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
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
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
Guitarists are custom-fiends. We swap the pickups in our guitars, switch the tubes in our amps, mod our pedals—anything it takes to improve our tone and our playing. But up until recently Read more
Usually when someone proclaims the “best guitar riffs”, it usually stirs up the most controversy, but most guitarists will agree that some of the easiest riffs are the most melodic. Some riffs are, however, so significant to the song, they can be called the best, and in this article we’ll discuss the riffs that are the most significant in rock music. Read more
As you probably already know, I’m a poor broke bastard and can’t afford a $1400 guitar, let alone a $48,000 acoustic guitar. But hey, they are fun to look at, right?
Martin says the D-45 Authentic is made exactly like the original 91 pre-war D-45 Dreadnoughts. I think what Martin is hoping for is that the D-45 Authentic becomes the next “Holy Grail” of acoustic guitars, which I guess could happen someday in the far future. Hell, it is speculated that Hard Rock Cafe in Boston dropped a 1,000,000,000 big ones on Keith Richards 1959 Gibson Les Paul. Perhaps it is possible that someday our great, great, great grandkids will get to see a rare D-45 at some Hardrock Cafe in a glass case somewhere. It does sound amazing, you can hear it in the video below. Read more
Schecter Guitar Research have officially joined forces with Disturbed guitarist, Dan Donegan. Dan first debuted his signature guitar at the 2009 winter NAMM show. While I’m not a huge fan of Schecter, I was excited to see how this ax turned out. Fast forward 4 years… Read more
Although its body is reminiscent of a chubby Fender Jaguar; the Fernandes Native Elite is a decidedly modern guitar with a little hi-tech voodoo-namely Fernandes’ proprietary Sustainer technology, which offers virtually limitless sustain and rich, controlled freedback. Based on the company’s highly popular alder-bodied Native Standard, the Fernandes Native Elite features a basswood body with a faux flame top in a black burst finish and a 25-1/2” scale maple bolt-on neck. The comfortably full, rosewood-capped neck is smoothly fretted and sports the locking nut portion of the Gotoh made, Floyd-licensed trem system. The generous pearloid pickguard houses the electronics, which include two humbuckers governed by a three-way switch, master tone and volume controls and the Sustainer system. Read more
Even if you’ve got all of the other required accouterments, you’ll be hard-pressed to make it big with that psychotically low, funky, hard-music grind that’s all the rage these days if you’re not packing a seven string. In the past, chugging on the low E string used to be enough to make you a contender. But now, with bands like Limp Bizkit mining sinister new veins of metal and settings a new standard for heaviness, you’re likely to be written off as a lightweight if you can’t summon up that deep, spongy rumble. Until recently Ibanez has been the only mass manufacturer of seven-string solidbodies, but the Schecter Diamond and Hellraiser Series offers a new, affordable contender for players who want to hit below the belt. Read more