The Greatest Guitar Hero, Jimi Hendrix still remains one of the most influential forces in rock music. Pulling unprecedented sounds out of his Fender Strat, Hendrix challenged musicians and guitarists to explore a wild new world of tones and textures, dazzling and confounding guitar greats like Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton, who still speak of Hendrix with a hushed reverence. Other players before him might have experimented with feedback and excessive distortion, Hendrix turned those practices into an art fashion. He was the first player to use the whammy bar as an instrument unto itself, making his Stratocaster talk, scream and howl. Read more
When you take the amp that has been the source of pure rock and roll crunch for decades and mix it with one of the most powerful metal guitarists ever to unleash havoc on this planet, what do you get?
Give up? How about Marshall’s 2203KK. What’s the ‘KK’ for? Why, the loveable Mr. Kerry King from Slayer, of course! Did I say ‘loveable’? OK, perhaps not so much, but this amp sure is!
Many guitar players tend to make a certain face when they hear the word “Squier”. It’s the same face you make when someone says “telemarketing job” or “infomercials”. Forever destined to be the Yugo of the music world, the good folks overseas who make Squier guitars for Fender have pushed out a new model that is already changing the minds of those who put their hands on it: The new Squier Bullet Strat HH. Read more
Most of us readers at Gear Vault remember what age we started playing guitar and what kind of guitar we played. But many parents are stumped on which kids guitar to get their youngster. Rather then buy your child the ever so popular ‘Guitar Hero’ TV game system, why not persuade them to play the most popular American instrument, the guitar. Hopefully this article will shred light on a difficult decision on which kids guitar to purchase. Read more
You are true blue musician, a lover of all things sound related, and a consummate professional. Naturally, you’re going to want to destroy your guitar or instrument as part of your live show. Read more
No matter what anyone says, every musician pulls influence and is inspired by at least another musician(s) in his or her lifetime. For me, my list of artists spans a few different genres, and I really don’t think some of my playing would be what it is today if not for them. Read more
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
First up in this tube guitar amplifier shootout is the Peavey 6505+ (aka Peavey 5150) – Peavey 6505+ 120W Guitar Amp Head is great for hardcore or metal players. SIX – 12AX7s in the preamp add up to even more terrifying punch and mind-rattling gain. Read more
Ah, the classic Gibson vs Fender debate. This dispute has become so famous and so controversial that nearly all guitarists are forced to segregate themselves and declare their allegiances. But why form such specific, exclusive factions, driving a wedge between the guitar playing community? For good reason, as it turns out the two companies build different guitars for different purposes, making it perfectly reasonable that some players only pick a Fender while others are firm Gibson men (and women). But which is best for the player who has yet to pledge themselves to one brand? Read on and find out. Read more