REVIEW: FGN Guitars JST-5M/3S

The Fujigen name is well known in the circles I travel in. Established in 1960, the company is famous for the instruments it makes for companies such as Ibanez and Fender, and their quality has been held up as a benchmark for decades. Fujigen is now making guitars under the name FGN Guitars, and while they bare some obvious inspirations, the company is not setting out to merely make exact replicas of any particular instrument.

The FGN Guitars J-Standard JST-5M/3S is undeniably Stratocaster-like in its inspiration, at least from a distance, but there are a few distinctive deviations from the form which help to give the guitar its own identity. The body is basswood (rather than the more traditional alder), and this wood is known for its even frequency response and slightly more compressed dynamic range – both factors that make it play especially well with effect pedals.

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NEWS: Line 6 offers free HD amp model upgrade

From the Line 6 website:

FREE HD AMP MODELS AND MORE FOR ALL POD® HD PROCESSORS

Power-boost your POD HD multi-effect with an additional six HD amp models and five amp parameters – all for free! Why? Because we want to thank you for making POD HD multi-effects so successful!

Firmware update v1.3 includes six HD amp models based on* channels from three classic American combos (the “Vibrato” channel of a Fender® Deluxe Reverb®, the “Vibrato” channel of a Fender® Twin Reverb® and the “Bright” channel of a Fender® Bassman®), two British half stacks (the “Normal” channel of a Park 75 and the “Normal” channel of a Marshall® JTM-45 MkII) and a high-gain Line 6 original.

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REVIEW: Sterling By Music Man AX30

Ernie Ball Music Man released their Sterling By Music Man line about 18 months ago to offer a price-effective alternative to their very high-quality, high-price-tag US-made models. The Sterling line-up is made up of models that are based on popular EBMM axes, but with a few little concessions made here and there in the name of cost-effectiveness. That said, they’re by no means budget models in terms of quality, and shouldn’t be thought of as such. I was pretty damn impressed by the AX20 a while ago, so I was psyched to get my hands on the new AX30, a new model for 2011.

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NEWS: Schecter releases Shaun Morgan sig model

Check out this new Schecter signature model for Seether‘s Shaun Morgan. It kinda looks like a Mosrite and a Line 6 Variax got it on and had a baby. It’s available in three-tone sunburst with a white pickguard or white with a black pickguard. A lefthanded version of the sunburst model will also be available. The lone pickup is a Duncan Designed HB-102 with transparent bobbins (eew, pickup guts), which is an Alnico 5-based pickup modelled after the famous Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB humbucker. Controls are deadly simple: a master volume and a kill switch.

The axe hits the stores in July. Seether’s new album Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray is released on May 17.

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