On Sunday I was in San Francisco and I had a chance to visit the Guitar Center on Van Ness. I was hoping to see the Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe ‘60s but I didn’t see one there. It looked they had a Les Paul Traditional Pro way up on the wall, but I couldn’t reach it and it wasn’t really what I was looking for anyway.

What I did see was one of the new Fender Blacktop Strats, in candy apple red with a maple neck, as well as a Blacktop Tele. I did not get a chance to plug them into an amp. The store was busy and some guy was shredding metal and the noise level overall was kind of intense. Nevertheless, my impression was that these guitar are mighty impressive for the money - $449USD and with the Canadian dollar at almost par, that’s a screaming deal compared to the $625 those guitars cost in Canada. I don’t know what duty or shipping would set you back.

I also had a chance to pick up the Paul Reed Smith SE Singlecut Korina. This is a nice looking guitar, very clean and minimalistic. It was surprisingly heavy, although not at all unmanageable. They also had an Epiphone Casino there. Those guitars are very light. There was lots of guitars to look at, and some very cool looking Ernie Ball basses in delicious colours. Almost makes me want to be a bass player just so I could have one of these things.
Les Pauls
Gibson and Epiphones
um, ?