Gear en The DIY Musician: Fretted or Fretless Cigar Box Guitars — Which Is Better? <!--paging_filter--><p>Today, I'm answering a question from a reader: </p> <p><strong>Dear Shane: Is it better to learn on a cigar box guitar that has a fretted neck or one that's played with a slide?</strong></p> <p>That’s a great question! When I built my first cigar box guitar more than 20 years ago, it had no frets, no fret markers and was played 100 percent with a slide. For me, that was the perfect instrument because I wanted to play the deepest Delta blues possible. I wanted the music to be primitive, creaky and have that slightly out-of-tune sound heard on old Smithsonian recordings.</p> <p>If you’re looking to capture the really old-timey sound of a traditional cigar box guitar, I suggest you shove a slide on your finger and grind away without frets. There’s nothing like the whining moan of metal against metal going up the neck.</p> <p>But wait! There’s also magic happening with the modern Cigar Box Guitar Revolution where people are bucking tradition and utilizing these homemade instruments for something new. They’re taking the concept of a homemade instrument and mixing it with the new sounds they have in their heads.</p> <p>If you’re not looking for the old-time creaky stuff, a fretted cigar box guitar might be the right tool for you. Even a simple three-string fretted cigar box guitar will allow you to play rock power chords, dulcimer-style passages and whatever your fertile brain can imagine. </p> <p>The lesson here is to simply think about what you want to accomplish and then choose the right tool for the job. The cigar box guitar is an instrument borne from American poverty back in the days even before the Great Depression. The builders and players were searching for a sound they couldn’t afford to purchase, so they made their own. Be like them. Follow the sound. </p> <p>And if you still can’t decide, build one of each! I've been working with <a href="">C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply</a> in creating a library of free cigar box guitar lessons. Although we are still in the early stages of this project, you can get a wealth of lessons at its sister site, <a href="">,</a> In addition, I've posted my easy-to-follow video series at <a href=""></a></p> <p>And in case you missed it, check out <em>Guitar World</em>’s <a href="">How to Build a Cigar Box Guitar for $25.</a></p> <p>By the way, when I perform, half of my instruments are fretless and half are fretted. Since my music encompasses a wide range of mutant styles, I need many guitars to perform a three-hour bar gig.</p> <p> And speaking of mutant styles, here’s a freakish video I filmed last night as I was practicing on sitar sounds with a three-string cigar box guitar. (It’s a warts-and-all video. If I knew how to really play this stuff, I’d be dangerous.)</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo: <a href="">Kevin Stiffler</a></em></p> <p><em>Shane Speal is the "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=""></a>. Speal's latest album, </em><a href="">Holler!</a><em> is on C.B. Gitty Records.</em></p> Cigar Box Guitars Shane Speal The DIY Musician Electric Guitars Blogs Features Gear Tue, 04 Aug 2015 20:01:31 +0000 Shane Speal 25187 at Gear Review: JColoccia Guitars Big Cannoli Overdrive Pedal <!--paging_filter--><p>Without even knowing what it does, who wouldn’t want a "Big Cannoli" pedal on their pedalboard?</p> <p>The gang at JColoccia Guitars didn’t just put a cool name on a box; they threw in a flexible overdrive, too. </p> <p>The pedal knobs are Gain, Volume, Treble and Bass. In between the EQ sits a three-way toggle marked Tight, Cut and Fat. To my ears, Tight offers a creamy, compressed sound, Cut scoops the mids and Fat thickens things up quite a bit. </p> <p>The pedal is powered either by a nine-volt battery (supplied) or a nine- or 18-volt power supply (not included). There’s an internal switch to bump up the voltage. This comes in handy if you want to roll off the Gain and use the Big Cannoli as a clean boost.</p> <p>Dimensions are 3.75 inches wide by 4.5 inches long. The box is a sturdy aluminum Hammond enclosure. The switching is true bypass and the jacks are Switchcraft. Each pedal is hand built in the U.S.</p> <p><strong>On to the audio samples!</strong></p> <p><strong>Clip 1:</strong> To show off Fat mode, here’s how the Big Cannoli thickens up a single coil Strat lead tone.</p> <p><strong>Clip 2:</strong> Cut mode offers a nice contrast to Fat mode helping dig a neck humbucker out of the mud.</p> <p><strong>Clip 3:</strong> Tight mode added a little compression to the middle pickup position on a Les Paul.</p> <p><strong>Clip 4:</strong> Again with Fat mode, this time with the Gain rolled all the way back and the pedal running on 18 volts, I got a solid clean rhythm tone on a Strat. </p> <p><strong>Web:</strong> <a href=""></a><br /> <strong>Price</strong>: $199</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe></p> Billy Voight Billy's Breakdown JColoccia Guitars Effects Blogs Gear Tue, 04 Aug 2015 19:31:53 +0000 Billy Voight 25186 at Guitar World Recommends: Washburn Heritage 20 Series WD20SCE Acoustic Guitar — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Guitar World Recommends</em> shines the spotlight on new and noteworthy gear for guitarists. This week, <em>Guitar World</em> recommends the new Washburn WD20SCE Acoustic Guitar.</p> <p>From the Heritage 20 Series, the WD20SCE is a high-quality dreadnought acoustic/electric guitar that features premium Fishman electronics and a cutaway for better upper-fret access.</p> <p>Thanks to its solid spruce top (supported by quarter-sawn scalloped bracing) and the gorgeous rosewood back and side woods, the WD20SCE sounds great acoustically. It will work well when played solo or in group situations. When it comes time to step onto the stage and plug in, the WD20SCE will reward you with natural acoustic tone from its Fishman 301T electronics. </p> <p>The 301T provides simple tone shaping with bass and treble tone controls and a feedback reducing phase switch. A built in tuner provides quick and accurate tuning. Other features include die cast tuners and a rosewood fingerboard, bridge and headstock cap. We’ve equipped it with the finest D'Addario EXP-16 light set of phospher bronze strings.</p> <p><strong>For more about this guitar, visit its page over at <a href=""></a>.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Guitar World Recommends Washburn Acoustic Guitars Videos News Features Gear Mon, 03 Aug 2015 20:33:48 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25163 at The DIY Musician: Daddy Mojo Dolorosa Review — a Six-String Time Machine <!--paging_filter--><p>A good guitar will play the notes you’re looking for. A great guitar will inspire new music. But an iconic guitar will transport you to another place, time or universe.</p> <p>The Daddy Mojo Dolorosa guitar is iconic.</p> <p>Daddy Mojo is a two-man guitar company run by Lenny Robert and Luca Tripaldi in Montreal, Canada. Originally inspired by homemade cigar box guitars, they have taken the primitive art and turned it into museum-quality instruments. The six-string Dolorosa is the top-of-the-line model in terms of their cigar box-inspired guitars.</p> <p> Grasp the "hard V"-shaped neck and you’re transported to the 1930s, smoking a fine Cuban in the veranda and playing swooning ballads. Daddy Mojo completely nailed the feel of a vintage parlor guitar neck. Add to that a period-correct flat fretboard. Placed in your hands, the guitar immediately beckons for pre-war jazz or slide blues. (Warning: This is not a string bender’s guitar. The flat fretboard is fitting for fingerpicking, slide or jazz chords.)</p> <p>One unique feature is the neck-thru construction, with the maple neck running the length of the body and coming out the back. This allows the neck to act as the body’s bracing and also a tailpiece for the strings. As someone who has played a Dolorosa for more than seven years, I can attest to the rock solid construction. Mine has taken more abuse than a PETA member at a Ted Nugent concert.</p> <p>Of course, there’s the big and beautiful body, which is shaped like an oversized cigar box. A skeptic would nonchalantly throw out Bo Diddley’s name when seeing the rectangle, but the truth is, this git-fiddle could have been made by Diddley’s grand-daddy. The vintage feel of the body oozes into your chest as you hold it.</p> <p>Indeed, the body was special ordered from a Dominican Republic cigar box factory, but at 9-by-12.5-by-2 inches, it’s much larger than your average stogie holder. Constructed of 1/4-inch ply, the hollow body makes it resonant and sturdy. It’s surprisingly comfortable on the lap with your arm resting on the top. </p> <p>Daddy Mojo uses a floating bridge constructed of a rosewood base and bone saddle. I found mine to be a bit high when I first got it, but some gentle filing of the saddle from the bottom fixed it right up.</p> <p>A screen-printed Victorian sacred heart motif graces the front and factory-stamped Daddy Mojo logos on the side add a cool extra detail. Florentine F-holes and a nitro cellulose finish complete the look.</p> <p>Here’s a taste of its tones, performed by the builder, Lenny Robert:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><Strong>Tones and performance:</strong> If the "hard V" neck inspires pre-war blues and jazz, the mini humbucker in the bridge adds another element to the sonic gumbo. It’s warm, yet snarling with a touch of country honk. In terms of slide, the Dolorosa sings in a tone somewhere between Ry Cooder and Hound Dog Taylor. When plugged into my Musicvox MVX-15 tube amp, the Dolorosa comes alive when I add a healthy dose of reverb. Throw in some tremolo and you’re walking with Pops Staples' ghost.</p> <p>My only complaint on the pickup is that it’s non-adjustable. In sticking with a vintage style, Daddy Mojo permanently attaches the mini humbucker to the neck-thru section. This is just a small complaint, though because I’ve always been able to find a good tone.</p> <p>Most guitar reviews allow for the writer to test-drive the guitar for a couple of weeks and report back, but I have performed with a Daddy Mojo Dolorosa in almost every show since I first got mine in 2008. It has been transported in flimsy gig bags, fallen off stands and survived my heavy-handed abuse. This guitar is damn-near indestructible. </p> <p>Because of its beauty, the guitar also is one of the most frequently photographed instruments in my arsenal. People just go ape-shit when I strap it on. Most importantly, notes just jump out of this thing when I play. This is one of my favorite guitars—ever.</p> <p>The Daddy Mojo Dolorosa retails for $895 at select specialty guitar dealers or direct from <a href=""></a></p> <p>…And just for fun, here’s Jack White playing a Daddy Mojo Stove Pipe model (the dual-pickup sister to the Dolorosa).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Shane Speal is the "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=""></a>. Speal's latest album, </em><a href="">Holler!</a><em> is on C.B. Gitty Records.</em></p> Cigar Box Guitars Daddy Mojo Shane Speal The DIY Musician Electric Guitars Blogs Features Gear Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:35:56 +0000 Shane Speal 25147 at Mass Effect: The Top 50 Stomp Boxes, Devices and Processors of All Time <!--paging_filter--><p>Has any piece of musical equipment proliferated more, or more rapidly, than the humble electric guitar effect unit? </p> <p>Though there is no official tally, suffice it to say that thousands of stomp boxes, effect devices and processors have been created for the electric guitar over the past 60 years (and that’s not including rackmount effects). Conceivably, more than half of those devices are distortion, fuzz and overdrive effects.</p> <p>So how did we come up with a list of the top 50 electric guitar effects of all time? Actually, it was easy, as most of these stomp boxes and devices turn up in the pages of this magazine on a regular basis every time we ask artists what they use in the studio and onstage.</p> <p>Other effects got the nod for being the first of their kind (like the DeArmond Tremolo Control, which dates back to the Forties and was the first optional effect device) while a few passed muster for being undeniably cool or influential — even if they’re so rare that it will cost you a few thousand bucks to score one on eBay.</p> <p>Popularity also was a critical factor in our choices, although we generally passed over a few best-selling reissues or boutique clones in favor of the real deal. So even though the Bubba Bob Buttcrack Tube Overdrive may sound more soulful than an original Tube Screamer, if it’s little more than a copy with slightly upgraded components, it didn’t make the cut. </p> <p>If you love effects like we do, we hope you'll find this top-50 list a useful guide to discovering the classic effect boxes that have shaped the guitar sounds of rock, metal, blues, punk and many other styles. And if you're like us, it will undoubtedly compel you to plunk down a chunk of cash for a collectible pedal or two on eBay. Don't say you weren't warned.</p> 2011 Articles Boss GW Archive Ibanez July 2011 Roland Guitar World Lists Effects July News Features Gear Magazine Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:31:30 +0000 Chris Gill 17196 at Electro-Harmonix 22500 Dual Stereo Looper Now Shipping — Demo Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Electro-Harmonix has announced that its 22500 Dual Stereo Looper is now shipping. The company also has shared a demo video that shows off the pedal's many features. </p> <p>The 22500 Dual Stereo Looper is flexible, extensively featured pedal looper that allows for easy operation of two loops at the same time.</p> <p>It employs two high-quality, uncompressed audio tracks that can be played in parallel or series to enable the player to punch in and out harmonies and rhythms or use each loop as different sections of a song. </p> <p>For more information about Electro-Harmonix, visit <a href=""></a> If you'd like more info on the 22500 in particular, you can check out Electro-Harmonix's <a href="">official owner's manual</a> for the pedal. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> EHX Electro-Harmonix Videos Effects News Gear Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:48:28 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25134 at Review: JHS Pedals Twin Twelve Channel Drive — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>When I was younger, one of my best friends owned a vintage Silvertone Model 1484 Twin Twelve head. </p> <p>Looking like a hi-fidelity preamp for my record player, it was the perfect garage-rock amplifier to turn up loud and get some pretty raucous tones. </p> <p>Because of its scrappy sound, artists like Jack White, Beck and Coldplay along with a subterranean army of lo-fi bands have adopted this underdog of an amp when their music calls for a dose of raw power. </p> <p>As a result, the 1484 has become fashionably hip, making it highly sought after. But guitarists no longer have to search eBay or hit pawnshops to find one thanks to JHS Pedals, who have managed to nail this amp’s rowdy attitude in a pedal with its Twin Twelve Channel Drive.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES:</strong> The pedal relies on four controls for volume, drive, bass and treble to deftly emulate the preamp/overdrive tone of a Silvertone 1484 amplifier. Since an original 1484 didn’t have a master volume, the Twin Twelve volume control works similarly but without clipping, providing maximum clean headroom and boost when fully clockwise. </p> <p>Using the drive control in tandem with the volume imitates a master volume amp, introducing tube-like grittiness or full-on distorted snarl at manageable levels. The bass and treble are custom tuned to ensure every frequency value comes across in great detail, unlike the 1484’s fussy tone circuit. In addition, the Twin Twelve’s nine-volt power input internally converts it to eighteen-volts, which offers incredible touch sensitivity and liveliness.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE:</strong> The Twin Twelve is not merely an overdrive—it’s a refreshingly unique preamp pedal that combines elements of fuzz, distortion and overdrive. With the volume up high and the drive set low, it acts like a buffered preamp that transforms your amp’s sound to closely duplicate the 1484’s inherent drive characteristics with greater clarity. </p> <p>For some punk-rock dirt, I set the controls roughly midway, revealing a low-end growl and crumbly overdrive grind in the highs, with some velvety fuzz in the background. The sound is indeed very garage rock, but with more verve and controlled dynamics. I found some of the most articulate and spiky overdriven tones were when the bass is dialed back, the volume and treble at 2 o’clock, and drive around 11 o’clock. </p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE:</strong> $199<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER:</strong> JHS Pedals, <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE:</strong> The Twin Twelve Channel Drive is a punchy stompbox that convincingly apes the saturated tones and speaker breakup sound of the prized Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve amplifier.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> JHS Pedals September 2015 Videos Effects News Gear Magazine Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:25:21 +0000 Paul Riario 24979 at Guitar World Recommends: MXR Buffer Boost — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Guitar World Recommends</em> shines the spotlight on new and noteworthy gear for guitarists. This week, <em>Guitar World</em> recommends the new Buffer Boost from Jim Dunlop and MXR. </p> <p>This tiny little gadget makes up for signal loss that can occur when combining effects; it fine-tunes signal recovery with Hi &amp; Lo cut switches and features extra output for optional separate unbuffered signal chain. </p> <p>For more about this handy piece of gear (and so much more), visit <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Guitar World Recommends Jim Dunlop MXR Videos Effects Features Gear Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:19:40 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25108 at Orange Amplification Announces OBC210 Mini Bass Amp <!--paging_filter--><p>Orange Amplification has announced the OBC210 Mini Bass Amp, the company's smallest conventional, non-isobaric cabinet to date. </p> <p>This latest cabinet is constructed using birch plywood, creating a resonant enclosure adding presence to the overall sound. The OBC210 Mini also comes complete with the Orange signature skid runners to acoustically bond the cabinet to the stage and improve bass response.</p> <p>Housed within the cabinet is a pair of 10” Eminence Legend speakers, which deliver a rich low end with great mid-range clarity. </p> <p>The new cabinet also features two Speakon connectors that allow for daisy chaining to another cabinet of the same impedance for a total load of 4 Ohms. </p> <p>To find out more about Orange, visit <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>Specifications:</strong> </p> <p><strong>Features:</strong> Compact 2×10″ bass cabinet with parallel Speakon jacks for ‘daisy chaining’<br /> <strong>Speaker:</strong> 2 x 10" Eminence Legends<br /> <strong>Impedance:</strong> 8 Ohms<br /> <strong>Power Handling :</strong> 400 watts<br /> <strong>Finish Options:</strong> Orange or Black Tolex<br /> <strong>Dimensions:</strong> 62 x 35 x 34cm (24.4 x 9.8 x 13.4")<br /> <strong>Weight:</strong> 19.25kg (42.43lb)</p> Orange Orange Amplification Orange Amps Amps News Gear Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:27:43 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25102 at How to Build the Ultimate Pedal Board for Guitarists — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Are you a <a href="">pedal-board</a> dunce? Fear not! In this illustrated tutorial, <em>Guitar World</em> shows you everything you need to know, from choosing a board to powering up and laying out your pedals.</p> <p>The more effect pedals you use, the more you need a pedal board. Even the most basic unpowered board can provide a useful platform to hold your pedals securely, provide cable management and keep everything from sliding around onstage. </p> <p>Powered boards have the added function of supplying electrical connections to all your pedals, thereby eliminating the need for power strips and multiple wall warts that can take up space and create a nest of dangerous wires around your performance area. For more complex or specialized rigs, a custom <a href="">pedal board</a> can meet your specific switching requirements and make performance headaches a thing of the past. </p> <p>Unfortunately for those who have never had a <a href="">pedal board</a>, the prospect of building or buying one can be overwhelming. You have to determine not only what size you’ll need for your set-up but also make sure it matches the power requirements of your pedals, some of which might take require, 12, 16, 18 or 24 volts. </p> <p>There’s also the matter of cables, of which you’ll need many, each cut to the minimum length to ensure signal integrity and keep your layout tidy. The confusion only gets worse once you go online and see the plethora of pedal board models and options available to you. </p> <p>We wrote up this guide to make selecting and setting up a pedal board easier. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through every step of the process, from choosing the pedal board, power supply and cables to laying out your pedals in the order that works for you and making it all work to meet your needs.</p> <p><strong>What Size?</strong></p> <p>The choice of a small, medium or large <a href="">pedal board</a> comes down to one thing: the number and size of the pedals you’ll need to use. If you use five or fewer standard-size pedals and don’t plan to add to your setup, a small <a href="">pedal board</a> should suit your long-term needs. If you have more than five pedals but fewer than 10, you’ll want to consider a medium board. More than 10 and you should choose a large board. And if you have only five pedals now but plan to add another two or three in the near future, it’s better to plan ahead and go for a larger board today. </p> <p>Remember, too, that pedals with large footprints take up more real estate, and even a small set-up consisting of a few oversized pedals may require a larger pedal board to prevent overcrowding. When planning, remember to leave enough space between the pedals to facilitate cabling and create a clean, uncluttered and easily accessible layout.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Which Pedal Board?</strong></p> <p>Pedal boards can be purchased off the shelf, custom-built to your specs, or even built at home using readily available building materials, cables and power supplies. Music stores carry a range of boards, including bare unpowered platforms and boards with built-in power supplies and power strips. Other possible features include cable compartments, wheels, cases, heavy-duty corners and raised or pitched surfaces that make it easier to reach the pedals furthest away from you. </p> <p>Need something special? Many companies are available to build custom pedal boards to your specs, using the materials, power supply, hardware, wire and cables of your choice. If you have specialized switching, looping or MIDI requirements, a custom pedal board can meet your specific needs, though at a greater cost than an off-the-shelf unit.</p> <p>For this demonstration, I’m using medium and large Pedaltrain boards: the Pedaltrain 2 and Pedaltrain Pro, respectively. I like Pedaltrain boards for their lightweight frames and strong construction. The boards are slotted for easy management of cables and power supplies, all of which can fit under the board and out of sight. </p> <p>Slotted boards are especially nice in clubs, where spilled drinks can make a mess of your pedal board; with a slotted board, spilled liquids drip off, unlike a solid board, which will allow liquids to pool. The Pedaltrain boards are also angled, which makes it easy to reach pedals that are furthest away from you without accidentally stepping on other pedals or knocking their control settings with your foot. </p> <hr /> <p><strong>What Power Supply?</strong></p> <p>Whether you’re buying a pedal board with a power supply or choosing a power supply for an existing board, be sure that it meets your voltage requirements. Most pedals operate on nine volts of power, but many require 12, 16, 18 and even 24 volts. </p> <p>Before purchasing a power supply, check the power requirements of every pedal you’ll be using. Then, choose a power supply robust enough to deliver the voltages you require and a sufficient number of outputs for as many pedals as you’ll use. Also be sure to choose a supply that has isolated output sections to eliminate ground loops, hum and undesirable interactions between your pedals. </p> <p>Some examples of power supplies include Voodoo Lab’s Pedal Power series, T-Rex Engineering’s Fuel Tank offerings, the MXR DC Brick power supply, the Modtone Power plant, and the Pedaltrain Powertrain 1250 multi-output power supply. </p> <p>For this example, I’m using Truetone/Visual Sound’s 1 Spot power supply. The 1 Spot is a nine-volt adaptor that takes up just one power strip outlet, yet it can accommodate up to 20 guitar pedals. It works with more than 90 percent of the effect pedals on the market, including those that use popular adapters from Boss, Danelectro, Dunlop, Korg and others. </p> <p>In addition, as you add more pedals to any setup, it’s possible to introduce noise and hum by having too many effects on the same power source. The 1 Spot makes it easy and affordable to expand your system and isolate noisier effects by placing them on their own separate power supply. </p> <p><strong>What Cables?</strong></p> <p>Two rules here: always use cables with right-angle plugs, which are more compact than straight plugs, and keep your cable lengths to a minimum in order to cut down on clutter and ensure the shortest and quietest signal path.</p> <p>For these reasons, I prefer to make my own cables, as this lets me choose the exact hardware and lengths that I need. Planet Waves’ Cable Station pedal board kit is ideally suited for this. It features 10 feet of low-capacitance cable for signal transparency and 10 24k gold-plated right-angle plugs—pretty much everything you need for the average pedal board setup. The plugs are solderless, so you can create a cable in seconds, anywhere, to the exact length, and the kit even includes a cable cutter. </p> <p><strong>Layout</strong></p> <p>Before you start Velcro-ing pedals to your pedal board, take some time to think about the most efficient and easy-to-navigate way in which to arrange them. As a rule, you should lay them out left to right in order of how they connect together (more on this below). But pedal boards are typically deep enough, from front to back, to accommodate two and sometimes three rows of pedals, giving you yet another dimension to consider when planning your layout. </p> <p>It’s best to keep your most-used pedals nearest to you, where they’ll be easiest to adjust and reach with your foot. Staggering the pedals between the front and back edges of the pedal board will also make it easier to navigate your set up and avoid confusion in the heat of performance. </p> <p><strong>What Order?</strong></p> <p>There’s an ideal way to lay out effect pedals, and then there’s an individual way to do it. The ideal way is based on practical considerations, like placing a reverb pedal last in the chain rather than in front of the distortion pedal, where it will muddy up your sound. The individual way is all about how you make things work for you. </p> <p>Some guitarists like to place their wah before the distortion, while others put it after for a more pronounced and dirty tone. While there is no right or wrong way to order your pedals, it helps to understand the basic guidelines. In this section, I’ll show you the most logical, efficient and least noisy way to chain together your pedals.</p> <p>In the most general sense, pedals that amplify should go near the front of the signal chain. This includes filters (which can boost and cut frequencies), compressors (which reduce dynamic levels but can also boost the overall signal), and all types of distortion and overdrive pedals. Tone modifiers such as chorus, phase and flangers go next, followed by ambience effects, such as reverb, delay and echo. The effects in a signal chain can be arranged and grouped into four general categories:</p> <p>• First: Filters, pitch shifters, harmonizers and dynamic pedals (such as compressors)<br /> • Second: Distortion, overdrive, fuzz, boost and EQ pedals<br /> • Third: Modulation pedals (phaser, chorus and flangers)<br /> • Fourth: Time-based effects (echo, delay, tremolo and reverb)</p> <p>For example, if your pedal board consists of a distortion, a wah, a compressor and a reverb pedal, you would probably connect them as follows:</p> <p>Wah > Compressor > Distortion > Reverb</p> <p>In the next section, I’ll explain the rationale behind the ordering of these categories to help guide you along. </p> <hr /> <p><strong>Filters, Pitch Shifters, Harmonizers and Dynamic Pedals</strong></p> <p>These pedals typically work best at the front of the signal chain, where they act upon the pure signal from your guitar. Filters include pedals such as wahs and low-pass filters. Pitch shifters and harmonizers also include the ever-popular Whammy Pedal, all of which benefit from having a strong and unaffected signal from your guitar so that they can track your notes cleanly and accurately. </p> <p>Dynamic pedals include compressors, which “squeeze” a signal’s dynamic range—its quietest to loudest values—by reducing signal peaks as they occur. Compressors typically feature volume or make-up gain controls that let you boost the overall signal to compensate for the lower volume that results from compressing. For that matter, auto wahs/envelope filters are actually dynamic filters that allow a filter’s frequency cutoff to respond to changes in signal response due to variances in pick attack and volume. </p> <p>Bear in mind that you should be careful of the effect order within these categories. For example, a compressor placed after an EQ pedal will be more responsive to the frequencies that the EQ is boosting, because the compressor seeks out the loudest part of the signal and reduces its volume. It’s probably better to place the compressor before the EQ, where it can respond to your guitar’s signal rather than the frequencies boosted by the EQ pedal. </p> <p>Conversely, placing a compressor before an auto wah will reduce the guitar signal’s dynamic range of the and thereby impede the auto wah’s expressiveness (auto wahs thrive on dynamics). On the other hand, placing a compressor before a wah pedal can help you control some of the guitar signal’s inherent brightness that can make some wahs sound shrill and piercing at the top end of their range. Of course, some of these considerations change if you raise your compressor’s make-up gain to the point that it’s actually increasing the signal like a gain boost (see the next section on distortion and overdrive). </p> <p>On the subject of wah pedals, it’s worth noting that some guitarists prefer to place wahs after distortion pedals, where they can be driven hard for a funkier sound. Again, none of this is carved in stone. Set up your effects as they work best for you, but try to be aware of the interactions that result from the order of pedal placement.</p> <p><strong>Distortion, Overdrive, Fuzz, Boost and EQ</strong></p> <p>Distortion, overdrive and fuzz pedals affect harmonic content by enhancing overtones and compressing peaks in the signal. Their purpose is to simulate the sound of a cranked amp through a speaker cabinet. In the natural order of things, these pedals go after filters and EQ, just like your amp’s output and speakers. They also follow the compression pedal, whose purpose is to flatten peaks and ensure the entire signal is “hotter.” </p> <p>Which brings us to another reason why you shouldn’t put a compressor after a distortion pedal: they can add volume to everything that comes before them, including noise generated by effects like—you guessed it—distortion, overdrive and fuzz pedals.</p> <p>Most modern fuzz pedals work very well after wah pedals, but the same isn’t true of some vintage fuzz units. If you have an older fuzz pedal that doesn’t sound good when placed after the wah, try moving it before the wah and see if it improves things.</p> <p>If you use boost or EQ pedals to give your tone a kick for solos, try placing them after the distortion, overdrive and fuzz pedals. This will help to raise your overall level without having an undue impact on the sound. As always, experiment to see what works best for the pedals in your setup. </p> <p><strong>Modulation Effects</strong></p> <p>These are tone modifiers and sweeteners, and they include effects like chorus, phase, flange and vibrato. Traditionally, these can be noisy effects, and placing them before gain-increasing pedals like distortion or compression will tend to intensify their noise. </p> <p>In addition, chorus, phasing and flanging all introduce time delays and pitch fluctuations that create a sense of spatial movement similar to what happens in the physical world. Placing them after amplification-style effects like distortions and overdrives produces results that are in keeping with naturally occurring sound. Plus, the extra boost a signal gets from an overdrive pedal can help emphasize the oscillation of modulation effects.</p> <p>Of course, plenty of players like to put modulation effects like Uni-Vibes and phasers before distortion. Think Jimi Hendrix (Uni-Vibe) and Eddie Van Halen (MXR Phase 90). Doing this delivers more harmonic content to the distortion box and can result in more dramatic and animated effects. </p> <p><strong>Time-Based Effects</strong></p> <p>This one is pretty obvious. Reverb, delay and echo are ambience effects that imitate how sounds are affected within room environments. Naturally, they go at the end of the chain. Tremolo, for that matter, is amplitude modulation—amp on, amp off—and therefore goes at the end of the signal chain. </p> <p><strong>Tuners</strong></p> <p>Though they’re not effects, tuners are a part of every guitarist’s setup, so it’s important to think about where they’ll go in your signal chain. Some guitarists like to have them at the front of the chain, while others like them last or somewhere in between. If you place your tuner at the head of the chain, activating it will silence your guitar but not your pedals. </p> <p>This is fine if you want to allow time-based effects to continue trailing off while you tune up, but it’s not ideal if you want to silence your rig between songs. For that you’ll need to place the tuner last in the chain, though doing so will require you to turn off your distortions and other effects prior to tuning. As you can see, there are trade-offs to either scenario. Pick the one that works best for you.</p> <p><strong>The Bottom Line</strong></p> <p>The bottom line is that pedal order is subjective and varies from player to player. If you’re trying to nail a certain guitarist’s tone, then it’s useful to know what effects he uses and the order in which they’re placed. But when it comes to your tone, you have to decide what works for you. </p> <p>Experimenting can be fun, so start plugging away. And don’t worry, there is no right or wrong order. Besides, the best part about effect boxes and pedal boards is that you can always move things around as your needs and tone goals change.</p> How to May 2014 Mick Mars Paul Riario pedal board Accessories Videos Effects Features Gear Magazine Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:16:40 +0000 Paul Riario, Christopher Scapelliti 20799 at Guitar World Recommends: Gator Cases Aluminum Pedal Boards — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Guitar World Recommends</em> shines the spotlight on new and noteworthy gear for guitarists. This week, <em>Guitar World</em> recommends aluminum pedal boards from Gator Cases. </p> <p>These pedal boards feature a universal mounting bracket provided for mounting most common power supplies beneath the board, and are angled for ease of access to pedals. </p> <p>They also feature cable routing perforations that make routing signal and power easy, adjustable no slip rubber feet for board leveling and adhesive velcro strips. </p> <p><strong>For more about these pedal boards (and so much more), visit <a href=""></a> Or go directly to <a href="">the company's lightweight aluminum GPB-BAK-OR model!</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Gator Cases Guitar World Recommends Accessories Videos Features Gear Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:09:02 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25084 at Joe Satriani Demos and Discusses His Signature Ibanez JS25ART Limited Edition Guitars — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="">Although we've already reported on Joe Satriani's new limited-edition JS25ART guitars from Ibanez,</a> we have an update!</p> <p>In this brand-new video—posted this month by DiMarzio—Satch demos and discusses the JS25ART guitars, which happen to feature DiMarzio Satch Track and Mo' Joe pickups.</p> <p>You can check it out below.</p> <p>“Ibanez approached me and asked if I’d do something special for the 25th anniversary,” Satriani told <em>Guitar World.</em> </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. Besides his signature DiMarzio pickups, this includes a maple, JS Prestige neck with hand-rolled fret edges, 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>Satriani's new album, <em>Shockawave Supernova,</em> is out now.</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="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> DiMarzio Ibanez Joe Satriani Satch Videos Electric Guitars News Features Gear Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:18:55 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25074 at Review: ESP LTD V-407B Baritone Seven-String Guitar — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><em>GOLD AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>There is a surprisingly large and growing variety of baritone solidbody electric guitars to choose from these days. </p> <p>Baritones have become especially popular with metal guitarists who want the extended low-end range that today’s heaviest music requires and don’t want to hassle with intonation problems and floppy strings when tuning down a standard guitar. </p> <p>ESP offers an impressive selection of baritone electrics, including seven-string versions that are quickly becoming the new norm. For metal players, particularly those with somewhat limited budgets, the LTD V-407B is an ideal weapon of choice as it offers the features, playability, and, perhaps most importantly, wicked appearance that can inspire heavy riffs and aggressive solos.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES:</strong> With its 27-inch scale length, the LTD V-407B is bona fide genuine baritone. It should be noted that this is a big guitar that is even larger than many basses and comes in the biggest case that I have ever seen. It’s also heavier than the average six-string, but not so heavy as to be uncomfortable to play for extended periods of time.</p> <p>The guitar is built using ESP’s set-thru-neck construction, which is sort of a hybrid of set-in and neck-thru-body construction. The maple neck has a longer than normal tenon that stretches below the bridge pickup, but it is glued into a channel carved into the mahogany body. This provides the smooth, heel-free design of a neck-thru guitar along with the tonal characteristics of set-neck body. A maple cap covers the body as well, but the guitar looks like one continuous piece thanks to its deep gloss black finish.</p> <p>Electronics and hardware consist of an EMG 707 neck pickup, EMG 81-7 bridge pickup, separate volume controls for each pickup, a master tone knob, three-position pickup selector switch, Tune-o-matic bridge with thru-body string anchoring, and Grover mini tuners. </p> <p>The fingerboard is rosewood and features 24 extra jumbo frets, white binding, extremely cool arrowhead-shaped inlays, and a block inlay with the model’s name at the 12th fret. The output jack is placed inside the V cutaway on the bass bout and points upwards to keep the guitar cable completely out of the way, and the bass bout also has a belly contour.</p> <p><strong>PERFORMANCE:</strong> As you might expect from a seven-string baritone with a 27-inch scale, the LTD V-407B sounds as huge as it looks. The string tension gives the lowest strings especially satisfying piano-like metallic twang, while the middle range has a beastly, animal-like growl.</p> <p>If you want to shred, go ahead—the upper treble range feels sexy and slinky like a regular guitar, although with an extra inch and a half to two plus inches in scale length it’s much easier to finger intricate patterns and chords up above the 20th fret. The smooth, heel-free transition between the neck and body and the body’s V shape also facilitate unobstructed playing in the upper registers. </p> <p>The active EMG pickups are the perfect match for this type of instrument, delivering shimmering, percussive clean tones and maintaining crisp attack and refined note definition when plugged into a high-gain distorted amp. </p> <p>With its 48mm nut width, the fretboard is generously wide enough for playing clean, precise chords on any or all of the seven strings while being narrow enough not to require extreme finger stretches. The neck profile is a relatively flat and thin U shape with a consistent feel from the lowest to the highest frets. </p> <p>Controls are laid out in a logical, ergonomic configuration, with the bridge volume easily accessible for performing swells or making quick volume adjustments. It’s obvious that as much thought went into the V-407B’s playability as went into making it look as cool as possible.</p> <p><strong>LIST PRICE:</strong> $1,141.43<br /> <strong>MANUFACTURER:</strong> ESP Guitar Company, <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>CHEAT SHEET:</strong> Set-thru-neck construction combines the smooth, heel-free playability of a neck-thru guitar with the tonal characteristics of a set-neck design.</p> <p>Active EMG 707 (neck) and 81-7 (bridge) pickups deliver rich, percussive clean tones and crisp, detailed distortion tones.</p> <p><strong>THE BOTTOM LINE:</strong>The LTD V-407B seven-string baritone is a big instrument with an even bigger sound that is perfect for guitarists who want the heaviest low-end riffs without sacrificing the ability to play shredding solos.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> ESP ESP Guitars LTD September 2015 Videos Electric Guitars Gear Magazine Fri, 24 Jul 2015 10:45:00 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario 24968 at Summer NAMM 2015 Video: Boss DD-500 Digital Delay and RV-6 Reverb <!--paging_filter--><p>As always, several members of the <em>Guitar World</em> crew were on hand at the 2015 Summer NAMM Show in lovely and talented Nashville, Tennessee, taking pics, getting the latest gear news and shooting plenty of videos.</p> <p>While we were at the show, we were able to stop by the Boss/Roland booth to check out their latest and greatest gear, including the DD-500 Digital Delay and RV-6 Reverb. Our visit is chronicled in the video below. </p> <p>Take a look and tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook! For more about Boss, visit <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>To check out more Summer NAMM 2015 videos, <a href="">step right this way.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Boss Summer NAMM 2015 Videos Effects Gear Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:16:46 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25063 at Summer NAMM 2015 Video: Reverend Guitars <!--paging_filter--><p>As always, several members of the <em>Guitar World</em> crew were on hand at the 2015 Summer NAMM Show in lovely and talented Nashville, Tennessee, taking pics, getting the latest gear news and shooting plenty of videos.</p> <p>While we were at the show, we were able to stop by the Reverend Guitars booth. Our visit is chronicled in the video below. </p> <p>In the clip, the fine folks at Reverend Guitars show off their line of guitars while discussing their features and tone. </p> <p>Take a look and tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook! For more about Reverend Guitars, visit <a href=""></a> </p> <p><strong>To check out more Summer NAMM 2015 videos, <a href="">step right this way.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Reverend Reverend Guitars Summer NAMM 2015 Videos Electric Guitars Gear Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:16:11 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25060 at