Gear en Stomping Ground: 3rd Annual LA Pedal Expo — Review <!--paging_filter--><p>On March 22, more than 30 effect, guitar and amp manufacturers and retailers descended upon the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, California, for the 3rd Annual LA Pedal Expo. </p> <p><em>Guitar World</em> was on hand to check out all the gear. Yes, we left a little deafer and a little poorer, but we also left with a bone-shakingly awesome rig.</p> <p>The LA Pedal Expo, which is open to the public, draws guitarists and bassists of all genres who are eager to add to their effect-pedal arsenal. Since most manufacturers have their own room at the expo, it provides the perfect opportunity to crank up the volume and put each pedal or amp to the test without pissing off passers-by with bits of "Smoke on the Water." </p> <p>I mean, er, we definitely didn't play "Smoke on the Water." We'd never do that. We ripped through Angus Young riffs all day ... because we are cool. </p> <p>Exhibitors included The Amp Shop, Antique Electronic Supply, Boss/Roland, Electro-Harmonix, EarthQuaker Devices, F-Pedal, JHS Pedals, Keeley Electronics, Kemper Profiling, Lapdancer Guitars, Menatone, Moog, Mugzey Music, MXR/Way Huge, Nace Amps, Neunaber Audio Effects, Oddfellows Pedals, Red Planet, Seymour Duncan, Solo Dallas, Strymon, Surreal Amplification, Tone Bakery, Tone Fix Pedalboard Accessories, Truetone Music, Wampler Effects and Xotic.</p> <p>Visitors also got a chance to witness six pedal gurus—Brian Neunaber of Neunaber Audio Effects, Kevin Beller of Seymour Duncan, Brian Wampler of Wampler Effects, Josh Scott of JHS Pedals, Jamie Stillman of Earthquaker Devices and Robert Keeley of Keeley Electronics—speak about the industry, how they got started building pedals and the trials and travails of running an effect-pedal company.</p> <p>Show producer Loni Specter's next event, the 7th Annual New York Amp Show and Custom Guitar Show, will take place June 6 at the Marriott-Hanover in Whippany, New Jersey.</p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><em>Photos: Anna Blumenthal</em></p> Anna Blumenthal Effects Blogs Gear Thu, 26 Mar 2015 21:32:31 +0000 Anna Blumenthal Gear Review: The Roadie Automatic Guitar Tuner <!--paging_filter--><p>An automatic tuner that connects to your smartphone might sound gimmicky. </p> <p>Which is why it's surprising that Roadie is such a practical tool.</p> <p>The Roadie automatic guitar tuner, which was created by Seattle-based startup Band Industries, interfaces with your mobile device via Bluetooth and automatically tunes your guitar by physically rotating the guitar’s tuning pegs. </p> <p>To tune up, you simply attach the handheld device to a single peg, select a tuning (standard, open G, etc.) on the Roadie app, pluck the string and let the handheld device do the rest of the work.</p> <p>Roadie is sleek, easy to use and, most importantly, extremely accurate.</p> <p>What really sets Roadie apart is its mobile app, which listens to a plucked note using your phone’s internal microphone before communicating with the tuning device. Despite a smartphone mic’s obvious limitations, the app is as responsive as a high-end floor tuner. Within the app, you can select alternate tunings for a number of stringed instruments, including violin, banjo or mandolin, or even create your own custom tuning.</p> <p>Switching between different tunings is a huge pain in the ass. For intermediate to advanced players, this is where Roadie comes in most handy.</p> <p>I’d been meaning to learn John Fahey’s classic rendition of “Poor Boy a Long Way From Home” for a few weeks, but the thought of getting into open-D tuning always convinced me to put it off for another day. When I got my hands on a Roadie, however, not only was I able to quickly get into tune to learn the song, I found myself jumping between open D, G and standard quickly and without any of the frustration that often accompanies alternating between tunings.</p> <p>Roadie could also be a hugely valuable tool for guitar techs. It’s hard to overestimate how accurate-to-the-cent Roadie really is. That, coupled with its customizable tuning presets and an automatic winder button for changing strings, makes it well worth the investment for anyone needing to maintain a number of guitars.</p> <p>The only real fault I could find with Roadie is that it doesn’t recognize any note lower than A1, meaning it’s not applicable for bass or many seven-plus-string guitars. It’s easy to imagine an update to the app that could make this possible in the future.</p> <p>$99 might be too high a price point for some, but after trying out Roadie myself, it’s hard to imagine wanting to change strings or switch tunings without it.</p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Ethan Varian is a freelance writer and guitarist based in San Francisco. He has performed with a number of rock, blues, jazz and bluegrass groups in the Bay Area and in Colorado. <a href="">Follow him on Twitter.</a></em></p> Ethan Varian Accessories Videos Blogs News Gear Thu, 26 Mar 2015 20:54:49 +0000 Ethan Varian Joe Bonamassa's "Vintage Marshall Amp Shootout" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Gear lover and self-declared guitar geek Joe Bonamassa has posted another gear-centric video to <a href="">his Facebook page,</a> asking fans to "share it along." </p> <p>So that's exactly what we're doing.</p> <p>This time around, Bonamassa presents a clip called "Vintage Marshall Amp Shootout." </p> <p>In the video, which you can check out below, the guitarist grabs a Gibson Les Paul, channels his inner-Bluesbreaker (which isn't very difficult for him to do) and compares the different sounds you can produce from five vintage pinstripe models.</p> <p>He shot the video especially for the Les Paul Forum in London. Enjoy!</p> <div id="fb-root"></div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="" data-width="620"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <blockquote cite=""> <p>JBWM: Attention Fellow Guitar Geeks! Check out Joe&#039;s vintage Marshall amp shootout recorded for The Les Paul Forum in...</p> <p>Posted by <a href="">Joe Bonamassa</a> on <a href="">Tuesday, March 24, 2015</a></p></blockquote> </div> </div> <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-bonamassa">Joe Bonamassa</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Joe Bonamassa Marshall Marshall Amplification Videos Amps News Gear Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:44:17 +0000 Damian Fanelli Jeff Beck Shows Off His Favorite Guitars — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Fans of Jeff Beck—and of vintage gear in general—might get a kick out of the video below.</p> <p>In the nearly 15-minute-long clip, which appears as bonus content on Beck's 2011 <em>Rock 'n' Roll Party</em> DVD, Beck shows off some of his favorite guitars.</p> <p>These include a worn-in Fender Telecaster with humbuckers (which he got from Seymour Duncan), the Fender Strat he got from John McLaughlin, an original Gretsch Rancher, a 1954 Telecaster (which he plugs in and demos), a 1956 Gretsch Duo Jet and more.</p> <p>This is, of course, the same Duo Jet Beck used on his 1993 <em>Crazy Legs</em> album (a tribute to Gene Vincent and Cliff Gallup) and at the 2010 <em>Rock 'n' Roll Party</em> Les Paul tribute show at the Iridium in New York City.</p> <p>Note: In the video, it seems Beck misidentifies his Gibson ES-175 as a Gibson L5. Just pointing it out! Hey, it could happen to anyone!</p> <p>Beck is expected to release a new studio album, the long-awaited followup to 2010's <em>Emotion &amp; Commotion</em>, later this year. Enjoy! </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="/jeff-beck">Jeff Beck</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Jeff Beck Videos News Gear Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:51:29 +0000 Damian Fanelli Caparison Guitars Introduces Limited Edition Angelus Custom Line <!--paging_filter--><p>The Classic Angelus returns this year as the Caparison Custom Line 2015 (CL15) model. </p> <p>Every feature that makes the CL series so highly sought after among even the most discriminating of boutique players is represented here. </p> <p>Each guitar is painstakingly hand-crafted to exacting standards and features a stunning master-grade, hand-selected flamed maple carved top and two new color finishes, Violin and Lemon Drop, exclusively limited to 2015. </p> <p>Caparison have refined the tried and tested Angelus into an even more exquisite and luxurious instrument.</p> <p>The CL15 is designed to give you that wonderfully familiar vintage classic feel but with the unique playing experience that you only get with a Caparison. With all the versatility, quality, tonality and superb playing comfort that has come to be expected of Caparison Custom Line Models.</p> <p>• Custom Switching Options<br /> • Limited Edition 2015 Model<br /> • Caparison Designed Pickups<br /> • Select Master Grade 5A Flame Maple Top</p> <p>Designed, manufactured and hand finished in Japan the Caparison Angelus CL15 is now available for this year only at a retail price of $4,499 USD. </p> <p><strong>For more about Caparison Guitars, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Angelus_CL15_Violin_17032.jpg" width="620" height="413" alt="Angelus_CL15_Violin_17032.jpg" /></p> Caparison Guitars Electric Guitars News Gear Thu, 19 Mar 2015 20:26:04 +0000 Guitar World Staff Eddie Van Halen Tests New EVH Gear 5150IIIS Amp Head — GoPro Video <!--paging_filter--><p>OK, this is kinda cool.</p> <p>Check out this just-posted video of Eddie Van Halen testing the new EVH Gear 5150IIIS amp head. The catch is, everything is shot with GoPro cameras, so you're seeing things from some pretty interesting and revealing angles.</p> <p>In the clip, which you can check out below, Eddie plays some of his most iconic Van Halen licks and riffs, from "Hot for Teacher" to "Dance the Night Away" and beyond.</p> <p>While showing off the gear, Van Halen showcases the differences between the 5150IIIS and its predecessor, the 5150III. The latest version of the amp is the result of Eddie's desire to have a little "more gas in the tank" before Van Halen's successful 2012 tour. </p> <p><strong><a href="">For more about this 120-watt amp (including a lot more details, like the fact that it's 120 watts), head here.</a></strong></p> <p>Van Halen are set to release a new live album, its first-ever with David Lee Roth on vocals. <em>Tokyo Dome Live In Concert</em>, which was recorded in June 2013, will be available March 31 as two CDs, a four-LP set on 180-gram vinyl and via digital outlets.</p> <p><strong>For more about EVH Gear, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="365" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen 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="/eddie-van-halen">Eddie Van Halen</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/van-halen">Van Halen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Eddie Van Halen EVH Gear FMIC Specialty Brands Van Halen Videos Amps News Gear Wed, 18 Mar 2015 18:22:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff PRS Guitars Introduces New SE Alex Lifeson Thinline Acoustic — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>PRS Guitars is pleased to continue its relationship with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson with the announcement of its all-new SE thinline acoustic signature model. </p> <p>From the company:</p> <p>The SE Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic is a road-worthy guitar for players in need of a stage- and studio-ready instrument.</p> <p>Carrying over its unique appointments from the Private Stock Alex Lifeson acoustic, this model features a thinner body depth than PRS’s standard Angelus model and the “Birds in Flight” inlay design.</p> <p> "I was very pleased when PRS presented me with my SE Angelus acoustic, a beautiful guitar of stunning quality," Lifeson says. "It was in response to the challenge of building a guitar that shared the integrity and attention to detail that the Alex Lifeson Private Stock Angelus possesses in a package more broadly accessible. </p> <p>"The SE Alex Lifeson Thinline is that model. Carefully selected materials, expert craftsmanship and a smart approach to concept resulted in a guitar that is beautiful to look at and rewarding to play."</p> <p>As with all SE Series guitars, the Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic is a quality instrument and a great value. The guitar’s thinner body provides an added level of comfort for players and boasts PRS’s Hybrid X/Classical bracing pattern, which gives this guitar a resonance and warmth not found in some thinline models. </p> <p>The addition of an undersaddle pickup with both volume and tone controls gives this guitar a warm acoustic tone when amplified. To hear the SE Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic in action and for complete specifications, visit <a href=""></a></p> <p>This announcement is timed with Rush’s R40 LIVE 40th Anniversary Tour, which will be visiting 34 cities throughout North America this summer beginning May 8 in Tulsa, Oklahome, and finishing August 1 in Los Angeles. For a complete list of dates, visit <a href=""></a>. Be sure to use #R40 to follow the tour.</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="/rush">Rush</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Alex Lifeson News PRS Guitars Rush Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs Videos News Gear Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:54:52 +0000 Guitar World Staff Maple’s Musical Revival: Taylor Guitars Introduces Inspired New 600 Series — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Taylor Guitars is known for advancing the design of the acoustic guitar, setting a modern course for playability, tone and style. </p> <p>In 2014, the company unveiled a comprehensive redesign of its flagship rosewood/spruce 800 Series, adding to its legacy as one of Taylor’s most popular acoustic offerings. </p> <p>This year, Taylor has applied the same vision to its maple 600 Series, connecting maple’s rich musical history with its stable environmental outlook as an important tonewood of the future. </p> <p>The new 600 Series guitars elicit the best of the inherent tonal properties of maple. In 2014, Master Builder Andy Powers began to experiment with how far bracing, thickness, finish and new seasoning processes like torrefaction, a wood-roasting method, could enhance maple’s tone profile. </p> <p>“I wanted playing a maple guitar to be a more gratifying all-around experience,” he says. “I wanted a tone that was richer, more complex, with longer sustain, without giving up the linearity that I like about maple as a builder.” The result is a warmer, more dynamic and more responsive instrument with more broadly appealing tonal properties than any maple guitar before it.</p> <p>As with the 800 Series, Powers re-imagined each component of the maple 600s. Notable design innovations include: </p> <p><strong>Customized Wood Thicknesses and Bracing</strong>: The top and back thicknesses have been specially gauged for each body shape. Powers also optimized the bracing for each shape. The backs feature new maple-specific bracing profiles and patterns to enhance the responsiveness. As a result, he says, “the backs of these guitars work a lot like an archtop guitar or a violin if you were to delete its soundpost. These braces allow the back to move in a much warmer, stronger way."</p> <p><strong>Torrefaction</strong>: This carefully controlled, high-temperature roasting process is applied to the Sitkaspruce tops to give a new guitar an aged or played-in sound. By aging the wood on a molecular level, torrefaction makes the top warmer and more responsive. “There’s less resistance in the wood,” Powers says. “As a result, it allows a more efficient energy transfer from the strings. A new piece of wood has quite a bit of resistance to moving. It’s not used to vibrating at a high frequency like that. An aged or played-in top is just waiting to be set in motion."</p> <p><strong>Hand-Rubbed Color and Finish</strong>: Not only do the new 600s feature the same ultra-thin 3.5-mil clear gloss finish developed for the 800 Series, the maple back and sides boast an additional breakthrough: the inclusion of a proprietary hand-rubbed color application process that adds no additional thickness to the finish. The stain enhances maple’s visual aesthetic without causing any damping in the natural movement of the guitar body, helping to boost the tonal projection and sustain. The new color, “Brown Sugar,” complements the slightly darker color of the spruce tops, a result of the torrefaction process. </p> <p><strong>Expression System 2 Pickup:</strong> The acoustic voicing enhancements designed for the 600 Series translate into amplified form with Taylor’s new Expression System 2 (ES2) electronics. The ES2 incorporates three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. These are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge and effectively capture more of each guitar’s dynamic properties and acoustic energy. </p> <p><strong>First World Tonewood:</strong> Maple is a tonewood that can be harvested specifically for instruments in the U.S., a project that longtime tonewood partner Steve McMinn of Pacific Rim Tonewoods is undertaking. Given its geographical location, maple grows in politically and economically stable environments and is considered to be “conflict free” and well-managed. This is important to Taylor co-founder, Bob Taylor. “Now and in the future, maple forests will be among the healthiest and most sustainable sources of instrument wood,” he says. “This is a species from our own backyard that can be formed into world-class instruments for generations to come."</p> <p><strong>The new 600 Series is available in the 614ce (Grand Auditorium), 616ce (Grand Symphony), 618ce (Grand Orchestra) and 656ce (12-String Grand Symphony). To locate a Taylor dealer, visit <a href=""></a> For more news from Taylor Guitars, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation March Madness Taylor Guitars Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos News Gear Wed, 18 Mar 2015 11:17:14 +0000 Guitar World Staff Gear Review: Shift Line Termofuzz Fuzz Pedal <!--paging_filter--><p>Fuzz often gets treated like the black sheep of the family. </p> <p>Overdrive comes to Thanksgiving dinner in a flashy sports car with his trophy wife. Distortion strolls in fashionably late with pictures from a recent SCUBA-diving escapade in Hawaii. </p> <p>But Fuzz ... Fuzz stood next to Jimi at Woodstock, Fuzz let people know the Rolling Stones weren’t satisfied. </p> <p>Shift Line built the Termofuzz as an encyclopedia of fuzz boxes in one. Each pedal is hand-built in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The Termofuzz is true bypass and can run on a 9-volt battery or external power supply.</p> <p>While Level and Gain knobs are straight ahead, Dirt, Harm and Mode need a bit more of an explanation. Turning the Dirt knob up offers oscillation mode, randomly generated octaves and even some glitchy 8-bit goodness. Harm is a three-way toggle switch that cuts or boosts high-end harmonics. Mode works with Dirt to add more octave and gate effects, all while thinning or thickening your overall signal. </p> <p>A huge factor in using the Termofuzz is your guitar’s volume knob. For straight-ahead fuzz tones, cranking your volume works best. When you roll back your volume, the Termofuzz can really pollute the signal with random oscillation and octave effects.</p> <p><strong>On to the audio clips!</strong></p> <p><strong>Clip 1</strong> is a Les Paul cranked up to give you an idea of the straight ahead fuzz.<br /> <strong>Clip 2</strong> is the same Les Paul with the volume rolled back to 6 and the Dirt knob on the Termofuzz turned up offers an octave effect.<br /> <strong>Clip 3</strong> is a Strat starting off with a Hendrix-y fuzz; then, after turning up the Mode and Dirt, the signal gets pretty chaotic! </p> <p><strong>Web:</strong> <a href=""></a><br /> <strong>Street Price:</strong> $165</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> <p><em>You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at</em></p> Billy Voight Billy's Breakdown Shift Line Effects Blogs Gear Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:57:13 +0000 Billy Voight Kyser Musical Products Launches Line of American-Made Guitar Straps — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Kyser Musical Products has launched its new line of American-made guitar straps.</p> <p>These straps feature a front elastic/leather slip (the "capo-keeper") for secure storage of your Kyser Quick-Change when not in use. The "capo-keeper" also can easily and securely hold a guitar slide or harmonica.</p> <p>Kyser guitar straps are made of custom-printed poly twill and recycled leather. The strap's unique design features a padded body that leads to an extra-long tail that can quickly be adjusted from 45 to 55 inches. </p> <p>There are 12 unique, completely custom designs on brown leather and on black leather. </p> <p>Kyser guitar straps are 100 percent made by hand in the U.S. <strong>MSRP:</strong> $69.95</p> <p><strong>For more about Kyser Musical Products, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Kyser March Madness News Accessories Gear Videos Blogs News Gear Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:46:06 +0000 Guitar World Staff Review: Taylor Guitars 618e — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the April 2015 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=April2015VideosPage">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</em></p> <p><strong><em>PLATINUM AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>Maple is the tonewood of choice for the back and sides of most acoustic archtop and jazz guitars, but relatively few flattop guitar models have maple bodies. </p> <p>Part of the reason is that attributes like impressive volume projection, bright treble and exceptional individual note definition that make maple ideal for an archtop are not always ideal for traditional flattop acoustic tones. However, these problems are less the fault of the materials and more due to construction techniques. </p> <p>Simply put, bracing patterns and other construction details that work fine with rosewood or mahogany backs and sides aren’t always ideal when the back and sides are made of maple. </p> <p>Maple has enjoyed popularity as a tonewood for jumbo flattops, but most players generally prefer these instruments for strumming loud rhythms and little else (which is why maple jumbos have been the flattop of choice for players from Elvis Presley to Pete Townshend). </p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=April2015VideosPage">For the rest of this review, including FEATURES, PERFORMANCE, the BOTTOM LINE and more, check out the April 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> April 2015 News Taylor Guitars Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs Videos News Gear Magazine Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:41:37 +0000 Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario The DIY Musician: The 2x4 Lap Steel, Part 2 — Cool Mods <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="">Last week,</a> I showed you how to take a common 2x4 plank and easily turn it into a playable lap steel guitar. <a href="">(You can see those plans right here.)</a> </p> <p>For this week, I've built a second 2x4 lap steel and improved its sound and setup; I even gave it a hobo-art look. I’ve listed links to the parts at the very bottom of this story, where you'll also find a new demo video.</p> <p>Here’s a rundown of the mods and how I did them:</p> <p><strong>Humbucker Pickup: Hardwired to Backward Strat Jack</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/1%20humbucker.JPG" width="600" height="450" alt="1 humbucker.JPG" /> </p> <p>The original lap steel had a simple sound hole pickup that was easy to install, but it gave me a bit of buzzing sound in concert due to lack of grounding. For this second guitar, I opted for a cheap and gnarly <a href="">$20 dual-rail humbucker from C. B. Gitty</a> and hardwired it to the guitar jack. </p> <p>In true Eddie Van Halen fashion, I screwed the pickup directly to the wood. Since I’m technically stupid when it comes to wiring, and because this pickup had so many wires, I went to Seymour Duncan’s wiring guide page and got the PDF diagram for a humbucker pickup and one volume knob. I didn’t have a volume pot; I just disregarded that part and sent the hot and ground wires straight to the jack. </p> <p>I used a Strat-style jackplate and turned it backwards for ease of mounting. It sits next to the pickup cavity. I had to remove a little bit of wood underneath to make room for the jack. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/2%20ground%20wire.JPG" width="600" height="450" alt="2 ground wire.JPG" /></p> <p>I also added a ground wire and placed it in the groove where the bridge bolt sits. It was a simple solution and works just fine. A couple of staples from a staple gun keep everything in place.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Woodburned Fret Markers and Tack Fret Dots</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/3%20woodburn%20frets.JPG" width="600" height="450" alt="3 woodburn frets.JPG" /></p> <p>Instead of just drawing the fret markers on with a Sharpie like I did with the first lap steel, I used a common wood-burning pen and burned the fret lines into the wood. I had some decorative furniture tacks in my shop, so I used them as my fret dots. When the tacks ran out, I continued with some industrial screws. Finishing it off was some smashed beer caps on the 3, 5, 7, 9 and 12 frets. Because…why not?<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Old "Church Key" Bottle Opener String Retainer</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/4%20bottle%20opener.JPG" width="600" height="450" alt="4 bottle opener.JPG" /></p> <p>I improved upon the string tree screw idea from the first lap steel by using an old Schmidt’s beer bottle opener to hold the strings down at the headstock. I just drilled two holes in it and used two long screws to keep it in place. I left about ¼ inch between the bottle opener and the wood to give the strings room to run underneath. It works great!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>String Ferrules In the Back</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/5%20string%20ferrules.JPG" width="600" height="800" alt="5 string ferrules.JPG" /> </p> <p>I was originally going to drill small holes for the strings to run through the body at the butt end of the instrument, but I discovered a bunch of Gitty string ferrules in my cabinet. These were simple to use. I drilled the original string holes with a 3/32-inch bit and then used a 5/16-inch bit to drill about 1/3 inch in from the back. The ferrules are lightly tapped in with a hammer. Now I won’t have to worry about the ball end of the guitar strings getting embedded in the wood from tension.<br /> <br /><br /> <Strong>Beer Caps and Brass Corners</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/6%20headstock.JPG" width="600" height="450" alt="6 headstock.JPG" /> </p> <p>What better decoration for a hobo instrument than a bunch of old beer caps! I use beer caps in a lot of my art and always keep a box in the woodshop. I collect them from bars where I play and have been known to buy them in bulk on eBay, too. I also added some brass corners to add some class. Topping it all off is an emblem from a York air conditioner, because I’m proud to live and play in York, Pennsylvania. (We’ve got one of the most vibrant music and art scenes in this little town.)</p> <p>If you build your own 2x4 lap steel, email me pictures at I might use them in an upcoming column.</p> <p><strong>Links to parts used:</strong><br /> • <a href="">Dual Rail Humbucker Pickup</a><br /> • <a href="">Guitar Jack</a><br /> • <a href="">Jack Plate</a><br /> • <a href="">String Ferrules</a><br /> • <a href="">Brass Corners.</a></p> <p>Well, I’m off to a gig-packed weekend. I’ve got shows Friday and Saturday nights and a free seminar on cigar box guitars Saturday morning. <a href="">Check out my calendar</a> and come out to see these homemade instruments in action!</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> Shane Speal The DIY Musician Videos Blogs Gear Thu, 12 Mar 2015 21:48:59 +0000 Shane Speal Epiphone Launches Free EON App for iOS and Android — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Epiphone has introduced its new Epiphone owners newsletter app, also known as EON.</p> <p>It's the first official app designed especially for new and longtime owners of Epiphone instruments. </p> <p>The app is free to fans who own Android and IOS devices. EON owners will receive daily updates of Epiphone artist news, exclusive interviews, product demonstration videos, product updates and offers and giveaways, as well as tips and techniques for acoustic and electric guitar and bass players.</p> <p>"The EON app is a new and exciting way to unite our fans both young and old from around the world," says Jim Rosenberg, Epiphone's president. </p> <p>"We wanted to make an app that would not only be the premier source for Epiphone news and information but would also be a useful tool and companion for our players on the road, at rehearsals or gigs or just practicing at home."</p> <p>In the video below, <em>Guitar World's</em> Paul Riario discusses the new app.</p> <p><strong>DOWNLOAD THE APP NOW:</strong></p> <p>• <a href=";hl=en">Android</a><br /> • <a href="">iOS</a></p> <p><strong>For more information about EON, visit its page at <a href=",-the-new-Epiphone-Owners.aspx"></a></strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script><object id="myExperience4107832947001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4107832947001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> Epiphone News Gear Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:17:04 +0000 Guitar World Staff Breedlove Guitars Announces Updates to Studio Series for 2015 — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Breedlove Stringed Instruments is proud to present the 2015 Studio Series, designed and quality checked in Bend, Oregon.</p> <p>Designed for recorded acoustic guitar performances, the Studio series captures all the sparkling detail and nuance of your performance. The figured maple back and sides offer a clear, precise tone that rises above the mix. </p> <p>The Studio series is available in a concert, dreadnought and 12-string option. All have a new updated burst, and the concert and 12-string are equipped with the Breedlove Bridge Truss. </p> <p>The BBT is mounted to the bridge from the inside and is connected into the tail block of the guitar, pulling downward on the underside of the bridge to distribute some of the tension, relieving pressure on the top. The resulting tonal effect on BBT-equipped guitars is more resonance and livelier sound with enhanced overtones. </p> <p>The most exciting update for 2015 is the new pickup system. The Studio series is now equipped with the Fishman INK3 USB system. </p> <p>This onboard preamp features a Sonicore pickup, three-band EQ, chromatic tuner and a low battery LED. It also has a USB that allows for quick access and recording straight from your guitar to your favorite recording software. Additional appointments include an elegant abalone rosette, ivoroid binding and sparkling mother of pearl offset dots inlayed along the fretboard. </p> <p>All models include come with a deluxe foamshell gigbag and come with D’Addario strings. </p> <p><strong>Full specs:</strong></p> <p>• Solid Sitka spruce top<br /> • Laminate figured maple back and sides<br /> • Graduated top<br /> • Mahogany neck<br /> • Ivoroid binding<br /> • Indian rosewood fretboard<br /> • Pinless bridge<br /> • Breedlove bridge truss in Concert body<br /> • D’Addario strings<br /> • Fishman INK3 USB electronics<br /> • Deluxe foamshell case<br /> • Crafted in Korea</p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Breedlove March Madness News Gear Acoustic Guitars Videos Blogs News Gear Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:25:16 +0000 Guitar World Staff Martin Guitar Receives Patent for Neck-to-Body Joint Router System <!--paging_filter--><p>C. F. Martin &amp; Co. announced it has received a patent for its guitar-neck-joint router system, originally introduced in 2012. </p> <p>Created and spearheaded by Theresa Hoffman, engineering project manager at Martin, the machine is a complex combination of measuring sensors, a scanning probe, aluminum tooling and three different cutting tools. </p> <p>The patented router system uses a scanning probe to measure critical areas of the guitar body and neck. The measurements are then compared to optimal neck fit settings required to obtain a perfect neck fit. </p> <p>The system will calculate the adjustments required for the proper setup for bridge height and neck centering and machines areas on the body to create perfectly matched parts. The system machines the fingerboard and heel areas on the body as well as the final dovetail dimensions, thereby providing a tighter neck joint, enhanced tone and improved playability. </p> <p>“We are proud to receive a patent for one of our technology systems,” said Chris Martin IV, Martin Guitar’s CEO and chairman. “Throughout Martin’s 182-year history, our skilled team of engineers and researchers have perfected the marriage of our traditions in craftsmanship with innovative thinking to produce new processes for the next era of guitar-building. This patent exemplifies that spirit.”</p> <p><strong>For more about Martin, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> Acoustic Nation C. F. Martin & Co Martin Martin Guitars News Gear Acoustic Guitars Blogs News Gear Wed, 11 Mar 2015 17:48:12 +0000 Guitar World Staff