REVIEW: DMT Tyrant Michael Amott humbucker

Michael Amott knows a thing or two about tone. Whether it’s vintage death metal with Carcass, hard rock with Spiritual Beggars or his main job in Arch Enemy, Amott has the ears, hands and sense of sonic taste to craft the perfect sound for whatever musical situation he finds himself in. After flings with guitars like the Ibanez RG550 and his former ESP signature model the Ninja, Amott is now a Dean endorser, with his own line of signature guitars. And central to the tone of this imposing axe is the DMT Tyrant, Amott’s signature humbucker from Dean’s pickup division, Dean Magnetic Technologies. Amott was kind enough to arrange for a Tyrant humbucker to be sent out for review after I interviewed him recently.

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New Vai pickups: DiMarzio Gravity Storm

Photo by Larry DiMarzio

Steve Vai’s new album The Story Of Light is out in August, and quite frankly it’s stunning. I’ve been able to hear the whole thing and there’s something in there for every Vai fan, but especially those who like the more expressive and compositional aspects of his playing.

Steve has a new set of signature pickups coming out shortly, the DiMarzio Gravity Storm set (named after a song on the new album). They appear to be quite different from his previous six-string pickups (the Evolution set, the Evo 2 and the Breed set).

The bridge pickup weighs in at an output of 340mV and a DC resistance of 15.19Kohms, and it has an Alnico V magnet like the Breed, rather than a ceramic magnet like the Evolution and Evo 2. The neck pickup has a ceramic magnet, an output of 290mV and a DC resistance of 12.56Kohms.

Stay tuned for availability info!

REVIEW: Roger Mayer Voodoo TC Octavia

The Octavia is a classic yet mysterious effect, and one that’s particularly hard to describe with the written word. It produces an overtone an octave above whatever you play, but it doesn’t sound like a harmonizer or a 12-string guitar. Instead, imagine fuzz combined with the sound that you hear when you run your finger around the rim of a crystal wine glass, except the pitch of the glass follows that of the guitar. It can be hauntingly beautiful when combined with a clean tone or it can add a harmonic, fixed-wah-like quality to distorted ones.

The Voodoo TC Octavia is Roger Mayer’s latest iteration of his historic invention. The intention is very much the same as when Jimi Hendrix used Mayer’s Octavia on “Purple Haze” and “Fire,” but the Voodoo TC range offers many advantages. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Ben Fulton of Red Witch

Red Witch pedals seemed to spring up out of nowhere a few years ago, commanding attention with their unique features and world class tone. The Empress Chorus, for instance, is very highly regarded. But years and years of work have gone into establishing Red Witch. Recently the company unveiled the Seven Sisters series of mini pedals, and there are more innovations on the horizon. Join us as we pick the brain of Red Witch founder Ben Fulton.

Tell us about the history of the company.

Red Witch Analog was formed about ten years ago. Initially it was just me in the garage building guitar pedals. We started out with the Moon Phaser, and the decision to start a company making guitar pedals was born out of me making a few pedals for myself. I’d worked as a solo acoustic musician for three or four years prior to starting the company and a friend had asked me to join a rock band. I’d sold all of my electric guitar stuff, so I needed an amplifier. My girlfriend bought me an amp to use and it needed some work, so I basically immersed myself in the study of electronics in order to be able to repair and improve the amplifier.

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Joe Matera to release new album Creature of Habit


Instrumental melodic rock fans will be rejoicing this September as renowned guitarist Joe Matera unleashes his new album Creature Of Habit on the world. The Australian native has built up a fine body of work to date and this may well be his best yet.
Following in the tradition of fellow instrumental artists such as Joe Satriani ,Matera has added a vocal track to the album as well as the eleven instrumental numbers (9 plus 3 bonus) on offer here. Adding a new dimension to his work, which fans will savour.
‘Fallen Angel’ is one such highlight, acting as a perfect showcase for Joe’s vocal ability, alongside his instrumental/guitar work. Other tracks include ‘Slide’, ‘Endless Summer’, ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Outland’.
Backing up Matera on Creature Of Habit are American drummer James Strickler ( Angelic Rage) handling drumming duties (as well as bass on several tracks), and Tony Dolan (Venom, MPire of Evil) on bass on three tracks and Rich Davenport on one.
Matera is also joined by a few guests, The Angels’ Rick Brewster, Smokie’s Mick McConnell – both who appeared on Matera’s 2011 EP Slave To The Fingers which received glowing reviews across the globe, make a welcome return, again making a guest guitar solo contribution on one track a piece.
(Brewster on ‘No Way!’ and McConnell on Outland) as well as Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday, The Color Fred, Terrible Things) who contributes a stunning guitar solo on Endless Summer.
A much admired artist and esteemed music journalist Matera is a man of many talents, COH easily highlights just how much his music means to him and how dedicated he is to producing the best album he can.
COH is scheduled for release September, 2012 via W.A.R Productions.

Ozzy ‘Speak Of The Devil’ DVD out now

A rare Ozzy Osbourne release is getting the full restored/remastered DTS/5.1 Surround treatment: Speak Of The Devil, which features Brad Gillis on guitar. It’s a rare look at a time when Ozzy was still flying high (pun intended) on the success of his first two solo albums, but was also reeling from the tragic death of Randy Rhoads. Here’s the press release:

Eagle Rock Entertainment releases Speak Of The Devil on DVD by Ozzy Osbourne in North America.

This show was filmed at Irvine Meadows, California on June 12, 1982 as part of the delayed continuation of the “Diary Of A Madman” tour following the tragic death of Randy Rhoads a few months earlier. The audio has been digitally restored and remastered and is now available in DTS and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound for the first time. Speak Of The Devil includes the classics “Mr Crowley” “Over The Mountain” “Crazy Train” “Flying High Again” “Iron Man” “Paranoid” “Goodbye To Romance” and many more.

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New Fender Custom Shop Limited models



Additions push the “Dream Factory’s” boundaries to superior levels of innovation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (July 17, 2012) — The Fender Custom Shop is proud to introduce five striking models to its 2012 limited collection; four guitars and one bass. The new additions join 10 previously released models, making for an impressive family built for the most discerning musicians.

New to the collection is the 1963 Heavy Relic® Stratocaster®, which offers upgraded features and a serious relic treatment. Available in Black, it has a carefully selected alder body, mid-’60s oval “C”-shaped maple neck, 9.5”-radius rosewood fingerboard with medium jumbo frets, Texas Special pickups (neck, middle), Duncan® JB Model™ SH-4 pickup (bridge), five-way switching and a push-pull volume pot that splits the bridge pickup.

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