Introducing Fos, a tube guitar overdrive by Eon Research

Here’s a press release I just received about something that looks pretty badass!

Eon Research, a new audio design and manufacturing house from Greece, is announcing its debut product, Fos. It is a tube guitar overdrive created to draw a new path in the musician world. Fos is using a vintage russian miniature tube as the active part of its fully analog design while it utilizes a nixie tube for display purposes. This extreme high gain design has the ability to drive (and overdrive…) any amplifier with its deep, fat sound. The whole circuit is built with selected high quality parts and is housed in a chassis made from mirror-polished steel and exotic wood hand finished with beeswax. 

Fos will be released in 99 numbered pieces at the end of October 2019.

Eon Research is a company specialized in design and manufacturing of innovative, transparent sounding audio gear for the professional and musician market. Eon uses specially selected parts and techniques in order to provide that bit of warm, organic sound that is usually missing from most modern gear.

www.facebook.com/EonResearch

www.eon.audiocare.gr

eon@audiocare.gr

EHX brings back the V2 Violet Ram’s Head Big Muff

EHX is reissuing the venerable 1973 V2 Violet Ram’s Head Big Muff, a pedal that currently goes for ridonculous figures on the vintage market. You absolutely will not find one below $1,000 and you’re more likely to pay in the range of of $1,500-$2,500. The new version will set you back a much more reasonable $99.

EHX founder Mike Matthews says “Prices of original Ram’s Head Big Muffs have reached astronomical heights.This reissue nails the classic V2 tone heard on legendary recordings and famous guitar solos, and does it at a price any working musician can afford.”

Watch as Bill Ruppert takes you on a journey through time and tone as he explores what makes the ’73 V2 Violet Ram’s Head Big Muff so sought after.

Two new Solar Guitars distressed models

SOLAR GUITARS Announces Two New Type A “Limited Edition” Distressed Models

Solar Guitars – is very proud to announce the addition of two new Type A “Limited Edition” distressed guitars.

A1.6D LTD: 1199 $/€ suggested street pricing. Distressed Natural Matte finish

Limited Edition to 300 pieces, 6 string Type A – Alder body – 3 piece maple neck (Thin C profile) with ebony fingerboard – 25,5” scale – 24 stainless steel frets – Luminlay side dots – Solar locking tuners – EverTune bridge – Duncan Solar pickups – 1 volume control – 1 tone control- distressed hardware and body finish – Includes gigbag and hand signed / numbered certificate.

A1.7D LTD: 1299 $/€ suggested street pricing. Distressed Natural Matte finish

Limited Edition to 200 pieces, 7 string Type A – Alder body – 3 piece maple neck (Thin C profile) with ebony fingerboard – 26,5” scale – 24 stainless steel frets – Luminlay side dots – Solar locking tuners – EverTune bridge – Duncan Solar pickups – 1 volume control – 1 tone control- distressed hardware and body finish – Includes gigbag and hand signed / numbered certificate.

Both models are available for preorder from the Solar Guitars web store: www.solar-guitars.com, and selected dealers.

Introducing the Cort X700 Duality

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — With the introduction of the X700 Duality, Cort has designed an electric guitar that can seamlessly transition from shred machine to chic refinement. The new flagship of the venerated X Series brings together boutique-quality materials and hardware components with custom-wired electronics that unleash the beast or quickly reign them in, making this guitar suitable for virtually any musical genre and style.

At first sight, the design of the X700 Duality conveys “speed,” with its flamed maple top on a swamp ash body. These materials complement each other to produce a warm, yet punchy high-midrange sound that cuts through the mix with authority. Imaginations will be sparked by the Light Blue Burst finish and chrome hardware, but there’s so much more to the X700 Duality than its visual pizzazz.

The X700 Duality’s Seymour Duncan TB4 bridge humbucker and SH2N neck humbucker, combined with a special 5-way wiring, present all of the modern and classic humbucker tones as well as two exceptional single-coil sounds for unmatched versatility. The X700 Duality achieves clarity and depth, whether the player is tearing it up on a metal riff or riding the wave with a sparkling, clean tone. This model’s “duality” comes into play through its unique electronics. The 5-way switch is custom-wired to provide glassy and sparkling single-coil sounds in the second and fourth positions, as well as full-bodied and powerful humbucker sounds in the bridge, middle, and neck positions. So as the player is driving with over-the-top metal tone, they can just as easily dial down to a jazzy warmth. A simple, yet versatile control layout, 1 volume and 1 tone knob, allows the player to focus on making music.

The X700 Duality’s hardware also has a significant influence on its sonic character. This guitar features the Cort CFA-III Tremolo System made from a metal injection molding manufacturing technique with stainless steel on the saddle, bridge plate and block for a big, solid, bold and articulate sound as well as enhanced sustain. The recessed tremolo bridge allows for pull-ups to raise the pitch as well as for push-downs to lower it, providing even more sonic versatility. Staggered locking tuners provide excellent tuning stability by eliminating string slippage at the posts while facilitating quick string changes.

Cort’s world-class craftsmanship is evident throughout the X700 Duality, but especially with high-quality materials where they matter. On the neck, the strength and brightness of the 3PC maple is balanced by the warm midrange of panga panga, resulting in super playability, feel and tonal definition. The ebony fingerboard provides jet-black beauty and slick smoothness, while the Luminlay side dot position marks make it easy for players to see the fretboard position markers while performing on dark stages. As another road-friendly feature, the 24 stainless steel frets (25.5’’ scale) boast excellent resistance to corrosion. The wide and tall fret-type offers a quick response with good articulation when playing chords as well as a clear tone when playing single notes.

Learn more about Cort’s X700 Duality and watch demos by world-renowned guitarist Hedras Ramos at www.cortguitars.com.

MSRP $1299.99 USD

Seymour Duncan Blackened Pickup Booster

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The Pickup Booster is one of Seymour Duncan’s ‘must-have’ pedals, and I loved relaunching it in its new design when I worked with Seymour Duncan a while back. Now that same kickass pedal is available in a limited edition ‘Blackened’ finish which matches that of pickups like the Nazgul, Sentient, Pegasus and the mighty Blackened Black Winter.

The Pickup Booster is a clean boost pedal with a few tricks up its sleeve in the form of a three-way voicing switch which can either fatten up weak single coils or brighten up dark humbuckers – although I found that the ‘beef up a single’ setting works great on humbucker lead tones too.

More information here.

BOSS adds to the DD delay pedal line with some real doozies

BOSS’s DD series of compact digital delay pedals have long been the standard in easy-to-use, great-sounding delays, but over the years they’ve added more and more advanced features without sacrificing the ease of use. Two new DD series pedals take two different approaches; the DD-3T is an update of the venerable DD-3, this time featuring tap tempo and some other fancy features. And the DD-8 takes over from the DD-7 as the most advanced delay in the compact series with all sorts of wild tricks up its sleeve. Here’s the press release.

New Digital Delay Models in the Iconic Compact Series Bring Players Expanded Features and Increased Versatility

Los Angeles, CA, September 26, 2019 — BOSS announces the DD-3T and DD-8, two new digital delay pedals added to the famous compact series lineup. The DD-3T replaces the long-running DD-3, updating the classic pedal with tap tempo and other modern features. The DD-8 takes over from the previous-generation DD-7 as the most advanced delay in the compact series, enhanced with numerous sound modes and features that make it the most full-featured delay pedal in its class.

In continuous production for over three decades, the DD-3 has been the go-to delay stomp for countless players, revered for its warm, round delay tone and simple controls that make it easy to dial in sounds fast. The DD-3T retains the same sound circuitry and controls as the DD-3 while adding useful functions for today’s guitarists.

A key addition the DD-3T brings is tap tempo, an essential feature for creating the rhythmic delay effects at the heart of many styles. The onboard pedal switch can be used to input tempos, and it’s also possible to connect an external footswitch for instant-access control. The DD-3T also features a dedicated direct output like the DD-3, which allows users to send effect-only and dry sounds to separate destinations. On the DD-3T, this output has been moved next to the main output jack to make pedalboard connections easier.

Equipped with a diverse selection of delays, the DD-8 packs impressive sonic range into one small pedal. Clean digital delays, vintage analog and tape types, and modulation echo are available, plus specialty delays like shimmer and reverse. There’s a new Warm type for softer echo tones, and a +RV type that blends delay and reverb together. Warp is perfect for dynamic ambient textures, while the new GLT type provides glitchy rhythmic effects. A Looper mode is even included, with up to 40 seconds of recording time and unlimited overdub capability.

The DD-8 features full stereo I/O support with three different output modes. Independent mode provides linked parallel delays on the left and right channels, maintaining the true balance of stereo input sources in the effect sound. There’s also a panning mode for ping-pong delay effects, and a wide stereo mode for enhanced spatial depth. And with the Carryover switch, users can set whether delay trails continue or stop when the effect is bypassed.

With the DD-8’s extensive real-time control options, players can easily bring their music to life. It’s possible to tap in tempos with the onboard pedal switch and control the Warp and GLT modes for unique expressive effects. Adding one or two footswitches unlocks more creative possibilities, like on-demand tap tempo, extended looper control, and a unique Twist effect. Alternately, an expression pedal can be used for continuous control of level, feedback, or delay time—or all of them at once.

To learn more about the DD-3T and DD-8, visit www.boss.info

Neil Finn’s Fleetwood Mac guitar rig tour with Marcus Catanzaro

Photo: Justin Wysong

Last week I had the immense pleasure of seeing Fleetwood Mac at Rod Laver Arena here in Melbourne. As you no doubt know, the 2019 incarnation of the Mac features Neil Finn of Crowded House and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (I’ll be bringing you a podcast episode with Mike when his new record comes out next year). Neil used plenty of gorgeous guitars during the show and his tones were impeccable. The man responsible for wrangling this stable of axes is Marcus Catanzaro, and he graciously lent his time to talk us through what’s what.

What are Neil’s main guitars on the Fleetwood Mac tour? He seems to mainly go between a red Gretsch and a Les Paul Goldtop.

Neil has about 17 guitars out on this Fleetwood run right now. Ten of them are Gretsch Duo Jets in some form. We tend to always default back to his 1958 Firebird Duo Jet as a reference for ideal tone and gain structures. Actually, whilst we were in Los Angeles rehearsing last year, I had the privilege of spending a bunch of time with Mike Taft and Gretsch Master builder Stephen Stern. We spent hours taking detail from Neil’s 58’ Firebird, and Stephen, along with help from Tom at TV JONES pickups, managed to create a custom shop replica that looks and sounds mind-blowing. We also have a 1956 red Firebird, a 1964 black Duojet and then a whole bunch of brand new factory reissues. These newer models sound and feel incredible, but more importantly, are so much more rock solid than the vintage ones they followed (a hugely important factor on the road and in extreme climates). 

Photo: Jason Paul

Tell me about the Maton acoustic and how come it sounds so damn nice!

Neil plays the 808 classic body Matons. They are significantly smaller-bodied than most other Matons which means they don’t need as much of a heavy hand to really push sound, and they can put out a seriously balanced and controlled tone. I believe Neil worked closely with Maton to develop this particular model a decade or so ago, he found that the guitar performed well across all stage sizes and between multiple playing styles. We have about six of these in total on the road, each varying slightly in timbers. The AP5 pickup system that sits inside each of these is stupidly stable, so much so that we never use feedback busters on stage! Thats a big win for tone! 

Photo: Justin Wysong

What’s the deal with that Maton 12-string electric? It’s beautiful!

It’s the ultimate 12-string tone….. I will never divulge the secrets! 

What’s on the pedalboard? What amps? 

Right now on Fleetwood Mac we have a new system that we built in rehearsals last year. The extensive setlist meant covering new tones and sounds that Neil wouldn’t normally look for, whilst trying to maintain Neil’s iconic sound in there. Neil and I went through about 30 vintage amp combinations, wet/dry/wet rigs, stereo rigs etc etc etc. We finally settled with an offstage and on stage rig to balance volume, feel and tone. Offstage you will find two isolation cabinets next to me. Cabinet 1 holds two vintage 1968 VOX AC30s (main and spare) and Cabinet 2 holds two (main and spare) Fender Bassman 69 reissues from the team at Fender. These both run mono (so both get all sounds and effects evenly). The concept is that the Vox is allowed to run loud and a little harsh (as Voxes do best) and then the Bassman can come in with a lower-end frequency and balance out that tone.

On stage, Neil has a 60’s Fender Princeton Reverb and a 1950 Gibson GA50. Same again; both amps get all signal, the Princeton is the bulk of the tone and the GA50 helps round out the bottom end and smooth it all over. Neil’s pedalboard is pretty simple and features two vintage Electro-Harmonix Memory Man delays, the famous kiwidesigned HOT CAKE, a Bondi Effects SICK AS over drive, a Boss DD-3 delay, an Electro Harmonix Freeze pedal and then two of amazing new Echo Fix Australia analogue tape delay machines, which can be controlled by pedals at Neil’s feet. 

Photo: Jason Paul

Tell us about your background and some of your tech adventures! What do you like to play for fun?

Well, I grew up in Western Sydney and from the age of 13, played in or worked for almost every punk, hardcore or rock band ever (it felt like anyway!). Later down the line I was a guitar player on the X Factor and for Sony Music’s artist roster, then went back to teching around the world for a whole bunch of excellent Australians bands. I was introduced to Neil a few years back by another one of his techs, Rowan ‘Digga’ Johnston and I’ve been lucky enough to keep working for him ever since. It’s been a wild ride on tour with Fleetwood Mac, the lessons have been totally invaluable and the caliber of crew out here is mindblowing. I’ll either know how to do everything ever or be able to write a killer ’behind’ rock and roll book by the end of this! Haha. 

Thanks to Heath Blows and Fender Music Australia.

Photo: Justin Wysong

Photo: Jason Paul

BluGuitar introduces the AMP1 IRIDIUM EDITION! Grrrarrr!!!

You know the BluGuitar AMP1 MERCURY EDITION, right? Amp-on-the-floor designed by Thomas Blug, formerly of Hughes & Kettner? Great guitarist in his own right with a Vintage signature guitar line? Well BluGuitar has just announced a new entry to the amp series: the AMP1 IRIDIUM EDITION, voiced specifically for metal players. Check it out:

It has three three independent, discrete overdrive channels (Modern, Classic and Vintage), along with a Clean channel. Here’s how the press release describes them: 

MODERN – With its extremely high gain reserves, this channel delivers crystal-clear string separation through a massive low-cut, and the Custom Control TONE knob lets you dial from a “cut thru the mix” solo sound to the typical “maximum brutality” mid scoop.

CLASSIC – Due to the hard distortion characteristics and the specially tuned bass filter, this channel is percussive and significantly wider and harder in the mid-range than VINTAGE. The mid-range can be shaped by the Custom Control TONE from “Hot Rodded British High Gain” to “Teutonic wall of sound“.

VINTAGE – Tight and mid-emphasized woody sounds that are transmitted tightly especially using extreme low tunings while delivering creamy midrange distortion.

CLEAN – Massive headroom thanks to the 100 watt power amp and treble reserves, which give even mid-emphasized humbuckers a transparent, sparkling clean sound. The optimal platform for pedals like shimmer reverb, modulation or delay.

I super-like that it has a) a boost; b) a noise gate and c) reverb. There’s also a series/parallel effects loop and a recording out, and it’ll power the hell out of your speaker cabinets with 16 ohm and 8 ohm outputs.

AMP1 IRIDIUM EDITION will be at the Guitar Summit 2019 (www.guitarsummit.de) from Sept.27th – September 29th 2019 in Mannheim, Germany. The amp can be played and listened at multiple testing stations and at the BluGuitar booth # 223

A dedicated AMP1™ IRIDIUM EDITION workshop is scheduled for Saturday September 28th from 17:15 – 18:00 at the Recording Stage.

AMP1 IRIDIUM EDITION will be available after November 1, 2019 from dealers worldwide for USD 849, Euro 799, and GBP 810.