When you are thinking of the Swiss timepieces, you can also think of precision that is along with the extremely exorbitant costs luckily for those who are not offered there are luxuries and also affordable timepieces from the Invicta watch group. This firm will offers you with precision Swiss watches that one can crave for but the fraction of prices. The Invicta watches are well made and use the motion that will mimic the Swiss design. Even they costs a fraction of price that the overpriced Swiss counterparts do, these types of time pieces looks great and appear exceptionally well. In addition to these features these are designed to be the mechanically sound and aesthetically pleasing designs. One of the great things about the Invicta is that they are affordable and inexpensive watches for almost each and every category and also the price levels. If you wish to every day to wear the  time pieces with the automatic lifts or a cheap racket works to the Invicta designs and styles that is you will have from the crowd. These are very popular time pieces and also offer the great range of designs for both men and women.

The invicta watches review covers all the models of the Invicta time pieces and also offers the valuable resources , one can easily get more info regarding each and every models and categories of the Invicta watches. The Internet is the best source to get these types of reviews as several websites offering the reviews on the Invicta watches. These types of websites in general comprises of some info helpful to purchase the Invicta watches such as the prices, models, designs, features, styles, color size and other factor that are need to make the reliable purchase. Really these types of factors are very beneficial to get the best possible deals on buying the Invicta pro diver 8926ob time pieces.

Invicta Pro diver series

These particular types of watch series from the Invicta watch group is the hall mark of the Invicta watch brands for men. Some examples for the luxurious chronographs are available now are the Invicta omega constellation time pieces and so on, the Professional pro diver solid construction can also enhanced from the polished and stainless steel to provide it that the touch of classic , contemporary styles that must have a luxurious watches. Apart from this unique features and styles, they also have the automatic movements and also provide you with a very professional appearance and look to any situations.

Invicta Subaqua collections

The Invicta Subaqua watch collections will comprises of some elegant watches series for men such as the diver’s time piece. No matter , you are wearing these accessories for diving or for look to bold , these types of time pieces are ready to action with the water resistance that is approximately 500 meters. In addition to these designs it is also available with unidirectional rotating bezel and also so many counters fur timing. So you can make use of the online invicta watches review to know about the various models of the Invicta watches.


Every artist faces the day when his or her studio must become a showcase for a visiting client, dealer, or curator. It’s the moment when all the countless hours of work in solitude can at last be translated into attention and financial reward. But because it’s so important, the studio visit can also become a focus of more than a little anxiety. What’s the best way to present yourself and your enterprise to a prospective client? Clearly this is one of those potentially awkward occasions where socializing and business are combined. You want to make friends and interest the client in your work, but the subject of money is also bound to come up.

I asked four professional artists to share their expertise in handling these situations. Patricia Watwood, Gregory Mortenson, Marlene Wiedenbaum, and Marvin Mattelson are all successful representational painters. Mattleson is primarily a portrait painter and so regularly entertains potential clients. The other artists are represented by galleries but find that they must also invite clients to the studio as part of the sales process.

What’s your principal concern in preparing for a studio visit by a potential client?

Marvin Mattelson (MM): My intention when potential clients visit my studio is to have them become so excited at the prospect of my painting their portrait that they offer me the commission on the spot.

Gregory Mortenson (GM): Keeping the studio tidy and presentable. It’s always clean because I don’t want a dusty studio or dust in my paintings. The problem is that I tend to have multiple projects going at the same time; I might have a still life set up in the corner as well as several model stands in various places. Mine is a decent-size studio for New York City, but when I have all that going at the same time, it can feel small.

Patricia Watwood (PW): The first thing I do is to clean up the studio and make it look (mostly) orderly. I declutter the space by putting things away and then clean the floor and surfaces, making sure to leave some clean and open space for whatever belongings visitors may have in hand. I always leave some artwork, like sketches or drawings, around for them to see because I think one of the treats of visiting an artist’s studio is to see works-in-progress and learn about how the artist proceeds; however, I like to tuck away any work that’s still in “hot-mess” stages and only keepout the things that are finished or unfinished in a “lovely” way. Lastly, I’ll put out for viewing several finished works (that might be in a rack for safekeeping).

Marlene Wiedenbaum (MW): My main concern is that I know ahead of time what clients are looking for and that I’ve chosen works that appeal to them.

What kind of overall impression would you like to make on your visitor?

MM: I want my clients to feel they’re dealing with a highly creative and professional artist whose intention is to create a classical portrait that will exceed their expectations.

GM: I want the client to leave with a good sense of my painting process and the craft that goes into it. My studio walls are covered with drawings, preliminary paintings, and color studies, all of which go toward creating a final painting.

PW: First, I want the visitor to leave with the impression of professionalism and organization. The studio itself always tells a story about who the artist is. Mine is relatively “homey,” with tables and chairs for sitting and talking, and many objects that at one time or another have been used for still lifes or props. Photos and reproductions of artwork also tell about my interests and inspirations. I want visitors to feel comfortable, so I try to make sure there are chairs available and not too many fragile things they might accidently knock over.

Then, I want to have out whatever artwork or other materials the visitors are coming to see. I’ll also have a catalogue from a recent exhibition handy and promotional postcards to give them. I want them to leave feeling as though they’ve had a special experience–and to take an image of my artwork home.

MW: It’s important to me that a client knows that I’m a professional, that I respect myself and what I do. The relationship that develops needs to be one of mutual respect in order for it to work for both of us.

Is there anything you would try to conceal from a visitor?

MM: My studio is on the smallish end (12×20 feet), so I want to make sure that it’s neat, clean, and presentable because clutter and piles create a claustrophobic feeling. I also place on my easel a portrait that’s close to being finished (as opposed to a painting that’s at an awkward stage) because it’s difficult for most people to envision how an unfinished painting will ultimately look. I want my clients to harbor no doubts that I’m up to the task.

GM: Maybe I’d put out of sight some of the dorky audio books and podcasts I listen to as I work.

PW: I definitely hide any artwork that I don’t think is my best. Sometimes I have a new project underway that still feels too fresh and even vulnerable to be shared.

MW: Because my studio is attached to my house, I try to keep my office and living areas free of any personal items.

Do you feel it’s important not to show too many paintings to a potential client?

MM: Quality is more important than quantity, to me. I believe it’s a good idea to show paintings that are as similar as possible to what the client is interested in, particularly with regard to subject and size. On occasion for that very purpose, I’ve even borrowed a painting I’d previously sold.

GM: Most of the paintings that are in my studio are figure studies and process paintings that will help the client understand the amount of work that goes into a final painting.

PW: Looking at a large number of artworks can be overwhelming and even confusing. I’d say that three to eight of your very best paintings is about right–on the lower side if they’re large. Narrow the selection to focus on your strongest area and primary subject. One caveat: I recommend that you have one or two small paintings “just sitting around.” There can be a little magic involved in visitors noticing a painting they love, and you can often sell a small work through a client’s impulsiveness this way.

MW: It can be overwhelming if there’s too much to see at once. If collectors know what they’re looking for, a smaller, careful selection is helpful to me. However, I might put something into the selection that wasn’t requested, just to open a door that they may or may not walk through. For clients who just want to “see my work,” I select two or three examples of different series or subject matter with the offer that we can look further if they’re leaning in a particular direction.

If the subject of money comes up, how do you handle it?

MM: I’m very transparent with regard to my fees. My price list is posted both in my portfolio and on my website, so most of my clients are familiar with my pricing structure before we ever meet. I think it’s very important that, when we get around to discussing the commission, there are no big surprises.

GM: I just tell them exactly what the painting is worth. I don’t want to tiptoe around the matter in an apologetic way. I want the collector to know how much it’s worth and how much work goes into creating a work of art.

PW: Ahead of the visit, think about what you might sell something for. If you’re feeling nervous, I’d recommend you write it down so that in the moment you don’t suddenly say, “Oh, you can have it” or “It’s $40.” I know that sometimes when I’m in front of clients, I can suddenly feel the artwork has no value at all (just a little garden-variety artist neurosis)! You could even prepare a price list. The clients will feel more comfortable if you can give them the information directly. With a particular price stated, you might then open up some room to negotiate by saying, “I can offer some discount when I’m selling out of the studio.” But do not listen to that demon telling you your artwork isn’t valuable. Silence the demon and stand by your price.

MW: This is an uncomfortable area for me, so I try to be as prepared as possible. I might print a price list beforehand. If clients have seen a particular painting that’s currently at a gallery, I send them to the gallery. It might mean I’ve lost a sale because they wanted a bargain, but it’s better than possibly losing a gallery. If they saw my work on the Internet because they liked what they saw at a gallery, I honor whatever arrangement I have with that gallery for an outside sale. Commissions and direct client sales are sometimes discounted, bartered for, or handled on a payment schedule.

Studio Visit Checklist

  • Create a professional appearance by presenting a clean, neat, and welcoming space.
  • The presence of sketches and props can help create an interesting and unique environment, but don’t let things gettoo distracting.
  • Have catalogues, reviews, articles on your work, and printed announcements of exhibitions at hand.
  • Offer light refreshments as you would to any guest. Make sure there’s room for your visitors to move around and sit comfortably.
  • Don’t show too many artworks. Focus on the client’s interests if you know them.
  • Don’t leave works around that can confuse the client; paintings in difficult stages or completely different genres can distract.
  • Be clear and forthright about prices. Make sure you know what you’re going to ask ahead of time. A printed price list can be helpful.
  • If you have gallery representation, make sure that you’re clear about the agreed-upon financial arrangements when you sell out of the studio.

Despite the continued sharp decline in CD sales and doomsday predictions about the imminent end of physical retail, local record stores can still play a key role in establishing indie artists and music scenes.

It’s how many bands got their start: If someone at a local store likes a new album, they’ll recommend it to their customers. Even in this age of file-sharing and digital downloads, it’s the kind of endorsement that any act craves.

Mike Worthington knows the value of word-of-mouth promotion to underground music. The music industry veteran is head of sales, international and radio promotion for Tommy Boy Entertainment. He also manages artist-owned labels by veteran acts like Tesla and World Party. Worthington shares his thoughts on how emerging bands and labels can work with independent retailers to their mutual advantage.

(1) KNOW WHERE PHYSICAL DEMAND STARTS

The fact that you record and manufacture an album does not necessarily make it a good with market value that a retailer will make room for in his store. For a band starting out, I consider venue sales to be the equivalent of a traveling indie record store–if you can first get people at your show to buy your CD, then the next phase is getting people to buy your CD at a local indie retailer. You can easily load up the digital storefronts, while you build consumer demand in your local market through shows, venue sales and the word-of-mouth they generate.

(2) COURT CONSIGNMENT

Retailers that are highly engaged with their local music scenes, like Newbury Comics in New England, have had consignment programs with bands for years. This means you give the store a certain number of CDs and you get paid as they’re sold. Become friendly with your local store, find out who the buyer and marketing people are, work out a consignment deal and then work on building demand: You can get all of your family members to buy out a store’s stock, but you don’t want the next batch to sit on the shelves.

(3) GIVE TO GET

The best retailer-artist relationship is one in which each side has genuine enthusiasm for the other. For example, the Record Exchange in Boise, Idaho, reached out to us because they love our band Plushgun. So we totally followed up–sent them buttons for a gift with purchase, a signed poster for the store display. Now we’re planning the tour for July, and Boise is on the schedule, so we’ll consider bringing the band by the store, or we might offer a bunch of tickets to the show for the store to give away.

The next phase is that we’re looking to all the retailers like Record Exchange who have supported the band early, and we’re putting their logos and links on Plushgun’s MySpace page, which we expect to have a million hits per month by the end of the summer, doing a whole “Plushgun hearts indie retail” kind of thing. It’s just another way to drive home the concept of how important these stores and their communities are to the band’s success.

(4) MAKE IT SPECIAL

If your music is really special to you, then it’s up to you to make it really special to your potential fan base. So whether you’re a small band that will only release locally or a band with a larger base, consider making your local release (or core release) something deluxe and limited, available only through your local indie retailer. Interesting packaging that’s numbered for a limited run, unique local posters, rare tracks–some incentive so that anyone who takes the plunge feels like they’re a first adopter, part of the inside-the-rope team.

(5) WEIGH THE COSTS AND BENEFITS

Just as you don’t want to invest in manufacturing far more albums than you can sell, you want to carefully weigh your optimal level of retail promotion. Are we meaningful enough to do an in-store appearance? Have we built enough of a relationship with this store to ask to do such-and-such with our upcoming album? Finally, determine if you’ve achieved a level of success at the indie retail level to reach out to a small, hip indie distributor like Junketboy, of which [indie rapper/comedian] MC Chris and I are big fans. Good luck!

by MIKE WORTHINGTON, TOMMY BOY ENTERTAINMENT

Nagy, Evie


Waist training, also called tight lacing or corset training, is the process of slimming down the waist area over a period of few months through the use of an outfit known as corset. The practice had been quite prevalent in the Victorian era and it was always there, although not in the limelight too much. The recent obsession with a trim and toned figure has led many women to begin wearing corsets once again. Many female celebrities like Jessica Alba, Kyle Minogue, Blac Chyna, Salma Hayek and Katy Perry have proudly announced that they wear a corset for waist narrowing purposes. However, while they did it under proper guidance, you do not have the luxury. There are so many gym waist trainer reviews about 3 things you should remember while you are using a waist cincher.

Risk of various disorders

Wearing a tight fitting corset for a long time can slim down your waist and make your bust line and hips more prominent. You can get a curvy body shape in this way. Overuse or incorrect use of these dresses can lead to dehydration. You may also suffer a deformed condition of the lower ribs, known as Glenard’s disease. The disease can cause even organ failure in worst cases. You can also suffer from other severe conditions such as deformation of the stomach or the liver. With these dresses, you can get a voluptuous figure. However, you should keep in mind that these need to be used carefully as you may suffer from severe health issues otherwise.

Eat and Work Out Right

It is essential for you to remember that your body shape is often decided by genetics. If you are not genetically predisposed to an hourglass body shape, you will not be able to get this shape irrespective of how long you can wear the outfit. You should naturally eat and work out in the right way and wear waist cincher for a minimum of 4 hours per day, click here to find out more. Constant usage of this outfit, along with drinking of 2 – 3 liters of water each day, and avoiding sugar and junk foods and following a 5-day exercise regimen and a healthy meal plan will help you to narrow down your waist within a short time. It is also recommended that you get as much sleep as possible.

Take care while washing corsets

It is recommended that you do not wash or clean your corsets on a regular basis, unless you wear it every now and then. Even if you do wash, do not completely submerge it in water. The majority of corsets consist of metallic bones and these can suffer damage, loss of shape or rusting if machine-washed. It is better to get these dresses cleaned with the help of a dry cleaner that is experienced in tidying up such outfits. If you are doing this at home, use fabric-safe, rust removing liquids which can be bought from local medicine stores. It is important to exercise a lot of caution when you are tidying up such dresses.


One of a series of stripped-down Custom Shop San Dimas guitars built for online retailer The Music Zoo (themusiczoo.com), the SD-2H features a body made from old-growth recycled redwood–which must have spent time in the bottom of a river from the number of small worm holes in it–and a bolt-on neck of beautifully flamed maple. As with other models in the Carbonized Natural Series (which includes versions with recycled ash and pine bodies), the SD-2H‘s woods are subjected to a kiln drying process that uses heat and pressure to drive out excess moisture in order to make the woods lighter and more resonant, and also very resistant to changes in climate. The “cooking” process effectively ages the wood by removing the hemi-cellulose that gives woods their flexibility, and the end result is that the stiffness to weight ratio of the woods is increased by 15 to 25 percent (depending on the species), which enhances the tonal response and also makes the woods easier to cut and machine. The lightness of the SD-2H is instantly captivating, and since the only finish is a thin coating of gunstock oil on the body and neck, the surfaces have a very warm, natural feel. This no-frills guitar has a pair of uncovered Seymour Duncan humbuckers (SH-2N neck, Custom 5 bridge), which are screwed directly into the body. The Volume and Tone knobs, as well as the exterior parts of the 3-way selector, are all made from machined brass.

The workmanship on the SD-2H is stellar. The jumbo frets are crowned and polished to perfection, the neck fits super tightly in the body, and the intonation in all regions of the fretboard is very good. The action is extremely low, and the playing feel is light and quick. I dig the neck’s slim profile, and my only gripe is that the brown position dots on the fretboard can be difficult to see in dim light.

The machined brass NOS trem is an old-school affair that features adjustable saddles and an arm that has to be threaded in carefully to avoid cross threading. It’s not great for bending anyway, so I just left the arm off and enjoyed the solid, sustain enhancing contact with the bridge seated flush to the top with three springs in place. If you’re a serious trem user you’re probably going to want to put a Floyd on this guitar and keep the NOS unit around for a paperweight or something.

The SD-2H sounded great whether dialed for crisp clean tones, warm solo textures, or moderately overdriven sounds when played straight into either a Fender Deluxe Reverb or a Victoria Ivy League combo. When using best distortion pedals (including a Hermida Audio Nu-Valve and Fuzz Face), the SD-2H tended to get a bit wooly sounding when pushing high gain settings, but by slightly backing off the Volume control (or lowering the gain slightly) the clarity instantly returned and sustaining notes sounded stringy and well detailed.

Light, toneful, and fun to play, the SD-2H definitely brings a sly, “parts guitar” attitude to a price category where the norm is flame tops and fine gloss finishes. This guitar radiates coolness, though, and anyone looking for a different take on a twin-humbucker solidbody should give it shot.


Although still known primarily for their amazing acoustic guitars, Collings is continuing to make a glorious noise in the electric market, and this beauty is sure to take that up a notch or two. Picking up where the venerable Les Paul Special left off, the 290 DC is, as the name intimates, a double-cutaway slab of gorgeous mahogany with a pair of P-90s. Collings gussies things up with the cool tortoiseshell pickguard and sexy ebony headstock veneer, and caps it all in a righteous high-gloss nitro finish.

Right out of the case (a sweet, deluxe Ameritage model), the 290 DC rang with a huge acoustic resonance. You really feel the sustain through the body and the substantial-but-comfy neck. The guitar ships with .011s but they feel like .010s–the mark of a supremely well-built guitar. The frets are perfectly level and beautifully rounded, and, although the bridge can’t be adjusted, it does have an intonation contour milled into the top bearing edge, and as a result it intonates like a dream.

We plugged the Collings into a variety of amps and the best delay pedal and it sounded awesome through each one. The Lollar pickups have great output, but it’s the detail that really knocks me out. They sound balanced and rich with a clanging bottom end and a silky, musical treble response. On a recording session, I ran both pickups with the bridge rolled back to 7 into a mildly dirty amp and the tone was big, open, and very dynamic. I was especially impressed with how responsive the 290 was to where I picked on the string. Even a difference of an inch or two toward or away from the bridge produced noticeable, useable changes in timbre. And on the subject of the Volume controls, these are some of the best voiced pots I’ve ever experienced, with every part of the taper bringing out great new colors.

I seriously can’t find a single fault with the 290 DC. It’s all too easy for guitarists to say, “If I’m going to spend that kind of money, I’d just buy a (fill in the blank).” Nope. Not anymore. This guitar is not cheap, but it is worth every penny. We’ve long been impressed with this company’s acoustic offerings, but I have no choice but to view Collings as a serious player in the electric game from this day forward. Reasonable people can disagree on things like scale length, body wood, electronics, etc., but for what it is, the 290 DC might just be the perfect guitar. Well done.


Introduced in 1959, The Gibson ES-330 is one of many jewels in the Gibson ES line. Often overshadowed by the ES-335 and its brother from another mother, the Epiphone Casino, the ES-330 has been pressed into service by players such as Grant Green, Brian Jones, and B.B. King. Gibson’s Memphis, Tennessee, Custom Shop has brought this beauty back to life with an eye-catching “aged” reissue that gives this classic instrument the props it deserves. Sporting a VOS (vintage original specification) sunburst lacquer finish, the ES-330 pops visually, but it also exudes a satiny, worn-in quality that is easy on the eyes. The binding on the body and neck are aged to the point that they look like they have spent the past 40-plus years drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, and the scatter-wound “dog ear” P-90s sport rusty polepieces that further add to the ES-330’s half-century-old vibe. These elements contrast with the nut and tuner buttons, both of which are pure white.

The minute I picked up the ES-330, I knew I was cradling a winner. It plays beautifully and exudes the ultimate in vintage cool. The classic neck shape is inviting to play, and, quite frankly, makes the ES-330 tough to put down. Everyone who came in contact with the guitar gushed about its playability and its tasty worn-in looks. Sonically, the ES-330 doesn’t miss a beat. The hollow body in conjunction with the trapeze tailpiece make for a lively sounding guitar–both plugged in and acoustic–and the tones leap out of the body and the speaker as the guitar bursts with sonic energy. Running through a ’52 tweed Fender Deluxe or a late-’60s Princeton Reverb, the ES-330’s tones are pure vibe, with a beautiful amalgam of chime, barky midrange complexity, and a lush burnished texture that can work in a variety of musical contexts. Hell, you can even mic the ES-330 acoustically and use it on a track–it’s that loud.

The ES-330 yearns to be plugged into a cranked tube amp where it can respond beautifully to every nuance of your playing. Some players may be bugged by the neck joining the body at the 16th fret, as it limits high-position access, but I found it refreshing as you get coaxed into a different way of thinking when you’re playing, urging you to respond to what the instrument is willing to give. From jangle to rockabilly to badass blues, the ES-330 can deliver. It features a unique sonic signature that is a boon for anyone searching for a tone tool that isn’t the garden variety Strat, Tele, or Les Paul thing. The ES-330 is lovingly crafted and it shows in both its outstanding cosmetics and wonderful playability and tones. Most excellent!


I fell in love with Dennis Fano’s Alt de Facto SP6 and this Custom JM6 Set-Neck built by Dennis himself has the same instantly-bond-with able appeal. The premise of the Alt de Facto series–Fano’s creation of a “missing link” line of collaborations between the great American guitar makers of the 1950s and ’60s–might read a little clunky on paper, but the guitars are so well executed that I have yet to find a player who hasn’t uttered a heartfelt “oooh!” when handling one in person. While most Alt de Facto guitars are built with bolt-on necks, Fano kicks it up a notch with this JM6, as he does occasionally, by using a glued-in neck joint.

Fano Custom Alt de Facto JM6 Set-Neck

A list of this JM6’s pertinent details reveals the middle ground between Fullerton and Kalamazoo circa 1962. The Jazzmaster-shaped body is made from a single piece of solid mahogany, wears a nitrocellulose faded cherry finish, and carries an aged nickel TonePros Tune-o-matic bridge with nylon saddles and a Bigsby vibrato. The four-ply tortoiseshell pickguard is loaded with Lindy Fralin P-90 pickups, black top-hat knobs and a 3-way toggle switch. The glued-in mahogany neck runs to a 25.5″ scale length, with aged nickel Kluson-style tuners on a back-angled headstock, and a width of 1 11/16″ across the Tusq nut. This Custom JM6 has a sumptuous dark-chocolatey Brazilian rosewood fretboard–though this option will no longer be offered–with clay dots and 22 pristine Jescar 6105 frets, and the neck back is carved to a rounded late-’50s profile. The neck has a superb feel, and the compound 7.25″ to 9.5″ radius takes you easily from low-fret chording to upper-fret rifting and bending. The entire guitar, other than fretboard and frets, has been given Fano‘s medium-heavy distressing, a notion that might seem a little phony in theory, but which feels very authentic in the hand. The dings, chips, forearm and left-hand wear and buckle rash, as well as the gentle patina of the hardware, all help to bring home the “long lost legend” premise at the heart of the Alt de Facto series, while making the guitar feel like an old friend the first time you lift it from the case.

Tested through an EL34-modded silverface Fender Bassman and a Matchless HC-30, the JM6 displayed a willingness to go just about anywhere you want to take it, and have a great time on the journey. The entire vibe of the guitar seems to lean you toward loose garage and grunge at the outset, but excursions into country, jazz, funk, or even some early-’70s classic metal are easily navigated. Tonally, look at it from either direction: The set neck and mahogany construction add warmth and depth to the traditional Fender formula, or the 25.5″ scale livens up the Gibson-esque fur. Either way, there’s juicy bite and snarl aplenty in these Fralin P-90s, but with a bolder low-end boing than most Gibsons offer, a sophisticated sparkle in the highs, and a tautness that helps each note cut through. And the bonus is that the guitar stays in tune remarkably well, even with considerable Bigsby use. Ultimately, the Fano Custom Alt de Facto JM6 Set-Neck is a guitar with boatloads of character and surprisingly versatile talents.


For most rockers it was Jimmy Page in The Song Remains the Same, but for me, it was seeing Alex Lifeson play “Xanadu” that started a lifelong fascination with doublenecks. There’s nothing quite like a doubleneck to embody the more-is-better ethos that guitarists know so well, and when a massive Fender case arrived at the office, I could barely contain my excitement. What we saw upon opening that case was this awesome sunburst/tortoiseshell creation. It took me a second to figure out exactly what it was: a Jazzmaster paired with a Bass VI. I tuned it up and started rifting and I was blown away by how great the setup was on both necks. Easy fretting and bending on the guitar side, smooth chording and tic-tac-ing on the bass half. Without even plugging in, this is an incredibly resonant instrument, because A) its body is as big as a coffee table and B) you can’t help but get righteous sympathetic vibrations from whatever neck you’re not playing on. I was instantly hooked and needed to plug in.

Fender Double Neck JazzmasterBass VI

To amplify this beast, I ran into a DR. Z EZG-50 for huge clean sounds and into a Marshall JMP for world-destroying dirty tones. Navigating the control matrix took a little getting used to. The 2-position slider switch on the upper bout lets you toggle between Jazzmaster only (on rhythm pickup, with volume and tone handled by the cool roller knobs) and both necks on. I chose to run both necks, kicking the Bass VI neck in and out with the pickup on/off switches. The tones were what you expect from a Jazzmaster: brilliant chime and twang, with the ability to get into jazzier textures on the neck pickup and brash rock and surf sounds on the bridge. Switching over to the Bass VI was a mind-blower. I don’t consider myself a great bass player, but I do own a bass and when I play it, I really try to play it like a bass and not a guitar. This thing, however, with its guitar-down-an-octave tuning, is practically begging you to grab A and D chord shapes and move them around. When you do, it’s a huge and inspiring sound. The string spacing is tight, so I was more comfortable with a pick than fingerstyle but everything sounds good on this. And just when I thought it couldn’t be any more bitchin’, I took the two trem arms out of the case, installed them, and more than doubled my cool factor with amazing drunken Peter Gunn-isms on the Bass VI and trippy, drippy Ventures adventures on the Jazzmaster.

I can easily say that I’ve never played anything like this. I can also add that no one really needs this instrument, and, at eight large, very few can afford it. But I will say this without hesitation: Everyone who has the chance should try a Double Neck Jazzmaster/Bass VI because it’s just too much fun. And, if you do, have a friend take your picture with it. Come on … you know you want to!

 


The baseline SH550 costs considerably less than two grand–but lots of custom shop options are available, and our review instrument sports many of them. The most obvious upgrade on display is the gorgeous Honey Burst AAAA flame-maple top, matched by an equally beautiful back, both of which are complemented by the flame-maple sides, neck, and headstock, fitted with gold-plated hardware. Stainless-steel frets and abalone inlays grace the ebony fretboard. There’s even a 24-karat gold-plated headstock logo. Suffice to say, this is one snazzy guitar.

Upon closer examination, the excellent overall craftsmanship becomes apparent. The woodworking is superb, from the gently arching top with its binding-like exposed sides to the smoothly contoured edges along the back and the neck heel to the immaculate inlay work on the fretboard. The 22 medium-jumbo frets, too, are perfectly set and dressed. Attention to detail is obviously the name of the game here.

The SH550’s “Rapid Play” neck is relatively narrow and thin, which, combined with the guitar’s deep cutaway, makes for quick moves throughout the instrument’s full range. Straight out of the case the action was set very low, resulting in mild buzzing in a few spots and some choked notes when bending strings above the 10th fret–but both problems were easily remedied by adjusting the bridge slightly. Post-tweaking, the guitar played like a dream, with no dead spots anywhere on the fretboard, and even response across all strings. The intonation was also excellent, and the instrument retained its tuning even when played aggressively, due at least in part to the locking Sperzel machines.

Although the SH550 has only single Volume and Tone controls, when used in tandem with the pickup selector and the bridge pickup’s coil-splitting capabilities, the guitar proved surprisingly versatile (the $40 option provides two Volume and two Tone controls with individual push-pull coil splitting). When played through a Victoria Ivy League combo it produced big, round, warm tones suitable for traditional jazz and clean rhythm work, whereas it got down and dirty through a cranked Marshall JMP-1H, with all the requisite snarl and bite for classic rock sounds–from Page-like bridge-pickup squawk to sweet Claptonesque neck-pickup Woman Tone. Paired with a Rivera Venus 6 combo, it yielded an even wider variety of sounds–including bluesy crunch and searing fusion tones–proving that the SH550 has the flexibility to handle nearly any musical style other than, say, ultra-twangy old-school country on the one hand and supersaturated modern metal on the other.

I had so much fun playing the SH550 that I found it difficult to put down. The combination of physical beauty, inspiring tones, and appealing playability make for an alluring musical experience