NAMM 2012: Fender VG Stratocaster & GK-Ready Stratocaster

Check out this latest partnership between Fender and Roland! Scroll down for a great Premier Guitar video featuring Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter.


Since pioneering the GR-500 guitar synth in 1977, Roland has been dedicated to developing the ultimate electronic guitar. A perpetual and continuous quest for the next-generation guitar led to electric-guitar giant Fender®. Now, collaborating with Fender, Roland proudly introduces a new era of electronic guitar: V-Guitar!

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Premier Guitar tours Yngwie Malmsteen’s guitar rig

Check out this cool video of Yngwie Malmsteen giving Rebecca Dirks from Premier Guitar the grand tour of his guitar rig. Yngwie talks about his signature Seymour Duncan pickups, his signature Fender Stratocaster, his signature Marshall amps… and he mentions that Ovation may be releasing a signature Yngwie acoustic some time soon. Cool! Check out Premier Guitar for more info.

[geo-out country=”Australia” note=””]Wanna buy some of this sweet stuff? Here are some links!

Marshall Yngwie Malmsteen Signature YJM100 100W Tube Guitar Amp Head

Seymour Duncan STK-S10 YJM Fury Stack Bridge Pickup White

Seymour Duncan STK-S10 YJM Fury Stack Neck Pickup White

Seymour Duncan STK-S10 YJM Fury Stack Set Pickup Off White

Fender Custom Shop Custom Shop Yngwie Malmsteen Tribute Stratocaster Electric Guitar Olympic White

Fender Artist Series Yngwie Malmsteen Stratocaster Electric Guitar Vintage White Maple

NAMM 2010: Performance Guitar booth visit

One of my favourite stops during NAMM was at the Performance Guitar booth in Hall E. I’ve heard of Performance for many years and I know that both Frank Zappa and Steve Vai were early fans of the company, but apart from playing one for about 30 seconds at a guitar clinic by Aussie shredder Joe Cool when I was about 16, I’d never seen one close up. A recent Premier Guitar feature on the company piqued my interest further, so when I saw them at NAMM I zoomed right over to say hello and check out their gear.

I knew about Performance’s guitars, but let’s face it, their guitars come with a price tag which is as high as their quality level (ie: you get what you pay for, which is a good thing!). But what really surprised me was their pedal mods under their TTL (Top of the Line) brand. At NAMM, Performance had set up a rig where you could A/B the modified and unmodified versions of various pedals. I was particularly taken by their Boss DS-1 mod. Performance’s website says:

DS-1 Distortion

Original Characteristics:
The original DS-1 has a simple, yet well designed circuitry. It has the right amount of gain and the symmetrical distortion produced by diodes.

What has been Modified and Improved:
The input impedance has been changed to the tube amp standard of 1MΩ. Improvements have been made in the area of picking nuance, quicker response time, and overall sound definition. The even harmonics, especially the second harmonic, have been emphasized to recreate the sound of a fully-driven tube pre-amp. This resulted in the thin sound becoming eliminated completely and the overall sound becoming much richer. The gain factor has been re-evaluated at various frequencies to achieve great distortion, even with a single coil pick up. With respect to the original design principle, no switches were added and overall modifications were kept simple.

The company makes a couple of its own pedals too, including the FZ-85, a filter modulation pedal designed in collaboration with Frank Zappa in the 80s. The site says:

FZ-85( F.Zappa Filter Modulation)

There’s an early ’80, Frank Zappa wanted special his own sound. Frank and we collaborate each other to make special effect for Frank. It control and emphasize the particular frequency. This effects pedal has 3 mode select SW. There are low pass mode, band pass mode, high pass mode.

*Low pass mode position cut the higher frequency above the frequency you set up.
*Band pass mode position cut the frequency without the frequency you set up.
*High pass mode position cut the lower frequency below the frequency you set up.

And then you can set up the frequency that you want to make it peak point with “F” control knob. And also you can set up the resonant peak with “Q” control knob. For example, you can have the sound like an eccentric “Wah Wah” with moving the “F” control knob. This effects pedal is different from other effects pedals. Because this effects pedal boosts up the inner voltage. That’s why this effects pedal can get wider dynamic range and works more extremely. You can’t find any other effects pedal like this. You can get this sound only from this one. Frank couldn’t make his sound without this effects pedal. Now this effects is used by Dweezil Zappa, Steve-Vai, Warren-Cuccurullo and many more musicians and they Loved it!!

I was also blown away by the Snake Skin guitar (autographed by Warren DeMartini of RATT) which I used when testing out the pedals. It was very responsive to pick attack and despite the hard rock vibe of the snake skin finish I found it great for bluesier, Hendrixy riffing.

Here are my photos from the Performance booth. Check out that Vai-style flame guitar!


NAMM 2010: Way Huge Aqua-Puss, Dunlop Volume Pedal, Heavy Core Strings

Remember my recent post about the new stuff from Jim Dunlop/MXR? Well here’s a little more info direct from the company themselves, including some more info about the awesome new Way Huge Aqua-Puss MkII analog delay. John Mayer’s all about this pedal and it sounded great at NAMM. Before we get to the Dunlop info, check out this video from Premier Guitar at NAMM, which includes Uli Jon Roth giving the Aqua-Puss a run-through at the booth.


The Aqua-Puss MkII is making its triumphant return, ready to bathe a tone thirsty world in gorgeously smooth delay. One twist of the Delay knob takes you from a tight 20ms delay to a cavernous 300ms. The Feedback control regulates delay duration and intensity. But watch out. Extreme settings can send the Aqua-Puss MkII into self-oscillating psycho-freak-out mode! Meanwhile the Blend knob lets you set a balance between dry and delayed signal—from mild to wild. The Aqua-Puss MkII delivers all the spooky mystery of vintage analog delay and tape-based echo, with none of the hassle of creaky, ancient gear.


Control your volume levels with exacting precision with the new Dunlop Volume Pedal. The Dunlop Volume Pedal features a patent pending Steel Band Drive that creates a low-friction environment with no strings or ratchet gears attached – allowing you to achieve thick, luscious volume swells in one smooth motion without the fear of breaking. With fully adjustable tension and high-quality low-noise electronic components, the sound is as clean and transparent as the feel is smooth. Housed in a lightweight but durable aluminum chassis, the pedal features a rocker pedal that is slightly curved for ergonomics, with an aggressive non-slip tread that keeps your foot firmly in place. Great features, smooth, hassle-free performance and crystalline tone make the Dunlop Volume Pedal the smart choice for every musician.


Heavy Core® Strings are uniquely designed for the player that enjoys higher tension at standard tuning or normal tension at dropped tunings. Our proprietary core-to-wrap ratios are meticulously calculated so the player can really “dig in” while retaining sound fundamentals. Heavy Core® Strings, like all Dunlop Strings are manufactured with the highest quality of materials and engineered for great tone, balance, and feel.

NEWS: Premier Guitar checks out Digidesign Eleven rack unit

Excuse me for a moment while I squeal like a little girl… EEEEEEEEEEEEK! Sorry, just had to get that out of my system after seeing Premier Guitar’s first peek at the new DigiDesign Eleven rack unit.

Head over here to read the whole story, but here are some snippets:

The Eleven Rack is a rackmountable recording and signal processing system that does the DSP work for you so that your computer doesn’t have to. That means that you can use the unit live onstage and recreate the exact tones you recorded with, without a computer attached to it. However, there are advantages to using Eleven Rack with a computer — more on that in a bit. Eleven Rack has an LED screen on its front panel that allows you to do everything you’re used to doing with the Eleven package of plug-in effects. Eleven involves a connoisseur’s collection of vintage and modern amps, cabs and effects, while giving you far-reaching signal path and internal component tweaking ability.

One of the coolest things about Eleven Rack’s eight simultaneous recording capable inputs is the True-Z auto-impedance matching input that recreates the electronic connection between your guitar and an amp or effect. This isn’t done with digital processing, either—analog components are used to detect and adjust the input impedance from your guitar’s pickups and adjust the signal for a proper match for the particular amp/effects you’re using within Eleven. The result: you get the nuances you’re used to—both in feel and sound. With the ability to record both dry and processed signals, your reamping options are endless—you can even reamp later without doing the cable patching tango.

And here’s Premier Guitar’s video demo.

NEWS: Premier Guitar, Vox give you 5 new Satch tracks

Premier Guitar, Vox and Joe Satriani want to give you a present: 5 brand new Satch tracks (well, 4 but one of them is a different mix) featuring Joe and his signature Vox pedals.

Go here for the download links.

The tracks are:
BBW #2 mix1 Joe steps out in this ultra-funky jam infused with healthy doses of Big Bad Wah and Time Machine delay.
BBW #3 mix The track that started it all! This is the soundtrack to our Big Bad Wah demonstration video—an amazing, high energy performance featuring the Big Bad Wah.
BBW DDL JAM mix Trip out with this drum and bass-style performance featuring the Time Machine delay in its time-bending element.
BBW WAH JAM mix An alternate take of the BBW DDL JAM mix featuring the Big Bad Wah.
BBW WAH VERB JAM mix A remix of the BBW WAH JAM mix featuring the Time Machine delay used as a reverb.

Musician’s Friend shopping links:
Vox Joe Satriani Time Machine Delay Guitar Effects Pedal

Vox Joe Satriani Satchurator Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal Red Metallic
Vox Joe Satriani Satchurator Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal Red Metallic

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