The Mesa/Boogie Mark Five: 25

Mesa Boogie Mark 25

Whoa! Mesa/Boogie is just smashing it lately. First there was the Cab Clone guitar speaker cabinet emulator that I raved about a few months ago and still find myself coveting on a daily basis. And now there’s… this! The Mesa Boogie Mark Five: 25, combining elements of some of Mesa Boogie’s greatest amps, switchable 10/25 watt power, inbuilt Cab Clone, 5-band EQ… in short it’s got everything you want from a Mesa/Boogie and more, plus it’s tiny and adorable.

Have a listen to it in this video: Read More …

EVH Wolfgang Standard & Revamped Special

EVH Wolfgang Standard - Quilt Maple

If I have one criticism of the EVH Wolfgang, it’s that, well… they’re infuriatingly priced at what they’re worth! They’re great guitars with killer tone and playability. And they look cool. But they justifiably cost a pretty penny, especially if you want the USA stuff. But now the Wolfgang Special series has been revamped as a made-in-Mexico model (it was previously made in Japan and then China, if I recall correctly), and a new more affordable line called Wolfgang Standard has just been introduced too. And of course you’ll still be able to get the USA stuff as well if your budget stretches that far. Here’s the press release…

PRESS RELEASE: EVH is pleased to announce the launch of the Wolfgang Standard series and revamping of its popular Wolfgang Special series, offering all the quality players expect from EVH plus features not usually found on guitars at these price points. Read More …

Sterling By Music Man JP70D

JP70D

If you want to add a little of Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci’s sonic mojo to your tone – a rather worthy goal, if you ask me – you could do a lot worse than to check out Petrucci’s line of signature guitars through Ernie Ball Music Man. They occupy a unique niche among shred-friendly guitars because their construction feels much more “serious-persons’ guitar” than the average shred plank. But Music Man guitars come with a price tag that reflects their quality. i.e.: they’re pretty dang pricey. So with the Sterling By Music Man line, the company has endeavoured to bring more affordable versions of some of their designs to players who might not have the financial wherewithal to walk home with the California-made stuff. The JP70D is based on Petrucci’s first Music Man model (there are a few other shapes now including the JPX and Majesty), and it’s made in Indonesia. Read More …

REVIEW: Devin Townsend Project – Z2

Devin Townsend Z2There are some albums that you just get straight away because they reveal everything about themselves right upfront. Devin Townsend’s albums have never been like that. There’s too much going on on a whole bunch of levels: emotionally, conceptually, orchestrationally, texturally. And there’s a lot to digest with Z2. It’s made up of two very different albums, Sky Blue and Dark Matters. Sky Blue is the Devin Townsend Project, and Dark Matters is the sequel to 2007’s sci-fi metal opus Ziltoid The Omniscient. And some tracks feature the vocals of thousands of fans, invited to participate online in what has been named the Universal Choir.

INTERVIEW: Devin Townsend

Sky Blue Read More …

REVIEW: Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20

blackstar-id-core-stereo-20-guitar-amp-angle

Blackstar is no longer the new kid on the block in the amp world, and while they’ve done a great job of quickly establishing themselves as a name to be reckoned with, their amp offerings can sometimes feel a little ‘samey’ – there’s a lot of crossover between different amp model lines in terms of what they can do, and at a certain point it becomes “How many channels do you want to work with? How many speakers? How loud?” That’s great but there’s also room for Blackstar to innovate. And innovate they have, with their ID:Series amps and now the ID:Core lineRead More …

REVIEW: Vox Night Train VOX NT15C1-CL

Vox Night Train

Vox’s Night Train series is hugely popular and rather modern-looking, with an exterior that looks like something that liquid metal Terminator guy would play through if he was into little lunchbox amps and mini combos. It’s a very distinctive look but some players feel that Vox already has a distinctive look, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a Night Train that looks like a Vox? If this point of view describes you, read on, my friend, read on. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Devin Townsend

Devin TownsendThere’s like a secret knowing wink between Devin Townsend fans, a shared understanding that within the multiple layers, in amongst the links between songs, albums and projects, nesting in the balance of depth, introspection, humour and expression, there’s something in there that we all relate to and that Devin has been able to articulate in a way that resonates with us. This year is a great time to see the extremes of this musical voice, with the space country of Casualties of Cool and the forthcoming Z2. And for those of us who like to throw on the headphones, sit back and think “How does he do it? How can I dip into that well too for my own musical expression?” Devin will be hitting Australia in October for a series of masterclasses for Thump Music where he’ll give us a peek into the guitar, vocal and production ideas that inform and express his work. So with the masterclass tour coming up and the release of Z2 just around the corner, I caught up with Devin to talk about what’s what.

I’m stoked about this clinic tour.
So am I, actually! It gives me an opportunity to dig into some of the things I’ve wanted to share with people, to be fair. I’ve spent a long time making records and I’ve kinda gotten to this point recently where it’s like, shit, now it’s time to step it up and get other people to start taking over.  Read More …

Fender Classic Player Triple Tele

fender-tele-triple-classic-player-black-1

Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Todd Krause has designed an unusual take on the Telecaster for the Classic Player series. The high-performance Classic Player Triple Tele rocks three slanted Nocaster single-coil bridge pickups for truly distinctive modern tone and the classic look of a black finish and pickguard paired with a one-piece maple neck/fingerboard. For more product details, go here, and check out the video below! Read More …