NAMM: The Coolest Thing At NAMM: The Peacekeeper

IMG_3517Designed by one Mr. Markus Hummel, The Peacekeeper is a patent pending quick change effects system that uses actual rifle parts to integrate guitar effects into a guitar. That’s right, the effects modules are built right into rifle magazines. Hummel showed off various effect-loaded magazines including a tube preamp and an analog delay. Want distortion? Chk-chk – boom. Echo? Chk-chk – boomoomoom. Easy and cool. Hummel, perhaps the most enthusiastically eloquent guy ever to point a rifle/guitar at me, says the invention has many advantages, starting with superior sonic performance, as the effect is now located closer to the sound generation: the pickup. “Secondly the player now has the ability to manipulate the control knobs of the effects in real time adding creativity to their play. Thirdly, using battle proven magazines, effects can be interchanged quickly – especially live on stage!” It is truly a thing of beauty, and ironically (given that Hummel was born in Germany) the most American guitar at NAMM. Check out these pics… Read More …

NAMM: BOSS OD-1X Overdrive & DS-1X Distortion

distortionBOSS has revamped two of their most venerable pedals, the OD-1 Overdrive and DS-1 Distortion, in the form of the new OD-1X and DS-1X. Both pedals feature next-generation technology, individual High and Low controls, powerful real-time processing to deliver rich, wide-range sounds with natural compression, and BOSS’ innovative Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP), realized with proprietary technology and custom DSP. You’ll still be able to get the classic DS-1 and OD-1 pedals if you want, but these two units take decades of Roland/BOSS R&D and distill it into new units which take the essence of those classics and blast them into the future. Here’s the press release: Read More …

NAMM: Fender Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster

hitmakerLemmie tell you a little bit about me. Whenever I’m feeling down, the best cure is to put on David Bowie’s “Modern Love” and just jam out on rhythm guitar along with Nile Rodgers. Nile is, of course, a hugely influential figure in popular music. Just think of the albums he’s had a hand in: Let’s Dance, Family Style, Like A Virgin, Original Sin, Cosmic Thing, Random Access Memories… and then of course there’s Chic and Sister Sledge, with whom Nile practically defined an entire genre and showed us what it really means to play the perfect part for the song. The Fender Custom Shop is paying tribute to Nile with a guitar that recreates the Hitmaker, the legendary Strat with which Nile has sprinkled musical gold dust over all sorts of tracks. It’s been a long time coming and here’s hoping that it leads to other more affordable versions too that tap into the same magic.  Read More …

NAMM: Perri Ink Gypsy Custom Guitar

GypsyGTR_8You’ve no doubt read about Perri Ink. Custom Guitars in these pages before: Nick Perri has a real knack for taking the requirements of real-world pro players, filtering them through a pretty damn distinctive and stylish visual flair, and putting them out into the world as droolworthy pro-level custom guitars. Up until now all Perri. Ink guitars have been based on classic body shapes, but with the Gypsy the company has unveiled their first fully original design. It’s slinky and sexy and has a definite classic-meets-boutique-meets-modern vibe going on. Here’s the press release: Read More …

NAMM: Charvel Booth Visit

IMG_2397One of my favourite things about NAMM this year was that Charvel was up in the Fender room, where it belongs, instead of downstairs tucked away into a weird little area that was hard to see until you were inside it like last year. This meant it was much easier to see beautiful new instruments like the Guthrie Govan, Joe Duplantier and Jake E Lee signature models as well as plenty of beautiful Charvel Custom Shop creations and of course the San Dimas Style 1 that will never, ever stop being awesome. Join us as we take a peek, won’t you? Read More …

Second Annual She Rocks Awards – Congratulations MJ!

MJ at the Seymour Duncan Custom ShopThe second annual She Rocks Awards were held by the Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) on January 24 during the NAMM Show, and one of the award winners was someone very near and dear to my heart:  Maricela “MJ” Juarez from the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop. MJ made my all-time favourite pickup ever (my Magnetar), and she’s incredibly knowledgable about tone, as well as an incredibly lovely person. I had a great time getting to visit MJ at Seymour Duncan HQ after NAMM this year, where her She Rocks Legend Award was already proudly on display. Here’s the press release: Read More …

NAMM: New Godin Montreal Models & Empire Black HB

godinsPRESS RELEASE: Montreal based Godin Guitars is getting ready for the upcoming New Year with the introduction of a number of exciting and versatile guitars at this year’s Winter NAMM show, from January 23rd to the 26th in Anaheim California. Introduced in 2013, the Montreal Premiere certainly stuck a chord with players looking for something new in the thinline, semi-hollow body electric guitar market. This has further expanded with the addition of four new models to the Montreal Premiere line-up. The Montreal Premiere Sunburst P90 HG features a set of Godin Kingpin P90 pickups and a custom tailpiece. Read More …