A selection of fine instruments is a tremendous asset for a recording studio. It is the key to a beautiful recording.

Having a variety of guitar sounds and textures in you mix creates depth, dimension and a richer harmonic context. Having a number of guitars to work with means more options, more inspiration and new ideas.

There are 7 different guitars here in the studio - with various body shapes, bracing, woods, neck scales etc - to cover the most disparate range of applications and playing styles. One thing in common: they all record extremely well.

They are looked after by luthiers Rory Downling and Chris McIntyre, always fitted with fairly fresh strings and kept in a humidity-controlled room. These are very well maintained guitars - sounding at their best and playing like butter.

If you are a good guitarist, they will really inspire your playing and you'll get some wonderful tones out of these instruments. If you are not a confident player, they will help you playing and sounding better than you usually do.

Please see them below. All photos are taken here at 21SEVEN.

MARTIN D28


Since it was first made in 1931, the D28 has remained the standard by which all large-bodied, steel-stringed acoustic guitars are measured. It is a studio classic used in countless records, regardless of music genre. Simply appointed, the guitar has an AAA grade Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. As typical of rosewood bodied guitars, the D28 has a very extended frequency range with a clear, open, bright and vibrant sound. It works particularly well with open tunings.

Artists strongly associated with the Martin D28 include:
Dick Gaughan, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Laura Marling, Neil Young, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Michael Hedges, Black Francis (The Pixies), Tony Rice, Beck


GIBSON J-45


The J-45 is nicknamed "the workhorse" for a pretty good reason: it offers resonance, warmth and a rich sound that will suit the most disparate genres and playing techniques with equal ease. The neck is a real pleasure to play. This guitar has been with me for some time, it is well played in and really has the classic J-45 sound. It records extremely well and seems to have the ability to fit in the right place in any mix, no matter in what context you use it. A real asset for any recording session.

Artists strongly associated with the Gibson J45:
Buddy Holly, Woody Guthire (with his famous “this machine kills fascists” sticker on it), early Bob Dylan, David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, John Renbourn, Peter Doherty (The Libertines), Paul Weller


GIBSON HUMMINGBIRD


This guitar produces a velvety sound with very pronounced, beautiful harmonic overtones. You've heard this sound in so many hits it is almost imprinted in your brain. So much that while you play it, it already sounds like a record! The Hummingbird has Gibson's typical short scale neck, very easy to play.

Artists strongly associated with the Gibson J45 are as diverse as:
John Lennon, Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), Chris Cornell (Soundgardgen), Lenny Kravitz, Steve Conte (New York Dolls), John McLaughlin, Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)


MARTIN 000-15m


This small bodied, orchestra size guitar is completely all made of Honduran Mahogany.

It has simple, lovely vintage style appointments. Mahogany topped guitars have a very special sound - very mellow, intimate and sweet - and this one is no exception. It works very well in open tunings and capoed.

"Wonderfully balanced, articulate and engaging across the whole tonal spectrum. A sensational guitar that should be a part of every player’s collection" - Acousticmagazine.com

"I love this pretty guitar and its warm, supremely expressive tones. The 000-15M is most sublime in the studio, close-miked to capture all its gorgeous tonal detail"
- Premierguitar.com -


LARRIVEE P-03Z - Special Edition


A parlour guitar, with short scale neck joined at the 12th fret. Hand made in California with solid spruce top and zebrano back and sides. Zebrano is a stunning looking, rare wood. It combines the qualities and rosewood and mahogany, having the frequency extension and openness of rosewood, but without the “metallic” sound of it.

Not a single atom of plastic was used in this guitar: all binding is made of maple; the bridge pins, saddle nut are made of bone; the strap buttom made of metal. Beautifully build, with a natural satin finish.

"Many of today’s affordable parlor guitars look the part but sound nasal and thin. This is where Larrivée’s experience and all-solid wood build come into play, because the sound properly billows out of this little guitar. It’s old-timey but sustaining, delicate and responsive, with forward lower mids, a tight bottom end and sweet trebles. For lyrical fingerpicking or country and blues it’s a winner, and it’s a fine single-note lead player too"."
- Theguitarmagazine.com -


TAYLOR GS-5


The "Grand Symphony" is Bob Taylor's take on the jumbo shape. It delivers a rich, powerful acoustic voice, with "piano like" lows. This is a cedar top guitar, which being a soft wood makes the instrument very responsive to a light touch. Great for both fingersyle and strumming without a pick.

"Crystal clarity and a balanced sonic temperament: tight, defined bass; open, refined midrange; and smooth, sweet treble. Remarkable expressiveness. Soft, sustained notes hung in the air with emphasis, and loud notes shot out with authority"
- Acousticfingerstyle.com -


GUILD M-120


All solid mahogany, very small bodied guitar in a very attractive cherry red finish. It is - by a long stretch - the cheapest guitar in the studio. It is also the only Chinese made guitar I have, but it is so well crafted no one would suspect that.
It sounds a little boxy and mid-forward, in a way that is very flattering for bluesy tones, and very useful for overdubs on a busy mix. It sounds focused and cuts through while not taking too much sonic space. Perfect for lead, embellishment and solo parts.

"The high-mid content is so gorgeously clear and well defined that note-to-note balance borders on perfect. As a result, the guitar responds to a light touch and the kind of dynamics that turn a chord melody from ordinary to magical"
- Premierguitar.com -