history of marshall amplifiers
Amplifiers

History of Marshall Guitar Amplifiers

Marshall is to guitar amps what Fender is to guitars. The legacy that the company has left has few rivals and it has indeed defined the very music of the era in which it came out. The history of Marshall Amplifiers has had a greater impact on Rock music than some would give credit to it for. However Marshall greatly deserves its place in history for its incredible contribution to music as it is today. Gear-Vault Instrument Reviews […]

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Joe Satriani’s Favorite Gear

Electric guitar fans everywhere clap your nimble hands. Our favorite wizard (no, not the bespectacled Harry Potter) has unveiled his current live setup–or, you could say, his book of spells. For those who don’t know, Joe Satriani is on his Wizards and Wormholes tour, where he’s showcasing songs from the new album, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards, along with old classics like “Flying in a Blue Dream”, “Satch Boogie”, and “Andulusia”. While Satch has always been very down-to-earth and open to discussing guitar technique […]

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Tuning a Guitar On Crack

It is necessary to play with your guitar strings at least as often as you play with yourself. Much like your thing, these things need constant tinkering and upkeep to remain in top working order, although they require significantly less hand cream and tissues. Or socks. […]

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Charvel Desolation DS-1T and DS-1 ST Guitar Review

Since Fender’s acquisition of the Charvel brand in 2002, the parent company has remained pretty true to the original tearaway teen’s mantra of producing hot-rodded rock guitars.

After the Art Series and its association with Edward Van Halen (surely the most famous of the original Charvel users from the late seventies) piqued interest, along came the truly awesome San Dimas range, which stayed even closer to the original West Coast vibe.

Today, with a San Dimas Style 1 costing a mere £619 and selling very nicely, we’d assumed that Charvel would consider continuing along these ‘heritage’ lines. However, in the spirit of evolution comes the new Desolation range, which includes a number of versions, also at various price points, of three designs that Charvel has not previously utilised – the Skatecaster SK-1, DS-1 and DC-1, all available in Floyd Rose or hardtail models.

“The layout of the four control pots has the bridge pickup’s volume control set closest to the picking hand – attention to detail that we heartily applaud.”

While Charvel has a history of producing genuine ‘shape’ guitars, such as the Hydra and the Star, the brand never turned its building skills to the humble single-cutaway, save for the much-missed and wonderfully over-the-top Model 7 T-type.

The body here is closer in vibe to established models such as the ESP Eclipse than anything bearing the Gibson logo, and is without doubt a very modern guitar – not even the Les Paul Axcess offers as much body contouring as we see here.

The flat black finish of our example looks good with the black nickel-plated hardware, although its abalone binding looks seriously out of place. It’s fitted with Grover rather than Charvel tuners, presumably to echo the associated Nashville vibe.

The pickups comprise a set of Seymour Duncan’s underrated Blackout active humbuckers, which are controlled by individual volume and tone pots plus a standard three-way toggle. The choice between the Duncans and the more ubiquitous EMG set throughout the Desolation range is one we’re sure that players will appreciate, and what’s more, the layout of the four control pots has the bridge pickup’s volume control set closest to the picking hand – attention to detail that we heartily applaud.

The DS-1’s neck is slightly thicker in depth and it does offer a slightly more rounded feel compared to the flatter-backed profile of other Desolation guitars we’ve seen, although its difficult to ascertain whether this is just an anomaly or what’s likely to be a standardised production process.
Sounds

Through-neck designs are celebrated for their long sustain, and that’s the case here. Because of its less-than-totally intimate connection with the body wood, however, a Floyd Rose will take some tone away – but the DS-1 still packs a beast of a punch.

The SD Blackout humbuckers at the bridge offer a slightly smoother high end than the default Desolation EMGs, something akin to the roar of Mark Tremonti. There’s plenty of gain when required, but the DS-1 demonstrates that there can be adequate tonal wiggle room within the realm of the active pickup.

Played clean, there’s some lovely woody body to strummed chords and, as the amp gain is raised, so is the trebly edge. The DS-1 stays perfectly in tune, plays wonderfully and is well balanced when strapped on.

For anyone who remembers the late ’70s and ’80s, it feels slightly off-message for Charvel to be going after a genre where the likes of ESP, Schecter and indeed fellow Fender-owned brand Jackson are already so well established. But it’s questionable whether the kids will care, so if you can get over this hangup, the DS-1 is well worth a whirl. […]

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GuitarGrip Guitar Hanger Review

The Grip Studios Grip Reaper Skeleton Custom Guitar Hanger is built from the finest materials and is for electric guitars only. It’s strong and durable and will support many times the weight of any guitar or bass.

This hanger is machined and balanced so your instrument fits securely. The grip is equipped with a rubber cushion so the neck and headstock of your guitar or bass is well protected, and it won’t harm nitrocellulose finishes.

The Grip Reaper Skeleton Custom Guitar Hanger is easy to install. It securely holds your guitar or
bass with its sturdy mounting screw. Installed in a wall stud you can have the confidence that your Axe is in good hands! Comes with easy to follow installation instructions. Your axe will be displayed in minutes.

This concept started as a unique way of displaying their own guitars. Because of growing interest they expanded to form Grip Studios, a full production model-making studio dedicated to one-of-a kind, original guitar hangers. Handcrafted to securely hang your electric guitar.

Whether you’re a guitarist or a vintage guitar collector or know someone who is, this is a great way to display your Axe, or give the perfect gift. […]