My Favourite Guitars, Equipment, Etc.

Stephen Hill 'Granada' 1A Classical

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Stephen constructs his guitars in La Herradura in Granada, Southern Spain. He built this guitar for me and it plays beautifully. It has a spruce sound-top and Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. I recorded my Reverie On A Hill CD with this instrument. I enthusiastically endorse this instrument for it's playability!

The fingerboard is the easier to play than most classical guitars and the string tension is about perfect. For those with big Spanish guitars, and especially those who use lattice-braced sound-tops, I can report that this type of guitar has a power of projection that rivals any new-fangled design concept. What matters is the balance and frequency response of the sounds as they travel through the air. These sort of guitar maintains good balance meaning that the sound is cohesive and sympathetic to the music.

Godin: Grand Concert Ambiance

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This guitar makes life easier for the amplified classical guitarist. It has Fishman Electronics and their Aura imaging system in-built. This means that you get an even response from the pickup plus a microphone sound that can be blended-in. I also endorse this wonderful instrument for Godin, but that's because I completely love the concept! I get closer to a classical tone with this instrument than anything else I've ever tried! It is unbelievably good.

Plug-in and go!

Sincere thanks goes out to the guys at Godin Guitars' head office in Canada (Fred DiSanto, et al) and also to the Godin Guitar UK representatives. I've been lucky enough to have demonstrated for Godin Guitars in the UK, but our collabouration was born out of my love for both the instruments and the company.

Effectrode PC-2A Tube Compressor

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The one thing that remains constant on my FX-board is the Effectrode PC-2A tube compressor. It was designed by Dr Phil Taylor, who is basically one of those rare geniuses who has the most impressive background in electronics. Phil has lectured at University, conducted research into maritime technology.
The Effectrode range of pedals are really the top-Class of all guitar-gear.

Godin: Progression Electric Guitar

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I'm grateful to Godin Guitars for customizing this guitar for me as a one-off.

This guitar is active, so the output is powerful and helps to prevent signal loss at the earliest opportunity. 

The question I'm often asked when out playing live is: "what is that guitar?", "is it any good"?! Well, considering that it's got the sounds, the looks and the personality to go with it. Moreover, it's built to the highest standards possible. In fact, it rivals many custom shop guitars such is the finish and attention to detail. My Godin Progression is (almost) one of the best kept secrets in the universe!

Charlie Kaman Adamas I Prototype

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This guitar has a bolt on neck and I bought it with a spare second neck (not pictured here) that is a wide spacing classical type. I have played this guitar all over the place and it usually appears in my solo concerts. It usually equipped with very light strings, either 8's or 9's and I used this to effect on the Dark Tales CD, where I imitate the acoustic sounds of India. 

I play pieces of music on this guitar on the tuning pegs alone by the way.

It was a total accident how this instrument ended up in my hands. Ask me in person and I may tell you if the vibes are right.

Denny Laine played one of these Ovations plus a fair few others.

Studiomaster Valve Leadmaster

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A British 60-Watt Amp formally owned by a dear-friend that's really a keep-sake to preserve a memory. 

The designer and electronics are by Paul Belcher; cabinet design by John Gittins. The Valve Leadmaster has a whopping 60 Watts of power and can be run with an external speaker for a 2 x 12 inch arrangement. These were made between 1980 and 1982. There are two channels: Clean and Gain. There's a nice 5-Band Graphic EQ plus on-board Spring Reverb (a 16" Accutronics tank). The internal speaker is a Fane 200L 12 inch 200-Watt running at either 4 or 8-ohms (switchable). Regarding pre-amp tubes it has 5 x ECC83/12AX7 triodes (via preamp and tone control). There's two power output valves (EL34s). Plus DI output and FX Loop. Fairly comprehensive!