REVIEW: Gibson Bill Kelliher Halcyon Les Paul

Bill Kelliher Halcyon Les Paul

Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher’s first signature instrument was the Gibson Golden Axe Explorer, a visually stunning instrument that combined classic explorer looks with an eye-catching golden brown sunburst finish and Kelliher’s signature Lace Sensor Dissonant Aggressor passive humbucker pickups. The Golden Axe is already becoming quite hard to find because these limited edition beasts are very much coveted, not just by Mastodon fans – they achieve the rare feat of crossing over to guitar fans in general – and anyone who gets one tends to hang onto it. The new Bill Kelliher Halcyon Les Paul follows a similar track, kitting out a classic Les Paul design with a few of Kelliher’s own personal touches and in the process creating a guitar that will please all sorts of players, whether they’ve heard of Mastodon or not.

Click Here to buy the Gibson Bill Kelliher Halcyon Les Paul

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My Jam With Joe Satriani

Peter and JoeWe’re in the past. I’m about 15 years old. I’m sitting on my bed trying to nail that incredible solo from Joe Satriani’s Crushing Day. I’m getting pissed off. This is hard. Try it again. Argh! Hit a clanger about a quarter of the way in. Start again. Frig. Only got two bars in that time and hit a bad harmonic. Argh. Aaaarrgh! Argh.

My dad walks in.

“What the hell is going on?”

“I’m trying to learn this Joe Satriani solo but it’s impossible!”

“Impossible?”

“Yeah.” Read More …

REVIEW: Hughes & Kettner Coreblade

The Hughes & Kettner Coreblade is quite unashamedly one thing: a metal amp. You can tell by looking at it [‘hell, you can tell by simply picking it up’ – Peter’s spine]and you can definitely tell when you plug in. An amp that can garner the approval of Annihilator’s Jeff Waters is nothing to be grunted at. So what’s under the hood of this metal-spewing monster?

The 100 watt Coreblade head packs a quartet of EL34 power tubes, known for their warm sound and open attack. Oh but if you’re more into the steely, punchy, tight vibe of 6L6CG power tubes, the Coreblade can hang with those too. The preamp section includes three 12AX7s and four modes – Clean, Drive, Ultra I and Ultra II – selectable via a 4-way rotary switch over on the far right. Travelling right to left, there’s a Boost switch then Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Resonance (for fine-tuning low end), Presence (for the high end) and Volume controls.

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