When considering which overdrive pedals belong on the Mount Rushmore of guitar gear, we here at Gear-Vault took one major consideration into account, which is tone. Let’s face it – overdrive is overdrive, and has been since studio musician Grady Martin continued playing despite a faulty pre-amp circuit in the console of a Nashville recording studio in 1961. The nuances of distortion, and opinions about its place in music, have been fine-tuned ever since. This list leans toward pedals that the average musician can afford – the exotic special effects pedals that so few serious artists ever really use anyway are excluded. This list is intended to let you know which pedals might be best for your sound, with the number of pedals sold not having too much influence on their ranking. One caveat for all: None of the following pedals come with earplugs, the use of which is strongly encouraged for the proper use of these smoking guns. In reverse order: Read more
The Victoria Amplifier Company is know far and wide for crafting some of the finest tube amps available today. Company founder/tone guru Mark Baier has a sterling reputation for his 50’s Fender Tweed recreations as well as his original amp designs and has seen his amps used by players like Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Steve Cropper, Charlie Hunter, and Greg Koch.
One of Victoria’s most popular models is the 518, which is Vic’s version of a 50’s Fender Tweed Champ. It delivers five blistering watts into a single eight-inch speaker via a 5F1-type circuit. Tubes employed on the Victoria 518 are one 5Y3WGTA, one 6V6GT, and one 12AX7. The speaker is either a Jensen P8R or C8R. The 518 is as pure and simple as an amp gets, with only one knob on its control panel that turns it on and controls its volume. There are no EQ knobs of any kind. The tone coming out is determined by what kind of guitar is plugged into it. Read more
White Korina wood, also known as African limba, provides a thick solid tone much like mahogany wood is known for. Korina wood is also the same high-quality wood used for many of the early [Gibson] Flying Vs and Explorers that now demand such high dollar. Notably, a Korina wood Ibanez Destroyer guitar had played a large part in Eddie Van Halen’s legendary “brown” sound. A nice piece of lightweight wood, like the ones used to construct the Korina McCarty guitars, provides renowned dimensionality and depth, screaming highs, rich rounded mids, thick lows while providing vocal-like velvety warmth backed with tremendous sustain.
The Korina McCarty’s body is carved from sold slab of Korina wood, as is the 22-fret thick-wide neck. For those who have not played the liked PRS carved neck, it’s a beefy C shape that’s positioned into the 25-scale body. The chrome-covered McCarty humbuckers are similar to the highly commended humbuckers in the standard McCartys, and a Duncan-wound soap-bar is offered as an option for those who want something a little more unique. Vintage style tuners and a fixed aluminum bridge add a touch of sparkle to the Korina McCarty’s highs. Read more
Like all great inventions, the first Sunn amps were born of necessity. After the Kingmen stormed the charts in 1963 with their megahit “Louie, Louie,” the group’s bassist, Norm Sundholm, found that his amp wasn’t nearly loud enough for the large venues into wich his band was suddenly booked. He turned his brother Conrad for help, and by 1964 the pair had designed the world’s first high powered bass amp. The next year, with rock experiencing a massive growth spurt, their Sun Musical Equipment Company was well on its way to a place in the rock music history books, supplying rock band from Cream and the Who to Queen and Kiss with thundering stacks of loud, reliable gear. Now, over a quarter-century after its birth, Sunn, which was purchased by Fender in 1985, is taking a second stab at rock greatness. If the Model T is any indication of great things, just look at some of the equipment Sunn had pulled off. Read more
Looking at this device, the only thing that may come across as ‘mini’ about the Mesa/Boogie Mini Rectifier Twenty-Five amplifier for a guitar is the size. However, you will not believe the great things that it comes packing. It is powered by an EL-84 head that provides you with 2 channel and a 4-mode operation that provides you with complete control over your tones. The two channels provided enables you to switch between 25 watts and 10 watts making it a perfect amplifier for a practice room, a studio and even the stage. Taking a closer look at the mini, you will appreciate the built in effects, the footswitch as well as the aluminium enclosure that it comes in. to learn more on the equipment, read on. Read more
When it comes to rocking it out on stage or in the studio, you need a reliable amplifier that can provide that big tube tone. In this regard, Peavey’s ValveKing II Micro-head seems to be on everyone’s lips.
Boasting top-of-the-line features such: as a switchable 20W/5W/1W power output, three 12AX7 tubes, pair of EL84 power tubes, and a USB recording output. The Peavey Valve King II micro may be what you’ve been looking for.
In this Peavey ValveKing II review, we examine whether this unit is worth your money. Read more
Mom & Pop guitar shops are a treasured rarity in the fast-paced world we find ourselves living in today.Screw Guitar Center! Check out Gear-Vault’s Must-Stop Music City Mom & Pop Guitar Shops in the Nashville area that ooze that Southern hospitality we all crave!
Fender first revealed the Road Worn Series guitars and basses at the Winter NAMM 2009 show four years ago, and seemed to have been a hit. These axes are for players who desire that banged up, beaten, used and abused vintage relic’d appearance but don’t have the spare $2,000 – $3,000 for a Fender Custom Shop Time Machine relic, let alone the cash to purchase an authentic vintage Fender. Read more
In 1958, Gibson brought the ES-335 into the world in response to Jazz Players whose hollow-bodied git-boxes howled with feedback. Looking very much like a traditional thinline hollow body, the 335 had a center block of maple that cut feedback while it spawned a far-flung family of subtle, genetic variation, such as Gibson’s Vintage ES-345, ES-347, ES-350 and ES-355 models, Epiphone’s Sheraton, Casino and Riviera guitars and a slew of close relatives and out-and-out clones by virtually every guitar maker in existence. Read more
Here’s your chance to win a beautiful Gibson ES 335 Semi-Hollow body Joe Bonamassa Signature Model guitar! This guitar values at around $3,300 big ones.
Contest ends April 4th
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Video: Gibson ES-335 Joe Bonamassa
See this guitar in action!