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News -

Finally managed to put up some new News!

The Acoustic Guitar Show is running this week at Olympia, London 10th and 11th of Sept. and our roving boy reporter was there to snap some action (well OK it was me and I had my camera with me).

Two gorgeous Matsuda guitars and a Baranik fanned fret parlour on the Acoustic Music Company stand.

Another Mike Baranik guitar with back and sides made from unusually large pieces of black and white ebony
complemented by the spalted wood of the neck. Accents in purpleheart and ebony.

A pic of the Avalon stand featuring the wonderful Joyce parlour and on the right a stunning
Rozawood guitar from the
Czech Republic with moto fretboard and ablone headstock veneer.
A close up of the shimmering inlay on the Rozawood - http://www.rozawood.cz - guitar and a view
showing the headstock veneer.

A Rozawood resonator guitar and another angle on the Avalon stand with the sunburst Americana in the foreground.

A pair of very shapely Eastman hollow body electric jazz guitars.


A Sanden fanned fret guitar and for the very best intonation a Sanden with wavy frets!


Three single cone resonators on the Fine Resophonics stand.



Three views of an extraordinary vaulted back guitar, handmade by David Anthony Reid.
The joints of the curved rosewood strips of the back are strengthened by square cleats which add a
very unusual decorative feature to the back and modify the airflow within the body.
The fourth picture is of another vaulted back DAR guitar. http://www.darluthier.com


A triplet of curvy Joe Veillette guitars.

Something for the Gypsy Jazz fans - a pair of Stimer pickups atop a Stimer amplifier
from the Sandarac stand - www.sandarac.co.uk .


Composite Acoustic Guitars (Henry Ford would have loved these)  are now
back in full production and here they are in all their carbon fibre glory.


The Babicz Guitar, from Babicz Guitars USA, has been recently added to the collection of historical musical instruments at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California. (pictures below of Jeff and the Spider at the museum)



Acoustic Magazine - the groundbreaking new magazine for the acoustic guitarist, publishes a series of articles containing essential information about the guitar perhaps never gathered together before.

Acoustic Magazine (< - click here to link to the mag. site) - the new guitar magazine dedicated to the acoustic guitar, is printing a series of articles written by Terry Relph-Knight on the construction of the acoustic guitar. The first article, dealing with the history and function of the guitar headstock, appears in the June/July issue (issue 4).

The second article published in the August/September issue 5 - 'The Guitar Neck & Fretboard' moves down the instrument a bit!

Skipping an issue, the third article - 'Tuning & Intonation' will appear in the November/December issue 7 and explains why your guitar can never be perfectly in tune, why the standard tuning is in 4ths and a 3rd and why fret markers are where they are on the neck.

The fourth article in the series will appear in issue 8 on the construction and function of the acoustic guitar body. Further articles on guitar strings are in the works.

Although this series covers the basic information that's needed by the new student of the guitar, it also goes into the subject in more depth and detail than has perhaps ever appeared in a general circulation guitar magazine before.

Essential reading !!! DON'T FORGET TO BUY YOUR COPY - Back issues with the earlier parts of this series available via the magazine's website.


D'Addario EXP long life strings now available in six string sets for both baritone (EXP23) and resonator (EXP42) guitars. You can buy these strings online from www.stringsdirect.com.

Takamine launch the Tri-ax pickup, a modified version of the L.R. Baggs M1 - see our Babicz Identity Jumbo and Baggs M1 reviews for more .....


Acoustic Masters appeared on the Synthesiser Service Centre stand at the recent Sounds Expo. Hugh Burns and Roger Linn played some great duos while demonstrating the AdrenaLinn II and our new PowerLite guitar amps.

At one point all electrical power to the exhibition failed and due to some quick thinking on the part of Dave Croft, the SSC stand was the only one rocking with the help of a large car battery and a converter.


Pictures of Eric Roche's new Nick Benjamin guitar on the T.O.T.T. pages. More pictures from the Ullapool Guitar Festival 2004 soon.

Tracks from the CD 'Synchromatic' by Hugh Burns are featured on radio JAZZ FM 102.2

The track 'Feel So Good' was played on 09/08/04 on the Dinner Jazz program hosted by Sarah Ward.

Sarah will be playing further tracks, including 'Harbour Nights', during her Friday 13/08 program.

Thanks Sarah !!

Acoustic Masters appoints a Japanese distributor

Following the release of Hugh's new Smooth Jazz CD 'Synchromatic' Acoustic Masters have appointed T. McKenna as our exclusive distributor of Acoustic Masters products in Japan. See our DVD & CDs page for details.

Dan Armstrong ________________________________________________________________________

We are very sad to learn of the death of Dan Armstrong. Dan died on the 8th of June 2004 from a massive stroke after a long period of smoking-related ill health. Hugh & I knew Dan and although our lives only crossed for relatively brief periods, he was a real inspiration to us both. He was always full of ideas and was a really great guitar player. We will miss him.


Our Summer Series of concerts has now run its course and we are working on a follow up Autumn Series, so 'watch this space' for news on those.

Hughs book on jazz guitar is now available - see below and in our DVD & CDs section.

'Synchromatic' released !!

After an unanticipated delay, due to our agonising over the print quality of the cover art, Synchromatic is finally pressed and available. See the DVD & CD page for purchase or come along to one of Acoustic Masters gigs and buy it (the cover looks great by the way, or at least we think so).


Hughs book on jazz harmony 'A crash course in jazz guitar voicings' has been published and we have copies available for sale on the site. See our DVD & CDs section.
'THE STOMPBOX BIBLE - A definitive guide to guitar effects pedals - by T Relph-Knight' approaches completion and will be published within the next two months.


New video releases !!

Finally after many hours of intense editing the recordings of the concerts we shot earlier this year are ready for release. The video of our April launch concert - Guitars at The Cockpit Theatre - is available for purchase now on our DVDs & CDs page, as a DVD-R.

Eric at the Electric - a recording of Eric Roche in concert at The Electric Theatre, Guilford, made in May of this year, is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE from our DVD & CD's page.

The London Guitar Show (Wembley exhib. and conf. centre)

Acoustic Masters will be at the show this Saturday and Sunday ( 10th and 11th of May ). Come and see us on the Guitar Institute (GIT) stand. Hugh Burns will be playing in the bar area on Sunday morning.

Recording of the Eric Roche concert at the Electric Theatre, Guilford, went very smoothly, editing of the rough footage is complete and we hope to have this concert out on DVD in the very near future.

Acoustic Masters will be recording the following event for issue on DVD -

The Scottish Guitar Quartet at the Bulls Head, Barnes, West London, 8.30pm Wednesday 25th of June, tel.- 0208 876 5241 www.thebullshead.com

Acoustic Masters launch concert - Guitars at the Cockpit Theatre - is a rousing success

by Terry Relph-Knight

Playing to a lively and appreciative crowd, including a number of music industry figures, Preston Reed, John Etheridge, Amrit Sond & Hugh Burns gave stellar performances at the Acoustic Masters - Guitars at the Cockpit Theater concert, on the evening of Friday the 4th of April.

Hugh Burns opened the show with a relatively short set which featured an original composition 'The Garden' and an arrangement of the jazz standard 'Moanin' by Bobby Timmons, that utilised a number of the new acoustic techniques. Burns was followed on stage by Amrit Sond. Displaying great technical skill and fluidity Amrit played a number of pieces from his fine CD - 'Circular Motion', including the title track and 'nth Degree' which, unusually for acoustic guitar, makes use of the e-bow. He also performed 'Rigid Geometry' a piece that has apparently been described by musicologists as "deeply disturbing"!

The first half concluded with the wonderful Mr John Etheridge. Wielding his trusty Rosendean semi-solid John kicked of with a fine rendition of 'My Romance' that segued into an excellent, but almost unrecognisable, version of 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat'. He followed this with a tune from the Cameroon called 'Guitar Macossa' and then another jazz medley. At various points in his performance John used a delay pedal to record and play loops, allowing him to play liquid solos and some marvelous syncopated lines over the top.

Switching to a bizarrely battered, two sound hole, Smallman acoustic guitar, John finished off with two classic tunes in the Hot Club style - 'Nuage' and 'Undecided', joined on rhythm duties by Mr Burns and his Gretsch archtop.

Playing for the entire second half and performing a total of eleven original compositions gave Preston Reed the chance to demonstrate just how well rounded a musician and composer he is. While he played a number of characteristic favorites, for example 'Blasting cap' and 'Love in the old country' with its undulating rubato, his over the neck tapping and guitar body percussion technique is so astounding that it can leave an audience with the impression that it's the only thing he does. Proving that this isn't so and moving away from his trademark longneck Ovation, Preston introduced a delicate new tune on classical guitar called 'False Spring' and two tunes, the atmospheric slide piece 'Franzl's Saw' and a new, country tinged tune, with the working title of 'Twang Thang', both played on a Stratocaster electric. Switching back to the Ovation he closed out his finely crafted set with the frenetic 'Shinkansen' inspired by the famous 'bullet trains' of Japan.

Overall the concert was a real musical feast with outstanding performances from these four fine musicians. The forthcoming DVD video of the evening promises to be just as tasty.

Lauderdale House renovation plaque & Allan Neave at Lauderdale House, 2003 T. Relph-Knight

These are still very early days for Acoustic Masters. We have had our first and very successful, concert of classical guitar with soloist Allan Neave at Lauderdale House in Highgate on the 31st of January 2003. Despite the icy weather we had a warm and supportive audience including journalists, musicians and composers from the classical world. Thank you all very much for coming along.

We are busy editing the video tapes from that concert and hope to announce the release of this, our first video title, in around a months time. We are also working on an audio CD of acoustic guitar pieces composed by Hugh Burns and on a compilation CD of work by many of the finest acoustic players working in this country today. In the meantime we are offering a small range of carefully selected audio CDs. Please refer to our DVD/CDs page .

Our next concert, featuring four guitarists !, will take place on the 4th of April. Video of this concert will form the basis of our next video release. Please see our Concerts page for details