Son-of-Furtheron and I made a trip to the Docklands on Saturday to attend the LIMS.
So good points were … some retail area back like the old Wembley shows, very small but at least there. Lot’s of smaller stalls highlighting the smaller manufactures etc. Seemed less crowded than I’ve known it before.
Bad points were… not as many stalls overall as last year. Marshall demo booth too small. Noise levels were bad again, last year that seemed better, probably having drum stuff in the same hall didn’t help on that front. Some big players not there as before, i.e. Line6, Fender.
Overall it was an enjoyable day. Son-of-Futheron made a b-line for the Vox stand as he’d decided the 50w Marshall is not ideal for his shared accommodation and wanted a small modelling practice amp. Having seen the Valvetronix 15 we headed to Guitar Village and snapped one up at a bargain price.
Marshall was a point we returned to more than once in the day. The new Haze range interested me. I’m seriously considering the Haze 40w combo – however I play so little these days in reality and my recent on-line ads looking for other musicians have brought about absolutely zero response that I probably can’t justify it and ought to really think about jettisoning some of the collection – my son is very keen to take my Les Paul off my hands… however I don’t think he wants to pay me for that :-)
Other highlights included the variety of guitars that you can get out there if you a prepared to think outside the Fender, Gibson, PRS box. Firstly Rob Williams – just to die for gorgeous looking guitars, I played a set neck deluxe, Strat like with HSS pick arrangement but with a glued in neck with the heel sculpted like a neck through, absoloutely lovely, and the guy showing it said “It’s £2999 but you know these can’t be cheap”. True but compare with some off the production line PRS’s and actually it looks a bargain!
Vanquish are a new UK company – again interesting neck joint and worth looking at. Personally the neck felt a bit large for me. Organic are another small UK producer worth looking at particularly if you are after a natural finish Les Paul Junior feel etc.
Atals custom guitars were new to me. Built by hand in Thailand than then imported, derivative styles but looked nice quality – if you wanted something different that looks twice the money then worth a consideration.
From Europe – Lag master builds are just excellent. The Imperator I looked at particularly impressed esp in the spalted maple finish – definitely worth looking at along side Les Pauls and PRS’s. Framus had some lovely custom examples – with price tags to match but if the Panthera Pro Custom neck I tried is anything to go by the best neck I’ve had in my hands for a long time, it just felt very right.
Acoustics – I tried a couple of Atkin’s guitars. Brilliant, if I’m heading to be a solo-only-playing-for-myself-at-home acoustic guy then maybe I should sell all the other gear and buy one of those. Stunningly nice.