Various internet forums have been buzzing with news of this amp for a few days – it seems someone very naughty leaked information ahead of schedule, and it I’m sure Mesa isn’t too happy about it. But here it is for all to see now: the Mini Rectifier!!!
MINI RECTIFIER® TWENTY-FIVE: ICONIC RECTO TONE IN AN ULTRA COMPACT ‘MINI’ AMP— Weighs Only 12 Pounds!
The Mini Rectifier Twenty Five rides atop a 20-year legacy of world-class high gain performance and hit-making sounds that have been at the core of – and even a catalyst for – some of the very best of Modern Rock. You will quickly find that its Mini moniker and physical size bear no resemblance to its stature, power and command over blistering, tight overdrive in the realm of big gain Tone.
Don’t think for a moment this is a trendy down-line toy or marketing-derived imitation of our mighty Recto. This is the real deal… in every way a high-end instrument. Lurking within this expensive metal chassis, lies one of our most expressive and nuance-enhancing circuits to date and it creates an exciting, adrenaline-producing Tone machine… one of the most fun to play in the entire MESA collection.
Check out my interview with the mighty Mick Box from Uriah Heep over at Gibson.com. Mick is a true legend and a hell of a guitar player.
Here’s the link and here’s a snippet.
“I’ve always had the attitude that a working band is a happy band. I think that stands true, and there’s nobody who works harder than Uriah Heep, to be honest, because we’re out there constantly. We do 150 shows every year, more like 200 this year. I think that’s your first love, even before you go into the studio. You cut your teeth on live work. And you’re absolutely correct: there’s no more money now to be made with the dissolving of record companies and that side of the industry. And now you’ve got the download thing happening – it’s depleted any income in that regard. Luckily for Uriah Heep we had that strong fanbase around the globe, so it didn’t really affect us. The downside though is that now everybody’s doing it!”
Y’know what’s awesome?
There’s simply no way to possibly dislike Orange. Their amps sound cool. Their amps look cool. Their amps are reliable. That’s pretty much all you need to know!
Or is it?
It turns out there’s much more to the story than that. One half of The Orange Flipbook, Building The Brand, takes you behind the scenes at Orange, right back to the very formation of the company as a recording studio and musical instrument store, through to later ventures such as music publishing and a record label, all the way up to the brand’s current resurgence in the eyes of the public and in the backlines of bands like Stone Sour and Rush (and innovations like the OPC).
If you read I Heart Guitar last week you probably read about the beautiful new SolidBody Standard that Taylor is building for me (you can keep up with each update here). Over the next few weeks I’m going to pick out various features that I chose, and explain why I picked them for my guitar. This week it’s the Taylor Tremolo Bridge.
There’s a great video below which explains the trem, but of course it doesn’t explain exactly what I like about it. There are two things in particular that attract me to this bridge: the profile and the fulcrum point.
The Taylor bridge is smooth. Real smooth. I tend to tune out how uncomfortable it is to palm mute on most guitars, since it’s just a necessary evil, but Taylor has really nailed the design of this bridge so that it’s comfortable and unobstructive. It also looks sleek and cool, like something from a 1950s vision of the future.
The Fulcrum Point
The fulcrum point of the bridge – the point at which it pivots – is set lower into the body of the guitar than usual. This gives it more balance and a smoother operation. It’s a two-point knife-edge design, and whether you choose the fixed or tremolo version, the bridge height can be adjusted both front-to-back and side-to-side. Each string has its own saddle which is locked in place after intonation is set.
Man, I’m jealous of Gus G. Not only are Firewind awesome, but the dude has also been immortalised in the Eternal Descent graphic novel series. Oh and he replaced Zakk Wylde as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist. He appears on Ozzy’s latest album, Scream, which is easily the Prince Of Darkness’s best since No More Tears – and his high-tech shreddering combines the great 80s Euro metal tradition and a more modern sensibility. Gus has several ESP and LTD signature models to his name, including an aggressive Explorer/V hybrid that looks positively evil. The Gus G EC, by contrast, is a slightly – only slightly, mind you – more traditional axe.
This Japanese-made guitar (also available in an LTD model as the GUS-600EC with some slightly different specs) is built with set-thru construction, which means the neck is glued in but then shaped to feel like a neck-thru for extra playing comfort. The body is mahogany with a hard rock maple top and white/black ply binding. The neck is three-piece maple (although you can’t see it since it’s finished in black gloss), with a rosewood fretboard and white binding. The carbon nut is 42mm standard, and the back of the neck is a thin U contour that seems to fit right into the webbing between thumb and index finger very comfortably. There are 22 extra jumbo frets, and the fretboard inlays are Firewind flames, which are well applied with only a minimum of epoxy filler around the tricky angles. The decal, which is applied only to the top is a cut a little roughly around the edges, but you wouldn’t notice from even a couple of feet away.
John Petrucci has always played bitchen’ guitars. His old Ibanez signature models were pretty cool, but his new Ernie Ball Music Man JPXI has gotta take the cake. I spoke to John a few days ago (look for the interview closer to the release date for Dream Theater’s new album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events), and he told me he used JPXI six and seven-strings exclusively on the new album.
So what’s different about the JPXI? It features a combination of top appointments from JPX and BFR Petrucci signature instruments. The neck has been streamlined to a symmetric, extra slim profile with a flatter 20″ radius, medium jumbo stainless steel frets, a finished mahogany neck and an ebony fingerboard. The solid (i.e: non-chambered) alder body has a mahogany tone block and a maple top. The controls are similar to the JP BFR line, with two three-way toggles, Dimarzio LiquiFire and Crunch Lab humbuckers (see my review of them here) and a Piezo bridge pickup.
The Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee model guitar is one of the company’s most unusual instruments – and that’s saying something for the company that also gave us the wacky yet awesome Bongo bass. While the Lee model takes certain obvious design cues from the Stratocaster, it’s also unmistakably EBMM. For starters there’s the split 2/4 headstock, the five-bolt neck joint, and the matte feel of the back of the neck (a gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend) which ends abruptly at the back of the headstock. Then there’s there’s the angular body shape, which is unlike anything else out there. (Personally I’ve often fantasized about this shape being used for a Floyd Rose-loaded, aggressive metal machine, maybe with seven strings). Lee may be a country player, and a freaking amazing one at that, but that doesn’t mean his signature guitar design isn’t cool enough for other styles too.
And that leads us to the Big Al bass. Albert Lee isn’t a bass player, but his angular, pointy signature guitar design makes a cracking bass. Interestingly, the bass version started life as a gift to EBMM’s Sterling Ball. The Big Al’s body is made of African mahogany, finished in a high-gloss polyester. (The pickguard is available in black or white as standard, but options include shell, white pearloid, vintage white, pearloid or black pearloid). The bridge is a Music Man chrome-plated, hardened steel bridge plate with stainless steel saddles. The scale length is 34″.