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Fargen Releases Demo Video for High Gain Amps

Ben Fargen, founder of Fargen Amplification in Sacramento, California has created a demonstration video in response to consumer requests. After the initial launch of the High Gain Anniversary amps at NAMM, inquiries came pouring in wanting to know more. Here, Ben Fargen demonstrates the versatility of the new amp. There are no pedals in the signal chain, just the amp and a small collection of guitars to demonstrate what can be achieved. Continue reading

Seymour Duncan Releases 7/8-String Black Winter

You asked for it, you got it: Seymour Duncan has launched new 7 and 8-string versions of the Black Winter, the aggressively brootals humbucker set originally designed for extreme metal players of Scandinavia who were looking for more aggression without sacrificing definition and clarity. After consistently being asked to make this pickup available for the rest of the world, Seymour Duncan did so. Now, after being consistently asked to make it available for extended range guitars, here it is! You’ll now be able to get all the heavy saturation, articulation and aggression of the Black Winter in your 6, 7 or 8 string axe. Continue reading

Comparing The BOSS Phaser Family

phaseBOSS released its first three compact foot pedals in 1977: the OD-1 Overdrive, the SP-1 Spectrum (a parametric equaliser) and the PH-1 Phaser. The OD-1 is, of course, an enduring classic which paved the way for the OD-2 (1985-1994) and the current OD-3 (1997-present). The SP-1 found more favour with keyboard players than guitarists, and is highly sought after today. But BOSS’s phaser offerings have grown and evolved along the years – and along with the evolution of what phasers are expected to do. Let’s take a look at this evolution through the now-discontinued PH-1, PH-1R and PH-2 and the current PH-3. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Zakk Wylde

PRESS002 Credit Justin ReichZakk Wylde’s quarter-century career as shred master supreme is signposted by landmark works like Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears, his own bands Black Label Society and Pride & Glory, and even brief stints with The Allman Brothers Band (filling in for a gig in 1993) and Guns N’ Roses (joining Slash and co in the last days of that particular G’nR era). But Catacombs of the Black Vatican, the latest album by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society does what any artist would strive for but so few achieves: it stands out as a masterwork two and a half decades into Zakk’s career, when many artists would just start to coast. With Catacombs Zakk has forged an album that pays tribute to his various influences – Sabbath, Zeppelin, Alice In Chains, the Allmans – and filters it through his own massive musical personality to come up with his most varied, complete collection of songs ever. And his guitar playing is utterly ferocious, as usual. Continue reading

ENGL Added To AmpliTube Custom Shop

 

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PRESS RELEASE: IK Multimedia, the global leader in digital modeling technology, announced today a new release of AmpliTube Custom Shop for Mac and PC that includes top models from THE high-gain German amplifier manufacturer ENGL. These new models give metal and classic to modern hard rock players new high-end power tools to perfectly sculpt their tones in their DAW. Continue reading

Devin Townsend – ‘Funeral’

Fender CEO Larry Thomas To Retire

Larry-ThomasPRESS RELEASE: Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced today the upcoming retirement of CEO Larry Thomas, effective May 31, 2014. Thomas was appointed to the FMIC Board of Directors in 2009 and later appointed CEO on Aug. 1, 2010. Current interim COO Scott Gilbertson will assume the role of interim CEO until the company completes its search for a successor. Gilbertson is a partner at TPG Growth and currently serves on the board of Fender Musical Instruments and has also served as interim COO since Oct. 2013. Previously, he held a variety of executive positions at leading companies including J.Crew, Under Armour and Bally International.  Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Morbid Angel’s David Vincent

David VincentNot that it’s a competition, but if it was, Morbid Angel are one of the most significant bands in death metal history. They already would have earned that title on the strength of their songs, their musicianship and their attitude, but their status as legends was solidified with the release of their third album Covenant in 1993. For Covenant was the very first death metal album to be released by a major label, selling over 130,000 copies in the United States alone and breaking the door down for heavier genres – and also achieving the rare feat of packing a major label album full of occult and satanic lyrics (and without the sense of theatre that accompanies bands like Ghost BC). To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this landmark album last year, Morbid Angel hit the road for a few months to play Covenant from start to finish, followed by a selection of classic cuts. And now they’re bringing the show down here to Australia, playing a handful of dates in April. Continue reading

Cool Bob St John (Extreme Producer) Interview

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Ahead Of Its Time: The Gibson Victory

victorythumbThe other day I had a great chat with Zakk Wylde – look for it here soon – and we got to talking about unusual Gibson models from back in the day. We talked about stuff like the Moderne and RD. But one that we didn’t touch on and that I wish we did was the Victory. This was a very cool guitar and bass line available beginning in 1981, and the ad for the guitar version back in the day pretty much nails its appeal: “Ten different sounds from one great new guitar” and “Sounds like… all of ‘em.” This is the first guitar I can think of that really attempts to combine two distinct guitar schools of thought – basically the Gibson school and the Fender school – into one instrument. There’s the H-S-H pickup layout which beats companies like Ibanez to the punch by several years, as does the off-set dot fretboard inlay style (actually it sort of looks a little bit like an Ibanez Fireman as well, if you turn your head and squint just right). It has a traditionally Gibson 24.75” scale length but the slightly-Gibson/slightly-Fender design pre-dates similar guitars by Paul Reed Smith too. The designs look kinda similar to some guitars by Knaggs too, in a subtle way.

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Def Leppard Rocks PreSonus ADL 700 Channel Strip

1383This email from PreSonus (I use and love their Studio One recording software) just popped up in my inbox and it reminded me of that time I interviewed Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott about guitar for Guitar World – I thought it’d be fun to get Joe’s take on guitar, given that he’s so known as a vocalist but has been playing guitar pretty much forever: he initially auditioned to be the guitarist for the band that would eventually become Def Leppard. You can read that interview here. Now on to the press release:

PRESS RELEASE: Having worked with UK rockers Def Leppard in the studio and as concert front-of-house engineer for well over a decade, Ronan McHugh has had ample opportunity to try out lots of different gear with the band. McHugh has been using the new PreSonus ADL 700 tube channel strip to record the band’s first studio album since their 2008 Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, and he gives the channel strip high marks all around. “Before we started working on the album, I did a record with Joe [Elliott, lead vocalist for Def Leppard],” McHugh reports. “He has another project called Down ‘n’ Outz. We recorded most of the vocals through a Shure SM7, directly into the ADL 700. I found that with the impedance control at just the right setting, it really brings the vocal to life.” Continue reading

Klon Centaur Vs. MI Audio Super Blues Pro

Aah, now this is interesting! The good folks at MI Audio recently had the venerable KLON Centaur in their workshop, and after playing it for awhile they realised that it had a similar tone to the MOSFET setting on their own Super Blues Pro pedal. So they did a quick A/B shootout “We were able to dial in some verrrrry close tones although the two pedals are very different designs,” they say. “The Klon is a fairly unique circuit, and the Super Blues Pro is from the Tube Screamer family. So we recorded a very quick clip to compare the two pedals. Now, we’re not at all claiming that the Super Blues Pro is identical to Klon. It’s not, and that was never the intention with the Super Blues Pro. However, it was surprising that given virtually any setting on the Klon, it was possible to dial up a setting on the Super Blues Pro which got pretty damn close.”
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Guthrie Govan

Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com

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