MI Pro brings together an assortment of bits and pieces that are often described as a dealer's 'bread and butter.'
Guitar accessories are the dealer’s lifeblood, providing much needed return business and maintaining interest with new gadgets and technology in a market where product design is often constrained by practicality. MI Pro offers a selection of those all important add-ons…
Shifting a couple of nice Stratocasters or a decent mid-price amp is always welcome business for any MI shop of course, but it’s the range of smaller items, accessories and expendables that keep the customers coming back for repeat business.
So any dealer worth its salt needs a liberal mix of practical items such as strings and picks scattered over some of those snazzy bells and whistles which most guitarists aren’t even aware they need until they see it.
They are all must-stock items because for gear collectors and gadget freaks, they are pure cat-nip.
JHS has a huge range of accessories for all instruments and, as you would expect, the guitar category is among its biggest line-ups.
Snark clip-on tuners are available for all instruments. The black clip-on chromatic QTSN1 (£15.99) is suited to electric, acoustic and bass guitars, while the QTSN2 (£19.99) is an all-instrument tuner, suited to stringed instruments, brass and woodwind, and anything else you can tune.
Other specific clip-on Snarks are available for ukulele and violinists (£12.99). Snark also provides the QTSN4 chromatic tuner and metronome for all instruments. For £19.99, it features a full colour LCD display, extended frequency range for tuning all instruments, the ability to tune using built-in mic or input jack, an electronic pitch pipe, a built-in speaker, a tap tempo metronome, and pitch calibration of 415 - 466Hz.
Eagle Mountain’s new Lock-It strap (£19.99) does the job of straplocks without the cost and instrument modifications. The EMLI1BK features the anti-slip Lock-It mechanism, which holds a guitar strap tightly round the guitar’s strap button. Pull back the Lock-It tab, attach your strap at both ends and close the tab.
Eagle Mountain also has a new range of environmentally-friendly hemp straps available in four colours – Chocolate, Liquorice, Blueberry and Raspberry, all £11.99.
Dunlop provides the industry standard on capos (including the bestselling Dunlop Trigger Capos, available for electric, acoustic and classical guitars for £24.99), slides, picks (including the world famous Tortex and Nylon lines and signature picks from the likes of James Hetfield, Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash), straps, strings and maintenance kits.
The ever-popular SpongeBob SquarePants Real Musical Instruments range offers a wide variety of colourful accessories, including picks, straps, percussion bits and bobs, tuners and leads. All are packed full of features, and are adorned with images of SpongeBob and his friends from Bikini Bottom.
The Guitar Tech range continues to expand. It now includes capos, pitch pipes, picks, peg winders, transducers, tuners, metronomes, lights, all sorts of guitar hardware (picks, bridges, nuts, tuners, vibrato arms, machine heads, scratchplates and more), straps and straplocks, and storage and maintenance items.
As well as the above, JHS also distributes Kyser and Shubb capos, GYC leads and cables, Grover machine heads and Trev Wilkinson’s line of Wilkinson hardware.
Fender’s Custom '54 pickups produce clean, edgy Strat tone for classic bell-like sounds and clear harmonic enforcement. The bridge pickup is calibrated for increased and balanced output. The pickups use Alnico 5 magnets and Formvar magnet wire. They are available only as a set of three, including all the necessary mounting hardware.
Meanwhile, the firm’s GT-1000 Chromatic Green Wind-Up Tuner requires no batteries, and instead is powered up by a few turns of the internal dynamo. It retails at £39.60.
Also available from Fender are Smart Capos at £15.60; and a range of two-inch cotton/leather straps for £14.40, plus a range of strings covering a wide selection of gauges.
Stageworks is launching the G-stand, which is a body-mounted guitar stand for acoustic and electro- acoustic guitars. The G-stand remains attached to the guitar as it’s used, so it can confidently be put down anywhere.
It can stay on a guitar even when packed away in a case. It also has a handy pick holder and the G-stand is perfect for open mic nights and live situations. It retails at £17.99.
Stentor’s accessories range is fairly extensive and is built around well-known brands such as Shubb and Schaller. The firm stocks cases, gig bags, straps, capos, tuners, plectra, stands, strings and more.
CNB gig bags feature extra back support, heavy-duty zippers, contoured handles, and a variety of designs, retailing at £28.20. CNB gig bags include models for acoustic jumbo, Flying V and Firebird guitar body shapes.
Stentor also sells Pod lightweight cases. At £57, the lightweight cases features a rayon canvas outer cover, twin back straps, double handles and a large accessory pocket. They are available for classical, flat top, SC-style and PB-style guitars.
LM Guitar Straps range from poly straps to classic leather and funky cotton designs. Stentor offers a strap pack – featuring 57 straps including new and fresh designs, including a free ‘LM’ branded space-saving slotboard hanger.
Stentor is also the UK distributor for Schaller guitar parts, including pickups, tremolo units, bridges, tailpieces and machine heads, as well as the famous Schaller strap locks. The new Schaller LockMeister Tremolo offers a C45-steel ground plate, forged and hardened in Germany, resulting in improved sound and sustain as well as superior tremolo performance and intonation.
Joyo guitar tuners range from chromatic tuners to clip-on styles. The Joyo 8080J guitar and bass tuner with LED tuning guide is £7.35, while the digital 8082J tuner offers an easy to read LCD display and even a compartment for picks.
Shubb capos are still the first choice of many musicians worldwide and Stentor has recently reduced Shubb prices across the range.
Strings and Things recently picked up distribution of the DR range from First Line.
DR’s Neon strings, featuring its new K3 Technology coating, are 100 per cent black light active so they glow strongly under UV lighting. The new K3 coating has been proven to last at least nine times longer than previous DR coatings. The coating will not strip away, peel or come off under any conditions.
They are available in Hi-Def Orange, Hi-Def Pink, and Hi-Def Green, in standard acoustic guitar 11-50 and 12-54 gauged sets.
Distributed by Barnes and Mullins, the Shadow E-Tuner – the new gadget from German manufacturer Shadow Electronics – promises the simplest, most discreet tuning for electric guitars. The tuner is fitted into a custom made pickup surround. Available in black or cream and for archtop, flattop or Floyd Rose-equipped guitars, it features a bank of high power LEDs akin to those found in top-level desktop tuners. Available now for around £42.95.
Nothing completes the look of an assured guitarist quite like a traditional wooden hard case. Although those needing to pack their instruments into aircraft may wish to look at the tour-ready ABS moulded cases, with the wood-shell option being perhaps the most common choice.
With tough outer shells covered in textured materials; plush-lined, padded interiors; and handy accessory pockets, TGI Wood-Shell hard cases are available for all types of electric and acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Retail prices start from around £69.95.
New to TGI’s range of guitar tuners is the TGI90. It can be configured to tune chromatically or specifically for guitar, bass, violin or even the ukulele.
The clip-on design is integral to its operation as well, as the clip features a vibration-sensing pickup that works in conjunction with the built-in mic to ensure the most accurate sound reception. The colour LCD display features a VU-meter, which also changes colour to alert the player to the current state of tuning. Available this month, the retail price is expected to be around £16.
TGI strings are made from high quality American and European materials and are available for all major contemporary stringed instruments, including guitar, banjo, ukulele or mandolin. Retail prices start from £3.50.
Active Music is the UK distributor for the Ortega range of guitars and accessories, the newest of which is the Ortega chromatic clip-on tuner. There are two models - OCCT-1BK and OCCT-1WH, retailing at around £14.95.
Peavey has a range of exclusive licensed products that feature Marvel superheroes Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. The Peavey guitar picks and straps feature fan favourites like Ghost Rider and Punisher. There are also a range of Marvel guitars available too.
Freestyle has a new range of Perri’s licensed leather guitar straps featuring Slash, Motorhead, Iron Maiden and Bon Jovi, retailing at £21.95 each, as well as a selection of licensed picks featuring Pink Floyd, Queen, Bon Jovi and Iron Maiden.
For £16.95, Quik Lok Guitar stands for acoustic or electric guitars offer durable, rubberised cushioning on cradles to protect guitars from scratches and soft rubber round stoppers to prevent the guitar from accidentally falling off the stand.
In addition, the Hiwatt range of valve pedals is made up of four different effects - Tube Distortion, Overdrive, Phaser and Tremolo. Prices range from £119.95 to £129.95. They all have solid metal construction and bypass foot switching.
IK Multimedia’s range of iPhone/iPad/iPod apps can be augmented by a number of accessories sold at retail. IK sells its Amplitube guitar amp modeller and iRig recording software through the Apple App Store but shops can also sell the iKlip Mini, which at £29.99 is a specially designed accessory to hold an iPhone or iPod Touch to a mic stand. There is a larger version available for iPad.
Probably its best-known product is the iRig guitar interface, which allows any guitar to be plugged into an Apple device for use with the Amplitube app. The necessary widget retails for £29.99.
Westside accessories include Martin strings, available in a three-pack box of 80/20 bronze acoustic guitar strings and four gauges retailing around £14.99.
Also available is a new range of quality guitars straps from Martin, including dual layers of soft, genuine suede leather, detail stitching and an embossed Martin logo.
The supplier also distributes more than 300 different Levy’s guitar straps, with designs, textures and prices to suit all varieties of guitar, as well as their owners. Prices range from £5.99 - £64.99.
For guitarists that engage in a bit of DIY maintenance, the Cruztools Guitar Player Tech Kit is £49.99. A C.F.Martin Guitar Care Kit is also available at £33.
Rosetti has a whole range of padded gigbags for guitar and bass, along with accessories and strings of all gauges and sizes for bass, electric, ukulele and acoustic, plus a number of cables in various colours and lengths.
D’Addario’s accessory line-up features tuners, straps, strings, cleaners and stickers from its Planet Waves range.
XLR8 String Lubricant removes friction from guitar strings for faster playing, while at the same time cleaning the strings for prolonged life and fresh tone. The container of cleaner comes with an applicator which can be wiped up and down the strings. It retails at £6.49.
The NS Mini Headstock tuner fits a wide variety of instruments and is designed to be discreetly hidden behind the headstock. It has a piezo transducer and backlit display and retails for £19.49.
Also available is the PW-MT-02 Metronome Tuner with built in metronome for £21.49, while the metronome without tuner is priced at £16.49.
A range of Beatles straps and guitar tattoos cover a number of Beatles eras, including Sgt Pepper, Let It Be and Abbey Road. The tattoos can be used to customise any type of guitar at a cost of only £4.25 each.
And lastly, of course, D’Addario also provides an extensive range of strings for all instruments, and in all gauges.
Stageworks G-Stand – £17.99
The G-stand remains attached to the guitar as it is used, so it can confidently be put down anywhere. It can stay on a guitar even when packed away in a guitar case. The G-stand is also perfect for open mic nights and other live situations.
Shadow E-Tuner – £42.95
The Shadow E-Tuner promises the simplest, most discreet tuning for electric guitars. The tuner is fitted into a custom made pickup surround. Available in black or cream and for archtop, flattop or Floyd Rose-equipped guitars, it features a bank of high power LEDs similar to those found in top-level desktop tuners.
Stentor Pod cases – £57
Pod lightweight cases feature a rayon canvas outer cover, twin back straps, double handles and a large accessory pocket. They are available for classical, flat top, SC-style and PB-style guitars.
Peavey Marvel range – £TBC
Peavey guitar picks and straps feature fan favourites such as Ghost Rider and Punisher. There are also a range of Marvel guitars available too.
Hiwatt Valve pedals – £119.95 - £129.95
The Hiwatt range of valve pedals is made up of four different effects – Tube Distortion, Overdrive, Phaser and Tremolo. All have solid metal construction and bypass foot switching.
Westside Levy's straps – £5.99 - £64.99
There are more than 300 different Levy’s guitar straps available, with designs, textures and prices to suit all guitars and their owners.
Fender GT-1000 wind-up tuner – £39.60
Requires no batteries and instead is powered up by a few turns of the internal dynamo. It retails at £39.60.
D'Addario XLR8 String Lubricant – £6.49
Removes friction from guitar strings for faster playing, while at the same time cleaning the strings for prolonged life and fresh tone. The container of cleaner comes with an applicator, which can be wiped up and down the strings.