My son, Karl, has been doing very well with his guitar journey. He began lessons with Eddie West, owner of Area 22 Guitars close to 9 months ago playing an Eastman Grand Auditorium acoustic guitar. He has been loyal to his daily practice and his teacher. I’ve been enjoying listening to his progress and knew sooner or later an electric guitar would come into the picture.
This past week Karl came to me asked if I’d take him to the shop to look at electric guitars. We spent some time exploring and I made a point to see if Eddie thought Karl was ready to take his music up a notch. Eddie confirmed with me that Karl was progressing very well and said he was ready to begin bending some strings and would start him out with some blues work.
I wasn’t ready yet to make any commitment as I needed to confer with his mother to make sure this was the right thing to do. Plus I wanted to do some further research on the available products Eddie has at the store. Karl had initially began to look at Eddie’s least expensive “starter” guitars and especially one that he thought looked good. I quickly looked at Eddie and he acknowledged that Karl was no longer a “starter”.
So before leaving the shop that day Karl experimented with two different lines of guitars Eddie had along with a couple different amplifiers. The amplifier choices were going to need some research too. But while listening to Karl play through a couple different models it became very clear that there are big differences in quality as you go up in price. Especially from the lower priced solid state amplifiers to the tube models.
Then again, the lowest priced mass produced tube model made by Vox compared to the lowest priced boutique model Eddie had was no comparison. Karl played the RS-2 through a solid state amp, the Vox and finally a Gries (Grice) Forty. The difference in sound quality was astonishing to me. I could instantly hear the difference.
Its really not any different than the feel and connection I have with my Leica camera. Even though my son is still learning just the few minutes I heard him play the RS-2 through the Gries Amp made me a believer.
So I spent the following day doing some research and it became apparent that Eddie at Area 22 Guitars has some really nice stuff in the different price ranges. I was really impressed after reading about the Larrivée guitar line. Karl really liked how the Larrivée RS-2 played.
Eddie also recommended we look at the Gries Forty Tube Amp. Wow, Dave Gries makes these amps out of his shop in Mattapoisett, MA.
It didn’t take me much convincing after doing a little research that my son was on the right path for his entry in to the electric guitar world. He now has a great guitar with an almost one of a kind amp to play it through that will last him a long time!