What good is it if I continue to review a bunch of flashy new gear if I'm running out of cool licks to play? Here are four new books from Hal Leonard. They cover pentatonic licks, chord progressions, expanding your blues vocabulary and blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield’s style.
Mooer has released the Mod Factory, which packs 11 effects into a micro pedal design. With only one switch, four knobs and a chart explaining everything on the side of the pedal, it almost seems too easy. The effects are Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Envelope Phaser, Tremolo, Stutter, Vibrato, Univibe, Auto-wah, Touch Wah and Envelope Ring.
Canadian-based Fairfield Circuitry released what it thinks a guitarist’s compressor should be. The Accountant, which is based on a JFET feedback compressor, gives you everything from barely noticeable to full-on squashed compression. With a fixed Threshold, it offers just a pair of three-way toggle switches to adjust the compression levels.
Rob O’Reilly, an electronics engineer out of Ireland, set out to build a guitar that's more fashionable and functional than anything else out there. Take a second look at the body of the Rob O’Reilly BE guitar below. It was modeled after a lens from a pair of sunglasses. The center of the guitar is completely transparent, allowing you to express yourself anyway you please.
While the Tutti Love Chorus by Donner follows the current compact-sized pedal trends, it cops the tone of a classic era of analog chorus pedals. There's no fancy bluetooth technology here; the knobs are Level, Depth and Rate. It's powered by a common BOSS-style 9-volt power supply.
Norman released its own take named the Parlour SG as part of its Expedition series. The top, back and sides are made of a three-way lamination of wild cherry. The bridge and fretboard are rosewood. The nut and saddle are TUSQ by Graphtech. Additional options include a TRIC case and a Fishman Isys + electronics system with built-in EQ and a tuner.
Remember the first time you thought, “That sounds like a Telecaster”? Those moments represent precious development of your musical ear. Upon acquiring my first octave pedal, I began to hear the effect all over songs I’d listened to many times before; Jimmy Page’s solo on “Fool in the Rain," Metallica’s remake of “Whiskey in the Jar" — and how about Jimi Hendrix’s fuzzy octave-up effect on "Purple Haze"?
Scandal is rare in the world of effect pedals. It's probably because no major network has given a pedal builder his or her own reality-TV show. Pedal Wars. Or how about Effect Stars? OK, it probably wouldn’t take off. Regardless, I keep reading passionate arguments concerning the Ultimate Drive by Joyo. It’s supposed to cop the tone of a much pricier overdrive, for only $35.
This collection of pedals is for the on-the-go musician — or the pedal geek who loses sleep at night over how much free space is left on his/her pedalboard. Each pedal sports a uniform light-weight aluminum chassis, true-bypass switching and a footprint of only 3 ½ x 1 ½ inches. Here’s a rundown of each pedal, followed by a SoundCloud playlist of sound clips.
As its name suggests, the Renegade challenges the reasons you hate gig bags. The zipper is fool-proof, there’s an interior headstock and bridge guard to prevent hardware or strings from chewing up the corrosion-resistant interior, and the outside is made of water-resistant leather.