ROTOSOUND  STRINGS         A while ago, trying out different bronze strings, I came across some old Rotosounds in black and red packets that I had somehow managed to hang on to for years. They sounded really good, bright and well balanced but with a rich tone. The company were amused to hear that anybody should still have strings going so far back but assured me that, several packet designs later, their new strings were still the same quality. Rotosound bass strings have a high profile world-wide which may have overshadowed  their guitar strings. James How, who founded the company in the fifties, engineered a new type of string-winding machine that was a step ahead of the industry and all the strings are produced to the same degree of precision.  In addition to the phospher-bronze  round wounds, Rotosound also make guitar strings in the piano string design. That is with the wrap wire stopping short of the ball end so that a section of the core wire is exposed and only the core wire comes into contact with the saddle.  These strings are called   Super Bronze.   It is actually an old idea and I  have a feeling that the very first steel strings used on the guitar in the 1800's were like that. The gauges for both types of string go from 060 to 018 covered, and 026 to 008 plain.


     Up in my loft is a large sea trunk. It's full of old pickups and is known as the gizmo graveyard -- a fine selection for any future pickupologist --some virtually unrecognizable through long service, others pretty much pristine --one listen and back in the box. There haven't been any new inductees though since the advent of Mike Vanden's Mimesis. Mike's original sound-hole pickup was taken by Fishman and marketed as the Rare Earth. The new one , the Kudos, is even more advanced -- with a choice of magnetic signals and blend of  high quality built-in mic.  Onwards and upwards.



       Pentangle got back together in 2007 for some shows. That brought up the old question of amplification. We'd had our share of headaches in the past and high on the list was the problem of on-stage sound. The AER  company stepped right in and for the first time ever it was sorted. It's still hard to believe. My amp is their standard Compact 60. They told me it was what I needed and it is. I love it and what's more so do sound-men. Their UK distributers are Westside in Glasgow.


OMM-JohnRenbourn The Martin Guitar Company needs no introduction. Founded by Christian Frederick Martin in 1833 and long established in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, their instruments have simply set the standards for the world to aspire to. In 2010 I was honoured with my own signature model. It's beyond the Gods.
OMM JOHN RENBOURN CUSTOM ARTIST EDITION – SPECIFICATIONSMODEL:    OMM John Renbourn Custom Signature Edition CONSTRUCTION:    Dovetail Full Gloss BODY SIZE:    Orchestra Model, 000/OM 14-fret TOP:    Italian Alpine Spruce ROSETTE:    Three Ring – Style 28 TOP BRACES:     Sitka Spruce, Scalloped  ¼" Width BACK:   Madagascar Rosewood - 2 Piece BACK PURFLING:   Fine Herringbone CAUTION STAMP:  “C. F. Martin & Co., Nazareth, PA” Laser Stamped Between 1st and 2nd Back Braces BLOCK TO READ:           (Laser Etched Martin Logo) CUSTOM ARTIST John Renbourn Serial Number SIDES:    Madagascar Rosewood RIBBON:   Spanish Cedar END PIECE:  Grained Ivoroid with .0325" Black/White Inlay BINDING:    Grained Ivoroid With Fine Herringbone Top Trim SIDE INLAY:   None BACK INLAY:    .0325" Black/White NECK:   Genuine Mahogany NECK SHAPE:   Low Profile Shape With Diamond Volute TRUSS ROD:    Two Way Adjustable HEADSTOCK:    Slotted Square Tapered With Square Slots HEADPLATE:   Genuine Ebony with Right Facing “Unicorn” Inlay Tail and Back Front & Rear Legs: Select Abalone Horn: Micarta –Eye: Mother of Pearl –Mane in Gold MOP Tip of Tail, Body, Forward Front and Rear Legs: Standard Abalone HEADSTOCK BINDING:  None HEELCAP:  Grained Ivoroid NUT:    Genuine Bone (On The Flat) FINGERBOARD:    Genuine Ebony SCALE LENGTH:  25.4" # OF FRETS CLEAR:    14 # OF FRETS TOTAL:   20 FINGERBOARD WIDTH AT NUT: 1 3/4" FINGERBOARD WIDTH AT 12th FRET:   2 1/4” SIDE POSITION DOTS:  White, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, double at 12th, 15th, 17th FINGERBOARD BINDING:   None FINGERBOARD INLAYS:   Pentangle Position Markers 1 at 3rd, 7th, 9th, 15th, 17th Frets, 2 at 5th fret, 12th Frets FINISH BODY:   Polished Gloss Lacquer, Dark Filler FINISH TOP:  Polished Gloss Lacquer, Aging Toner, No Masking FINISH NECK:   Polished Headplate Only, Satin Neck, Dark Mahogany Stain & Filler BRIDGE:    Genuine Ebony Straight Pyramid Bridge BRIDGE SPACING:    2 1/4" SADDLE:   Genuine Bone, Drop In Saddle, Compensated TUNING MACHINES: #2508-N Golden Age Slotted Engraved Nickel Tuners STRINGS:    MSP-4100 Light Gauge Phosphor Bronze BRIDGE & END PINS:     Plain Black Ebony PICKGUARD:    None CASE:   Style #533 Geib Style Hardshell Case INTERIOR LABEL(S):   Personally Signed By John Renbourn Numbered In Sequence Without Total