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Welcome to UpFront Guitars and Music

Happy Holidays from UpFront Guitars! The holidays celebrate the spirit of giving, and giving to those who are less fortunate than ourselves. We thank you for your business, your kind feedback and your enthusiastic response to our "Hear and Now" newsletter, which we launched in October. If you do join our newsletter, we won't barrage you with email every week, just a brief update no more than once a month. We'll tell you what's new, and provide links to our our latest blog posts.   

We've eliminated our "On Order...Coming Soon" page in favor of listing all our available guitars on the product pages. We call it "In the Photo Booth" and it's a more informative way of listing guitars that we have not yet photographed and reviewed. This way you can get more details and get the pricing (or even order it). It also lets us know what items are most in demand for photography. It works for us and we hope it's more helpful to you. As always if you don't see what you want, give us a call or drop us an email. 

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?

Arcane Pickups - Now here, and very hard to keep in stock! Rob from Arcane started this 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.  We've been busy popping various Arcane pickups into test guitars and trying them out. We love the "42" Tele neck pickup in combination with the '51 Experience Tele bridge, and ditto for the Triple Clone Humbucker set, and their '54 and '69 Experience Strat sets.

G&L - Lots of new guitars in stock. Please view our product pages for what's available

G&L Empress Wood guitars - G&L obtained just enough Empress Wood to make a run of 50 guitars, and were able to snag a few of them. Empress is a lightweight hardwood that has a nice broad grain pattern and a tone that has the punch of Alder and the extended high end of Swamp Ash. It's pretty slick and Empress guitars weigh in the low seven pound range, which everyone seems to like. We have Empress ASAT's and an SB-2 bass.

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.

Pine ASAT - Another great an under rated tonewood, and we have a couple Pine ASAT guitars in stock, and a few more on order. Pine guitars also weigh in the low-to-mid seven pound range and have a sweet tone with a very smooth attack. They are a great match with the MFD pickups. Pine is not just for bookshelves.

Knaggs - Knaggs is showing that the best guitars ever made are being made right now, and we've down to just a couple guitars, but have more on order. All are stunning and beautifully resonant. These are expertly crafted instruments that offer boutique fit-and-finish and attention to detail that is unmatched. Sometimes you do get what you pay for, and we've got the Kenai models in stock

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 - Without a doubt our best selling pickup of late is the "Dirty Harry" series of P-90 construction pickups for the Tele and Stratocaster guitars. This pickup combines more midrange bite, better pedal performance, and less ear piercing top end then a traditional Fender bridge pickups. But it retains enough twang to keep everyone happy. They go fast, and are certainly worth a try.

Breedlove Guitars - Now in stock we've got a Breedlove Premium Auditorium Rosewood, Breedlove Premium Concert in both Mahogany and Rosewood, Oregon Concert, Passport Traveler, and a Stage Black Magic Concert. We've been impressed one way or another by every guitar, and the Premium Auditorium Rosewood is just exquisite. Breedlove is making guitars that deserve to be measured against the best that Taylor and Martin have to offer. All Breedlove guitars offer unique design features and uncompromising sound. They are certainly worth a look.

Traynor/Yorkville Sound - Traynor has been making great guitar amplifiers for over 40 years, and it is often referred to as the "Canadian Fender." We like to think of them as the "Godin of Amplifiers." In our quest to find North American made amplifiers that offer great sound quality, high grade components, and value, Traynor emerged as the top pick. We've road tested several of their amps at band practices, jam sessions, and recording and they hold their own quite handily against many high end offerings. In addition, their parent company Yorkville Sound makes pro-audio sound reinforcement equipment that fits applications from weekend warriors to fixed installations. If you are looking for top-notch sound gear, call us for a consultation.

Emerson Custom Guitars - Lots of wiring kits now in stock for Tele, Strat, Les Paul, and bass guitars. But they tend to go fast, followed by a dry spell while we wait for more. So act fast! We recently discovered the 5-way Strat Blender kit, and it's a stroke of genius to improve the tone and flexibility of any Strat guitar. The EM-Drive is back in stock, so get yours now, and we now have their new Paramount overdrive. 

Evidence Audio Monorail Patch Cables - Working with our manufacturer, we've been able to bring our price down and pass on some savings. Hands down the best sounding and most reliable patch cable for your pedalboard or rack gear. Solid core does sound better, and now it's at a better price.