Guitar amplifiers disguised as effect pedals are nothing new, but most are fairly limiting in one way or another. Usually, the space-related convenience usually leads to an inconvenience in the tone or power department. Then there's the Taurus Stomp-Head 4.SL. Let’s start with the power. The Stomp-Head 4 can be run at 40 or 70 watts.
“Boutique tones for guitarists on a fast food budget” is the catch phrase for Tone Bakery’s new line of pedals. With a Klon Centaur going for nearly $3,000 these days, I can understand what Tone Bakery is going for by releasing the Creme Brulee — its take on the iconic Centaur boost/overdrive pedal — for less than $100.
If the name "Intimidator," the camouflage motif or a Punish knob wasn’t enough of a tip-off, this is a seriously high-gain distortion pedal. It doesn’t clean up well, it doesn’t return phone calls, it doesn’t whisper, it screams!
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"?