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
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
BOSS 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
Zakk 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
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
PRESS 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
The 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.