lists http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/1020/all en Stevie Ray Vaughan's Top Five Studio Guest Appearances http://www.guitarworld.com/top-five-studio-guest-appearances-stevie-ray-vaughan <!--paging_filter--><p>For someone who spent a mere seven years in the spotlight, Stevie Ray Vaughan left behind an impressive amount of recorded material.</p> <p>He released four studio albums, a double live album and a Vaughan Brothers album (recorded with his big brother, Jimmie Vaughan), not to mention enough leftover live and studio material to fill several posthumous albums and a box set or two. </p> <p>He even found time to perform on albums by several other artists — from Teena Marie to Stevie Wonder to Don Johnson to Lonnie Mack — pretty much always with fiery results. </p> <p>With that in mind, here are Vaughan's top five guest appearances as a guest or session guitarist during his "famous" years, 1983 to 1990. We'll discuss his pre-fame session work in another story (maybe).</p> <p>Just so the Vaughanophiles are clear, this list does not take into account Vaughan's 1983 Canadian TV studio appearance with Albert King — or anything recorded in a TV studio, a radio studio or a studio apartment. </p> <p>It also doesn't include his <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/stevie-ray-vaughan-and-dick-dale-play-pipeline-video-thats-got-it-all">1987 recording of "Pipeline" with Dick Dale</a> because that track is credited to the duo, so neither guitarist is the other's "guest."</p> <p><strong><em>[[ Pick up the new October 2014 issue of Guitar World magazine, which features SRV on the cover and celebrates the 60th anniversary of his birth with a "Top 30 Performances" list, a feature about his Number One Strat, the current SRV Grammy Museum exhibit and more. <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-october-14-stevie-ray-vaughan/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=OctoberVideosPage">The issue is available now. ]]</a></em></strong></p> <p><strong>05. A.C. Reed, "Miami Strut," from <em>I'm In the Wrong Business!</em> (1987)</strong></p> <p>A.C. Reed was a respected Chicago-based sideman who started his lengthy career in the Forties and worked with a host of big names, including Magic Sam, Son Seals, Albert Collins and Buddy Guy.</p> <p>"Miami Strut" is a funky instrumental that features Vaughan playing a Strat through a Leslie cabinet, its revolving speaker providing an exceptionally "wet" sound. Note how he plays around Reed's catchy tenor sax riffs, making his guitar an integral part of the track. Vaughan's guitar solo starts around 1:22.</p> <p>Because the album, which also features Bonnie Raitt, was released in 1987, it represents a lost period in Vaughan's discography, since <em>Soul to Soul</em> came out in 1985 and <em>In Step</em> came out in 1989. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GZq5akABb9A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>WHILE YOU'RE AT IT</strong>: Check out "These Blues Is Killing Me" from the same album. Vaughan's guitar solo starts around 2:06. That's Reed on vocals.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_YTQLQiNXIE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>04. Bennie Wallace, "All Night Dance," from <em>Twilight Time</em> (1985)</strong></p> <p>Here's Vaughan guesting with another sax player — this time Bennie Wallace (with Dr. John) — on another blues-based instrumental, a lengthy shuffle called "All Night Dance" from Wallace's now-out-of-print 1985 <em>Twilight Time</em> album. The song also was featured on the <em>Bull Durham</em> soundtrack album in 1988 — and even that's out of print (Good luck finding it for less than $60 on Amazon Marketplace or eBay!).</p> <p>Stevie's guitar solo starts around 3:24, and he really pours it on, dialing up his <em>Soul to Soul</em> sound and including several signature SRV motifs and bends. </p> <p>Like a great songwriter who sometimes relegates jaw-dropping tunes to the cutting-room floor or non-album B-sides, Vaughan recorded this brilliant guitar solo one random day in his career — and then just moved on to the next gig, never really looking back.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vfyhbaJ7CpU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>03. Johnny Copeland, "Don't Stop by the Creek, Son," from <em>Texas Twister</em> (1984)</strong></p> <p>Texas blues guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland (father of blues singer Shemekia Copeland) invited Vaughan to play on two tracks on his <em>Texas Twister</em> album. On "Don't Stop by the Creek, Son," Copeland, a fine player in his own right, stepped aside to let Vaughan handle all the lead work. </p> <p>Although Vaughan's Strat was mixed a little too low in the original vinyl mix (It had to compete with Copeland's acoustic guitar), "Creek" is a fun, engaging, upbeat track with a catchy melody and some nifty guitar work from start to finish.</p> <p>It's worth noting that the original 1984 Black and Blues version of <em>Texas Twister</em> featured two tracks with Vaughan on guitar — "Don't Stop by the Creek, Son" and "When the Rain Stops Fallin'." However, when the album was reissued by Rounder Records in 1986, "When the Rain Stops Fallin'" was gone — and it's still gone. iTunes sells only the <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/texas-twister/id446039365">1986 version of the album</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nM9-QRPGc_U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>02. Lonnie Mack, "If You Have to Know," from <em>Strike Like Lightning</em> (1985)</strong></p> <p>Serious Vaughan fans got a nice bonus in 1985: Alligator Records released Lonnie Mack's masterful <em>Strike Like Lightning</em> album, which was co-produced by Vaughan and Mack, one of SRV's many guitar idols (Check out Mack's classic 1964 album, <em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-wham-of-that-memphis-man!/id285852886">The Wham of That Memphis Man!</a></em>).</p> <p>Vaughan plays on several songs on the album, but he actually plays and sings on "If You Have to Know," making it the closest thing to a straight-ahead bonus SRV track. Check it out below.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/jMj-q5A7MfM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>WHILE YOU'RE AT IT</strong>: From the same album, be sure to get a taste of "Oreo Cookie Blues," which features Vaughan on acoustic guitar, predating "Life By the Drop" and his <em>Unplugged</em> appearance by five years ...</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZsDcBg4X7fQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>... and don't forget "Double Whammy" (a new recording of Mack's early Sixties instrumental hit "Wham!" featuring Vaughan and Mack duking it out in E), "Hound Dog Man" and "Satisfy Suzie," which you can hear below. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Snxi6CW42fE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>01. David Bowie, "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)," from <em>Let's Dance</em> (1983)</strong></p> <p>Come on, you knew something from David Bowie's <em>Let's Dance</em> album had to be No. 1 on this list. </p> <p><em>Let's Dance</em> served as the world's introduction to Vaughan, who, with Bowie, invented something new by adding Texas-style blues guitar to contemporary, dance-based pop music — raising eyebrows, expectations and bank accounts for all involved.</p> <p>Vaughan plays lead guitar on several tracks, including two of the album's many mega-hits ("Let's Dance" and "China Girl"), but guitar-wise, the song that truly kicks collective ass is the less-famous "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)." It's also got the album's healthiest serving of SRV; he solos in the middle, adds Albert King-style bends throughout and then solos near the end of the song.</p> <p>Note that Bowie recorded two studio versions of this song in the early Eighties; be sure to seek out the <em>Let's Dance</em> version (not that there's anything wrong with the other one).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/n4xpdaIZyzs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>WHILE YOU'RE AT IT</strong>: It just feels wrong to leave out the album's title track — which millions of people can credit as the first time they heard Stevie Ray Vaughan.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/N4d7Wp9kKjA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/top-five-studio-guest-appearances-stevie-ray-vaughan?page=0,5">Click here to read about THREE MORE SONGS featuring SRV!</a></strong></p> <hr /> <p>Welcome to the bonus page! I don't think too many people get this far. Poor them ...</p> <p>Here are three extra tunes that feature Vaughan as the guest guitarist, each interesting in its own way. </p> <p>Please note that we seriously wanted to include "Bumble Bee Blues" from Brian Slawson's 1988 album, <em>Distant Drums</em>, but it's not available on YouTube. You can always track down the CD on eBay for about $5.</p> <p>Anyway, here we go:</p> <p><strong>Stevie Wonder, "Come Let Me Make Your Love Come Down," from <em>Characters</em> (1987)</strong></p> <p>While the Vaughan-heavy video below is promising, it's also misleading. </p> <p>Sadly, the finished studio recording of this 1987 Stevie Wonder track features much less of Vaughan's playing, although he can be heard closer to the end of the song, going head to head with B.B. King. So make the most of this video! </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6loFxCKwQjE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Don Johnson, "Love Roulette," from <em>Heartbeat</em> (1986)</strong></p> <p>What's interesting about this one? First of all, <em>Miami Vice</em> star Don Johnson released an album in 1986. Second of all, he got Vaughan to play on it. Third of all, the album reached No. 17 on <em>Billboard's</em> Hot 100. </p> <p>The album, <em>Heartbeat</em>, was a star-studded affair that also featured Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Dweezil Zappa and Willie Nelson. Johnson eventually recorded one more album, 1989's <em>Let It Roll</em>.</p> <p>Vaughan's solo on "Love Roulette," which you can check out below, starts around 2:51.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4bFxjRdzWO4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>And then there's this thing, which is from a weird late-Eighties commercial filmed in New Zealand. We don't know what to make of it (and we don't really like it), but we figured we'd share:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/R8S7yIZFa78" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo from </em>Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: Stevie Ray Vaughan<em> album cover</em></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>. Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/DamianFanelli">Twitter</a>. Or not. Whatever.</em></p> <p><strong>Be sure to pick up the October 2014 issue of Guitar World magazine, which features SRV on the cover and celebrates the 60th anniversary of his birth with a "Top 30 Performances" list, a feature about his Number One Strat, the current SRV Grammy Museum exhibit and more. <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-october-14-stevie-ray-vaughan/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=OctoberVideosPage">The new issue is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></strong></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="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/top-five-studio-guest-appearances-stevie-ray-vaughan#comments Damian Fanelli David Bowie Johnny Copeland list lists Lonnie Mack Stevie Ray Vaughan Stevie Wonder Teena Marie Guitar World Lists Blogs News Features Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:46:25 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/16097 The Top 10 Concept Albums of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-concept-albums-all-time <!--paging_filter--><p>Rock music went to college in the Sixties. First it started pilfering from classical music and theater. Then someone had the psychedelic-induced idea to carry a single story over an entire album, just like in opera. </p> <p>And thus the genie was unleashed: the concept record, simultaneously emblematic of rock at its most ambitious and its most pompous. </p> <p>Some damn musicologist determined these to be the best examples of this form.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-concept-albums-all-time#comments list lists Top 10 Guitar World Lists News Features Fri, 22 Feb 2013 12:03:03 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/1995 Tones of the Beast: Five Essential Heavy Metal Amps, Part 2 http://www.guitarworld.com/tones-beast-five-essential-heavy-metal-amps-part-2 <!--paging_filter--><p>Last week, we posted our <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/tones-beast-five-essential-metal-amps-part-1">picks for five essential heavy metal guitar amps</a>. It featured a quintet of out-of-the-box, ready-for-business bruisers built for purveyors of the heaviest of rock.</p> <p>The story was so popular -- and there were so many other fine amp choices available -- that we found ourselves asking each other, "Why limit it to five?"</p> <p>Here, therefore, is an additional serving of five essential metal amps, presented in no particular order. Like last time, this list was compiled by a group of <em>Guitar World</em> staffers, including Technical Editor Paul Riario. </p> <p>We considered power, versatility and stage-worthiness, narrowing our picks to five amps that will have you ready to seek and destroy right out of the box, no pedals required. </p> <p><strong>Peavey 6505+</strong></p> <p>Most high-gain fiends know that Peavey’s 6505 Series amps are evolutionary creations that began with the Peavey/Van Halen–designed 5150 heads. When Peavey’s association with Van Halen ended in 2004, the company continued to build the same insanely high-gain amp under the new 6505 name and went about updating some of the amp’s ancillary features. </p> <p>However, they didn’t change the amps’ extreme-gain circuits, die-hard construction and affordability. </p> <p>The amp (<a href="http://www.peavey.com/6505/">which comes in a ton of variations</a>) is primed by up to six 12AX7 preamp tubes and driven by four 6L6GC power tubes, delivering brutal high-gain power. </p> <p>Try plugging into the high-gain input to double the input gain for crushing overdriven tones. You also can create a second "lead" tone by engaging the Crunch option on the rhythm channel. In the master section, you'll find the Resonance and Presence controls. Resonance acts as a low-frequency boost, while Presence acts as a high-frequency boost, both allowing you to sculpt your tone. All of this tonal power is housed in an exterior that is built for the rigors of the road.</p> <p><em>MSRP: $1,349.99 | <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XHB4UI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002XHB4UI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=guitworl06-20">Buy at Amazon</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=guitworl06-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B002XHB4UI" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /></em></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/peavey_1.jpg" width="620" height="238" alt="peavey_1.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Marshall JVM410H</strong></p> <p>If you're into built-in gain, you'll dig Marshall's all-tube, four-channel JVM410H 100-watt head. It actually sports more gain than any other Marshall model ever made, which is kinda saying something.</p> <p>One thing's for sure: This is a feature-packed machine. There are four channels, each with an independent EQ. Volume and Gain controls run through separate, footswitchable master volumes driven by four ECC83 tubes (or "valves" in the UK, where this amp is made) in the preamp, one ECC83 and four EL34 power amp tubes. Each channel comes with three separate gain modes -- green, orange and red. Each one reconfigures the gain structure of the channel to offer gradually increasing levels of gain. You could say (as Marshall does) that this amp is 12 Marshalls in one.</p> <p>The JVM410H also offers digital reverb with a level control for each channel. This also is footswitchable, as are the amp's two Master Volume controls and the Series/Parallel effects loop. Resonance and Presence are equipped with master controls.</p> <p>If you're shooting for a classic name with an updated, brutal sound, this is the Marshall for you. (But remember, this thing will provide some super-clean tones as well.)</p> <p><em>MSRP: $2,999.99 to $3,400 | <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MC0VBU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004MC0VBU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=guitworl06-20">Buy at Amazon</a></em></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/marshall.jpg" width="620" height="265" alt="marshall.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Orange Amps Dark Terror</strong></p> <p>Based on the size of this amp, it could've been called the Tiny Terror, but that name is already taken, of course. </p> <p>Simply put, the Dark Terror is a lot like Napoleon Bonaparte -- small but very aggressive. This distinctive-looking head produces a mind-blowing sound that combines the Shape control of Orange's Thunder series with the weight and size of its Terror family. The result is plenty of lovely gain and responsiveness. </p> <p>And speaking of gain, due to its high-gain preamp, the Dark Terror is the highest-gain amp in the history of Orange's Terror series. It also comes with a handy, tube-driven FX loop. So we agree with Orange when they say, "It is uncompromisingly brutal, doubtless unhinged, even ferocious. The Dark Terror rises from the ethereal depths to fulfill the every desire of the heavy metal and rock guitar players. With its characteristic fearless Orange Amp looks, heavy duty construction and portability, guitar players everywhere will quickly become attuned to this scary dark force of nature."</p> <p>For more about this amp, <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/review-orange-dark-terror-amplifier">check out Paul Riario's video review.</a></p> <p><em>MSRP: $829 | <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005EQHURG/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B005EQHURG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=guitworl06-20">Buy at Amazon</a></em></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/orange_0.jpg" width="620" height="381" alt="orange_0.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Hughes &amp; Kettner Coreblade</strong></p> <p>Germany's Hughes &amp; Kettner offers a huge range of gear for players in search of an assortment of tones. It dabbles in "the vintage thing" with its Puretone amps and produces several cost-effective solid-states, including the Attax. The Coreblade, however, is a bit different. </p> <p>For starters, compared to some others, this is a very big head -- but the sound it produces is also big, if not huge. The amp, the flagship head in the brand's Pro Class, delivers seriously tough tone, dynamic response and an explosive punch. Two of the four channels are voiced to offer completely different high-gain alternatives. The amp's Drive channel supplies the classic sounds of the early metal era. The Clean channel offers tons of headroom, rendering even the most aggressive attack with sparkle and chime. </p> <p>Boost is separately switchable and three effect modules may be used simultaneously for each per channel. The ultra-precise, remarkably musical IDB noise gate is available for all channels. Programmable potentiometers enable settings to be stored in 128 memory slots, and the included MIDI board affords easy access to these presets. </p> <p>The Coreblade is the first tube amp that downloads presets directly to USB sticks and uploads new presets at the touch of a button. Best of all, every sound is all tube with no modeling.</p> <p>For more about this amp, <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/review-hughes-kettner-coreblade-amp">check out these two review videos featuring GW's Paul Riario.</a> The top video checks out the amp's sounds; the bottom video focuses on its features.</p> <p><em>MSRP: $2,649 | <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003HZNQQ0/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003HZNQQ0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=guitworl06-20">Buy at Amazon</a></em></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/coreblade.jpg" width="620" height="240" alt="coreblade.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <p><strong>EVH 5150 III</strong></p> <p>The EVH 5150 III all-tube amp head was developed to meet the specs of one Edward Van Halen. The cool thing, however, is that, while you certainly get his patented "brown sound" out of this attractive amp, you also can dial in a much more metal-friendly, high-gain, saturated tone with tons of harmonics and sustain.</p> <p>The 5150 III is a three-channel amp that sets players off in three different directions -- high-def cleans, the brownest of brown sounds with punch and definition, and maniacal high gains. We're talking an attractive range of crunch to all-out mayhem. To be honest, the 5150 III sounds like no other amp and should be applauded for its versatility alone.</p> <p>And let's not forget the EVH 5150 III 50-watt head, which is a smaller-sized version of the 5150 III. Its size and portability make it perfect amp for players who want arena volume, tone and performance from something that will fit in your bedroom.</p> <p><em>MSRP: $2,399.99 | <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001R2NRY6/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001R2NRY6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=guitworl06-20">Buy at Amazon</a></em></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/EVH.jpg" width="620" height="258" alt="EVH.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Can't get enough gear? Check out the 2013 Guitar World Buyer's Guide. <a href="http://store.guitarworld.com/collections/buyers-guide/products/buyers-guide-2013/?&amp;utm_source=guitarworld.com&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=MetalAmps">It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/tones-beast-five-essential-heavy-metal-amps-part-2#comments Damian Fanelli EVH Hughes & Kettner list lists Marshall Orange Amps Peavey Amps News Features Gear Thu, 23 Aug 2012 14:58:12 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/16585 The Five Best Distortion Pedals for Under $50 http://www.guitarworld.com/five-best-distortion-pedals-under-50 <!--paging_filter--><p>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. </p> <p>Keep in mind that distortion pedals can range anywhere from fuzzy to clipped, articulate to unrefined, muscular to flabby and occasionally overdriven to gobs of gain, so it’ll take a bit of research and some discerning ears on your part to find the one that suits your playing style.</p> <p>I know guitarists often scrape by when it comes to gear, so while I believe you no longer have to spend a lot of dough to get inspiring tone, I must admit you should stretch your dollar further because some of the better stuff can be had for around a C-note. </p> <p>But for those of us who have to tighten our budget belts, I’m presenting you the five best distortions for under $50. Be sure to check out the photos in the photo gallery below.</p> <p><strong>1. Jet City Amplification Shockwave Distortion, $49.99</strong></p> <p>I’m a big fan of Jet City Amps because their amps are designed by amp guru Mike Soldano, who is regarded as one of the pioneers of high-gain amplification; so naturally, this pedal captures that Soldano-in-a-box tone. The Shockwave has plenty of gain and its distortion is smooth and full of character, making this pedal a true tone champion. </p> <p><strong>2. Visual Sound GarageTone Series Chainsaw Distortion, $49.95</strong></p> <p>The Chainsaw is a full-sounding gain pedal that’s more on the ruder side of distortion. Many guys will dig this distortion because of its firm and unforgiving character that doesn’t wish to be tamed. It’s a little flabby on the low end, but nobody ever faulted Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top for that sound.</p> <p><strong>3. Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal, $39.99</strong></p> <p>I started with this pedal and it’s a favorite of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and if you need any further persuasion, Satriani based his signature VOX Satchurator pedal on a DS-1. This pedal is rugged, takes abuse willingly, and the one I've owned since the eighties is still going strong. A solid distortion that works well for soloing, the DS-1 is not without some issues; it is fizzy-sounding and a bit granular on its own but paired with a great overdrive pedal like the BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive ($59.99), the combination achieves the most musical and natural-sounding distortion. </p> <p><strong>4. DigiTech Hot Head Distortion, $49.95</strong></p> <p>One look at the orange-colored Hot Head and you’ll think you’re seeing double next to the BOSS DS-1, but that’s where the similarities end. The Hot Head has more gain and level output, more aggressive mid-range and somewhat of a rounder, fuller tone. I find the Hot Head takes a little more tweaking because of its low and high tone controls, but once you find its sweet spot, it’s a grungy and thick distortion.</p> <p><strong>5. Modtone MT-DS Speedbox Distortion, $49.95</strong></p> <p>The Speedbox is an old-school-sounding distortion, so I’ve included it as a tip of the hat to classic rock and metal players. It has that Randy Rhoads <em>Blizzard Of Oz</em> tone, and it nails that eighties modded-Marshall amp tone, too. The Speedbox is edgy and has tons of gain, so it will take a strong picking hand and proper muting on your part to control its chaos but you’ll find the tone rewarding.</p> <p><strong>Honorable Mention: DeltaLab RD1 Rock Distortion, $49.99</strong></p> <p>The RD1 is somewhat of a newcomer, and although I have yet to try one, I’ve been hearing some great sound clips from this pedal. DeltaLab seems to have made an articulate distortion that seems to do one job and does it well. Stay tuned; I’m sure I’ll be reviewing it soon.</p> <p>Another thing to consider is that you can find great deals online for distortion pedals, and you can pretty much have your pick of tried-and-true ones like the original Pro Co Rat or Marshall Shredmaster and everything in between.</p> <p>I’ve even seen great boutique distortion stompboxes starting at just $10! The trick is to be patient and know what you’re looking for because I can guarantee you someone is willing to let that pedal go for a song.</p> <p><strong>Paul Riario on Paul Riario:</strong> <em>I try very hard to remain under the radar, despite being on camera as gear editor at Guitar World, but in this age of social media, it was only a matter of time before it had to come to this. So with that, I will make my blog painless and a quick and easy read so you can get on to more important things like practicing guitar and sweep picking, or if you’re like me, getting tiger blood transfusions and figuring out how to be Olivia Wilde’s boy toy. I will use this blog to inform you of things I find cool; like new gear I’m playing through and what I’m watching, reading or listening to at any given moment. So feel free to ask me anything that’s gear related — or if you have a problem with your girlfriend, ya know, life lesson stuff, I’m pretty good at that too — and I’ll do my best to answer or address it here.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/five-best-distortion-pedals-under-50#comments list lists Paul Riario Effects Blogs News Features Gear Mon, 13 Aug 2012 15:05:25 +0000 Paul Riario http://www.guitarworld.com/article/11778