Guitar Interactive Issue 18 features three formidable artists with Shrapnel Records Legend Greg Howe gracing the front cover plus Jazz Guitar genius Mike Stern and LA Session Ace Carl Verheyen also inside. Not only that, but Tom Quayle brings you an exclusive Greg Howe Masterclass Technique Lesson with free TAB.
THE QUIET ROOM_GUITAR REVIEW
Alister Atkin’s handmade acoustics have become one of the highlights of the
UK acoustic scene in recent years. Increasingly found in specialist retailers, this
small builder, seems to be headed for big things. Time we looked at one, then.
Rick Graham does the business.
Before we begin this review, let me give you
a brief rundown on Atkin guitars, as the
company will be a newcomer to some of our
readers, I’m sure. The owner of the company,
Alister Atkin, began building acoustic guitars
full time after leaving the London School of
Furniture back in 1995, then
shared workshop space with the highly
respected Canterbury archtop maker Andy
Crockett. I should add that, despite its
name, the London School of Furniture has
been for many years perhaps the UK’s most
prestigious educational establishment for the
teaching of musical instrument manufacture
and design - it’s by no means about just
tables and chairs! Inspired by the sheer
craftsmanship of a Collings guitar that he
tried in 1998, a period of re-design, research
and development followed, culminating in
a range of six acoustic guitars, influenced
by classic vintage styles and incorporating
contemporary construction techniques.
The range has become quickly established
and Atkin has an ever increasing list of
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122 Guitar Interactive Magazine Issue 18
high profile players using his instruments,
including such artists as Status Quo and
Graham Coxon (Blur).
OK, let’s get to it and check out the Atkin
J35 Thinline in closer detail.
The J35 Thinline, like all of the guitars in
the thinline range, offers a depth of 105mm,
as opposed to the standard J35 which has
a depth of 125mm. This gives it the feel
of playing a small bodied instrument.
Significantly, though, according to Atkin,
this makes very little difference in terms of
sound. At the heart of this guitar lies a very
traditional combination of Sitka spruce for
the top and Indian rosewood for the back
and sides. The wood of choice for the neck is
mahogany, upon which you’ll find an Indian
rosewood fretboard, both of which have
been very tastefully married with an ivoroid
The J35 features a neck join at the 12th fret
unlike the J45 models. The classic profile
headstock, which features the gold decal