Featured Store – Artist Guitars
This week I talked to Allan and Heath from Artist Guitars about their products and how the company came about. Artist hits a great middle ground for beginner, intermediate and working guitarists, offering great prices for excellent quality (I will be releasing a review of one of their popular models very soon).
Artist Guitars started was opened in 2009 by CEO Ian Bush. He wanted to be a rock star but worked out pretty early it probably wasn’t going to happen. He was still keen to stay involved in the music industry, so he found his passion in combining the 2 things he loved: music and design.
Ian has over twenty five years experience in the industry, seventeen of those years visiting factories, and three of those years actually living in China, Ian visited scores of factories to teach the technicians how to build a better guitar. There was one factory in particular that he worked with from its inception. This factory is now a high-quality instrument manufacturer and is where Artist Guitars are still built to this day.
Allan reports that Artists are “not just a guitar seller” and that they work very closely with our customers, luthiers and the factories to build their own brand of guitars. In terms of affordable guitars, this is a relative rarity in the industry, with many suppliers pumping out CNC builds that aren’t properly set up and usually based on a ‘quantity vs quality’ sales model. By working so closely with their builders Artist can cut out some of the cost associated with the traditional supply chain.
A further difference, and evidence of them standing behind their quality, Artist provide not only affordable prices, but also free shipping and returns, a 100 day return policy and also a 3 year warranty with outlets across Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
The ethos of Artist is to lower the boundary to learning and playing guitar.
Heath, the Artist Sales Manager, stepped in here as Allan is a drummer. He plays in a covers band covering 70’s to modern Rock and Blues, depending on the setlist he has a selection of the below:
Gibson 60th Anniversary SG
Fender American Special Telecaster
Gretsch G2655T Streamliner
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
On the board he has – Mooer Baby Tuner, Dunlop Crybaby Wah, Tube Screamer Mini, RAT Distortion, Klon Clone, MXR Phase 90, Mooer Delay, Mooer Chorus, EH Key9, and a TC Electronics Buffer to enhance the signal.
And plays into an Egnater Renegade 65W 2×12 Combo tube amp and a Laney VC30 30W 1×12 combo tube amp.
Heath also has an Artist ST style guitar which is his main rehearsal guitar and a back up for gigs. With the Wilkinson Humbucker in the bridge position and 2 single coil Wilkinson pickups, he says that it’s versatile enough to cover most genres and songs that he plays. He also has an Artist DS120CEQ electric acoustic guitar for chill sessions.
In terms of recent releases from Artist, Heath says that he is a big fan of the 7th Anniversary BlackCherry7 which is a 335 style guitar with a Roller style tremolo, straight out of the box they are great to play and set up quite well from the factory. He says that they’re very popular with customers and that they have a heap of great reviews on these guitars (actually if you check, a great deal of their gear is rated over 4 stars)
Heath also is a big fan of the recently released Xvive U2 Guitar Wireless system which he says is excellent value for money.
I also can’t say enough for the Artist STH ST style electric guitar. Saves me having to lug around a few guitars in my car each Monday night for band rehearsals.
This really says a lot about Artist, that they are not only at a great price point, but they have the durability that they can be thrown around and gigged, something that you probably wouldn’t see in products at a similar price point. As the guys have said previously, the message that Artist want to portray is that they aren’t putting a boundary between desire to play and actually playing.
Check out Artist Guitars, not just for your guitar but other gear needs, such as cabling. Have you used any of the gear from Artist and what are your impressions?