Cool Gear Alert: MXR EVH5150 Chorus

Some of my favourite recorded chorus sounds are courtesy of one Mr. Eddie Van Halen. Whether using an actual chorus pedal or setting his Eventide harmonizers to a slight pitch-shift, Eddie’s given us a lot of great chorus sounds over the years. And now you can get ’em too with the new MXR EVH5150 Chorus pedal, based on Eddie’s chorus unit from the early 80s (think Diver Down).
What I really like about this pedal is that more than any other chorus pedal on the market, this one is totally optimised for your rig regardless of whether you prefer chorus going into your amp’s preamp or in the effects loop, with three input level and two output level settings to make it play nicely with the rest of your gear. It has mono or stereo output, controls for Tone and Intensity, and a Volume control (not something you usually see on a chorus). It’s interesting to note that there’s no Rate control for the chorus, and as Pete Thorn notes in the video below, this is a little more static like the sounds Eddie got with his harmonizer until you really crank up the intensity.
This one was announced at Summer NAMM a few days ago and isn’t on the market just yet but I can’t wait for it to hit the streets.

Van Halen Hit The Road

Van Halen fans (in the USA), rejoice! The band is hitting the road for a greatest hits tour this year, and they’ll kick off preparations with a performance for Jimmy Kimmel Live on March 30. They’ll then appear on Ellen on April 2, and the tour kicks off on July 5 in Seattle. And don’t forget, their new live album is about to land. It just arrived in my advance media streamy promo dealie and it sounds raw and wild like it should. Here’s the press release including 2015 tour dates: Read More …

New Van Halen Live Album Details

VanHalen_Live_Cover_SmallerOkay, so you’ve surely heard by now that Van Halen will release their first ever live album to feature David Lee Roth. There was, of course, Live: Right Here, Right Now back in the 90s, and I wore that damn thing out on VHS and cassette. This new album, Tokyo Dome Live In Concert, is only being released as audio, but here’s what’s super-cool about this one compared to Live: Right Here, Right Now: the band has gone for a warts-and-all approach with no vocal touch-ups, whereas Sammy Hagar revealed in his autobiography that the band very heavily re-recorded that first record. Kudos to the mighty VH for keeping it authentic. Read More …

EVH 5150III 1×12 50-watt combo amp

EVH 5150III 1x12 50W Combo

Gooood… goooooooood. Eddie Van Halen’s EVH has announced the release of the long-awaited 5150III 50-watt combo amp with a single 12″ speaker and power scaling. Note that it’s a pretty damn big amp – none of this ‘just enough space to cram a twelve-incher into (hehe). So this isn’t exactly a mini amp by any stretch of the imagination – in fact it almost looks as big as the 2X12 version! I look forward to testing this beastie out some day. Here’s the press release:

PRESS RELEASE: After nearly three years in development, EVH is pleased to announce the launch of the 5150III 1×12 50-watt combo amplifier. This is not your average 1×12 combo by any stretch. In line with Eddie Van Halen’s legacy, this 1×12 is a true game changer, making players swear they’re standing in front of a half-stack. Read More …

Introducing Black Lightning Gallery

black lightning gallery

Are you a fan of great guitar music? Of course you are. Do you need some inspiration for the wall of your music space? Maybe a shrine to your favourite artists? Or just something cool to hang above the fireplace? Check out Black Lightning Gallery in Los Angeles. Founded by Rohan Ocean, Black Lightning Gallery is about to unveil a fine art photography collection from prolific rock photographer Gene Kirkland (whose work I’ve long admired – his name is burned into my head from all sorts of guitar mags). The photos include a recently discovered collection of some of rock’s most pivotal and historically important moments. Vai and DLR. Metallica taking over the world. Guns N’ Roses at the “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” video shoot. Aerosmith. Black Sabbath. Ozzy getting chummy with a white dove (from the cover of Guitar School magazine – I totally have that issue in the other room). Randy Rhoads. Motley Crue at the “Girls, Girls, Girls” video shoot. They’ll be released as numbered, signed limited edition prints exclusively via Black Lightning Gallery, and will only be available until the limited numbers are sold. there will not be additional runs of the photos.

Here’s an example of some of the great stuff you’ll see on the site:

black lightning gallery james hetfield

“Metallica were unstoppable in 1988. A new album And Justice for All… was released. Their first single release ‘One’ came with a haunting and unforgettable video, Making the song itself display the full meaning of the lyrics. The band was shot in black and white while the movie had color moments in the flashbacks.
The following Justice world tour was massive in scope with 5 legs and 222 dates. Staging included the huge Dorothy statue recreated from the cover of the album that broke down during the title track. A full lighting rig that come off and swung very close to Lars’ drum riser. The justice show was epic. The full experience is immortalized and officially released in the Live Shit: Binge and Purge Box set recording at Seattle Coliseum, Seattle, Washington over 2 night on August 29 and 30, 1989.”

 

Incoming New Guitar Day: Squier Bass VI

squier-vintage-modified-bass-vi-630-80Sometimes it’s nice to treat yerself (even if it means living on ramen noodles for a few weeks), so to celebrate two years of my super-awesome job I’m treating myself to a Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI. I’ve had a crush on these things ever since they were announced, but my lust for the Bass VI goes back to when I first saw Spinal Tap and became curious about the surf-green guitar that Nigel Tufnel wouldn’t let Marty Di Bergi touch (or even look at). The Bass VI is a relatively obscure and definitely interesting instrument which looks almost like a Fender Jaguar but is tuned a full octave below a guitar. It can be played like a bass, like a guitar, or like its own instrument, which is really what it is. You can hear the Bass VI in music by The Cure (seriously, it’s all over so much Cure stuff that it’s hard to imagine their sound without it) and plenty of stuff by Placebo too.  Read More …