COOL VIDEO ALERT: Seymour Duncan ’59/Custom Hybrid

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.

Maybe.

NAMM 2012: Catalinbread

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:

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NAMM 2012: 65amps Producer

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.

 

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NAMM 2012: Taylor Nylon string guitars


Taylor had a lot of cool stuff at NAMM this year, but perhaps my favourite is this: the company’s new line of nylon-string guitars. In typical Taylor fashion, these guitars are startlingly unique: they feature a hybrid design which gives players all the distinctive tonal flavors of a Spanish/Classical guitar, but with a very ‘Taylor’ neck. A lot of players like the sound of a nylon string guitar but they’re put off by the feel of the neck. But these instruments have a much more familiar neck for players who are used to steel-string guitars. And it’s not just one nylon string model: nylon versions are available for the The 712ce-N, 814ce-N, 812ce-N, 314ce-N, 714ce-N, 912ce-N, 312ce-N, 412ce-N, 914ce-N, 414ce-N, 514ce-N, 612ce-N, 614ce-N, 214ce-N, 512ce-N and 214ce-N. Phew! You can check out the whole line here, but how’s this for nice? That’s a 214e-n. I dig its understated cool.

While I was in California I stopped by El Cajon to visit the Taylor factory and pick up my custom SolidBody. I also took the factory tour and got some great shots and info. Look for that post soon, as well as a review and video of the SolidBody.

NAMM 2012: Warwick Robert Trujillo signature model

Even before I knew it was a Robert Trujillo signature model, this unfathomable beauty from Warwick caught my eye.

Oooh. Shiny.

It features a ‘chrometone’ finish, increased neck mass, special-width brass nut and active EMG pickups with Bartolini 3-band electronics. The neck and body are both Maple, and the fretboard is Tigerstripe Ebony. Those fretboard inlays? R T genuine silver. Comes with Dunlop Robert Trujillo Signature strings: (4-string: .045” – .102”; 5-string: .045″ – .130″), Warwick User Kit, Rockcase Flight Case and certificate of authenticity.

And here’s a video from Warwick about this beast.

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NAMM 2012: TC Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX for singing guitarists


Leave it to the folks at TC Electronic to find a way for my vocals to not suck! Just what I need for my latest little musical endeavour.

TC-Helicon Introduces VoiceLive Play GTX for Singing Guitarists

Pristine vocal and guitar effects join forces in one compact, turbo-charged unit – TC-Helicon’s VoiceLive Play GTX takes the singing guitarist’s performance to the next level!

VoiceLive Play GTX is the world’s first multi-effects unit dedicated to rocking the world of the singing guitarist. Pro-level TC-Helicon effects and state-of-the-art harmony processing is just half the story. Play GTX is also packed with top-of-the-line guitar effects from TC Electronic. Quite simply, singing guitarists will feel like they have a dedicated vocal producer and an experienced guitar tech sitting inside the box.

For more than a decade, TC-Helicon has lived to serve the needs of singers, giving vocalists everywhere the opportunity to express themselves in new and amazing ways. Likewise, TC-Helicon’s sister company, TC Electronic, has provided the guitar world with first-class effects solutions for decades, with legendary units like Stereo Chorus Flanger, TC 2290 Digital Delay and G-System.

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NAMM 2012: IK Multimedia iRig Stomp

Now this looks cool. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t 100% happy with the original AmpliTube iRig – I bought one from my buddies at World of Music and and it was certainly handy, but the feedback and crosstalk issues meant you couldn’t really turn it up loud enough to rock. And cranking it up loud is part of what makes rock fun! As a result I found myself looking around for other options, which I felt pretty awful about because the IK Multimedia folks are awesome and AmpliTube is one of the best things you can ever do for your guitar in a digital environment.

Well IK has solved that problem and made a more stage-friendly and roadworthy unit in the iRig Stomp. It can go on your pedalboard, it has an active circuit to improve the headroom (especially when used with high-gain amplifiers in the AmpliTube app) and this reduces feedback and crosstalk when recording. Awesome! It can be used inline with other effects pedals, or directly connected to amplifiers or PA systems using regular 1/4″ guitar cables, with no need for adapters.

More info here.