Gear en Guitar World Staff Picks: Paul Riario's 2014 Holiday Gear Wish List <!--paging_filter--><p>As Christmas and the holidays swiftly approach, I’m looking forward to taking some much-needed time off, and with that, I present to you my holiday gear wish list. </p> <p>There were so many great pieces of gear to choose from that I wish I could list them all, but I’ve picked the ones that stood out for me. </p> <p>So, without further ado, let’s chug some eggnog and check out the gear that puts a smile on my face (and hopefully, some of it will make it under my Christmas tree!).</p> <p><strong>12. Strymon Big Sky Reverb, <a href="">,</a> $479</strong></p> <p>Reverb is one of those effects that is often taken for granted. </p> <p>On one hand, most amps have it and you kind of set and forget it; while on the other, it’s easily dismissed as a surf or rockabilly effect. The Strymon Big Sky sets out to destroy such assumptions. Strymon has already made a name with a bunch of their award winning pedals and the Big Sky is another one to add to that list. </p> <p>Spend some time with the Big Sky’s twelve studio quality reverb machines and 300 presets and you’ll be able to hear the countless ways reverb can be utilized creatively. I’ve only scratched the surface of the processing power and stellar sounds this stompbox adds to my rig. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/strbgsky-xl-01.jpg" width="620" height="457" alt="strbgsky-xl-01.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>11. <em>Brian May’s Red Special</em> book, Hal Leonard, <a href="">,</a> $30</strong> <p>Brian May from Queen has always been my one of my absolute influential guitar heroes, so I’ve always known about his beloved homemade “Red Special” guitar that he’s used on every one of Queen’s records and songs. </p> <p>This book is probably one of the most detailed tributes to any single piece of gear I’ve ever come across, and it’s made even more personal over the fact May built it together with his father from a fireplace mantel. Queen’s fame offered May the opportunity to play any number of desirable guitars yet the one he never stopped using was this one. A stunning and fascinating read for guitar lovers. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/RedSpecial_Book_small_zps6ea16d6f.jpg" width="620" height="790" alt="RedSpecial_Book_small_zps6ea16d6f.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>10. Supro Amps, <a href=""></a>, Dual Tone and Thunderbolt, $1,459; Coronado, $1659</strong> <p>Supro amplifiers have achieved mythic status amongst guitarists from artists like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, who used these legendary amps for their inspiring tones. </p> <p>It’s absolutely refreshing to see these unbelievably cool retro amps, which have been re-engineered by Bruce Zinky and Dave Koltai, are now available in three different models that will appeal to any number of axe slingers. </p> <p>The Dual Tone is a 1x12 24-watt combo with tube-driven tremolo that serves up creamy overdrive when cranked and is perfect for small club gigs and recording. The Thunderbolt is 1x15 35-watt combo that’s pedal friendly and sounds huge. My favorite of the three is the Coronado, which is also 35 watts but with two 10-inch custom Supro speakers and a tube-driven tremolo. </p> <p>The Coronado sounds focused and dynamic, with warm compression when the volume is pushed. Pick one of these up at the prices they’re offering currently because they’ll no doubt go up soon. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/supro-amplifier-range-front-978x500.jpg" width="620" height="317" alt="supro-amplifier-range-front-978x500.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>09. IK Multimedia iLoud, <a href=""></a>, $299.99</strong> <p>IK Multimedia makes some of my favorite music apps and hardware products for on-the-go guitar playing and recording. </p> <p>The iLoud is a portable Bluetooth-enabled speaker with a built-in iRig circuit that allows you to connect your guitar or a microphone to start playing immediately. </p> <p>The iLoud pushes 40 watts of power through its custom neodymium speakers and is LOUD. It wirelessly connects via Bluetooth your iOS device to your music library and the stereo sound and bass response is nothing short of amazing. The battery can last up to 10 hours under normal use. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/iLoud%20front%20dx.jpg" width="620" height="369" alt="iLoud front dx.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>08. D’Addario NYXL strings, <a href=""></a>, $19.95</strong> <p>Not too long ago, we had shot video about these strings, <a href="">which you can check out right here.</a> </p> <p>The idea was to prove that these strings allow you to bend farther, prevent breakage, stay in tune better and sound louder than any other string available. I can’t say whether they’re louder, but I can certainly say these strings last. </p> <p>I originally put them on my favorite guitar back in July and since then, I’ve barely had to tune them and haven’t broken a string regardless that I’ve bended them to its limit. Remarkable. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/da_prod_nyxl1052_main_1.jpg" width="620" height="620" alt="da_prod_nyxl1052_main_1.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>07. Graphtech Ratio Tuned Machine Heads, <a href=""></a>, $99.99-$109.99</strong> <p>I know talking about tuning machines is about as exciting as your grandmother explaining the fine art of crocheting. </p> <p>But if you’re in the process of building a guitar (like I am) or your current tuners seem to be throwing your guitar out of tune, then there is nothing better than Graphtech Ratio Tuned Machine Heads. </p> <p>The Ratio tuners are optimized for each string’s core and tension making tuning a smoother and more precise endeavor. Depending upon how thick or thin the core of the strings, one turn equals one whole tone allowing for consistency without slippage in order to fine-tune your guitar. Ratio is available for both acoustic and electric guitars with plenty of styles and options.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-07-23%20at%201.13.44%20PM.png" width="620" height="392" alt="Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 1.13.44 PM.png" /></p> <hr /> <strong>06. TC Electronic Flashback Triple Delay, <a href=""></a>, $449.99</strong> <p>I’ve been a big fan of TC Electronic’s Flashback X4 Delay pedal for its authentic-sounding delays and being able to store multiple presets, in fact, I use one in my pedalboard. </p> <p>So when TC Electronic released the Triple Delay, it was exactly the kind of delay pedal I was looking for. The Triple Delay not only lets you store presets but also allows you to run up to three delays at the same time! </p> <p>It has all the desired features of the Flashback X4 like TonePrint-Enabled technology, true bypass and tap tempo, but an added option of subdivision control for the delays. The Triple Delay is an imaginative pedal that allows endless avenues of creativity in delay.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/flashback-triple-delay-front.png" width="620" height="391" alt="flashback-triple-delay-front.png" /></p> <hr /> <strong>05. Charvel Jake E. Lee Signature Model, <a href=""></a>, $2,831.35</strong> <p>One of my favorite guitars I’ve reviewed all year. This guitar had it all: tone, low action on a fast neck, simplicity and looks. If you haven’t tried any of Charvel’s super-strats, you can start by picking this one up to get an idea of what a professional guitar feels and sounds like. </p> <p>It’s the kind of instrument that can rock a wedding gig or a death metal show without raising any eyebrows.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Charvel%20Jake%20E%20Lee%20Signature%20Model.jpg" width="620" height="197" alt="Charvel Jake E Lee Signature Model.jpg" /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Taylor Guitars 614ce-FE, <a href=""></a>, $3,998</strong></p> <p>Maple is going to be the tone wood you’re going to be hearing about a lot next year from Taylor Guitars. Master luthier Andy Powers re-voiced Taylor’s 600 series using incredibly innovative methods to make maple sound unlike anything else you’ve ever heard. </p> <p>The result is an acoustic with more volume, complexity and warmth than other acoustics with tried and true combinations of more popular tone woods. Prepared to be blown away.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/614ce-FE-brn-front-taylor-guitars-2015-full.jpg" width="620" height="307" alt="614ce-FE-brn-front-taylor-guitars-2015-full.jpg" /></p> <hr /> <strong>03. Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze Acoustic guitar strings, <a href=""></a>, $13.50</strong> <p>Normally, I’m a big fan of coated acoustic guitar strings, but I decided to give these a whirl because it had been a while since I’ve actually used non-coated strings for acoustic. What a difference. </p> <p>I forgot the purity in tone a non-coated string offers at the sacrifice of string life. The Aluminum Bronze strings are corrosion resistant and provide a perfect balance of warmth and crispness to your acoustic. Where a coated string sometimes feels tacky, these feel smooth and are a joy to play.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/AluminumBronzePackage.png" width="620" height="616" alt="AluminumBronzePackage.png" /></p> <hr /> <strong>02. Way Huge Saucy Box Overdrive, <a href=""></a>, coming soon</strong> <p>There are so many overdrives that mimic the revered tube screamer, so I’m always looking for one that sets itself dynamically apart from the rest. </p> <p>The Saucy Box is not the first overdrive pedal to mix clean and overdriven sounds together but does so with a balanced signal path that makes it sound organic. Depending where you set the level knob, you can decide how much of the clean signal to blend in or throttle it for more gain and boost. </p> <p>The overdrive is fat and smooth; with harmonics that jump out in the same way you’d crank a low wattage amp to achieve distortion. It’s a cool pedal despite having graphics that give new meaning to the term, “dick in a box.”</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-12-23%20at%2011.28.47%20AM.png" width="620" height="503" alt="Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.47 AM.png" /></p> <hr /> <strong>01. Cruz Tools GrooveTech Truss Rod Drivers, <a href="">,</a> $14.95</strong> <p>I’m always tinkering with my guitars, and the one thing I can tell you that happens often is the truss rod needing adjustment because of the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing lately. </p> <p>Cruz Tools makes two screwdrivers: the Standard Driver, which offers precise contact for flathead-style truss rods; and the Cheater Driver, which is ideal for adjusting Fender cross-screw vintage-style truss rods.</p> <p>The Cheater allows you to poke through and tweak the truss rod without removal of the neck or pickguard on most Fender guitars. I can’t tell you how important these two Drivers are in keeping my guitars performing in tip-top shape.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/CRUZ%20TOOLS%20DRIVERS.JPG" width="620" height="217" alt="CRUZ TOOLS DRIVERS.JPG" /></p> <p><em>I try very hard to remain under the radar despite being on camera as gear editor at </em>Guitar World<em>, 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 sweep picking, or if you’re like me, obsessing how to race the Tour De France and trying to be Taylor Swift’s next paramour she’ll write a song about. 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, you 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> Year End 2014 Accessories Blogs News Gear Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:41:06 +0000 Paul Riario Seymour Duncan Introduces Lemmy Custom Shop Signature Pickup Set <!--paging_filter--><p>The sound of Motörhead is defined by the high-output fat tone and midrange grind Lemmy Kilmister has delivered for decades with songs like "Ace of Spades” and "Iron Fist,” combined with a fast pick attack on his Rickenbacker bass. </p> <p>Seymour Duncan started with carefully analyzing the pickups in his bass and then made them even ruder—that's right, even more attack and punch—while also making sure they had plenty of clarity under heavy distortion. </p> <p>The results are three unique pickups, each hand-built in the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop and available in individual neck, middle or bridge models, or as a complete set. The pickups are available in either a direct mount for Lemmy Signature Basses or pickguard mount for traditional Rickenbacker basses. </p> <p>You can also get your choice of nickel or gold. (Jack Daniels sold separately.)</p> <p>The pickups are available directly from the <a href="">Seymour Duncan Custom Shop.</a></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="/motorhead">Motorhead</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Lemmy Kilmister Motorhead Seymour Duncan Bass Guitars News Gear Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:48:56 +0000 Guitar World Staff Practice Made Perfect: Guitar World Rounds Up 17 Amazing Practice Amps <!--paging_filter--><p>Playing live might be the best way to hone your performance skills, but when it comes to technique, you need practice, practice, practice. </p> <p>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. </p> <p>Of course, it’s even better if it has built-in effects, a tuner, a metronome, and connectivity to the world of digital apps, downloads and MP3 players. </p> <p>With that in mind, we set out to find the best-sounding and best-outfitted practice amps currently on the market. Over the next pages, you’ll find practice combos and heads that pull double-duty as studio and rehearsal powerhouses and others that offer computer, USB, Bluetooth, iOS and Android connectivity. </p> <p>Whether you love an all-tube rig, solid-state power, or feature-laden digital/modeling amps, you’re sure to find that one of these tone machines makes practice perfect.</p> Carr Amplifiers Epiphone Fender Ibanez Peavey Roland September 2014 Amps News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:40:41 +0000 Paul Riario Whitesnake Guitarist Joel Hoekstra Demos EVH Striped Series Guitar — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Here's a brief demo video that was created and posted earlier this year by guitarist Joel Hoekstra.</p> <p>In the humorous clip, which you can watch below, Hoekstra demos EVH Gear's Striped Series Guitar, which also was reviewed in 2014 by <em>Guitar World</em>'s Paul Riario and Chris Gill. <a href="">You can watch Riario's video and read Gill's review right here.</a></p> <p>Hoekstra is known for his work with Whitesnake (where he recently replaced Doug Aldrich), Night Ranger (as mentioned in the video, which was shot before he joined Whitesnake), Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the Broadway musical <em>Rock of Ages.</em> </p> <p>Check out our full <a href="">2014 interview with Hoekstra right here.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> EVH EVH Gear FMIC Specialty Brands Joel Hoekstra Whitesnake Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:59:31 +0000 Damian Fanelli Sterling by Music Man Previews New JP60-MGR John Petrucci Guitar <!--paging_filter--><p>If you read the <a href="">Ernie Ball forum</a>, you'll already have noticed the company has sort of announced the new Sterling by Music Man JP60-MGR guitar.</p> <p>If not, check out the recent post about the new John Petrucci model right here:</p> <p>"Here's a quick preview of the new-for-2015 JP60-MGR: Mystic Green finish!</p> <p>"It's our first SBMM 'Chameleon' finish, and was selected by JP himself earlier this year between DT tours. Needless to say, it's probably our most requested finish since day one, and we searched high and low for something that could be our counterpart to EBMM's Mystic Dream finish. John personally selected this out of several samples we sent him.</p> <p>"This finish will only be available on JP60, and will be hitting stores in late January. $619 USA Street Price!</p> <p>"I'll be unveiling the entire New for 2015 SBMM lineup right here on the forum from now through New Year's."</p> <p>Stay tuned for more. Again, remember the Winter NAMM Show is coming up!</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/620%20version.jpg" width="620" height="432" alt="620 version.jpg" /></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="/john-petrucci">John Petrucci</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/dream-theater">Dream Theater</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Dream Theater John Petrucci Sterling by Music Man Electric Guitars News Gear Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:53:06 +0000 Damian Fanelli MOD Kits DIY Introduces The Wave Analog, Tube-Driven Spring Reverb Kit <!--paging_filter--><p>The Wave is a versatile stand-alone, tube-driven analog spring reverb unit kit. </p> <p>It can be used in front of your guitar amp or as a line-level analog reverb effect for the recording studio. </p> <p>Two controls allow you to serve up a wide range of wetness from just a touch to over the top psychedelia. The "dwell" control adjusts the input signal level driving the tank and the "reverb" control adjusts the level of output reverberations from the tank.</p> <p>The Wave’s all-tube design utilizes four dual triode vacuum tubes—three 12AX7’s and one 12AT7—and comes with a MOD three-spring reverb tank. MOD reverb tanks are deemed the closest to the original reverb tanks from the Sixties that are made today.</p> <p>The Wave’s reverb function can be switched in and out pop-free via the front panel toggle or with a foot switch (purchased separately). The Wave has standard ¼-inch in-and-out guitar jacks in the front for use with your guitar and amp and standard RCA in-and-out jacks in the back panel for use in a recording environment.</p> <p>The Wave is equipped to be rack mounted using just under 3U of space and is approximately 11 inches deep front to back. Four large rubber feet allow the Wave to be safely placed on top of most contemporary guitar amplifier heads and combos for stage use, and it fits into a rack without having to remove the feet. </p> <p>The Wave comes with a pre-punched powder coated steel chassis, easy-to-follow instructions and all necessary parts. </p> <p>MOD Kits and Assemblies are designed to give novice and experienced musicians the opportunity to build or modify their own amps, effects pedals and guitars. All kits come with easy-to-follow instructions and use point-to-point wiring. All effect pedals and amplifiers come with a pre-drilled enclosure and all necessary parts are included. All you need to provide are hand tools, a soldering iron and solder. </p> <p>For a complete listing of kits available from MOD Kits DIY visit <a href=""></a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/The_Wave.png" width="620" height="462" alt="The_Wave.png" /></p> MOD Kits DIY Effects News Gear Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:34:40 +0000 Guitar World Staff The Commander-In-Chief Demos Xvive Micro XV5 Delay Pedal — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In the new video below, the Commander-in-Chief discusses <a href="">Xvive pedals</a> and demos the company's <a href="">XV5 delay pedal</a> through <a href="">PreSonus' Studio One</a> software.</p> <p>For more about Xvive, visit <a href=""></a></p> <p>The Commander-in-Chief, a seven-string (Ibanez) guitarist who lives in England, has just released a new album with classical guitarist Craig Ogden. In recent weeks, has premiered three songs and videos from the album, all of which you can check out below:</p> <p>• <a href="">Paganini Guitar Duel: The Commander-In-Chief and Craig Ogden Play Caprice No. 24 — Video</a></p> <p>• <a href="">The Commander-In-Chief and Craig Ogden Play "Por una Cabeza" — Video</a></p> <p>• <a href="">The Commander-In-Chief and Craig Ogden Premiere New Song, "Let It Go" — Video</a></p> <p><strong>For more about the Commander-in-Chief, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> PreSonus The Commander-In-Chief Xvive Xvive Audio Videos Effects News Gear Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:28:47 +0000 Damian Fanelli Ibanez RGKP6 Guitar with Mini Korg Kaoss Pad — Demo Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In the brand-new video below, several guitarists, including <em>Guitar World</em>'s Paul Riario, Tarra Thiessen of Sharkmuffin and Val Vallese of Pound the Lbs., demo the new Ibanez RGKP6 Kaoss Guitar. </p> <p>The guitar has a built-in Korg mini Kaoss pad. Let us explain ...</p> <p>From the company:</p> <p>For those looking to weave the dynamic elements of electronic music into their sound Ibanez introduces the RGKP6 Kaoss Guitar and the SRKP4 Bass.</p> <p>Each instrument includes a built-in/detachable Korg mini Kaoss pad 2S that puts 100 effect programs within fingertips distance. Other mini Kaoss pad 2S features include a synthesizer, built-in mp3 player and digital recorder. As if that weren't enough, both axes contain a built-in distortion circuit for additional sonic mayhem.</p> <p>For more information, visit <a href="">Ibanez online</a>. The link goes directly to the Ibanez/Korg page.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Ibanez Korg Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:13:41 +0000 Guitar World Staff Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature Guitar — Demo Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Below, check out a new demo video of Charvel's Guthrie Govan signature model guitar.</p> <p>The video was created and posted by the gang at <a href="">Matt's Music Center</a> in Weymouth, Massachusetts. I discovered Matt's Music because they're selling—via eBay—my next guitar. I won't tell you what it is because I don't want you guys swooping in on it before me! </p> <p>Anyway, it was nice to find out they also post quality gear demos—and for some uncommon brands.</p> <p>Here's some information on the guitar: </p> <p>• Caramelized basswood body<br /> • Available with bird’s–eye maple or flame maple top<br /> • Bolt–on "caramelized" flame-maple neck with two graphite rods for enhanced neck stability<br /> • Compound–radius (12″–16″) flame–maple fingerboard with 24 extra jumbo stainless steel frets<br /> • HSH pickup configuration featuring Charvel Custom MFB pickups for clear and transparent tone.</p> <p>For more information about the guitar, <a href="">head here.</a> To follow Matt's Music Center on Facebook, <a href="">head in this general direction.</a> Don't buy my guitar!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Guitar World's Damian Fanelli on <a href="">Twitter.</a> He's a swell fellow.</em></p> Charvel FMIC Specialty Brands Guthrie Govan Matt's Music Center Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:00:24 +0000 Damian Fanelli EVH Wolfgang Special Guitar in Vintage White — Demo Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In the video below, Dave Nassie demos an EVH Wolfgang Special model with an arched top basswood body. </p> <p>From the company: </p> <p>The EVH Wolfgang Special was crafted in EVH's Mexico facility with a re-imagined design that delivers more guitar at greater value than ever.</p> <p>Features include a quartersawn maple neck with an oil finish and special Wolfgang profile, smooth and fast compound-radius maple fingerboard (12"-16") with comfortably rolled edges and 22 jumbo frets, dual EVH Wolfgang direct-mount humbucking pickups, two domed black control knobs (master volume, master tone), EVH Floyd Rose bridge and locking nut, and EVH tuners.</p> <p>The Wolfgang Special is available in three solid finishes (Vintage White, Stealth and Gloss Black), as well as in four flame maple top finishes (Tobacco Sunburst, Burnt Cherry Burst, Natural and Three-Tone Cherry Burst).</p> <p>For more product details, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Dave Nassie EVH EVH Gear FMIC Specialty Brands Videos Electric Guitars News Gear Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:31:51 +0000 Damian Fanelli Jackson Releases Phil Demmel Demmelition Pro Guitar <!--paging_filter--><p>Jackson is pleased to announce the latest addition to its popular Pro Series, the Phil Demmel Demmelition Pro guitar.</p> <p>Jackson’s Demmelition Pro model puts Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel’s devastating style and double-cut King V specs right in your hands. </p> <p>Features include a three-piece through-body maple neck with graphite reinforcement, compound-radius (12”-16”) bound ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and pearloid piranha inlay at 12th fret, EMG 60 (neck) and 81 (bridge) humbucking pickups with three-way toggle switching, Floyd Rose locking nut and recessed double-locking tremolo, and black hardware. </p> <p>Now available in Black Tide Fade and Red Tide Fade finishes.</p> <p>For more information, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Jackson%20Phil%20Demmel%20620.jpg" width="620" height="232" alt="Jackson Phil Demmel 620.jpg" /></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="/machine-head">Machine Head</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> FMIC Specialty Brands Jackson Guitars Machine Head Phil Demmel Electric Guitars News Gear Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:46:49 +0000 Guitar World Staff Review: Blue Mo-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones <!--paging_filter--><p>One of the most frustrating aspects of making music today is toiling for hours in the studio to make a pristine recording and craft a perfect mix, only to end up selling your music to an audience that mostly listens to compressed audio files through tinny-sounding ear buds. </p> <p>And even though full-size headphones are growing in popularity, more thought seems to go into their colors and looks than their sound quality. The new Mo-Fi headphones from Blue Microphones are a welcome exception to the rule, designed to provide true audiophile sound quality when used with portable audio devices.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES</strong></p> <p>Like Blue’s outstanding studio microphones, their Mo-Fi headphones boast a distinctive design that’s as beautiful in form as it is practical in function. </p> <p>The amply padded earpieces entirely enclose the ears and are angled and ear-shaped to fit snugly and comfortably. A knob on the headband allows users to adjust downward compression to keep the headphones in place. The most important and distinctive feature is the built-in amplifier with 240mW of output, 10Hz to 20kHz frequency response and extremely low total harmonic distortion. </p> <p>The 50mm fiber-reinforced dynamic drivers deliver frequency response of 15Hz to 20kHz. The amplifier’s battery is charged via USB, and a three-way switch provides on (amp power on), on+ (bass boost) and off (unpowered) settings. Two audio cables (one with iPhone/iPad controls), a USB cable, AC-to-USB charger, 3.5mm-to-1/4-inch adaptor and two-prong airplane connector are also provided.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE</strong></p> <p>I own and use pretty much every imaginable style of headphones, including pairs designed for studio monitor applications, DJing and home audio. I’ve used those headphones with my iPods, iPads and iPhones with mixed and generally disappointing results, but these Blue Mo-Fi headphones absolutely blew (pardon the pun) me away. I listened to songs I know quite well as well as music I’ve recorded myself, and I’ve never enjoyed such incredible detail from compressed audio before. The bass boost setting delivers deep but clear bass that retains the definition of higher frequency audio instead of obliterating it like most bass functions do. </p> <p>Although Blue Mo-Fi headphones are designed primarily for use with portable iOS devices, even audio professionals will want to consider having a pair or two in their studios. From the exceptionally comfortable design that users can wear for hours to the removable audio cables that are easy to replace should they get damaged, these headphones are built to provide a lifetime of audio bliss.</p> <p><strong>CHEAT SHEET</strong><br /> <strong>LIST PRICE</strong> $350<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER</strong> Blue Microphones, <a href=""></a></p> <p>The built-in 240mW amplifier delivers crisp, clean audio to the equally impressive 50mm fiber-reinforced dynamic drivers.</p> <p>A three-way switch on the left earpiece provides off (passive), on (amp on), and on+ (bass boost) settings for use with a variety of audio sources.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE</strong>: Blue’s Mo-Fi headphones are a revelation, delivering the absolute best sound quality from portable iOS audio devices and mobile recording rigs.</p> Blue Microphones Holiday 2014 Accessories News Gear Magazine Mon, 15 Dec 2014 18:56:17 +0000 Chris Gill From the Archive: The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This classic article from the August 1997 issue of </em>Guitar World<em> serves as the definitive guide to Kurt Cobain's grungy assortment of pawn shop prizes, turbo-charged stomp boxes and blown woofers.</em></p> <p>Kurt Cobain must have been amused when magazines like <em>Guitar World</em> and <em>Guitar Player</em> requested interviews and when Fender approached him to design a guitar. But here's where another irony exists — although Cobain often said he didn't care very much about equipment, he certainly possessed more than a passing interest in the tools of his trade. </p> <p>Cobain may not have collected vintage <strong>Gibsons, Martins, D'Angelicos</strong> and what-not, but he owned an eccentric cache of budget models, low-end imports and pawn shop prizes — most pursued with the same passion as a Gibson collector seeking a mint '59 Les Paul. Even when he could afford the best, Cobain's taste in instruments never changed. "Junk is always best," Cobain stated matter-of-factly to Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 <em>Guitar World</em> interview. "I use whatever I can find at junk shops."</p> <p>Over the years, rumors about Cobain using special processors and studio trickery to obtain his sound have proliferated, so we figured the time had come to get to the real bottom of the truth about Cobain's equipment to be revealed. To do so, we contacted the most reliable sources available — the dealers who sold him his equipment, the engineers and producers who worked with him in the studio and the technicians who looked after his gear on the road. </p> <p>A couple of well-researched websites, Chris Lawrence's site and Brian Haberman's site [<em>2013 Editor's Note: These websites no longer exist. Remember this story is from 1997!</em>], also supplied many useful details. Michael Azerrad's <em>Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana</em> (Main Street/Doubleday) provided excellent background information and photographs, and we also pored over the few interviews on the subject granted by Cobain himself.</p> <p>Cobain almost certainly would have laughed at the idea of a magazine scrutinizing the minute details of his gear. "I've never considered musical equipment very sacred," he once said. But for the thousands of guitarists who consider Cobain's music sacred, it's important to understand what he played and why he played it.</p> <p><strong>SCENTLESS APPRENTICE: COBAIN'S VIRGIN MUSICAL YEARS</strong></p> <p>Kurt Donald Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington, on February 20, 1967. His first guitar, a used electric, was a 14th birthday present from his uncle Chuck. "As soon as I got my guitar, I just became so obsessed with it," Cobain told Michael Azerrad. "I don't think it was even a Harmony. I think it was a Sears." </p> <p>Cobain took guitar lessons for less than a month — just long enough to learn how to play AC/DC's "Back in Black." Those three chords served him well when he began writing his own songs shortly thereafter.</p> <p><strong><a href="">[[ Read Guitar World's Final Interview with Kurt Cobain from the February 1992 Issue ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Cobain soon set his sights on forming a band. One day, a couple of friends invited him to jam in an abandoned meat locker they used as a practice space. Afterwards, Cobain foolishly left his guitar in the locker and was subsequently unable to return and get it back. </p> <p>When he finally made it back to the rehearsal space a few months later, he found his guitar in pieces. He salvaged the neck, hardware and electronics and made a new body for the guitar in wood shop, but Cobain lacked the skills to make the restored instrument intonate properly.</p> <p>When Cobain was 17, his mother married Pat O'Connor, whose ensuing infidelity led to a situation that greatly facilitated Cobain's acquisition of musical gear. After Cobain's mother learned that Pat was cheating on her, she dumped his gun collection in the river. Cobain observed his mother's antics and later encouraged some of the neighborhood kids to fish his stepdad's weapons out. Cobain sold the guns and bought a used <strong>Peavey Vintage</strong> amplifier with two 12-inch speakers with the proceeds.</p> <p>In early 1985, Cobain moved in with his natural father who discouraged his son's musical pursuits and convinced him to pawn his guitar. After about a week, Cobain got his guitar out of hock and moved out. He almost lost the guitar again when he loaned it to a drug dealer, but managed to repossess it a few months later. With this unknown guitar and the Peavey amp in hand, Cobain formed his first band, Fecal Matter, in late 1985.</p> <p>The Peavey amp disappeared sometime between early 1986 and late 1987. Krist Novoselic remembers that Cobain gave the amp to him for about a week, in what apparently was a friendly attempt to get him to join Fecal Matter. Novoselic declined on both offers. </p> <p>The amp disappeared sometime after that. By late 1987 Novoselic finally agreed to form a band with Cobain and drummer Aaron Burckhard, which they called Skid Row. Photos from this era show Cobain playing a right-hand model sunburst <strong>Univox Hi-Flyer</strong> flipped over and strung for left-handed playing. According to Azerrad, Cobain's amp during this period was a tiny <strong>Fender Champ</strong>. Also around this time, Cobain acquired a <strong>Univox Superfuzz</strong>, but it was stolen from his rehearsal space.</p> <p>The band's name changed frequently, from Fecal Matter to such similarly choice monikers as Ted Ed Fred, Pen Cap Chew, Throat Oyster, Windowpane and Bliss. Eventually they settled on Nirvana. When Burckhard proved too unreliable, Cobain and Novoselic kicked him out of the band and enlisted drummer Dale Crover, who they temporarily stole from the Melvins. Three weeks later, on January 23, 1988, Nirvana recorded its first studio demo at Reciprocal Studio with Jack Endino-whose early production/engineering/mixing credits include Soundgarden, Green River, Tad and Mudhoney-behind the board.</p> <p><strong>BLOND AMBITION: THE <em>BLEACH</em> YEARS</strong></p> <p>A few months after working with Nirvana for the first time, Endino played the band's demo tape for Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop Records, who signed the band to the label. Three of the songs that Nirvana recorded during that session ended up on <em>Bleach</em>, the band's first album.</p> <p>The band liked working with Endino, and they returned to Reciprocal Studios several times during the year to record more songs, although Chad Channing replaced Crover on drums. Nirvana signed a contract with Sub Pop, and in late December 1988, they entered Reciprocal Studios to record <em>Bleach</em>. The album was recorded in three days for $606.16, although five tracks from earlier sessions were included on the final album. Most of the remaining songs from the various Reciprocal sessions were released several years later on <em>Incesticide</em>.</p> <p>"When they recorded <em>Bleach</em>, Kurt's <strong>Randall</strong> was in the shop so they borrowed my amp, which was a Sixties <strong>Fender Twin</strong>," Endino recalls. "I'm a tube nut, so everything was tweaked and up to spec on that amp, but it didn't have speakers because I had fried them. Kurt brought in a little closed-back 2x12 cabinet with two <strong>Celestions</strong>, most likely 70-watt models. He was using a little orange <strong>Boss DS-1</strong> distortion pedal and these Univox guitars [Hi-Flyers] that looked like <strong>Mosrites</strong>. The pickups were stock. I ended up getting one of those pickups from him once, because he was smashing those guitars all the time. I said, `You must have some extra pickups,' and he said, `Oh yeah. Here's one.' It was in two pieces. I was able to stick the wires together and use it. It's not the greatest sounding pickup in the world, but it seemed to work for him."</p> <hr /> <p>In 1989, Nirvana went on its first American tour. According to Earnie Bailey, a Seattle guitar repairman who was friends with Novoselic and who often worked as a technician for the band, Cobain's live rig during this period was a red <strong>Epiphone ET270</strong>, a solid-state <strong>Randall</strong> amp head, a <strong>BFI Bullfrog</strong> 4x12 cabinet and a <strong>Boss DS-1</strong> distortion. When his guitar was destroyed beyond repair, Cobain would look for cheap replacements in pawn shops or have Sub Pop ship him guitars via Federal Express.</p> <p>"I heard stories about Kurt's guitar destruction from the Sub Pop people early on," says Endino. "When he was out on the road he'd call them up and say, `I don't know what got into me, but I just smashed up my guitar.' I don't think he was planning on smashing guitars from day one. It was just something he did. The poor Sub Pop people would call all the pawn shops up and down the coast, looking for Univox guitars."</p> <p>Between tours, Cobain often bought equipment from Guitar Maniacs in Tacoma, Washington, and Danny's Music in Everett, Washington. According to Rick King, owner of Guitar Maniacs, Cobain "bought a whole bunch of <strong>Univox Hi-Flyers</strong> — both the P-90 version and ones with humbuckers. Those pickups have huge output and are completely over the top. He broke a lot of those guitars. We sold him several of them for an average of $100 each over the course of five years."</p> <p>Although humbucker-equipped Univox Hi-Flyers apparently were Cobain's favorite guitars in the pre-<em>Nevermind</em> days, he often appeared on stage with other models, including a blue Gibson SG and a sunburst left-handed Greco Mustang copy he bought from Guitar Maniacs.</p> <p><strong><a href="">[[ Read Guitar World's Final Interview with Kurt Cobain from the February 1992 Issue ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Cobain purchased what probably was his first acoustic guitar, a <strong>Stella</strong> 12-string, for $31.21 on October 12, 1989. He brought the Stella to Smart Studios in Wisconsin to record some demos with Butch Vig in April 1990. The guitar wasn't exactly a studio musician's dream. </p> <p>"It barely stays in tune," Cobain told Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 <em>Guitar World</em> interview. "I have to use duct tape to hold the tuning keys in place." At some point in the Stella's history, the steel strings had been replaced with six nylon strings, only five of which were intact during the session. However, the guitar sounded good enough to Vig, who recorded Cobain playing a solo acoustic version of "Polly" on that guitar. That track can be heard on <em>Nevermind</em>.</p> <p>Cobain didn't seem to be exceptionally particular about what equipment he was playing through, with the notable exception of his effects pedals. Sometime in 1990, he bought an <em>Electro-Harmonix Small Clone</em> from Guitar Maniacs, and it remained a favorite and essential part of his setup to the end of his life. On January 1, 1991, Cobain used the Small Clone to record "Aneurysm," which later was issued as the b-side to the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single. </p> <p><strong>BREEDING GROUND: THE RECORDING OF <em>NEVERMIND</em></strong></p> <p>Prior to formally signing with Geffen Records on April 30, 1991, Nirvana received a $287,000 advance for the recording of <em>Nevermind</em>. The advance was somewhat meager, but it gave the band some freedom in choosing equipment. However, Cobain didn't exactly go wild with his spending.</p> <p>"I sold Kurt a bunch of guitars and effects for the <em>Nevermind</em> album," says Rick King. "When they got signed to Geffen and started getting money, Kurt was still very frugal. He bought some Japanese left-handed Strats and had humbuckers installed in the Strats' lead position. He didn't spend very much money on guitars."</p> <p>Apparently Cobain developed a taste for Fender guitars just prior to recording <em>Nevermind</em>. "I like guitars in the Fender style because they have skinny necks," said Cobain in a late 1991 interview. "I've resorted to Japanese-made Fender Stratocasters because they're the most available left-handed guitars." During this period, he also acquired a left-handed <strong>'65 Jaguar</strong> that had a <strong>DiMarzio Super Distortion</strong> humbucker in the bridge position and a <strong>DiMarzio PAF</strong> in the neck position in place of the guitar's stock single-coil pickups. These modifications were made before Cobain purchased the guitar. Cobain also bought a left-handed, Lake Placid Blue <strong>'69 Fender Competition Mustang</strong> around then.</p> <p>"Out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite," Cobain told GW. "They're cheap and totally inefficient, and they sound like crap and are very small. They also don't stay in tune, and when you want to raise the string action on the fretboard, you have to loosen all the strings and completely remove the bridge. You have to turn these little screws with your fingers and hope that you've estimated it right. If you screw up, you have to repeat the process over and over until you get it right. Whoever invented that guitar was a dork. I guess I'm calling Leo Fender, the dead guy, a dork." To overcome these tuning problems, Cobain had his '69 Mustang fitted with a <strong>Gotoh Tune-O-Matic</strong> bridge, a modification that was routinely performed on the Mustangs he subsequently acquired.</p> <p>Some claim that Cobain's preference for low-end guitars was a punk statement, but he insisted that it was a matter of necessity. "I don't favor them," Cobain told <em>Guitar World</em> in 1992. "I can afford them. I'm left-handed and it's not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars." Before entering the studio, Cobain purchased a rack rig consisting of a Mesa/Boogie Studio preamp, a Crown power amp and a variety of Marshall 4x12 cabinets. "I can never find an amp that's powerful enough," Cobain told GW. "And I don't want to deal with hauling 10 Marshall heads. I'm lazy-I like to have it all in one package. For a preamp I have a Mesa/Boogie, and I turn all the midrange up." Cobain brought this rig along with his Mustang, Jaguar, a Japanese Strat and his Boss DS-1 and Electro-Harmonix Small Clone pedals to Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where the band recorded Nevermind with Butch Vig.</p> <p>"Kurt had a Mesa/Boogie, but we also used a Fender Bassman a lot and a Vox AC30 on Nevermind," Vig recalls. "I prefer getting the amp to sound distorted instead of using special effects or pedals, which lose body and the fullness of the bottom end."</p> <p>Still, Vig allowed Cobain to use a few pedals on the album, especially since the guitarist felt that the DS-1 was the main factor in his tone. Cobain also used the Small Clone liberally. "That's making the watery guitar sound you hear on the pre-chorus build-up of `Smells Like Teen Spirit' and also `Come As You Are,'" says Vig. "We used an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff fuzz box through a Fender Bassman on `Lithium' to get that thumpier, darker sound."</p> <p>Cobain's pawn shop Stella was used again for "Something in the Way." Vig recorded the performance while Cobain sat on a couch in the control room. Against Vig's wishes, Cobain plugged his guitar direct into the board for "Territorial Pissings." During the recording of "Lithium," Cobain instigated the noise jam that became the "hidden" track "Endless, Nameless." (This track does not appear on the first 50,000 copies of the CD.) Towards the end of the track, Cobain can be heard smashing his Japanese Stratocaster.</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="/nirvana">Nirvana</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/kurt-cobain">Kurt Cobain</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> August 1997 GW Archive Kurt Cobain Nirvana News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 15 Dec 2014 18:23:16 +0000 Chris Gill Guitarist Sarah Michelle Demos Seymour Duncan Yngwie Malmsteen YJM Fury Pickups — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Earlier today, the gang at Seymour Duncan posted this shot-in-2012 video to its Facebook page. </p> <p>In the clip, a guitarist named <a href="">Sarah Michelle</a> tries out Seymour Duncan's Yngwie Malmsteen YJM Fury STK-S10 pickups, which live in her Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Strat.</p> <p>"I've always been a fan of Yngwie's gnarly strat tone," Sarah says in the information posted along with the video on YouTube. "[I'm] playing some Yngwie licks for most of the video but jamming some other riffs toward the end. These pickups are perfect for rock!"</p> <p>What do you think?</p> <p>For more about these pickups, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>For the hell of it, we've also included a video (bottom) of Sarah Michelle covering Malmsteen's "Far Beyond the Sun." Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></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="/yngwie-malmsteen">Yngwie Malmsteen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Seymour Duncan Yngwie Malmsteen Accessories News Gear Mon, 15 Dec 2014 16:12:04 +0000 Damian Fanelli It Might Get Weird: Blind Buddha Vintage Box Guitars <!--paging_filter--><p>When Brian Carrier started building and customizing guitars 15 years ago, he toyed with the idea of making cigar-box guitars but wanted to make something more durable and long lasting. </p> <p>“I wanted to make something that a touring musician could play and tour with,” Carrier says. </p> <p>“First and foremost, it had to be a great-sounding and -playing instrument, but it also had to be beautiful enough to hang on the living room wall. I found a small antique walnut box, and on a whim, I put a very old banjo neck on it. I was astounded by the tone and projection. My concept of the Vintage Box guitar grew from there.”</p> <p> Since the late Nineties, when Carrier made his first instrument, he has sold more than 150 Blind Buddha Vintage Box guitars. “They have gone all over the world to all types of players, from beginners to recording pros,” he says. </p> <p>“The different size, shape and wood of each box make for a very unique tone. No two are alike, and they each have their own personality. I offer a choice of four- or six-string, electric or electric-acoustic, resonator, built for slide only or slide and fingers, and a selection of box, neck and parts if I haven’t already put the guitar together.”</p> <p> Each Blind Buddha Vintage Box guitar is crafted almost entirely from found and repurposed parts. “Everything I use, with the exception of the tuners, pickups, resonators and strings, must be at least 50 years old,” Carrier says. </p> <p>“I do a lot of legwork to locate vintage and antique parts, which can include Victorian drawer pulls and clockworks. I can’t just call Allparts or Stewart-MacDonald and order parts. I have to track down wooden boxes that are suitable for conversion. The old guitar and banjo necks that I use must still have years of playability ahead of them.”</p> <p> Surprisingly, Blind Buddha guitars are affordably priced, from $295 to $695. Carrier will build instruments on a custom-order basis, but the less patient may want to visit the Ralph Lauren Polo store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which just started selling Blind Buddha guitars.</p> <p>For more information, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><em>Have you created a custom work of guitar art suitable for "It Might Get Weird"? Email us at</em></p> December 2014 It Might Get Weird Electric Guitars News Gear Magazine Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:45:53 +0000 Chris Gill