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A Little Thunder – Revolutionary Humbucker Pickup adds Bass to Electric Guitars


Imagine being able to flick a switch on your guitar and your bottom 2 strings become a Bass, well Andy Alt’s new invention A Little Thunder is a very clever new Humbucker design that does just that! I’ve chatted to Andy many times over the years (check out my interview with Andy for The Guitar Noize Podcast), he previously told me about his invention but I didn’t understand how it worked, he has obviously fine tuned this pickup for years and finally has a pretty remarkable prototype that does something that no other pickup on the market does. Just check out the video above to hear how it can be used in different situations an genres. Andy Alt used to play in a duo called ‘Swimming In Trees’ alongside a drummer and I think this is where the idea started to come to fruition, as a singer songwriter Andy was able to add a bass line to fatten up the sound of his guitar and make the duo sound like a trio.

The addition of the bass feature comes at no physical modifications to your beloved guitar: no drilling, routing, adding extra strings even replacing 9V batteries or using midi. Players will simply remove their existing humbucker and with about 5 minutes of installation time, will have the ability to push a button and add bass to their lowest notes, leaving all 6 guitar strings in-tact. The controls for the pickup are on-board a custom designed pickup ring: an on/off switch, a -1 or -2 octave switch and a polyphonic (2 bass notes at once) or “low note priority mode” (detects the lowest note being played an only applies the effect to that note).

Head over to the A Little Thunder Kickstarter page for a more detailed explanation of the technology used in this pickup and to contribute.

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TC Electronic announce the Flashback Triple Delay

TC Electronic flashback triple delay
The TC Electronic Flashback X4 is a fantastic pedal (check out my review here) but the extremely talented people at TC Electronic don’t rest on their laurels, they’ve found a way to improve it with the Flashback Triple Delay.

“Flashback Triple Delay is the first stompbox in TC history that lets you run three delays simultaneously, opening up an entirely new delay dimension filled with divine sounds. The Flashback Triple Delay also features 11 different subdivision types, and the option of running the delays in parallel or in series, which lets you infuse your delays with distinct and unique rhythmic patterns.

On top of that the Flashback Triple Delay sports 12 different delay types, 4 TonePrint slots for loading in signature effects, a tap tempo switch, stereo I/O, MIDI connectivity and an expression pedal input.”

Check out this video from TC Electronic explaining the features and a few audio demonstrations.

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PRS Announce the Archon 25 Combo

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A couple of months ago PRS announced that they were adding to the range of their new high gain amp, The Archon, with a 50/25 Watt Head and Combo. PRS obviously decided that there would be a benefit of having an even lower wattage version and have released the Archon 25 Combo which features the same look as the 50/25 and is switchable to 13 Watts via the back panel.

Press Release
The Archon 25 brings the ‘king’ of PRS high-gain amplification to the world of small, low wattage tube amps. The Archon’s lush distortion and singing clean channel tones are all here in a 25 watt package. The Archon 25’s wattage makes the amp easier to push to optimum performance – tube amps sound best when pushed a little – and it gets there at a lower volume, which is a huge benefit not only at home, but also in the studio and on the stage. Recording with an amp at lower volumes allows for a cleaner signal and a truer tone, and keep the soundman happy by not blowing out the other members of the band.

The Archon 25 features Volume, Treble, Middle, and Bass controls for each channel. There is also a Master Volume control for each channel and global Depth and Presence for added control. The Archon’s 6L6/EL34 tube option is replaced here with 5881’s, which offer extended high end while maintaining the Archon’s signature crunch.

PRS Artist Emil Werstler on the Archon 25 Combo, “It’s a pretty surprising amp. One of the main reasons I play this amp is that it has a rare feature for a high gain amp, and that is that it actually has a clean channel. It’s very lightweight, and you can drive external cabinets with it. It feels the same [as the original Archon]. The only difference is it’s obviously very small and you can’t complain about carting it upstairs anymore.”

Visit www.prsguitars.com/archon25 for more info.

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EVH 5150 III 1×12 50 Watt Combo amp

EVH 5150 III 1x12 combo
The Eddie Van Halen signature model 5150 amp has had more success than I ever imagined it would when it was first released in the early 90’s. It has become one of the most recorded amps for metal in history but the 100 watt head is a beast and the original was not exactly that versatile. The EVH 5150 III aimed to achieve the versatility required by many modern guitar players and the mini 50 watt head meant that the amp could be used in smaller venues. Now to make life even easier EVH have announced a 50 watt 1×12 combo version of the 5150 III amp.

Press release
The EVH 5150III® 1×12 is an all-tube combo amp, featuring three channels of pure 5150-III high performance tone (clean, crunch and lead). Fitted with a single 12-inch Celestion®, 16-ohm speaker and powered by seven JJ ECC83 (12AX7) preamp tubes and two JJ 6L6 power tubes, it also features front-panel adjustable power output from 50 watts down to one watt. The adjustable power feature is especially useful in achieving “fully cranked” sounds while maintaining reasonable overall volume levels.

Features include a single input, rear-panel selectable output impedance (4, 8 or 16 ohms), versatile controls (gain, low, mid, high, volume, master presence, rear-panel master resonance, power level, reverb), built-in DSP reverb, rear-panel MIDI input and preamp output, two rear-panel parallel speaker outputs, rear-panel effects loop and headphone jack (mutes power amp), and four-button footswitch (controls all three channels and reverb).

Top-notch construction features a custom-shaped birch cabinet with special and exclusive internal baffling, vintage-style chicken-head control knobs, red jewel, plastic top strap handle and casters. A fitted cover is optional. Available in Black and Ivory.

For more information, go to evhgrar.com

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John Mayer parts ways with Fender, Guthrie Govan plays a Strandberg, Greg Howe playing Carvin, we all go “huh?!”

We’re a strange lot, us guitarists. Whether John Mayer is a Fender artist or not shouldn’t matter. Guthrie Govan playing an 8 string Strandberg shouldn’t matter. Greg Howe suddenly playing Carvin Guitars shouldn’t really be news. But to many of us it is news, it does matter, and why? Because we’ve been brainwashed by decades (in some cases a lot less) of advertising by guitar companies that create some kind of lucrative contract between themselves and a guitarist in order to sell more guitars and make the artist some extra pocket money. Now I’m not saying the Guthrie Govan Charvel isn’t worth buying, it is a very unique offering for Charvel, I just think it’s funny how we all collectively shout WTF?! when these endorsed artists appear with a different brand, myself included. 

Clearly Guthrie felt that the Strandberg 8 string Boden was the best tool for the job in the situation he was using it in, John Mayer on the other hand maybe doesn’t really need an endorsement deal at his level of fame constraining him to certain guitars, he says he will continue to play Fender guitars but his signature model will be discontinued and he will no longer be an exclusive Fender Artist. He cites change to the Fender Corp. as the reason, “I love Fender guitars and will continue to play them, but the fact is that the company as it is today isn’t the same one I started with.” I have seen a few videos of Mayer lately playing various guitars including a Duesenberg and thought nothing of it, now that he’s posted that tweet I’m suddenly interested. Gah! And as for Greg Howe his last endorsement didn’t go so well and the company folded so it makes sense to go with a reputable company known for making some fantastic looking guitars.

Guthrie Govan recently performed at the  Hans Zimmer Revealed event in London with the German film score composer alongside Johnny Marr (which I found an interesting choice). Some video has started to appear online of this event and features Guthrie playing a distinctive Strandberg headless guitar. Now personally I couldn’t see from the video below whether Guthrie is playing a 7 or 8 string model but at 5:47 you get a close up and it does look like a pretty wide fretboard… oh dear, see what I’m doing?! Like I said, I don’t know why I should be obsessed by this kind of thing, I just am. Help.

Finally, check out this video of Greg Howe playing a recent Carvin acquisition that he posted up on Instagram. Also check out this photo of Greg admiring his new custom Carvin that Jeff Kiesel, owner at Carvin Guitars, built for Greg.

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Looks like a cool guitar, I never really understood why Greg stopped endorsing ESP Guitars as they have such a huge following (and advertising budget) but the Carvins definitely seem like a good fit for Greg Howe and look forward to seeing more videos.

So there you go, my obsession with people playing guitars basically on a par with women’s magazines obsessed by celebrity fashion… Please tell me I’m not alone?

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Way Huge announce the Saucy Box Overdrive Pedal

Way Huge Saucy Box
ProGuitarShop.com are asking could the Way Huge Saucy Box finally be the pedal to rival the (ridiculously overpriced) Klon Centaur? Well I’ll let you decide from Andy’s demo but it sounds great to my ears as do all Way Huge pedals, Jeorge Tripps certainly knows how to produce great tones.

“You just heard the Saucy Box, a sassy new do-it-all overdrive from our friends at Way Huge Electronics. Despite its simple layout, the Saucy Box is practically bubbling over with tone, from transparent buffering and rich, juicy boost with the drive knob down, to complex (dare we say “Klon-like”?), overdrive tones with drive at noon, to sweet, creamy musical saturation as the drive knob veers clockwise. It achieves this diverse range of tones with a unique circuit that splits the guitar signal into two discrete paths; one clean and one dirty, which are then expertly blended for an ideal amalgamation of overdrive, compression, and dynamic clarity. Its controls are highly interactive, and the pristine passive tone circuit lets you quickly find your sweet spot, no matter what guitar and pickup combination you’re plugging in. With its versatile tones and rugged simplicity, this saucy box can replace a whole pedalboard full of lesser overdrives. Like all Jeorge Tripps’ designs, the Way Huge Saucy Box is constructed of the finest components available, featuring rugged true bypass switching and standard 9v operation.” – ProGuitarShop.com

http://proguitarshop.com/way-huge-electronics-saucy-box.html

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Gibson Les Paul Classic 7 String

Gibson les Paul classic 7
Well I can see this guitar getting a lot of unwarranted hate mainly due to the scale length being the regular Gibson short scale, the thing is as I saw Peter from I Heart Guitar point out if it was a longer scale length it wouldn’t be a classic Les Paul, it would be another Les Paul shaped 7 string! So if you buy this guitar be prepared for a pretty fat low B if you prefer stiffer tension.

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The Gibson Les Paul Classic 7 features a mahogany body with traditional weight-relief and carved maple, a glued-in mahogany neck with one-piece rosewood fingerboard with a 24.75” scale length, a Seymour Duncan ’59+ in the neck position and JB in the bridge, a push-pull coil splitter and an onboard 15 dB gain booster.

“The popular SlimTaper™ neck profile helps you maintain speed and playing ease across the full seven strings, and feels great from low-string riffing to high-fret wailing.”

Check it out here – Gibson Les Paul Classic 7 String.

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Get your 80’s on with Jackson’s Limited Run Pro DK2M Dinky in Crackle Finish

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When I started playing guitar things like crackle finishes were pretty normal, Phil Collen’s main guitar for the Hysteria tour was Jackson Crackle Finish. The teenager in me still wants this guitar but the sensible old man in me says I need to settle down with a hard tail single cutaway…

The DK2M Pro Series Dinkyfeatures an alder body, flat-sawn graphite-reinforced bolt-on maple neck with wrap-around heel, 24-fret compound radius (12″-16″) maple fingerboard with offset black dot inlays, black neck and headstock binding, direct mount Seymour Duncan® JB Zebra (bridge) and ’59 Zebra (neck) humbucking pickups with five-way blade switching, Floyd Rose® bridge, black hardware and Dunlop® strap locks.

For more information go to www.jacksonguitars.com.

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PRS Dustie Waring Limited Edition ‘Floyd’ Custom 24

prs dustie waring
Ok initially when this press release landed in my inbox I did think, who on earth is Dustie Waring and was expecting some old country dude… oops. The funny thing is I actually really like Between The Buried and Me I think The ‘Parallax II: Future Sequence’ is great. Ah well I’m getting old and don’t take notice of names, what can you do?

Anyway all that aside this is one of the tastiest PRS Custom 24’s I’ve seen in a while, the PRS Dustie Waring Limited Edition ‘Floyd’ Custom 24 features as the name suggests a Floyd Rose Tremelo, PRS Phase III locking tuners, glow-in-the-dark sidedots, and PRS Bird inlays. The guitar features a carved figured maple top, mahogany back, 25” scale length and a 24 fret rock maple neck. Finally the black hardware is topped off with the black Dusty Waring Signature DiMarzio Humbuckers which look killer, I love black hardware \m/.

prs dustie waring close up

Check out this video of Between The Buried and Me playing their song Extremophile Elite to see the PRS Dustie Waring Limited Edition ‘Floyd’ Custom 24 in action.

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Dawner Prince Effects™ Viberator™ Stereo Vibe

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“Adding versatility for modern guitar players while preserving vintage tonal character, Dawner Prince Effects company breathes a new life to the old Uni-Vibe® effect.”

Viberator is a premium, stereo version of the vintage phase shifter with a number of modern options. Utilizing all analog circuitry in a very compact design, Viberator impeccably delivers all those deep, natural and watery phase and shivering vibrato sounds.

Features:
• Stereo outputs with separate volume controls for true rotating speaker simulation
• Unique Symmetry control for altering the shape of an LFO waveform
• Expression pedal input for external speed control
• True bypass switching system with bi-colour flashing status LED
• Very compact design
• Standard 9V DC power requirements

http://dawnerprince.com/

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