Review: Fuzz Guitar Show 2017

In the quiet suburb of Eriksberg, just across the river from downtown Gothenburg, the Fuzz Guitar Show enjoyed its 10th year. The 2017 show attracted 3,000 visitors with a mix of vintage dealers, big brands, and small builders. It also featured what was probably the world’s largest collection of fret–wraps. You’ve got to love some scandi metal.

Our attention was immediately drawn to the wide selection of vintage gear on offer from a number of dealers. The vast range covered everything from Japanese Teiscos to native Hagströms, with more than a few player grade bargains to be picked up.

The main attraction was a trio of early Gibson Les Pauls: a refurbished ‘56, a ‘56 Les Paul Custom, and an immaculate ‘57 Goldtop.

There were also some beautiful Fender examples, including some refinished early Telecasters and a whole host of ‘60s and ‘70s Strats. You could also find classic amps galore from Fender, Marshall, and even a decent range of Music Man. Despite the fact that Fuzz isn’t a dedicated vintage fair, there was more than enough to keep most vintage geeks happy.

There was a strong showing of luthiers — many affiliated with European Guitar Builders (known as EGB) — due in part to there being no Holy Grail Guitar Show in Berlin this year.

One of the show’s highlights was the collaborative vibe from two, three, or four different builders sharing the same booth. The best example of this was a collective of four Finnish brands including Vuorensaku Guitars. You’d pick up a luthier’s guitar and plug it into an amp made by the amp builder sharing the booth.

You’d end up playing with a truly unique rig, and you got a real sense of the closeness between all of the Nordic builders.

And then to make the show feel truly well rounded, there was representation from some big brands like Fender, Roland, and Yamaha/Line 6. The latter of those had an awesome booth that played host to a number of performances throughout the weekend.

The quality of the big brand stands was killer, with all of the latest releases on hand to demo in a comfortable setting. Maybe Fuzz isn’t NAMM, but for a relatively small show, it’s nice to see the effort.

Overall, the show was of the highest caliber. And while it wasn’t huge, there was more than enough there for an excuse to hop a border or two to make the trip. Flights to Gothenburg aren’t outrageous from within Europe, and the city itself is beautiful.

It’s rare for a show to tick off the trifecta of killer vintage range, an impressive selection of small builders, and a chance to get hands on the big brands. The Fuzz Guitar Show did it without breaking a sweat.

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