John Petrucci’s relationship with Music Man stretches back more than a dozen years and encompasses a variety of signature-model guitars. But in their long history together there’s never been anything quite like Petrucci and Music Man’s newest creation, the JP13.
Some storied amp manufacturers are happy to chase the next trend-setting sound or reissue inferior modern versions of their classic offerings. Orange Amplification, on the other hand, has devoted itself to refining the gear behind its long-loved, uniquely expressive, valve-derived tones.
At first glimpse, the Orange Micro Terror amp head looks like a tiny scale model of the already diminutive Orange Tiny Terror head. After hearing it plugged in and cranked up, it seems more like a cunning magic trick, because your eyes will tell you that there’s no possible way an amp that small can sound so good and produce volume output that loud.
Dr. Evil may have never gotten his sharks with “frickin’ laser beams,” but Taiwanese rock god Leehom Wang had no such problem when he asked Irish luthier Alistair Hay of Emerald Guitars to create the Bahamut, a guitar in the shape of a metallic dragon, complete with laser eyes.
For this demo I chose a Shure SM57. This is a dynamic mic and very common in the music world. I also chose a large diaphragm condenser mic; one of my favorites is the Neumann TLM193. Finally, I went with a ribbon mic, the Royer R-121. I mic'd up a Marshall 1960B cabinet. The head used is a Line 6 DT25. The guitar is a JTV-89.
I've never really had the opportunity own a set of these pickups because I've always played vintage instruments and preferred to keep them stock. That was until recently, when I bought a 1991 Les Paul Studio as a touring guitar. Although this guitar sounded good with the stock pickups, I couldn't resist the opportunity to install a set of Bare Knuckles and find out how good they sounded.
I recently had the honor of watching Steve Vai during an unaccompanied soundcheck and was surprised by what I heard. There was something different about his sound, a ballsy low-mid energy that gave his tone the kind of depth and earthy elements it had back in his mid-Eighties Flex-Able/David Lee Roth period. I later learned that the source of this scorching tone is Vai’s new set of DiMarzio Gravity Storm pickups. Whereas his Evolution pickups featured cutting attack, in-your-face presentation and extremely dense upper harmonics, the Gravity Storms are warm and fat, with a kicking low-end edge.