During the course of getting the magazine together we often get to play with some very cool kit, its a burden, but its part of our lives…
Last week I was lucky enough to be sent a couple of guitars to test with GarageBand (and Logic), the idea being that I would be able to get some great tones with the new guitars and add a bit of extra flair to my usual projects.
Both guitars came from a Japanese guitar maker by the name of Tokai. I’ve been admirer of their wares for some time but never been able to have more than a quick strum whilst in various music shops, disapointing the expectant salesman when I handed the guitar back without buying.
So I have now had a good few days to really get to grips with them and do some recording.
The first guitar I tested was the LoveRock II and I’ve pretty much fallen in love with it. Its very light, much more like a strat then a Les Paul in that respect. It has a very Les-Paul like neck, which makes it easy to play and gives it a really solid feel when thrashing away. The double cut-away design takes a bit of getting used to. I’m a bit of stick in the mud when it comes to design, I like the two main guitar styles (strat and LP) and little else, but this double cut away design is really growing on me. In terms of tone, there’s plenty of it and there’s a really nice variation in sound between pickups. Overall this is a great guitar that can be put to use in a variety of styles, it can be gutsy and full of blues on the back pickup and light and delicate when needed on the front pickup. If you are in the market for a versatile guitar then this really is worth a look.
The second guitar I was lucky enough to try was the HummingBird CJC98E. Its an acoustic and an absolute beauty. I’ve not had massive amounts of experience with acoustic guitars, I’ve certainly never paid more than £200 for one, so I was very excited to try this one that retails atover £600. I have to say, I was blown away with the sound. Its rich and full and very forgiving for a novice player like me. Not only does this model sound great when recorded with a mic, but it also has a jack plug to be connected to an amp as well as an xlr input so you can mic it straight to an audio interface or PA. It also comes with (and this is genius) a built in tuner, so you can easily be tuned up in a matter of seconds. This is the kind of guitar that is definitely worth saving the penies for, it will last you a lifetime and sound great.
For more information on tokai guitars, head to www.tokai-guitars.co.uk and if you can make it down to your local music shop and they sotck them, pick one up and have a try, they are awesome.