REVIEW: Ibanez Artist ARZ800

Ibanez may not be particularly known for their single-cut guitars – the iconic nature of designs like the RG and Iceman series tend to selfishly draw the eyes towards them during a casual flip of the catalog – but the company has made it’s fair share of such beauties over the years. In fact, in the 70s Ibanez made copies of a particularly well known single-cut that were so accurate and revered that they got slapped with threats of legal action and had to stop. The Artist offers occasional hints at this history but the series is always undergoing refinement and it’s now very much it’s own family of guitars, not trying to reflect any particular design by another company but not shying away from those sexy curves either.

One aspect that particularly separates the ARZ800 from most other single-cuts is its scale length: 25 inches, halfway between the 24.75″ of traditional single-cuts and the 25.5″ of so-called ‘superstrats.’ This gives the strings a slightly looser feel but not so much that you’ll get weird pitch drift if you pick super-hard. It also makes the guitar a little better-suited to lower tunings, such as Drop D or Drop C.

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REVIEW: Digitech BP355

Bass players often seem to be given the short end of the stick when it comes to multieffects and recording-friendly products. There have been a few cool units over the years, but more often than not bass players are criminally short-changed when it comes to under-foot processing power. No more! DigiTech’s BP355 is going to change all that. Part preamp, part multi-effects unit, part looper, part recording interface, it’s an innovative piece of kit that covers a lot of basses… uh, bases.

Amp models? It has 21, based on – you ready for this? – Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Fender Tweed Deluxe, ’63 Vox AC30 Top Boost, ’65 Fender Blackface Twin Reverb, ’77 Marshall Master Volume, Ampeg B15, Ampeg SVT, Ashdown Bass Magnifer, Demeter VTBP-201S, DigiTech Clean Tube, DigiTech High Gain, DigiTech Solo, Fender Bassman, Fender Dual Showman, Hiwatt Custom 50, Mesa Boogie 400+, SWR Basic Black, SWR Interstellar Overdrive, Sunn 200S and Trace-Elliot Commando (as well as a Direct voicing with no amp model to speak of).

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NEWS: MI Audio modded Crunch Box giveaway

MI Audio Pty Ltd is offering a killer giveaway of three Crunch Box pedals with five mods which may be used on a possible future production version.

The mods:

1) Start with an internal voltage tripler to run at the pedal at 24V for the punchiest, most amp-like tone.

2) The presence trimmer is now external for on-the-go adjustments.

3) A 3 position clipping switch for >> traditional CB sizzle, a more organic softer clip, or an open sounding ‘volume boost’ mode.

4) A switchable filter mode for a fat, ‘fixed wah’ tone

5) A switchable lower gain mode, with improved guitar volume sensitivity.

There are 3 ways to win a modified Crunch Box. One Crunch Box will go to someone who has subscribed to MI’s newsletter. Subscription form can be access on their Facebook page or the MI Effects website. A second Crunch Box is Facebook-related and a third is Twitter-related. All the details can be found at

NEWS: Neil Daniels’ Journey biography getting rave reviews




“…an accurate and obviously well researched biography…”

Malcome Dome – Classic Rock (


“As a lone-time yet casual fan of the band, I found the band’s story very interesting and quite surprising… I received the book on Thursday, used every possible opportunity to read it and finished it on Sunday. That’s a recommendation if any.”

Kimmo Toivonen – Rock United (

“A very entertaining and well researched biography, Don’t Stop Believin’ is as close as you will get to the story of Journey…”

Dean Pedley – Sea Of (



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NEWS: David Byrne – Ride Rise Roar DVD


On May 31 Eagle Rock Entertainment releases Ride Rise Roar, a documentary film detailing the unique creative process of David Byrne shot over the course of his `08/`09 “Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno” tour.

Having screened at the prestigious Silverdocs, SXSW and Seattle International Film Festivals, Ride Rise Roar is called “a visceral experience” by The Hollywood Reporter while Time Out Chicago notes that “What makes this doc work—besides the fact that Byrne gives a really great show on this tour and uses dancers to liven things up a bit—is the interviews with Byrne, the various noted choreographers…and with the dancers and back-up singers. The doc looks and sounds great.”

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NEWS: Online bluegrass guitar school

Guitarists from Memphis to Melbourne will soon be able to learn bluegrass and flatpicking guitar online from one of the top names in the Bluegrass guitar world.  The School of Guitar with Bryan Sutton is part of the newArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass that will also see Tony Trischka (banjo), Mike Marshall (mandolin), Darol Anger (fiddle) and Missy Raines (bass) offering personalized instruction online using innovative Video Exchanges™.

The School of Guitar with Bryan Sutton will contain high quality basic, intermediate, and advanced acoustic guitar video lessons; as well as a number of social features aimed at the acoustic guitar community.  Every student at the guitar school has the opportunity to send a recorded video of themselves practicing and receive a personal video response with individualized instruction from Bryan.
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