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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

Gretsch Crème de Marine Falcon

Gretsch G6136 Falcon Limited Creme de Marine

PRESS RELEASE:  –Gretsch is proud to release its newest breed of bird, the Crème de Marine Falcon guitar. This is a truly distinctive Falcon—a classic G6136T model dressed in a soft blue finish that we call Crème de Marine. Together with the gold appointments and classic style, it’s an elegant look as calm as quiet seas. All the other premium G6136T features are here, including late ’50s styling on a single-cutaway arch-top hollow body with 1959 trestle bracing, gold-sparkle binding and oversized bound f holes; three-piece maple neck with ebony fingerboard, gold-sparkle binding and Neo-Classic™ thumbnail inlays; dual High Sensitive Filter’Tron™ pickups; three-position pickup switch and three-position master tone switch; gold plexi pickguard with falcon motif; Space Control™ bridge and Bigsby® B6GB vibrato tailpiece; gold-plated Grover® Imperial™ tuners; and horizontal Gretsch gold-sparkle headstock logo. Includes deluxe hardshell case.

For more information, go to www.gretschguitars.com.

Geoff Tate Releases Queensryche F.U. Remix

queensryche-frequencyunknown-deluxeHuh. This is interesting. Look, there’s no doubt that of the two recent Queensryche albums, the Todd LaTorre-fronted version was the better-sounding and more consistent of the two. But the Geoff Tate one had a couple of really good songs. “Life Without You” in particular would fit quite well on Empire, Promised Land or Tribe. (And I don’t think it’s exactly common knowledge that Forbidden guitarist Craig Locicero plays rhythm guitar throughout the album – not to mention there are guitar solos by Ty Tabor, KK Downing, Brad Gillis, Dave Meniketti, Chris Poland and more). But the mix of the album sucks. Tate realised this even before the album was released, so Billy Sherwood was enlisted to remix it, but that was never finished, and the original mix was released instead. Well now the Sherwood mix has been completed and will be released on a deluxe edition of the album. I guess there must be some clause that allows this to be released under the Queensryche name since it’s an already-existing album. Either that or Tate’s going to get a very interesting phone call. Anyway, here’s the press release. Continue reading

Dream Theater – Melbourne, October 29, 2014

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I first started listening to Dream Theater with A Change Of Seasons – back then the albums weren’t released locally here in Australia, so we had to pay huge prices for imports – and I immediately had that feeling of ‘This is the band I always wished existed!’ My brother and I soon went back and checked out Images And Words and Awake and I was blown away by the scope of the music, the intensity of the performances, the creativity of the arrangements and the depth of the lyrics. It took a long time for Dream Theater to finally tour Australia (0n the Chaos In Motion tour) and this brief run of two Australian dates was only their third ever tour down here, and first with Mike Mangini behind the kit.  Continue reading

Slayer’s Tom Araya Visits ESP

Vaughn Skow Pickups At WGS

Warehouse Guitar Speakers (WGS) is now carrying Vaughn Skow Pickups. David from WGS says “Vaughn Skow, a longtime friend of ours, is now producing very fine hand-wound guitar pickups. All his pickup designs harken back to the times when some of the finest electric guitars on earth were made, 1954-1969. What Vaughn has going for him is that he can produce pickups with far more precision than was available to manufacturers in the 50’s and 60’s, while retaining all the mojo those classic pickups have to offer. He uses the finest materials available, and has a very well tuned ear for detail. The pickups sound phenomenal.” You can check out the range here.

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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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