When my father took me shopping for my first electric guitar and amp, he gave me two choices: a cherry sunburst Gibson Les Paul (brand new: $575, no joke) with a Peavey 10-watt amp, or an Aria Pro II guitar with a Peavey 65-watt Bandit amp. At the time I was just joining my first band, so as much as it pained me to not show up looking like Jimmy Page, I knew a 10-watt amp wasn't going to cut it.
Last week, I attended PRS Guitars' sixth annual open-house event known as Experience PRS. If you’re a fan of PRS Guitars or just guitars in general, this free event at the Stevensville, Maryland, factory is a must-see. It truly is meant to be “experienced.” One item that struck me is the SE Custom 24 7-String, which happens to be PRS Guitars' first 7-string production instrument in their SE series of guitars.
The Crying Tone resembles a slim, contoured brick with an angular bottom that allows you to rock the wah back and forth on the floor. It features input and output jacks, a calibration button (important for adjusting its sweep depending upon the slope of the surface), and operates with a 9V battery or optional power supply.
Legendary guitarist Slash teamed up with IK Mulitmedia to create AmpliTube Slash, which features models of his signature Marshall amplifiers (JCM Slash & AFD 100) along with some of his signature pedals (Delay, Gate, Octave/Fuzz, Chorus, Booster and Wah/Distortion) used in the studio and for live performances.
The AO-3CE is a small-body, orchestra-style acoustic with a cutaway and Fishman electronics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top along with laminated mahogany sides and Guild’s unique arched-back body design that delivers plenty of volume. Other features include bone nut and saddle, koa roseete, pearl inlays and an included lightweight polyfoam case.
I find that the Speaker Cranker is an essential stompbox if you use a single-ended amplifier, such as the Marshall JCM 800, or a two-channel amp with a rhythm and lead channel to deliver much-needed gain for harmonics and solos. The pedal does color your sound, but in a good way, slightly darkening the tone to take out any high-end harshness.
Based on TC Electronic’s legendary Booster + Line Driver & Distortion stompbox, the Spark Booster features 26 dB of boost, an active EQ consisting of a Bass knob and a Treble knob that provide precise tonal shaping for an extended range of lows and top-end shimmer, a Gain knob that serves up saturation and compression, and a mini-toggle switch offering three settings for Fat, Clean and Mid-Boost.
There's nothing more exciting for guitarists than finding a good distortion pedal, especially one that sounds crushing and is affordable. Distortion is one of those mandatory pedals you’ll need as a glorious boost for rhythms, solos and — most importantly — to summon the gods of feedback.
Every year, the Guitar World Buyer's Guide brings you the hottest women and the hottest new gear. For this year's guide, however, we took the assignment literally. We packed a truck with guitars, loaded an RV with Playboy's 2012 Playmate of the Year, Jaclyn Swedberg, and Playboy's Miss September 2011, Tiffany Toth, and headed west into the California desert.
Chris Thomas of C. F. Martin & Co. recently visited the Guitar World office in New York City. Accompanying him were four new Martin models -- a 00-DB Jeff Tweedy, a new D-18, the GPCPA4 Siris and a Custom Shop CS28-12 -- all of which were debuted by the Nazareth, Pennsylvania-based company at the NAMM show in January.