INTERVIEW: Jeff Sahyoun of letlive.

tumblr_mjd2umUUEl1qm4awso1_500It seems that when I ask anyone what will be remembered amongst the strongest releases of 2013 lately, they immediately elect the new letlive. album The Blackest Beautiful [Epitaph]. Out July 5 here in Australia and July 9 elsewhere, it’s a passionate, powerful, energetic burst of post-Rage-Against-The-Machine angst and ferocity, with a huge organic sound and a world-class approach to subtle but crucial vocal harmony. It’s also brain-grabbingly memorable, despite its complexity. Guitarist Jeff Sahyoun – who also engineered the album – has developed an idiosyncratic style which blends traditional riff-rock with post-hardcore adrenaline and a sound-designer’s appreciation of using found objects for weird noises and textures. Currently on the Warped tour throughout the US, I caught up with Sahyoun while he kicked back in a carpark in the middle of nowhere.  Read More …

REVIEW: Egnater Tweaker 112

EgnaterI’ve reviewed a few Egnater Tweaker amps over the past few years. The 6L6-loaded Tweaker 40 was a fun little amp with plenty of switches for customising your tone, while the Tweaker 88 rocked a set of KT-88 power tubes for a different tonal character. The Tweaker 112 is a little more closely aligned with the Tweaker 40, but with 6V6 power tubes and its own thang going on. The Tweaker 112 is a 15 watt tube combo with a single 12″ speaker (a Celestion G12H-30) housed in a void-free birch ply cabinet. There’s only a single channel this time around, with controls for Bass, Middle and Treble as well as a Master Volume and a Gain control. But that’s not where the tone sculpting ends. Read More …

REVIEW: Egnater Tweaker 88

A few months ago I reviewed the Egnater Tweaker 40. It was a fun little amp, with plenty of switches for customising your tone, but as enjoyable as it was to play, it seemed like some of the fine sculpting options were best at really zeroing in on the best possible version of the Tweaker 40’s own unique sonic character, rather than as a way of reconfiguring it to suit particular and disparate voices. I wonder if a big part of this is due to the 6L6 power tubes, which are often known for their slightly cold feel and super-tight bass frequencies. This is one of the reasons 6L6s are used in super-high-gain amps for the metal crowd, but it doesn’t make for a full-on tonal chameleon.


And following on from that, I wonder if this was Egnater’s consideration when designing the Tweaker 88, which takes the basic premise of the Tweaker 40 and recasts it with a pair of KT-88s. Found in amps such as the Marshall Major, Orange Thunderverb, Fryette Two/Ninety/Two power amp, Blackstar Series One 200 and Splawn Nitro, KT-88s are capable of high power and low distortion. They offer less even-order harmonics than, say, an EL34, which gives them a bit more ‘poke’ within a mix.


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REVIEW: Egnater Tweaker-40

The Egnater Renegade is one of my favourite amps ever. It has a wide range of tweakable options and a huge variety of tones available, and despite its apparent complexity it’s actually pretty easy to use. The Tweaker series – the Tweaker, Tweaker-40 and Tweaker-88 – offers a slightly different take on the Renegade’s spirit of instant customisation, packing a fairly decent amount of tone and response-shaping controls into an efficient, toneful little amp, stripping away some of the excess of the Renegade in some places while focusing on perhaps the most useful elements.


At the heart of the Tweaker-40 – the 40 refers to the wattage – you’ll find two 6L6 power valves and three 12AX7s. (The Tweaker 88 has two KT-88 tubes and four 12AX7s instead). The controls appear simple at first glance – a pair of master volumes, a pair of gains, and Bass, Middle and Treble pots – but look a little closer and you’ll see a whole bunch of switches too. For starters, the tone stack has a three-way American/British/AC voicing switch (which shifts the tone to be progressively deeper and rounder), while each channel’s master volume is paired with a Vintage/Modern switch. Over at the gain controls you’ll find Tight and Bright voicing switches which work on the low and high ends respectively, a Mid Cut switch which revoices this crucial factor in a guitar’s tone, and a Clean/Hot switch which flips between low and high gain configurations.

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Aussies! Win an Egnater Tweaker 88!

Hey Aussies! CMC Music is giving away an Egnater Tweaker 88! Entry details are here, but here’s the general gist, taken from the CMC site:

1. Drop into your local Egnater dealer (see below) and try a Tweaker 88

2. Get your competition code word from the store while you’re there

3. Email, subscribe to our newsletter, and include your competition code word

4. Watch our Facebook page for the winner to be announced at the end of February!

Good luck!


Win a 1-Year Supply of Dunlop Strings and a G&L/Egnater Rig

Wow, this sounds pretty good. Dunlop, Egnater and G&L – that’d be a hell of a rig!


Dunlop Strings has teamed up with Egnater Amplification and G&L Guitars to bring you a sweet giveaway featuring a ton of Dunlop Strings and an Egnater/G&L rig ($3,508.99 value).

One lucky winner will receive:

1-year supply (52 sets) of Dunlop Strings and $1,000 shopping spree on ($1,500 value)
Egnater Tweaker-40 112 Combo Amplifier all-tube combo amplifier ($1149.99 value)
G&L Tribute Rampage Jerry Cantrell Signature Guitar ($859.00 value)
Twelve runners up will receive a 6-pack of Dunlop Strings and a Dunlop Strings cap.

To enter, visit While you’re there, check out our new video, Dunlop Strings: Inside a Modern String Company, where we go in-depth on the conception and production of Dunlop Strings.

Dunlop provides musicians with the best tools to help them realize their artistic potential. Enter Dunlop Strings:

· Superior definition provides crisp highs, aggressive mids, and focused lows

· Dynamic response captures the energy of your attack

· Smooth surface lets your fingers glide across the strings

· Incredible string-to-string balance ensures even performance

No matter your genre or style, playing Dunlop will change the way you feel about strings.

Tear into your potential.