Steve Lukather recently unveiled the LIII, a new signature model which takes his established Luke model and updates it with a few tweaks – most notably new custom-voiced passive DiMarzio pickups in place of the active EMGs on the Luke model. And the new, larger body shape was a response to requests from players who felt that the standard version made them look too big. Luke is currently touring Australia with G3 and for Bluesfest, and this guitar sounded incredible in the hands of both Luke and Mike Keneally. And man, I want one. And I have a huge – huge – interview with him to post when I’ve finished typing it up, but here’s a teaser:
“I’m loving mine. I wanted to do a different take on it. Non-active DiMarzios, a little bigger body. It’s a simplification. But we’ve had such fantastic success with the guitar over the years, why not see where this goes? I listen to what people say. Constructive criticism, I’m all about. But if someone’s going to go on the internet and beat the shit out of me for a laugh, there’s not much I can do about that. But I listen to these things. They (Ernie Ball) were a little bit opposed to this at first, but we found a happy medium and so far the reactions are really positive.”
And here are some pics from NAMM:
Just stumbled across this video on YouTube of the fine folks from England’s Jaden Rose Guitars capering at the NAMM Show (including some great shreddage by Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders). These guys make incredible guitars that are especially shred and djent-friendly. Six-strings, seven-strings, eight-strings, fixed bridge, Floyd Rose, extended scale, multi-scale, exotic woods, DiMarzio pickups, ridiculously comfortable necks… want!
Remember the killer Jackson Custom Shop B-7 7-string built by Pablo Santana which I wrote about here? Well it’s now for sale at The Music Zoo.
The guitar features a transparent purple quilted maple top, mahogany body, neck-through mahogany neck, ebony fretboard, 25.5″ scale length, inlays by Ron Thorn, EMG 707 humbuckers, Floyd Rose tremolo and black/gold hardware.
You can buy this killer one-of-a-kind axe at the Music Zoo’s eBay store here.
Octave fuzz is one of my favourite effects, and if you’d seen my house you’d know that Pilgrim and I are all about psychedelic 60s and 70s design. So I feel like the Catalinbread Octapussy is practically designed for me. And check it out: that picture above was supplied by Catalinbread but that’s the same model Strat that I have. It’s a sign!
Catalinbread Octapussy hits the streets.
Dateline: March 5th, 2012 Portland, OR
If you followed the news from NAMM you may have seen this pedal unveiled. Well, Catalinbread is ready to let the cat out of the bag. The Octapussy is an octave-up fuzz in the tradition of the Octavia. But it’s not a clone of that circuit! Nope, it’s an original circuit designed by Howard Gee, utilizing 3 silicon transistors and two diodes that takes the tradition to the next level! Get yourself the ultimate octave fuzz, and launch your sound into the stratosphere.
The Octapussy was designed to be extremely responsive to your guitar and playing. Whether you’re looking for sweet, breathy, delicate octave-up melodies; epic soaring leads that bloom as you hold a bend; or massively huge grinding, industrial-strength power chords. The Octapussy has it! There’s also a slew of other sounds to be had not only in the pedal itself, but also with your playing style and guitar controls.
Check out these new goodies from Dwarfcraft. First up is the Zhago, a lean boost with a toggle to introduce a tight, gritty distortion with a strong gate.
Here’s a demo video:
Then there’s the Total Spack Vibes, created for Daniel Spack, member of Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Volcano Choir, and Group of the Altos. It’s a weaponized overdrive began as a tricked-out version of Dwarfcraft’s popular “The Internet” overdrive pedal, but with an added tone knob and a gain control for the foot switchable gain boost, labeled “harder.” Sounds cool on paper, but according to Dwarfcraft’s Ben and Louise, “HOLY MOLEY. When it came together and hit the testing table, it’s true nature was revealed. EVIL. True, you can get familiar overdrive sounds, and a handy dandy boost, just like you would with The Internet. But in addition to these, you can conjure up a plethora of scratchy harsh treble blasting noise distortion.”
A few weeks ago I wrote about the ’59/Custom Hybrid which Seymour Duncan announced at NAMM. Check out this new video of Seymour Duncan’s Frank Falbo demoing and discussing the pickup in comparison with a few others. The video offers a nice clear recording of the differences and ‘sames’ between the Custom, the ’59 and the ’59/Custom pickups.
What’s really super mega cool about this pickup is that it’s based on a mod developed by a member of the Seymour Duncan User Group forum. So there ya go – those of you who like to mod your gear and brag about it online (and who doesn’t?), just think – maybe the next time you perform some sweet mod on your guitar or pedal or something, it could end up as a production model.
Catalinbread showed at NAMM for the first time in 2012 with a really cool display. They had plenty of cool new pedals to check out, but in the true spirit of showmanship they drew a lot of attention with a set of special Custom Shop Fuzz Flowers handpainted by Sharlet Thompson. These amazing creations feature the Catalinbread line as well as some special fuzz creations built by Bryan Lundstrom.
Also on show:
There was plenty of great stuff at NAMM this year – real break-your-wallet kind of stuff – but one of my favourites and certainly very high on my ‘must-sell-a-kindey-to-fund-purchase’ list is the 65amps Producer. It isn’t cheap but boy is it pretty. You might think of amps like the Lil Elvis when you ponder 65amps, but the Producer is something else entirely: an EL34-loaded warbeast which captures, subdues, skins and stuffs classic rock tones then mounts them on the wall for proud display. And it does it all while knocking back shots of Jäger.
65amps wanted to design a classic-sounding amp but without the unpredictability of those circuits. Y’know how a tube amp can sound great in one room but terrible in the next? 65amps has done some extensive study on the matter and found that these old circuits were designed around tubes that could take the voltage, which modern tubes just can’t do. So they’ve came up with their own solution, which they feel makes new tubes sound even better than old ones. The key to this is a new transformer by Mercury Magnetics which runs the amp’s EL34s in an extremely safe and unconventional way that no off-the-shelf guitar amp transformer can do. The two companies are so sure of the stability and reliability of this method that they expect that you won’t have to change your tubes for years.