Meet The Fender Ultra Luxe Series

Today, Fender is unveiling the American Ultra Luxe series for players who demand the ultimate in performance and tone with the most advanced series of guitars and basses.

The addition of four new American Ultra Luxe models in 2021 will bring the guitar playing experience up a major notch.  These elevated models in this series feature versatile, state-of-the-art specs that will inspire players to push their skills to new heights. 

The American Ultra Luxe series features a unique Augmented “D” neck profile with Ultra rolled fingerboard edges for endless playing comfort and a tapered neck heel that allows easy access to the highest register. A speedy 10”-14” compound-radius fingerboard with 22 stainless steel medium-jumbo frets means effortless and accurate soloing.

Models include:  

·         American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster® ($4,499 AUD). The American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster features Ultra NoiselessTM Vintage pickups and advanced wiring options providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. Available in 2-Color Sunburst (Rosewood fingerboard) and  2-Color Sunburst and Plasma Red Burst (Maple fingerboard). 

·         American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster® Floyd Rose® HSS ($4,699 AUD). The American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster Floyd Rose HSS features Ultra NoiselessTM Hot single-coil pickups and Ultra Double TapTM humbucking pickup, along with advanced wiring options, providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. The Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system allows for precision vibrato effects while staying perfectly in tune. Available in Silverburst (Maple fingerboard) and Mystic Black (Rosewood fingerboard).

·         American Ultra Luxe Telecaster® ($4,499 AUD) This model features Ultra NoiselessTM Vintage pickups and advanced wiring options providing endless tonal possibilities – without hum. Available in Transparent Surf Green and 2-Color Sunburst. Available April. 

·         American Ultra Luxe Telecaster® Floyd Rose® HH ($4,699 AUD) Featuring an Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system, stainless-steel frets and eye-catching custom colors with matching painted headcaps, the American Ultra Luxe Telecaster Floyd Rose HH is Ultra – elevated. This model features Custom Double TapTM humbucking pickups and advanced wiring options, providing endless tonal possibilities  – without hum. The Original Floyd Rose Tremolo system allows for precision vibrato effects while staying perfectly in tune. The sculpted rear body contours are as beautiful as they are functional. Available in Mystic Black (Maple Fingerboard).

Rusty Cooley announces new online interview series ‘Guitar Autopsy’ featuring top players

Rusty Cooley announces new online interview series ‘Guitar Autopsy’ featuring top players

“IT’S LIKE IF JOE ROGAN PLAYED GUITAR”

Guitar Autopsy is a new online chat show launching in March 2021, hosted by ‘guitar teacher to the stars’ Rusty Cooley and up-and-coming guitarist Zach Adkins and covering everything from guitar talk to general life topics, and everything in between – all with guitars in hand.
Each episode finds Cooley and Adkins joined by a guest from the world of guitar, drawn from Rusty’s little black book of guitar buddies from a lifetime in the industry as a player, educator and gear obsessive.
“Guitar Autopsyis not so much of us interviewing guitar players as it is three guitar players hanging out and talking and playing guitar,” Cooley says. “So it’s just a conversation about everything anything from guitar playing, practicing, teaching, learning, music business, touring, not touring, or where ever the conversation leads us. Maybe we don’t even talk about music and we talk about everyday life. If you want to have a drink or a smoke out, kick your feet up and hang out – and that’s exactly what you can expect: the unexpected!”
Every episode kicks off with Cooley and Adkins discussing the guitar news of the week: new releases, notable anniversaries, news happenings, gear trends or whatever else may be relevant that week. Each week’s guest then joins the chat to talk about whatever’s on their mind, and to throw plenty of guitar licks out there if the mood takes them.
“If whoever’s on the show is sick and tired of talking about music because that’s what they do, and they just want to talk about life, that’s what we’ll do,” Cooley says. “Basically imagine if Joe Rogan played guitar! It’s all fair game.”
“The big thing that I think is a game-changer with this,” Adkins adds, “is there are lot of other people who talk to guitar players and celebrities, but the difference is Rusty: he knows a lot of these guys personally, he’s met them, he’s probably even played with them or taught them, which makes it a whole other thing when you know somebody one-on-one verses getting them in for a quick interview.”
An impressive list of some of the greatest players in contemporary guitar and bass have already signed on for Season One, including some of the biggest names in thrash, progressive rock and metal.
Guitar Autopsycan be found at Rusty Cooley’s YouTube channel.
Rusty Cooley is a respected solo artist, guitar educator, and founding member of Day Of Reckoning and Outworld. Adkins first came to the attention of the guitar world when he took first place in the 2017 Flying Fingers competition judged by Paul Gilbert, and is author of the bestselling book Guitar Efficiency.
Rusty Cooley YouTube Channel:https://youtube.com/c/MrRustyCooley
Zachary Adkins YouTube Channel:https://youtube.com/c/ZachAdkinsmastershredder

IK Multimedia unveils Amplitube 5

IK Multimedia AmpliTube 5 guitar software has been my amp modelling plugin of choice ever since Version 2 way back when. Now Version 5 has been announced and while it boasts plenty of cool features like new rack effects derived from T-Racks 5, an enhanced looper, a bunch of new models and improved interaction between preamp and power amp sections, I get the feeling a lot of people are going to truly flip out when they see the new redesigned cabinet section with 600 impulse responses for every speaker of every existing and new cabinet model. Here’s more information.

October 29, 2020 – IK Multimedia’s leading amp and effects modelling software takes a giant leap forward with the unveiling of AmpliTube 5. The AmpliTube series accurately captures the sound, feel and vibes of the world’s most-sought after guitar and bass gear in a perfect format for practising, recording and performing anywhere. The new AmpliTube 5 offers a massive increase in gear, features and flexibility for an even more seamless and satisfying user experience, raising massively the bar of what can be expected from an amp simulator today.

It delivers 129 new gear models for a total of over 400 ultra-realistic models, a cutting-edge re-designed cabinet section with unique new VIR™ technology, and improved power amp / speaker cab interaction for dramatically improved sonic authenticity.

An all-new, resizeable interface makes creating and routing rigs a breeze, with improved gear selection, drag & drop placement, and support for one, two or three-amp rigs with up to 57 simultaneous effects.

New rack effects derived from IK’s award-winning T-RackS 5 can easily craft professionally polished, “just like the album” tones, a new mixer window, AmpliTube‘s popular 8-channel DAW, an enhanced Looper with 2 simultaneous tracks and infinite layers of sound add even more sonic power in the studio or live.

AmpliTube 5 can work both as a desktop app and plug-in for any DAW, and it’s available in four versions to suit every need – from the free AmpliTube 5 Custom Shop up through to AmpliTube 5 MAX, which offers full access to all current official artist and brand collections.

Nearly 20 years ago, IK introduced the original AmpliTube – the world’s first guitar & bass amp and effects plug-in to model the entire guitar/bass chain from instrument to recording device in a hyper-realistic and intuitive way. Today, the diverse AmpliTube series includes collections created with renowned brands such as Fender®, MESA/Boogie® and Orange®, and iconic artists such as Joe Satriani, Brian May, Slash and many more.

What’s New in AmpliTube 5New cabinet section with VIR™ technology
A re-engineered Cabinet section features IK’s new Volumetric Impulse Response (VIR™) technology. To deliver the highest standard of accuracy and realism, IK painstakingly measured 600 IRs per speaker of every existing and new cabinet model, for a total of 143,000 IRs. To perform this process, and for it to be of millimetric precision, IK developed a custom measurement system with dedicated robotic automation. The result is a massive, 3D array of mic placement options – each capturing the interactions between speakers, cabinet and floor – for a completely true-to-life sound that has never before been heard either in software or hardware emulation. All of this is available with a new 3D grid interface that allows users to snap the cabinet section’s movable mics to a precise IR point or seamlessly blend between multiple measurements.Furthermore, users can now import and load their own IRs and tweak them to find the perfect match for their desired tone.New Gear
AmpliTube 5 offers the widest selection of sought-after guitar and bass amps, cabinets, speakers, stomps, mics and rack effects of any software, with more than 400 models (AmpliTube MAX version), including 129 newly created models.All 100 cabinets have completely been re-measured with VIR™ technology; 19 new rack effects have been added, including a selection of models derived from T-RackS 5 and optimized for guitar; two new stomps and five new amps hand-picked from top-of the-line boutique models are now included and two new room emulations that provide even more creative ambient scenarios are available in AmpliTube 5.Plus AmpliTube 5 revisits all of the original AmpliTube legacy gear, adding a fresh new look, optimized internal gain structure and re-developed power amp/speaker interaction to maximize realism and tone feel.

New GUI
Both existing and new users will enjoy an all-new, now fully scalable GUI, to conveniently adapt to any display size including the latest Retina displays, featuring an updated ergonomic layout and new level of realism.

Freely configurable signal chain
Beyond mono and stereo, the new, completely customizable gear chain now supports wet-dry-wet configurations and other advanced series and parallel routing.

The overall chain has been greatly expanded to support up to 57 simultaneous models divided between stomps, racks, amps and cabs. Users can easily drag and drop any model into place from a sidebar gear browser, to build or re-order even complex rigs in seconds.

New Mixer
A new Mixer window in the studio section complements AmpliTube 5’s expanded signal chain options and 8-track DAW. It allows users to blend their cabinet and microphone sounds, plus the DI signal, and make use of panning, levels, busses and 19 built-in effects with a selection derived from T-RackS 5 to bring a final studio polish to any track.

New redesigned Custom Shop
The AmpliTube Custom Shop offers an affordable and easy way to demo and build a custom gear collection à la carte. AmpliTube 5 features a totally redesigned Custom Shop with a modern, easy-to-navigate interface, helping users demo and unlock gear faster, sort by gear they own or don’t own, unlock preset-specific gear, and more.

AmpliTube 5 GUI - Image

Best guitar tone in the studio and live
AmpliTube 5 connects seamlessly with AXE I/O, recognized as the best guitar interface on the market by the world’s top guitar publications and media, as well as with AXE I/O Solo, the compact version of IK’s premium audio interface with powerful guitar shaping tools.

Options, pricing and availability
AmpliTube 5 (for Mac/PC) will be available in Q4 2020 and is currently available for pre-order from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide, with special introductory pricing:

  • AmpliTube 5 CS
free
  • AmpliTube 5 SE
$/€99.99* intro price (regular price will be $/€149.99)
  • AmpliTube 5
$/€149.99** – $/€199.99 intro price (regular price will be $/€299.99)
  • AmpliTube 5 MAX
$/€299.99** – $/€399.99 intro price (regular price will be $/€599.99)

For customers wanting the best of both hardware/software worlds, AmpliTube 5 will also be available bundled with IK’s premium guitar interfaces.

  • AXE I/O + AmpliTube 5 MAX
$/€399.99
  • AXE I/O SOLO + AmpliTube 5
$/€299.99
 
*All prices excluding taxes
** Upgrade/Crossgrade prices for IK users who have registered any IK products worth $/€99.99 or more

In addition, any customer who purchases AmpliTube 4 or any IK hardware package that includes AmpliTube 4 after October 15, 2020, will automatically receive an upgrade to AmpliTube 5 SE.

For more information about AmpliTube 5, please visit: www.amplitube.com/5

To see AmpliTube 5 in action: www.amplitube.com/5/video

Dean Guitars Unveils Kerry King V Limited Edition Signature Guitar

TAMPA, FL — Dean Guitars presents the USA made Kerry King V Signature Guitar, an eye-catching and sonically captivating electric guitar that honors one of the most respected players to walk the planet. As founding guitarist of the band Slayer, Kerry King has written some of the most brutal and revolutionary music ever created. With the Kerry King V, Dean celebrates the culmination of King’s career with the pinnacle of craftsmanship in an all-new guitar handmade in the Dean USA Custom Shop. Limited to only 50 pieces, this signature guitar arrives with a custom leather-bound Certificate of Authenticity signed by the man himself, along with a customized hardshell case. From every edge and angle, the Kerry King V Signature Guitar is a legacy instrument worthy of the artist, the dedicated player, and the serious fan.


“I’m super stoked to be part of the Dean Guitars family. This has been an insane long time coming!” said Kerry King celebrating the official launch of his model, the latest addition to Dean’s renowned Artist Series. “Together we’re going to create some amazing guitars that Dean, Slayer, and Kerry King fans will be as excited as I am to play them. It’s gonna be a wild ride for years to come!”
Designed with a unique V-shape cut with remarkable precision, the Kerry King V Signature Guitar pairs an instrument-grade mahogany body with a beveled North American maple flat top. The guitar is painted in a stunning satin black finish with a powerful gloss red Kerry King sigil. The contoured heel allows for easy neck access during blistering solos, while the 3-piece maple neck-thru design with dual-action truss rod provides added stability. The C-shape neck (12-inch radius) at 24 5/8-inch scale length has been sculpted to King’s specifications. The ebony, 24 jumbo-fret fingerboard is detailed with handcrafted pearl, stone, and ebony custom inlays, accompanied with ultra-vibrant LED fret markers along the side.

Electronically, Dean takes the already amped-up design of the Kerry King V to the next level with an intense Sustainiac neck pickup and an EMG 81 with PA2 preamp booster bridge pickup that’s ideal for volume-boosted solos and overdrive. This powerful combination has excellent articulation that’s further enhanced by King’s own signature Kahler KFK Tremolo System with vibrato arm. This one-of-a-kind bridge is paired with the Floyd Rose R2 nut at 1 5/8-inch width for added tuning stability reinforced by Grover tuners.

Whether maniacally shredding or passively riffing, players have all the control they need, including on/off switches for each respective pickup, a 3-way toggle switch, and a Sustainiac mode switch, along with volume and tone. Dome black knobs and black hardware polish off the edgy esthetic, complete with Dean’s distinct logo on the V-shaped headstock.
The 50-piece limited edition Kerry King V Signature Guitar is now shipping and available at MSRP $8666. Learn more and behold the beast at www.deanguitars.com.

Five Great Covers EPs you should check out

Some bands build their early careers on a well-placed cover, like Van Halen blasting right out of the gate with a redefining take on The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” Some bands make a point of avoiding covers altogether. And some love covers so much that at a certain point in their career they’ll release an entire album of the dang things. Buried somewhere in the middle of it all though is the covers EP. For many listeners a covers EP hits a certain sweet spot: enough tracks to feel like a little treat, not so many as to lose focus or have listeners impatiently drumming their fingers waiting for the next album of original material. A covers EP says “dude, listen to these songs that we loved when we were starting out” but it doesn’t say “and you must listen to everything I listened to in order to understand where I’m coming from.” There are countless covers EPs out there but these are my personal favorites. What are yours?

Skid Row – B Side Ourselves

Skid Row released this EP between their Slave To The Grind and Subhuman Race albums, and it stood out for me because in those pre-Spotify/YouTube/iTunes days you couldn’t simply command a song to appear in your ears: you had to either catch it on the radio or encounter its physical representation in the form of a CD or cassette. Wild, I know. So for me, this was the first time I’d heard a song by The Ramones, and although I was already a Jimi Hendrix fan by age 13 I hadn’t yet come across “Little Wing.” The Judas Priest cover features a guest appearance by the metal god Rob Halford himself, and there’s an energy throughout this disc which captures the power of Skid Row in this unique era, when they successfully survived the last days of rock’s hair metal era and before grunge temporarily put the boot in to bands like Skid Row. This was a band with the world at their feet and a song in their hearts.

“Psycho Therapy” (Ramones)

“C’mon and Love Me” (KISS)

“Delivering the Goods” (Judas Priest)

“What You’re Doing” (Rush)

“Little Wing” (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Metallica – The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited

This EP represented Metallica’s first release with Jason Newsted on bass following the tragic death of Cliff Burton, and the band chose to go back to their roots before diving in to new music. These tracks are all available on the band’s 1998 Garage Inc double album too, but for me they tell an entirely different story when heard in their original context instead of fitting in amongst other covers, B-sides and one-offs. If Garage Inc is the story of a band using their platform as The World’s Biggest Metal Band to shine a light on the songs that inspired them, Garage Days Re-Revisited tells a story of a band who was struggling to cope with the emotion of the situation, and who retreated to the comfort of the jam room and the songs that inspired them in their early days before life became so complicated. 

“Helpless” (Diamond Head)

“The Small Hours” (Holocaust)

“The Wait” (Killing Joke)

“Crash Course In Brain Surgery” (Budgie)

“Last Caress/Green Hell” (Misfits)

Stone Sour – Meanwhile In Burbank…

I get a feeling we’ll be seeing more of this as time goes on: covers EPs that feature songs released post-1990. While most of Stone Sour’s recent covers EP (the first of a trilogy) focuses on tracks from the 1980s, the inclusion of Alice In Chains’ “We Die Young” acknowledges AIC’s rightful place in the Great Heavy Rock Songbook. It’s interesting to note that this EP features songs by Judas Priest and KISS, just like Skid Row’s. And it’s also cool to see a band paying tribute to Metallica, who have done so much to share cool covers with the world.

“We Die Young” (Alice In Chains)

“Heading Out To The Highway” (Judas Priest)

“Love Gun” (KISS)

“Creeping Death” (Metallica)

“Children Of The Grave” (Black Sabbath)

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Covers EP

The Chili Peppers released this EP in 2012 as an iTunes-only digital download to celebrate their induction in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. The idea was to pay tribute to other bands who came before them in joining the ranks of the Hall. The tracks themselves date from between 1991 and 2011, with three guitarists represented: John Frusctiante, Dave Navarro and Josh Klinghoffer. 

“A Teenager in Love” (Dion and the Belmonts)

“Havana Affair” (The Ramones)

“Search and Destroy” (Iggy Pop and James Williamson of The Stooges)

“Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” (Neil Young)

“I Get Around” (The Beach Boys)

“Suffragette City” (David Bowie)

Rush – Feedback

Alright, this one is probably long enough to qualify as an album if you really wanna stretch it, but this eight-song release clocks in at just over 27 minutes. While most of the EPs covered (ha!) in this list feature songs from the ‘metal and onwards’ era, Rush’s reflects an earlier era, an era we now think of as ‘classic rock.’ Heck, it even includes two songs apiece by Buffalo Springfield and The Yardbirds, and you might as well count “Summertime Blues” as a The Who song too and at them to the ‘two songs by…’ list. What’s really great about Feedback is that it gives the listener a clear indication of where Rush derived their energy, yet it provides virtually no hints whatsoever as to how they developed such a progressive, iconic sound of their own.

“Summertime Blues” (Eddie Cochran/Jerry Capehart)

“Heart Full of Soul” (The Yardbirds)

“For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield)

“The Seeker” (The Who)

“Mr. Soul” (Buffalo Springfield)

“Seven and Seven Is” (Love)

“Shapes Of Things (The Yardbirds)

“Crossroads” (Robert Johnson, Cream)

The new Kenny Wayne Shepherd Strat can get it

FENDER® INTRODUCES THE ALL-NEW ARTIST SIGNATURE STRATOCASTER®  WITH BLUES, ROCK LEGEND KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD 

Second Fender Launch, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Stratocaster® Custom “Hot” Vintage Pickups, Block Inlay Neck and Unique Faded Transparent Blue Finish

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (September 15, 2020)— Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the all-new Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster®, the newest result of Fender’s collaboration with one of the most powerful guitarists in Blues-Rock today. It features a chambered ash body, Transparent Faded Sonic Blue lacquer finish and early ‘60s “C”-shaped maple neck. This guitar delivers a punchy, full-throated Stratocaster® tones with three custom voiced pickups created with design input from Shepherd himself to meticulously complement his personal sound. Today, fans can own and play a part of that legacy with the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster®. Read More …