Ibanez JS1CR30 Chrome Boy

Stunning new release from Ibanez with this latest signature model.


The Chrome Boy JS1CR30 celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the collaboration between Ibanez and Satriani. And I’d say this is a suitable guitar with its mirror-like chrome finish.


Signature on backplate by the man himself.

The Japan-made model has plenty of high-end features such as 3-piece bubinga/maple neck, Sustainiac Driver neck pickup and DiMarzio Satchur8 bridge pickup.

No word on pricing for now, but it will please the fans out there.

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*photos from Ibanez


Walden D710ce refurbish and setup

Worked on a Walden D710ce last month.

IMG_8005.JPGThe 700 series guitars came with solid top and back construction and I was eager to try out the Engelmann spruce top and rosewood combination. The D710ce has a cutaway and electronics. Here’s a look at the cutaway and the rosewood laminate sides.

IMG_8006.JPGI have good impression of Walden guitars and it’s a pity they have ceased operation. Fit and finish are always good for their price range, and the bolt-on neck system is quite similar to Taylor.

Bearclaw Special

Let’s start with the fretboard and bridge. They need lots of TLC and nourishment.

IMG_8039.JPGSo the dirty fretboard will be polished and moisturised with Ax Wax and 0000 steel wool.

IMG_8041.JPGClover was helping. He was ready to pounce as if he sensed that something was coming his way.

Stripping the dead electronics

This one had its B-Band preamp and later Fishman Infinity system fried so I decided to remove them all once and for all. Yes, you read correctly, the second pickup which previous owner had installed also went kaput.

IMG_8043.JPGUnscrew the unsightly B-Band preamp and remove from the inside of the guitar. Here’s a tip, use a jeweler’s screwdriver.

The badly installed endjack was also removed and replaced with a new 3-screw endjack. Matching coloured hardware of course. 🙂 

By now I have stripped off the electronic components. Guitar is noticeably lighter in weight. This paves the way for future pickup installs which is likely to be something simpler.

Nothing was cut or butchered in this project. All wires were properly detached or taped down.

Getting a good setup and action

The guitar came with ZERO relief and it was quite amazing I don’t hear much buzzing. So I added a lil’ bit of relief and went on to lower the saddle.

Action set to about 2.5mm (3/32inch) at 12th, capo on 1st fret. Nice and easy to play.

New bridge pins and fresh Elixirs added.

I also swapped out the sticky black tuner buttons with some new cheap white acrylic ones.

From this

To this

The fun part begins… You’ll now see why Clover was getting ready.

He loves soundports.

Bowie was also happy to pose.

Here’s a look at the solid rosewood back.

It does look quite handsome with the binding and cutaway.

We shall see if it stays.

Closing notes:

The solid rosewood back may have contributed to the powerful bass coming from  this guitar. Sure, it’s no Martin D28, but it’s decent and plays well with low action and zero fret buzz. One could certainly do much worse at this price range. I think the guitar retailed around $500-$700 new.

Build is really good, with the nitro satin finish. It’s not too thick and plasticky to touch and really stands out from those on poly finish.

Probably a good alternative to the various solid tops from many brands that tend to sound overly bright to some players.

Oh, the smaller kids love the makeshift soundport. 🙂





Yamaha CSF Series

Yamaha has relaunched the CSF Series compact guitars.


With a 600mm scale length and all-solid construction (for the CSF3M), this new guitar should give the perennial favourite Taylor GS Mini a run for the money.


The initial launch sees two models – the CSF3M (all solid) and CSF1M (solid top), both feature loaded with discreet passive pickup and special hard bag. Elixir strings seem the standard these days for Yamaha guitars too.

The all-solid model also comes with nice wood bindings and this really ups the game for travel guitars in terms of build and construction.

See the size comparison with a regular FG series guitar.


It’s really all about smaller sized acoustics these days, and Guitarbear wonders if it’s all due to a certain highly talented redhead from UK.

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Awaiting its arrival in SG. 🙂

*photos from Yamaha

Kiesel Zeus and Osiris

Kiesel Guitars have introduced two headless models to their catalogue of custom guitars.



Launched early this year, the Zeus seems to convey much of the Tele vibes with the addition of a large dramatic top bevel.


A clever recess for the tuners to avoid unnecessary contact with the tuners. Thumbs up.

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Announced just last week, the Osiris should be a headless take on the ubiquitous Strat. This one has made Guitarbear sit up and take notice.


Again, this has similar features such as the top bevel and scooped recess for the tuners.

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Both models are available as 6, 7, 8-string and multi-scale configurations. Prices start from US$1099. I’d say that’s great value for custom made guitars.

*photos from Kiesel

New Alvarez MD60BG

Alvarez has added the new MD60BG into their Masterworks Series.


The new guitar features spruce top with khaya mahogany body and should be a direct replacement for the old MD60 which discontinued in the last Masterworks revamp.

Along with the use of pau ferro for fretboard and bridge, Guitarbear is also sad to see the MDA70 being taken off the catalogue. Obviously this is a move forced by the CITES situation. Perhaps we should be coming to terms that rosewood guitars are truly a thing of the past.

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*photo from Alvarez