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zZounds' Guitar Experts' Picks for December 2014: Custom Taylor Guitars and More!

zZounds' Guitar Experts are on call Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm, offering expert advice, service and product recommendations for customers seeking professional insight into their own rigs. Every month, our guitar experts choose their favorite zZounds gear, and every month we bring you those selections here. Bookmark this page and check back regularly for our latest product picks!

If you have any questions, or need some additional assistance, simply give our Guitar Experts a call at 1.800.460.8089!
Guitar Expert Product Picks: Bert (1.800.460.8089 x299)
Taylor GA Custom Cocobolo Sinker Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Take a minute to really check out the very fine, intricate grain pattern and figured maple body binding on this sinker-redwood-topped Taylor Grand Auditorium. Reserved for only limited-edition and build-to-order Custom models, sinker redwood sets itself apart both sonically and visually in the Taylor catalog. This tonewood combines a boosted, bright high end with the laid-back lows similar to the presence you hear when you really dig in to a cedar-topped guitar. Flip it over, and take a look at the gorgeous two-piece cocobolo back and sides -- this distinctive tonewood gives the instrument a full frequency range, without an over-the-top bass response for the heavy strummers out there. Under the hood of this Taylor Custom, you'll find relief-routed Adirondack bracing under the sound board. In Bob Taylor's words, this creates a "springy" response, which translates roughly to "touch-sensitivity" in my book. The scalloping and routing of this model's bracing is uniquely tailored to play best with this top, bringing out the most volume out of your strum by "loosening up" the top. I think it's a great match for the Grand Auditorium body shape, and it creates a versatile six-string for folks who really bang their guitars as well as for fingerpickers looking for clarity and articulation in the bass and treble. Top it off with an ebony fingerboard adorned with miniature mother-of-pearl diamond inlays, and you've got a one-of-a-kind collector's piece.

Laney IRT-X Powered Expansion Speaker Cabinet (200 Watts)
I am a sucker for throwback reissues and old-school tube combo amps. Old low-wattage amps can be awesome when you really open them up and drive 'em into the red. Awesome for the studio -- not so great for that stage-filling presence that a full stack brings to both your playing technique and your audience. For me and my playing style, stage volume is one of the most important parts of performing -- from dirty basements, to corner bars, to front and center at your favorite venue's stage. Plug your little combo into this IRT-X expansion cabinet, and you'll have 200 watts on tap -- enough to compete with your heavy-handed drummer and full-stack-equipped bandmates. This cab connects between your speaker output jack and the speaker itself and gets that little 5-watt combo to cut through. I like to be a master of routing when it comes to my rig, and in addition to getting you loud and clear, the Laney IRT-X has every bell and whistle for sending your signal. For those who rock an impressive pedalboard, you'll find that the wet/dry stereo configuration you can achieve when playing with two of these is the answer you've been waiting for. Keep your tube tone sacred and send your spacey effects through the effects loop on these cabinets, and you'll get full-range sound without cutting off the highs like your favorite vintage speaker would. This is just one stop along the way that your signal can make. You're also able to come out of the IRT-X cabinet directly to the mixing board, with a speaker emulation or your wet effects signal, or just a dry out. Need even more firepower? Really? Throw your favorite 8- or 16-ohm cab into the power amp section and you'll be rattling windows the next block over. Calling this an expansion speaker really sells this short; you'll find the Laney IRT-X cab is a great tool that'll open up a ton of possibilities for your gigging rig.

- Bert, zZounds Guitar Expert

 
 
Guitar Expert Product Picks: Justin (1.800.460.8089 x384)
Taylor GC Custom 12 Fret AA Acoustic-Electric Guitar
This one-of-a-kind Taylor is an ideal choice for those looking to add a unique piece to their collection. The slotted headstock, diamond fretboard inlays, and a beautiful soundhole rosette give this short-scale Grand Concert a classy look. The real appeal of this guitar is its combination of an Engelmann spruce top and rosewood back and sides, which give it a really warm and complex tone -- a nice change of pace from the same-old Sitka spruce top found on most acoustics. The GC Custom 12 Fret AA responds well to fingerstyle, no doubt because of its shorter scale length and lighter tension. All in all, this guitar is no production model, and it's highly desirable for anyone looking for a sophisticated, easy-to-play Taylor.

Gibson Limited Edition SG Standard Electric Guitar
This limited-run Gibson SG Standard is a sharp and refined guitar with a few great changes. The first is its gold-plated hardware and the addition of a third humbucker pickup for even more tone options. The Gibson 57 Classic pickups are perfect for warm vintage-style tone, and the addition of a 57 Classic Plus pickup in the bridge position allows you to dial in much hotter output sounds. Crank your amps up and enjoy the clarity and definition of these pickups -- they can handle anything you throw at them with ease. This guitar is a hard rock monster, but the tones it produces are so varied that you can even dial in glassy cleans, and some really tight and round notes on the neck pickup that are perfect for soloing. Overall, I really liked how this guitar responded, and it looks unique -- and downright regal!

- Justin, zZounds Guitar Expert Team

 
 
Guitar Expert Product Picks: Martin (1.800.460.8089 x347)
Taylor GC Custom Amazon Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The first thing I noticed on the Taylor GC Amazon acoustic-electric guitar is the bear claw on the spruce top -- that random ripple in the wood, a telltale sign of a very old tree. Each piece of wood is slightly different -- this guitar is a great showcase of that. I love things that make instruments unique, and even at first glance, it is clear this Taylor Grand Concert is a singular beauty. To get that beautiful Sitka spruce top moving, this Taylor has Adirondack spruce bracing, which allows for a lot of resonance. To bring out that ringing top, the back and sides are Amazon rosewood. Not only is this tonewood gorgeous, it also has a wonderful, full, clear low-end tone to it. There are a lot of amazing-sounding Taylor guitars out there, but if you want something nobody else has, take a close look at the Taylor GC Custom Amazon.

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Kingfisher Electric Bass
I was intrigued when I first read about the new line of Paul Reed Smith basses, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on the SE Kingfisher bass for quite some time. I really dig the look of the Kingfisher's swamp ash body -- it is traditional and understated, a departure from many of PRS's flamed-maple-topped instruments. Looks are one thing, but the feel and sound of the bass are what's important. The Kingfisher was one of the most comfortable basses I have played lately -- very smooth, and easy to get around. I could really feel this bass vibrate, and its resonance was confirmed when I plugged it in. Between the neck-thru construction, and the super-heavy-duty bridge, this bass has a huge sustain. The pickups added a nice beefy low end. I could not believe the price tag on this bass -- I thought it cost twice as much when I was playing it! The PRS SE Kingfisher bass had a comfortable feel, great tone, and great price all in one. I'm impressed!

- Martin, Bass Specialist, zZounds Guitar Expert Team

 
PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Kingfisher Electric Bass
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Guitar Expert Product Picks: Dan (1.800.460.8089 x310)
Taylor GC Custom Amazon Acoustic-Electric Guitar
This one-of-a-kind Taylor is going to make one lucky guitarist very happy. With a body crafted entirely from top-shelf Hawaiian koa, the GS Custom AA Koa is definitely a sight to see. Thanks to its all-koa construction, this guitar will start to open up the more you play. Don't be fooled when it sounds bright right off the bat -- the more it's played, the more it will produce warmer, mellower tones over time. Taylor has outfitted this particular Grand Symphony Custom with an ES2 pickup system to capture those sweet tones. If you're looking for something outside your typical tonewoods, this guitar will definitely scratch that itch. The Gotoh tuners and intricate inlays are a nice touch, too. It all adds up to a Taylor that you won't see anywhere else.

Electro-Harmonix Nano Looper 360 Pedal
This no-nonsense looper pedal delivers all you would want in a nice compact stompbox. The feature that stood out to me most was the 11 storable loop locations. Typically, with smaller loop pedals, you are stuck just looping over one loop and aren't able to switch it up. Not so with the Nano Looper 360. Even when this pedal gets unplugged, the loops are still stored inside -- which really helps when you are looping a progression and don't want it to get lost! With 360 seconds on this pedal, the possibilities are almost endless with what you can store. A touch of the footswitch lets you access all kinds of functions: undo a loop, redo it, overdub, erase -- pretty much all you want from a loop pedal with just one simple touch. You no longer have to worry about pressing multiple buttons or doing some sort of pedal dance. With everything just a step away, this looper gives you the versatility that you typically get from a bigger pedal, with the ease of a single stompbox. If you're looking for something that will help you work on riffs or leads or just create music, add the Nano Looper 360 to your arsenal.

- Dan, zZounds Guitar Expert Team

 
Electro-Harmonix Nano Looper 360 Pedal
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Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

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We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

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on most orders $29+

Just $1.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

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Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
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We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
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