REVIEW: Pickmaster Plectrum Cutter


I don’t know where my guitar picks disappear to. I’m pretty sure it’s the same place my socks and my abs went. Some days I spend at least as much time searching for plectra as I do playing guitar, and although for years I was strictly a one-pick dude (the Jim Dunlop Jazz III), I’ve trained myself to now use whatever pick I find, wherever I find it. It’s just better and more musicianly to remain adaptable than to be bound to any one type of pick.

The makers of Pickmaster must realise this quandry because they’ve created the ideal way to ensure you are never left pickless. The Pickmaster Plectrum Cutter is a very chunky and solidly built tool which lets you stamp out picks from whatever material you find around the house – old credit cards, the lid from the butter tub – you could even be super-ironic and use it to cut a guitar pick out of one of those large triangular bass picks. Read More …

REVIEW: Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail Analog Delay

vapor_trail_analog_delay

It’s interesting that analog delay seems almost as popular today as it was back when it was the only option, before it had to compete with digital delays, multi-effect pedals, rack units, MIDI-controllable delay stations and all-in-one processors like the Axe-FX. Many players seem to really connect with the organic nature of analog delay at the moment: its rounded down, smoothed off, often more compressed, richly harmonic charms. The MXR Carbon Copy has proven the popularity of analog delay pedals with inbuilt modulation effects, and the Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail takes this to a new level while retaining its analog credentials. Read More …

REVIEW: Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound for Jazz Bass

Quarter Pound for Jazz Bass

Guest review by Sam Radojcin

Sometime in late 2014, I ordered, waited for and purchased a bassist’s holy grail if you will – A Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V in Natural. It took its time arriving from the US. I think my remaining hair got greyer in the meaintime, but once this beauty arrived I was blown away.  Amazing craftsmanship, a smooth neck, beautiful sustain and a great sound that I thought could not be beaten.

As beautiful and perfect as it was, I was offered an opportunity from the fine folks at Seymour Duncan to check out a set of their 5-String Quarter Pound for Jazz Bass pickups (see the Seymour Duncan bass pickup range here) to give them a road test and give my thoughts on their fine products. Read More …

REVIEW: FGN J-Standard Odyssey JOS-FM-R

fgnFujigen has built guitars for some of the biggest names in the guitar world for decades. Ibanez’s incredible Japanese instruments including the Jem and JS, for example. Or the beautiful Fender Japan instruments. The much-loved Heartfield Talon. But the company makes its own instruments too. FGN guitars have been available in Japan for quite a while but they’re a relatively recent entrant on the world scene. The J-Standard Odyssey JOS-FM-R is a great place to start because it blends elements of the traditional and the modern in the same instrument. Read More …

REVIEW: Randall Diavlo RD100H

Randall RD100H

Plenty of great players have used Randall amps over the years: Dimebag Darrell, George Lynch, Nuno Bettencourt, Phil Collen, Scott Ian, Kirk Hammett… and one thing that has been consistent between them all is the up-front quality of the distortion, whether it’s being achieved by tube or solid state means. Randall’s Diavlo series looks very metal-oriented – and it is, with its horned-skull-adorned graphics and none-more-black exterior – but Randall seems to have worked hard to create a versatile clean channel too. Let’s investigate… Read More …

REVIEW: Gibson SG Special

SGSP145NCH1-Finish-Shot

Although the Gibson SG is an American design, for many decades it’s resonated particularly closely with we Australians. Put this down to one Mr. Angus Young. There’s something about those devilish pointy horns and blues-approved tones that appeals to the Aussie pub rock aesthetic. The SG Special is one of Gibson’s newest designs, adding a few little twists and turns to an otherwise straightforward but badass-looking take on the SG style. See Gibson SGs on eBay. Read More …

REVIEW: TC Electronic Alter Ego V2 Vintage Echo

I recently checked out the TC Electronic Alter Ego X4, a vintage-vibed delay unit occupying the same footprint as the mammoth Flashback X4 Delay. That pedal offered a wealth of old-school sounds curated by US store ProGuitarShop. The Alter Ego X4 is a huge, hulking pedal that’s perfectly designed for stage use, but perhaps you don’t want a single pedal with the footprint of a lunchbox on your pedalboard. Perhaps you want a more conventional compact delay pedal that’s still packed with vintage tone. Well, my friend, meet the Alter Ego V2 Vintage EchoBuy the TC Electronic Alter Ego V2 Vintage Delay here.

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REVIEW: Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 40

idcore40

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.

Buy Blackstar ID:Core amps on Amazon.com

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