Why I Love My Acoustic Guitar

rsz_peter_hodgson_acoustic_photoI was recently asked to participate in a cool article for Musician’s Friend’s The Hub. I was asked about my acoustic guitar, and until I can afford a nice Taylor my main acoustic is an Ibanez Charleston acoustic that I’ve had for nearly 15 years. I’ll leave it to the article to tell you about the guitar, but this is a pretty unusual model for Ibanez that you don’t see very often. Mine needs a new bridge saddle (it was a victim of one of my early experiments in acoustic guitar setup – hey, better to practice on my own guitar than a customers’, right?) but otherwise it’s quite a nice guitar with an unusual tone: soft and sweet, not particularly loud but very musical.

COOL GEAR ALERT: MXR Prime Distortion

MXR_M69Here’s something pretty neat from MXR: a new distortion pedal that’s exclusive to Guitar Center (both instore and online) and Musicians Friend. It’s a vintage-vibed stomper which seems quite flexible and amp-like. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to get a feel for what this baby can do. By the way, don’t MXR do the coolest videos? I like their style. They seem to capture that whole exciting tunnel-vision vibe you get when you try a new pedal for the first time. And their videos from NAMM this year were killer too.

Here’s the press release for the Prime Distortion, followed by the videos.

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NEWS: Boss Fender Reverb pedal now shipping

Middle of the week, which means I’m too busy with other stuff to do any serious hardcore blogging, so here’s a press release for ya!

1963 Fender Spring Reverb Returns as a Modern Stompbox

Los Angeles, CA, August 11, 2009 — BOSS® and Fender® USA have collaborated to create the FRV-1, a stunning recreation of the 1963 Fender Reverb®. A staple sound of rockabilly, country, blues, surf rock and even grunge rock, this tube-driven reverb sound is now available in an affordable, rugged compact pedal.

The FRV-1 recreates the classic spring-reverb sound of the 1963 Fender Reverb via patented COSM® technology. Three classic controls for Dwell, Tone, and Mix allow players to refine their tone, adding buttery warmth or sparkling twang.

The FRV-1 is now available with an MSRP of $206.50.

Here are a the other Boss/Fender collaborations on Musician’s Friend:

Boss FBM-1 Fender Bassman Pedal

Boss FDR-1 Fender Deluxe Reverb Pedal

NAMM 2009: Boss ME-70

Boss has upgraded its ME series of multi-effect pedals with the ME-70, which appears to take a lot of inspiration from their GT series. In fact it kinda looks like a shrunken version of my beloved Boss GT-8. Although I love pedals I’ve always appreciated a good multi-effects unit, and I hope to try the ME-70 out soon.

CLICK HERE to buy the Boss ME-70 from Musician’s Friend.

Here’s the press release:

BOSS is pleased to debut a brand new full line of high-quality tuners, as well as the ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects Processor products at this year’s Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.

The ME-70 is a floor-based processor that offers the compact design and simplicity of a stompbox. With dedicated knobs for each section, a new, high-quality COSM® engine derived from the GT-10, and added EZ Tone and Phrase Loop features, the ME-70 is the ultimate easy-to-use floorboard powerhouse.

In addition to its superb Overdrive/Distortion section, the ME-70 now features a new Preamp section with the latest sound-modeling COSM engine for the most natural response and sound quality. The ME-70 is made to play, and the hardware now adds a fourth footswitch for even more real-time effects control.

The ME-70’s dedicated knobs for each effect section allow full, fast control over sound creation, just like a stompbox. The knobs make the ME-70 incredibly easy to use compared to traditional multi-effects units. Users will also love the new Phrase Loop function for sound-on-sound creation, with up to 38 seconds of recording time. Its EZ Tone function allows for fast and easy tone creation via simple effects presets, so players of any level can create superb tones of any genre within seconds.

With a friendly design and unprecedented tone creation capabilities via COSM and EZ Tone, the ME-70 will be an essential live performance piece for guitarists. Plus, it will bring a diverse array of world-class COSM tones to any studio recording.

CLICK HERE to buy the Boss ME-70 from Musician’s Friend.

SPARKLY GUITAR WEEK: Day 2 – Fender Dick Dale Stratocaster

Today’s sparkly guitar is the Fender Dick Dale Stratocaster. Look at that damn thing. The heavy strings and gutsy single coil pickups say “I’m gonna kick your ass in the parking lot,” but the sparkly gold finish says “Then I’m going to run my flick-comb through my hair and drive off in a duck egg blue Caddy.”

Specs are:

Custom Artist Series. Maple neck with special shape, rosewood fretboard, 21 frets, reverse headstock, vintage tremolo, 3 Custom 50’s pickups, special switching, master volume, chartreuse sparkle finish, brown tolex case. Made in U.S.A.

CLICK HERE to buy the Fender Dick Dale Signature Stratocaster from Musician’s Friend.

Or CLICK HERE to see Fender Dick Dale signature Strats on eBay.

NAMM 2009: EVH Wolfgangs available now from Musician’s Friend

Musician’s Friend has opened up preordering for the new EVH Wolfgang guitars.

CLICK HERE to buy EVH Wolfgang Guitars at MusiciansFriend.com

The guitars are made by Fender but released under the EVH brand name, as with Eddie’s new 5150 III amps.

The blurb on the Musician’s Friend site states: 

Since 1978, every hard rock guitarist has tried to be like Eddie Van Halen. Whether it’s emulating his two-hand tapping; stripped-down, single-pickup, single-knob axe; the renowned “brown sound;” wild whammy bar action; squealing artificial harmonics, or his just-go-for-it attitude.

Not merely artist-approved, the EVH Wolfgang is the result of Eddie’s total involvement and commitment. The Wolfgang is the outcome of two years of exhaustive research, testing and refining, revising, and tweaking by Eddie and his EVH crew. Wolfgang prototypes were given a grueling on-tour workout every night for over a year. As an example of EVH’s relentless pursuit of perfection, more than 80 pickups were tried and rejected before the company developed in-house the pickups that produced the “hitting me in the gut” sound that Eddie demanded.

EVH Wolfgang Guitars at Musician's Friend

Reflecting on the work that went into the new Wolfgang, Eddie observed, “Every aspect and component of this guitar has been examined and upgraded to the highest standards possible. We redid everything on this guitar. The only similarity to the previous Wolfgang is the body shape, and even that’s changed. You name it—stainless steel frets, double-potted custom-wound pickups, five-piece binding on the matching body and headstock, custom-made signature tuning machines and Floyd Rose bridge, new low-friction pots, and the list keeps going… we left no stone unturned.”

In addition to black and vintage white, the EVH Wolfgang comes in an opaque tobacco sunburst finish over a gorgeous quilted maple top. The EVH Wolfgang starts at $2,999.99.

Eddie has climbed the guitar summit and now shares his achievement with you. He’s done all the refining, road testing, and tweaking for you. Now it’s up to you.