NEWS: Satch demos new JSX 50 amp

Check out this cool video at MusicRadar of Joe Satriani demoing his new JSX 50 amp. The videos’ a little goofy and is a perfect example of how Satch gets ‘in-the-zone’ when talking about gear-related matters. 

This is the amp Satch mentioned when I interviewed him last year: 

Peter: One song I really enjoyed was ‘Come On Baby.’ It reminded me a lot of your self-titled album, that kind of open, almost dry guitar sound. Are we hearing single coils on that song?

Satriani: It’s funny you should ask that because I’ve done a lot of interviews and no-one really asked me about that particular technical aspect, but I was just using my usual JS1000 with the coil split feature, just lifting up the tone control. You can hear me shifting pickups during the solo. I swear, you can even hear the switch as I go between, not only the single coil, but I’ve also got the high pass filter engaged by lifting up the volume control. So I’m playing with starving the amplifier, which is set up to give me a ‘classic rock’ level of gain, but I’m starving it of information. I’m using the single coil, which lowers the output and gives it a less midrangy sound, and by using the high pass filter in there I’m stealing more low end from it, so the amp isn’t really breaking up that much and I get a smoother tone. And that’s all I was using. It’s funny, I did the first clean guitar in the left channel, one pass, then on the second pass I did the right channel, then I went back on the left and put the gains up a little more, then I did guitar number 4, then I did a guitar for the middle, and I didn’t really change much, I was just playing around with the volume control and the high pass filter.

Peter: It’s such a lost art, I think people get so bogged down with all these effects and things, that you forget you have these controls on your guitar which do these amazing things.

Satriani: Yeah. I was playing through a prototype amp which an older style, with 6V6 tubes in it, so it’s a vintage style smaller head. Those things are basically Class A designs, and they really react to what’s coming to the input. In other words, what you’re sending into that input jack, which means, as you said, playing with the volume control really changes the nature of the amp, and you can get hundreds of tones just by playing with the volume control.

Here are the specs of the JSX 50.

Two independent channels, Clean and Crunch
2 x 6550 power amp tubes (can also use EL34)
5 x 12AX7 preamp tubes
Global Presence and Master Volume controls
Global Master Volume Boost with switch and level control
Six-way attack control on Crunch channel
Pre-gain Boost switch on Crunch channel
Built-in MSDI™ microphone-simulated direct XLR output
Line out with level control
Active effects loop with send and return level control
Rear-panel impedance selector (16, 8 or 4 ohms)
Tube bias adjustments on back panel
Four-button footswitch included
Made in the U.S.A.
U.S. MSRP $1499.99

The amp will be available in the third quarter of 2009.

Cheers to Jon from Guitar Noize for posting this video on Twitter.

NEWS: Top 10 Guitar Related Twitter Users (Shadrick Guitar Blog)

So this morning I noticed I was getting a whole lot more Twitter follower notifications than usual. I was wondering why, before finally realising that the Shadrick Guitar Blog (the blog of Jason Shadrick from National Guitar Workshop) had posted a great article entitled Top 10 Guitar Related Twitter Users. Among the names were yours truly, as well as my buddies Guitar Noize and Mad Stratter, not to mention Living Colour’s Vernon Reid.

Head over to the article for the rest of the names and all of the Twitter IDs, and CLICK HERE to follow me on Twitter. I have a feed set up to publish my headlines and story links automatically, but I also post random things such as what articles I’m working on at the time, and stuff like that. Recently I called for readers to submit questions for my forthcoming interview with Dimarzio pickup designer Steve Blucher (There’s still time to submit questions, I might add).

NEWS: Eno & Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies on Twitter

Many years ago I read about David Bowie using Brian Eno’s ‘Oblique Strategies’ concept during the recording of 1.Outside
(probably still my favourite Bowie album). The system consists of a stack of cards with sentences designed to randomly provoke a creative response.

Now Twitter users can sign up to recieve a different oblique strategy every hour. Recent examples include:

First work alone, then work in unusual pairs.

Pay attention to distractions

How would someone else do it?

Left channel, right channel, centre channel

Look at the order in which you do things

The fifth physical incarnation of Oblique Strategies is now available from Brian Eno’s webshop.

I Heart Guitar is on Twitter too. I’ve set up a feed to automatically publish headlines and links from the blog, and I also use it for the same random jottings most other Twitter members use theirs for.

NEWS: I Heart Guitar on Twitter

I’m still messing around with it, but I recently set up an I Heart Guitar account on Twitter. I’ve been reading some articles on how to best utilise Twitter with blogging (here’s a good one for you bloggers: and hopefully I can figure out how to make it all work. Bear with me as I no doubt make dumbass mistakes for a few days.

The address is