INTERVIEW: MONO’s Daniel Kushner

Have you seen what MONO is up to? They offer a range of environmentally, zoologically and aesthetically friendly cases for we guitarists, as well as plenty of other items too – wallets, laptop sleeves, iPad sleeves, backpacks, pedalboard cases, DJ storage stuff… The company has a clear and identifiable design style  too, which gives their products a lot of character. Y’know how products by companies like Apple and Fender always feel ‘Apple-y’ or ‘Fendery’ yet retain their individuality as an item? That. I had a chat with MONO founder Daniel Kushner about the company’s philosophy, product offering and jam-friendly company culture.

How did Mono begin?

MONO was born out of 3 colliding factors: 1. My desire to build a design-driven company, 2. My desire to reconnect with my musical side, and 3. My frustration at the time with the state of soft goods in the music industry. I felt I could really make a difference in the industry designing pro level products for my favorite activity – going to play music. “Go Play” became my mantra, and continues to be our mantra!

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REVIEW: RJM Music Technology Tone Saver buffer

If you’ve ever tried to use a pedal (or ten) with a couple of long cables, you’ve undoubtedly discovered the horrible tone suck that can occur. It usually manifests itself as a loss of treble, a noticeable dynamic weakness and a general cloudiness of detail. But there’s a way around it: an audio buffer will prevent the signal from being robbed of its sparkle. RJM Music Technology has been including buffers as an essential element of their highly regarded audio switching systems for years, but now this circuit is available in a pedal-sized, 9v-powered magic black box in the form of the Tone Saver.

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REVIEW: Ernie Ball Colbalt strings

Ernie Ball’s new Cobalt string series was introduced at the NAMM Show this year – coinciding with the company’s 50th anniversary celebrations (which included a huge concert featuring Paul Gilbert, Steve Morse, Albert Lee, Randy Jackson, Joe Bonamassa, Blues Saraceno and Steve Vai – who even donned a Gibson Les Paul for some Zeppelin jammage). The Cobalts are one of two string sets unveiled at NAMM this year, the other being the Everlast acoustic strings, which use a breakthrough nanotreatment to enhance the metal surface so it repels moisture and oils. This treatment is a thousand times thinner than any other coating on the market, and it’s available in 80/20 and Phosphor Bronze alloys, in all popular gauges.

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Gretsch Tim Armstrong Electromatic models


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Aug. 21, 2012) – Gretsch is proud to honor Rancid founder Tim Armstrong with the release of two new signature models, the G5191MS Tim Armstrong Electromatic Hollow Body, and the G5191TMS Tim Armstrong Electromatic Hollow Body with Bigsby® tremolo tailpiece. Both models bear the personal stamp of the punk godfather, as well as a new color inspired by Armstrong’s personal specifications, Man Salmon.

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New Fender American Vintage Series guitars!

One of my favourite guitars in my personal collection is my Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster Reissue, a real workhorse of a guitar which does an incredible job of capturing the vibe of a’62 Strat. It’s a very soulful axe with plenty of personality. And as a fan of 60s Strats in general and the fatter logo in particular, I’m super-stoked that Fender has beefed up the American Vintage Series offering with a bunch of all-new models, including a ’65 Stratocaster with the very logo that sends me into conniptions. One of these in sunburst is now riding very high on my wish list.
Here’s the press release and plenty of pics.