6/27/2011 [Guitars & Basses]
BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha Guitars announces the completion of its online giveaway of four new A Series guitars. Chosen at random from over 40,000 entries, the winners include Allen Guindon from Minnesota, Casey Leenheer from Texas, Gregg Malardo from Rhode Island, and Stefan Setz from Florida.
Allen Guindon, who won an A1M, started playing drums at the age of two and taught himself how to play guitar after high school. He currently owns a Yamaha FGX730SC. "I love it and had seen the new A Series videos from the NAMM show on YouTube and said 'Wow, those look nice.' I don't have the means to upgrade and once I discovered the contest, I started entering from day one and figured I'd see what happens."
Regarding the guitar, "I love the new-old look of it," he said. "If there is a thing called 'love at first sight', I think I experienced it. It's beautiful and it sounds like home."
Casey Leenheer plays a lot of southern and classic rock with the Walston Brothers Band. "[We play] three- or four-day events," he said. "Usually, we'll perform an acoustic set on the pool deck and then do a full-blown electric gig."
He learned about the contest from a friend in California and researched the A Series features. His prize, an A3M, is a dreadnought constructed of solid mahogany back and sides. "I was intrigued by the SRT electronics package," he said. "When I first got the email [notifying me I had won], I didn't believe it."
Gregg Malardo, who won an A1R, was also surprised by his good fortune. He had been saving up for a high-end acoustic and was "blown away. I'm very impressed with the guitar. It compares with the other high-end guitars that I wanted. The action is great and I love the tone without plugging it in."
Malardo used to play in a hardcore punk band and sometimes smashed his electric guitars onstage. He got into acoustic guitar when he joined a jam band. "Now, I'm getting into the acoustic side of things and jamming on my own," he said. "I like playing it and I'm starting to record."
Stefan Setz is just starting out on guitar and will get to learn on his new A3R. A Polymer Chemist and Materials Scientist, he initially came to the United States for a year of English language immersion and postdoctoral studies at the University of Florida after earning a PhD in Chemistry in Germany.
During his teenage years, his brother played guitar and he played the flute, but he put the instrument aside while studying at the university. Now, he is looking forward to accompanying his daughter, who plays recorder.
"I am convinced that learning a new language and a new instrument are both wonderful mental challenges," he said. "Now I will expand my mind with learning everything about chords, music theory and playing the guitar. I am fortunate to start my guitar experience with an A Series guitar because it sounds great, which is motivating for the nascent guitarist."
A-Series handcrafted guitars, featuring a new look, a new feel and a new sound, are professional instruments designed to be the workhorse of any steel-string guitarist's arsenal.
Yamaha has focused on every detail to create the feel and playability sought by today's acoustic-electric guitar player. Dreadnought and concert shapes are offered in mahogany back and sides and rosewood back and sides. All models feature solid spruce tops and are outfitted with new SRT (Studio Response Technology) electronics developed by Yamaha.
The proprietary new SRT preamp incorporates a piezo pickup system with a built-in microphone modeling technique specific to each guitar model. Three different mic settings can be blended with the piezo pickup, delivering on the often-elusive dream of providing studio-quality sound while playing live on stage. In addition, the SRT system's feedback detector cancels feedback frequencies in live situations.