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Guitars

Fernandes Native Elite Guitar Review

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 […]

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Guitars

AXL Badwater Jacknife Guitar Review

Legendary guitarists like Randy Roads of Ozzy Osborne played V-shaped guitars; their extreme edge appearance brings the meaning ‘axe,’ which explains why so many metal guitarists prefer them. They’re unique looking, give a tight heavy […]

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Guitars

11 Guitars That Sound Like the Future

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 […]

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Amplifiers

2011: Year of the Micro – Carvin V3M vs Ibanez TSA15H

Ibanez TUBESCREAMER is one of the best overdrive pedals ever produced. The TSA15H tube amp features a true TUBESCREAMER circuit, and the TSA112C speaker cabinet is designed to match the TSA15H, featuring the popular CELESTION Seventy 80 speaker. Ibanez TUBESCREAMER amps can create natural clean sounds, heavy crunch tones, and even warm smooth overdrive tones with the modified TS9 circuit built right into the amp.

Carvin V3M head takes many of the features of the popular V3L head, and puts them in a small package. 3 channels offer flexibility, and a 7W/22W/50W power selector allows for overdriven crunch at lower volumes. The amp also has built-in digital reverb. Like the V3L, the V3M micro head includes internal LED backlighting, selectable in red or blue. The 19 pound V3M has an optional 4RU rack mount bracket and an optional carry bag for easy transport […]

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Features

Interview: Guitarist Jason Nott of Drive A

Gear Vault recently had the opportunity to interview guitarist Jason Nott of the tear-it-down rock band Drive A to gain a little more insight into what the road is like, what gear he plays, and where his inspiration comes from. Today we talk to Jason Nott from Tempe, Arizona where Drive A is the support for headliners Escape the Fate on the first leg of their tour. […]

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Effects

EHX Neo Clone, Iron Lung, and Ring Thing Guitar Pedal Review

Electro-Harmonix has a history of pedals with super-hero-sounding names: Electric Mistress, Memory Man, Worm, and P0G. A new trio is no exception: Neo Clone could come out of the Matrix; Iron Lung might be Iron Man’s loudmouth cousin; Ring Thing, the product of a radioactive experiment gone wrong. The resemblance to fictional characters is fitting, as “character” is something EHX pedals have always had. This new crop of unique devices also has the right stuff. […]

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Amplifiers

Rivera Knucklehead 55 Review – Mike’s Secret Stash

Rivera amps have been popular since Paul Rivera left Fender and started his own company and have also always been flexible and useful tone machines. The Knucklehead 55, along with its 100 watt big brother. The Knucklehead, is the first version of Rivera’s Knucklehead line, which is still being made. My personal amp was probably made around 1998 and packs 55 watts of EL34 power that fuels two foot-switchable channels for clean and dirty, each with their own independent boost. The Knucklehead excels at tones ranging from spanky Fender-ish cleans to gainy JCM-800 sounds that are perfect for straight-up rock and blues […]

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Gear

Cheap Guitar Rig Vs Expensive Guitar Rig

People often ask, ‘How come this Stratocaster sells for $169 and this one sells for $1200?’

The short answers are quality control and quality of materials. The quality of the wood used for the body and the neck can affect the price. Cheaper guitars use plywood bodies. More expensive guitars are made of more expensive, solid wood pieces. Cheaper guitars also have cheaper paints, lacquers, and finishes.

The amount of quality control that goes into an instrument can have a big impact on the final price. Quality control is very time consuming and expensive for manufacturers. But the added attention to detail can have a marked effect on the instrument’s overall playability.

Cheaper guitars are produced with advanced automated manufactuing techniques, which allow manufacturers to produce a very uniform product with a minimum of oversight. The reduced time spent on quality control allows the manufacturer to sell the product for less.

Hardware and electronics can also vary greatly from guitar to guitar. There are different quality grades for tuners, bridges, pickups, pick guards, tremelo mechanisms, etc.

Cheap guitars are getting better and better each year, and the prices have dropped to below $200 new (125 to 150 used). Automated cutting and manufacturing techniques have allowed manufacturers to make guitars, especially electrics, for less money. Competition between manufacturers and between retailers keeps prices on these guitars at just above cost.

Evaluating the quality of an electric guitar means looking at individual components that make up the guitar. The body and neck, tuners, frets, pickups, electronics and hardware.

Many guitars, even expensive guitars, come from the factory with high frets. This creates scalloping and complicates tuning. If your guitar wont tune properly, this may be part of the problem.

Many players choose to start with an relatively inexpensive guitar, but one with a good neck and body. Later, they upgrade the pickups and hardware to create a custom guitar. This can be a good approach since it lets you choose what you want on your guitar, and it lets you space your investment out over time. You can play the guitar as is for a while before investing more money into it.

By the time you have made these upgrades, you have probably spent about as much as if you had bought the better guitar to begin with. If your customizations involve a lot of labor, you may have spent more. However, if you do your own labor, then upgrades can be a cost-effective way to get the guitar you want. […]

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Guitars

Gibson Les Paul Standard 2010 Limited Edition Review

Gibson Les Paul 2010 – Read a hands-on review of the Gibson 2010 Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar at Gear-Vault.com. The Les Paul Standard 2010 looks and plays just like a classic Les Paul, yet it’s a state-of-the-art electronic guitar that delivers the latest in Gibson Robot Tuning and Chameleon Tone technology. Get the best price on your Gibson Les Paul guitars a… […]