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Welcome to UpFront Guitars and Music

Welcome to UpFront Guitars! The New Year is upon us and we hope that everyone had a great holiday. January it typically a busy month, and the cold weather is a good time to do that guitar project you’ve been putting off. UpFront will be at NAMM taking in the Southern California sunshine, meeting up with some of our suppliers, and seeing what’s new out there.

UpFront Guitars is your informative, professional source for high quality North American made guitars from G&L, Breedlove, Godin and Knaggs. We specialize in a few selected brands of guitars, amplifiers and accessories that are all made in North America, and offer exceptional value for the gigging performer, serious hobbyist, or player looking to take their gear up a notch. We also play, test, and photograph every piece of gear you see on our site, and can tell you more than just what color it is and the price. Every word is written by us, and we don't cut and paste ad copy from our supplier's websites. It's a time consuming process, but it's our mission to make shopping for gear engaging and satisfying. The internet is here to stay, and many players are comfortable making a significant purchase on line....if they can get knowledgeable information about the product. At UpFront Guitars we offer guitars made by craftsmen, not accountants.

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So What's New At UpFront Guitars?

Knaggs - The buzz around the Knaggs guitar line continues to build, and it’s well deserved. These are fabulously resonant and tuneful guitars, and if you’ve been a bolt-on, single coil diehard, you’ll be amazed at the clarity and openness of the Knaggs. The single cut Kenai is hands-down our biggest seller, but it’s hard to imagine going wrong with any model.

Breedlove Guitars - 2014 was a very big year for Breedlove, and we’re starting to see the momentum build. We’ve got a great selection of their American line, and all their models feature the “Breedlove Balance” that sits great in the mix and is perfect for singer-songwriters.

G&L - As always, lots of interesting models on stock. Please view our product pages for what's available, or contact us about a special order

G&L Empress Wood guitars - G&L obtained enough Empress wood to build about 50 guitars, and we’ve still got a few in stock. Empress is a fast growing hardwood native to China but also planted in North America. It has an attractive broad grain, a bright top end like swamp ash, but punches like alder. Plus it’s very light and Empress guitars are typically in the low 7’s.

G&L Fallout - What do you get when you take G&L's great P-90 neck pickup, add a Seymour Duncan JB bridge pickup, and wrap it in an SC-2 body? You get the G&L Fallout. The Fallout is a barrel of fun, and packs a ton of classic rock tones into a lightweight high quality package. A great USA guitar value with a typical street price of less than $1300.

G&L Pine Guitars - We’ve got some more pine models in stock and we think this is a very overlooked and underrated tone wood. For those looking for lighter weight, pine is the most reliable way to get a low-to-mid seven pound ASAT. In terms of sound, pine has a sweet top end, ample bass, and touch of compression that provides a natural “give” that responds to playing nuances. It’s become our favorite ASAT wood.

Arcane Pickups - Patience is a virtue, and we’re patiently waiting for our next delivery. Rob from Arcane started his business several years ago as a pickup consultant, and custom pickup maker for artists like Dave Grohl and the irrepressible Phil X. Arcane is currently the OEM supplier for boutique builders like James Trussart Custom Guitars, plus they have their own line of pickups that faithfully replicate the sounds of the most famous design in history. Customer feedback on the Arcane pickups is very positive, but the hard part is getting them. We still have a few models in stock, so drop up a line to see what we have, and what’s in the pipeline.

Emerson Custom Guitars - Emerson has upgraded their kits again with their own Emerson/CTS Pro pots. These are tight tolerances pots with a high quality audio taper, and easy turning. They have a great feel and they “do something” all they way through the range. Need parts and not a full wiring kit? We’re stocking both the Emerson pots and capacitors for your Mad Scientist projects. 

Traynor/Yorkville Sound - The Traynor line has been a great addition for us, and Traynor clearly shows that great tone can be affordable. Their Custom Valve 20 combo and Ironhorse Head have been the most popular, but our favorite is the Custom Valve 40. Manageable for home, loud enough for gigs, and tone and features that are best in class.

Godin - For a street price of under $600, you've got to try the Godin Empire and Empire P-90. With a lightweight mahogany body, compensated stoptail bridge, and special Godin pickups, the Empire line is a Canadian "LP Junior" that just oozes character. There is just nothing wrong about these guitars, and for a change of pace the Empire is super easy to justify. And if you've never had a P-90 guitar, the Empire P-90 is a great entry point. We've also got to give a shout-out to the Godin Montreal Premiere. It's a real gem, and a recent Editor's Pick award from Guitar Player magazine. With or without Bigsby, it's clean articulate tones are great for jazz, pop, or rock. It will give you a different outlook on electric guitar and deserves a spot in your collection.

Rio Grande Pickups - It’s hard to imagine a pickup that Rio Grande doesn’t make (or won’t make). We’ve got a great selection in stock a all times and really like their Dirty Harry line of single coils for Strat and Tele guitars. Built like a P-90, they give guitarists a great way to getter fatter, richer rock tones without losing the single coil edge. There is a Dirty Harry humbucker too that splits like a real single coil.

UpFront Guitars Cables - Our guitar cables are getting a makeover with a nicer, silkier feeling tweed covering. And don’t forget our UpFront Evidence Audio patch cables. Solid core is sonically better, and these cables do make a difference. You can spend less, but you’ll only have to buy these cables once, and you’ll sound better.