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Offers and Ideas for Christmas

Take advantage of these great offers and gift ideas while they last


       6 x coasters £5 offer     Polish & Cloth £10 offer       Tone-Link £16 offer  
Negri Classic £199 offer     3 Sets Strings £14 offer     10% off all Tanglewood

Kazoo £1                   Blackstar Fly £50          Guitar Care Kits £15 +

Timber Picks £3 +                 Ukulele £25 +           Kids Percussion £1.50 +

For Offers Just mention this post.

Offers end Dec 24th 2016

How To Guide: Re-string your cello

  The Challenges of Wood Sourcing

by Mark Dalton of Huss & Dalton.

Image result for tonewoods

I can’t really address the concerns of large-production factories or a one-man shop, since they have different obstacles, but I will provide some insight about what it’s like for us as a small manufacturer. The good news is that we can still source pretty much all of the woods in a high grade, but there have been some changes.

Mahogany. In the 22 years I’ve been building instruments, probably the biggest change we’ve seen is the type and workability of mahogany. For some years, it has been almost impossible to source Honduran mahogany that actually comes from Honduras. Therefore, we use quite a bit of mahogany from other Central or South American countries and Cuba. The quality of this wood as a tonewood is fine, but its workability is not as good. It’s often a bit “stringy” and doesn’t carve or work as cleanly as the old stuff did. Again, not a problem in the finished guitar, but not a positive for us.

These days we also use quite a bit of “sinker” mahogany, which is essentially the old stuff that’s been underwater in rivers in countries like Belize for decades. This sinker wood makes a great-sounding guitar and is easier to work with, but it is quite a bit more expensive, especially in the 3″x4″ sizes needed for one-piece necks.

East Indian rosewood. We, like most guitar makers, use a lot of East Indian rosewood and source it from wood suppliers here in the states. We haven’t seen any indication that a short-supply issue is on the horizon, because we are still able to get a lot of good-quality sets, but the price does continue to creep up.

Brazilian rosewood. This one is obviously tricky. Yes, we can still get Brazilian rosewood, and some very nice stuff at that. But it’s usually from a variety of private-collection-type sources. The big drawback is that we can’t export it legally without a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) certification, which is just about impossible to get anymore. Even though the wood we use came into the country pre-CITES, we simply won’t send a guitar with Brazilian rosewood out of the country because of the documentation required to export it.
The laws continue to stiffen on Brazilian, so if you are thinking that you want a guitar built with the holy grail of woods for the back and sides, I’d advise you to pull the trigger soon. It would not surprise me if building from this wood becomes completely illegal in the future.

High-end rosewood-family woods. We are increasingly using exotic hardwoods that were unheard of just a few years ago. While we as guitar builders and guitar lovers have entrenched ourselves in the traditional woods, there are a lot of really good woods for backs and sides that are just now getting some exposure. Some are already getting to be as commonplace as cocobolo, but countless others that make terrific-looking and -sounding guitars are just being introduced.

We recently built a guitar using machiche (aka Mayan cherry or Aztec cherry) for the back and sides, fretboard, and bridge. Though we may sometimes refer to these woods in a more colorful manner in order to sell them (referring to chechen as “Caribbean rosewood,” for example), they make great guitars, they are readily available, and are often not very expensive. Other woods we’ve used that have us really excited here at H&D include granadillo, tzalam, and katalox.

The not-so-readily available woods. There are, of course, some species that are sought after, but harder to get as we go along. Ebony that is completely black is one example. Taylor guitars co-founder Bob Taylor has written extensively about the ebony issue, but to add my two cents, I say we can still get good-quality, hard ebony. It’s just not often that it’s completely black anymore. If we can get used to some brown streaking—which I actually like the looks of better—we will be fine. If not, expect that your ebony fretboards and bridges will be stained black. This is our reality going forward.

Koa that is highly figured (what people want in koa, from my experience) is a rare find these days as large sets for backs and sides. We find an occasional set here and there, but it’s very expensive when we do. Australian blackwood makes for a good substitute, since it’s virtually the same as koa—except that it’s not grown in Hawaii—but nice Hawaiian koa is quickly going the way of the dinosaur.

Overall, I see the state of wood sourcing as being pretty stable, provided that we as consumers are a bit adaptable and open to new species and colors.

Shop Huss and Dalton




Its that time of year again

Thursday 24th November
7.30pm (for 8pm start)
The Feathers Hotel, Merstham. RH1 3EA

Tickets £12.50
include Quiz entry and Bangers & Mash
(vegetarian option on request)

MASSIVE prizes to be won!

This year we will be supporting the work of the local branch of SSAFA

This event is always fast to sell out and offers an evening of great fun, family & friends welcome.

Please purchase your tickets in advance In store

The Art of the Ensemble: Crafting Awesome Arrangements

Dennis DelGaudio held guitar duties for the entire run of the Broadway smash hit Movin’ Out, and was the musical director for its London production. He also had the rare distinction of being tapped to play Billy Joel’s historic Last Play at Shea concerts

follow the link below to read his top tips on band arrangement.

Premier Guitar – The Art of the Ensemble

Guitar Club Presents – Songwriter Session with Jim Picking

Guitar Club Presents – Songwriter Session with Jim Picking

Thursday October 27th
Newtons Music, 12-18 High Street, Merstham. RH1 3EA

Doors 7pm for a 7.30pm start

Jim is a local singer / songwriter, who muses on the ironies of life, as seen from the window of a London office block, the seat of a Southern Rail train, through the eyes of a son and father, and really anywhere where there is song material to be found.

Jim first picked up a guitar aged 10, and has been penning and playing tunes of one sort of another since then, from his band “Spencer” in the mid 90’s to the current day, where he has over the last 2 years re-focused on recording and playing new music, working with Reigate new Music Nights and Dragonfly Studios.

Jim will entertain you with a selection of his songs and talk about the journey of the last 2 years –  his inspiration for songs, the creative process, the thrills and spills of performing, and the benefits of developing skills and confidence with professional help …. !

Examples of Jim’s music can be found on the (recently reformed!) Spencer website www.spencer.band.

South of England Guitar Show



Come and see us at the South Of England Guitar show

We will be there with a selection of some of our finest new guitars and instruments from our private collection of historic & collectible guitars.

SUNDAY 23rd October

Kempton Park Race Course
Exhibition Centre
Sunbury on Thames
TW16 5AQ

10am – 4.30pm

  • On the day discounts & deals
  • Clearance stock
  • Newtons resident guitar teacher Jon Hart will be demonstrating Cole Clark acoustic guitars
           To find out more click here

Vox AV30 Practice Amp review

Vox has made inexpensive, stylish amps a cornerstone of its business since the ’60s, and the AV series is the latest affordable set of combos to wear the Vox logo. Though the “analog modeling” description might make some skeptical, there really are eight separate, all-analog preamp circuits in the AV30. In fact, the preamp and power amp are all-analog—each one has its own dedicated 12AX7—and the only digital part of the amp is the effects section.

What’s on the Plate
With 30 watts of power (the AV series also includes 15- and 60-watt versions), the AV30 has muscle enough for a stage with a decent PA. The single 10″ speaker is mounted off-center, and while the cabinet is a closed-back design, there’s an additional hole cut in the front baffle that Vox says improves bass response. There is a single master volume (power level), but each of the two foot-switchable channels has its own gain, 3-band EQ, and volume controls. Each channel can access any of the eight preamp circuits, which effectively imitate some of the performance characteristics of amps ranging from a tweed Bassman to an AC15, a JCM800, or an EVH 5150. The effects knob increases the intensity of the digital chorus, delay, and reverb, although control of each effect is limited. Four switches in the “valve stage” section of the control panel activate a fat boost, a brightness function, “bias” (modern versus vintage), and Vox’s Reactor technology, which adds either tightness or sag to the amp’s dynamic responsiveness.

Whole Lotta Tones
The AV30’s eight preamps span a huge range of sounds. Whether you’re practicing at home or gigging with a covers band that blankets varied territory, they let you go from roots to metal with the twist of a dial. Clean 1 shows teeth with gain around noon. And setting up both channels with this circuit and shaping them individually with the dedicated EQ, gain, mid, and volume controls reveals how versatile this amp can be—even within the confines of a single preamp voicing. You can also dial up wildly different gain structures and switch from warm, classic rock overdrive to searing, Van Halen-esque lead tones with the H.Gain2 setting.

Unfortunately, the effects are a little difficult to employ in a live setting. They stay on when you switch between channels (which is fine, as long as the effect level is low), and you have to hold down the buttons to turn a given effect on or off. The effects themselves are pretty decent, although effect parameters like chorus rate, reverb length, delay time, and feedback are fixed.

The Verdict
The Vox AV30 is a lot of amp for £295. And at that price the limitations of the effects are really the only major drawback. With a headphone out, aux input, effects loop, and power to spare, it can move easily from practice to performance—delivering loads of sounds along the way.

Also worth considering

Vox AV15 £199

Blackstar ID:30 TVP £279

Hughes & Kettner TM5 (for all valve amp with simple operation) On Offer at £263

How could instrument playing improve your life?

Did you know that taking up playing could improve your general well being, relieve stress, improve your mental health & your concentration?

Follow the link to find out more   http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3y3hv4#zqmtqty

Go on make that change in your life – Book a trial lesson at Newtons Music

Cool Guitar T Shirt