Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Best Guitar Gear for 2009 - Guitar Straps

Dr. M. & her Martin D-16GT with the super-soft premium High End Leather Guitar strap from C.F. Martin.


Unlike other publications, we are looking ahead into 2009 to give you the best and most current guitar gear list to help with your holiday shopping. Since guitar straps are the accessories most intimately attached to your instrument, (and YOU), we are going to start with ones we have found to be at the top of their game:

Photo: C.F. Martin High End Leather Strap

This is the strap that I am using in the photo above with the Martin D-16GT. If you are looking for the best in luxury and quality, here it is. This guitar strap is made of the highest quality, supple, naked finish, garment weight calves leather. The underside is non-slipping suede and the core is padded with 1/4 inch of foam. The gold embroidered Martin logo finishes the design in style. This is my favorite strap for acoustic guitar. The strap holes are thick and tight enough to prevent slipping and the ultra-softness of the leather makes it a dream to wear. Other leather straps pale in comparison to this one. Available in black or brown. Made in the U.S.A. Order online at Martin's website store right here: https://www.martinguitar.com/1833/newitems.php

Levy's Leathers Ltd. Platinum Collection

Coming in at second place, another leather guitar strap we liked was one from Levy's new Platinum Collection. This long fringed strap looks great on both your guitar and you! The metallic colors of the leather Platinum Collection straps set them apart, (shown here in green), helping you to be seen and heard. Beautifully done, this strap has so many details added into the topside of the leather including a metallic inlay that Levys is so famous for. This one is a head turner, not really for wallflowers! If you are ready to make a statement on stage, go on wearing this strap. Made in Canada. Visit Levy's online at: http://www.levysleathers.com/

Photo: Planet Waves Dare Strap

Now for the electric guitar strap of choice. We've found that Planet Waves makes the most comfortable, ergonomic strap available for the electric guitar. Here's where it really counts. Solid body guitars often weigh much more than their acoustic counterparts. That extra weight can stress your back and shoulders over time. The dual strap design of the Dare Strap evenly distributes the weight of your guitar over both shoulders. Can also be used with most strap lock systems but it has been easy enough for me to simply slip my head between the straps. Fully adjustable too. Non-bulky so I don't even have to take it off my strat before putting it in the case. It folds pretty flat next to the instrument and gets neatly packed away in my leather gig-bag! You can spend more for a fancier strap but you won't find one as well made and comfortable to wear for long periods of time as this one. Another gem from Planet Waves! You might also take a look at their quick release system which can be used with most acoustic and electric guitar straps or buy one of their straps with quick release built in. Check it out online at: http://www.planetwaves.com/pgeardetails.aspx?ID=1

UPDATE! We tested Ernie Ball Super Strap Locks on our Levy's and Planet Waves guitar straps and they are fantastic! Easy to install, very secure and super quick to get your strap off and on. The low profile design helps avoid accidentally unlocking your strap in the middle of a gig. Simply depress the two curved buttons at the top of the lock and you're good to go! Available in Black, Gold and Chrome as shown here in the photo. Check out Ernie Ball Online at: http://www.ernieball.com

Also see 2009's Top Gifts for Audiophiles over at the Best Picks BLOG!!!:

We're going to continue our most wanted list of Best Guitar Gear for 2009 with even more top picks for Christmas and beyond. Keep checking back as we count 'em off for you!

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