7. My iPad is old so I don’t use it (96k = lightning cable). Iphone 6 works well but you can only have 1 audio in (i.e. no phone patch) If you do wanna phone patch, it seems to pick up the cell interference from days of you are so that’s no good but how does it sound? It sound awesome! Gain control is a little too swift but it is easy find the right level and for portability the apogee mic 96k is great. It’s easy-going enough that I take it with me most places, and it also comes with a lightning cable. Had no trouble with it, however it was a gift and a little more than I would have liked to pay myself.apogee-mic-96k


Roland TD-30KV

Once again I’m considering options for practicing drums silently (or reasonably silently). I grew up playing an acoustic kit but once I graduated from college and had to live in an apartment for a few years, my days of playing an acoustic kit were limited. I didn’t have the option of renting practice space somewhere so my alternative to taking up a different instrument was to get into electronic drumming.The roland td-30kv kit caught my attention. My goal is to use the Roland for practicing, in place of acoustic drums. The most important thing is that I’m still building appropriate technique and touch for acoustic drums.  The deterrent with the studio/acoustic kit approach is my practice time is limited and I end up wasting a large portion of this in transit. Up to now, none of the electronic kits offered enough dynamic response and timber response such that I was hearing what I was playing and felt I was building transferable sills. (i.e. Instead of learning acoustic drums, it felt I was learning an entirely new instrument, the electronic kit, and not one that spoke the way I want to speak musically.)

Roland TD-30KV

From what I’ve read is that the dynamics have improved over Roland’s last flagship module (TD-20) and it has a totally new sound engine (referred to as Super Natural). Some claim the new sounds are a vast improvement.

I am very pleased with the insight offered by the people that had been using the drum kit for years now.

Roland TD-30KV