Gear

Photo by Diego Catto | Unsplash

It’s a short list, but as a matter of integrity, I only recommend gear that I personally and currently use. I update this list every month — as I routinely find better stuff to use. If you have any questions about gear, reach out at intellimusica@gmail.com — I’ll get back to you!

This is what I’m currently using:

[Last update January 2022.]

Guitars:

Cordoba GK Studio
The GK Studio is the best all-around guitar I’ve owned. It has very low and easy action, great tone, and plenty of versatility with the stylish looking cut-away. It sounds great played with a pick — or with your fingers.  Although I never use it with an amp, the Gk Studio comes equipped with a Fishman pickup system and tuner.

Taylor GS Mini
This is my (steel string) teaching guitar. I’m a house-call guitar teacher so I’m in and out of students homes all day long. Needless to say, I value instruments that are smaller, have excellent tone, and effortless play-ability.

I settled on the GS mini after researching about 8 different guitars and trying them all. Nothing even came close to the GS mini. Despite its smaller size it sounds better and louder than most full size instruments and it plays like a full size guitar.

Cordoba C7
This is a relatively inexpensive classical.  I use this guitar for my alternate and de-tuned songs. Cordoba is so good at making nylon string guitars, that even a modest model like the C7 sounds amazing.

[I use Savarez Yellow Card strings with my AC65. These strings are super high tension — and they perform well at ultra low and alternate tunings.]

2014 63′ Relic Fender Custom Shop Telecaster
This guitar was given to me by a close friend and longtime student. It sounds amazing.

Amplifiers:

Vox AC10
For my straight tube clean and distortion tone, I use a Vox AC10. The “no frills” amp has reverb, and is simple to use. I plug my Telecaster straight into it.

Pedals:

BOSS Tremolo
I’ll use this on occasion when playing a Gustavo Santaolalla piece from 21 Grams or Amores Perros.

Walrus Warhorn
Although considered a medium overdrive pedal, I use this for adding compression to my clean tone, and adding slight drive into my clean tone as well. I also use it for tone-shaping. It’s just on all the time.

Accessories:

Savarez Red Card nylon strings
I reserve the right to change my opinion, but these are THE BEST strings that I’ve used so far. The treble strings use rectified nylon which sound better, and are much easier to play if you use your finger tips (not nails) like me.

G7th Classical Performance Capo
The “luxury” capo. If you like fine things, you’ll love this. The G7th capo is stainless steel and it’s tightening mechanism allows you to apply just enough tension. The problem with capos other than G7th, is they disrupt the tuning of your guitar. I recommend their capos for all guitars, nylon as well as steel string

Shubb Capo
I use this for my Taylor GS Mini steel string, and Fender Telecaster. I like how small and discreet it is. Well built to.

Snark clip-on tuner
The greatest guitar tuner ever. The Snark senses the vibration of your strings allowing you to tune while speaking, or being in a loud environment. It clips to the end of your acoustic or electric guitar for easy convenience.

Recording:

Zoom Q8
This is the camera I use to record my videos for YouTube. It delivers PCM CD quality sound with my videos. I save the audio WAV files for my SoundCloud, and albums. The Q8 comes with a detachable X/Y stereo microphone that is versatile enough to record yourself, a full band, or concert. 

I have the Q8 situated on a tabletop tripod. Any one will do.

Zoom XYH-6 Stereo Microphone
I just bought this mic in January of 2022. So far, it’s amazing. You can rotate the the audio image from 90 to 120 degrees. I use 90 degrees for a more focused sound — and 120 for “boomy” recordings like strumming or deep tunings.

Zoom ECM-3 Cable extension
I use the ECM cable extension to bring the X/Y mic away from the camera and close to the guitar. I usually keep the mic about a 12 inches away — pointing where the fretboard meets the guitar.

Joby GorrilaPod Tripod
I use this table tripod to situate the mic in front of me. It’s great for DYI home recording. If you’re using a tabletop like me, the GorillaPod’s range of motion is flexible enough to get the mic anywhere you might need it.