Has any piece of musical equipment proliferated more, or more rapidly, than the humble electric guitar effect unit? Though there is no official tally, suffice it to say that thousands of stomp boxes, effect devices and processors have been created for the electric guitar over the past 60 years (and that’s not including rackmount effects). Conceivably, more than half of those devices are distortion, fuzz and overdrive effects.
Here's an ode to a piece of gadgetry rarely covered on GuitarWorld.com, something that has brought a whole new world of sounds to guitarists' fingertips: the guitar synthesizer, aka the guitar synth. First of all, exactly what is a guitar synth? To quote Norm Leet, who wrote an authoratative feature on the topic for Roland's UK website, "a guitar synth is a synth module whose input device is a guitar instead of a keyboard."
As always, several members of the Guitar World crew were on hand at the 2015 Summer NAMM Show in lovely and talented Nashville, Tennessee, taking pics, getting the latest gear news and shooting plenty of videos.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the iconic Jazz Chorus guitar amp series, Roland (Booth 924 at the Summer NAMM Show) is proud to present the all-new JC-40. Compact and gig-ready, this 40-watt stereo amp features the famous “JC clean” tone and signature Dimensional Space Chorus effect respected by guitarists for decades.
As much as he might try to deny it, Eric Johnson is a member of that small group of players sometimes referred to as "guitarists' guitarists." Players—like Jeff Beck, for instance—whose skills are (secretly, perhaps) the envy of his peers. Johnson is, however, well aware of the dual trademarks that are likely to become his legacy: instantly recognizable tone and a painstaking pursuit of perfection.
Playing live might be the best way to hone your performance skills, but when it comes to technique, you need practice, practice, practice. If you play an electric guitar, your woodshedding sessions demand an amp that not only reveals the details and nuance of your playing but also sounds great—so great that it makes you want to practice more and become the best guitarist you can.
Not too long ago, practice amps were about as exciting and satisfying as a mayonnaise on white bread sandwich.
About the best thing anyone could say about them is that they produced a sound that was louder than someone talking, but their tones and features (if they offered anything beyond basic volume and tone controls) weren’t exactly inspirational.
Enter Roland’s Cube series, which proved that tiny, affordable amps didn’t need to be boring. One of their latest products—the Cube 10GX—even allows you to customize it any time you want using an app for a smart phone or tablet. Surprisingly affordable and shockingly versatile, the Roland Cube 10GX is easy to use and so much fun to play that you may consider plugging into a bigger rig too much of a hassle.
Ever since being discontinued way back in 1984, the Boss DM-2 Delay pedal has remained highly sought after by players everywhere for its warm, “bucket brigade” analog delay tone. Now, the DM is back! With the Waza Craft DM-2W, the coveted stomp has been reborn with switchable sound modes and greater versatility for today’s music styles.