Gear en St. Vincent Debuts Her Custom Signature Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar <!--paging_filter--><p>Indie rock icon St. Vincent has revealed her custom signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar. </p> <p>Envisioned and designed by St. Vincent with support from the engineering team at Ernie Ball Music Man, the guitar was crafted to perfectly fit her form, technique and style. </p> <p>She debuted the guitar to the world as she took the stage at Taylor Swift’s Los Angeles concert this past Tuesday night, <a href="">performing alongside Swift and Beck</a> (check out the video below).</p> <p>“I’m extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to design a guitar this personal with this company, this family, in whom I believe so completely,” said Annie Clark, who's better known as St. Vincent. </p> <p>“The entirety of my experience as a guitarist is invested in this instrument. I sought to create a tool that would help and inspire those who share my priorities in a guitar, namely that it be comfortable and lightweight and that it exhibit clean lines, all without sacrificing tone flexibility. It is with pride that I present the St. Vincent Signature Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar.”</p> <p>Crafted in Ernie Ball Music Man’s San Luis Obispo, California, factory, the St. Vincent signature is available in black or custom Vincent Blue, a color that was hand-mixed by Annie. </p> <p>Featuring an African mahogany body, Ernie Ball Music Man tremolo, gunstock oil and hand-rubbed rosewood neck and fingerboard, St. Vincent inlays, Schaller locking tuners, five-way pickup selector with custom configuration and three-mini humbuckers, the guitar also comes complete with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky guitar strings. </p> <p><strong>For more information, head on over to <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Ernie Ball Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:55:11 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25366 at Gear Review: Outlaw Effects 24K Reverb, Quick Draw Delay and Five O’Clock Fuzz Pedals <!--paging_filter--><p>Outlaw Effects recently showed up to the party—the ongoing effect-pedal party, that is—blurring the lines of boutique and budget effects in a micro-sized box. </p> <p>I recently got my hands on the company's 24k Reverb, Quick Draw Delay and Five O’Clock Fuzz. </p> <p> First impression? Everything is well marked. This sounds like a given, but I’ll occasionally try a pedal named something like "The Woodpecker." Next I’ll spend 20 minutes figuring out what the "Beak" and "Sapsucker" knobs do. With Outlaw Effects, Tone is a tone knob, Sustain means sustain. Kudos, Outlaw!</p> <p>Each pedal features staggered input/output jacks, top-mounted 9-volt power jacks and true-bypass switching. The case is a hardy aluminum that's well suited for gigging.</p> <p><strong>24K Reverb</strong> has three knobs; Reverb, Tone and Decay. There's a three-way toggle switch to select between Room, Plate or Spring reverbs. In the clip below, I started with a subtle Spring reverb, followed by a deeper, surf-inspired Plate reverb and finished up rolling the Tone back for a darker deep Room reverb.</p> <p><strong>Quick Draw Delay</strong> features three knobs; Echo, Time and Repeat. Echo is the volume knob of the effect. The overall vibe is more of a vintage-inspired delay than a cleaner, modern delay. Time offers a range of 20ms to 620ms. My clip starts with a cool basic delay to fill out a rhythm guitar part. I end with a lick and crank the Repeat all the way up. By rotating the Time knob, you can channel some self-oscillating madness.</p> <p><strong>Five O’Clock Fuzz</strong> was, by far, my favorite, and not just because it has a mustache drawn on it. The knobs are Level, Sustain and Tone. While many would blow by this thinking it’s a Big Muff copy, hear me out. In the clip hear it goes from a smooth Eric Johnson-style fuzz to a razor-thin thrash tone. To finish up the clip, I wanted to show how it can hang as a fat bass fuzz pedal too.</p> <p><strong>Web:</strong> <a href=""></a><br /> <strong>Average Street Prices:</strong> 24K Reverb, $89; Quick Draw Delay, $59; Five O’Clock Fuzz, $49.99</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe></p> Billy Voight Billy's Breakdown Outlaw Effects Effects Blogs Gear Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:20:11 +0000 Billy Voight 25364 at Guitar Chalk Sessions: Three Nuanced Quality Indicators of a Good Tremolo Pedal <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This is an abridged and shorter version of a lengthier <a href="">article highlighting seven tremolo pedals</a> that fit the descriptors mentioned here.</em></p> <p><strong>Tremolo is an incredibly simple effect.</strong></p> <p>In its most raw form, it’s little more than the raising and lowering of your signal’s volume.</p> <p>And not only is tremolo one of the oldest and most recognized effects in the electric guitar’s history, it’s also been traditionally implemented via analog circuitry within amplifiers.</p> <p>Today there are still a lot of amps on the market that come packaged with a tremolo effect.</p> <p>To name a few:</p> <p>• <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1440012299&amp;sr=1-16&amp;keywords=guitar+amp,+tremolo&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=4d2738d6d1c783ef89465f9b79ad2fd6">VOX AC15C2</a><br /> • <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1440012313&amp;sr=1-26&amp;keywords=guitar+amp,+tremolo&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=b21b80ab3cf761e7f6223dc78f897544">Fender ‘68 Custom Vibrolux</a><br /> • <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1440012313&amp;sr=1-29&amp;keywords=guitar+amp,+tremolo&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=d7d75bab502f6712c49d908b32cfe046">Marshall 1973X</a></p> <p>These amps (among many others) carry their own tremolo that’s built-into the amp’s channels and ready to use. More often than not, they sound pretty good.</p> <p>But what if we don’t own an amp with tremolo built-in?</p> <p>Further, what if we just don’t like it? A lot of <a href="">guitar players prefer</a> their effects in a stompbox on the floor in front of them. If that’s the team you’re on, you might wonder, “What is there to know about tremolo pedals in the digital age?”</p> <p>Or what quality indicators do you look for if you’re going to buy one?</p> <p>While the difference between a “good” and “bad” tremolo pedal is a smaller gap than a good and bad delay, there are still some quality indicators to be aware of.</p> <p>And they can be difficult to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for.</p> <p>There are primarily three of these indicators.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>1. The Waveform Selector</strong></p> <p>There’s some digital processing science and mathematics that go into what a waveform actually is, but for our purposes, a tremolo waveform is essentially the pattern that the volume sweep of the effect will follow. </p> <p>There are primarily three different waveforms that a tremolo can take:</p> <p><strong>1. Square</strong><br /> <strong>2. Peak</strong><br /> <strong>3. Sine</strong></p> <p>On cheaper or lower-quality tremolo pedals, the default tremolo waveform will be sine and will likely go unmentioned.</p> <p>Better quality tremolo pedals, that you can get in <a href="">guitar shops like Long and McQuade</a> or from <a href="">boutique manufacturers,</a> will often give you a switch that allows you to toggle between all three. It’s easily spotted on pedals like the <a href=";qid=1440013157&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=wampler+tremolo&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=88a45c8510b19b1d43f07626856372e2">Wampler Latitude Deluxe:</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-08-27%20at%2012.50.13%20PM.png" width="360" height="252" alt="Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.50.13 PM.png" /></p> <p>Those three squiggly lines underneath the switch represent the three waveforms. From left to right, <strong>square, peak</strong> and <strong>sine.</strong></p> <p>This gives your pedal a significantly more versatile array of sounds and provides the entire spectrum of the tremolo effect.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2. Correcting the “Volume-Drop Problem”</strong></p> <p>Though tremolo is a simple effect, it’s notorious for causing what’s known as the “volume-drop problem.”</p> <p>This occurs because of the constant raising and lowering (sweeping) of your signal’s volume. That means your tremolo effect sets a low and a peak, where the peak will always match the volume of your guitar’s signal output.</p> <p>This is fine, except for the fact that a majority of the effect’s time is spent between the peaks, giving the illusion that your guitar’s volume has been lowered.</p> <p>Good tremolo pedals correct this by adding an external volume knob, like the one on <a href=";qid=1440012998&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=keeley+boss+tr-2+mod&amp;linkCode=sl1&amp;tag=theguitblac-20&amp;linkId=44d46134a1ae38d2d083d5ef79b5b94f">Robert Keeley’s Boss TR-2 mod.</a></p> <p>Other tremolo pedals deal with the problem via interior circuitry, but it’s always something to keep in mind when you’re scoping them out.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>3. Depth and Tone Customization</strong></p> <p>It’s tempting to assume that all a tremolo pedal really needs is a depth and rate knob. After all, it is a fairly basic modulation effect.</p> <p>But the higher-quality tremolo pedals pack a lot of customization into their boxes. </p> <p>Consider, for example, the <a href="">Strymon Flint Tremolo and Reverb</a> with the following parameters:</p> <p><strong>Intensity / Speed / Mix / Decay / Color</strong></p> <p>That’s not even mentioning the three different tremolo modes and the optional expression pedal. All this is not to say that you can’t do well with a more basic configuration, but know that the tweaking options are out there. </p> <p>And in many cases they’re worth the extra investment.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Why not just stick with the amp?</strong></p> <p>A lot of guitarists are strictly analog, which means the tremolo pedals of our day might fall flat as they’re usually analog simulations via digital circuitry. </p> <p>So there’s a case to be made for sticking with what might be considered a simpler and more pure form of the effect.</p> <p>It’s really just a matter of preference.</p> <p>Because there are advantages to both. But if you’re going to go the pedal route (which is my personal preference) it pays to know where you’re going to get the most quality and what the most desirable features of a tremolo pedal are.</p> <p>Besides, waveforms make great dinner-table conversation.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Your Thoughts</strong></p> <p>Have thoughts or insight into tremolo pedals and their quality indicators? Feel free to share them in the comments section or hit us up via <a href="">Twitter</a> and <a href="">Facebook.</a> We can always learn more from each other.</p> <p><em>Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of <a href="">GigNroll</a></em></p> <p><em>Robert Kittleberger is the editor of <a href="">Guitar Chalk</a> and a staff writer at <a href="">Guitar Tricks</a>. You can get in touch with him <a href="">here</a> or via <a href="">Twitter</a> and <a href="">Facebook.</a></em></p> Bobby Kittleberger Guitar Chalk Sessions Effects Blogs Gear Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:00:27 +0000 Bobby Kittleberger 25359 at PRS Guitars Introduces 58/15 Limited Edition Custom 24 Pickups — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>When Paul Reed Smith and the R&amp;D team at PRS ramped up their dissection and testing of pickups a couple years ago, it became very clear very quickly that something new was about to be born. </p> <p>Enter the PRS 58/15 pickups, introduced for PRS’s 30th-anniversary year.</p> <p>The 58/15 Limited Edition is a culmination of various features that the Custom 24 has seen throughout the last 30 years and is built around these new vintage-voiced 58/15 pickups. </p> <p>Other appointments on these instruments include solid shell birds, similar to those found on Reed Smith's pre-factory and early production guitars, fretboard binding, a preview of a new headstock signature inlay and the Gen III PRS patented tremolo, which has been updated to further support the fidelity of the guitar’s tone and maximize sustain.</p> <p>Each 58/15 equipped Custom 24 guitar will have an artist grade figured maple top, mahogany back, 24-fret, 25” scale length ‘Pattern Regular’ or ‘Pattern Thin’ mahogany neck with gaboon ebony fretboard, Solid Shell “Blue Purple” Red Abalone Birds (Pattern Regular neck) or Solid Shell “Dark Special” Red Abalone Birds (Pattern Thin neck), gaboon ebony headstock veneer with green abalone signature, Phase III locking tuners, 58/15 treble and bass pickups, one volume and one push/pull tone control with a PRS three-way toggle pickup selector. </p> <p>Guitars are set up with PRS .10-.46 strings and are shipped in a PRS Black Paisley Hardshell Artist Case.</p> <p>The 58/15 Custom 24 limited run will total 150 pieces worldwide: 50 of each color (Faded Whale Blue with Natural Back, Black Gold Burst with natural binding, Charcoal Burst), 25 of each color having a Pattern Regular neck carve with Solid Shell “Blue Purple” Red Abalone Bird inlays and 25 having a Pattern Thin neck carve with Solid Shell “Dark Special” Red Abalone Bird inlays.</p> <p><strong>For more information, watch the video below and visit <a href=""></a>.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> PRS PRS Guitars Accessories Videos News Gear Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:32:17 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25345 at 20 of the Best 1x12 Guitar Amps on the Market Today <!--paging_filter--><p>Looking for an amp that'll give your tone some more punch but won't add an extra thousand pounds to your rig? </p> <p>You're in luck, because <em>Guitar World</em> has rounded up 20 of the best single-speaker combo, 1x12 guitar amplifiers on the market today. </p> <p>In the photo gallery below, you'll find offerings from everyone from Carvin to Fender to Orange. Whether you're looking for aggressive overdrive or the most sparkling of clean tones, you'll definitely find a combo amp that suits your needs. </p> <p><strong>NOTE: This list is presented in alphabetical order, <em>not</em> by order of any sort of preference. Enjoy!</strong></p> Carr Amplifiers Carvin Carvin Amps ENGL EVH Gear Fender October 2015 Orange Amps News Features Gear Magazine Tue, 25 Aug 2015 12:23:57 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25319 at Review: TC Electronic Helix and Viscous Vibe Pedals — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>GOLD AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>Back in the heady days of heavy rock and roll, phase shifting effects were all the rage. These weren’t today’s run-of-the-mill, milquetoast sweeps and whooshes, but instead deliciously thick, swirling sounds with fat, chewy texture and a particular voice-like midrange that almost made the guitar seem to talk. </p> <p>Phasing effects of this nature first appeared during the late Sixties with Jimi Hendrix and were heard throughout the Seventies on records by guitarists like David Gilmour, Frank Marino, Pat Travers, Robin Trower, and even early Cheap Trick (“The Ballad of TV Violence,” “Hot Love,” or any other track on their debut album), but vanished about the same time as the ten dollar Thai stick. </p> <p>Over the last few decades, pedal designers have tried to recapture the gnarly sounds of these early phaser effects by using the same or similar obsolete lo-fi analog parts that gave those effects so much of their character, producing pedals in limited amounts with eyebrow-raising prices. </p> <p>Most attempts to duplicate these effects in the digital realm were underwhelming, but the engineers at TC Electronic finally cracked the code, as is evident in their new Helix Phaser and Viscous Vibe TonePrint pedals. Best of all, these pedals are affordably priced—you can buy both for less than one boutique or vintage pedal.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES:</strong> While the Helix and Viscous Vibe are both TC TonePrint pedals, each pedal takes a different approach to its phase shift and vibe effects, respectively. The Viscous Vibe is a modern digital recreation of the original Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe, while the Helix is a multi-personality phaser that is not based on any specific effect but can dial in accurate reproductions of numerous classic phasers with a few careful twists of its knobs. </p> <p>Like the original Uni-Vibe, the Viscous Vibe provides intensity and volume controls, an oversized speed knob, and a switch with separate chorus and vibrato settings. The switch also includes a TonePrint setting that stores downloaded TonePrint vibe effects from TC’s artist library or your own modified preset. </p> <p>The Helix’s mini toggle features a TonePrint setting as well, plus vintage (thick and swirly similar to early Mu-Tron and Electro-Harmonix phasers) and smooth (more like an MXR Phase 90) settings. Controls on the Helix include speed, depth, feedback, and mix, which allow users to dial in a surprisingly wide variety of awesome phase shifting effects.</p> <p>Both pedals offer stereo inputs and outputs, true-bypass switching, and analog dry through circuitry that always passes your guitar’s unprocessed dry tone, whether the pedal is engaged or not, with zero latency and full dynamic response. The pedals operate with either a nine-volt battery or optional external nine-volt 100mA power source. A mini USB jack is provided for downloading updates or TonePrints created with TC’s TonePrint Editor software for Mac and PC.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE:</strong> Most digital phasers and vibe effects I’ve tried were somewhat flat sounding and underwhelming, but the Helix and Viscous Vibe instantly blew me away with their expressive character and dynamic responsiveness. </p> <p>The Viscous Vibe’s chorus effect is the same thick, swirling, psychedelic Uni-Vibe effect guitarists have loved since Jimi played “Machine Gun,” and its vibrato effect is spot on as well. Players who want to go beyond the limitations of the original can do so via the TonePrint Editor software. The Helix absolutely nails almost every classic phaser. </p> <p>The vintage setting delivers thick, growling swirls with throbbing bass, while the smooth setting produces a more subtle midrange-dominated shift that erupts in the background. The speed ranges from flowing molasses throbs to mosquito wing flutters. The only “vintage” aspect missing from both pedals is the noise, but most players will welcome that vast improvement.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE:</strong> $149.99 (each)<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER:</strong> TC Electronic, <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>CHEAT SHEET:</strong>The Viscous Vibe is an accurate modern recreation of the legendary and unique phase shifting effects of the Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe introduced in the Sixties.</p> <p>The Helix reproduces a wide variety of classic phase shifting effects thanks to its versatile controls and vintage and smooth settings.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE:</strong> TC Electronic’s Helix and Viscous Vibe pedals are certain to please vintage effect connoisseurs with their classic sounds that deliver all the character, expressiveness, and vibe of original phasers from the Sixties and Seventies.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> October 2015 TC Electronic Videos Effects Features Gear Magazine Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:07:15 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario 25269 at IK Multimedia Releases Cinematic Percussion Instrument with SampleTank Custom Shop Player <!--paging_filter--><p>IK Multimedia has announced the release of Cinematic Percussion, a new SampleTank 3 Instrument collection that's available now on the SampleTank 3 Custom Shop for Mac and PC.</p> <p>This collection is a massive group of samples, loops and MIDI patterns that are taken straight from instruments used to score countless blockbusters. </p> <p>The samples come from Greg Ellis, a percussionist whose work has been featured in <em>Argo,</em> <em>Godzilla</em>, <em>Transformers: Age of Extinction</em>, <em>Iron Man</em>, <em>The Matrix</em> trilogy and other popular films.</p> <p>It has a flexible collection of audio loops recorded at 10 different source tempos, a generous array of MIDI patterns that have been performed and designed by the IK sound design team and Ellis himself. Of course, it also comes with a deep roster of playable single-hit instruments, all of which support multiple velocities and round robin. </p> <p>All of these drums are mapped using an extended General MIDI mapping, which lets users mix-and-match elements from the Cinematic Percussion kit with elements from other SampleTank 3 drum libraries.</p> <p>SampleTank 3 is IK Multimedia’s expandable ultimate sound and groove workstation for Mac and PC. It features an intuitive workflow that allows musicians to quickly and easily get down to the business of making music.</p> <p><strong>For more information about these new libraries, visit <a href=""></a> For more about SampleTank, <a href="">head here.</a></strong></p> IK Multimedia SampleTank Accessories News Gear Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:29:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25311 at PRS Guitars Introduces New 22-Fret SE Models: SE Custom 22 and SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow <!--paging_filter--><p>PRS Guitars has introduced two new 22-fret models to its SE Line: the SE Custom 22 and the SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow. </p> <p>The PRS SE Custom 22 adds an extra vintage tone and feel to the traditional SE Custom platform. </p> <p>This guitar has a pronounced mid-range and clarity that provides a full tonal bass and shimmering treble. Like its 24-fret brother, the SE Custom 22 sports a maple top with mahogany back and 25-inch scale length. </p> <p>Additional appointments include dual humbuckers with a volume, tone, three-way toggle switch and a PRS-designed stoptail bridge. The SE Custom 22 is available in Vintage Sunburst and Whale Blue finishes.</p> <p>The PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow has musical midrange and great resonance. The semi-hollow body provides an airy, sweet tone. Additional appointments include a maple top with a single F-hole and flame maple veneer, chambered mahogany back, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard and dual humbuckers with a volume, tone and three-way toggle electronics configuration. </p> <p><strong>You can find out more by visiting <a href=""></a></strong></p> PRS PRS Guitars Electric Guitars News Gear Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:24:52 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25309 at Latest Gear from Epiphone: Guitars, Basses and Amps — 2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide <!--paging_filter--><p>This month, we’re showing off the hottest gear from the all-new <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=EpiphoneBuyersGuide">2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide,</a> which collects the latest and greatest gear from a host of manufacturers. </p> <p>Today, we present a host of new guitars—electric and acoustic—plus basses and guitar amps from Epiphone.</p> <p>Be sure to check out the photo gallery below. Remember to click on the magnifying glass icon to take a closer look at each image. </p> <p>Also be sure to watch a new video of Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi demoing and discussig his brand-new Epiphone Limited Edition Tony Iommi Signature SG below. </p> <p><strong>For more about Epiphone, visit <a href=""></a>.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> 2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide Buyer's Guide Epiphone Gear Spotlight Acoustic Guitars Amps Bass Guitars Electric Guitars News Features Gear Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:10:37 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25296 at Ernie Ball Music Man's New Guitars, Basses, Amps and More: 2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide <!--paging_filter--><p>This month, we’re showing off the hottest gear from the all-new <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=EBallBuyersGuide">2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide,</a> which collects the latest and greatest gear from a host of manufacturers.</p> <p>Today, we present a host of new products from <A href="">Ernie Ball</a> and <a href="">Ernie Ball Music Man</a>. </p> <p>Be sure to check out the photo gallery below. Remember to click on the magnifying glass to take a closer look at each item. Enjoy!</p> <p><strong>For more about Ernie Ball Music Man, visit <a href=""></a>.</strong></p> 2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide Buyer's Guide Ernie Ball Gear Spotlight Music M. Accessories Amps Bass Guitars Electric Guitars News Features Gear Fri, 14 Aug 2015 12:43:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25279 at The Cowcaster Guitar Is a Texas-Size Tribute to ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons <!--paging_filter--><p>The Cowcaster is guaranteed to turn heads. That’s because it is one. </p> <p>The one-of-a-kind guitar, designed and built by artist Brent Gandy of Amarillo, Texas, brims with custom features—from <a href="">Von Dutch</a>–style pin striping on the back of the neck to a hand-carved bull’s head headstock—all of which are connected to an authentic bull skull.</p> <p>“I’ve been messing with bull skulls since I was little kid,” says Gandy, the ranch-raised son of a former professional bull rider. </p> <p>“My brother and I would put bull heads in ant beds, and the ants would clean them down to the bone.” Gandy, who runs an auto body shop, began creating works of art with the skulls, polishing them with the same process he employs to finish cars and inlaying the natural indentations with turquoise.</p> <p>But with the Cowcaster, a bovine ode to his idol, fellow Texan Billy Gibbons, Gandy cranked things up a notch. Along with friend and guitar builder Bud Herber, he put together a wish list of Gibbons-preferred components and specs. Then the duo went to work. </p> <p>“We knew Billy used <a href="">Seymour Duncan</a> BG-1400 Pearly Gates pickups, so we called and spoke to Maricela Juarez,” says Gandy, referring to Seymour Duncan’s custom shop manager. “She said she was winding two Pearly Gates pickups for Billy. We asked her to wind a third for us.”</p> <p>The 11-pound guitar has a beefy Warmoth maple neck with a “boat-neck” profile, 22 stainless frets, abalone inlays and Steinberger gearless tuners. Other features include abalone-capped volume and tone knobs and a billet aluminum spine to support the neck. This raging bull blows smoke from its nose and ears, and its eyes and nose light up with red LEDs. </p> <p>So how does it sound? “Badass,” Gandy says. “It’s throaty and has lots of sustain. Because of the pine body that’s integrated into the skull, it resonates like no other guitar.” </p> <p><em>Photo: Ralph Duke</em></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/caw1.jpg" width="620" height="1183" alt="caw1.jpg" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/zz-top">ZZ Top</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/billy-gibbons">Billy Gibbons</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> 2011 Billy Gibbons Damian Fanelli GWLinotte May 2011 ZZ Top Electric Guitars Blogs Features Gear Magazine Fri, 14 Aug 2015 12:40:50 +0000 Damian Fanelli 11902 at Kiesel Guitars & Carvin Guitars Custom Shop Announce New Inline Headstock Shapes <!--paging_filter--><p>Kiesel Guitars &amp; Carvin Guitars Custom Shop are offering new six-string and seven-string pointed inline headstock shapes.</p> <p>This comes in response to customer requests to add a seven-inline headstock to go along with the 4x3 standard headstock, 4x3 CT-style headstock and 4x3 pointed headstock.</p> <p>While designing the new seven-string headstock, the company decided to make a six-string version, which adds a sleek and aggressive component to many of our guitars. </p> <p>Each version offers straight string pull, which helps eliminate binding on the nut when bending strings. Both the six- and seven-string versions are available standard (tuners on top) or reversed (tuners on bottom), and are offered on many Custom Shop guitars. Like all standard and optional headstocks, they come in a wide selection of options, including headstock woods, finishes, Carvin Guitars and Kiesel Guitars logos, and different colored truss-rod covers (including personalized engraved versions). </p> <p>Visit the <a href="">Kiesel Guitars/Carvin Guitars USA Custom Shop</a> for more information.</p> Carvin Guitars Kiesel Guitars Electric Guitars News Gear Thu, 13 Aug 2015 19:43:47 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25284 at Review: Truetone V3 Jekyll & Hyde Overdrive Distortion Pedal — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>PLATINUM AWARD WINNER</em></strong> </p> <p>Visual Sound, known for their award-winning Jekyll &amp; Hyde, Route 66 and H2O pedals and 1-SPOT power supply, has officially changed its name to Truetone. Some might say if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But fans of the brand need not worry. </p> <p>The company continues to build high-quality products with detailed tones and unparalleled reliability, and now they’ve managed to fittingly describe the sound of their brand in one succinct word: Truetone. </p> <p>Their first launch under the new moniker is the V3 Jekyll &amp; Hyde Overdrive Distortion, which is a complete redesign of their flagship dual effect pedal that offers even more versatility, combined with stellar overdrive crunch and focused hi-gain tones. </p> <p><strong>FEATURES:</strong> The V3 (third version) Jekyll &amp; Hyde comes in an indestructible metal chassis and loses its former Visual Sound badge-like shape for a more compact rectangular pedal board-friendly size. Its two-pedals-in-one design features an all-new overdrive circuit and rebuilt distortion channel each with their own set of controls. </p> <p>Overdrive (Jekyll) has drive, tone, and volume, as well as bass and clean mix knobs. On the Distortion (Hyde) side, there is hi-gain, treble, volume, bass and mid knobs, along with bright and voice A-B switches. The overdrive and distortion have separate on/off footswitches and their own set of inputs and outputs, which allow you to change their order in the signal chain, loop other effects in between them or use the overdrive and distortion separately. </p> <p>In addition, there is an internal Pure Tone buffer on/off switch and a built-in noise gate for the distortion.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE:</strong> Without a doubt, the V3 Jekyll &amp; Hyde is unlike its previous versions, having a more open amp-like overdrive and a beefy distortion with plenty of bottom end that can get downright aggressive when pushed to its maximum limit. </p> <p>Part of that open sound is due to a finely tuned bass control on both channels for adding a great deal of body to your tone. Truth is, you can hang on the overdrive side all day long because it’s so transparent and fluid in response to your touch. I tend to back off the drive here but if you need more gain, it delivers it with crunchy-rich character and just the right amount of compression. </p> <p>The Hyde side requires more finesse to get the perfect balance of harmonics and fire-breathing distortion. I opted for more compression by moving the bright switch to “B,” and a hotter signal with the Voice switch set to “A.” Using the remaining EQ controls, I was able to craft a singing distortion with plenty of sustain. </p> <p>Turning up the hi-gain and mid knobs and reversing the switch order offers more volume and saturation that’s great for metal. What I found most useful is using the Jekyll channel for rhythm and combining the Hyde channel with it for lead work. </p> <p><strong>STREET PRICE:</strong> $179.95<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER:</strong> Truetone, <a href=""></a>. </p> <p><strong>CHEAT SHEET:</strong> The Jekyll &amp; Hyde combines warm overdrive and wicked distortion personalities that can be used separately or together, or inverted in the signal chain.</p> <p>The pedal utilizes its proprietary Forever Footswitch that performs flawlessly for over ten million stomps or in other words—longer than you’ll live. </p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE:</strong>The Truetone V3 Jekyll &amp; Hyde has been sonically reengineered into a flexible dual mode pedal with transparent overdrive and searing distortion textures that superbly covers any style of music. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> October 2015 Truetone Visual Sound Videos Effects Gear Magazine Thu, 13 Aug 2015 18:50:14 +0000 Paul Riario 25268 at Review: Line 6 Firehawk FX Multieffect Processor — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>GOLD AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>I love pedals. I love pedalboards. I love spending hours making custom length cables to wire entire pedalboards together (yes, I’m sick). But lately I can’t help but feel I’m wasting my time and effort, especially when I get my hands on today’s latest multieffect processors. </p> <p>The new Line 6 Firehawk FX is a perfect example, offering extremely powerful tone and effect processing, sophisticated capabilities, and a high-performance, user-friendly floor controller design that makes my even my most ambitious pedalboard designs seem like a Model T next to a BMW i8. </p> <p>Featuring Line 6’s acclaimed POD HD and POD Farm amp and effect models, the Firehawk FX is much more than an effects processor, and it can effectively replace an entire rig of amps and speaker cabinets as well.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES:</strong> While the Firehawk FX’s overall effect processing capability is not quite as powerful as Line 6’s POD HD500X, there are several good reasons to consider the Firehawk FX beyond its slightly lower price. </p> <p>The primary reason is that the Firehawk FX is much easier to use, both when creating new sounds and when performing on stage. The Firehawk Remote app for iOS and Android devices is the big game changer here, enabling users to program new sounds, manage presets, download new tones from the Line 6 Cloud, and perform numerous other tasks using a smart phone or tablet wirelessly connected to the Firehawk FX via Bluetooth. </p> <p>The Firehawk is very easy to use live on stage as well, thanks to its dedicated, amp-style controls (drive, bass, mid, treble, FX, reverb) and color-coded LEDs surrounding the FX footswitches, which change color to correspond with the type of effect block assigned to each footswitch (yellow=stomp, blue=modulation, pink=synth, green=delay, orange=reverb, turquoise=FX loop). This makes it easy to tell at a glance what effects are assigned where.</p> <p>The layout of the top panel is streamlined and self-explanatory. In addition to the amp-style controls and five FX footswitches, it also offers a large, easy-to-read alphanumeric LCD, a Bluetooth pairing button, oversize master volume knob, a pair of bank up and down footswitches, four preset footswitches, a tap tempo footswitch, and an expression pedal. </p> <p>The rear panel provides a plethora of connections, including a 1/4-inch guitar input, expression pedal jack, stereo FX send and return jacks with a stomp/line level switch, stereo XLR and stereo 1/4-inch main output jacks with line/amp mode switch, 1/4-inch headphone jack, a Variax input, and USB port.</p> <p>In typical Line 6 fashion, the 200-plus models included cover nearly all the bases, including a wide variety of amps from vintage to modern high-gain and an impressive selection of distortion/overdrive, modulation, reverb/delay, pitch, and other stomp box and studio effects. About 50 of the models use Line 6’s top-of-the-line HD processing. </p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE:</strong> The Firehawk FX is one of the most logically laid out and easy to use floor-mounted multieffect processors I’ve ever used. Setting it up is as easy as plugging in a stomp box, and navigating through the 128 presets is a breeze thanks to the bank and preset footswitches. </p> <p>The presets are expertly programmed, and most are designed and named after well-known songs so you know exactly what you are getting when you select one.</p> <p>Some users may prefer to program effects directly from the front panel via Live Edit mode (which also adds a looper), but I found it more worthwhile to edit using the Firehawk Remote App with an iPad or a tablet. </p> <p>Even the biggest onboard LCDs can’t compete with the detail available on an iPad’s screen, which makes programming sounds a pleasure instead of a chore. The Firehawk FX doesn’t quite offer the programmable depth of Line 6’s POD HDX products (for example, its signal chain routing options are more limited), but there is more than enough flexibility and programming power to satisfy the vast majority of guitarists out there.</p> <p>Beyond its stellar ease of use, the Firehawk FX really delivers when it comes to sound. The unit performs best when plugged direct into a mixing console and full-range sound system, but it also sounds quite good through a clean guitar amp with a little tweaking of the unit’s top panel controls. The distortion is dynamic and natural sounding, and even the most blazing high-gain tones are noise-free.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE:</strong> $629.99<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER:</strong> Line 6, <a href=""></a>. </p> <p><strong>CHEAT SHEET:</strong> Over 200 amp and effect models, including more than 50 HD models, cover the gamut from vintage to modern amps and every imaginable type of stomp box and studio effect.</p> <p>Amp-style tone, level, FX, and reverb controls are located on the top panel, allowing users to instantly access key tone-shaping parameters.</p> <p>The Firehawk Remote app is used for editing presets, programming setups, storing sounds, and much more with an iOS or Android smart phone or tablet.</p> <p>Color-coded LEDs surrounded the FX footswitches make it easy to instantly determine what type of effect is assigned to each footswitch.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE:</strong> From its powerful Firehawk Remote app to its color-coded FX footswitches and logical layout, the Firehawk FX is all about ease of use, but fortunately easy doesn’t come at the expense of stellar, pro-quality sounds.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Line 6 October 2015 Videos Effects News Gear Magazine Thu, 13 Aug 2015 18:48:09 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario 25267 at Latest Gear from PRS: Guitars, Basses and Amps — 2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide <!--paging_filter--><p>This month, we’re showing off the hottest gear from the all-new <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=PRSBuyersGuide">2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide,</a> which collects the latest and greatest gear from a host of manufacturers. </p> <p>Today, we present a host of new guitars (electric and acoustic), basses and amps from PRS Guitars. </p> <p>Be sure to check out the photo gallery below. Note that highlighted product names link to demo videos of each piece of gear. Remember to click on the magnifying glass to take a closer look at each image. Enjoy!</p> <p><strong>For more about PRS Guitars, visit <a href=""></a>.</strong> </p> 2016 Guitar World Buyer's Guide Buyer's Guide Gear Spotlight PRS PRS Guitars PRS Private Stock Accessories Acoustic Guitars Amps Bass Guitars Electric Guitars News Features Gear Thu, 13 Aug 2015 11:39:25 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25265 at