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Gigbag: March 2007

Phifer Guitars

Falling somewhere between a Dali-painted jamboree and hair-metal machines of yore are Phifer Designs’ line of guitars, especially the new hollow-body Archtop. All hand-crafted by Woody Phifer-stepfather of renowned playwright Keith Glover-these intriguing axes feature precise construction, quality craftsmanship, multiwood composition and carved wooden bridges, all of which translate into superior responsiveness and sustain. Topped off with Seymour Duncan pickups, Sperzel tuners and Dunlop frets, Phifer’s guitars are perfect for someone looking for a quirky design with a classic sound.

Mapex Orion Drums

Building the perfect drum set can be like solving a puzzle, which is why Mapex recently decided to offer its top-of-the-line Orion Series exclusively on a component basis rather than in complete configurations. The company expanded the Orion line to 43 components-ranging from a 24″ x 20″ bass drum to an 8″ x 7″ rack tom-and increased the finish options to 12 colors with four new lacquers (Cinnamon Fade, Wine Burl Burst, Blue Mist Burst and Gloss Natural). Long considered the pinnacle of Mapex, the Orion Series feature an exclusive Isolation Tom Mounting System, low mass, single-point-of-contact lugs, eight-coat, hand-lacquered finishes and Remo Ambassador heads.

Jamey Aebersold Jazz Volume 115: Ron Carter

While many companies are content to use Joe Schmo session players for their play-a-long discs, this new Ron Carter pack by Jamey Aebersold features an A-list quartet with the Man himself on bass, guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Stephen Scott and drummer Payton Crossley. The group swings through Carter originals like “Blues for D.P.” and “Bomdia,” and you can burn with them. The package includes two CDs-one lacks a bass track so the aspiring Carters can sit in-and lists for $16.95.

Getzen 3001MV Trumpet

Mike Vax should know a thing or two about trumpets: For over 40 years he’s performed all over the globe with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Freddie Hubbard, Art Pepper, Al Grey and even the U.S. Navy Show Band. Knowing that a good trumpet player requires a good trumpet, Vax teamed up with Getzen ProShop to create the Custom Series 3001MV Mike Vax Model, a first-class lead trumpet that features a standard 3001 body with the addition of a lower-tuning slide venturi tube and lightweight bottom caps. Augmented with a No. 172 hand-hammered, one-piece, lightweight brass bell that results in a rich and colorful tone with outstanding projection and response, this horn means business.

New York Bass Works

Need a high-performance, custom-built bass? Have a few grand to spare? Well, look no further than bass connoisseur David Segal’s New York Bass Works, a custom electric bass shop located in Massapequa, N.Y. Segal-who’s been playing bass since 1973-handcrafts premium basses with these four traits in mind: intelligent design, build quality, versatility and visual elegance. Current models include the Richard Bona Signature, Concert 6 String, Deep Jazz Fretless, Studio 5 String and Cremona Series, all of which can be tweaked to fit your tastes and playing style.

Originally Published