The Music Zoo's Blog Your destination for the best guitars on the internet. Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:09:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2015 Gibson Limited Edition Acoustics Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:09:35 +0000 March Limited Editions Main

It’s that time of year again. It’s time for the release of Gibson Acoustics Limited Edition models for 2015, and we’re excited to say the least. This year features a variety of styles and tonal options to suit your preferences. From a J-45 Custom Mystic Rosewood to an Ebony Hummingbird, the lineup offers a wide spectrum of guitars that will give you a strikingly difference response when you sit down to play them. Read the excerpts from Gibson below to see what each specific model has to offer and what sets them apart from one another. Many of these guitars will be in stock at The Zoo very soon! To order, contact us or call 516-626-9292!

While your here, check out our entire stock of Gibson Acoustics on our site by clicking here!


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Jimi Hendrix’s $370 Guitar Expected To Sell For $750k Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:09:57 +0000 PAY-jimi-hendrix-guitar-auction-main

There’s been a trend of expensive guitars making headlines lately. From the Gibson “Black Beauty” purchased by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, to the $2 million diamond encrusted Gibson SG put together by Coronet and Gibson Guitars. Now, a 1964 Fender Stratocaster once owned by the legendary Jimi Hendrix, is projected to sell for a hefty $750,000. The guitar was in the possession of Jimi’s brother, Leon. However, due to health concerns, Leon has decided to let the guitar go. Now the probable $750k selling price will get you the original case that Hendrix toured with at the time of his hits Hey Joe, Purple Haze, and The Wind Cries Mary. That price tag seems even heavier when you consider the fact that Mr. Hendrix only paid $370 for it back in the day. Factor in inflation and the legacy of one of the most influential guitarists of all time, and that figure begins to make a little sense. Either way, we’re going to sit back and see if Jim Irsay snags this one too, we won’t be surprised if he does.


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Introducing Martin’s Vintage Tone System Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:20:13 +0000

The new Martin Vintage Tone System (VTS) uses a unique recipe that is based on the historic torrefaction system. The VTS acts much like a time machine in which Martin can target certain time periods and age the top/braces to that era. This focused method allows Martin’s craftsmen and women to recreate not only the pleasing visual aesthetics of a vintage guitar, but also reproduce the special tones previously reserved for vintage instruments. Watch the video above to have a look at Martin’s newest models that feature VTS! You can read more about the Vintage Tone System from Martin below…

You can view our entire stock of Martin Guitars by clicking here!

VTS Booklet

VTS Booklet 2

Martin’s VTS system is featured on the following guitars…

VTS Booklet3

VTS Booklet4

VTS Booklet5

VTS Booklet6



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The Swope Geronimo Now At The Zoo Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:12:10 +0000

Swope guitars are at The Zoo ready for you to pick up and play! These cool guitars are made by luthier Chris Swope, whose spent years developing his guitar building skills alongside Roger Sedowski at his shop in New York, as well as putting in a few years at the Gibson Custom Shop. So it’s safe to say Chris Swope has been on the block for a minute or two. His guitar-making skills are definitely second-to-none, and can be seen in the Swope Geronimo as well as his other models.  The Geronimo features a removable control plate (to better access electronics), a big, solid bolt-on Maple neck, a retro-futuristic body style, and Swope-made pickups that are hi-fi clean but also deliver a range of familiar and unique tones. A “Funk Bump” switch clicks in some immediate funk-friendly tones that filter out the low end.

The Geronimo is available for purchase here! Be sure to watch the video above of JD Simo tearin’ things up on his own Swope Geronimo!



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8 Reasons You Should Or Shouldn’t Learn To Play The Electric Guitar Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:37:12 +0000 carousel-image1

The electric guitar is a truly special instrument, and those who have the opportunity to learn it, will appreciate the benefits it can bring. However, it’s really easy to get caught up in the hype, and start for the wrong reasons. For those of you who may be looking to embark on the journey to guitar-dom, we offer you this simple guide to put you in the right direction.

Read the following “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” when it comes to your decision to learn to play the guitar.


You should: If you love being creative.



This can be said for just about any instrument out there. Learning to play music opens up a new medium to be creative; and it can be rewarding in a number of ways. Playing guitar has proven to lower stress levels and stimulate the mind. It can also invoke inspiration in areas outside of music. You can even get inspired by experiences to create sounds and songs that reflect them. The possibilities are endless!


You should: If you enjoy self-expression



If your an emotional person, chances are you’ll be a great guitar player! The electric guitar is possibly one of the most expressively versatile instruments on earth. Everyone’s sound is innately their own when they first pick up the instrument. From the amount of flesh on your fingers, to the velocity of your pick stroke, their are a large number of variables that contribute to your signature sound. Approach the guitar as you would speaking, and you’ll find it very fulfilling.


You shouldn’t: If you think all you have to do is play one string on a 7/8 string guitar



With the increasing trend of “djent” and 7-plus string guitars, a lot of teens think all you need to do to make a good metal song is pluck a single string in rhythmic fashion. Well if this is your intention, we urge you to step away from the instrument . Sure, we love a groovy drop-C breakdown just as much as the next person, but doing that exclusively just doesn’t sit well with us. If you want to get a 7/8 string guitar, don’t do it because it’s the easy way out, do it because you see potential for something new to come from it; not because you want to fit in with the “scene kids”.


You shouldn’t: If you think it’ll make you cool and get you groupies


Guitar solo

To non-guitar players, just about anyone slinging an electrified axe looks cool. But don’t feel bad when guitar-players give you the look of disapproval as you flaunt your “one-note-of-wonder” solo. Popularity is great and all, but doing popular things for the sake of popularity just isn’t cool. Instead, try networking with other guitar players and learn from one-another. That’ll take you farther than bragging to some girl about how good your sweep-picking is, she’s still not going to give you her number. Remember, groupies are temporary, guitar-geeks are forever.


You should: If you love meeting new people



The electric guitar is great because their is such a broad network of people for you to connect with from it. Not only do guitar players know other guitar players, but they often know drummers, bassists, and singers alike. Start yourself a band and make some great music, because after-all that’s what being a guitarist is all about. The guitar sounds great alone, but sounds even better in the mix of other instruments. Try playing your guitar outside one day and see how many people you attract. Heck, someone might even sit down and start jamming with you!


You should: If you already know how to play other instruments



The guitar is usually the perfect instrument to compliment other instruments, especially if you plan to start recording on your own. If your a drummer, pick up the guitar to add some variety to your drum beats, and see how perpetual the process of song writing becomes for you!


You shouldn’t: If you just want to make money.



Any musician will tell you, it’s tough to be a full-time musician and make a ton of money. Not everyone gets the breaks that people like Slash, EVH, and Vai got. Not to mention there are about a million people chasing after the same dream, and their are only so many major record labels. Don’t get us wrong, we want everyone to follow their dreams, but make sure you have a backup plan if this is really what you want your career to be. Many guitar players teach guitar lessons or work as studio engineers on the side of their music career. Lastly, don’t start playing if your only doing it for the money…do it because you truly love it. (we advise this with any career folks)


You should: If you like toys for your toys



It’s no surprise that electric guitar players don’t stop at just a single guitar. For one, you kinda need an amp if you want to be heard, and secondly, their are a ton of cool pedals and gear that you can use to create new and exciting sounds. From delays, to reverbs, to ring modulators and overdrives, pedals add an entirely new layer of inspiration to guitar playing. There are also thousands of guitars and amps out their to suit your style and needs as a musician. Just try not to catch the GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome), we hear it’s super-contagious.

-Written by Walter Bryant


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The Jamstik: The World’s First Smart Guitar Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:16:33 +0000 FEATURES_02_image_for_body_b0ad86a7-e5be-44e8-87d6-d3cd1bba2563

The world of guitar has definitely evolved over the past few decades, giving life to a number of innovations that has pushed the foundation of the guitar into the new age of technology. These innovations have spawned models like the Variax from Line 6, and the MIDI controller guitars from Roland. Well, the Jamstik is the newest addition to this list. The Jamstik is a MIDI guitar controller that works with apple devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac). Working in the same fashion as a conventional MIDI controller, it interacts with the device or computer as a controller for any sound you want. But what sets the Jamstik apart from a lot of it’s competitors is it’s portable design, mimicking the first 5 frets of a standard guitar. But what does this all mean for the world of guitar? Should we be excited about such a convenient and expressive product, or should fear it’s influence on the music industry? I think we all dread the day we see live guitar being played on a plastic stick…Or maybe we’re just overthinking this? Either way, read on and watch the video below to get the full scoop on this new product!


The jamstik is a MIDI guitar controller designed to interface with the iPad, iPhone, and Mac. Jamstik gives you the ability to use all of the nuances of guitar playing to control your favorite music creation iOS apps or Mac software. At just 16 inches long, our portable & lightweight MIDI guitar is perfectly designed to fit your mobile lifestyle.

Real Strings. Real Frets. Real Playing.

A guitar controller should feel and perform like a guitar. That’s why the jamstik has real strings and frets – to capture your unique style and expression. So go ahead and apply vibrato or bend that string for the maximum emotional impact. How about some fingerpicking? Jamstik gives you the ability.

Cutting Edge Technology

Jamstik is a new idea in guitar controllers because it uses infrared light to “see” what your hands are doing in real time. Unlike other MIDI guitar solutions that rely on audio analysis and conversion to MIDI, the jamstik scans the fretboard so that it can detect what your fretting hand is up to before your picking hand ever hits a string. Because the jamstik “sees” activity in real time, it’s an extremely fast MIDI controller.

Look, Ma, No Wires!

The jamstik connects to your iPad, iPhone, and/or Mac wirelessly without the need for special cables
or dongles. No host
network is necessary. Nothing is worse than an idea or performance lost to a missing or faulty cable/dongle/doo-dad. At just over 16 inches, the jamstik is as convenient to bring with you as your iPhone or iPad. Unleashing your ideas shouldn’t require a van full of gear anymore. Now, you can track, write or jam on the fly anywhere.

Anywhere your iPad or iPhone goes…

…The jamstik can go, too! Whether you’re in a plane, a train, an automobile or your home recording studio, your jamstik can establish a connection to your iPad. So, on your next plane ride, how about you get to work on your next hit single instead of looking at fancy alarm clocks in SkyMall?

Turn Your iPad Into a Real Musical Instrument.

Aside from all of the apps designed exclusively for the jamstik, there are literally hundreds of sound and music making apps available for the iPad, iPhone and Mac. The jamstik puts these apps under tactile musical control. Play the sounds of synthesizers, recording apps and DAWs using real guitar technique. So go on, give those flat apps some 6-string love!

Six Strings. Five Frets. Infinite possibilities.

At its core, the jamstik is a MIDI controller; not unlike the convenient variety of offerings our keyboard-playing brethren have had access to for years. Similar to a 25-key MIDI keyboard, the jamstik can appear limited in note range. However, the performance D-pad on the jamstik actually gives access to more than twice the note range of a traditional 21-fret guitar. Even with its small footprint, the jamstik can cover a wide range of notes.

Simple, Easy & Intuitive Design at Work.

The jamstik is designed to be hassle-free. The real guitar strings never need tuning. The rechargeable battery will outlast your ability to play for the day. The WiFi connection is one-step and go. Where MIDI used to be complicated for guitar players, the jamstik makes it an easy entry point to get started without a major investment or a complicated installation onto your prized guitar.


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Gibson Tone Tips: Home Tone vs. Gig Tone Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:22:40 +0000 tone-tips-34-pickups-by-Gibson

We’ve all been there; you just dialed in a super-rockin’ tone in your apartment, and you can’t wait to play it live. But you get to the gig, and your tone is a mess. That smooth and tasty tone you spent all week dialing in sounds like dying cats in a back alley. So what happened between your home and that gig? Well, in a recent article, the folks at Gibson clear the air on what it takes to achieve a good tone from your bedroom to the gig. We can empathize with much of what Gibson has to say, as many of us here at The Zoo are out gigging every chance we get. Click the link below to read the informative article on Gibson’s website!

Click here to read the Gibson’s article “Home Tone vs. Gig Tone”


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Eddie Van Halen Demos The New 5150IIIS Amplifier Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:08:49 +0000

“Hot for Teacher” and “Dance the Night Away”; these are just a few of the tasty riffs that Eddie Van Halen let rip during a recent demo video for his new 5150IIIS. To showcase this new amp, the folks at EVH Gear strapped a few GoPros to the legends guitar as Eddie got to shredding. It’s not every day that you get to see the man’s hands in action!

While testing out the gear, Eddie Van HalenVan Halen also showcases the subtle differences between the 5150IIIS and its predecessor the 5150III. The latest version of the amp head was born out of the guitarist’s desire to have a little “more gas in the tank” before his band’s 2012 tour. With his EVH Fender team, he saw his suggested circuit modification’s come to life in what he calls a “turbo-charged” version of the original amp head. ( Read more info and get the full spec list for this amp on our site by clicking here!

Recently, Van Halen was honored by the Smithsonian as part of their “What it means to be an American” program, recognizing his journey from Dutch immigrant to guitar god. When not discussing his personal journey, the musician spoke about the ways he has helped reinvent how guitars have been both built and played.

That same night, Van Halen revealed to Rolling Stone that his band currently has no plans to tour or record new music. “I’d love to make a studio record,” he said.”Depends on everybody’s timing. I don’t know what Dave [Lee Roth] is up to now. I don’t know if he’s living in New York or Japan or wherever he is.”

The band is about to release a new record, however: its first-ever live album with Roth at the helm, Tokyo Dome Live In Concert. Taped in June 2013 at a show in Japan, it will be available on March 31st as two CDs, a four-LP set on 180-gram vinyl and via digital outlets. (

Be sure to check out this amp, along with a load of other EVH Amplifiers by clicking here!


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Guitar World At The Music Zoo: How to Buy the Best Guitar to Suit Your Needs Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:02:47 +0000

In a recent visit to The Music Zoo, our dear friends from Guitar World put together an awesome video on how to find the guitar that suits your needs. Paul Riario walks through our showroom explaining how the neck, pickups, appearance and sound, all come together to form a guitar that may essentially fit you the best; the trick is can you find it? Different guitars can serve a different purpose and offer qualities that may suit some players, but not others. Oh, and did we mention the cameo appearance by our friend Guthrie Govan? Check out the video above to get the full scoop on this interesting topic by the Guitar World clan!


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Duesenberg Article: Guide To Nickel Hardware Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:31:45 +0000 DuesenbergGuideToNickelHardware-8

As guitar players, we have become aware of how much nickel can become a tedious material to work with as time passes. The progressive dulling of nickel over time begins to eat away at our desire to look at our guitars (unless of course that’s the look your going for). Furthermore, being a Duesenberg dealer certifies our awareness of the everlasting nickel fading. If you’ve become victim to this guitar-demic, read the advice column our friends at Duesenberg put together to solve the world’s nickel issues.

the following article is from Duesenberg-

Working in customer support, we receive a lot of questions like
Hey, why are the chrome parts on my starplayer already getting dull?
Well, to answer that question it’s important to understand a few things but it basically comes down to
It’s not chrome, it’s nickel.
This is the Duesenberg Guide to Nickel Hardware


There are a few types of hardware finishes around with chrome being the most popular one and nickel being used rather rarely these days. Of course there are also other finishing methods resulting in different types of gold, black and other hardware colours. However, since Duesenberg Hardware is often mistaken as being chrome finished, let’s focus on the difference between both.


What is Nickel & Chrome?

There are different stages in metal finishing, all resulting in a certain coat which is applied in layers on the base material. The base material (like brass, aluminium etc.) firstly is coated with a very thin layer of copper which acts as a sort of primer for the following layers.

After that, nickel can be applied to the workpiece. If you want to create a more robust and “easy-care” finish, you then apply a layer of chrome onto the already existing nickel layer. This whole process is called galvanisation – look it up, it’s pretty cool actually. So you could say a nickel finish is the pre-stage of a chrome finish.


Why Nickel then?

A nickel finish has some very distinct characteristics which other finishes do not have.

From the historical point of view one might say that it is the “oldschool way to do hardware finishes”. They say Leo used nickel finishes on his first instruments, simply because the process was cheaper and faster, but he also mixed nickel parts with chrome ones. At some time, guitar manufacturers stopped using nickel as their primary hardware finish, mainly because chrome finishes give you a more durable hardware which can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Nickel hardware starts to become dull rather quickly if not properly taken care of.

However, this is exactly the look that vintage guitar enthusiasts love about their nickel finished hardware and could not be achieved with a chrome finish. Having said this, there is something else which makes a nickel finish special from an aesthetical point of view, which also is the main reason to go for nickel in the first place. While chrome shines blueish and cold, nickel has a unique, beautiful, classy, golden and warm sheene to it. In direct comparison, most people even find the chrome finish looking “cheap”, which is subjective, of course.


How to take care of Nickel Finishes

If you are one of the people who do not like the worn, dull style of aged nickel hardware, here is some advice for you to keep the hardware on your Duesenberg in good condition:

  • clean off the hardware regularly depending on how much you play
  • clean the entire hardware after a gig or extensive sessions
  • NEVER store the instrument damp (moisture/sweat) in its case for an extended period of time


Nickel is prone to age quickly if you have an aggressive hand sweat, which some people have, in fact most people. Tuner buttons, Pot Knobs and the area on which your hand rests on the bridge while palm muting are pretty likely to show the first signs of tarnishing. It’s not bad for the hardware though. Apart from the aged look which some people might find unappealing,

there are no downsides to worn nickel hardware. But if properly taken care of, you can maintain the beautiful sheen on your hardware for quite some time. The instruments shown below are roughly the same age, one being played exessively and cleaned probably infrequently, the other one being treated with kid gloves. Both sound amazing.



You can use regular guitar cleaning products for maintainance. For our own hardware, we recommend our own Duesenberg THE CLEANER. It is a solvent free, biodegradable cleaning product which also protects the lacquer on your instrument from fingerprints and dust.

For heavily aged hardware, you can also use some soft metal polishes to get rid of heavy tarnishing or spots. You should however not use it regularly for normal cleaning purposes because you might start to rubb off the nickel if used regularly for years.

So this is what it’s about.

The decision for nickel is mostly an aesthetical one without technical downsides. It is a decision in favour of classic beauty which I personally believe should always be a bit demanding in order to move us to treat something with the amount of care it deserves.
You should be aware of how nickel behaves in order to be able to react to it to create the kind of finish you like.
I hope this guide has given you an idea of what the decision for nickel hardware is about.

Thanks for reading!


Have a look at all of our Duesenberg guitars in stock here!

Read more interesting articles from Duesenberg here!


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