NAMM19 – Ibanez adds lots of new AZ signature guitars

New AZ models for Andy Timmons, Marco Sfogli, Tim Henson, Scott LePage, Mario Camarena & Erick Hansel

After introducing the AZ line of electric guitars at last year’s NAMM show, with Tom Quayle and Martin Miller being the first signature artists, it seems like more Ibanez players are liking the AZ style and features. Andy Timmons and Marco Sfogli are adapting to AZ models and Polyphia’s guitar players Tim Henson & Scott LePage are getting their own AZ signatures as well.

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NAMM19 – Ibanez PGM333 Paul Gilbert 30th Anniversary

30 Years of shred!!!

We are currently in a period of time, where many Ibanez artists celebrate anniversaries due to the companies history and influence in the iconic 80’s. Shredmaster and Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert celebrates his 30th anniversary with a really special model, sporting the body and neck design of his very first Ibanez signature.

The PGM333 comes with three DiMarzio PG-13 mini humbuckers, which have been designed for Paul who seems to use this pickup format most of the time recently. Further specs are:

  • African Mahogany body
  • 5-piece Maple/Walnut neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Gotoh MG-T locking tuners
  • Gotoh GTC101 bridge
  • Volume control, 3-way lever switch
  • Gold hardware

pgm333_00_01It wouldn’t be a PGM model, if it didn’t have the classic f-hole designs on top, so of course this one does.

Now that I think about it…I was just 7 years old when Paul started his relationship with Ibanez Guitars. 30 years with one company definitely says a lot about the player and the company.

 

Current info says that the PGM333 will be available in late June this year and should sit around 2600€.

 

All info on Ibanez’ website and oh…did I mention that he also talked about this new model in a recent video? Check it out below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAMM19 – Ed Sheeran launches own guitar brand

Globally-acclaimed singer-songwriter hits the world with a surprise

Award-winning musician Ed Sheeran and highly respected luthier George Lowden came together with guests at a private event yesterday at NAMM 2019 to present a new range of guitars with the Sheeran name on. The brand is called “Sheeran by Lowden” and aims to make quality guitars in Ireland with great features, playability and tone at accessible prices.

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No more Fuzztration… with the new Wampler Fuzztration!

Wampler launches new 2-button Fuzz/Octave pedal

The search for the perfect fuzz can be an exercise in frustration. On one hand, there’s always the desire to emulate the classic, vintage-inspired tones like the Rock God’s before us. They used what was available at the time to forge some of the most memorable songs in history with unbeatable sustain. On the other hand, there are players who desire to break outside of the norm and push their own boundaries, using fuzzes that are over the top, like a tsunami of fuzz ready to envelope their guitar’s signal.

The Fuzztration isn’t a pedal designed to really play “nice.” It’s brash, raspy, doomy, in-your-face fuzz from top to bottom. This is not to say it can’t get some intensely classic Floyd sounds, but this isn’t just another classic with some added EQ options. It’s rough, it’s gruff, and it’s like an angry lion trying to bust out of its cage. When the search for the perfect fuzz leads to a plethora of choices, the end of your Fuzztration comes when everything is packed into one, do-it-all fuzz box. Want the classic sounds? Done. How about some raunchy doom metal or sludge rock? Yep, it does that too.

Wampler Fuzztration top

Controls

The volume knob is pretty self-explanatory, but it controls the overall output of the Fuzztration. The Bass controls the overall low-end response of the Fuzztration. Noon is standard, counterclockwise it removes some of the bottom end that warrants a more searing tone, where taking it clockwise will increase the bottom end tremendously, going from a raspy fuzz to full-on doom machine. Mids controls the mid presence of the circuit. Center is fairly flat, counter-clockwise will scoop the mids and become much more aggressive and cutting, almost distortion-like. Clockwise will add in some mids, which helps combat the scoop that lead many of those old classic fuzzes to be lost in the mix with the full band.

The treble control effects the overall high-end and brightness of the circuit and has a tremendous effect on the overall way of shaping the tone of the fuzz. Noon is standard, going counter-clockwise will yield in a much thicker, saturated fuzz tone that sounds like a wall of wool coming from the speakers. Clockwise will increase the brightness, and thus the raspiness and spit of the fuzz depending on where you have the voicing switch set. The Voicing switch gives you two very different but usable sets of tones.

The huge Fuzz knob controls the overall amount of fuzzy goodness. This pedal isn’t designed for sparkly edge-of-breakup tones, so even fully counterclockwise it yields a thick, sputtering result that works great for alt-rock and grunge. Turning the fuzz knob clockwise unleashes a torrent of fuzz, leading to massive sustain combined with some compression, classic velcro sputters and everything in between.

Independent Octave

The octave effect is completely independent, so it works great with other pedals as well as alongside the fuzz in the Fuzztration. It works great for adding some extra zing to your lead playing, or an added dimension to your rhythm playing. It’s kind of glitchy and can get into ring-mod territory depending on where you’re playing at on the neck. This effect is all about dynamics, so the softer you play it doesn’t “trigger” it as much as has more of a glitch effect. Dig in with your playing and the octaves will seem to jump directly out of your fingers. Having the octave set pre-fuzz (or dirt) will yield a more classic octave tone, one that jumps out the higher you move up the fretboard. Setting the octave post-dirt yield’s a much trippier, harmonic onslaught that isn’t for the faint of heart, but provides a truly unique and wild sound that you have to play to understand.

Wampler Fuzztration angle

Features

  • Built in the U.S.A.
  • High-grade components selected for their superior sound and response
  • Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, Fuzz controls with selector switches for voicing and pre- and post-fuzz octave effect
  • Standalone Octave effect
  • Convenient top-mounted input and output jacks and soft-relay switching
  • 9V-18V DC operation with optional 9v battery adapter
  • Power draw: Between 18mA (9v) and 23.3mA (18v) (LED will flash 3 times when power from battery is getting low)
  • 3.5” x 4.5” x 1.5″ (88.9mm x 114.3mm x 38.1mm) – height excludes knobs and switches

The Wampler Fuzztration will be officially released on November 19th and will be available in stores for $199.97 MAP/MSRP in the US.

More info on Wampler’s website!

Friedman releases BE-OD Deluxe & Golden Pearl pedals!

Because what’s better than one BE-OD? Right, two BE-ODs!

Friedman released news about two new pedals joining the line-up. The one that really got me all excited was the new BE-OD Deluxe, which will be priced at $269.99 MAP/MSRP in the US.

This “BE” dual overdrive pedal captures the tone of the now legendary Friedman BE-100 amplifier, which has graced the stages of world class musicians the world over.  The original Friedman BE-OD single channel pedal took the industry by storm. Tens of thousands of pedals sold worldwide and it’s still going strong!  This new BE-OD Deluxe pedal employs the exact same circuit but adds another channel and dual midrange controls. The top row (Channel 1) is identical to the original BE-OD pedal while Dave voiced the bottom row (Channel 2) with slightly lower gain.  Dual “BE” channels in your arsenal allow you to perfectly set both your rhythm and lead sounds.  The BE-OD Deluxe delivers authentic tube amplifier sound with the controls needed to shape your tone. Controls include: 3 position tight switch, volume, gain, bass, middle, treble and presence knobs.

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Bogner releases Ecstasy Red & Blue Mini pedals

Big Bogner tone, small & compact format!

Bogner Amplification announced two new pedals, which will be officially released on November 19th. The Ecstasy Mini Blue & Red pedals are smaller versions of the popular Red & Blue pedals, bringing you the same great Bogner tone in a smaller and more pedalboard-friendly format.

Pedalboards are increasingly crowded situations these days, and real estate-hungry pedals often find themselves being pushed out. That’s why Bogner created the Ecstasy Blue Mini & Red Mini. They boast all of the touch-sensitive character and massive gain range of their predecessors but are ideally suited to your setup.

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Small & compact for all you pedal nerds out there

Here’s something for you

Since my very first encounter with DV MARK back in 2011, when I helped developing the Triple 6 (a compact 120 watt metal head) I was impressed by their ability to make things light & compact without compromising tone and headroom.

Their German distributor reached out to me and asked if I could take a look at one of their latest products, focused towards players that rely on pedals to create their sounds. The DV MARK DV “Raw Dawg” EG was created in close cooperation with the incredible Eric Gales, one of the world’s most recognized blues guitar players, using pedals pretty much exclusively.

The Raw Dawg Head is super light & compact, sports a 250 watt power amp and comes with the most straight-forward front panel ever. Volume, 3-band EQ, Reverb and a footswitch connector.

And here’s how it sounds, just using a simple overdrive in front of it:

The signal chain for this video was: Kiesel Vader V6 > Thermion Heartbreaker Overdrive > DVMARK Raw Dawg Head > Two Notes Torpedo Live > UAD Apollo Twin > Reaper DAW

Black Widow Audio MGP-1A Modeling Guitar Preamp Demo & Review

Something I didn’t have on my radar and it’s pretty good!

A while ago I was browsing around on Reverb.com because I was bored and I am always out searching for stuff I might not know about. I like to get surprised by new gear. And in this case, I was really lucky to find what I found.

I had never heard about Black Widow Audio as a company, but there it was…this really intriguing rack unit called MGP-1A. I checked a video from NAMM that was already 2 years old where Brian, who invented the preamp, talked about the concept and the idea behind the MGP-1A. Now I was more than curious.

I contacted Brian right away and asked about the possibility to test and demo the unit. After a few emails we exchanged details and the MGP-1A was on the way to me.

Unpacked, connected and go!

The greatest thing about the Black Widow Audio MGP-1A is that you don’t actually have to read the manual, if you want to start playing. The front panel tells you what’s going on for the most part. 3 channels, 3 amp models per channel, modded versions of the amp, Bright, Deep, EQ shift and alternative EQ. It’s so easy to handle and to dial in tones. Theoretically speaking, the MGP-1A is a modeling preamp…a tube modeling preamp. If you think about modeling, the first thing that comes to mind is a learning curve, dialing in and fine tuning sounds will take some time, because let’s be honest: most of the stock presets are not what you’re looking for.

Here’s where the MGP-1A closes the gap! No learning curve, no sub-menus for fine tuning, just a couple of buttons and knobs that will give you that amp-like instant reward feeling.

So, here’s a first video of a small series I will be doing with the MGP-1A, going over the basic concept and playing a song obviously. Stay tuned for more on this great piece of gear!

 

Buy the Black Widow Audio MGP-1A here!

All the info about it on the manufacturer’s website!

I’ve actually finished that album

Questioning yourself… all the time

When I started putting material together for an album, I had no idea what was actually coming my way. Playing in bands my entire life, I was used to the creative process in a group. Someone came up with a melody or a riff and then we started putting shit together. This also meant that all members decided on changes together and approved the final version once it felt right.

Doing all that on your own is a complete different game, and it took me quite some time to figure that out. Because no one sits beside you and says “hmm, maybe we should lower that tempo a little”, “hey, let’s play this part half-time”, “why don’t we put the chorus part behind the intermediate blablabla”! In other words, it takes longer until you get that feeling that something sounds right or that it sounds the way you intended it to sound like.

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