COOL GEAR ALERT: Gibson SG Standard 24

I was just cruising around and I came across this: the Gibson SG Standard 24 for American Music Supply. Look at this thing! Just LOOK AT IT! Argh, how cool! It bums me out that this is an exclusive model that I guess won’t find its way to Australia. I love mini humbuckers (I used to have a Firebird with Seymour Duncan mini humbuckers which sounded awesome), I love SGs (I’m Australian – we’re genetically predisposed to like SGs because of Angus Young), and 24 frets are ear-shredding fun. From a tonal perspective a mini humbucker in the neck makes a lot of sense: it focuses the pickup on a narrower area of the string, giving you a tighter and more focused sound. I’d love to get my hands on one of these, but alas, I fear I am doomed to miss out. Still, phwoar.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: PRS Guitars “Stripped” 58

Today I had the huge honour of spending about an hour with Paul Reed Smith himself for a huge interview which will be posted on I Heart Guitar soon. We talked about a lot of very interesting stuff – various PRS pickups, signature artists, the growth of the SE division, PRS’s wood stocks, and much more. One thing I wish we’d touched on but didn’t was this beauty: the PRS Guitars “Stripped” 58 model. Originally offered as a limited run for Experience PRS in 2011, this guitar is based on the popular SC 58, but with some changes which make it more affordable but no less desirable. It has a 24.5″ scale length, 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard, moon inlays (with bird option), mahogany neck and body, plus a curly maple top (with a 10-top option). The pickups are a set of 57/08 humbuckers (which sound amazing) and there’s an individual volume and tone control for each pickup. The guitar also has PRS’s two-piece bridge, which is machined rather than cast, for greater resonance. Just look at that thing. That tailpiece is so chunky that I think I can hear it making my computer monitor more resonant just by being displayed on it.

COOL GEAR ALERT: DigiTech Whammy V

Here’s something incredibly interesting that I just saw on the excellent Effects Database: the latest DigiTech Whammy V Pedal. And get this: it’s finally operated by a 9V DC adaptor (rather than AC). That feature alone is bound to sway some on-the-fencers, but the Whammy V also offers True Bypass (a popular aftermarket mod) and a new chordal shifting mode.

Here’s the press release.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – HARMAN’s DigiTech today introduced its next-generation Whammy pedal, building upon one of the most iconic guitar pedals recognized by guitarists around the world. The new Whammy features the classic Whammy sound that guitarists have embraced for over 20 years, and moves to the next level by introducing chordal Whammy pitch-shifting, additional Whammy intervals, and true bypass.

For over two decades the Whammy pedal has been known as the ultimate pitch-shifting pedal in the world, used by everyone from Jimmy Page to Tom Morello and heard on songs like “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and the Black Keys’ recent hit, “Lonely Boy.” The introduction of new possibilities with the Whammy pedal reinforces its legendary status of the pitch-shifting realm.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: Line 6 StageSource L3t

I just received a press release from Line 6 about their new StageSource L3t powered loudspeaker, which is now shipping. At first glance this looks like a great PA-type speaker – and I’m sure it is – but it also offers some very interesting applications for the guitarist. It can serve as an acoustic guitar amp, which is handy, but it can also be used with Line 6 POD gear as a speaker system. So if you’re really attached to your ‘in the box’ POD settings and would like to use them onstage without running through a conventional amp, pair your POD with one of these and you’re ready to go.

Line 6 Ships StageSource L3t, the World’s Most Versatile High-powered Loudspeaker for Musicians

– Now available, StageSource L3t combines multi-function design with Smart Speaker modes, integrated mixer and digital networking for the widest variety of live sound applications –

CALABASAS, Calif. – April 10, 2012 – Line 6, Inc. proudly announces the availability of StageSource™ L3t. StageSource loudspeaker systems are built on a powerful new technology platform that enables a single enclosure to provide best-of-class performance in multiple live sound functions.

StageSource L3t is the most flexible loudspeaker available for musicians. Using six innovative Smart Speaker modes, the L3t optimizes its output for a variety of performance scenarios: front-of-house PA, floor monitor, personal PA, keyboard and acoustic guitar backline or with Line 6 POD® multi-effect processors as a high-performance electric guitar speaker system. Smart Speaker modes can be set manually or automatically via built-in orientation sensors that detect whether the speaker has been pole-mounted or rotated and tilted for use as a monitor.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: Vintage and Laka by Vintage ukuleles

The ukulele really is the ultimate instrument. Stripped of pretence, it’s like pure music distilled down to its essence and sent drifting out on a wave. It’s a deceptive little instrument: non-musicians often feel comfortable picking it up because “it’s just a ukulele,” only to realise with a jolt a few months later that they’re actually making music now. Vintage has just introduced four gorgeous new ukes that feature familiar outlines and some very player-friendly features which are sure to give the mighty uke the rock cred it so richly deserves. Check them out!
Plug in and rock out with four fab new electric ukuleles from Vintage and Laka by Vintage
Worldwide musical instrument trade distributor John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd. is delighted to announce four rocking new electric ukuleles under the Vintage  and Laka  by Vintage banners.
The Vintage VUKE1 (UK RRP £49.99) is a nylon-strung soprano model with eastern poplar body, set maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, plastic nut, 15 frets, piezo pickup, Volume and Tone controls, open geared machine heads and a Gloss Sunburst finish.