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Peter Hodgson

REVIEW: Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 40

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Blackstar amps are famously versatile and user-friendly, but there’s always room for any company to innovate. And innovate they have, with their ID:Series amps and now the ID:Core line. The thing that’s so revolutionary about the ID:Core line (and there are stereo combos available in 10 watt, 20 watt and 40 watt configurations) is that on the surface they’re as easily controllable as any other Blackstar amp, especially due to the handy ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control which gives you a range of tones from UK to US and any point in between. But the free Insider software lets you fully unlock the potential of the amp by plugging it into your computer and taking your preset-editing to a whole other level.

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REVIEW: MONO Guitar Sleeve

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I’ve tended to avoid gig bags, personally. I’ave had a few of ‘em over the years and they’ve generally felt like something that would protect your guitar from, oh I don’t know, stray leaves and errant breezes. And the ones that were built to be more sturdy seemed unnecessarily bulky and cumbersome. So when the MONO Guitar Sleeve showed up for review I found myself thinking “Oh well, here we go. How much can you say about a bag?” Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Yngwie J Malmsteen

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Yngwie Malmsteen is the undisputed master of neoclassical guitar. Other players like Richie Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth had explored elements of the style but none pushed it to quite the extremes that Yngwie did. A million guitarists arose in his wake to try to copy what he was doing but none have managed to capture Yngwie’s pure power and dazzling technique. As Yngwie himself puts it when discussing the various Yngwie clones who sprung up over the years, “And that’s why I call myself Yngwie J Malmsteen, not to be confused with all the other Yngwie Malmsteens.” And Yngwie is about to hit Australia for his first concert tour since 2006 (tickets here). Continue reading

Fender Brown Derby and Top Hat Resonators

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PRESS RELEASE: Fender is proud to introduce two new instruments, the Brown Derby Resonator and Top Hat Resonator. Fender’s Brown Derby Resonator gives a jaunty tip of the hat to phenomenal round-neck reso-phonic sound and style. Pure resonator tone rings from the mahogany body and maple top, which features dual Fender “F” soundholes and a special Eastern European “Continental” cone of hand-spun aluminum. For an unmistakable Fender touch, a Telecaster headstock tops the mahogany neck, which also features a comfortable “C”-shaped profile and elegant French heel. Other fine appointments include a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard with 16” radius and black binding, aged white body binding with black-and-white purfling, bone nut, maple biscuit bridge, nickel hardware, vintage-style tuners with aged white plastic buttons, and brown stain finish. Continue reading

Fender FA-300CE Pack With SLIDE™ Interface

Fender Acoustics FA-300CE

PRESS RELEASE: Fender is proud to announce the release of the FA-300CE Acoustic/Electric Pack with Fender SLIDE interface. The FA-300CE Acoustic-Electric Pack gives players everything they need to start playing right now, and the included Fender SLIDE instrument interface gives them everything they need to connect the guitar to their mobile device or computer for digital recording, playback and editing. Continue reading

REVIEW: DiMarzio PAF Master Humbuckers

There are many, many different pickups out there that are inspired by Gibson’s ‘Patent Applied For’ humbucker invented by Seth Lover. Some makers go to incredible lengths to replicate not only the raw materials but also the chaotic, random unpredictability that went into the creation of those original 50s PAFs. DiMarzio’s PAF® Master bridge and neck models are designed with the spirit of those original PAFs in mind but DiMarzio says they’re more about paying tribute to the original sound rather than cloning it. So these pickups use several of DiMarzio’s patented ideas, and the coils are purposely tuned to specific differing frequencies to generate a version of the legendary PAF snarl without compromising the pickup’s ability to hum-cancel (which can be a problem with some of the originals and some of the more randomly-constructed PAF-alikes of the kind you tend to find from some of the smaller builders). Continue reading

Richie Kotzen’s RK5 Tech 21 Fly Rig

Devin Townsend’s Framus Flying Z

Periphery To Reveal Big Pair Of Juggs

PRESS RELEASE: D.C. based prog outfit Periphery are set to release dual albums Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega, on January 23rd via Roadrunner Records Australia. “Given the nature and complexity of the Juggernaut story, we’ve actually done something different and exciting in regards to the release,” explains drummer Matt Halpern.  “Juggernaut is a story that is told through our music, and we want our audience to fully digest the whole experience. Because Juggernaut is very detailed and dense in terms of character development, peaks and valleys, climaxes and resolutions we’ve divided the story and music in two, in the form of two separate albums.” Continue reading

Demystifying The Modes

The fine folks over at Roland Australia have a really great blog section and right now Mark Smith is writing a very helpful series on demystifying the modes: what they are, when they can be used, the patterns you can use to visualise them, etc. There will be a new mode covered every week and Coffee Break Grooves will provide a free backing track featuring real musicians playing real instruments to accompany the articles.

Introduction to Modes 
Mixolydian Mode 

Pro Tone Pedals Mark Holcomb Haunted Delay

Here’s Pro Tone Pedals’ Mark Holcomb Haunted Delay pedal for the Periphery guitarist and all-round nice dude. It’s designed to be an ambient style delay like an old-school vintage tape echo, offering delay times from 25 to 450milliseconds, with a repeat control that ranges from one repeat through to infinite feedback. There’s a mix control as well as a volume knob which gives you anything from unity gain to a 20dB boost, enough to kick things up for solos and stuff. Pro Tone has designed the Haunted delay was intentionally designed to work well with modern high gain amps as well as classics. Mark says “I’m extremely happy with how unique and versatile this pedal turned out, and it’s been an inspiration merely jamming on it as of late. The intention here was to create something truly trippy – a pedal versatile enough to handle the soundscape-y material I’m drawn to, while at the same time having a very streamlined interface, making it easy to use as a songwriting tool – which is its main use for me.” To order the pedal, visit protonepedals.com/markholcomb

 

 

 

DigiTech Polara Reverb

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From Digitech.com: Featuring seven inspirational Lexicon® reverbs, the DigiTech® Polara will be the new architect of your soundscape, defining space and adding spiritual dimension to your playing. The Polara’s flexible reverbs cover a full spectrum, from the intimate warmth of  “Room”, to the vast expansiveness of “Hall”, through time with the cosmic power of  “Reverse”, and anchored by Lexicon’s revered “Modulated”, “Plate” and “Spring” reverbs. In addition to those classics, the Polara introduces the new  “Halo” reverb. The “Halo” reverb with cascading octaves interspersed in the reverb decays will cast a heavenly glow over your tone. Continue reading

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Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com If you'd like to support the site, feel free to kick in a couple o'bucks using this donation button.

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