Metal Masters 5 To Stream Live

image003The latest in the Metal Masters clinic series has been announced, with a huge line-up of legends from some of the biggest names in thrash and prog metal. And although it occurs during NAMM Week (and NAMM is industry-only which presents certain challenges), Metal Masters is open to everyone. It’s at the House Of Blues in Anaheim, California, in Downtown Disney and right near the Anaheim Convention Centre where NAMM is held. So if you’re heading there for NAMM anyway, this seems like a great way to kick off the week. And if you’re not NAMMing but you’re in California, go go go go go! And if you’re not gonna be there, it’ll be streamed online! Here’s the press release.  Read More …

NAMM 2012: Samson signing schedule

Some great artists signing for Samon this year, including Geezer Butler, Glenn Hughes, Billy Sheehan, David Ellefson, Kerry King, Mike Inez, Stu Hamm, Rex Brown, Eddie Jackson, Nicko McBrain, John Tempesta, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, Rob Caggiano, Frank Bello, Mike Portnoy and more! Stu Hamm will also be doing Hartke demos on each day. Full schedule below.

NEWS: Kerry King Australian instore appearances

Awesome. My pals at AMS, Aussie distributors of Dunlop/MXR, just alerted me to the very cool news that Slayer’s Kerry King will be appearing at Allans in Melbourne and Kosmic Sound in Perth while in Australia for the joint Slayer/Megadeth metalfest. I can’t wait for this gig!

Melbourne at Allans Bourke Street at 3.30pm – 5.30pm on FRIDAY October 9th –

Perth – at Kosmic Sound Cannington at 1.00pm – 3.00pm on Tuesday 13th October –

NAMM 2009: EMG gold and silver pickup covers

This year at NAMM EMG introduced gold and silver covers for their pickups. Previously the only time I’ve seen EMG pickups in anything other than black was on Kirk Hammett’s Les Paul. Other new goodies include a new line of pickups called the X Series, and an Alexi Laiho set which includes his favoured passive humbucker and a gain boost.

Here’s part of EMG’s review of NAMM: 

Team EMG is back from the 2009 NAMM Show and without a doubt we had a blast. The reaction to our new products was a resounding success. If you haven’t heard we are now offering high quality Chrome and Gold cover caps for our 81, 85 and 60 models which generated considerable excitement.


In addition to this new option, we also have a new line of pickups called the X series which has been highly anticipated and that we are betting will blow players minds with its increased headroom paired with the traditional EMG tone that has become iconic to musicians the world over.

The final new release is Alexi Laiho’s shredding new signature set, the ALX w/ABQ gain boost, which is composed of a signature passive HZ humbucker paired with a 3-band EQ/gain boost mounted on a push pull pot. This new set is incredibly versatile and was developed in conjunction with Alexi himself. You want his tone? This will get you that much closer!


Besides featuring EMG’s new and existing product lineup, we had some very exciting artist appearances, scheduled and unscheduled, that were just icing on the cake and made our booth THE place to be. Some of the artists hanging out included Kerry King, Alexi Laiho, Steve Lukather, Sergio Vallin, Marcus Henderson and many many others.

Read more here.

NAMM 2009: Marshall MG4 range

This is the groovy new Marshall MG4 amp, which upgrades the MG series with similar Stompware switching technology to that used in the JVM series amps. The entry-level MG series was always a very useful practice amp, but the addition of Stompware looks like it will make the amp more user-friendly for stage use too. I’m sure beginner guitarists will appreciate having easier access to their sounds when rocking out at school or at Battle of the Bands competitions and stuff like that, and I’m sure the MG4 series will be handy for teachers too.

Marshall Amplification has completely renovated its popular MG guitar amp lineup with the new MG4 Series. Combining analog tone, digital control, digital effects, and exclusive STOMPWARE® technology, the MG4 Series provides maximum versatility. Seven new combo amps — plus a 100-Watt head — provide players at every level with access to the classic Marshall sound, all at an affordable price.

Models in the new MG4 Series are:
MG10 2-channel / 10-Watt / 6.5″ combo amp
MG15 2-channel / 15-Watt / 8″ combo amp
MG15FX4-channel / 15-Watt / 8″ combo with digital effects
MG30FX4-channel / 30-Watt / 10″ combo with digital effects
MG50FX4-channel / 50-Watt / 12″ combo with digital effects
MG101FX4-channel / 100-Watt / 1 x 12″ combo with digital effects
MG102FX4-channel / 100-Watt / 2 x 12″ combo with digital effects
MG100HFX4-channel / 100-Watt head with digital effects

In addition, two 4 x 12″ cabinets are available — the MG4X12A angled cabinet and the MG4X12B straight-style cabinet.

With the MG4 Series, Marshall has returned to a simple, tried-and-true panel layout for extreme ease of use. Gain, followed by a three-band EQ (two-band Contour Control on the MG10), Volume and Master Volume are laid out for quick access. Push-button channel switching provides for smooth, uninterrupted transitions. Combining true analog tone circuitry and Marshall’s proprietary FDD* technology, the solid-state MG4 Series achieves that authentic Marshall sound and feel. The combination line out/headphone out features speaker cabinet emulation, providing the user with full Marshall sound when recording or practicing through headphones. A line input allows for playing along with CDs, MP3s, etc. *(Frequency Dependant Damping — used to replicate the interaction between an all-tube amplifier and the loudspeaker)

Beginning with the MG15FX, the MG4 Series adds Reverb, plus Digital Effects (Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Delay) and digital programmability. The delay time can be manually set using the front panel Tap button. Settings for each channel can be customized and saved for instant recall. The STOMPWARE footswitch (optional for MG15FX and MG30FX) provides seamless transitioning from sound to sound and tap tempo, plus a built-in tuner with LCD display. STOMPWARE technology allows this sophisticated multi-function pedal to be connected using a traditional guitar cable, eliminating the need for special or hard-to-find cables.

In addition, the MG50FX, MG101FX, MG102FX and MG100HFX feature a switchable effects loop for adding a favorite external effect to the sound. These models also include the STOMPWARE footswitch as standard equipment.

For more information, visit their web site at www.marshallamps.com.

An I Heart Guitar reader alterted me to these cool clips of Kerry King and Doug Aldrich demoing the MG series at NAMM on the Premier Guitar website.

NAMM 2009: Another Kerry King B.C. Rich V

There’s another Kerry King V on the way. Jeff Hanneman was always my favourite Slayer guitarist but it seems Kerry’s the one who got bitten by theh the endorsement bug (although check out Jeff’s ESP signature guitars).

Here’s the press release:

The hundreds of thousands of people that have seen Kerry King on stage with Slayer recently have seen his Generation 2 graphics. This new striking tribal design is floating over a hand drawn flame making it visually striking. Now B.C. Rich is bringing this great new graphic to a new production model called the Kerry King V2.

The body shape is the aggressively styled B.C. Rich speed V and it has been augmented with many Kerry King inspired features. The V2 model is equipped with B.C.R.A. active pickups and a genuine Kahler tremolo. It also features a basswood body, bolt-on construction, ebony fingerboard, special inlay and a Beast headstock. The 24 jumbo frets provide 2 full octaves of notes to shred.

For more information, visit their web site at www.bcrich.com.



NAMM 2009: New Kerry King B.C. Rich

For those into the growlier side of axemanship, check out the new 2009 Kerry King Beast V model from B.C. Rich.

The Beast V combines the Beast and Speed V body shapes (kinda like the Gibson Zakk Wylde ZV, which combines the back of a V and the front of an SG. For more information, see Dean Splittail).

The Beast V NT have neck-through construction, active B.C. Rich pickups and a Khaler Tremolo. The standard Beast V will have a string-through/tune-o-matic bridge setup and B.C. Rich B.D.S.M. humbuckers.

I met Kerry about 7 years ago at a CD launch party for Machine Head, who were supporting Slayer on an Australian tour. Once upon a time I was way into Slayer, so I marched over to him and said “Hey man, it’s so cool to meet you, I used to play ‘Dead Skin Mask’ in my high school band.” He looked me up and down and said “Yeah, but I bet you didn’t play it right.” What? Here I am meeting a dude I rocked out to big-time when I was 15, and he was cussing me out? I shot back “Dude, I could show you how to play it right.” I immediately realised the folly of what I’d done: though he’s shorter than me, he’s shorter in the way that a pitbull is shorter than a standard poodle. As the terrible reality started to sink in (preceding in short order, I was sure, the sinking of Kerry King’s fist into my temple), I quickly changed the subject, telling him I was excited about the following night’s Slayer/Machine Head gig because I’d never had the chance to see Slayer before, as I grew up in a small town a million miles away from anywhere they’d ever played. He said this was no excuse. At this point I bade him farewell and shuffled off to chat with some dudes who ran a metal show on public radio – while keeping one eye on Kerry King, lest he send his Slayer-fan minions to pummel me in the parking lot.

(In the interests of correct linkage and good manners, which do matter very much according to Kenneth Graeme in Wind In The Willows, I read about the new guitars on Blabbermouth but they got the news from Gearwire.)