Saturday, May 31, 2008

FLOOR REPORT: Sweetwater.com’s GearFest 2008

Friday was set-up day in Ft. Wayne IN for Sweetwater.com’s GearFest 2008. This guitar gear show was put on by the retailer as part of the grand opening of their new 35 million dollar complex – complete with showrooms, call center, warehouse and food court! This place is AMAZING!

There are several expo centers that will house pro-audio, guitars and more. There is even a flea market for used gear. The guitar tent is well represented with nice displays and plenty of guitars and amps! Reps from Gibson, Fender, Washburn, Martin, PRS, Visual Sound, Seymour Duncan, Zoom, Line 6, Gator, Roland, Crown, AKG, JBL and more are all on hand to answer your questions and give you GREAT DEALS on gear!

Saturday’s event promises to be huge with giveaways, artist clinics, concerts, free guitar restrings and more! If you are in the Ft. Wayne area it will be worth a trip!

For more information, please visit:www.sweetwater.com

Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dweezil Zappa's Rig

Check out KILLER pics of Dweezil's rig in- you guessed it, this month's Guitar World Magazine! It's truly a thing of beauty!

Randy Rhodes' Gear Featured

So, in keeping with the Guitar World theme (the new issue just showed up at the office today), here's something very cool- Randy Rhodes' gear featured in a full-on spread in GW. Think gear-porn to the "enth" degree.
Have you ever wondered about Randy's first guitar? It's in there. What about his last amp? It's there too.

The bit that really caught my eye was the "Haunted Pedalboard". You can read more about in this month's GW- check it out!

No MEGADETH rack? Bummer.

Speaking of Guitar World, one of our favorite metal heads, Dave Mustaine was featured in the "Tune-Ups *the setlist" section of GW. The good news: Megadeth does NOT suck... The bad news: we didn't get to sneak another peek at the bad-ass custom Line 6 rack that Dave abuses every night... bummer. If you haven't seen it, check out the video in our April Archive... very cool.

Bugera on the Front Page

Relatively new amp company Bugera is featured on the COVER of this month's Guitar World. This is a new and exciting way to showcase a new brand in my opinion. Kudos to Bugera and GW for trying something new!

www.bugera-amps.com

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tone Freq @ GearFest!!!

GearTrap's own Aljon "Tone Freq" Go is at Sweetwater's GearFest all week and he'll be keeping us posted on the latest GearFest news! Keep an eye out!!!

Keeping Up With the Joneses: What Gear and Women Have In Common

Today I was talking to my friend Matt Hallam. Matt works for the biggest guitar company on the planet. We were chatting about gear- how it makes us melt when we see it and how we enjoy the chase almost as much, if not more than the catch. Case in point- I was telling Matt about a recent gear acquisition of mine and how I realized, post purchase, just how much the chase can account for my wanting a piece of gear. It occurred to me the day after I procured and plugged in the new find that it had some how lost its luster. It’s not that I was disappointed by the pedal at all- in fact the opposite. It’s a great pedal. It’s well made and it sounds fantastic, but something was missing. I came to the realization that “jonesing” for the pedal and looking forward to getting it is half of the reason I wanted it.

Maybe you guys out there can relate. Have you ever pursued a girl for a while and then realized that the pursuit was half the reason you were after her? I know I have, although not with my fiancé (I love you honey!)!!! Seriously though, there’s something to be said for the similarities between women and pedals (or any other gear obsession that might be applicable). You search online and/or in the local music shop for that perfect piece, then finally- there it is- the one you’ve been waiting for! You get it home, plug it in (your heads aren’t in the gutter, are they guys?) and then with any luck, sweet singing tone! Sometimes of course, there is the occasional disappointment, but it’s usually not anything that a quick trip to Craigslist or back to the music shop won’t fix. Sometimes, some minor maintenance is needed- maybe you and your pedal can’t agree on the sound or tone you’re going for. You might stress about it when all you needed to do was change out a little patch cord and, voila! Good as new! I’m sure you can see how deep this rabbit hole goes!

Keeping up with the joneses really defines the quest some have taken up when it comes to gear. I would be so bold as to say that we are not after the perfect tone at all. Instead, it’s my belief that we are after the pursuit of the perfect tone; we want the chase! We take great pleasure in the planning and strategizing of how we’ll get that next stompbox, guitar, or amp. Eventually and inevitably we always reach the goal and manage to land the piece; either that or we lose interest. Not long after we do though, the desire to plan for the next one rears its ugly head, and we’re always happy to see it.

We gearheads are an interesting bunch. The thought that we would bust ass and hope and dream for a PEDAL of all things is ridiculous enough to the common outsider. Even more insane is the idea that once we’ve finished the process of waiting and have managed to land the gear we’ve wanted for so long, we lose interest. Where these feelings and ideas come from, we may never know. Even people who understand, or are at least aware of my gear fetish sometimes look at me funny when I spout off about my latest find, so I can’t imagine what a complete stranger would think! At the end of the day though, we all have our demons, it’s just easier to power some demons with a 9V battery than it is others.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

PremierGuitar.com features GearTrap- AGAIN!

Thanx to our friends at Premier Guitar Magazine for featuring another GearTrap article! You can find out which one HERE.

Preview: Blackout Effectors Fix'd Fuzz

So our buddy Kyle Tompkins was nice enough to send me one of his Fix'd Fuzz pedals. The short review is that thing rules!!! The longer version of that should be up this week. Keep an eye on GearTrap.com for the review!!!

Thanx again Kyle!!!

Blackout Effectors

Tone Freq's TONE TIP: Loopmaster Nine Loop Effect Switcher

I first became acquainted with Loopmaster when working for a custom cable company. A boutique pedal board company was doing custom wiring at the time and used these products exclusively. I was very impressed with their sturdy design and steadfast performance. They have a vast array of loopers and today I want to highlight the mother of loopers – the Loopmaster Nine Loop Effect Switcher. It can be used to reveal tone-sucking pedals via A/B selection between your guitars straight signal path and the effect in question or, as a permanent bypass box for your vintage pedals you do not wish to modify internally for true bypass.

The Loop-Master™ "Nine-Loop Effect Switcher w/Tuner Out & Master Bypass" is a heavy-duty, no-nonsense, ultra transparent, ultra silent, true bypass strip with (9) loops, one switch for silent tuning and one switch for bypassing all of the true bypass loops at once. Loopmaster also makes smaller loopers, custom switchers, ABY’s and accessories.

I have referred many friends to Loopmaster and they have thanked me time and time again turning them on to Loopmaster. The product is solid, the price is killer and the customer service is great. If you want a kick-ass multi-loop system look no further than Loopmaster.

For more info please visit: www.loop-master.com

Aljon Go is considered to be a “pedal junkie” by his peers often asked for advice when building pedal boards. He toured the world with his award winning band Mink and was the artist relations/marketing pro for a musical accessory company. He currently spends his time bringing new and exciting tones to regional acts Jaux King, JonesWorld and Mister Happy. He is also host of the long running “Local Buzz” radio show in Nashville and product specialist for a leading guitar company. Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

Tone Freq’s LINK OF THE WEEK – Paul Lenders Guitar Systems

Pedalboard porn? Believe it! Paul has crafted some of the most killer rigs known to man. If anything this site can open up the possibilities of what a rig could be. Most guitar and bass players, professional musicians and enthusiastic amateurs share the same dream: A wish for an individual, personal sound with an uncomplicated, reliable system. GUITAR SYSTEMS creates custom guitar and bass rigs, and helps you to fulfill your dream sound. With over 25 years of experience Paul Lenders, founder of GUITAR SYSTEMS builds a rig to suit your individual needs.

"When I was on stage, there were always people interested in my gear and the sound that I created. Because they wished to duplicate my sound, I found myself selling them the gear and building a new system for myself. This provided me with the opportunity to experiment and discover how a system and its individual sound evolved.
Increasingly, I found myself confronted by my colleagues gear problems. And so GUITAR SYSTEMS was born! Today my reputation as a musician and a technician leads to artists from all over the world contacting me with a wide range of questions.
The information, knowledge and experience I have gained over the years, means I am in a position to solve almost any problem I am confronted with."
- Paul Lenders, Guitar Systems

www.paullenders.com

Aljon "Tone Freq" Go
Freq’n out? Found a cool link? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail.com

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

George L's signs on as PLATINUM SPONSOR!!!

That's right- the one and ONLY solderless cable has signed on as a Platinum sponsor for GearTrap's "World's Largest Pedalboard" NAMM Party!!! Special thanks to ALL our great sponsors especially our fist PLATINUM sponsor- George L's!!!

George L's

Kirk Hammett Rig Photos

Fans of Kirk Hammett of Metallica will SERIOUSLY dig this:

Kirk's Rigs

On the Board: Visual Sound's Jekyll & Hyde

Well, I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend, I know I did. now, it's back to work bringing you all the latest and greatest gear. Today, I'd like to tell you about a pedal that some friends of mine have out right now that you should check out.
It's called the "Jekyll & Hyde" by Visual Sound, and it rocks! As you all probably know, the J&H is a dual overdrive/distortion.
What you might not know about are a couple improvements that have been made tot the pedal design. First, and most noticeably is the hip new design. The old hum-drum graphics have been replaced by a flashier, more eye-popping design. The standard latching switches have been replaced by a bigger, more visible variety. Also new to the J&H is the advent of built-in noise suppression. The NS is most evident on the Hyde (distortion) channel and gates out all noise.

Tone wise, the J&H does not disappoint. The Jekyll channel offers a smooth, well-rounded overdrive. Various tones can be attained from this channel and although it's "overdrive" designation implies a more laid back tone, this channel MORE than successfully held it's own against a couple of it's peers, namely the MXR Zakk Wylde OD and the Boss DS-1.

As the story goes, Dr. Jekyll flips his shit and out comes Mr. Hyde. The same holds true with the J&H OD/Distortion. Dr. Jekyll
serves up the smooth OD that can hang with serious contenders, then all of a sudden, out comes the wild side. The Hyde channel is responsible for the over-the-top high gain madness. I also compared the Hyde channel to the MXR and BOSS pedals and while these are both classic effects, the J&H seems to have that certain something that pushes it over the top.

The Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde is a top tier OD/distortion pedal. You've got great tones and (pardon the pun) insane versatility.
GearTrap tested, GearTrap approved.


Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde

Friday, May 23, 2008

Visual Sound Signs on as GOLD Sponsor!

Our thanks go out to Visual Sound, our newest Gold level sponsor for the GearTrap NAMM Party! Visual Sound is a great company that makes fantastic products! Do yourself a favor- check them out NOW!!!

Visual Sound

R.I.P. Mike Battle, Inventor of Echoplex and Tubeplex Tape Echo Machines

GearTrap has learned of the passing of the amazing Mike Battle, otherwise known as Sir Echo, inventor of the Echoplex and Tubeplex tape echo machines that revolutionized music in the 1960s. Battle's Echoplex would surpass his expectations as a guitarist's tool, finding its way into the radio and film industries as well.

A longtime friend of Les Paul's, Battle also saw his Echoplex used by Jimmy Page, Chet Atkins, and Joe Walsh, among so many others.

"Once I went up to Les Paul's home to visit," Battle has said. "I stayed over night at Les' house, not knowing Les was a practical joker. In the middle of the night, a black snake crawled into my bed. I blamed it on Les's twisted sense of humor but he denies it to this day!"

Gearheads, a moment of silence...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Neal Schon's Gear For Sale

Nice. Check it out. Certificates of Authenticity available...

Neal Schon's Gear

Used and Abused: Why You Should Buy Used

Do you ever feel like your obsession with gear is putting a strain on your finances? Does a trip to the music shop sometimes mean a sense of regret post purchase? There are lots of tricks to getting good gear at a good price. The easiest and most accessible is buying used. Buying used is a great idea for a couple reasons, first at foremost, buying used will guarantee you a very healthy discount and secondly, sometimes the coolest, most obscure pieces of gear can be found in the used case. For example, the vintage Electro-Harmonix Small Stone that I wrote about earlier this week. Fifty bucks- used... you can't beat that.

Lately, I've been having a lot of luck buying on Craigslist. My latest bargain came this week in the form of a mint condition Fulltone Choralflange, which I was able to pick up for only $175. This is a piece I've been wanting for a while now. I managed to find a really nice cat by the name of Randy on Craigslist who happened to have a CF for sale, so I contacted him and we made a deal. Coincidentally, Randy also sold me an MXR Zakk Wylde OD for $40- a great deal! EBay is also a very viable option for most people, but I personally prefer Craigslist. It's easier and faster. I've also had some luck selling on Craigslist as well, although lately a couple killer items I have up are proving to be a bit too obscure for most people's liking (MXR Blue Box/4 OHM THD Hotplate anyone?).

So Craigslist is all well and good, but what are the less tech savvy of us to do? After all, some of us <i>do</i> still live in caves and don't often get the chance to go online, let alone buy gear online. For our Cro-Magnon gearhead friends the solution is simple. There MIGHT be two music shops on the planet that do not deal in used gear. We've all sauntered into the local shop and happened upon that one piece that just floors us. You know, that one piece that makes you completely re-think your financial plan for the next two weeks. How many times have you thought to yourself, "If I can only go without groceries for a week, then I could afford it," pretty sick huh? To an outsider, hearing someone utter these words could seem very odd
And maybe borderline disturbing; but to a fellow gearhead who's in the know it's like a reflex. Buying gear used at your local music store is a great way to not only find cool gear, but also build personal relationships with the guys that sell it to you. You never know what kind of deal they might cut you, a regular customer. Another advantage to buying from the shop is that you can try out the gear to make sure that, A. you dig the tone, features, and price and B. the piece actually works. It's rare, but we've run into damage incurred by the previous owner. Don't fall victim to this!
While quality control is always a concern, don't let that stop you from buying used <i>at least half the time</i> if possible. The risk is minimal and the value, more times than not, means that the piece will pay for itself very quickly.

Buying gear is a passion of mine, especially used. It's like a treasure hunt- you never know what you're going to find (or is that a box of chocolates?). I've discovered over the years that sometimes, the initial shock and awe of seeing "the big one" online or in a shop is more rewarding than taking it home and trying it out. Situations like these are a bummer, but it says a lot about our addiction. Sometimes, I think my girlfriend is going to put me on that show "Intervention" and ask me to go to pedal rehab... no thanks.

Plek the Neck?!

A few years ago, Plek developed a method which takes all the factors at play on the neck into account in order to calculate and create the perfect action for your guitar. The Plek Profile individualizes every guitar perfectly, whether it is vintage or new, a classic or just second hand. The dynamic relation between the vibration of the strings, the curvature of the neck and the height of every fret will be adjusted and can be reproduced at any time with .01 mm precision (~0.0004 inch).

The style of the individual guitarist is also a crucial factor in the process. Through experiment and observation they have development five standard adjustments: SuperLow, Low, Medium, High and XtraHigh action. Of course, individual adjustments are also possible. A Plek'ed guitar is easier to play and perfectly adjusted. And all that without having to alter the appearance of a guitar - a touchy issue for many musicians.

At the link below, you'll find a little more info on the Plek system and how it works. Having seen it in action, I can tell you that it's pretty impressive. You can definitely tell the difference in playability from Plek'ed guitars to non-Plek'ed guitars.



Check it out here...

Go Buck Yourself: Humbuckers

Here's a link to a cool article regarding Humbuckers...

here...

Ask GearTrap: Acoustic Tones From Electric Drones...

Straight from here in the Music City, Nashville, TN., Benny writes:

I have a Taylor T5 that I wanna use along with my electric on stage. I'd like to be able to switch between the two at the click of a pedal, or at least meld the two tones together. I checked out a Pod XT Live that has an "acoustic" setting as well as tons of amp models. Any suggestions on some possible options?


Hiya Benny-

Yea- have you tried or thought about trying an A/B/Y switch? It would allow you input two different signals into your board, but only use one at a time. Another option is the BOSS AC-3, which is an acoustic simulator. It's OK, but the best acoustic sound I've been able to get from an electric solidbody was a guitar that was made by Godin. They're a Canadian company I believe. The guitar model escapes me, but it had dual outputs and sounded great. The Epiphone Ultra II has the same kind of thing going on and they're probably cheaper. I'd give that one a shot too! Hope that helps!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gibson Summer Jam '08 and NAMM Coverage

This year, NAMM proves to be really interesting. Not only are we here at GearTrap going to blow your minds (hopefully) with the kick ass pre-NAMM party OF THE YEAR, but a couple days later the one and only Gibson Guitar will be holding their third annual
Summer Jam. First, the bad news- Summer Jam is not open to the public. That's ok though, you'll all probably still be recovering from the GearTrap shindig anyway. Don't fret though- you can count on GearTrap to be on the guest list and cover the entire thing! We'll have posts and coverage coming directly from the GearTrap party, NAMM itself, Gibson Summer Jam, and
every other party we happen to be at. If you want to know the coolest news coming out of NAMM FIRST, keep checking
back with us during NAMM week- June 17th-22nd.

Mighty Bright Music Lights Signs on as a Secondary Sponsor!

Special thanks go out to our latest secondary sponsor, Mighty Bright Music Lights. Mighty Bright produces a line of lights specially designed to be fitted to pedalboards. The crew at Mighty Bright are great as is their company. Please check them out HERE.

Thanks Mighty Bright!!!

We'll see you all at NAMM- Keep an eye on GearTrap for more updates!!!

amptone.com

This is a really cool resource for those who like to find themselves digging around the same website for hours:


AmpTone.com

Tone Freq’s LINK OF THE WEEK – Avatar Speakers

Speaker cabs that is perfect in both price and killer looks!

At Avatar ® Speakers make strong, high value, guitar and bass guitar speaker cabinets and load them with the best speakers in the world such as Celestion and American made Eminence speakers. I also love the fact that they sell them factory direct extremely affordable prices. They also have the best prices on many individual Celestion speaker models! All the cabinets are made of sturdy Birch plywood with rabbet and dado interlocking side joints for extreme strength. All AVATAR cabinet grill frames are firmly attached with screws rather than flimsy Velcro which eliminates vibration problems. High-quality speaker systems, great customer service with low factory direct prices, will ensure years of customer satisfaction. Finally the cabs are damn sexy!

www.avatarspeakers.com

Aljon "Tone Freq" Go
Freq’n out? Found a cool link? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail.com

PREVIEW: Eastwood Messenger

Being a fan of the White Stripes, The Ramones and the Cure’s weird guitar shapes I did some digging and found Eastwood Guitars. They specialize on killer reproductions of these retro instruments, the Airline being their flagship model (made popular by David Bowie and Jack White). After playing an Eastwood guitar in Chicago several years ago I have been hooked by their great feel, look and cost. Now Eastwood expands their line by introducing the Messenger.

What has become a rare and collectable American Made guitar, the 1967 Messenger is best known as the guitar of choice by Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad) in the early 1970’s. Eastwood's tribute captures the seductive look of the original distinctive cat’s eye f-holes and unusual neck joint.

Finishes: Transparent Greenburst and Cherry.

For more information, please visit www.eastwoodguitars.com


Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On the Board- Vintage Electro-Harmonix Small Stone

So I know it seems a little strange to write an On the Board about a vintage effect. Usually, this column is reserved for the latest effect that I’m using, but I thought I’d take a chance to pay homage to my personal favorite in the world of phasers. I’ve been a Small Stone fan for several years now. I remember buying my first one, the black Russian reissue, and being stoked. The sales guy told me that he used to own one and loved. I loved that pedal and used it for quite a while. I think I ended up offing it for a Phase 90- big mistake… Don’t get me wrong, the Phase 90 is an amazing pedal. In fact, I’ve been eyeing some of the script reissues online lately; Very intriguing. No, I don’t hate the Phase 90 by any means, it’s just that that particular Small Stone sounded great and I consider it “one that got away”. If I could go back and not trade that puppy in, I would.

Fast forward a few years… I made my way into Guitar Center Nashville last August to visit some buddies of mine. I used to be a “door girl” (as they are “affectionately” called) and still go in frequently to visit friends and try out/buy new gear. I made my usual bee-line over to the used pedal case and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Vintage Russian Small Stone. This was not the black Russian reissue from my past, but it was one of the original green Sovtek boxes. Being unable to pass it up, I grabbed it and ran. It’s a great piece and it’s the kind of thing I keep in the sturdy wooden box. Not because of any issues with its “value”, but just because it’s a toy that I play with here and there. Now, on to the tone- it’s great. You get the very think, warm, swooshes that you would expect. If you’re running a clean sound through it, you’ll be sure to love the results. The one down side to this guy is the noticeable drop in volume that occurs when the effect is engaged, but our buddy Kyle Tompkins has a great mod that will fix that. The mod involves a very simple replacement of two or so caps and Kyle outlines it very well at the link above.

More than a review, this installment of On the Board is about paying homage to the effects we love. It’s about the one(s) that got away and reuniting with the great sounds that you remember from back in the day. If you have a cool story about an awesome vintage effect that we MUST hear, then leave it in the comments section below or email it to us at: geartrap (at) gmail (dot) com.

Orange Tiny Terror

I picked up an Orange Tiny Terror this week. Look for a review very soon!

Gibson Explorer Pro

Everybody loves Gibson, right? Right. Gibson has a much storied history as a premier guitar maker since it started its foray into electric guitars in the 30s. Later, in the fifties, Gibson decided it was time to up the ante, so to speak, and introduced the Explorer. Along side its Equally angular brother, the Flying V, the Explorer jumped on the scene and quickly became a classic. These days, Gibson has expanded its Explorer offering to include the Explorer Pro, a slightly smaller, more contoured cousin to the original. I happened to get my hands on an Explorer Pro and thought you might be interested to hear what I thought…

On first glance, the Explorer Pro looks like your typical, run-of-the-mill Explorer, angles and tone for days. Once you get it in your hand though, you notice that it’s smaller than the normal Explorer. Now I’ll be honest with you- I’m not a huge Explorer fan. The big fin at the back always seems to get in my way. Plus, I’m a Les Paul guy myself, but the cool thing about Explorers is that they are a different playing experience from any other guitar I’ve ever played. Equally acceptable for Metal, Rock, or Blues, the Explorer Pro is a tone machine. The Pro has an especially nice neck, thin and fast and it hot ceramic pick-ups (500T & 496R) will make your amp scream bloody murder. Anyway, this is a really cool piece. If you’re into the asymmetrical guitar thing and you have the bucks to spend, I’d say go for it.



Gibson Explorer Pro

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Down-Low, with Sean O'Bryan Smith- Bass Yoga

Bass Yoga ( Harmonious Bassdom for All )

Greetings Fellow-Groovers,

It is I, the Artist currently known as Baldy Locks. For my latest installment for the folks here at Eden I wanted to discuss a little something I call “Bass Yoga.” No, I am not talking about playing pan flute lines via MIDI on a 7-String. You know, that could be kinda cool but I digress. Actually, Bass Yoga is the concept of flexibility and being “in tune” with your surroundings as a bassist. Now this can take on many forms as most things I go over and it is actually expanding on some of the concepts on my prior articles. I think you may find some usefulness in some of the following ramblings and it will hopefully help you develop as a player and as a professional in the music industry so, hang on to your booty and lets do this thing.

I was extremely fortunate to be raised up in a music family as my mother and my uncle were both professional jazz and blues musicians. That being said, I cut my teeth in learning music centered around improvisation. This obviously meant I needed to have a good grasp of what was happening with the music also. With jazz especially, being able to listen to everyone and interacting is “king”. That aspect of being “in tune” with those around you is what we all strive for. That feeling of actually being “in” the music is better than any high you can create artificially but, getting there sometimes is easier said than done. This can particularly suck if you want to slam the horn player’s fingers in his case because he wants to stay up all night playing obscure avant-garde jazz tunes. Especially, while you are trying to get some sleep before driving to the next city. Yes kiddies, that is unfortunately part of being in tune with your surroundings too. Personal interaction with those that you are trying to create with can make for some amazing musical journeys. It is so much easier to find that happy place in your music if you can keep from ripping someone’s head off.

So how does this apply to Bass Yoga you ask ? Well, before you can reach your harmony with the world of playing, you have to get in tune with those around you and more importantly yourself. Now to start this process begin by setting yourself a certain amount of time in your daily musical endeavors to really make sure you understand what makes those around you tick. We all have that certain band, artist, or player that just “does it” for us but, do you truly understand who “does it” for the other folks you are playing with? If you can discover this it can make the difference between sitting at home or being on a stage. Make a conscious point to listen to the cats around you as much as possible and really listen to what they have to say both musically and verbally. I also suggest if you want to take it to the next level even going out and purchasing some of the music from some of their heroes to really get in to their headspace and begin your voyage to musical oneness with the galaxy. All of a sudden I feel like pan flute again.

This leads me to the other portion of Bass Yoga and that is flexibility. Even though a double jointed bassist on a Cirque gig could be interesting that is not where I am going. No, being flexible about music means breaking it down to us getting out of our own personal safety zones and trying something new or a different approach to what we are doing for the music itself. You may be an old school finger style player, hardcore pick fan, or a slap fanatic and from a technique perspective it is extremely beneficial to spend some substantial time learning all of these techniques but, that is actually only part of being flexible. We all have our “go-to” bass parts that we hear on a particular tune but that may or may not be what the tune calls for. Depending on the musical situation and the folks you are working with at the time, the occasional “ What the $*%& are you playing ? That is not the right part.” is inevitable. Even worse, you’ve poured your heart and soul into a gig thinking you have done everything right only to find out you are being fired because “It is just not working out”. Remember things are not always as they seem but don’t you fret class. This can all be avoided in the almighty Bass Yoga. Now you say “Sean, I have done all I know to do to get ‘in tune’ with these poor sacks. I’ve listened to them play, bought some of their music, and even listened to them go on about everything from obscure recordings to bad Sci-Fi films. What else can I do?” It is real easy my perpetuators of the groove. Lose anything you have resembling an EGO !!!!

More times than not, our own musical ego is the CAUSE of our inability to be flexible. Case in point, I was on an audition years ago for an artist that I still work with. It was a full band audition and everyone came in cocked and loaded with their bag of tricks and their interpretation of how the music should be represented. Lucky for me some of the life lessons regarding my ego had already taught me a couple of things so I was prepared for anything but, the guys I was auditioning with,not so much. Keep in mind, that the guys I was auditioning with had played with major musical legends in their career so it wasn’t that they couldn’t cover the gig but, the award winning producer for the artist was in the corner of the room and I could tell he just wasn’t digging it. I knew I had to be flexible to what he and the artist wanted and more importantly find what the song needed. So with the ego dropped it was time to embark on my Bass Yoga techniques by a) being “in-tune” with the producer’s needs and b) being flexible and venturing away from my approach at the time. Now, one thing I haven’t hit on yet with the “in tune” concept is WATCHING people. Be sure and watch everyone you are working with as much as possible. You can find out what people want from their body language and ultimately get in tune with them. It just works and ultimately has been a huge part of my success. So, armed with all of the Bass Yoga techniques I had, a solution for the gig finally presented itself like a beam from the Heavens. The producer stood with his eyes closed and started playing a bass groove on his chest. Thanks goodness I was watching him because without pause, I immediately started to cop what he was doing feel-wise. After a few moments he very subtly opened his eyes and smiled. There it was. I had just won the gig ! He proceeded to move to the next guy but unfortunately, ego had the best of the auditioner as he wanked away mindlessly with HIS “vision” and was totally oblivious to the fact that he was not “in-tune”. By being flexible and in tune I had already captured what was the ultimate vision of the artist where this guy was blowing it. His own inabilities to adapt and oddly enough, everyone else auditioning whose egos didn’t let them get “in-tune”, cost them the gig. They also missed out on a wonderful hang as the producer and artist have both become two of my dearest friends in the world. Of course it doesn’t hurt trying to make my house payment either. Somehow creditors enjoy it when you send them money. Go figure !!!

So there it is gang. Light a few candles, burn some incense, and begin your Bass Yoga practices. Not only will it help you prosper in getting in tune with the music, it will make you a very successful musician and a friend to those you work with. Now, I’m going to go chart some 7 string pan flute parts so, until next we groove. Later, S


(Originally published by Eden-Electronics.com)

Friday, May 16, 2008

AXL Medway 1X12 Combo

Here’s another cool little boutique amp- the Medway 1X12 by AXL. AXL is relatively new to the U.S. market, but it’s been thriving in China for a while now. Founded in 1993 by Alan Xiangde Liu (see the initials), AXL has become one of the premier members of the burgeoning chinese MI scene. The Medway is an interesting animal. It has a very “boutiquey” look, but the price tag is another story. Its 18 watts and 12AX7/EL84 tube combo power a single 12” Celestion Greenback, unless you go with the 2X12 model. Other features include: Effects loop, fixed-bias output stage (with no negative feedback), Accutronics spring reverb and Op-amp driven pre-boost gain circuit. If you’re on the lookout for a cool, affordable combo for small gigs or the studio, the AXL might be worth a look.


Axlguitars.com

Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul

I have a special affinity for Epiphone Les Pauls. My first Les Paul was an ebony Standard that I got here in Nashville. I remember it like I was a kid, but I was a bit of a musical late bloomer, probably around eighteen. I traded in a couple low-level Strats in order to get with the Paul. I remember taking it home and being stoked. Don’t get me wrong, Strats are great, but you just can’t a Les Paul. Knowing this, you now understand part of the reason I was so floored when I heard that Gibson and Epiphone was going to do a series of Slash signatures. The Epi Slash is dope. We’re talking the closest to Epiphone “Custom Shop” (other than the Elitist Series) that you can get.

Some of the features this thing can brag to its friends about are: a long neck tenon, USA pickups (Duncan Alnico IIs), and an overall bad ass look. The neck tenon is an especially cool feature. In the fifties (and still today with Custom Shop Historic Reissues) Gibson employed an extension of the neck joint that would extend down to just below the neck pickup. The purpose of this is to improve the resonance. The longer neck tenon tightens the joint where the neck meets the body and conducts vibrations better. This is a desirable aspect not only for the tonal features, but also because, as I said above, long neck tenons are typical only of Custom Historic reissues… not Epiphones. This alone, sets the Slash apart right off the bat. This is definitely one to check out.

Check out all the slash signature models at the Slash Micro-site!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

PREVIEW: Kramer 1983 Pacer Reissue

The legend lives on!

Shredders and dive-bombers alike break out the hair products and brace yourself! Kramer is ready to unleash a new addition to its USA line – welcome back the Kramer Pacer! I was at Kramer a few days ago and the prototype was incredible. Bear in mind that the build could change slightly but the body was on point with a great metallic black finish. The neck was the unmistakable Kramer beak from that period. And like all the USA Kramer’s it has a REAL FLOYD ROSE! The very first electric guitar I ever had was a Kramer and when the 1984 reissues came out a few years back I had to have it. It’s still a favorite of mine to play! It’s good to see that Gibson is on track with this reissue. Kramer hopes to have more working Pacer prototypes as well as more Guitart models done for the Kramer Expo going on the weekend of the 2008 Summer NAMM in Nashville TN.

For more information, please visit: www.kramerguitars.com

Read more about the history of the Kramer Pacer and Kramer Expo here.

Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

PREVIEW: Seymour Duncan P-Rails SHPR-1

Holy humbuckers Batman! A pickup that can do it all!

Have no fear! Add these pickups to your dual humbucking guitar the rest of your guitars behind! Switch from humbucker, to P-90 to single-coil and back! Versatility and killer tone is the name of this game. The engineers at the Seymour Duncan Pro Shop have truly outdone themselves with this innovention (innovation + invention)! Kudos!

This looks like a must have for those of us that perform different styles of music, session work or just want that tonal flexibility playing one guitar. I hope to have a hands-on review of these bad boys real soon! In the meantime check out the extremely cool demo video on Duncan’s website!

CHECK THIS OUT!!!

Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

Guitar Finishes... What?!

Sometimes, the details surrounding guitar finishes can be mysterious at best. Below is a link to an interesting article that addresses finishes and and just might help you weed through the mystery...



Guitar Finishes Demystified...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

GearTrap EXCLUSIVE- Pedaltrain MINI!

Ok folks- you heard it here first- John Chandler and our good friends at Pedaltrain have done it again- This June at summer NAMM, (POSSIBLY even at a certain "World's Largest Pedalboard NAMM Party...) they will announce a NEW Pedaltrain...
The Pedaltrain MINI is a small elongated version of the now legendary design that will include a killer gigbag. It's small too...
like the size of a clarinet case!!! Keep an eye on GearTrap.com for the latest updates AND a review- coming VERY soon!!!

Pedaltrain.com

WORLD’S LARGEST PEDALBOARD- Update!

As you may or may not know by now, GearTrap will be presenting our first NAMM party this June in Nashville. We are going to be building the world’s largest pedalboard and we’ve applied to Guinness World Records for sanction. While sanction is not guaranteed, we will carry on regardless and will document the event and the record as we would for Guinness anyway. We are tying up loose ends with our sponsors now and when we’re all set, we’ll be making the big sponsor list announcement, as well as adding more links and graphics to reflect our appreciation to the sponsors for their support.

Companies or manufacturers interested in our sponsorship program can email us at: geartrap(at)gmail.com for details. Even if you’re a small company, please don’t miss out on this. It is possible for everyone to be involved somehow and we can work out the details with you. We already have several smaller companies involved, so don’t let size stop you. The deadline for sponsors is May 30th.

Also, we are still taking submissions from those interested in being involved in the event. If you live in the greater Nashville area and would like to be a part of the record, email us at: geartrap(at)gmail.com. Anyone is eligible, as long as you live fairly near by and can make the very modest scheduling commitments.

Please note that the event is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. We will be collecting a cover charge of $7 and anyone can come hang out, hear the bands and check out the pedalboard. See you all at NAMM!!!

Super Model Series Part III- Roland Micro Cube

The Roland Micro cube is a pint-sized tone machine that is packs with more features than most amps four times its size. The Micro Cube is a rugged, battery powered amp that sports not only the classic JC Chorus sound, but also eight built-in COSM amp sounds. Not only is the “ampage” covered, but you’re also looking at six digital effects, stereo delay and chorus, and a three band EQ. Got a guitar? No problem. Want to do some singing? You’re covered. Not only can you play and sing through the Micro cube, but you can also use the stereo aux inputs to blend in your iPod or CD player. Very cool!


Rolandus.com

Traveler EG-1

In keeping with theme of small, compact gear choices, The Traveler Guitar Company is one of the premier makers of portable electric axes. They recently rolled out new body and finish options and those additions are being met with real enthusiasm. Everything from black and red to natural and racing stripe finishes make this line one of the broadest in its niche when it comes to color choices; And why not? You should have choices. Like the choice to plug into a 100 watt stack or the choice to use a fully integrated, built-in headphone amp- both of which are options with the EG-1. The custom Pocket Rock-It electronics produce a range of tones from sparkly cleans to smooth overdrives and evil distortions. With its lightweight mahogany body and roadworthy mahogany neck this ax sports a full-sized humbucker and just oozes vibe.




Travelerguitar.com

Ashdown Little Giant 350 Bass Amp

Ok- one more minute monstrosity: The Ashdown Little Giant 350 Bass Amp. The Little Giant can fit in the front pocket of a gig bag… yes, you read that right- this amp literally fits in your pocket. Weighing in at a paltry 6.6 pounds, the Little Giant is not only compact, but very lightweight and portable. It features an active/passive input switch, seven-band EQ (plus a semi-parametric EQ for precision tone shaping) and an input level control as well. An input level meter offers an eye-catching way to monitor your input signal and is the perfect complement to its output level control counterpart. On the back, the LG is rocking a line in/out and a pair of combination Speakon/ jack speaker outs. In talking about small bass amps, some of you may be reminded of the Eden WTX-260, which we have to mention. Hopefully one of these days our friends at Eden and the Ashdown guys will each send us their respective models for a YouTube shootout! Until then, we’ll just look forward to hearing for some of you what you think if you’ve tried one or the other out! By the way, MSRP on the Ashdown Little Giant 350 is $499.99.


Ashdown Amps

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Act Bambusa

First Act started out as some company that made lame guitar for kids and every time I would torture myself to make a trip to Wal-Mart, I’d wonder why they even tried. Low and behold, these days First Act not only produces some very cool, quality, great looking guitars, but they also have a very impressive artist list which includes one of my favorite guitarists, Aaron North (Jubilee, ex-NIN, ex-Icarus Line). The latest advancement from First Act is musical as well as environmentally friendly- The Bambusa. Made from bamboo and finished with a water based lacquer, the Bambusa is the world’s first environmentally friendly guitar (think Gibson Les Paul Smartwood).

Rumor has it that this thing sounds pretty good. It should be pretty interesting to see for sure. If anyone happens to try one out, let me know.


www.firstact.com

GearTrap's 100th post!!!

Thanks to you all for your support thus far. The blog is really growing and I'm very grateful to you all. Make sure to tell your friends about GearTrap and we'll see you all at NAMM!!!

Jaux

Tone Freq’s LINK OF THE WEEK- BitMo Mods

BitMo gives you more that a bit more tone!

Since the release of Epiphone’s Valve series of amplifiers modification sites started popping up offering upgrades turning their inexpensive amps into near boutique quality boxes! The folks at BitMo Mod Kits were among the first I heard of and are one of the most popular. The storefront sells mods to the popular Epi Valve Jr., the similarly built Blackheart Amps as well as pedal mods for the Behringer VT999 and VT911. They even sell the fully assembled amp with mod so you can get to rockin’ immediately! The site is a breeze to navigate. If you have a few bucks on you it’s definitely worth checking out! BitMo proves that you don’t have to break the bank in order to get boutique style and sound.

www.bitmomodkits.com

Aljon "Tone Freq" Go
Freq’n out? Found a cool link? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail.com

Acoustic Tone Woods De-Mystified

check out this great article onacoustic tone woods!

Monday, May 12, 2008

SeymourDuncan.com features GearTrap!!!

SeymourDuncan.com was kind enough to mention Aljon's great review of the Wave-Length Acoustic Pickup with Load 'N Lock Install from D-TAR.

CHECK IT OUT!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blackout Effectors Fix'd Fuzz

Perfect for the cramped pedalboard, The FIX’D FUZZ is a gnarly fuzz/boost/od. Wherein a million extreme sounds live, yet a million & one more traditional tones roam like herds of buffalo. This is not a novelty “use once during a show” fuzz, but it can readily compete with those too. All 4 stages of the circuit are bypassable by means of the 4 toggles, meaning you can add/remove from the stack as your black heart desires.

VERY cool stuff- check it out!



Blackout Effectors

Kyle Tompkins

Hey Guys-

I've come across a cool blog by a gent named Kyle Tompkins. Kyle has some really cool posts relating to gear and mods of different types. Go by and check him out!

J

KyleTompkins.com

Fulltone Choralflange

I want one.. will you buy me one?

Keeley vs. AnalogMan vs. ?

Awesome Video here! Keeley vs. AnalogMan vs. ?

This we love.

Do Tubescreamers rule? Or do Tubescreamers rule?

The answer is... both.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gibson Robot Guitar 2.0

I'm sure we're all aware that Gibson Guitar is a company that has a rich history, but have you heard yet what they plan to do about the future? I'll tell you- The Robot Guitar. I'm sure this isn't news to anyone. This Past January, Gibson released a limited run of blue/silverburst robots. The things flew out the doors of various dealers around the country and after the initial release, it was impossible to get your hands on one.

The basic premise behind the Robot Guitar are the cervo-motor equipped tuning machines. Using the computerized bridge and tailpiece, information regarding the pitch of each string travels up to the cervo motors where they automatically adjust the pitch of each sting.

Now, it's time to welcome the second generation of robots. The newest version comes in a killer metallic purple finish and also
is the first appearance of the robot SG (the original robots were only Les Pauls).

You can find more info on the Robot Guitars by clicking the photo below...


Photobucket

New Sponsors to be Announced!

We will be announcing a new group of sponsors for our "World's Largest Pedalboard" Party at NAMM in the coming days.
Make sure to stay tuned to GearTrap.com!!!

Z-Vex effects round up

Here's some cool video outlining the Z.Vex effects line...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Premier Guitar Magazine features GearTrap!!!

Check this out- Premier Guitar Magazine has a news blurb about GearTrap's "WORLD'S LARGEST PEDALBOARD" NAMM Party.

Special thanx to Premier Guitar for including us!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Keeley DS-1 Ultra mod

Ask any guitar player who’s been in the game for more than a couple days his advice on a good starter level distortion box and inevitably the conversation will eventually make its way to the BOSS DS-1. And why not? The DS-1 is a classic box. It’s been around forever and over the years has become the standard by which low price point distortion pedals are measured. I mean, let’s face it, the list of pedals that, for the price and quality can hang with the DS-1 is short... very short.
Now, enter Mr. Robert Keeley and Keeley Electronics, purveyors of
legendary mods such as the “Baked Mod”, the “Seeing Eye Mod” , the “Ultra Mod” and many more. Keeley came up with a way to make good better. He was one of the early pedal modders that really made a name for himself. Tubescreamers, Analog delays, various overdrives and of course the DS-1 helped make the name Keeley synonamous with tone. The company is of course bigger and better than ever; shipping to-die-for-tone to the ends of the earth.
As I mentioned before, the pedal that first caught my eye was the “DS-1 Ultra”. The Ultra Mod refers to a series of component changes that up the quality of and already great pedal by leaps and bounds. Metal film and poly capacitors are used in coupling sections to provide the true mid-range and high end frequency transparency your guitar tone needs while increasing the bass response of the pedal. on the Keeley DS-1, the Ultra Mod is enabled when the mode switch is down. The Seeing Eye Mod involves the use of an LED that is a part of a circuit that basically clips your signal and gives it a full, balanced distortion- all the beauty, none of the fuss. The light is essentially a dynamic monitor- the harder you play the brighter it gets. When the mode switch is up, the Seeing Eye Mod is engaged.
I’m a massive Keeley fan and I can’t wait to see what goodies they have cooked up for us at NAMM. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out- NOW! There is more and more great stuff coming out of the Keeley camp everyday. The DS-1 Ultra mod is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to the Keeley universe.


DS-1 Ultra

Tone Freq's TONE TIP: Guitarist Essentials

After years of playing shows I’ve learned that you can never be too prepared. Not only did I try to travel with two guitars but I brought backups of almost everything: strings, picks, batteries and cables. Sure enough my backups would come into play proving the old adage, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” The following is a short list of great accessories that might help save your ass!

GHS GraphitALL™


Invented by Rene’ Martinez, this simple but powerful gel-like lubricant is now available in white non-staining formula. Just dab a little on the saddles and the nut to reduce string friction. It works well with metal to metal contact with tremolo instruments, too! This simple and cost-effective accessory can help you chronic string-breakers and help keep your axe in tune! www.ghsstrings.com
Intelli TT-500 Clip-on Guitar Tune

How many times have you found yourself backstage at a gig ready to rock waiting for your big entrance only to find that you forgot to tune! With this tuner you can tune backstage with no worries. Weather you are jamming at a coffee house or in a stadium this extremely compact chromatic tuner with large LCD backlight is very easy to use and read. There is also a calibration feature; transposing (which allows easy tuning with a capo); power save and tunes without interference from ambient noise.


Planet Waves Pro-Winder and The Headstand

The Pro-Winder is the ultimate restringing tool. After years of use and hundreds of restrings mine still works like the day I bought it! Unlike ordinary peg winders, the patented Pro-Winder is a high-quality peg winder with a built-in clipper and a bridge pin puller. The winder is designed to fit virtually all guitars, banjos, and mandolins. Ergonomically designed with hardened tool steel wire cutters, the Pro-Winder with built-in clipper is the ALL-IN-ONE restringing tool, and it comes with an unconditional guarantee (also available for bass). It’s a great tool that won’t be confiscated at the airport! The Headstand stabilizes guitars during string-changes. Designed to gently and securely support the guitar, The Headstand makes the string changing process hassle-free. The compact size and collapsibility allow you to store The Headstand in your case, so it’s there whenever you need it. www.planetwaves.com
Aljon Go is considered to be a “pedal junkie” by his peers often asked for advice when building pedal boards. He toured the world with his award winning band Mink and was the artist relations/marketing pro for a musical accessory company. He currently spends his time bringing new and exciting tones to regional acts Jaux King, JonesWorld and Mister Happy. He is also host of the long running “Local Buzz” radio show in Nashville and product specialist for a leading guitar company. Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

L.R. Baggs Acoustic Reference Amp

L.R. Baggs recently won the 2008 MIPA award for Best Acoustic Amp with this 200-watt masterpiece. It features a balanced mode radiator, a custom flat eight-inch honeycomb-diaphragm speaker and a single two-inch voice coil. This technical improvement generates a 140-degree full-range conical sound field, providing clean, well-defined live sound for acoustic guitarists.


www.lrbaggs.com

Dr. Epiphone and Gearwire

Check out this video of the one and only Will "Dr. Epiphone" Jones discussing Epi with the Gearwire guys...

HERE

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

TONE FREQ - ISP Technologies Decimator

The Decimator guitar pedal offers a new approach to Noise Reduction processing with a high level of performance. Most noise suppression systems suffer from one major problem inherent in their design: The system cannot be immediately responsive to very short-term staccato notes. The typical downward expander sound reduction system suffers from a dead zone in the release response characteristic that causes a compromise in tracking both fast decaying notes and long sustained notes. The Decimator pedal's design offers a novel approach to tracking the envelope of the input signal called Time Vector Processing.

Due to this novel approach in controlling the expander, the Decimator system will instantly respond to short staccato notes and, at the same time, will provide a very slow ripple free control of long sustained notes. The Decimator noise suppression system is very transparent delivering high performance.

The Decimator pedal by ISP Technologies is extremely easy to use; simply insert the Decimator at the end of your chain of existing pedals or, insert the Decimator Pedal in the effects loop of your amplifier to clean up the noise present at the amplifier input as well as the noise in the amplifiers pre-amp section. Packaged in a rugged, beautifully polished smooth chrome chassis, the Decimator pedal offers reliability, performance and beauty in one compact pedal.

I have always been a fan of HUSH technology and was excited to find out that the original inventors improved upon it by making the Decimator. Out of all my pedals I’ve used over the past seven years I have never once thought of selling it. Because I play with a lot of gain this has become a mainstay in my rig. It has also taken plenty of abuse going around the world and being dropped more times than I can count. It is a solid performer and keeps unwanted noise at bay. Cheers to ISP for putting together such a great no-nonsense pedal.

LIST PRICE: $150 USD


Check out www.isptechnologies.comfor more info!

Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aljon Go is considered to be a “pedal junkie” by his peers often asked for advice when building pedal boards. He toured the world with his award winning band Mink and was the artist relations/marketing pro for a musical accessory company. He currently spends his time bringing new and exciting tones to regional acts Jaux King, JonesWorld and Mister Happy. He is also host of the long running “Local Buzz” radio show in Nashville and product specialist for a leading guitar company. Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

On the Board- Epiphone Blues Custom 30

A couple months ago, I had a revelation. I decided, fairly suddenly one day that it was time for a new sound. The 1964 Fender Bassman that I had been rocking for a couple years was a great head- a GREAT head- one of the best I’ve ever owned, but suffice it to say that was trying to squeeze blood out of a rock in terms of tone. Our good buddy Tone Freq suggested that I have a go with one of his favorite amps, the Epiphone Blues Custom 30. In all the years I’ve known the guy, I’ve known him to be wrong about only two things: 1. George Clooney being the best Batman and 2. Cheesecake not being a desert island food… ok ok, to be honest, I’m not sure he really believes either of these things. In fact, He probably hated Clooney as Batman and I’m sure he digs cheesecake. That having been said, this can only lead us to one conclusion- Tone Freq is never wrong. The Blues Custom 30 proves this- he suggested it, I tried it and SCHWING… You get the idea.

First, I would point out the topical coolness of the Blues Custom 30: 30 watts of all-tube, two channel, class AB, vibe. It has a fantastic retro-inspired look that just screams “hip” (if an amp can scream such a thing). These are all fairly obvious features up-front. The killer look is not the only thing that sets this puppy apart from the rest of the pack though. One of the most unique features of the BC-30 is the Switchable output. Plug it in and feel free to switch between 30 watts RMS in pentode class AB, and 15 watts RMS in triode class A- Very nice. Speaking of output, another interesting touch is the multiple speaker outs that range from 4-16 OHMS. This allows for placement of attenuators or alternative speaker cabinets and adds a huge element of flexibility. Another way the BC-30 can play the versatility card is rather obvious- two channels. The first channel’s tone is going to range between sparkling clean tones and gently subtle overdrives (when it’s feeling frisky). The second channel is where you gain-heads will want to spend most of your time. Using various gain, drive and volume controls, it’s possible to pull more cool tones out of this thing then you can imagine. Steady, fat rhythms meld with searing punchy lead tones on a channel that could potentially be its own amp all together.

Epiphone is no stranger to quality. Throughout its history, the company has made it a point to put quality first. Internal features such as DC voltage filaments on the preamp tubes for low-noise operation, genuine tube rectification from a 5AR5, for a dynamic, responsive playing feel and tube-powered, transformer-driven genuine spring reverb prove that the quality is second to none. On top of that- this thing is quite heavy, which usually alludes to good quality (in my book at least). At the end of the day though, internal components don’t mean much if you can’t really hear those components at work, right? Well, Epi has this covered too. They partnered with Eminence, world renowned speaker maker, to come up with “The Lady Luck”, a proprietary 12” speaker exclusive to the Blues Custom 30. It’s a solid speaker and is very well balanced and sounds fantastic.
I've even heard tale that people try to special order these separately, but it cannot be done!

The long and the short of it is this- If you need an amp that will perform when you need it to, look great and above all-
sound awesome, look no further. Anyone who's into combos will undoubtedly agree that this one is a MUST try... nay- a MUST own! Check it out gearheads!

Epiphone Blues Custom 30

On the Board- MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay

Many of you may remember my post a few weeks back about the the MXR Carbon Copy analog delay and how stoked I was to try one out. Well, I went ahead this past week and threw down the cash for one. Of course, upon opening the box the first thing I noticed was how great the thing looked. It has a dark green sparkle finish and two bright blue LEDs.
It’s perfectly sized- about the size of a Phase 90, so it barely shows up on the radar. Let’s face it though, looks don’t go very far after you realize a pedal sounds like shit. Nothing’s more disappointing than plugging in that new aquisition and knowing that you made a huge mistake. I’ve been there... haven’t we all? Never fear though- that’s not a mistake you’ll be making with this puppy. It looks great, that much we’ve covered, but HOW does it sound? In a word, fantastic. Plugging this thing in instantly makes you want to abandon your chosen genre in favor of something spacey and bleak. You know how every now and then you buy a pedal that makes you feel like a better guitar player? Here it is. Sit back, relax and enjoy the echo.

Let’s talk tone. Most tone aficianados are going to insist on analog and for good reason. Analog offers a much warmer, darker tone that is reminecent of the sounds of yore. The Jimmy Pages and David Gilmours of history made the analog sound what it is today- rich and legendary. MXR did the same with the analog effects pedal and with the Carbon Copy delay, they continue their reign. Part of this is due in part to the use of bucket brigade technology. Complicatedly put, an IGFET bucket-brigade device is comprised of a row of IGFETs of the depletion-layer type. The last IGFET of the row comprises a drain region provided with an electrical terminal to which a voltage is fed greater than the pinch-off-voltage and of a polarity opposite to the polarity of the clock impulse.

The thing that impressed me the most about the pedal was the 600ms of delay. You have no idea how far 600ms will go. My typical MO is to start out with all knobs at 12 o’clock. I feel like this is a pretty good way to get an idea of what a pedal is really like; not too much, not too little. That said, I started out with all knobs at twelve and went to town. After strumming a few chords and playing some really sad scales (I am NOT a natural shredder), I realized that thing is serious business. Control wise, MXR kept things simple: Delay Time, Regen (repeats), Mix knobs and a Mod on/off switch are as complicated as it gets. From my 12 o’clock position, i decided to get a little crazy. The Carbon Copy saw this coming and was ready with the spaceiest delays and echoes you can imagine. Rocketing through the solar system at warp speed could do no better. Don’t think for a second though that this is a one trick pony. A quick turn of the knobs reveals a very nice, tasteful repretoire of slap-back and warble.

Frankly, the easiest way for a pedal to win me over is versatility. Add to that a great sound and a decent price tag and I’m sold. This box boasts all this and more, great sounds, great looks and some major practicality.
The Carbon Copy is also very well made, with steel construction and an extremely durable switch that says you use it and abuse it, but then again, why would you want to? It operates on 9V of power and at $149 (street),
what’s not to love? The answer is nothing... MXR has done it again. I’ve been a diehard MXR fan for years and it’s because of products like the Carbon Copy. Do yourself a favor and buy this pedal right now... no seriously... now!


MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay

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LINK OF THE WEEK-Visual Sound – Real tone you can see!!!

Visual Sound has gone viral! Check out some great video demos on their YouTube channel. The mastermind behind some of my favorite pedals (H20, Route 66 and Jekyll & Hyde), Bob Weil, does a pedal walk-thorough of his new V2 Series of pedals and more! Prepare for some drooling.

Visual Sound on YouTube


www.visualsound.net

PREVIEW: VOX Satchurator

At Summer NAMM 2008 Joe Satriani and team VOX will unveil Satch’s “Holy Grail” of distortion stompboxes – the VOX Satchurator. Touting quiet operation at high gain settings it brings with it a singing quality and boutique looks. Satriani says, “This little red box is a monster tone generator.” Come NAMM I’m sure the aliens will be surfing!

For more information, please visit: VOX.co.uk

TONE FREQ REVIEW-D-TAR’s Wave Length Acoustic Pickup with Load ‘N Lock Install

The tag team of Seymour Duncan and Rick Turner take out the dreaded “Quack!”

Acoustic guitarists have had to wrestle with getting great sound with their pickups. Now with the advent of D-TAR’s Wave Length Acoustic Pickup with Load N’ Lock that bout is over! Below is an excerpt from www.d-tar.com.

The Wave-Length combines a thin, piezo under-saddle transducer with an 18v, low-noise, high input impedance preamp, to create a system with twice the dynamic range of typical 9v systems. The 18v preamp is powered by two “AA” batteries. With 18 volts, your signal has more headroom, so hard strumming won’t distort as easily. The preamp has an input for a second source, like a magnetic pickup or a soundboard transducer.

Two adjustable trim pots, one low frequency shelving and one high frequency shelving, allow you to fine tune and “set and forget” the bass and treble frequencies to optimize the Wave-Length for your instrument’s size and shape; enabling you transparently amplify the natural timbre of your acoustic guitar with minimal coloration. Includes 1/4 ” jack (jack 6,35) and detailed installation instructions.

The Wave-Length volume and tone module's controls are located in the soundhole for easy access. With all the controls at one’s fingertips, and the preamp itself residing at the endpin, there’s no loss of tone or dampening of vibrations due to batteries and electronics being attached to a side-mounted pre-amp assembly.

… (Our) Load ‘N Lock system, allows quick and easy “AA” battery changes. Simply unscrew the endpin “collar,” remove the old batteries, and pop in the new ones. A quarter turn of the collar is all you need to lock them in place.
This system is way COOL! Having tried this system out myself it’s hard to know where to start. The volume and tone controls peeking from the edge of the soundhole is very stealthy and easy to use. Those “AA” batteries are also another plus in using this system. Everyone has those types of batteries lying around. In a pinch you can snag them from your remote control or buy them cheap at the nearby gas station. Over time those batteries will save you money over a 9-volt. If you’re like me and like things easy try the optional Load ‘N Lock system. It makes you wish you would have invented yourself! Changing batteries is a snap… or should I say a twist. Due to the nature of installing the Load ‘N Lock version I don’t recommend installing it yourself. Save yourself the trouble and get a pro-luthier to install it. It’s worth the cost of professional installation alone and buys you peace of mind. But let’s gut to the chase and talk about SOUND. Added headroom means great sound and more dynamic range! No more quack when you start strumming real hard! The manual suggests bumping up the treble a bit to maximize the tone control. After searching around the site for some advice I found this post from Rick Turner himself:
Clockwise is boost; full counterclockwise is flat. This is really "to taste.” The controls are deliberately subtle, and one way to use them is to bump up the bass if you've got a medium or smaller guitar to give more "air" to the sound. Also, you can boost the treble, and then roll it back off if desired using the thumb-wheel treble cut tone control. There is no right or wrong; there is only what works for your ears.- Rick Turner - D-TAR Designer/Explorer, Renaissance Luthier


How cool is that? It’s great that Rick personally leaves you sound advice on the company message board. KUDOS to Rick on that personal touch and customer service! D-TAR’s motto is “…with respect to acoustic tone” and they execute that motto brilliantly with the Wave Length Acoustic Pickup with Load ‘N Lock. They have won me over with respecting the acoustic guitarist with a great pickup system, great customer service and killer acoustic tone!

*TONE FREQ RECOMMENDED* Leave the quacking for the ducks! Pick it up!!!

COST: $199.00 USD

MANUFACTURER LINK: www.d-tar.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aljon Go is considered to be a “pedal junkie” by his peers often asked for advice when building pedal boards. He toured the world with his award winning band Mink and was the artist relations/marketing pro for a musical accessory company. He currently spends his time bringing new and exciting tones to regional acts Jaux King, JonesWorld and Mister Happy. He is also host of the long running “Local Buzz” radio show in Nashville and product specialist for a leading guitar company. Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

Good Wood- Tone Woods Demystified

A lot of ingredients work together to form the precious tone that
issues forth from your electric guitar, but however much time and
consideration you have put into pickup and hardware selection, the way
in which the wood components resonate together remains the
make-or-break factor that determines the voice of your instrument. We
examined tone woods in general in one of my earlier Tone Tips, It All
Starts with the Wood, but this time I want to offer a few pointers to
help you pinpoint the guitars that are really happening
resonance-wise.

read more

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In It for the Money… Lesson Learned

One of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn when it came to gear, came in form of doing what I thought was the right thing. I was faced with a choice- one pedal, used had a price tag of $60. It was an old style Electro-Harmonix pedal that has been re-done, but is still very popular today- the Bassballs pedal. The other pedal was a BOSS Super Shifter (w/ delay- ouch) that carried a price tag of $80. I fiddle back and forth with each pedal for what must’ve felt like a full day to the sales guy. I wrestled with the decision and went back and forth. In my desire to make my gear dollar go as far as possible, I made the conservative choice and went with the Bassballs.

Now don’t get me wrong- EH makes great stuff and the Bassballs pedal is a quality filter pedal. It’s not that I disliked the effect; it just didn’t fit into my sound and inspire the way I had hoped it would. I began to realize how far I could’ve dug into the BOSS and inevitably, a wash of regret seemed to flood over me. I took the pedal back to the music shop, but alas- I was too late. The BOSS was gone. I don’t remember what I made off with in place of the Bassballs, but I do remember the BOSS as one of the “ones that got away.”

The moral of the story is this: when it comes to effects, the slutiest of us gear-whores know that any day, even today could be the day that you find the effect that will change your musical life. There’s no better feeling for a pedal-head than walking into a shop and seeing that special piece sitting in the case just waiting for you. On the same token though, there’s no worse feeling that knowing you bought the wrong effect. In most cases, if you’re lucky, you can remedy your situation much easier than I could mine. Still though, it’s worth noting that from now on, buy for the effect and not the price. Believe me- $20 is not worth missing out on a cool pedal.

These days, price does matter. And it should go without saying that bypassing a quality, low-priced pedal is no more intelligent than going cheap to save a buck. Consider then, the advice of our gear-hear forefathers: “If it sounds good to you then it sounds good.” Making smart gear choices is about more than price, quality and tone; it’s about finding the middle ground between three. Doing this causes you be floored by an effect and truly appreciate it. In so doing, you are more capable of fully conveying why the effect is worth the price paid and in turn can more effectively spread the word about it. And so, the circle of life continues- Company makes great product, consumer makes good choice, consumer tells friend, band mate, etc… It’s the “Gear Circle of Life”. Just like in ‘real life’, it takes a little shit to make the gear world go ‘round. Just remember- don’t buy shit just to save 20 bucks. I learned my lesson and you will too!

40 Years of Orange Amps

To celebrate 40 years as one of the premier amp makers on the planet, Hertfordshire, England based, Orange Amplification has unveiled an Anniversary logo and will not only be releasing limited edition anniversary products, but also a coffee table-quality book. The book will chronicle the 40 year history of the company, which recently won The Queens Award for Enterprise and International trade, the highest award that that can confer on a UK based company.

Jimi Hendrix's rig

this is kinda cool- check it out...

Jimi's Rig

Build Your Own Clone!!!

Check this- very cool!

BuildYourOwnClone.com

C.A.L. HOLY FIRE DISTORTION/OVERDRIVE

A few days ago, Tone Freq previewed The Holy Fire Distortion/Overdrive from our good friends at Creation Audio Labs. Below is a photo of that very pedal, set to be released at NAMM. Who knows, may you'll be able to catch a glimpse at the GearTrap NAMM party!

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Seymour Duncan Signs on as Gold Level Sponsor!

We are very proud to announce that Seymour Duncan has signed on as a Gold Level Sponsor for the first annualGearTrap NAMM Party featuring THE WORLD'S LARGEST PEDALBOARD! We are very honored to have the world's premier pick-up maker involved in this exciting event with us and encourage you to check out Seymour Duncan via the link in our "Links" section (believe it or not) for all your pick-up and effect pedal needs.

Seymour Duncan

Don't forget- if you're in Nashville for NAMM 2008 in June, make sure to drop by 12th & Porter on Wednesday the 18th and check out GearTrap and all our sponsors!

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Eleca eAmp

Little known amp company Eleca has unveiled a very cool addition to their product line. The “eAmp” is a practice combo amp with has integrated technology that allows the user to route and iPod through the amp to be played aloud. This is the kind of really innovative stuff that is good to see in MI. The eAmp allows anyone from beginners to seasoned shredders to practice and/or just play along with their iPod. I don’t know about you guys, but playing along to music was a very important factor in my learning to play guitar in the first place. With the advent of the eAmp, the ease with which thousands of burgeoning guitarists will be able to hone their skills is immeasurable. Kudos to Eleca on this very cool piece.


www.elecaamps.com/eamp

Crafter USA TG-200H

Lately, many companies have been making tuners that are smaller, less expensive and easier to carry than ever before. The TG-200h from Crafter USA fits well into this niche. The TG-200h is a compact, 1 oz., clip-on tuner that fits securely onto the headstock on a guitar and provides accurate tuning via microphone OR vibrations. With three tuning modes- Chromatic, guitar and bass, the TG-200h tunes at a default A-440 pitch that can be adjusted in range from A-433 to A-447. The included 3V battery powers a highly visible display that glows orange when the string is out of tune and turns green when the string reaches pitch.



For more info check out www.crafterusa.com

Super Model Series Part 1...

If you read this blog often at all, you know that when it comes to amp modeling, we couldn’t be happier with the way the relevant technologies are evolving. It seems like most companies out there have taken a stab at modeling; some with great results, some… not so much. Here’s a little four part series that we’ll be doing on some new modeling amps that are being released form some of the top amp companies in the industry.

These days, its Peavey’s turn to step through the modeling door as they unveil the “Vyper”, the company’s 32 bit take on MI’s digital frontier. With 24 amp channel models- both the clean and dirty channels of 12 popular amps. The coolest feature the Vyper has to offer is its integrated MIDI interface- that’s right- a built-in, studio quality USB 2.0 output… nice; MSRP $ 399.99, not bad.


Peavey.com

Sunday, May 4, 2008

PREVIEW: EVH Signature Wah

The EVH Wah Wah is the latest offering in the EVH Signature Series, developed after intensive design collaboration with the legendary guitarist. Early on in the process, Eddie handed over his “Holy Grail” Crybaby—a standard Crybaby customized in the early Nineties with a more vocal-like, High Q inductor and a wider frequency sweep.

Amazingly, we found that over the years Eddie’s unique wah style, which uses mostly the middle range of the pedal’s action, had carved his own curve into the pot’s resistive element, making the middle range even more defined and increased the low-end sweep. Our clones of the worn-in pot and hand-selected inductor give the new EVH Wah Wah the same "Holy Grail" feel and tone, and its true hardwire bypass, dual bright blue bypass LEDs, and graphics based on the black and yellow-striped guitar featured on Van Halen II round out this EVH-approved Crybaby with a voice and look all its own.

For more information, please visit www.jimdunlop.com

TONE FREQ’s REACTION... Van Halen fanboys (and girls) rejoice for yet another striped EVH offering. Dunlop/MXR has done a supurb job with the line thus far and has delivered in every way: looks, tone and cost. A must have for all the Hagar-era VH tribute bands - can you say Poundcake? I’ll be in line for this bad boy when it comes out like Wolfie at Dunkin’ Donuts!

Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

PREVIEW: Creation Audio Labs HOLY FIRE Overdrive/Distortion

Since my visit to Creation Audio Labs last month they have clued me into this secret project. Now it seems that the cat is out of the bag! The Holy Fire OD/Distortion pedal from Creation Audio Labs is made from the same great stuff that can be found in the MK.4.23 Boost. Containing controls for level Gain, Overdrive and Distortion (G-O-D controls for short) it also is rumored to have one really hot looking LED effect when activated! I can’t wait for a hands-on demo of this bad-boy!

For more information, please visit: www.creationaudiolabs.com

Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

the Low-Down w/ Sean O'Bryan Smith

What up gang ?

Well, it is that time again. Yes, one of the masses of bass players without any hair conversing on who knows what. For this month’s survival tip from the front line, I wanted to talk about the principle of “big ears”.
No, I am not talking about the relevance of iconic cartoon characters on the planet’s current events, but the ever important art of listening. This single natural function is indeed the most important thing you can perfect in your career as a working bassist. Big Ears can take you from never having any work as a player to being the “first call” guy or gal in your chosen market. So sit back and see how this worked for this particular low–ender.

For me, it started back in 1999. I had recently re-located to Nashville and was trying to de-tox from a 6 year stint with my own fusion band. As I started to learn about my surroundings, I realized I was going to need to dig in and understand the local scene - especially this whole country music thing. Let me just say, going from jazz/fusion to country singer/songwriters is a culture shock like no other, especially since, in ’99, I really didn’t listen to or (dare I say it?) LIKE country music. Yep, this was not the easiest concept to grasp for the self-proclaimed jazz snob. Of course, reality soon reared its ugly head when I quickly realized that doing my best Jaco imitation in the middle of a George Strait tune wasn’t putting food on the table. Yes, my babies, you know what is coming next don’t you ? A Life Lesson.

After feeling obliterated by the Nashville scene, I started listening to that little voice in my head about my musical approach. Yes indeed, my fellow-groovers, the first lesson in listening for me was to listen to my inner voice as he was going “Hey Dumb #$@ !!! You know you might cover the gig better if you actually LISTENED to the style of music you are trying to play !”

I was now faced with having to entertain the voice in my head. To achieve this I practiced my “two step program” because twelve steps was just too many for me to deal with ( bass player, you know ).

Step One - I took every radio station I loved and listened to constantly, and I TURNED IT OFF !! This allowed me to cleanse my ears and get a fresh perspective on listening.
Step Two - I then changed the station and really started to listen to what else was being played. This was especially effective when I found genres that were totally foreign to me and opened my mind to new ways of playing. Plus, this can also be highly entertaining due to the fact that it is fun to watch the expression on people’s faces if you drive by them with Beethoven CRANKED. (Yes, you can head bang to Bach and Beethoven. Try it; it’s a blast!)

When I began to actually listen to country music, it was a real challenge. I honestly couldn’t hear anything that really grabbed me. But I knew a huge part of that was my own ignorance to that style of music, so I pressed on. I continued to listen, and before I knew it, I caught myself humming a few tunes. What ? Could this supposed “hick” music actually not be that bad ? I still wasn’t sure but, either way, my new found listening habits were starting to make sense - especially since my preferred form of listening for work is to constantly listen to the work tape for a number of days before I actually sit down and learn it. That way the feel of the tune and the changes are in my subconscious and I can then just groove. By better educating myself on this, I was now much more comfortable and it was starting to feel right. It was working !
The second phase of listening (and the one for me that has proven to be the most important) is to listen to the people around you. This can be especially trying if you’re on a six week run with a guitar player who wants to talk about how great he is but, hey!, it’s a small price to pay for the Almighty Groove. The main thing to remember is this:

Listening to those around you can take many forms and it is extremely beneficial to embrace all of them.

The first is the obvious choice of listening to all aspects of the music and the players around you. As bass players, we have the very unique role of being the “glue” on stage for all of the different instruments/vocalists/etc. Whether you are “dropping the one” right on top of the kick drum, picking up a line into the chorus with the guitar player, or leaving space for the singer’s big number, be sure to keep those ears open. This is where the entire Big Ears concept derives from, and will make your musical journeys much more rewarding when people compliment you on how well you listen.

Mmmmmmmm……..compliments good.

Now for another life experience interlude by the bald guy. Not long after moving to Nashville, I had the opportunity to audition for country music legend Lee Greenwood. This audition with such a powerful music presence was a great experience because of the opportunity and more so the affirmation on my approach to listening. The audition was unlike any other I had experienced because it was just Lee, his Musical Director, and me - and I was playing along with tracks instead of with a band. Now, I mentioned earlier that I like to listen to work CDs for days and I had luckily received the demo tape very early on. I had spent hours upon hours listening and studying this CD. I didn’t realize how important that was until I went through this audition. It was apparent that, by osmosis of having the tracks engrained in my goofy noggin, I was playing not only the original bass parts, I was also integrating with the other players on the track as though we were performing live. I didn’t actually know I was doing it, but it just felt right because I was now

are you ready ?
“listening” to my heart and grooving my booty off. When finished with the audition, Lee looks at me and says “You have Big Ears kid !” At that moment it all made sense. Yes kiddies, Renaissance moment # 423 in the life of the bald guy had arrived and again I spoke with myself and said, “Self, you might have stepped in something cool here.”

Just then, the clouds parted, birds started singing, and I realized I had actually learned a valuable lesson. I had actually -- LISTENED !!

All right, class, believe it or not, this all has a point. So let’s review:

First - listen to the actual form of music you’re working on at whatever point in time. This will help you truly get a feel for what SHOULD be happening musically.
Second - listen to what the other people are saying and doing around you, whether musically or not. This can provide valuable networking and musical skills as well as help you make some great friendships.

Third - listen to that little voice in your head about important decisions. Unless of course, he’s telling you to put on a clown suit and – dang, I got nuthin’. Let’s move on.

Finally - listen to your heart and play what feels true to you. If you have indeed embraced all the prior aspects of listening, you will not only improve your playing but you’ll also play the right bass parts!

The next thing you know, you’ll be listening to the phone ringing with the steady line of gigs for your unequaled grooviness.

Well, that’s it. Hopefully, all of you had your Big Ears on and were able to hear something of value in this. Until next time, keep on groovin’ -- and listening.


originally published in the Music Business Survival column at www.eden-electronics.com

Sean O’Bryan Smith is a professional bassist, producer, and freelance writer. As an author, Sean has been published in Bass Player magazine, Vintage Guitar magazine, and Premier Guitar magazine as well as writing his monthly column on Music Business Survival for www.eden-electronics.com .

Sean is recognized internationally as a solo jazz artist and professional bassist. He has recorded or performed with such artists as Billy Ray Cyrus, Sara Evans, Rebecca St. James, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Anna Wilson, and Rodney Atkins. Sean is currently promoting his solo CD on Groove Therapy Records entitled “Tapestry”. Bass Player magazine calls the Cd “....soulful, melodic, and unpretentious….” Sean is currently booking shows for upcoming radio appearances, clinics, and concerts. “Tapestry” can be purchased at CDbaby ( http://cdbaby.com/cd/seanobryansmith ), iTunes, MyMusicStream, and other fine retailers.


For more information on Sean’s music and writing check him out at www.myspace.com/seanobryansmith .

the joys of Re-Amping

Here's a cool article from Gibson.com on -Re-Amping what it is and why it's useful for getting interesting tones that you'll never see coming.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fender USA Standard Series

So, yesterday at the office was one of my favorite days of the month- new magazine day. I managed to procure the latest issues Revolver (hottest chicks in metal- a must see!!!), Music Inc., and Guitar World. The good news: Guitar World is always chock full of cool new gear, and admittedly, is one of my primary sources for this blog; this month was no different. The bad news: I totally got eye-f*cked by Yngwie Malmsteen before I even made it through the front door; but then again, it’s not the first time I guess. One of the highlights of this month’s edition is a killer review by Eric Kirkland on the new Fender American Standard Series Teles and Strats. I’ll save the details for Mr. Kirkland and Guitar World to share with you, but what I will tell you is that these things scored pretty high marks. If me telling you that these things LOOK great isn’t enough, pay close attention to the closing line of this review: “… Fender is presently building some of the finest instruments in the company’s history.” That’s a pretty strong statement, but I totally believe it!




Fender.com

Source Audio Multiwave Distortion

Here’s one I’m DYING to get my grimies on- The Source Audio Multiwave Distortion features 21 futuristic octave and foldback distortions as well as classic distortion sounds and multi-band processing for unprecedented clarity- even when playing complex chords… or so I’ve heard. Evidently, you can also coax clavinet like sounds and killer compression out of this thing. Sounds promising!



Sourceaudio.net

Tube amp maintenance

If you own a tube amp any would like some tips on tube amp maintenance, click back there on "tube amp"... enjoy!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

NAMM party sponsor details!!!

The Sponsorship criteria for the GearTrap NAMM party is now available. All interested companies should email inquires to:
geartrap(at)gmail(dot)com

SEYMOUR DUNCAN CONTEST!!!

ATTENTION GEARTRAP READERS!

Win a Stompbox in Seymour Duncan's Gear Experts Contest!

Seymour Duncan's Gear Experts contest officially begins today, May 1st.

The full details of the contest plus how to enter are available here: www.SeymourDuncan.com/win. We want you to produce a unique product demonstration video for any
Seymour Duncan, Duncan Designed, Antiquity, Custom Shop, Benedetto or Basslines pickup, or Seymour Duncan stompbox, and upload it to YouTube.com.

Clips will be evaluated by an esteemed panel of international judges, and there are prizes for the best entries we receive, comprising choices of Seymour Duncan stompboxes and exclusive swag! Remember that this contest is open to anyone who uses Seymour Duncan products regardless of where in the world they are so put your presentation skills and knowledge of Seymour Duncan gear to the ultimate test!

The contest will end June 15th and the list of winners will be posted
on www.SeymourDuncan.com.

EMG's 707TW

EMG’s new 707TW uses the company’s exclusive three-coil arrangements and dual internal preamps for two pickups in one.

Features include Alnico magnets, 9-volt dual active preamp and push-pull Volume/Tone controls. Also exciting is the fact that it can be coupled with numerous other EMG accessories including the SPC Presence control, EXG expander, or PA@ Preamp Booster.




Emgpickups.com

KORG Pitch Black Chromatic Tuner

More Korg coolness- the Pitch Black Chromatic tuner is a compact, DC 9v powered addition to Korg’s tuner arsenal.

It boasts of being 100% true bypass, +/- 1 cent accurate and having an aluminum die-cast body. This thing looks seriously cool. It’s visible yet subtle and won’t steal the cosmetic thunder from your cutesy boutique pedals. This is a piece I wouldn’t mind putting a full review up for (hint hint Korg!) While I hold my breath, go Check this one out; good stuff from the masters.

Check it out here...


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TONE FREQ - ISP Technologies Decimator

The Decimator guitar pedal offers a new approach to Noise Reduction processing with a high level of performance. Most noise suppression systems suffer from one major problem inherent in their design: The system cannot be immediately responsive to very short-term staccato notes. The typical downward expander sound reduction system suffers from a dead zone in the release response characteristic that causes a compromise in tracking both fast decaying notes and long sustained notes. The Decimator pedal's design offers a novel approach to tracking the envelope of the input signal called Time Vector Processing.

Due to this novel approach in controlling the expander, the Decimator system will instantly respond to short staccato notes and, at the same time, will provide a very slow ripple free control of long sustained notes. The Decimator noise suppression system is very transparent delivering high performance.

The Decimator pedal by ISP Technologies is extremely easy to use; simply insert the Decimator at the end of your chain of existing pedals or, insert the Decimator Pedal in the effects loop of your amplifier to clean up the noise present at the amplifier input as well as the noise in the amplifiers pre-amp section. Packaged in a rugged, beautifully polished smooth chrome chassis, the Decimator pedal offers reliability, performance and beauty in one compact pedal.

I have always been a fan of HUSH technology and was excited to find out that the original inventors improved upon it by making the Decimator. Out of all my pedals I’ve used over the past seven years I have never once thought of selling it. Because I play with a lot of gain this has become a mainstay in my rig. It has also taken plenty of abuse going around the world and being dropped more times than I can count. It is a solid performer and keeps unwanted noise at bay. Cheers to ISP for putting together such a great no-nonsense pedal.

LIST PRICE: $150 USD


Check out www.isptechnologies.com for more info!

Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aljon Go is considered to be a “pedal junkie” by his peers often asked for advice when building pedal boards. He toured the world with his award winning band Mink and was the artist relations/marketing pro for a musical accessory company. He currently spends his time bringing new and exciting tones to regional acts Jaux King, JonesWorld and Mister Happy. He is also host of the long running “Local Buzz” radio show in Nashville and product specialist for a leading guitar company. Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.