The DigiTech Whammy is one of the most important new effects of the last few decades. It practically redefined lead guitar just over 20 years ago, playing a crucial role in songs like Steve Vai’s “Touching Tongues,” Joe Satriani’s “Cool #9,” Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of,” Pink Floyd’s “Marooned,” Coverdale-Page’s “Over Now” and dozens more. There have been various iterations of the effect, with some being more successful than others, but the original red version is considered the most desirable (although the Whammy II is pretty cool too, featuring the same chip as the original but with the ability to toggle between presets with your foot. I miss mine – never should have traded it!). The fourth edition, the Whammy IV, adds a few handy features to the mix, but the fifth, the Whammy DT, aims to be the ultimate Whammy.
The DT includes a full suite of Harmony and Whammy options. The Harmony settings involve both ‘heel’ and ‘toe’ pitches which allow you to manually play the harmony with your foot for cool counterpoint effects. Although these are parallel harmonies rather than diatonic ones, the two pitches on the pedal are sometimes necessary for playing in-tune harmonies. The modes (with heel and toe settings respectively) are: octave down/octave up, 5th down/4th down, 4th down/3rd down, 5th up/7th up, 5th up/6th up, 4th up/5th up (very Steve Vai, think “Ultra Zone”), 3rd up/4th up, flat 3rd up/3rd up, 2nd up/3rd up. Then there are the Detune modes (Shallow and Deep) which are variable via the foot pedal and which are capable of cool fixed-pitch chorus sounds.
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.