Andy Tompkins - Guitar Collection
Here's my first guitar. Manuel Segura nylon strung bought in 1961 from a shop in Walthamstow, London for £10! It has certainly seen better days, but then, I guess, so have I !
The electric guitar I have owned for the longest time and my second Les Paul. I bought this Ivory / White Les Paul Custom in 1974 and it is a superb instrument. Over the years it has mellowed in both tone and colour of finish. This guitar has wonderful sustain.
The first Les Paul I owned was also a Custom in Cherry Sunburst, bought in 1973 after a huge amount of saving up! Unfortunately, that guitar was stolen while I was working in "The Pit" for a show at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London. As the first really serious instrument I had owned, the loss was of great significance to me and that theft still pains me greatly.
Fender F75 Dreadnought bought in 1975.
The heaviest (in terms of weight) guitar I own. It is a Gibson Les Paul 25/50 Anniversary in Wine Red bought in 1980 and looks quite stunning. It has a very different tone from my other Les Paul and causes serious backache if used on a strap for any length of time! Here's a link to the Les Paul Forum that gives some more background on this limited edition anniversary model.
A Japanese Fender Stratocaster I have equipped with a with Roland GK3 to drive my Roland GR20 & GR50 synthesizers. More predictable and, of course, a vast array of sounds are available via the synths themselves or via MIDI, but it doesn't track like the old G303 / GR300 combination. That's inevitable since the analogue to digital conversion has latency which results in a small delay.
This is my Roland G303 guitar and one of the first guitar synthesizer controllers. It is used in conjunction with the Roland GR300 and GR100 analogue synths and has very accurate tracking, but a limited (and rather unpredictable!) range of sounds! Here's a link to some more background information about what was a ground-breaking system when it was first released.
My Ovation Custom Legend. This probably gets as much use as any of my guitars. It's always to hand and around the house for practice. It has a quiet but very even tone and ideal for recording.
Gibson 335 Dot new in 1994 in Cherry red with custom "steamed chrome" - the result of an unfortunate accident as it was put in a cupboard above a kitchen for about a week. If you fancy a similar finish let me know and we can arrange it for you at a suitable price.....
Nice jazzy tone and excellent sustain in the higher registers
USA made Fender Stratocaster with Lace pickups - a studio workhorse very often used to record my guide tracks - sometimes I will replace them later, but often not!
Patrick Eggle Berlin Pro. This is fitted with Seymour Duncan humbuckers; an SD Custom Custom at the bridge and SD59 at the neck. They are powerful pickups and makes this a very raunchy rock guitar indeed! I bought it at a Patrick Eggle roadshow which was being held in a Hull hotel. The salesman told me that you could see the marks made on the wood of this guitar by creatures rubbing against the bark of the tree hundreds of years earlier. He seemed to be serious, so I can only assume that commission was not the only thing he was on that day....
Paul Reed Smith Private Stock No 135 Custom 22 in Tiger Eye which I bought as 50th Birthday present for myself. It is really difficult to take a decent picture that does justice to the finish of this magnficent instrument. It's the sort of thing you dream of owning then realise you can hardly ever use it for fear of scratching it!
Yamaha APX5NA - a nylon strung electro acoustic - good for direct recording, but even better via a decent microphone
Paul Reed Smith Singlecut in Dark Cherry Sunburst with Artist pack and yet another fine PRS. As you can see, the top on this one is truly stunning. It has a nice sweet, full tone with good sustain.
Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 20th Anniversary model in Black Cherry with Artist pack . Very versatile instrument, excellent all-rounder for gigging.
Martin M3M, the George Martin signature model. Paul Giovanni kindly let me use his Martin D28 when recording "The Wicker Man" tracks. His guitar had a very high action and strung with 14 gauge strings, so was a real struggle to play away from first position! Recording "Gently Johnny" with that guitar was very hard work indeed, but it had a marvellous tone. I don't remember playing a Martin since those sessions and I guess I had forgotten what a distinctive feel and tone they have until I bought this M3M in 2006. When I played it in the shop, it all came back. This is not one of the loudest Martin guitars, but has been designed specifically for recording and has a very even and rich tone. You can read more about this model at the Martin guitar site
And yet another Paul Reed Smith! This time a PRS 513 in Violin Amber Sunburst. This is an extremely versatile guitar being equipped with effectively 5 single coil pickups that can be switched and configured in 13 different ways. I have tried many guitars fitted with humbuckers and coil taps that are supposed to have a "Strat" sound setting, but have never been that impressed. The single coil sounds on this 513 are very good indeed.
This is the actual guitar reviewed by Guitarist magazine August 2007, so if you want to see some more pictures of this instrument, grab a back copy
Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to collect the wonderful instruments shown below. Apart from a number of my early electric guitars (Top Twenty, Watkins Rapier 44, Vox Telecaster copy and a Grimshaw Les Paul copy), I have never sold any of my guitars, so they have tended to build up a bit.......
I have listed the instruments in rough chronological order of me owning them from 1961 to 2011 so far.........
Paul Reed Smith 513 Private Stock No 1071 in Charcoal Burst. This has a maple fingerboard and ebony bird inlays.
Ryder Stratocaster copy - an excellent guitar at a low price. All proceeds from the sale of these guitars went to support the wonderful charity Sue Ryder Care
Ryder Telecastor copy - also excellent value for money.
TC Ellis Series 1. Tim Ellis is now making guitars for Lemmy and Phil of Motorhead and also for Dave Grohl.
PRS Santana 25th Anniversary in Sapphire Smoke with 10 Top quilt
PRS Custom 22 Semi-Hollow Limited Edition in Smoked Amber
PRS Hollowbody II with 10 Top and back in Black Gold. Fitted with piezo pickup.