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PRS Announces Public Tours Of Stevensville Maryland Factory

prs-tours1
Press Release
When touring the PRS factory, visitors will get a firsthand look at PRS Guitars’ processes, instruments, and amplifiers from raw wood or blank chassis form to finished guitar or amplifier. PRS intends to give visitors a unique view into PRS quality and the dedication of the people building PRS instruments. “We have a passion for building instruments and also for the music that these instruments help create. Most here are dedicated players, refining our craft as builders and musicians. There is a special kind of pride and individual ownership surrounding our instruments. From our experience, there is no better way to see this unique aspect of PRS than to walk through the shop,” stated PRS President Jack Higginbotham.

The guided tour, which lasts approximately 90 minutes, takes scheduled visitors through the electric guitar manufacturing line, amplifier department, and acoustic shop. While not physically demanding, the tour does include walking and climbing a flight of stairs (elevators are available for guests with special needs). The tour is not recommended for children under 10 years old due to its length and technical nature.

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Tours will conclude at the company’s new “West Street East” store and museum room where visitors will find PRS apparel, parts, and accessories. The store also features a selection of guitars from the PRS archives for visitors to see as they learn about Paul Reed Smith and PRS Guitars’ history. A broad line up of current offerings will be available for visitors to play test as well.

The start of public tours and the opening of “West Street East” – named as a tribute to Paul Reed Smith Guitars’ humble beginnings in a small shop located on West Street in Annapolis, Maryland – are part of the company’s 30th Anniversary celebration.

Guided factory tours will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:00AM EST and 1:00PM EST. Tours will begin Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015. Group tours are available by request; certain restrictions apply.

West Street East Store hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00AM – 3:00PM EST.

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For more information about West Street East and tours of the PRS Guitar factory, please visit: www.prsguitars.com/about. For more information about PRS Guitars’ 30th Anniversary including a timeline, a Then and Now video and scrapbook, please visit: www.prsguitars.com/30.

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Dean Zelinsky Announces the SideKick Pickup

Dean Zelinsky SideKick
I’m not sure what to think about this, on the one hand Dean Zelinsky has proven himself quite the innovator over the years but on the other hand I can’t help but think this sounds a bit gimmicky, surely he can’t have thought of anything other pickup manufacturers have neglected to find with decades of extensive research and development?!

Ok so here are some facts about the Dean Zelinsky Sidekick Pickup, maybe I’m just being far too sceptical, you make up your own minds. Dean Zelinsky describes the Sidekick as the “world’s first pickup that is a true Humbucker and switches to an authentic Single-Coil”. Personally I have heard some great single coil tones from splitting humbuckers so what is the difference? Well switching from humbucker to single-coil the pickups match volume, virtually no volume drop-off as in conventional Humbucker coil-tapping or splitting. That sounds like a good idea but I’m not sure I’ve ever really been that bothered by the slight drop in volume? I certainly don’t agree that you lose half the volume splitting a traditional humbucker as Dean states in his press release.

SideKick Pickups are available on all Dean Zelinsky Tagliare model guitars only sold at www.deanzelinsky.com.

Having just posted my thoughts about this pickup Pete from I Heart Guitar, who is much more knowledgeable about pickups than me, has posted not 1 but 3 examples of where this idea has been done before over the years. Check his post out here.

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Electro-Harmonix Good Vibes Pedal

EHX good vibes
I love Vibe pedals, there is a tendency to launch into Bridge of Sighs by Robin Trower or maybe Machine Gun by Jimi Hendrix or a whole heap of Jimmy Page goodness as soon as you switch a Vibe pedal on, not that that is a bad thing. The sound of a Vibe pedal conjures up the essence of classic 60’s and 70’s Rock and yet it can be such an amazing inspirational tool for your own songwriting. Electro-Harmonix have created the Good Vibes pedal to emulate the look and sound of the classic Uni-Vibe and updated the pedal with modern features. The EHX Good Vibes uses photocells to create chorus and vibrato just like the original Uni-Vibe “…with a warm, undulating, liquid groove for a sound and response that’s true to the classic design. Boosted power rails provide 21st century definition and headroom, and an expression pedal input puts free-form control for speed or intensity at your feet.”

Features

  • Selectable Chorus or Vibrato delivers classic 1960’s tone and vibe
  • Simple control set: Volume, Intensity, Speed
  • Expression pedal control of Speed or Intensity
  • Boosted power rails for extended headroom and definition
  • Always-on Speed indicator
  • Rugged and compact die-cast chassis
  • True Bypass
  • EHX 9.6DC power supply included

For more info check out the EHX website and also the demo video below:

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Snap Pick® Detachable Guitar Picks For Your Keyring


Another week, another guitar related Kickstarter project, but as with every crowdfunding project I share on Guitar Noize I think this is a cool idea. As guitarists we all know what it’s like, you go to your mates house, a guitar store, or you are at band practice and you lose your pick. Snap Pick aims to remedy this problem by creating detachable picks for your keyring made with Delrin and in different gauges, simply snap one off (that means something very different where I come from but I’m sure you are more mature than me) and play.

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The Snap Pick® was developed by Willis Houck, a professional sound engineer with over 30 years experience running live sound. The solution to this problem came to him one day in November of 2009 after lending out his last spare pick. That day he made his first rough sketches, and started developing prototypes of the Snap Pick® design.

He applied for both a patent, and trademark, and has been awarded patent # D694,811S, and trademark # 4436766 International Class 15. Over time he created a variety of molds, and tested prototypes using materials commonly used by leading guitar pick manufactures.

The Snap Pick® is now ready for production. This Kickstarter campaign has been created to enable Willis to create three new production molds, and produce their first manufacturing run for consumers.

You can back this project by clicking on the widget below:

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Suhr Factory Party 2015 Videos with James Ivanyi, Andy Wood & Ben Eller


Every year since moving to the new factory in 2011 Suhr have held a party at the same time as Winter NAMM with live performances from Suhr artists such as Pete Thorn and Ian Thornley and this year saw the return of my fellow Sydneysider James Norbert Ivanyi who has recently released a stunnning second solo album ‘The Matter Circumvention‘ and Andy Wood who recently released his second solo album ‘Caught Between The Truth And A Lie’. Both guitarists are incredibly versatile in different ways, James with his progressive Metal roots and Andy with his bluegrass roots. As a bonus, accompanying Andy on a fetching green drip finish Suhr was none other than Ben Eller, guitarist, teacher and general entertainer with an excellent and hilarious series on YouTube called ‘This is why you suck at guitar’ which you can check out here – https://www.youtube.com/user/BenEllerGuitars.

Above is a video featuring James Norbert Ivanyi playing the track ‘Thumb Trick’ from his latest album. Below is Andy Wood and Ben Eller below playing “Got a light”:

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Sheptone Alnico Blues Single Coil Pickups

Sheptone Alnico Blues
Sheptone Pickups are builders of vintage and boutique electric guitar pickups and they have just unveiled the Alnico Blues single coil pickups. There are some samples of these new pickups in action on the Sheptone website and they sound great.

“Based on their very popular AB Custom Stratocaster pickups, the Alnico Blues set is for players wanting a fuller, less aggressive pickup with all of the tone and character of their popular AB Customs. The Alnico’s are wound in the late 60’s spec range using 42 enamel wire, beveled Alnico 2 magnets, and are available in vintage, modern, and flat stagger versions. With an average DCR in the mid 6K range, and each pickup wound for its specific position, this set is a great choice for maple necks or those wanting a brighter sounding guitar.”

To learn more about Sheptone and the new Alnico Blues pickups, please visit www.sheptone.com.

Retail: $160 USD per set of three or $60 USD each.

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DigiTech Trio Band Creator Pedal

TRIO-Band-Creator
The DigiTech TRIO pedal certainly made waves at NAMM 2015 winning the best in show award and you can see why it certainly is very clever, even if it has kind of taken some of the wind out of the sails of the recent Kickstarter success BeatBuddy. Where TRIO differs from BeatBuddy is that is more than just a drum machine, it includes bass lines as well with individual bass and drum volume controls. I can see that Buskers and guitarists who want to perform at open mic sessions etc. will love this pedal.

“The new DigiTech TRIO utilizes breakthrough technology, cutting-edge polyphonic pitch-detection and advanced rhythm/beat detection to create bass and drum accompaniment on the fly!
The TRIO listens to the way you play and automatically generates bass and drum parts that match your song. Just plug your guitar into the TRIO, press the footswitch to teach the TRIO your chords and rhythm, then press the footswitch again to start playing with your own personal band!”

As always Andy from ProGuitarShop.com does an amazing job of demonstrating exactly what this pedal can do and I have to say it is very impressive especially when you consider that DigiTech pedals usually cost no more than $200.

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Q-tuner Q2.0 SC Neodymium Single Coil Pickups

qtuner q2.0 sc
It’s been a while since I’ve seen any news from Q-tuner but I did post about the Q2.0 Neodymium magnet humbuckers back in May 2012 which look really cool. Now Q-tuner have announced a single coil sized version of the humbucker called the Q2.0 SC priced at $125 each (or a set of 3 for $350).

The Q2.0 SC is designed to be noiseless and powerful, engineered to deliver a pronounced dynamic bass response and the “near-magical” clarity, covering a frequency range from 10 Hz up to 10 kHz. Q-tuner say that Q2.0 SC is the cleanest sounding passive mini-humbucker available.

There are a couple of audio examples on the Q-tuner website which illustrate the extraordinary clean tones possible from the Q2.0 SC but I’m not sure that this is exactly the tone that most people will be looking for so I think it would be great to hear more examples of tones, which hopefully Q-tuner will post up on YouTube soon. I’d particularly like to hear crunch and high gain tones.

For more info – http://www.q-tuner.com/.

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MXR CSP210 Custom Shop Sub Machine Fuzz

submachinefuzz
Press Release
The MXR Sub Machine Fuzz features the La Machine Fuzz’s circuitry and all of its functions, from its Volume, Tone, and Fuzz controls to its electrifying octave up mode. The MXR Custom Shop team upped the ante by adding an old school sub octave circuit with its own level control, so you can dial in just the right mix of fuzz and sub octave signals.

To further broaden the Sub Machine Fuzz’s thunderous tonal palette, the Custom Shop team added a Series switch so you can run the sub octave signal straight into the fuzz for subterranean saturation, or alongside the fuzz for a split channel effect.

The Sub Machine Fuzz features true bypass switching and comes in a sturdy, road-ready housing with components to match.

Street: $149.99

  • Combines La Machine Fuzz with old school Sub-Octave signal;
  • Separate volume levels for Fuzz and Sub-Octave signals;
  • Toggle between Series/Parallel modes;
  • Octave switch kicks Fuzz signal into searing Octave Up mode;
  • True bypass switching.

Check out the demo below:

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ShootOut.fm – An Ingenious Way To Compare Pedals

ShootOut.fm
I have to warn you before you read any further, if you are a gear lover like me this website is highly addictive. ShootOut.fm have created a website that allows you to compare pedals, but the way it works is fantastic. You should watch the intro video below which will explain how it all works but basically you choose

a pedal category such as Chorus or Delay and a grid of pedals from various manufacturers appears. You can search for a particular pedal to see if it is available or you can select a manufacturer, or just scroll through all of the available pedals in the category. By clicking the add button the pedal is added to the bottom section of the site which is where you can compare up to 5 pedals at a time, you simply select one of the 14 available tracks and whether you want to hear it played on a Stratocaster or a Les Paul and then simply switch seamlessly between pedals by clicking on the photo. You can also chose blind test mode which randomises the order and hides which is which so you can choose which you prefer the sound of without being influenced by manufacturer! Another cool feature is that you can create a Poll and share it among your guitar playing friends to see which they prefer. One other clever feature is that if you choose a pedal such as the TC Electronic Alter Ego which has different types of delays there is a dropdown menu so you can actually select each one!

Now I have only spoken about effect pedals but actually there are a couple of other categories which are also relevant to guitar players too, the first is Microphones and then there are two sets of DAW Plugins, EQ & Compressors. For all three of these categories you can audition the product in the same way as the effect pedals but this time you can select from a number of recorded tracks and from different instruments within the tracks, Female and Male vocals to Snare Drum, Kick Drum and Acoustic Guitar. With the EQ plugins you can select from a huge number of EQ presets such as 10dB cut at 80hz or 5dB Boost at 1K. And finally with the Compressors there are some presets to choose from such as 4:1 4-7 dB Reduction Fast Attack Fast Release.

This site is brilliant if you just want a quick overview of some different products, obviously you can’t tweak the effects yourself so you have to just accept that the guys at ShootOut.fm have matched settings in order to give a clear indication of difference in sound. Obviously some pedals need to be tweaked to find the best settings but at least you get a rough idea.

Anyway enough waffling from me, checkout the intro video below to see the site in action and then visit shootout.fm yourself and don’t say I didn’t warn you about how addictive the site is.

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