Whoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder must’ve been thinking about the relationship between Lita Ford and rock ‘n’ roll. The hard rock queen stepped away from her remarkable musical career back in the 1990s to devote herself to family and the surroundings of real life on a surreal Caribbean island, but with the call of the sonic wild getting louder and louder, she made the decision to dive back in at the deep end – only to find that she had every bit as much love for the heavy rock grind. And as it turns out, the feeling is mutual.
With Wicked Wonderland, her first full-length offering since 1995’s Black, Lita shows that her flair for sexy, stomping, searing sounds has only gotten more vivid – which is mighty impressive, given a history that includes such classics as “Kiss Me Deadly” and the Ozzy Osbourne duet “Close My Eyes Forever.” The disc, created in tandem with husband Jim Gillette – whose own musical history is highlighted by his work with acclaimed metallurgists Nitro – is a hard and heavy affirmation of the sensuality and smarts that’ve carried her through three decades of action.
“it’s funny, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve only gotten freakier,” says Lita. “Yeah, I took time to raise my kids and by raising my kids, I mean really doing it – home-schooling them myself, growing our food, baking bread for dinner. But at the end of the day, when it’s time to go to the boudoir, Jim and I are super-sexual and that’s definitely reflected in these songs.”
It certainly is – in both the pelvis-pounding rhythms and lascivious lyrics of tunes like the appropriately-tiled “Indulge” and the so-nasty-it’s-nice “Crave.” With Lita showing off her trademark ability to purr seductively through some tracks and deliver a well-placed knockout punch on no-holds-barred songs like “Piece (Hell Yeah),” Wicked Wonderland showcases an artist who’s clearly got plenty to say and no shortage of ways to say it.
The 12-cut disc certainly touches on the sort of headbang-inducing riffage that gave Lita her start way back when, but there are also surprises aplenty – from the smoking slide guitar that punctuates the bluesy “Scream” to the psychedelic industrial swirl that envelops “Everything.” It’s a potent blend, propelled by in-your-face drumming and Lita’s effortlessly steamy vocals.
“We started working and the songs just started pouring out,” she says. “Honestly, there were times we started working on a song and ten minutes later and we’d be done. We’re so in sync that I’m not surprised it went smoothly. But I was kinda surprised about how intense the songs ended up being. It is definitely the heaviest thing I’ve ever done.”
That’s saying a lot, given the history of the gal who grew up in England wanting to start a band, not merely say “I’m with the band.” Lita started down that path in her mid-teens after saving the wages she scraped together from odd after-school gigs. Less than two years later, she was strutting L.A.’s Sunset Strip as a member of The Runaways, an all-female answer to the most bad-ass New York punk pioneers. As the chief sonic architect of that ground-breaking band – soon to be the topic of a much-anticipated Hollywood bio-pic, Lita birthed classic tracks like “Cherry Bomb,” but even more importantly, gave the world an attitude that would inspire countless girls to form bands of their own.
“I don’t know that I ever really thought about being an influence,” she says, self-deprecatingly. “But I get reminded of it all the time. People come up to me and tell me they named their kids after me or named their dogs after me or named their fish after me. But what’s really cool is when they say they picked up a guitar because of me. That’s so rewarding.”
Lita’s influence only grew stronger once she broke out as a solo artist with such still-scintillating discs a Out for Blood and Dancing on the Edge. Through much of he 1980s, she was a huge presence on the metal scene, packing venues, earning Grammy nominations and collecting a passel of precious-metal certifications – not to mention the sort of fan adulation that resulted in her being honored with seven Metal Edge Readers Choice Awards and installation into the Circus magazine Hall of Fame, in which she was the only female inductee.
She scaled the charts with albums like the 1988 release Lita and Stiletto, which followed two years later – both of which showcased a different side of Lita the artist on songs like the moving “Lisa” (a piece dedicated to her mother) — and even crossed over to film with a prime role in the 1992 cult favorite Highway to Hell. But then, at the height of her powers, she opted to walk away.
‘It kind of stopped being fun after a while, though, and when I met Jim, I knew it was time to take a break and get my priorities in order,” says Lita. For her, that meant getting as far from the glitz of Los Angeles as possible, moving to a small island in the Caribbean in order to raise sons James and Rocco.
Lita grants that her guitars attracted quite a layer of dust in the intervening years – she proudly points out that her sons, who’ll be joining her on the road later this year, have never had to spend the night in the company of a nanny or a babysitter. But as the balls-to-the-wall tone – and sharply-crafted melodies – of Wicked Wonderland prove, her instincts didn’t lose one shred of their sharpness along the way.
“It wasn’t a situation where I was writing songs and playing every day over the years,” she says. “But Jim and I are rockers and it’s in our blood, you know? Things built up and when they got to the point where they had to explode….we ended up with this ass-kicking album.”
For more information on Lita, please visit her newly designed official website: http://litaxx.tv
Check out Music Radar’s thoughts on the matter here: http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/blog-when-is-a-strat-not-a-strat-220867?cpn=RSS&source=MRNEWS
So how do I feel about this? Um… well… um…
I think it’s great that the various packages are reasonably priced, but I just find it a strange fit. I just don’t want to see Gibson making this type of guitar. But it’s not Gibson’s involvement that bothers me – I think they have every right to do something like this, and if a similar package was offered by Gibson based on Jimi’s Flying V I’d be ecstatic. But ditto for Fender if they were offering such a package with a Strat. No, my beef is with the Hendrix estate. Guys, this isn’t the way to pay tribute to Jimi’s legacy. Just as a guitar purist, it bugs me is that the shape isn’t right (although it’s cool in its own way and I like the headstock), and while the guitar may be designed to capture the spirit of Jimi, the Stratocaster already did that quite fine. When you design a posthumous signature guitar that the artist never played, you walk a very fine line with fans. If this is just the tip of the iceberg as stated in the press release, then I hope the next release is that Flying V, which would truly be ‘authentic Hendrix.’
Here’s the press release:
Authentic Hendrix LLC, a Jimi Hendrix Family Company, announced today the introduction of three branded Jimi Hendrix Electric Guitar Packages as part of an exclusive agreement between the Gibson Guitar Corp. and Authentic Hendrix properties.
Specifically chosen for its innovation, quality and global impact, Authentic Hendrix LLC began conversations with the Gibson Guitar Corp. in 2008 to develop guitar packages that would serve as a tribute to the musician who many have called the world’s greatest guitarist of all time. The effort is also part of preserving his legacy so that generations to come could develop and appreciate his techniques and musicianship. Each guitar will have the Jimi Hendrix signature and logo on it and will come with special added value components only offered with the specific package.
Gibson Guitar and Authentic Hendrix LLC announced the launch of three exclusive Jimi Hendrix electric guitar packages.
The Jimi Hendrix “Experience” Electric Guitar Package is the ultimate tribute to the greatest guitarist who ever lived. The company has combed over historical details and taken the best from more than 100 years of guitar making so that every guitarist – from the beginner to the seasoned player – can find his or her inner Hendrix with this package. The “Experience” package will come with an official “Jimi Hendrix signature electric guitar” and all the necessary accessories and some fun extras including a Jimi Hendrix Signature “Voodoo Child” amplifier, a Foxey Fuzz pedal, a deluxe padded gig bag, an instructional DVD, an electronic tuner, two guitar cables, a Hendrix inspired strap, three picks and a USB drive containing exclusive Hendrix media content. In addition consumers will receive a Hendrix inspired tie-dyed tee-shirt and bandana. True to its name, this guitar package will give the music enthusiast the ultimate Hendrix experience. MSRP $449.99 USD.
Jimi Hendrix “Signature” Electric Guitar Package: It’s been almost 40 years since Jimi Hendrix’s death but he has continued to assert his tremendous legacy with the six strings of his guitar. In recordings and film footage, his mesmerizing showmanship lives on. In a fitting tribute to the man who famously played right-handed guitars upside down, Gibson and Authentic Hendrix have announced the Jimi Hendrix Signature Electric Guitar Package.
Designed in close collaboration with Janie Hendrix and Gibson engineers. The package inherited the best features from Jimi’s original equipment so that Hendrix fans the world over can enjoy a deluxe guitar package the way Jimi would have liked it. This package comes with a “Jimi Hendrix signature electric guitar and all the necessary accessories, a Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child amplifier, a deluxe padded gig bag, an instructional DVD, an electronic tuner, a guitar cable, a Hendrix inspired strap, three picks and a USB drive. MSRP $332.99 USD.
he third offering from this exclusive partnership is the Jimi by Jimi Hendrix “Little Wing” Electric Guitar Package which Gibson engineers and Authentic Hendrix LLC designed with one question in mind: “What if the world’s greatest guitarist was still alive today, what guitar would he want to play?” Combining the historical authenticity and more than 100 years of precision guitar making the launch of the Jimi “Little Wing” electric guitar package has been launched.
This “Jimi” guitar package is equipped with three Voodoo Child Inspired by Jimi Hendrix pickups and comes with the new 10-watt “Max Feedback” amplifier so that the musician is all set to recreate Hendrix’s unearthly playing style. The package also comes with an instructional DVD, which includes detailed lessons and a walk through of the components of the entire guitar package. In addition consumers will receive a deluxe padded gig bag, a 10 foot guitar cable, a nylong strap with the Authentic Hendrix logo on it and three Authentic Hendrix guitar picks. MSRP $249.99 USD.
“Creating this new guitar is continuing Jimi’s practice of giving back to people. He would go to Manny’s Music store in New York to make himself available to young musicians and invite them to his studio to watch him record. He also gave away guitars or bought them for young players,” said Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s sister and CEO of Authentic Hendrix.
“It was our own idea to approach Gibson in the beginning after the positive experiences we’d had with the Flying V’s that they made based on Jimi’s guitar some years back. Our excitement inspired their excitement, and here we are, creating these new branded musical instruments. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”
GAH! Help! Hide me! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!
3D Effects in a Skull Crushing Stomp Box
September 17, 2009
Destined to create more than just another effects pedal, Tone Box, Inc. sets out to break the mold of traditional stomp box shapes and tones adding a new dimension to every musician’s on-stage performance. Co-founded by industry veteran, Kasha and special effects creator, Shawn Crosby, Tone Box officially unveils its first product, the Skull Crusher. Kasha and Crosby saw the need to kick the pedal world into overdrive when they noticed, as Crosby states – “the current market selection was simply boring in their appearance and presentation on stage. We wanted something that adds a visual third dimension to the musicians playing and tone.” Aligning themselves with ‘A’ List rock stars and utilizing the production services of Rockmodules, Skull Crusher has opened the doors on what is only the beginning of a promising line of pedal effects.
“The Skull Crusher Drives my amp like no other pedal. Its revolutionary 3D design and technology blew me away. As a bass player, I especially loved the harmonic overtones and smooth growl still keeping my notes upfront and musical sounding. I’ve reserved a permanent spot on top of my classic SVT and know that this pedal will always deliver what I’ve always wanted in tone. It is the best looking and sounding pedal I’ve ever had the privilege to play.” — Robbie Crane (Bassist for Ratt)
Like a fine jeweler or a portrait sculptor, Crosby approached the housing of a stomp box with a different, but very skilled eye. He saw beyond the utilitarian tin can encompassing the electronics and seized an opportunity to enhance the musicians playing and tone by creating a visual third dimension that both inspired the musician and entertained the audience. Design and construction of the Skull Crusher is hand sculpted to the finest detail by trained artists, then molded and finished to the highest grade of finish. Enhancing the stainless steel body are red and blue LED’s that illuminate when the pedal is activated, achieving an eye-stunning effect. Production models are available in four finishes: gun metal, stainless steel, aged and ancient. Also available are custom precious metal models in 24k gold and sterling silver.
“Not only is this the coolest looking pedal I’ve ever seen in my life, the 8 voices it generates are astounding. It’s like 4 killer overdrive pedals in 1. From slight tone enhancement, to over-the-top/are-you-kidding-me/ mac-truck-between-the-eyes blistering tones with clarity so every note cuts through. I’ll take 2 please.” — Phil X (Guitarist for Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Tommy Lee, Daughtry)
To compliment its captivating appearance, The Rockmodules technology inside of the Skull Crusher was designed after the Kasha Amplifiers Rockmod sound. It is the world’s first overdrive pedal with eight distinct analog voicing’s and can be used with guitar, bass or any other musical instrument. On the back of the head you will find the VOICING, TONE and GAIN controls to give the player flexibility like no other overdrive pedal. The voicing knob allows the musician to select from four presets labeled as CLEAR (3dB up), ICE (11 dB up), CHAINS (15dB up) and BODY (18 dB up). Combine these four with the 10 dB BOOST and the artist now has eight voices to create his wildest dreams.
In addition to the four production models, Tone Box will be accepting limited custom orders on a first come, first serve basis and pricing will very per order depending on the availability and requests of the customer.
Tone Box is actively seeking domestic dealers and international distributors.
Base Models start at $399.00 USD.
For more information, visit http://www.thetonebox.com/.
25.5 inch scale
6 In-Line headstock
Dave Mustaine Signature Seymour Duncan Livewire Pickups
The most surprising thing about this model to me is that it features a distressed finish. Interesting that Dave would choose to go this route on a brand new guitar. First of all, he’s known for playing Vs, so the distressed finish isn’t mimicing the wear on a particular much-loved road-warrior guitar. Secondly, he’s quite well-known for graphic finishes and that cool metallic Mercedes grey colour.
Having said that, maybe it’s because I’m such a Mustaine geek but I’m really really into this guitar.
Megadeth’s new CD, Endgame, is out now on Roadrunner.
Goddammit I love Living Colour’s Stain. When I first got that album (on a see-through orange cassette in a cool orange case, and which some jagoff stole along with my car in 2000), I must have played it constantly for, like, a month. It had everything I was looking for in music: cool grooves, out-there solos, killer vocal performances, thoughtful songwriting, thoughtful lyric writing, and it sounded dirty and angry. These were all very good things. Living Colour eventually went their separate ways, but when they reunited in 2000 and released Collideøscope in 2003, I was pretty freakin’ ecstatic, especially because there were a few key elements to that album which made it sound pretty much like an extension of Stain. Living Colour was back and all was well with the world.
So last week I marched on down to JB Hi Fi in Chapel St (hi, friendly JB staff) and plonked down a fistful of I Heart Guitar Funbucks for the new LC album, The Chair In The Doorway. Throwing the CD into the ‘ol player I was curious to see if the newie continued the Stainalike theme. Nope! The first thing I noticed from opening track ‘Burned Bridges’ was that the mix is much more 3-dimensional, the guitar tones are softer and thicker, the drum sounds are deeper, and the playing is much more groove-oriented and psychedelic. Living Colour were always able to bring on the brutal metal power, but even on the gloriously heavy riffage of track two, ‘The Door’ or track three, the super-riffy ‘DecaDance’ (listen out for some cool Whammy Pedal work in Vernon Reid’s solo), some of the upfront edge and bite is removed from the guitar attack, replaced by sludgy, dull bludgeoning. It’s a different side of Living Colour: while the CD is slightly reminiscent in vibe to some of the non-Stainy bits of Collideøscope and maybe a little bit of Time’s Up, and some of the drum/bass interplay may remind keen listeners of Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish’s excellent Jungle Funk work, for the most part Doorway is its own beast.
‘Young Man’ unites a disco beat with some rhythm guitar work that reminds me of King Crimson via a gloriously fuzzed-out guitar tone, while the mid-tempo ‘Method’ is home to some cool synthy textures that remind me a little of David Bowie’s 1.Outside album, overlayed with a restrained vocal performance. It’s one of those songs that rewards repeated listenings by slowly revealing new, deeper layers – one of the many reasons I love this band so much.
‘Behind The Sun’ is another great example of Vernon’s textural approach to overdubs on Doorway. Check out the atmospheric tremoloed and panned single notes in the chorus, over the top of a rhythm guitar figure which singlehandly provides undeniable proof that overwhelming sheets of gain can still be applied musically without sounding like a death metal jamboree.
‘Bless Those (Little Annie’s Prayer)’ has some of the most overtly bluesy songwriting and performance of Living Colour’s career, complete with cool slide guitar parts and an up-front bass/guitar unison tagline, but capped off with yet another hugely fuzzed-out rhythm guitar tone for the chorus. Once again, Vernon is giving us a crash course on getting away with fearsome amounts of gain, and once again it sounds pretty freaking cool. The guitar solo represents some of his most Hendrixy playing ever, and stands out all the more by being the sole guitar track – no rhythm overdubbage here – recalling LC’s live sound.
‘Hard Times’ has a great ominous chorus set against an upbeat verse and a solo which really, really reminds me of Mike Keneally. Seriously, it sounds like something Mike might have played in The Mistakes or on something from his Sluggo! album.
‘That’s What You Taught Me’ is a little more straightforward, once again with a more textural guitar approach which kinda reminds me of Jane’s Addiction, and a steady 8th-note bass pulse. Wimbish’s tone on this track in particular is amazing – punchy and throaty yet supportive and ballsy. Awesome. ‘Out Of My Mind’ has a monster stomping riff followed by an intricate verse which almost sounds like a live band taking a run at something from Nine Inch Nails’ Broken EP.
‘Not Tomorrow’ opens up with a bit of a Yardbirds vibe, with some serious ‘old tone’ happening. Killer nuanced drum performance by Will Calhoun here, supported by some mixed-back power-chord rhythmic emphasis by Reid. This track is somewhat meditative, droney and psychedelic, and I’m not entirely sure I agree with its placement on the album. I might have put it between ‘Bless Those (Little Annie’s Prayer)’ and ‘Hard Times,’ but that’s just me.
Finally after a blank track there’s ‘Asshole,’ a straight four-on-the-floor, poppy track with some great dirty guitar tones, soul-influenced sing-along melodies and some coffee-spittingly hilarious lyrics. I won’t give any of it away but seriously dude, you’ve really gotta hear this song. It’s especially funny because the music is quite upbeat. It’s such a great way to wrap up the album,
Alright, so where do I stand on The Chair In The Doorway? Well it doesn’t replace Stain as my favourite. The guitar work is less heroic and more atmospheric, but I kind of get the feeling Vernon Reid is becoming so comfortable with his various other musical guises that he’s happier playing for the song in Living Colour now. Where before he may have packed a fluttering spree of notes into a bar of an LC song, perhaps his musical soul is now being nourished in that way by his solo output instead. The result is a more laid-back Living Colour with deeper grooves and more space and texture, and although there are less killer riffs per square inch, the ones that are there more than earn their space. This is the first Living Colour album that I’ve been happy to let play in the background to appreciate its wholeness at least as often as I’ve found myself devoting my entire attention to its details, my head sandwiched between the headphones.
UPDATE! Here’s footage of Dave Mustaine using his new Dean Zero signature model on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:
Check out this pic from the photo gallery of Dave Mustaine’s page at The Live Line. It’s the first look at his new Dean signature model, the Zero, which he plan to play on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on September 17 (actually technically it’ll be September 18 because the show starts over midnight – but you know what I mean, right?). Make sure you sign up for TheLiveLine – it kicks ass.
Dave mentioned this guitar in my interview with him a few weeks ago:
“At the NAMM show that’s coming up at the beginning of next year they’re going to be debuting a brand-new Dean guitar for me. The exciting part is that I looked at Dean’s catalogue and a lot of the guitars they had and… well, my VMNTs, it’s nothing like the original V that they have. It’s nothing like the ones they’re creating right now too. My line is my line. Neck shape, the configuration of the electronics, the ease and comfort, the way the pitch of the headstock is, the way the strings go through the body for getting all of that extra resonance. It’s a one-of-a-kind mentality towards making a guitar the absolute best thing you could ever possibly want to play through. They had another body style that wasn’t being utilised by anybody. I said ‘Can I get you to make me one of those?’ ‘Well yeah, fuck man, sure man!’ I said ‘Wow, is anybody playing this?’ ‘No man.’ I said ‘Can I?’ ‘Fuck yeah man!’ I said ‘Can I change some of the lines on this?’ ‘Yeah sure!’ ‘So I’m gonna Dave Mustaine this guitar right now, ok.’ So we’re debuting a brand-new style. It’s called the Zero and I can’t really tell you much more than that other than it’s going to be a workhorse and the people who have seen it already over at Dean, they’ve been there for years and they’ve seen everything under the sun, that kinda stuff is exciting. Especially when it’s opening up another area of creativity with the company.”
CLICK HERE to read the full interview.
Available November 2009. The V845 Wah-Wah pedal is a new version of the most famous guitar effects pedal of all time. Based on the specifications of the original pedal developed by VOX in the ’60s, the V845 Wah-Wah offers guitarists the same legendary Wah-Wah tone in a new sturdy but very affordable design. An AC power connector is fitted to save on batteries and the outer case is coated with tough all-black finish making it the perfect choice for your pedal board.
About the VOX Wah-Wah
VOX developed the world’s first Wah-Wah effect during the ’60s in an effort to allow guitarists to emulate the sound of a trumpet being muted — an important musical ingredient of the day. VOX’s original Wah-Wah pedal quickly gained widespread popularity and its unique sonic characteristics have encouraged further experimentation by guitarists ever since. Having made spotlight appearances on some of the most famous recordings of all time, the Wah-Wah is still considered “must-have equipment” for guitar players of all levels and abilities today.
VOX V845 Wah-Wah Specificaitons
Input/Output jacks: INST jack, AMP jack, DC i/p jack.
Power supply: One 9V DC battery 6F22(S-006P)
Power consumption: 540uA @ 9VDC
Battery life for continuous use: approximately >100 hours with manganese battery (will vary depending on conditions)
Dimensions: 102(W) x 252(D) x 75(H) (including rubber feet, pedal in lowest postion)
Weight: 942g (including battery)
I like plugging into a nice clean solid state bass amp as much as the next dude, but there are times when you really need to growl and snarl. That’s where the Eden WTB300V comes in. Eden has revamped their E300T amp into the WTB300V to make look as rockworthy as it sounds. As part of the new design you can see the valves from the front, making the amp look that extra bit evil. There’s also a groovy light-up Eden logo. But you can’t judge an amp on looks alone or we’d all be playing through little portable Pignose combos. So let’s check out the WTB300V’s innards.
Next to the input is a pad switch which reduces input gain by 10dB. Next there’s a gain control and an Overdrive button. The gain control is active whether you use the Overdrive button or not so you can balance it with your master volume to get the right amount of cleanliness or edge even if you’re using a clean setting. Next we have Bass, Mid and Treble pots with a Mid Shift button between the latter two which operates on the 500Hz and 2.2KHz frequencies. Finally there’s a Master Volume plus power and standby switches. Internally there are six independently biasable Ruby KT-88 output valves cranking out 320W RMS of pure rock power into 4 or 8 Ohms. Around the back we have 1/4” and NL-4 speaker output jacks, DI and tuner outputs, the 4/8 Ohm impedance selector and a footswitch jack. The included footswitch has two buttons, Mute and Overdrive, so even though the WTB300V is a single channel amp, the ability to switch the Overdrive section on or off remotely effectively turns it into a two-channel beast.
I tested the WTB300V with an Ibanez SR5006 Prestige Soundgear 6-string bass with active Bartolini pickups and a Yamaha Attitude bass with passive DiMarzio pickups. I used a Hartke 4X10 cabinet for testing. With the overdrive left off for now, the tone was be nice and even with good separation between the frequencies and good note definition even when blazing out fast passages. Something extra special seems to happen harmonically around the 12th fret which is great news for players who like to climb up there. Some of my favourite sounds occurred somewhere between clean and overdrive, where a softer pick attack resulted in cleaner notes while digging in harder bought out an angry, compressed edge. This was especially evident using slap and pop techniques on the 6-string. Nudging up the gain a little bit and flattening out the 6-string’s EQ brought out some warmth and colour which helped knit together tapped chords and picked arpeggios, really showing off how well-suited this amp would be not only for supportive bass players but also those who take lots of solos. I’d have no hesitation using it for a fusion gig, then packing it into the car and letting rip at a metal club. The distortion isn’t quite enough distortion for full-on extreme metal so we tried it out with a Big Muff fuzz to see how it handles ultra high gain and it sounded like doom on wheels. In a good way. We also ran a chorus through the effect loop and lowered the gain a little for a very convincing New Order tone. Switching to the Yamaha and reaching for a pick brought out those clicky, driving David Ellefson Megadeth tones, while going pickles and cranking the overdrive unleashed a Billy Sheehan-like firestorm. Also great for Tool tones if you bring the mids down a bit and crank the treble.
This is a great amp for those who need earthier textures, whether for rock, funk, jazz, blues, soul, some metal genres… in fact I can’t really think of a genre that wouldn’t benefit from having the low end coming out of the WTB300V if you’re after a warmer, smoother tone than that provided by solid state rigs.
Godin guitars remind me of comedian Rodney Dangerfield: they both don’t get no respect. In Rodney’s case this was part of his shtick. For the Canadian guitar maker, it’s one of the unexplained mysteries of the guitar world. Why are their instruments so highly prized among top name players like John McLaughlin (read my interview with him here), Richie Blackmore and Bill Frisell, yet they haven’t broken through to the forefront of brand consciousness? It’s a bit of a mystery to me: through teaching and as a repair tech I’ve found their guitars to be brilliantly constructed, cleverly designed and very easy to play. I can only conclude that they’re that one standout model or endorser away from staking out a solid corner of the hallowed turf occupied by the Big Guitar Makers.
The Velocity model may look like a bit of a shred machine at first glance, but look a little closer and it has more in common with the boutique output of makers like John Suhr than the hepped up metal axes enjoying a resurgence today. The pickup scheme is the first clue: a pair of Godin GS-1 single coils in the neck and middle positions, and a Seymour Duncan SH-5 Duncan Custom humbucker in the bridge. The current shredder’s market tends to favour neck humbuckers and often omit a middle pickup altogether, but the H-S-S layout is still in great favour in more, let’s say, refined designs.
The next hint as to this model’s design heritage is its vintage-style tremolo bridge. While other Godin tremolo models feature either two point fulcrum bridges or Floyd Rose locking systems, the Velocity puts its faith in the classic operation and unique attack characteristics of this 50-something-year-old design. I guess the assumption is that the kind of player this guitar is aimed at has no need for wild whammy bar antics, but may indulge in the occasional David Gilmour or Hank Marvin moment. Certainly at this price point the Velocity doesn’t need to use a vintage bridge to cut corners, and it’s no surprise that tuning stability on this model is as good as can be expected as long as you don’t try to pick the guitar up by the bar to perfect your Steve Vai wiggle-stick tricks.
The Velocity’s body is made of a silver leaf maple center with poplar wings and a solid high-flame maple top. The neck is rock maple, with maple or rosewood fretboard. The 12” radius fretboard is comfortable for complex chords, yet won’t fret out on wild bends. Electronics consist of a 5-way switch, and master volume and tone controls. Tucked down by the tone knob is a small black switch. This is Godin’s High-Definition Revoicer (HDR). This circuit is powered by a 9v battery accessed through the back of the guitar, and when engaged it revoices the frequency range of each pickup, boosting the output and amounting to a conversion from passive to active pickups at the nudge of a button.
The single coils have plenty of bite and gutsier output than I expected, especially combined with the visionary HDR system. In fact, the middle pickup was more than adequate as a main pickup in situations where one might otherwise choose the humbucker. The Duncan Custom is fat and rich, and the HDR bumps it up to EMG-like levels of gain. Thanks to the HDR you can certainly get metal tones out of this guitar if you’re seeking them, but the Velocity is also very happy with mildy overdriven crunch tones and smooth distortion. The tone is warm yet bright – just enough treble bite to add an edge to your sound, but with a full body too. There’s good note separation for open chords, and some nice midrange overtones when you move up the neck to play single notes.
The Velocity is a versatile entry to the ‘SuperStrat’ stakes, and is a little more ‘Strat’ than its ‘super’ looks might initially appear. If you haven’t experienced a Godin before, the Velocity is a great place to start.
BODY: Silver leaf maple, poplar, flame maple
NECK: Rock maple with rosewood or maple fretboard
ELECTRONICS: 1 volume, 1 tone, HDR switch, 5 way switch
PICKUPS: 2 X Godin GS-1 single coils, 1 X Seymour Duncan SH-5 humbucker
Wow, Schecter’s really getting on board the 8-string thing. Check these out! They’ll be available in early October at authorized Schecter dealers, and only 50 of each will be produced!
*26.5” Extended Scale
*EMG Active 808 Humbucker(s)
* Custom Hipshot Bridge
* Custom Inlays
* Tuned F#/B/E/A/D/G/B/E
HELLRAISER DEVIL-8 US$1299.00 MSRP
DEVIL SPINE-8 US$1199.00 MSRP
I just did the prize draw for the I Heart Guitar 1st Birthday Giveaway Spectacular! I saved all the entry emails and used random.org to pick them out. Bizarrely, 3 of the winners are from the same US state. Freaky.
First, the runner-up prize winners:
Scarlet, Steve and Joshua win:
From Australasian Music Supplies (Aussie Dunlop/DiMarzio distributors): 1 set of Dunlop strings, Crybaby shirt
From Steve Turner: 1 Not In Kansas Anymore CD
From Grover Allman: 5 I Heart Guitar picks
2nd prize winner is…
From DiMarzio: 1 Urban Decay leather strap in white, 1 hot pink instrument cable,
From Steve Turner: 1 Not In Kansas Anymore CD
From Shire Music: Autographed Joe Satriani concert flyer
From Australasian Music Supplies: Dunlop Kerry King signature strings, Crybaby shirt
From Grover Allman: 10 I Heart Guitar picks
And the 1st prize winner is….
From DiMarzio: 1 LiquiFire 7, 1 Crunch Lab 7, 1 2 inch black nylon cliplock strap, 1 Blk Instrument cable, 1 Blk Jumper cable, 1 DiMarzio t-shirt
From Steve Turner: 1 Not In Kansas Anymore CD
From Shire Music: Warwick mouse pad (shaped like a Warwick bass – it’s really cool).
From Australasian Music Supplies: Signed Dunlop Kerry King poster, Dunlop Kerry King shirt
From Grover Allman: 10 I Heart Guitar picks
Just saw this at the excellent Frantikmag.com. Good news for my buddies in the US, especially after Dave Mustaine confirmed on the Megadeth forum (registration required) that the band are adding 5 Magics to the set!!!
Now, before we get to the press release about the tour dates, here’s some Megadeth-related coverage on I Heart Guitar for ya:
Ok, on to the news.
New York, NY: Megadeth are proud to announce that they will be embarking on a headline tour, their first in support of their latest album, ENDGAME. The ENDGAME tour will feature Machine Head, Suicide Silence and Arcanium in support slots from November 14 through December 3. Warbringer will replace Machine Head on the bill, beginning on December 5.
Megadeth’s twelfth studio release, ENDGAME, will be released on September 15, to much fanfare, with early praise for the record flooding in, including a nod from the prestigious New York Magazine, which dubbed the record a “Want to Hear” pick, while the band had chats with RollingStone.com, Decibel, Revolver,Guitar World, AOL Noisecreep, Thrasher, among a host of others.
Fans and critics alike are deeming this Megadeth’s best, most visceral record of the decade. Known for their ferocious, unforgettable and brain-scarring live shows, the band will co-headline another throng of dates with fellow metal icons Slayer in Canada, beginning on November 8 and running through November 13, and will subsequently lay waste to venues in the States.
The band will also cap off their incredibly anticipated release week with a live performance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on September 17.
Dates for the ENDGAME tour are as follows:
Nov. 14 – The Orbit Room – Grand Rapids, MI
Nov. 15- Peoria Civic Center – Peoria, IL
Nov. 17 – Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 18 – The LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH
Nov. 20 – Madison Theater- Covington, KY
Nov. 21 – The National – Richmond, VA
Nov. 22 – Valarium – Knoxville, TN
Nov. 23 – The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
Nov. 25 – Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nov. 27 – Hard Rock Live – Orland, FL
Nov. 28 – House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC
Nov. 30 – The Pavilion at Concrete Street – Corpus Christi, TX
Dec. 1 – Sunken Gardens – San Antonio, TX
Dec. 2 – Palladium Ballroom – Dallas, TX
Dec. 3 – Bricktown Events Center – Oklahoma City, OK
Dec. 5 – The Beaumont – Kansas City, MO
Dec. 6 – Pop’s – Sauget, IL
Dec. 7 – Great Hall at River Center – Davenport, IA
Dec. 8- Fargo Civic Auditorium – Fargo, ND
Dec. 10 – Shrine Auditorium – Billings, MT
Pre-sales begin September 15 at 10 AM, while regular onsales to the general public start the same time on September 18. For further information about the tour, additional dates and ticketing, check www.megadeth.com regularly.