Hilarious Yamaha guitar ads, circa 1992-93

I don’t know who wrote the copy for these Yamaha ads from 1992-93 (which I recently tracked down in some old guitar magazine issues) but they were a marketing genius. These ads are informative and fun, and they lodged themselves in my brain immediately when I saw them as a kid, staying there for the almost 20 years since then.

Observe this brilliant piece for the RGZ (Guitar School, September 1992)

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Ibanez MiKro Iceman? Pardon the pun, but COOL!


Aww, that’s so cute! This Ibanez GICM21 has 24 frets, PSND1 and 2 pickups, a fixed bridge and, most importantly, the always-awesome Iceman body shape. I hope my son decides he’s into pointy guitars so I have an excuse to buy this for him.

More info here. Or click here to buy one. And while you’re at it, check out this MiKro Ibanez Destroyer!

REVIEW: ISP Decimator G-String


ISP Technologies was founded by Buck Waller, who previously revolutionised the things we don’t hear about guitar when he created the HUSH system for Rocktron. Noise types and requirements have changed a lot over the last few decades, and the ISP Decimator broke new ground a few years ago with its unprecedented tracking and sound quality, and the new Decimator G String takes things even further.

The Decimator series works a little differently to most noise gates. A regular noise gate will simply close the signal path when the input dips below a certain level. This can result in notes being chopped off unnaturally when you’re trying to hold a chord. The Decimator is completely different from this method. Instead it’s a single-ended noise reduction system which operates over a 1000 to 1 ratio using the company’s patented Time Vector Processing circuit. In plain english, this means the Decimator knows when you’re playing; when you’re not; and what to do about it.

Time Vector Processing refers to how the Decimator actually tracks the envelope of the input signal (instead of just using the mere presence of a signal above a threshold to determine whether the gate is open or closed). The best way of describing it is to imagine having a sound engineer continually adjusting the volume of the noise in perfect synchronicity with your playing.

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INTERVIEW: Megadeth’s Chris Broderick

Th1rt3en is Chris Broderick’s second album in one of the most coveted guitar jobs in the world: Dave Mustaine’s sparring partner in Megadeth. Broderick has some pretty big shoes to fill (Marty Friedman, Chris Poland, Glen Drover), but that’s old news: he brings his own style, feel and technique to the band in a way that they hadn’t really had since the early days of Friedman’s reign in the 90s. Th1rt3en finds Broderick once again shredding with the best of them and weaving in and out of classically Megadeth riffage with confidence and ease. I caught up with Broderick to talk Th1rt3en and, of course, guitar.

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Hi, is this Peter?

Yes it is. Nice to meet you again! I met you a couple of years ago NAMM.

Oh did you really? Where at? What booth?

The Ibanez booth.

Oh nice! Very cool.

And now you’re with Jackson. How’s your new signature guitar working out for you?

It’s awesome! Dare I say, it’s perfect, for me personally. Because you have to understand, when I approached Jackson they were the only ones that never said no. They said “Yeah, we can do that, and we can do that.” So I built that guitar from the ground up thinking about everything I could from the ergonomics to the weight distribution to the placement of the tone knob. Even the placement of the pickups, in addition to the fretboard radius, the stainless steel frets, extremely tall narrow frets. I built that guitar up to be exactly what I’d want, so for me it definitely is the perfect instrument.

Are you using the seven-string version with Megadeth, or is that more of a ‘just because you can’ thing?

No. Well, I’ve always been more of a seven-string player than a six-string player, ever since they were available in the late 80s, early 90s. So for me I’ll always be playing more seven-string stuff. But since Megadeth is more of a traditional thrash band we stick to six strings just to keep those traditional thrash roots more in focus. So whenever I’m onstage with Megadeth it’s always six string, and when I do my own stuff it’s definitely seven-string.

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