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!
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.
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.
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.
Steve Vai has used various signature DiMarzio pickups over the years: the Evolution, the Breed, the Blaze, Evolution 7 and Evolution 2 (as well as the set made exclusively for the transparent acrylic 20th Anniversary Jem). And his pickups have something in common with his music: they all seem to be designed to explore and address a specific sonic question. The Evolution is bright, middy and somewhat hyper, for instance, while the Breed is warmer and more vintage. Steve’s new Gravity Storm set comes from a different place to the Evo, Blaze or Breed. Continue reading
Seymour Duncan and Strictly 7 join forces for “The Strictly F#%$#@% Awesome Keith Merrow Signature Guitar Giveaway”
Strictly 7 Guitars recently announced the addition of the Spectral Keith Merrow Signature Guitar to its growing line of 7 and 8 string guitars. This guitar features the Seymour Duncan SH-8 Invader – a humbucker that has a well-earned reputation as one of the most aggressive passive pickups ever. To celebrate the launch of this new guitar, Seymour Duncan and Strictly 7 have joined forces to launch “The Strictly F#%$#@% Awesome Keith Merrow Signature Guitar Giveaway” Between August 20th and September 3rd, everyone in the world will have a chance to enter to win this guitar.
Enter to win the guitar here: http://bit.ly/PozviC
The Spectral Signature Series Merrow is built to the following specs:
Cobra 7 string
Reverse inline headstock
Northern Ash body wings
5 piece flamed maple and walnut neck
26 jumbo stainless steel frets
Black Sperzel tuners
Black original Floyd Rose bridge
3 way switch
Infinity Grey with full black binding finish throughout
Street Price: $2090 with Hipshot bridge or $2290 with Floyd Rose
Many years ago TC Electronic released the Booster + Line Driver & Distortion. This classic pedal did all sorts of things and was favoured by players from Allan Holdsworth to Anthrax’s Scott Ian to add some oomph to their tone. The Spark Booster is the next evolution of that pedal, and while on the surface it appears to offer some of the same features, inside it’s a different beast.