Okay, so I was just checking my Twitter followers (you can become one of them here) and I noticed that my most recent follower was someone called FuzzBoxGirl, and she has a YouTube Channel with a bunch of pedal reviews, including a vintage 1968 Univox (Shin-ei) Super Fuzz. She also has a wicked sense of humour, a killer guitar collection, a knack for matching cocktails and fuzz pedals, and a great line in retro rock riffage. Only her feet and hands appear on camera. Mysterious. My prediction: FuzzBoxGirl will own the guitar world by this time next week.
Hey! Head over to Jason Shadrick’s blog to see my guest post, a lesson on the crafty art of syncopation. Hope you dig it. Make sure you check out the rest of Jason’s site, including his excellent Twitter directory and the ’7 Questions’ series including Greg Koch, Steve Vai, Alex Skolnick (I especially dig Alex’s Hunter S Thompson quote), Stu Hamm, Paul Gilbert and many more.
Here are a couple of great new DiMarzio videos featuring Billy Sheehan.
In this one he talks about discovering hammer-ons from under the shadow of Billy Gibbons’ cowboy hat.
And here he shares a secret trick about his unusual picking technique.This one’s pretty freaking amazing.
If you’re not into the whole relicing thing, you might wanna skip this story and read something else. Might I suggest this?
Check out this Fender prototype of the new John Mayer relic Stratocaster, which is based on – get this – John’s Fender Custom Shop Relic ’61 Strat. Yeah, it’s not vintage like a lot of people naturally assume. So this is a relic of a relic.
John posted this photo today on Twitter, not long after posting “Meeting with Fender and incase to look at prototypes of the new “Black 1″ guitar and case.”
That’s the original on the bottom, and the copy on top.
Of course this isn’t the first signature Strat Fender has made for John Mayer. When I worked at World of Music in Brighton East here in Melbourne, I had the opportunity to play a several production model John Mayer Stratocasters and one of them in particular was probably the nicest non-Custom Shop Strat I’ve ever played.
If you can’t wait for the Relic, here are a couple of standard Fender John Mayer Stratocasters available from Music123:
Fender Artist Series John Mayer Stratocaster Electric Guitar Olympic White
Fender Artist Series John Mayer Stratocaster Electric Guitar 3-Tone Sunburst
CLICK HERE to see Fender Stratocasters on eBay.
Hot off the presses (well, Myspace actually), Mike Keneally says he’s finishing work on the first disc of his multi-album mega-project, Scambot, at this very minute.
Here’s an excerpt from Mike’s Myspace blog posting:
I’m finishing Scambot today
volume one of it, anyway…I’m posting regular updates from the studio on my Facebook and Twitter pages if you want to check out that action. Right now we’re bouncing down the final mixes of each song from the album in sequence.
SPOILER ALERT! Here’s the names of the songs on the album:
Big Screen Boboli
Cat Bran Sammich Part 1
You Named Me
Cat Bran Sammich Part 2
We Are The Quiet Children
Life’s Too Small
Behind The Door
You can follow real-time Scambot updates on Twitter.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 Guitarworks 996 South State Road Greenwood, IN 46143 7:00 p.m. Admission $5 Info: 317-885-1510
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Tumbleweed Trading Post & Guitars 7831 Airport Highway Holland, OH 43528 7:00 p.m. Admission Free! Info: 419-861-3512
Thursday, May 14, 2009 Firehouse Music 3125 28th Street SW Grandville, MI 49418 7:00 p.m. Admission Free! Info: 616-532-3473
Friday, May 15, 2009 Midlothian Music 15645 South 94th Avenue Orland Park, IL 60462 7:00 p.m. Admission Free! Info: 708-389-4041
Monday, May 18, 2009 Music Makers 3611 W. Willow Knolls Drive Peoria, IL, 61614 7:00 p.m. Admission Free! Info: 309-692-9000
* New body shape
* Floyd Rose bridge, instead of Parker’s usual model
* Synth pickup
* New headstock shape
Looks like it’s shaping up to be a very versatile and innovative guitar. Can’t wait for further updates!
After seeing my Krank Revolution Plus review one of my Twitter buddies, Brendan, asked if I had played the Krank Rev SST amp head, and how it compares to the Revolution Plus. As luck would have it I’ve reviewed them both for Mixdown, so here’s my review. If you look close you can see the Rev SST in the background of my Bogner Alchemist demo video. So here’s the review.
The Revolution has two channels, ‘Krank’ and ‘Kleen.’ Krank has a 3 band EQ (treble, midrange and bass), two footswitchable master volumes and a parametric sweep control which swings between treble/bass emphasis and midrange emphasis. The Kleen channel has a similar 3 band EQ and a volume control. Around the back is an active effects loop with level control and on/off switch, a footswitch jack, two 4 ohm speaker jacks, and a world voltage selector. It’s also worth noting that because the power section is solid state – using the same technology you find in car stereo power amps (think about that next time you’re stopped at the lights next to some dude cranking his stereo up to 11 and rattling your teeth, and you’ll get an idea of the clean power of this amp), the Rev SST is a lot lighter than its tube-driven older brother. Anyone who’s had to heft a heavy tube amp out of the car and up a few flights of stairs will know that this is a good, good thing.
While the Revolution Plus has a lot of punch and power amp grind courtesy of its 6550 power amp tubes, the Rev SST shifts the emphasis towards smooth, warm compression. I plugged in my Ibanez RG7420 with a Dimarzio Tone Zone humbucker in the bridge, selected the Krank channel, and set everything to 5 as a starting point. With a little tweaking of the sweep control, the sound reminded me of Dream Theater’s ‘Images And Words’ album or Faith No More’s ‘Album Of The Year’ – that smooth, warm distortion which translates complex chords well and evens out the dynamics which, let’s face it, allows you to cheat a little bit and be slightly more relaxed with your picking because the tone is not reliant on the push of power tubes. Winding the sweep control one way emphasised the highs and lows while shifting focus away from the mids, and I couldn’t resist blasting a few Strapping Young Lad riffs. Twisting the Sweep control the other way emphasises the mids while rounding off the treble and softening the bass, which makes it great for Satriani style lead tones, especially when you throw some chorus and delay in the effects loop.
The Kleen channel is extremely polite, with no way of driving it to overdrive. This makes it perfect for those clean Metallica or Slayer tones, and it’s also a great platform for using effect pedals because the amp reproduces them faithfully, without colouring them with its own gain. I tried my Boss DS-1 distortion and my MXR Custom Audio Electronics Boost/OD. The rattiness of the Boss and the smoothness of the MXR were both there in abundance. Clean effects such as my MXR EVH Phase 90 were very clear, almost hi-fi.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The tube-driven Revolution is a great amp but may not be for extreme metal players because its power amp grind makes it more of a rock or old-school metal weapon, yet its preamp sounds great at lower levels before power amp distortion kicks in. The solid state Revolution SST taps into that sound while allowing you to crank it without colouring it, and I can see it gaining a lot of fans in the metal and prog communities.
CLICK HERE to buy Krank Rev SST 200W Hybrid Guitar Amp Head from Musician’s Friend for $899.
CLICK HERE for the matching 4×12 Guitar Extension Cabinet Straight for $649.
Follow I Heart Guitar on Twitter! For more on Twitter, check out this great article on Jason Shadrick’s guitar blog, another Twitterer mentioned in the Premier Guitar story.
As many of you probably know I write for a few magazines here in Australia – Mixdown (where I also have an instructional column called Unleash Your Inner Rock God), Australian Guitar, and Australian Musician Magazine – but this is the first time I’ve seen my name in an American magazine, unless you count the time Guitar Player printed my letter about a million years ago, hehe. So I’m hella excited. Thanks Premier Guitar!
Premier Guitar’s email newsletter sums up the new issue perfectly, so here’s what they said:
Welcome to the May issue of Premier Guitar! We’re bringing you a genuine ‘plexi fest’ this month with our exploration of that classic Marshall JTM45 tone via an original (1965!), a reissue and five boutique brands that pay tribute in their own way. We also have interviews with Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham and jazz maestro Martin Taylor. The issue is also packed with a tone-dripping array of reviews—Louder & More, Genz Benz, Michael Tobias Designs and Xotic, to name a few. Plus, some of you have asked us to throw a little more of the less expensive gear into the mix so we’re responding with reviews of an Atomic Guitar Works STD1 ($895), a Danelectro Dead On ’67 ($399), an Eastwood Airline Tuxedo ($849) and Fender’s Road Worn Series ($949).
NIN Access, the highly-anticipated Apple iPhone application, has gone live, although it seems to be crashing my phone so far… not sure what’s going on there. Some other users on Twitter are reporting the same thing but it’s working fine for others.
I originally wrote this review for Mixdown magazine in 2006, and a little discussion with Lewis from the Me And Mace: Japan Guitar Journeys blog on Twitter today reminded me of how cool this guitar is, so I’ve decided to post the review here.
I reviewed the F-200p, a funky little guitar that comes across as a marriage of all the fun bits of a Gibson Les Paul Jr, SG, Fender Strat and even ESP Viper. The body shape is vaguely SG or Viper-like, with similarly pointy horns and classy bevelling on the front and back of the body. The mahogany body’s thickness and weight are more like a Les Paul Jr, as is the twin soapbar pickup configuration. The pickups, Hagstrom’s own Alnico 5 magnet H-90 soapbars, have an aged cream colour which complements the crisp crème of the body and the back of the set nato neck, and is matched by similarly aged volume and tone pots. The oversized tortoise shell pickguard is immaculately cut, and the rear cavity cover features clever triangle cut-outs to give access to the trem spring screws without having to remove the plate. The headstock features the classic Hagstrom shape (something like an industrial Gumby), set off with classy but understated pearloid binding, logo and decorative inlay. It actually looks like the whole headstock face is covered in a two ply overlay of pearloid material then painted over with some kind of stencil to mark out the pearloid features, which is more than likely at this price point, as full inlay work would jack up the price. The headstock features Hagstrom-branded tuners with extremely cool art deco style buttons which look similar to those found on some versions of megabuck D’Angelico New Yorker jazz boxes.
But the coolest feature as far as I’m concerned is the Full Contact trem system. A simple push-in bar with a Strat-style white plastic tip is tension adjustable, and the bridge is anchored to the body via four screws which, like all vintage-style trems, can be adjusted to provide more play, or screwed down tight to get closer to a fixed bridge vibe if whammy isn’t your thing. The bridge saddles are a design I’ve never seen before, with the strings sitting on a screw-in section which rises about 5mm higher than the top of the saddle bases, keeping the strings at a Les Paul-like break angle for better sustain and tonal transfer while providing the playability of a Strat. In operation, the bridge stood up to some pretty wild whammy bar abuse and just wouldn’t go out of tune no matter what I dished out, from divebombs to EVH-style dips and scoops to race car and piggy noises. Yet due to the subtle float of the review model’s bridge and the snugness of the bar in the socket, I was also able to get dead-accurate shimmery Bigsby sounds, which blossomed to full life with a few carefully chosen open strings and the added influence of those soapbars.
I’ve always found soapbar-style pickups to be extra sensitive to changes in picking dynamics, and these were no exception. The bridge pickup is set pretty much as far back as it could possibly go, emphasising the snappiness characteristic of the bridge position to gloriously grungy effect. The larger than average distance between the bridge and neck pickups makes the contrast between the two tones even more pronounced, and the middle setting jangles like a hardcore Telecaster. Within ten minutes of plugging the F-200p in, I’d already written two new riffs, inspired by the glassy shimmer of the soapbars. I’m a firm believer that every guitar has a new song or two lurking within it, and to find them within the first ten minutes is pretty inspiring. Delving deeper though, I was able to conjure up great Stonesy tones, some pretty awesome slide guitar sounds, and, when rolling off the tone knob and switching to the neck pickup through high gain, a dangerously close approximation of Randy Bachman’s “American Woman” tone. Huge variations in tone were possible by varying pick attack or switching from pick to fingers, and particularly country chicken pickin’ licks sounded great.
The Hagstrom F-200p would be a great studio guitar due to its sheer versatility, and its cool retro styling make it a great indie axe. It’s more suited to jangly chords and ringing single note lines rather than fleet-fingered shred-fests, but with those sweet sounding soapbar pickups you wouldn’t want to get too noodly anyway because you’d miss all the tonal nuances. But if, for some bizarre reason, soapbars aren’t your thing, other versions feature humbuckers, single coils, or combinations of the two.