GG-001 • Justin's Guitars
Seeing as we're all obsessed with guitars ;) here's what I got...
I did have some videos with some of my guitars but the quality was poor and it is WAY outdated... and I'm forever getting emails asking about my gear, so thought I'd do a rundown of my current guitars, well the ones I play regularly...
All my acoustics are Matons! I think they sound amazing and are great value, and being Australian, of course they are best :) I've been playing them for over 10 years now and can't imagine changing, got no reason too really, I think Maton are the best around.
This is my main dreadnought style guitar, awesome for strumming, playing hard and this is the one that bought the Abbey Road studio engineer out from the control room to say "this is one of the finest sounding acoustic guitar's we've ever had in here!". It records amazingly, hardly needs and EQ and just sits real nice. It's a little hard to play, doing a whole song with all barre chords is quite an effort, but worth it when you hear it back... just means I never want to do too many takes!
Maton Court Jester (Custom Shop)
This is a Custom Shop guitar, it does have a twin but there were only two made, both by Andy Allen who is THE man at Maton. Smaller bodied and better for fingerstyle guitar, a lot more definition for that type of playing, a lot less powerful that The Messiah. It sounds great, but not as rich as the Messiah or the Michael Fix, but looks totally awesome and I toured with it for a long time so it carries a lot of fond memories.
Maton Michael Fix Model
I got this after knocking the Court Jester and wanting a guitar to take with me on tour, take home and take to parties and stuff... something that sounded great but was "standard" and wouldn't devastate me if something happened to her. But it's becoming close family now because I play it a lot and the sound is really opening up. I think these instruments take some time to reach their full potential cos it certainly sounds better now than it did for the first 6 months!
I use this small sized guitar mostly for Nashville Tuning, and sometimes for parties or traveling. Sounds awesome, a tight sounding midrange, but somehow very open too, bright and sparkly. I like it a lot. It's not a toy guitar at all like some of the other small body guitars which are generally hard to play and sound very average. This plays and sounds amazing imho!
Maton Messiah 12 String
Always wanted a 12 String guitar and so finally took the plunge. So much fun to play, kinda tricky, but it really sounds great. Still needs some breaking in I guess, the sound is quite 'tight' but I like it a lot. I leave this guitar tunes down a tone which is pretty common for 12 Strings, makes them a lot more playable than n standard tuning.
I love my Maton Uke and find the uke a great party instrument, especially cos if I go to a party and play people expect me to do fancy stuff but with the uke it's just all about fun. It's a great sounding uke, best I heard and plays very easy too - it's concert size which is great for me as soprano ukes are just too small for me to get my fingers into the frets!
Richard Morrison Custom Made Acoustic
Currently my only non-Maton acoustic guitar, Richard made this guitar for me in 2012, and it's a wonderful instrument. Very thin top and a very full sound, kinda quirky in a lovely way. Richard contacted my via the web site and just offered to make me a guitar, I told him something that I quite fancied and a year later he emailed and said it was ready! I popped over to his workshop in France and picked it up :) Big thanks Richard!
I've had hundreds of electric guitars in my life, but I'm trying to settle down now to just one of each of the main types of guitars that I need for sessions and recording, without going over the top... still on the hunt for a jazz guitar and also an original Steinberger, a Dobro, a vintage SG, a pedal steel... but then I'll stop buying guitars... honest :) ha ha yeah right!!
1964 Fender Jaguar (Sunburst)
I got this from a shop in the UK in 2004, it is a beautiful old girl, she got a few bruises, but has loads of interesting sounds. I am still not sure what all the knobs do, in fact I don't really want to! I just fiddle about until I find a sound I like and off I go, I use this as more an "interesting sounds" guitar for quirky stuff, it not a "great sounding" guitar. I never use it live because it goes out of tune too quickly, so this is a studio only guitar. It is pretty much all original as far as I know.
1966 Fender Telecaster (Blonde)
This is my dream guitar and the one I play most often these days. I've been after one for many years and I finally bit the bullet, sold a kidney and bought it in 2011! After a re-fret and Pleck set up at CCGX it's playing and sounding amazing. It's everything I want in a guitar, I love the sound, it's pretty much my voice and I don't need more Telecasters than this one!
1967 Gibson EB3 Bass (Cherry)
I'd been on the hunt for near a year for the right bass and then this one came by... well actually it's one of the very rare times I've bought a guitar on ebay without trying it, but I've played a few and will get it set up how I like when it gets here!
1969 Gibson ES-335 (Sunburst)
I was really missing that fat Gibson sound for some of the recordings I was doing, bluesy jazz things, so I invested in this, my other "dream guitar". It's absolutely superb, plays and sounds fantastic, one of the finest guitars I have ever played, really quite special. Mostly original, but it's a player, certainly not a collector!
1979 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top (Gold)
This guitar I bought in about 1997 when I joined The Counterfeit Stones tribute band and was playing the part of Brian Jones and Mick Taylor. It is a great sounding guitar. I keep thinking about selling it because I don't play it much, but when I get it out and have a play I remember what a great sound it has and I decide to keep it :) It really plays lovely... It has some bruises but is in pretty good condition for it's age.
1989 Fender Stratocaster Plus (Red)
This was my first ever Strat I bought in Tasmania, one of the very few new guitars I ever bought. I got it cos a great Aussie guitar player called Simon Patterson came to see me play in my covers band, and he said I played great but my tone sucked and I should go buy a Strat... so I did and then started my "tone quest" so I blame Simon for all the money I've wasted on gear :) ha ha. Not much original left in it now... I was already heavily customised but in early 2011 I pulled out all the old electrics and pickguard and replaced the lot to make it sound like a strat again! Completely new wiring, new pick guard, Kinmann Woodstock pickups, Back in the early 90's I upgraded the Roller nut (the first wide ones they had sucked big time), added Teflon saddles (great idea!!) and it's been re-fretted a couple of times.
1991 Ibanez FM-100 Frank Gambale (Fluro Yellow!)
I really figured I should have a proper shred guitar in the collection, and when I saw this hanging on the wall in Charlie Chandlers I knew I had to have it. It's MINT condition, came with original case and all case candy (strap, booklet, cable etc) so I'm careful with this one to keep it mint. Fun to play too, super low action and at some point I'll make some rock videos with it!
200? Gretsch Malcolm Young (Natural)
This I bought for the AC/DC competition because I couldn't get any of my other guitars to sound right for the backing track!! I bought it online, had it delivered the next day and recording with it within 15 minutes of it coming in the door. I don't play it very often but it's got a great tight punchy sound for rock rhythm guitar and so unique that I have to keep her. For playing AC/DC its THE one to have. And being that Mal is my favourite rhythm guitar layer of all time, this guitar is a keeper!
2006 Fender Telecaster USA (Yellow)
I bought this in 2007, I had wanted a tele for a long time and had been looking second hand when I found this one on the internet. I bought from Ralph and Sandy's Custom shop on ebay, the service was really crappy and I'd never buy from them again, took quite a lot of work to get it right really, and wasn't a good overall experience. It started as a standard USA Telecaster but was then modified to include a Gibson "Original Mini Humbucker" in the neck position, a Seymour Duncan "Hot Stack" pick up in the centre and a Seymour Duncan "Vintage Stack" in the bridge. It has other fancy stuff too - a Soundcraft output socket, reversed volume plate, a push pull pot in the centre position (split and boost), Fender locking tuning pegs and Hovland capacitor on the tone control... and a bunch of other things. It is based on the guitar played by the country guitar legend Brent Mason (and I mean LEGEND, the guy is amazing).
2009 Fender Jeff Beck (Custom Shop, White)
This strat I bought cos all the other whammy bars are blocked up and I love JB's playing and wanted to learn some of his tunes. I'm not sure it's a keeper though, so she might finding a new caretaker on ebay at some point. It sounds great and all that but... I dunno, I guess we never quite hit it off... we've has some fun, but... it's not you, it's me :) ha ha...
2013 Suhr Modern Guthrie Spec (Bengal Burst)
Suhr guitars play great and while I love old instruments for their character I love the Suhr guitars for the consistency and playability. The one issue I have with this is that the neck is uncoated wood and the neck changes angle with the slightest change in temperature - when I took it Tuscany a few years back it moved so much I had to adjust the truss rod. But otherwise it's a fantastic rock guitar!
2015 Suhr Classic Antique (Tobacco Sunburst)
I loved the Suhr Modern but wanted something that would stay in tune and be good for traveling and that could do classic sounds as well as modern stuff, so I got this as a birthday treat for myself! It's a roasted maple neck which doesn't seem to move at all, a HSS pickup configuration so it does big rock sounds and classic start sounds and with big frets and a great set up it plays a dream. A wonderful instrument.
Other Stringed Instruments
1908 Gibson A Mandolin
This is easily my oldest instrument, it doesn't play as easily as modern ones, maybe doesn't sound as wonderful either to tell the truth buy it's got bags of character and is over 100 years old! I often get a funny vibe playing it thinking about the things it's seen in it's life. Must get around to adding some mandolin lessons at some point!
194? National New Worker Lap Steel
I'm pretty hopeless at playing lap steel but I really enjoy it, and I found this on ebay while looking at resonators and just loved it. Sounds real cool and learning to make it really sing is on my to do list when I find time!
Gone to a new home!
So I do sell stuff sometimes, but not very often... but when I do, I'll shift them down here as 'used to own' :)
2009 Gibson SG (Cherry)
I was given this by AC/DC's label for doing the competition for them. It's a brand new one, plays good, but has a few tuning issues which drives me a bit crazy. I'll replace it sometime with an older one when I can afford it and the right one comes along, but there is no hurry.
Won by Chantal as first prize in the "Justinguitar In Interesting Places Competition".
2010 Homano Ukulele
This was the Uke I played before I got the Maton. It's a great instrument, I had some tuning issues when I first got it but then figured out tightening the pegs and it's been fine ever since! It doesn't play as nice or sound quite as rich as my Maton but it's still very good or I wouldn't have bought it in the first place!