There was plenty of great stuff at NAMM this year – real break-your-wallet kind of stuff – but one of my favourites and certainly very high on my ‘must-sell-a-kindey-to-fund-purchase’ list is the 65amps Producer. It isn’t cheap but boy is it pretty. You might think of amps like the Lil Elvis when you ponder 65amps, but the Producer is something else entirely: an EL34-loaded warbeast which captures, subdues, skins and stuffs classic rock tones then mounts them on the wall for proud display. And it does it all while knocking back shots of Jäger.
65amps wanted to design a classic-sounding amp but without the unpredictability of those circuits. Y’know how a tube amp can sound great in one room but terrible in the next? 65amps has done some extensive study on the matter and found that these old circuits were designed around tubes that could take the voltage, which modern tubes just can’t do. So they’ve came up with their own solution, which they feel makes new tubes sound even better than old ones. The key to this is a new transformer by Mercury Magnetics which runs the amp’s EL34s in an extremely safe and unconventional way that no off-the-shelf guitar amp transformer can do. The two companies are so sure of the stability and reliability of this method that they expect that you won’t have to change your tubes for years.
The legendary Carlos Santana is releasing a new live DVD/Blu-ray filmed at Montreux last year. It contains a pretty damn solid set list, and Carlos is on fire right now, invigorated by his recent Guitar Heaven album of covers. Here’s the press release:
Santana Lands February 21 in a Captivating Set of Greatest Hits!
Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Santana Live At Montreux 2011 on a 2DVD set & Blu-ray in a exhilarating set of jazz, Latin, funk, soul and rock ‘n’ roll. The 23-song show weighs heavily on the side of the songs that fans of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist (inducted in 1998) have loved over the years.
Filmed in high-definition and recorded in DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 and LPCM Stereo, it’s a total jam-packed evening of percolating percussion, soaring lead guitar solos and the kind of funky bass/drum action that has kept this band in the forefront of popular music for over 40 years.
Taylor had a lot of cool stuff at NAMM this year, but perhaps my favourite is this: the company’s new line of nylon-string guitars. In typical Taylor fashion, these guitars are startlingly unique: they feature a hybrid design which gives players all the distinctive tonal flavors of a Spanish/Classical guitar, but with a very ‘Taylor’ neck. A lot of players like the sound of a nylon string guitar but they’re put off by the feel of the neck. But these instruments have a much more familiar neck for players who are used to steel-string guitars. And it’s not just one nylon string model: nylon versions are available for the The 712ce-N, 814ce-N, 812ce-N, 314ce-N, 714ce-N, 912ce-N, 312ce-N, 412ce-N, 914ce-N, 414ce-N, 514ce-N, 612ce-N, 614ce-N, 214ce-N, 512ce-N and 214ce-N. Phew! You can check out the whole line here, but how’s this for nice? That’s a 214e-n. I dig its understated cool.
While I was in California I stopped by El Cajon to visit the Taylor factory and pick up my custom SolidBody. I also took the factory tour and got some great shots and info. Look for that post soon, as well as a review and video of the SolidBody.
Leave it to the folks at TC Electronic to find a way for my vocals to not suck! Just what I need for my latest little musical endeavour.
TC-Helicon Introduces VoiceLive Play GTX for Singing Guitarists
Pristine vocal and guitar effects join forces in one compact, turbo-charged unit – TC-Helicon’s VoiceLive Play GTX takes the singing guitarist’s performance to the next level!
VoiceLive Play GTX is the world’s first multi-effects unit dedicated to rocking the world of the singing guitarist. Pro-level TC-Helicon effects and state-of-the-art harmony processing is just half the story. Play GTX is also packed with top-of-the-line guitar effects from TC Electronic. Quite simply, singing guitarists will feel like they have a dedicated vocal producer and an experienced guitar tech sitting inside the box.
For more than a decade, TC-Helicon has lived to serve the needs of singers, giving vocalists everywhere the opportunity to express themselves in new and amazing ways. Likewise, TC-Helicon’s sister company, TC Electronic, has provided the guitar world with first-class effects solutions for decades, with legendary units like Stereo Chorus Flanger, TC 2290 Digital Delay and G-System.
The movie Wayne’s World came out on Valentine’s Day in 1992 (it’s already Feb 15 here in Oz but much of the world is still Valentining as I write this). This movie was pretty influential at the time, birthing all sorts of legendary catchphrases and singlehandedly making Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” famous.
Okay, that last part might not be exclusively true, but Wayne’s World sure did change the experience of going to a guitar store…
Gibson Ace Frehley ‘Budokan’ Les Paul – click the pic for more info
Awesome! Click here for cinema locations. Can’t wait to see this – after all, it represents a rare chance to see Joe Satriani live (in a way) with one of my other favourite musicians in the world, Mike Keneally.
ONE NIGHT ONLY 3D HD CONCERT PERFORMANCE SCREENING ON MARCH 7 IN SELECTED CINEMAS AROUND AUSTRALIA
CinemaLive is proud to announce the Australian premiere of Satchurated: Live in Montreal- a concert film featuring the amazing talents of world- renowned guitar virtuoso, Joe Satriani in 3D with 7.1 Dolby Digital sound.
The concert was filmed live in Montreal, Canada in December of 2010 during Satriani’s The Wormhole Tour, supporting his studio album Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards.
Captured expertly by GRAMMY and EMMY award-winning filmmakers Pierre and Francois Lamoureux, Satchurated captures Satriani at his searing best, with every chord documented by ten 2D and 3D high definition cameras. Fans will delight in the opportunity to catch this spectacular preview of the master at work ahead of his visit to Australia as the headliner and creator of the G3 concert series.
Screening around Australia on March 7th for ONE NIGHT ONLY, Satchurated promises to be a true musical spectacle and an absolutely unique cinematic experience.
Ticket price- $25 at the Box Office or pre-sale details via www.cinemalive.com
Recently while at the Fender factory and Visitor Center in Corona, California I stumbled upon this little beauty: the very first Fiesta Red Fender guitar ever. It’s a 1957 Jazzmaster prototype, and not only was this the first Fiesta Red guitar, this very guitar was also the first ever Fender to feature a custom colour. And if that doesn’t make it historic enough, Fender’s George Fullerton later added an experimental neck with a round-laminated fretboard made of lacquer-coated black vulcanised fiber – the same stuff used to make pickup bobbins.
Here’s some more info on the guitar from Fender.
We get so used to thinking of guitars as these commodities, mass-produced items that you can see half a dozen of lined up at your local store. But stuff like this particular Jazzmaster, and like visiting the Fender factory in general, reminds me that each one is a unique instrument with tonal properties particular to the individual pieces of wood, the individual trees, that they were made from. And then when you think that before this instrument was made there was no such thing as a Fiesta Red Fender, and that this is the actual first one to ever feature this finish – it all just makes it hit home that little bit harder, the history of this wonderful instrument that we all (if you’re reading this site) use to express ourselves.