Hi Everyone! Virgil here! I have compiled items through the years that have worked well for me. Some items I have tried out in actual stores, some I have owned and some have visited my studio. I thought it would be cool to put together some of my favorite items on this site and show you what has worked best for me through the years. The great thing is that these vendors are AWESOME when it comes to returns, so if you are not completely satisfied they will let you return the item at NO COST TO YOU! I realize that some things are subjective and it's NOT that I dislike other brands (Like Martin guitars are amazing too!) I'm just pointing out the stuff that ends up being my favorites. NONE of the companies send me products to test, so you are getting my unbiased opinion! Thanks so much and enjoy your musical journey!

Acoustic Guitars


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Best Beginner Acoustic:
Yamaha F325D $169

Low price, free shipping and a guitar that sounds and feels GREAT, what's NOT to like in this deal? I was amazed at the price of this guitar when I tried it out. My first acoustic guitar in 1977 was a Yamaha FG-160 and this company does put quality first! You get 45 days to return it with a full refund if not completely satisfied!

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Best Intermediate Pick:
Yamaha AC-5R $1399

I had a student show up with one of these in January and if you know you are going to be playing guitar for the rest of your life, you might as well invest in something that you may never really have to upgrade from. This guitar not only sounds amazing, but it has a great feeling neck and very easy to play.

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Best Professional Pick:
Taylor 814CE V-Class $3699

Some people who move forward on the guitar and know that this will be a lifelong friend, we might as well get confortable in knowing that we don't have to spend over and over again to find the "right" guitar. One that fits in your hands just right - is able to produce sounds that you thought that were never possible all in one guitar.

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Electric Guitars/Amps


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Best Beginner Setup: Fender Squire Beginner Pack $329

This has been the "Go-To" for years for beginner guitarists! You get a candy apple red Fender Squire electric guitar, a 15 watt amp, a gig bag for the guitar, a strap cable & picks and you are ready to begin your journey!

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Best Intermediate Electric: Fender Roadhouse $949

A couple of students have purchased these and I'm really impressed with the craftsmanship on these as well as great tonal qualities and a superb feeling neck! (Available on Fender's Official Amazon Store)

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Best (simple) Tube Amp: Vox AC15C1

I've owned this amp for over 4 years now and I really like the simplicity of this tube amp! I'm able to shape my tones to my liking and have brought this to live gigs and It has become my favorite amp!

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Strings/Pedals/Accessories


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Best Acoustic Guitar Strings: Elixir Nanoweb Custom Lights

I've been using these strings for the past 14 years and I usually only have to change my strings twice a year, as they keep that "crisp" sound for months! Amazing tone and lasts forever? I'M IN!

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Best Electric Guitar Strings: D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Regular Light with Nickel-Plated Steel

These are the strings I've used for so long that I just don't like aother strings!! Great tone (again) and lasts a long time AND great price!

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Best Guitar Picks: Dunlop 427RXL Ultex Jazz III XL

When I first started out on guitar, I preferred realllly THIN picks, but as I advanced forward, I eventually went to these. Total control of all styles from strumming chords to playing solo guitar, acoustic or electric, I only use these now (Or the red ones)

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Best Distortion Pedal: Fulltone OCD

I spent years, trying to find the "holy grail" of distortion pedals and ultimately found this little gem. There's no way I would go on stage without this little bad boy! Amazing tone and it doesn't "Color" my sound - more like an octane boost!

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Best Guitar Learning Software

All of my students use this - it's amazing!!

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Best Guitar Tuner: Samson CT16 Clip-On Tuner

THOUSANDS of tunings... When you are a guitar teacher and you tune all of your students' guitars, you need something reliable and this one takes the cake! It tunes guitars, banjos, ukes and violins!

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Virgil's Picks
Tampa, FL
Virgil Mandanici
virgil@tampaguitar.com