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Christopher Scapelliti

Guitar World Member For: 8 years 31 weeks
Total Posted Content: 119 Articles
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AXOLOGY: Olympus LS-10 Brings Pro Audio to Handheld Recorders

While humanity speeds en masse down the digital music trail, millions of struggling musicians are still recording rehearsals, gigs and ideas for their breakthrough hit song with the humble cassette tape. Talk about suffering for your art. 

Although compact and cheap, cassettes suck. The audio quality is miserable, the cartridges are fiddly to insert and remove from the player, and the damn things are analog! You actually have to wind through them to get to the part of the recording you need to hear.

And as anyone who has searched for cassettes these days will tell you, fresh blanks are becoming very scarce as the medium rolls at 1 7/8 inches per second to the end of its 40-year run.

All of which makes the new Olympus LS-10 especially lustworthy. It’s a handheld stereo digital recorder with a pair of mics built in and positioned at right angles for

AXOLOGY: Blaze Gets Buddy with Kahler Bridges

Buddy Blaze has started offering Kahler tremolo systems as options on its Evanator and Alii King models. 

The Evanator, shown here, uses the Kahler 2200 Professional stud-mount series trem system, which is designed to retrofit most stud-mount bridges and work with carved tops.

The 2200 Series trems have fine tuners and six-way adjustable saddles, and they are available in left- and right-hand configurations. The 2200 models are available in Bright Chrome, Black Krome and Gold. List price is $369.

AXOLOGY: N-Tune Puts a Chromatic Tuner in Your Ax

Tired of lugging a guitar tuner around? Here’s a solution that’s both cool and cool looking.

The N-Tune Chromatic Tuner installs on your guitar in place of your standard volume control, with no modifications required. When the control is pressed down, it acts like a standard volume control. Pulling the control up mutes the guitar’s output and activates the tuner.

A display ring under the knob shows the notes and tuning status symbols: Flat, Sharp, Tuned and Tuned Sharp (for accidentals: C sharp, D sharp, etc.). Bright LEDs guide the tuning process by illuminating the note being tuned and the relevant symbol.

When a note is tuned sharp or flat, the corresponding LED will blink red and flash faster as the note is tuned to pitch. The green Tuned LED will light when the string is in tune.

Two pots are available: a 250k pot for Stratocaster-style guitars and a 500k pot for Gibson and everything else. The pot is a high-grade design, and the stem allows you to use your original control knob. N-Tune uses one nine-volt battery, which mounts with Velcro under your pickguard.

Note that if your existing volume pot has additional features, they will not function when the N-Tune is installed.

The N-Tune has a list price of $100. For more information, go to

AXOLOGY: Motorcycle toolmaker switches gears with GrooveTech guitar kit

If you ride, you probably know CruzTOOLS for the tools and tool kits they make for motorcycles. 

Now the company is crossing into guitar territory with its GrooveTech Guitar Player Tech Kit, which consists of tools and an Easy Setup Guide to help novices learn the intricacies of setting up their instrument.

The tools are a 6-in-1 screwdriver, five metric and six fractional hex/Allen keys, a 15-blade thickness gauge, a six-inch steel ruler, diagonal cutters, a capo, a three-LED flashlight and a string winder. The screwdriver comes with two Phillips tips (#1 and #2), two slotted tips (1/4-inch and a 3mm for vintage-style bridge saddles) and two nut drivers (1/4-inch and 3/16-inch for Gibson-style truss rod nuts).

As for the Easy Setup Guide, it explains basic setup and maintenance and includes a tutorial on neck and bridge adjustment, pickup height and intonation.

The tools store in a polyester pouch that has space for the guide and strings and a pick storage pocket.

The GrooveTech Guitar Player Tech Kit retails for $61.95 and has a street price of approximately $50. For more information, visit

AXOLOGY: AXL Introduces Tyrant 200B bass amp

AXL has announced it’s new Tyrant 200B solid-state bass amp. 

The 200-watter has dual 10-inch speakers, four-band EQ with tone-cut switch and a ground lift control to reduce noise levels. It also has 1/4-inch active and passive inputs, as well as RCA inputs (in case you want to plug in your hi-fi equipment?). An XLR line out with level control lets you connect the Tyrant to a PA or mixer without requiring a direct box (nice feature).

A rather tidy silver faceplate, black metal grille and vinyl covering embossed with a skull design give the Tyrant 200B an understated metal that’s perfect for classic-era headbangers. Removable casters make for portability and stability (which is more than we can say for the bassists we know).

List price: $659.99. Check it out at axlguitars.

AXOLOGY: Carvin Cues Up Its California Single

Carvin’s new single-cutaway CS6 California Single guitar has a mahogany body and neck, a premium 20mm-thick curly flamed maple carved top and a matching figured maple headstock overlay. Both the carved top and the headstock overlay have been hand selected and book matched by Carvin’s California Custom Shop. 

The CS6 has Carvin’s Rapid Play set neck with Carvin’s exclusive “heel-less” design for uninhibited access to the 22nd fret. The guitar’s neck actually sets five inches into the body for greater sustain and stability.

Other features include a 25-inch scale ebony fingerboard with abalone dot inlays and 22 medium jumbo frets., Sperzel locking tuners, C22J and C22B Classic humbucker pickups, a master volume control and three-way pickup selector, and push-pull tone control with coil-tap for single-coil operation one or both pickups. As with other Carvin guitars, the California Single can be configured to each customer’s exacting specs.

The CS6 has a factory direct base price of $1,479. Allow six weeks for build, or longer depending on demand. For more information, click here.

AXOLOGY: Ernie Ball Introduces Titanium-Coated Slinky acoustic strings

Ernie Ball says its new Titanium-Coated Slinky acoustic string sets resist rust and grime to help retain bright and powerful tone. Both the wound and plain strings are coated with the company’s patented Titanium RPS technology. 

In addition, a protective coating on the wrap wire and plain strings, plus a patented winding of titanium wire around the lock twist of the ball end, produces stronger and longer-lasting strings.

Titanium-Coated Slinky acoustic strings are sold in Ernie Ball’s new hermetically sealed packages to minimize exposure to moisture. Find out more at the company’s website.


Line 6 Announces Itsy-Bitsy Spider

Line 6 has enlarged its Spider III family of modeling amps in the smallest of ways with the battery-powered Micro Spider amp.

The littlest Spider sports a six 1/2–inch speaker, six watts of power and eight legs. Just kidding. Features include four Spider III amp models, a new acoustic guitar model, six Smart Control effects (including reverb, chorus and tap delay) and what the press release calls a “precise chromatic tuner” —- as opposed to the wildly inaccurate tuner that made a disaster of last Sunday’s church service singalong.

Weighing a mere seven pounds (not sure if that’s with the six C batteries installed), the Micro Spider has a headphone out, a POD 2.0-style direct output, and guitar input and a mic input with trim knob.

List price is a $199.99. For more info, go here.