People in the 1950s thought that we’d all be wearing jetpacks and driving flying cars about now. But did they bother to predict what kind of guitars we’d be shredding on? No, they didn’t. Probably because they couldn’t imagine just how hard these eleven axes would rock. From robot-tuning to synth access, these guitars will have you dreaming of the possibilities.
First up is the Gibson HD.6X Pro Digital Guitar, an instrument that’s capable of making each string sound completely different than every other. Using fancy tech and hexaphonic pickups, the signal from each string is pushed through and Ethernet port to a computer, where you can tailor the sound, EQ and wave-shape. And did I mention that you can put a different effects signature and amplification on each string? Even though this guitar came out in 2007, it’s still pushing the envelope even now. Read more
As guitarists, most of us sooner or later find ourselves in pursuit of tone. A talented guitarist can find a way to make anything sound good, but there should be no doubt that our equipment and the tone it provides can inspire and help fuel our creativity. In pursuit of tonal inspiration, we need to develop a vocabulary to help us find what we’re looking for in our sound. Read more
We live in a world of automation. A world of higher profits, lower costs, and mass production. Companies get big, and to satisfy an ever growing and diversifying market, they take these steps to make sure they are staying on the mark with consumers. Unfortunately, quality often gets chucked to the side in this process of trying to perpetually keep items on the shelves. More people means more materials, and more materials means more space, which all leads to the product quality depending on every single person doing everything correctly. Read more
Ever since the mid 80′s, Paul Reed Smith Guitars have earned a respectful reputation for their instruments, which are known for being excellent sounding, effortless to to play, and, all too often, high priced. Comparable to most guitar manufacturers, Paul Reed Smith have released a low-priced series of guitars to render PRS instruments more reachable to a broader crowd who may not otherwise be able to afford a Paul Reed Smith axe. With this series, the Korean-made SE Custom guitars, have been very well received by guitarists on a budget.
PRS’ original axe was the Custom 24, so, of course, it’s only appropriate that one of the finest SE guitar models is the SE Custom 24, a lower-cost version of the original Custom 24 flagship electric guitar. It priced nearly at a quarter of a “original” PRS Custom 24, so how do they compare? Read more
On January 12, 2011, the Jackson Browne Signature Gibson acoustic guitar was unveiled at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) winter show in Anaheim, California. Hearkening back to Gibson’s revered Roy Smeck models of the 1930′s, Browne’s baby took the better part of a decade to complete, as he went back and forth throughout the process with the Gibson Montana Acoustic Master Shop up in Bozeman, Montana. Read more
The world has seen many advances in music technology in recent years, but if you dig down about 80+ years ago, you’ll find a young curious boy tinkering with electronics. He would be the reason that the solid body guitar and multi-track recording exists. His name was Les Paul.
At the age of eight years old, Les Paul was interested in music, and started off playing the harmonica. Fast forward 11 years, and he was in Chicago, playing on the radio. Les had an avid ability to hear things that others did not, and appealed to listeners all around. Playing mostly country and jazz, Paul had always been playing on archtop guitars, because that’s all that existed. This would all change soon enough.
Les didn’t enjoy the sound of the archtops. The body resonated the sound of the strings too much, and made the instrument feedback when playing at louder volumes. He wanted to change that. Once he realized that a solid piece of wood would end this inconvenience, he invented what we now know as the Gibson Les Paul. The first version of the guitar was built in the Epiphone factory in 1940, and when Gibson decided to market it, it became an instant success. Without the Les Paul, who knows what Jimmy Page would have played… would it have been a Stratocaster? Read more
I have to admit right from the start that metal has never been my medium of choice; I prefer trem-bar bends in short bursts, not big bombs, and I like distortion to sound like distortion, not explosions. Read more
Danelectro has announced the reissue of the classic Danelectro ’56 Single Cutaway Guitar. The Dano ’56 is available in a number of different options. Lovers of the Dano singlecoil sound can pick up a ‘coke bottle’ headstock model in black or red/black crackle.
A white version comes with gold hardware and the ‘bell’ headstock, first used in 1954 on the very first Danelectro logoed guitars. Meanwhile, those looking for a chunkier sound can pick up a ’56 with a single-coil in the neck and a humbucker at the bridge for [check for price]. Available in red, black and aqua shades, these models feature the slender ‘dolphin’ headstock, which also adorns the ’56 bass. Read: History of Danelectro Guitars Read more
WHO COULD HAVE imagined that a decades-old company solely devoted to pickup winding would suddenly set the guitar industry on tilt with masterfully crafted pedals like the Twin Tube Classic, Lava box, Power Grid, Shape Shifter and Tweak Fuzz. Never before has a specialized company like Seymour Duncan so successfully diversified its product line and received such high marks for its freshman effort.
Another great addition to the company’s stomp box line is the anxiously awaited Twin Tube Mayhem pedal. This is the Twin Tube Classic’s criminally insane brother, born of Duncan’s malicious intent and capable of terrifying acts of sonic aggression. Like the Classic, the Mayhem is more of a footswitchable tube preamp than a mere stomp box by virtue of its standalone ability to generate tube- derived gain and control a full-waveform signal, as opposed to only shaping or boosting portions of the sound to create a desired effect. Simply put, Duncan’s Mayhem conjures diabolic high gain like you’ve never heard from a pedal. Read more
NAMM 2011 — Limited to a run of 50 guitars, the new Dweezil Zappa Private Stock semi-hollow model features a unique Custom 24 mandolin shape and is the modeled after the guitar Dweezil designed with the Private Stock team. Read more