Andy's picks for January, 2020.

The no-dreadnought edition.

Instruments at The Music Emporium

Here are the guitars I reach for most often right now (OK, the guitars that aren't a 1937 D-28). You may notice the small-bodied theme at play here, but these guitars all have the kind of power and volume dreadnought players demand. The Kim Walker 000-18 and '45 00-18, in particular, have shocking amounts of low-end output relative to their respective sizes. And the Santa Cruz OM and Gibson L-00 both have a dryness about them that makes them difficult to put down (even though their voices are very different). The outlier -- and I mean that positively -- is the Collings OM1 Spanish Cedar. People are always asking us if certain Collings guitars are standouts amongst the pack. And while I hesitate to play favorites, since Collings are the model of consistency, this OM1 is something else. It's seductively open-sounding and responsive, with some of the most gorgeous high end I've heard in a new guitar. ("Just" a Sitka top ~ go figure.) It's the Collings I'd take home today, by a mile. Feel free to email me with questions about any of these instruments (I also need to learn new tunes, so send repetoire suggestions as well)!

- Andy