For all those bottleneck players who find it hard to hold onto their slide, this tapered Martin Simpson version by Planet Waves should once again make playing a pleasure. It’s made out of aircraft quality stainless steel and has been electro-polished to a 7RA micro-inch finish. This patented procedure gives an excellent wear surface that comes with a super low degree of friction. But best of all, it provides pure harmonics together with exceptional sustain and has a wonderfully warm tone that you don’t normally get with a metal slide.

This single cutaway “Florentine” semi is loosely based on the Gibson 135 and in the ‘natural’ silk finish, it certainly looks the business. Made by Indie, the laminated spruce top and curly maple back and sides are complimented by a Canadian hard maple neck and a grade ‘A’ rosewood fingerboard with lozenge type mother of pearl inlays. The hardware is Grover, with ‘in house’ Indie electrics. Acoustically thin, and with a pair of rasping alnico humbuckers, the IJ2 is not an instrument ideally suited to the smoother sounds of the jazz player. Although it may find favour with those of a more “bluesy” bent.

Something new from the D’Aquisto factory is always of interest to the jazz guitarist and this full 17 inch New Yorker will not disappoint. With a solid sitka spruce top table and flame maple back and sides, together with an ebony fingerboard, bridge and tailpiece, this guitar has that warm woody tone that you might expect from a class act. The single “floating” humbucking pick up complements the warm, rich and defined tones of the acoustic instrument adding an extra depth and dynamic to the overall sound. Needless to say the finishing is immaculate, with ivory binding to both the body and fingerboard. The typical “crown” D’Aquisto headstock is fitted with a set of M6 vintage, 22K, gold plated stepped Schaller machine heads. If you love D’Aquisto, then you’ll l love the New Yorker. But you’ll have to put your hand in your pocket to the tune of just a penny under £2,500 – but then you know it’s worth it.

If you haven’t got the pennies to splash out on a hand built job, you could do worse than to pick up one of these amazingly high end jazz boxes for just a fifth of the price! The AF 105 is la crême de la crême of Ibanez’s highly successful Artcore budget range. With a full flamed Maple body and the famed Artcore maple\bubinga neck with rosewood fretboard and small frets, this handsome instrument not only plays like a dream, but also projects a well balanced, rich, deep sound. This is further enhanced by the two 58 custom pick ups, which are the same as those fitted to Ibanez’s GB200 BST George Benson model.

These nickel round and flat wounds are something else. Made in 12 and 14 gauge sets, they are as smooth as silk and remarkably responsive, with the sort of pure and clean tone that jazz guitarists die for. Needless to say, they offer true intonation. But they also have excellent sustain capability that will hold that note where you want it for a seemingly indefinite period of time. The same could also perhaps be said for the “lifespan” of these remarkable strings. Unless your one of those players who religiously puts on a new set for every performance, these Tomastiks will give weeks of reliability for the regular gigger. OK, they’ll cost you a few pence more than your standard set of D’Addarios. But boy, do they sing!

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