Gear http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/6/all en Review: PRS Archon Amplifier Head — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-prs-archon-amplifier-head-video <!--paging_filter--><p>When PRS introduced its first tube amps a few years back, the products earned praise and acceptance from the company’s core customer demographic of classic rock, blues and even country guitarists. </p> <p>However, the numerous hard rock and metal guitarists that PRS attracted in recent years—thanks to endorsers like Frederik Åkesson, Marty Friedman, Clint Lowery, Zach Myers and Mark Tremonti—might have felt a little left out by the company’s initial amp offerings. </p> <p>With the introduction of the PRS Archon Series, PRS has delivered a line of high-gain amps that will satisfy not only its current hordes of metal guitarists but also a new generation of players who may not have considered PRS products in the past.</p> <p><Strong>FEATURES</strong> The Archon Series includes a 25-watt combo, a 50-watt head and combo, and a 100-watt head. We took a look at the 100-watt Archon head, which features two fully independent Clean and Lead channels each with its own volume, treble, middle, bass and master volume controls and bright switch. Both channels share the presence and depth controls. </p> <p>The head can be powered by a quartet of either EL34 or 6L6 tubes—our test example came with 6L6s. The preamp section features six 12AX7 tubes that provide more than ample gain.</p> <p> Like the Archon’s front panel, the rear panel is similarly uncluttered and straightforward yet powerful. An output power switch selects either full 100-watt output or half output. There’s also a mono series effect loop with 1/4-inch send and return jacks, a pair of 1/4-inch speaker outputs and a four-/eight-/16-ohm output selector switch, and a set of bias jack terminals that lets users adjust the amp’s bias without removing the chassis or panels. The amp ships with a two-button footswitch that plugs into the rear footswitch jack and controls channel switching and loop bypass functions. The footswitch also has LEDs that indicate which settings are selected.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE</strong> Like all PRS products, the Archon 100-watt head is visually stunning and classy looking, featuring a Paul Reed Smith signature logo in gold on a black-stained and lacquer-finished slab of flamed curly maple on the front panel. The construction is solid and immaculate, and the amp should withstand years of gigging abuse while looking like new and providing trouble-free performance. The rear chassis panel is held in place by four screws, which allows users to change tubes quickly, and the bias terminals allow quick bias adjustments. </p> <p> The control layout is uncomplicated and logical. The Clean channel offers impressive headroom at high volume levels, but it can also deliver satisfyingly gritty overdrive and punch when the volume control is turned past 12 o’clock. The clean tone is tight and percussive, and the EQ controls provide a wide variety of tones that include crisp, jangly treble and fat, warm midrange. The Lead channel is a monster, providing thick, densely saturated distortion, crisp crunch, and tight low-end thump that maintains well-defined attack and individual note definition. The bass on this channel is huge but not overwhelming, allowing the nuances of the midrange and treble frequencies to come through loud and clear. </p> <p> Although the Archon doesn’t have boost functions or a third channel, those features really are not necessary as the Lead channel is so well defined that solos cut through with just a subtle volume boost from the guitar. I’ve long been a believer that the simplest circuit paths result in the biggest tone, and that’s certainly on display in the Archon, which is designed with tone as its foremost consideration. If you want more colors, the Clean channel is an excellent foundation for a pedal setup, while the Lead channel is absolutely killer on its own and needs no further embellishment.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE</strong> $2,299</p> <p><strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> PRS Guitars, <a href="http://prsguitars.com/">prsguitars.com</a></p> <p>Two fully independent channels with separate volume, EQ and bright controls provide outstanding clean and high-gain/lead tones.</p> <p>Bias terminals on the rear panel make it easy to evaluate and adjust power tube bias without removing the amp from its chassis.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong> Delivering both killer clean and lead tones, the PRS Archon is a versatile amp head that delivers the high-gain textures that metalheads have always wanted from PRS amps.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/n8yKfXN5NYI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-prs-archon-amplifier-head-video#comments February 2015 PRS PRS Guitars Videos Amps News Gear Magazine Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:34:37 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23194 Review: Kramer Guitars Assault Plus and Pacer Vintage — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-kramer-assault-plus-and-pacer-vintage-video <!--paging_filter--><p>In the Eighties glory days of hair metal and glam rock, Kramer was one of the industry’s leading guitar companies. </p> <p>But the company slipped out of the limelight during the early Nineties, at about the same time that musicians started swapping their spandex for flannel. Although Kramer didn’t disappear, the company’s guitars mostly flew under the radar after Gibson acquired the brand in the early Nineties and started selling its models direct via mail order.</p> <p>Lately, however, Kramer guitars have worked their way into public consciousness once again through a growing artist roster and more aggressive distribution through traditional retail channels. </p> <p>These days you’re much more likely to find a new Kramer guitar on display at your local music store than you were a few years ago, and a growing variety of Kramer models is available from online retailers as well. </p> <p>Today, the company’s line consists of 15 different guitar and bass models. We took a look at a model that represents Kramer’s past—the Pacer Vintage—as well as an entirely new model, the Assault Plus, which represents the brand’s present and future.</p> <p> <strong>FEATURES</strong> The main motivation behind guitar design in the Eighties was the “best of both worlds” combination, with “both worlds” being the Les Paul and the Strat. That spirit is alive in both the Pacer Vintage and the Assault Plus, which present different spins on a combination of classic designs, along with “hot-rodded” enhancements.</p> <p> The main distinguishing attribute of the Assault Plus is its familiar-shaped single-cutaway body made of solid mahogany. The glued-in set neck is mahogany as well, but it features a maple fingerboard with no fretboard markers, 24 medium-jumbo frets, a 25 1/2–inch scale, a 12-inch radius and a SlimTaper profile. The bridge is a recessed Nashville-style Tune-o-matic, but the strings are anchored through the body instead of a stop tailpiece. Hardware includes Seymour Duncan Alternative 8 (bridge) and 59 Classic (neck) humbuckers, individual volume controls with push/pull series/parallel switching, a master tone knob and locking tuners.</p> <p> The Pacer Vintage is based on the best-selling flagship Kramer Pacer model of the Eighties, featuring a slimmed-down offset double-cut- away body made of maple. The bolt-on neck is maple as well and includes a maple fingerboard, 22 medium-jumbo frets, a 12-inch radius, a 25 1/2–inch scale and a thin-taper elliptical profile. </p> <p> The Pacer Vintage features a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers as well, with a JB model at the bridge and a JN model at the neck. Controls consist of individual volume knobs for each pickup, with push/pull series/parallel switching and a master tone control. A .002mf capacitor bleed circuit retains treble frequencies as the volume controls are turned down, and a floating genuine Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo completes the shred-approved design.</p> <p> <strong>PERFORMANCE</strong> While the original Kramer guitars were very well made (hence the reason why they attracted an impressive list of endorsers), the current models are better than ever, thanks no doubt to Kramer’s current parent company. </p> <p> The attention to detail in the construction is quite impressive, particularly in the fretwork, which is among the best we’ve seen for guitars in this price range. The finishes are also stunning. Our Pacer Vintage boasted a Pearl White finish on the body and headstock front, while the Assault Plus had a glowing Candy Tangerine finish applied to the entire body as well as the back of the neck.</p> <p> Both guitars deliver the sparkling treble and tight bass that one would expect from a guitar with a 25 1/2–inch scale, but the Assault Plus is slightly darker and warmer sounding thanks to its mahogany body and neck. The Pacer Vintage’s all-maple construction produces the expected brightness, but unlike many maple guitars, its tone is not piercing but well balanced and articulate, with exceptionally fast attack. The Duncan humbuckers chosen for both models complement the body materials very well, providing exceptional clarity across the entire tonal range and smooth, singing midrange. </p> <p> The series settings on both provided single-coil-style sparkle but without noise. My only criticism is the mini pickup-selector toggle on the Pacer, which some players may find a little difficult to manipulate while others will appreciate how it stays out of the way.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICES</strong> Assault Plus, $1,050; Pacer Vintage, $1,267 </p> <p><strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> Kramer Guitars, <A href="http://www.kramerguitars.com/default.aspx?">kramerguitars.com</a></p> <p> Modeled after the best-selling flagship Kramer Pacer model from the Eighties, the Pacer Vintage features dual humbuckers and a Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo. The Assault Plus has a classic single-cutaway body design but features a neck with a maple fretboard, 24 frets and a 25 1/2–inch scale. Both models offer individual volume controls for each pickup, with push/pull switching for selecting parallel or series pickup- wiring configurations. Premium USA Seymour Duncan humbuckers are installed on both models: JB and JN pickups on the Pacer Vintage, and Alternative 8 and 59 Classic on the Assault Plus.</p> <p> <strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong> No mere throwbacks to the Eighties, these new Kramer models are certain to please players who love the shred- worthy vibe of the original Kramer guitars but prefer the playability and tonal versatility of a modern guitar.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4L5wW23r99Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-kramer-assault-plus-and-pacer-vintage-video#comments February 2015 Kramer Kramer Guitars Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:27:32 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23192 Review: Schecter Guitars Jeff Loomis JL-7 — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/review-schecter-guitars-jeff-loomis-jl-7-video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the April 2015 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-april-15-abasi-satriani-govan?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=April2015VideosPage">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</em></p> <p><strong><em>GOLD AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>A true guitarist’s guitarist, Jeff Loomis is no stranger to readers of this magazine for his work as a solo artist and with the bands Nevermore and Arch Enemy. </p> <p>Eight years ago Schecter introduced its first Jeff Loomis signature model, a seven-string guitar based on Schecter’s C-7 Hellraiser but with various modifications requested by Loomis. </p> <p>The Jeff Loomis JL-7 is Schecter’s most recent Jeff Loomis signature model, which features numerous significant refinements that make it one of the most impressive products in Schecter’s current lineup of nearly three-dozen seven-string models.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-april-15-abasi-satriani-govan?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=April2015VideosPage">For the rest of this review, including FEATURES, PERFORMANCE, the BOTTOM LINE and more, check out the April 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience4079860264001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4079860264001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><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="/jeff-loomis">Jeff Loomis</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/review-schecter-guitars-jeff-loomis-jl-7-video#comments April 2015 Gold Award Jeff Loomis Schecter Guitars Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:50:39 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23599 Ibanez JS25ART Guitars Offer a Chance to Own Original Joe Satriani Artwork — and Great Instruments http://www.guitarworld.com/ibanez-js25art-guitars-offer-chance-own-original-piece-joe-satriani-artwork-and-great-instrument <!--paging_filter--><p>For longtime Ibanez fan <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-april-15-abasi-satriani-govan?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SatchArtGuitars">(and current Guitar World cover star)</a> Joe Satriani, sketching and drawing have always been as much of a creative outlet as his game-changing, guitar-driven rock music. </p> <p>These two different hemispheres of his artistry converge beautifully in Ibanez’s new, limited 25th anniversary edition of Joe’s iconic signature JS guitar, the JS25ART. The body of each guitar bears a full color illustration, hand drawn by Satriani himself. </p> <p>Each one is different and there are only 50 of them, 25 of which are slated for sale in the U.S. Offering a unique opportunity to be a guitar collector and art collector all in one, this very special JS edition commemorates the birth of Satriani’s Ibanez signature model 25 years ago. </p> <p>“Ibanez approached me and asked if I’d do something special for the 25th anniversary,” Satriani recalls. </p> <p>“They didn’t know what I was going to do, but I decided to illustrate some guitars myself. The idea took a lot of setup, because I had to figure out, ‘Am I going to paint them or use pens? What would the process be? Could I erase?’ So I wound up using these color pens. I spent about a week down in L.A. late in 2014 doing the illustrations and it was a lot of fun. But it was intense. With the pens, you can’t really put color on color. Nor can you erase. Some of the ones I did are more detailed; others are just line drawings. They’re all signed.” </p> <p>Technically speaking, the JS25ART embodies all the design refinements distilled over Satriani’s quarter century of collaboration with Ibanez. This includes a maple, JS Prestige neck with hand-rolled fret edges, Satriani’s signature DiMarzio pickups (the Satch Track and Mo’ Joe), a hi-pass filter on the volume pot, a coil tap on the tone pot and a low-profile Edge tremolo bridge. </p> <p>Longtime fans of Satriani’s visual art many recognize some of the bizarre faces and characters depicted on some of the guitars. Many of these characters are soon to come to life in an animated sci-series, tentatively titled <em>Crystal Planet,</em> that Satch is working on with fretless guitarist and digital animator Ned Evett.</p> <p><strong><em>Below, be sure to check out our comprehensive photo gallery of all of Ibanez's current signature Satch guitars, including electrics and acoustics!</em></strong></p> <p><strong>For more about Satch's signature Ibanez electric guitars, <a href="http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_eg_sig_series15.php?year=2015&amp;cat_id=1&amp;series_id=27">head here</a>. For more about his acoustic models, <a href="http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_ag_sig_series15.php?year=2015&amp;cat_id=3&amp;series_id=81">head here.</a> For more about Ibanez Guitars, visit <a href="http://www.ibanez.co.jp/usa/index.php">ibanez.co.jp.</a></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-april-15-abasi-satriani-govan?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=SatchArtGuitars">Remember Satch is on the cover of the new April 2015 issue of GW! It's available now!</a></em></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="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/ibanez-js25art-guitars-offer-chance-own-original-piece-joe-satriani-artwork-and-great-instrument#comments April 2015 Ibanez Joe Satriani Acoustic Guitars Videos Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:47:37 +0000 Alan Di Perna http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23606 Tascam Announces Trackpack 2x2 Recording System http://www.guitarworld.com/tascam-announces-trackpack-2x2-recording-system <!--paging_filter--><p>Tascam has announced its new <a href="http://tascam.com/product/trackpack2x2/gw">Trackpack 2x2</a> recording system.</p> <p>The Trackpack 2x2 assembles everything you need to record music on your computer. </p> <p>Included in the complete recording bundle is Tascam’s US-2x2 USB audio interface, TM-80 studio condenser microphone with shockmount and TH-02 headphones, plus Cakewalk SONAR X3 LE and Ableton Live Lite 9 DAW software. </p> <p>The US-2x2 is a 2-in/2-out USB interface, bus powered from your Mac or Windows computer. A pair of Ultra-HDDA mic preamps provide up to 57dB of gain and the best noise and distortion specs in their class. </p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/enter-win-complete-tascam-trackpack-2x2-recording-system">[[ Enter to Win a Complete Tascam Trackpack 2x2 Recording System! ]]</a></strong></p> <p>The audio design features high-performance, musical components like NE5532 op amps for rich sound quality without coloring the source. Class-compliant drivers enable use with tablets like the iPad when using an optional power supply. </p> <p>The US-2x2’s all-aluminum case features a pair of “bio-cell” side panels. In addition to their striking design, the side panels ergonomically angle the interface towards you to make the switches and knobs easier to read on a desktop. The US-2x2 includes MIDI in and out, balanced audio outputs, a headphone amp, and two DAW applications to choose from—both Cakewalk SONAR X3 LE and Abelton Live Lite 9. Included with the software are dozens of plug-in instruments, effects, and loops to get you started.</p> <p>Also included is the TM-80, a condenser microphone ideal for vocals, drums and acoustic instruments. The TM-80 includes a shockmount and desktop stand. The TH-02 closed-back headphones provide isolation while recording and a great reference during mixdown. </p> <p><a href="http://tascam.com/product/trackpack2x2/gw">For a street price under $200, the Tascam Trackpack 2x2 is the perfect way to launch your computer-recording studio.</a></p> <p><strong>US-2x2 features:</strong></p> <p>• Two high-quality Ultra-HDDA mic/line preamps with up to 57dB of gain<br /> • Two-in/two-out USB 2.0 interface with up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution<br /> • XLR/1/4” combination input jacks<br /> • Zero-latency Direct Monitoring<br /> • High-quality audio components like NE5532 op amps for 125dBu EIN and 105dB S/N ratio<br /> • USB Audio Compliant 2.0 drivers for iOS compatibility<br /> • Independent line out and headphone level controls<br /> • MIDI Input and Output<br /> • Aluminum body with angled design for better desktop visibility<br /> • Optional power supply<br /> • Includes SONAR X3 LE and Abelton Live Lite 9</p> <p><strong>Pricing/availability:</strong> $199.99 estimated street price, available now.</p> <p><strong>For more information, check out the video below and visit <a href="http://tascam.com/product/trackpack2x2/gw">tascam.com.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UA7nLgsrx4U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/tascam-announces-trackpack-2x2-recording-system#comments March Madness Tascam Accessories News Gear Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:53:20 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23625 EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine: Ultimate Control Chorus — Demo Video http://www.guitarworld.com/earthquaker-devices-sea-machine-ultimate-control-chorus-demo-video <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://earthquakerdevices.com/shop/Sea%20Machine%20V2/cat/13097">EarthQuaker Devices' Sea Machine</a> is a chorus pedal with ultimate control over parameters rarely seen in a chorus. </p> <p>A hybrid of digital and analog circuitry with a slightly extended delay time allows it to really stand out and shimmer. The heart of the Sea Machine is a short digital delay line, which features controls for Animation, Dimension and Depth. </p> <p>The Animation allows control over the delay time, Dimension adjusts the amount of spatial regeneration and the Depth adjust the mix of the modulated wet signal against the dry analog signal. </p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/enter-win-four-effect-pedals-earthquaker-devices">[[ Enter to Win Four Effect Pedals from EarthQuaker Devices (Including the Sea Machine)! ]]</a></strong> </p> <p>The LFO section of the Sea Machine is comprised of Rate, Intensity and Shape. The Rate adjusts the speed of the oscillator, the Intensity adjusts how much the LFO modulates the delayed signal and the Shape transforms the wave from a soft triangle to a hard square wave. </p> <p>We also included a small LED, which shows the speed and shape of the LFO, even in bypass. With this mix of standard and unique controls, everything from subtle warble, classic Leslie, seasick pitch bends to strangled alien sounds, stunted arpeggiations and many more far out sounds are on tap. </p> <p>The Sea Machine also was designed to work well following fuzz, distortion or overdrive without getting muddy, reducing volume or breaking up. When engaged, the transparent buffer leaves the all-analog dry signal unaltered and crystal clear. The Sea Machine is true bypass and made by human hands with the highest-quality parts in Akron, Ohio.</p> <p><strong>Controls</strong></p> <p>• <strong>Rate:</strong> Sets the speed of the LFO. The miniature LED will show the tempo even in bypass mode.<br /> • <strong>Shape:</strong> From soft triangle through hard square wave.<br /> • <strong>Dimension:</strong> Adds a slight slap-back at low levels, reverb-like ambiance at mid levels and an echo-resonance at max.<br /> • <strong>Intensity:</strong> How much the LFO modulates the delay time.<br /> • <strong>Animate:</strong> How far the pitch shifted signal swings, lower levels equals a tighter and more focused shift à la traditional chorus. As you increase the control a more wild and animated pitch shift begins to emerge.<br /> • <strong>Depth:</strong> How much modulated signal is blended in with the dry signal.</p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href="http://earthquakerdevices.com/">earthquakerdevices.com</a> and follow EarthQuaker Devices on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/EarthQuakerDevices">Facebook.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YqPyuG8v80o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/earthquaker-devices-sea-machine-ultimate-control-chorus-demo-video#comments EarthQuaker Devices March Madness Videos Effects News Gear Sun, 01 Mar 2015 15:07:45 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23621 The DIY Musician: California Drummer Completely Reinvents the Guitar String with the SlapStick http://www.guitarworld.com/diy-musician-california-drummer-completely-reinvents-guitar-string-slapstick <!--paging_filter--><p>While countless other guitar companies introduced their own versions of Strats or dreadnaughts at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show, a California percussionist named Andy Graham had the most adventurous and groundbreaking booth this year with his <a href="http://www.slaperoo.com/">SlapStick instruments.</a></p> <p>The SlapStick is a square-shaped metal tube with a steel band running the length. The steel banding material, similar to shipping bands, acts as a string. Somewhere inside, a handmade pickup is tucked in, transferring the vibrations of the band to an amp. </p> <p>This long, flat metal "string" is tunable via a top knob or hex bolt and is played like a fretless bass. The sound is otherworldly, like a bass or de-tuned guitar run through an envelope filter.</p> <p>Graham has completely reinvented the guitar string.</p> <p>Oh, he won’t admit it. Talk to Graham long enough and he’ll describe his SlapStick as “an electric percussion instrument.” He’s dead wrong. This guy just invented something cataclysmic in the music world. </p> <p>Here, just look and listen:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HWH10hLgF3s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>I can’t stop thinking about the SlapStick, to the point that I’m continually checking my bank account to see if my tax refund has been direct-deposited yet. This is more than a percussion instrument. This is revolutionary! For crying out loud, I was playing "War Pigs" on his demo model at the NAMM Show. As you know from my previous columns, <a href="http://shanespeal.com/">my band</a> performs with the most bizarre and unusual instruments. We need a SlapStick in there. Period.</p> <p>Graham offers several different lengths of SlapSticks, from the guitar scale “N-100 Noodle” (shown in the video above) to the ultra-long “S-100 Pro,” which contains more funk than a ball of teats from outer space.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gsYcufE1anU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>My brain wants to explode with so many questions: </p> <p> • What other possibilities are there for a steel-band instrument?<br /> • Can you play it with a violin bow?<br /> • What about other guitar effects?<br /> • How about using a battery-operated hand-held fan to rake against the banding like a hurdy-gurdy?<br /> • Feedback? Marshall stack?</p> <p>Hell, imagine if <em>avant garde</em> guitarists <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Rowe">Keith Rowe</a> or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott_Sharp">Elliott Sharp</a> got a hold of a Slapstick!</p> <p>Let me point out that in most of this column, I have injected my own opinions of this instrument. To Graham, the SlapStick is a percussion instrument. That’s the way he markets them, and that’s cool by me. It’s his company. Perhaps he’s afraid to call it a guitar/bass type of instrument because of the steel banding’s unpredictability. (To me, that’s one of the features!) What would happen if an iconoclast djent band or freak funk combo ignored the marketing materials and made this their centerpiece?</p> <p>Shane Speal says this is a game-changing instrument.</p> <p><strong>Check out all the SlapSticks and see oodles of videos at <a href="http://www.slaperoo.com/">slaperoo.com.</a></strong></p> <p>So when is my tax refund going to post?</p> <p>P.S.: This week, my band just introduced the <a href="http://shanespeal.com/shop-clothing">greatest shirt…ever.</a> Zep fans with beer bellies will get it.</p> <p><em>Shane Speal is "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at <a href="http://www.shanespeal.com/">ShaneSpeal.com</a>. Speal's latest album, </em><a href="http://shanespeal.com/holler">Holler!</a><em> is on C. B. Gitty Records.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/diy-musician-california-drummer-completely-reinvents-guitar-string-slapstick#comments Shane Speal The DIY Musician Accessories Blogs Gear Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:48:46 +0000 Shane Speal http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23608 Have We Accidentally Spotted a Prototype Orange Amps Effect Pedal? http://www.guitarworld.com/orange-amps-making-effect-pedals <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>NOTE: Updated Thursday, February 26</strong></p> <p>Yesterday, the gang at Orange Amps posted this photo (below) to the company's official <a href="https://www.facebook.com/OrangeAmps/photos/a.402464620245.369672.14717465245/10155218837550246/?type=1">Facebook page.</a></p> <p>The photo was accompanied by the harmless caption, "Orange Ambassadors Monolord took a tour of Orange HQ and met with our Lead Designer and Mad Scientist Adrian Emsley."</p> <p>That's very nice and all, but what's that, um, pedal behind the denim-clad blond-haired guy on our far left?</p> <p>The effect pedal, which is of the large, rectangular variety, is black with orange knobs and clearly sports an Orange Amps logo. If this is what we think it is (an effect pedal made by Orange Amps), it's sort of a big deal, since the U.K.-based amp maker does not currently make effect pedals!</p> <p>We can't make out what the knobs are for, but we can see a word on the chassis; it's something that looks like "RangeeTar," whatever that is. Care to speculate?</p> <p><strong>UPDATE: It seems Orange has mysteriously deleted the photo in question! Stay tuned for updates!</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/secret%20pedal%203.JPG" width="620" height="349" alt="secret pedal 3.JPG" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/orange-amps-making-effect-pedals#comments Orange Orange Amplification Effects News Gear Wed, 25 Feb 2015 21:15:57 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23594 The Beatles' Secret Weapon: George Harrison’s 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12 http://www.guitarworld.com/beatles-secret-weapon-george-harrison-s-1963-rickenbacker-36012 <!--paging_filter--><p>Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a “secret weapon,” that’s exactly what they got when George Harrison received his first Rickenbacker 12-string, in a beautiful Fireglo finish, in February of that year, during the Beatles’ first U.S. tour. </p> <p>The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company, which is now celebrating its 80th anniversary.</p> <p>Hall spoke to Brian Epstein before the Beatles arrived in the U.S. and arranged a meeting with the group. On February 8 at the Savoy Hilton in New York City, he showed the band several different models. Lennon tried out the 360/12 but thought it would be better for Harrison, who was sick in bed at the Plaza Hotel. When Harrison finally got to see it, he loved it immediately. </p> <p>“Straight away I liked that you knew exactly which string was which,” Harrison said, referring to how the guitar’s 12 tuners are grouped in top- and side-mounted pairs on the headstock. “[On some] 12-strings, you spend hours trying to tune it.” </p> <p>Harrison’s first 360/12 was the second Rickenbacker 12-string ever made; its serial number—CM107—dates it to December 1963. The main difference between it and the prototype is how they are strung. The first model had a conventional 12-string setup, in which the octave string is the first to be struck in each string pair. On Harrison’s model and subsequent Rickenbacker 12-strings, the octave strings occur second in the string pairs and the lower-pitched string is struck first.</p> <p>Harrison’s guitar has a trapeze tailpiece, triangle inlays, double white pickguards, black control knobs and mono and stereo (Rick-O-Sound) outputs mounted on a chrome plate on the side of the guitar.</p> <p>The guitar, with its unique, chiming sound, can be heard on "You Can't Do That," the bulk of the <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> album, “I Call Your Name,” “What You’re Doing”—and several other songs, up to and including “Ticket to Ride.” His second 360/12, a 1965 model with rounded cutaways, is heard on “If I Needed Someone.”</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Rickenbacker.JPG" width="620" height="248" alt="Rickenbacker.JPG" /></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/94LH3oYJEFs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo: Nigel Osbourne / Redferns / Getty Images</em></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="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/beatles-secret-weapon-george-harrison-s-1963-rickenbacker-36012#comments 2011 George Harrison GWLinotte Holiday 2011 John Lennon The Beatles Holiday Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:25:42 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/13691 Electro-Harmonix Introduces Good Vibes Vintage-Style Chorus/Vibrato Pedal — Demo Video http://www.guitarworld.com/electro-harmonix-introduces-good-vibes-vintage-style-chorusvibrato-pedal-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Electro-Harmonix has introduced its new Good Vibes Modulator pedal.</p> <p>The pedal, a demo of which you can check out below, is a re-creation of classic “flower power”-era chorus/vibrato pedals.</p> <p>“We designed it to take you on a trip back to the Sixties so it delivers the warm, liquid groove we associate with that time in music," says EHX President and Founder Mike Matthews. "But we also updated it to meet the needs of contemporary players.”</p> <p>Like the original Uni-Vibe, it uses photocells for a sound and response that’s true to the classic design. However, boosted power rails provide 21st-century definition and headroom, while true bypass switching ensures maximum signal path integrity. An expression pedal input was added and puts control of speed and intensity at the player’s feet.</p> <p>The Good Vibes features easy-to-use controls consisting of Volume, Speed and Intensity knobs, plus two switches: a Chorus/Vibrato selector and an EXP Speed/Intensity switch that lets the player choose EXP pedal control of either. The pedal is housed in a rugged, compact die-cast chassis and is powered by a standard center negative 9V power supply, which is included. </p> <p>An always-on speed indicator is also included. The Good Vibes has a U.S. list price of $179.99.</p> <p>For more information, visit <a href="http://www.ehx.com/">ehx.com.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OjH73rPH6sY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/electro-harmonix-introduces-good-vibes-vintage-style-chorusvibrato-pedal-video#comments EHX Electro-Harmonix Videos Effects News Gear Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:57:41 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23590 Seymour Duncan Vise Grip Compressor — Exclusive Demo Video http://www.guitarworld.com/seymour-duncan-vise-grip-compressor-exclusive-demo-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Today we have an exclusive demo video of Seymour Duncan's Vise Grip compressor pedal, which was introduced at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show.</p> <p>The video stars guitarist Steve Booke, who also happens to write the <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/tags/what-world">"What in the World"</a> lessons for GuitarWorld.com.</p> <p>Here's more information about the Vise Grip:</p> <p>The Seymour Duncan Vise Grip Compressor is a studio-grade soft-knee compressor designed for guitarists who want to take control of the dynamics of their sound, from a subtle smoothing-out of peaks and valleys to the most squished and pinched extremes and everywhere in between. </p> <p>The Blend knob lets you add as much or as little of the original signal as you like to the compressed sound, while the Mid/Full/High lets you choose the character of the blended signal by deciding what frequency range of the dry signal is blended in with the wet. </p> <p>The Sustain knob determines how long your notes will ring out and the Attack control regulates how quickly the compressor reacts to your initial pick attack. Higher settings give you a late attack that lets your picking dynamics come through before the compression kicks in. And the Volume control does more than just let you match the output with your bypassed sound: you can also use it as a boost while taking advantage of the Blend and Mid/Full/High controls. </p> <p>The Vise Grip can give you a simple dynamics adjustment—like a subtle or extreme increase in sustain for country "chicken pick'n” or a little extra clarity, body and volume for a clean solo—or you can use it for more intense effects like a classic 'squished funk' rhythm scratch or to introduce a lo-fi, treble-heavy edge which is perfect for a garage-band vibe. </p> <p>Then you can blend in just the right amount of the uncompressed signal and let the Mid/Full/High switch restore sparkle to the high end, fatten up the uncompressed signal for increased harmonic overtones, or simply make sure your effected sound remains consistent with your bypassed guitar tone. It's also useful for keyboard, mandolin or any instrument where excessive dynamic range is an issue. </p> <p>The Vise Grip Compressor is assembled at the Seymour Duncan Factory in Santa Barbara, California, and like all Seymour Duncan Effects Pedals is 100 percent true-bypass.</p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href="http://www.seymourduncan.com/">SeymourDuncan.com.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tqo2x0fzFXs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/seymour-duncan-vise-grip-compressor-exclusive-demo-video#comments Seymour Duncan Steve Booke Videos Effects News Gear Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:18:47 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23587 The DIY Musician: Frankenstein Guitars and the Pizza Dobro http://www.guitarworld.com/diy-musician-frankenstein-guitars-and-pizza-dobro <!--paging_filter--><p>In the past month, Eddie Van Halen donated a replica of his Frankenstein guitar to the Smithsonian—and Les Paul’s Black Beauty sells for $335,500 at auction. </p> <p>Both guitars are iconic and have created legendary music. And both guitars look like they’ve been hacked at with chisels, cut with coping saws and fitted with mismatched parts.</p> <p>They’re sound searchers. For them, a guitar is a tool that sometimes needs to be modified … vintage status be damned. </p> <p>Like Les and Eddie, I’ve modded and destroyed more collectible and vintage guitars than many people have ever owned…and these zombified creations have been used in concert, on albums and provided inspiration for other instruments that I’ve built. </p> <p>My Pizza Dobro is a perfect example.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wdcRksJsNOc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The Pizza Dobro is mashup instrument I built from yard sale parts, thrift store finds and a pizza pan: </p> <p>· The body is from an old Sixties Teisco ET-200 "tulip" guitar. I love the shape!<br /> · The ¾ scale neck was taken from a broken First Act kids guitar.<br /> · The Pizza Dobro gets its name from the shallow pizza pan I embedded in the body, creating a poor man’s version of a Dobro cone. I simply cut a hole through the entire guitar body that was big enough for the pan. A lid from a cigar box provides the backplate. Oh, and there’s no worries on having the body buckle under pressure. These Teisco bodies were made of industrial-grade plywood!<br /> · An old Stella trapeze tailpiece holds the strings, and a bolt I found at a flea market is the perfect bridge.<br /> · Topping it off (pun intended) is a <a href="http://www.cbgitty.com/guitar-electronics/pickups/vintage-style-chrome-lipstick-tube-single-coil-pickup/">C.B. Gitty lipstick tube pickup</a> screwed right into the pizza pan and hard-wired to an upside-down Strat jack. (At less than $18 each, the lipstick pickups are deliciously under-priced. I buy ‘em by the dozen.)</p> <p>I have the Pizza Dobro tuned to a dizzying open D tuning (A, D, A, F#, A, low to high), and the metal pan gives a bit of banjo snap. It’s pretty and delicate sounding and the perfect guitar for some Appalachian blues. </p> <p>For all the online discussions I see about fitting necks perfectly into the pocket and upgrading electronics for perfect tones, I bask in the glory of this guitar’s shittiness. The pickup wire is exposed. The bridge is nothing but a bolt sitting on a piece of wood. Hell, even the string spacing isn’t perfect. Yet this guitar kicks butt! I’m actually proud of the sneers I get from people when they comment on this. Yes, I destroyed a vintage Teisco tulip body. So what? There are thousands more still out there. There’s no other guitar on the market like this, and it only cost me $50 in parts.</p> <p>The Pizza Dobro is definitely a keeper and will probably have my future grandkids scratching their heads when they divvy up my estate after I die. Then again, they might see this guitar-with-personality as more valuable than the store-bought axes in my collection. </p> <p><strong>I WANT TO SEE YOUR FRANKENSTEINS FOR A FUTURE COLUMN! </strong>Send two to three photos and a two-paragraph description of your hacked/chopped/zombified guitar to shane@shanespeal.com. Tell me what you did to it and why you love it so much. Send your submissions before March 1, 2015. My favorite submission will get featured in this column, and I’ll even send the builder a handmade <a href="http://www.shanespeal.com/shop-cigar-box-guitars">Shane Speal cigar box guitar</a> as a thank-you.</p> <p>Oh…one more thing: If you haven’t watched <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/eddie-van-halen-plays-guitar-innovation-smithsonian-video">Eddie Van Halen Plays Guitar (and Discusses Innovation) at the Smithsonian — Video | Guitar World</a>, budget one hour of your time this week and do so. It’s friggin’ awesome.</p> <p><em>Shane Speal is "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at <a href="http://www.shanespeal.com/">ShaneSpeal.com</a>. Speal's latest album, </em><a href="http://shanespeal.com/holler">Holler!</a><em> is on C. B. Gitty Records.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/diy-musician-frankenstein-guitars-and-pizza-dobro#comments Shane Speal The DIY Musician Electric Guitars Blogs Gear Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:49:23 +0000 Shane Speal http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23575 Skate Guitar Project Turns Broken Skateboard Decks Into Eco-Friendly Instruments — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/skate-guitar-project-turns-broken-skateboard-decks-eco-friendly-instruments-video <!--paging_filter--><p>This guitar-centric video comes to us courtesy of the <em><a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-skate-guitar-project-recycles-broken-decks-into-instruments-20150220-premiumvideo.html">Los Angeles Times</a></em>.</p> <p>Find out about the Skate Guitar project, the brainchild of three friends from Argentina who transform beat-up skateboard decks into unique, one-of-a-kind guitars. </p> <p>The project promotes the trio's combined passions of recycling, rock and roll and skateboarding.</p> <p>For more information about (or to support) the Skate Guitar project, follow along on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/sktgtr">Facebook.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZLYP6hh-h2U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/skate-guitar-project-turns-broken-skateboard-decks-eco-friendly-instruments-video#comments Skate Guitar Project Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:35:36 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23570 Gear Review: GMF Ai1 Acoustic Pre-Amp/DI http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-gear-review-gmf-ai1-acoustic-pre-ampdi <!--paging_filter--><p>Sending your dry guitar signal to a sound man is a bit like that team-building exercise where a blindfolded individual is instructed to fall backwards into a group of people who might (or might not) catch him or her. </p> <p>GMF's Ai1 offers guitarists more control over their DI tone, with a preamp and headphone amp to boot. If GMF sounds like a new brand to you, the CEO also happens to be the founder of Ultrasound Amps.</p> <p>Let’s take a look at the controls: Treble, Bass, Level and Gain. Toggle switches include a Ground Lift, Phase In/Out and a Shape On/Off. Shape is a mid-scoop when engaged. The ins and outs are ¼-inch jacks, a balanced XLR out, ⅛-inch headphone jack and a pair of stereo RCA in/out. The Ai1 can be powered by 9-volt battery or a power supply.</p> <p>With the RCA ins and the ⅛-inch headphone jack, I was able to jam along with music on my phone. Measurements are roughly 4-by-4-by-2 inches, which fits comfortably into most gigbag or case pockets. </p> <p><strong>Let's go to the audio clips!</strong></p> <p>For all the clips below, I used a Taylor 314 I borrowed without asking. Thanks, Dad!</p> <p><strong>Clip 1</strong>: Is the Ai1 straight ahead with a little onboard EQ’ing.<br /> <strong>Clip 2</strong>: The same as Clip 2, but with the Shape function on.<br /> <strong>Clip 3</strong>: Some fingerpicking to show off the Ai1’s clarity without harshness.</p> <p><strong>Web:</strong> <a href="http://www.gmfamps.com/">gmfamps.com</a><br /> <strong>MSRP:</strong> $199</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/83355807&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe></p> <p><em>You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at thisguyonbass@gmail.com.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-gear-review-gmf-ai1-acoustic-pre-ampdi#comments Acoustic Nation Billy Voight Billy's Breakdown Accessories Gear Blogs Blogs Gear Sun, 22 Feb 2015 17:50:57 +0000 Billy Voight http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23566 Caparison Guitars Introduces TAT Special7, a Seven-String, 27-Fret Shred Machine http://www.guitarworld.com/caparison-guitars-introduces-tat-special7-seven-string-27-fret-shred-machine <!--paging_filter--><p>Caparison Guitars has almost completely re-modelled its TAT (TAT = Through And Through) Special Custom Line for 2015.</p> <p>The Japanese-made Caparison TAT Special7 is an extended-range guitar that takes every feature that made the original TAT model so special and adds an extra lower string.</p> <p>From the company:</p> <p>Clarity, power and refinement are keys to making the exquisite tone of this guitar match its unsurpassed playability and good looks. It features an elegant curve-top body with a neck- through, slant-heel design. On the reverse, the gloss finish of the body blends almost seamlessly into the oil finish of the neck, making for an incredible playing experience. </p> <p>Custom switching options give you a rich pallet of tones, which makes the TAT Special7 as versatile as it is beautiful.</p> <p>Available in three new Transparent Spectrum “Pearlescent Aura” colors.</p> <p>• Five-Piece Through-Neck Construction (with Slant Heel)<br /> • Custom Switching<br /> • Seven-String<br /> • Caparison Design Pickups<br /> • 27 frets<br /> • Trans-Spectrum "Pearlescent Aura" finishes</p> <p>The Caparison TAT Special7 is available for $3,449 (excluding sales tax). </p> <p>For more about Caparison Guitars, visit <a href="http://www.caparisonguitars.com/en/">caparisonguitars.com.</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-02-20%20at%202.32.31%20PM.png" width="620" height="220" alt="Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 2.32.31 PM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/caparison-guitars-introduces-tat-special7-seven-string-27-fret-shred-machine#comments Caparison Guitars Electric Guitars News Gear Fri, 20 Feb 2015 19:34:57 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23562