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Fender Brown Derby & Top Hat Resonator Guitars

Fender Top hat Resonator
Fender have decided to expand the Fender Resonator range with two new models, the Brown Derby Resonator and Top Hat Resonator pictured above.

Both guitars feature a mahogany body and maple top, dual screened soundholes and a special Eastern European “Continental” cone of handspun aluminum. For an unmistakable Fender touch, a Telecaster headstock tops the mahogany neck, which also features a comfortable “C”-shaped profile and elegant French heel. The neck features a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard with 16” radius and black binding, and other appointments include aged white body binding with black-and-white purfling, bone nut, maple biscuit bridge, nickel hardware, and vintage-style tuners with aged white plastic buttons.

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Hutchinson Guitar Concepts announce the Limulus

HGC Limulus
Press release
James Hutchinson of Hutchinson Guitar Concepts has stepped away from the worn metal and Viking axes he’s best known for, to produce a more ‘standard’ looking guitar and the first true HGC model.

While the majority or Hutchinson’s work is based on existing guitars, that are stripped and thoroughly reworked, this is the first standard model to come out of HGC built from scratch. Thanks to followers on Facebook who came up with suggestions; it has now been named the Limulus, and it does bear a resemblance to the ancient crab of that name!

The uniquely shaped solid mahogany body has been deeply carved to accentuate the arch top look and tail, while the maple neck seamlessly joins the body allowing easy access to all 24 frets.

Hutchinson’s method of custom mounting the Seymour Duncan pickups does away with the usual legs and gives a very clean look to the design. The Schaller tuners are paired with HGC’s own hardtail bridge with a brass through body string retainer block giving solid tuning and ample sustain.


Mahogany body
3 piece maple/walnut neck glued in dovetail join
25.5” scale length
14” radius ebony fretboard
24 jumbo frets
Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz set
Schaller Vintage tuners
HGC hardtail bridge, string through body design.

Hutchinson Guitar Concepts accept requests for new custom concepts and designs, offering extensive modifications to existing guitars, or complete concept instruments built to the highest standard. Contact james for quotations and design requests.

To learn more about Hutchinson Guitar Concepts visit:

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Review: The Ultimate Guide to Memorizing the Guitar Fretboard by Erik Buljan

The Ultimate Guide to Memorizing the Guitar Fretboard
“The Ultimate Guide to Memorizing the Guitar Fretboard” is a new ebook by Erik Buljan with the sole aim to help you memorise every note on the fretboard using specially designed exercises. Each exercise expands and unlocks a little more of the fretboard so that you are not trying to take on too much at a time. With most of the exercises they concentrate on a patten on a string and then repeat on all other strings and Erik encourages you to say each note as you play the exercises to further enhance your ability to commit the notes to memory.

It is really beneficial to know the notes on the fretboard, you might not realise when you are beginning to learn the instrument but as you progress and want to improvise or write music it will enable you to be more creative and fluid transferring the ideas from your head to your guitar. If you don’t already feel comfortable naming the notes on the fretboard I highly recommend spending the money on this book, after all it is just $2.99 (unless you live in Australia where we even have to pay more for downloads).

“The Ultimate Guide to Memorizing the Guitar Fretboard” is available as a Kindle edition ebook from

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DigiTech Polara Reverberation Pedal

Digitech Polara Reverb
Back when I started playing guitar, yes the good old days when racks the size of a fridge were commonplace, every article I read that talked about Reverb mentioned Lexicon. Of course Lexicon rack reverbs were very expensive and way out of reach for a spotty teenager so I made do with whatever crappy reverb was built into my amp or everntually my Zoom multi-fx processor. Nowadays you young’uns have never had it so good, there’s many pedal manufacturers creating affordable reverb stomp boxes but the DigiTech Polara piqued my interest because it contains 7 Lexicon® reverbs:

  • ROOM – Fast decaying reverb; great for a touch of ambience
  • PLATE – Renowned studio reverb found on classic recordings
  • REVERSE – Reverb in reverse; quietly crescendos to full volume
  • MODULATED – Lush modulating reverb ideal for chords
  • HALO – Shimmering reverb with cascading octave shifts
  • HALL – Large encompassing reverb with warm decay
  • SPRING – Classic “surf” reverb; great for Rockabilly too!

“With its new, compact size and vacuum-style footswitch, the Polara truly represents the latest evolution in DigiTech pedal design. We’ve put years of experience into every detail of its mechanical and sonic blueprint. The Polara offers independent Level, Liveliness, Decay and Type controls; Stereo Inputs and Outputs; a Soft Click Footswitch; and a Reverb Tails On/Off Toggle Switch. It is true bypass and uses a 9V DC power supply to easily integrate into your existing pedalboard.”

Digitech Polara Stomplock
The Polara also comes with a StompLock™, pictured above, which you place over the Polara’s control knobs to protect your settings from being disturbed by your foot or in transit.

For more information check out

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Taurus Stomp-Head 2.CL 60 Watt Guitar Amp

I’ve posted about a couple of Taurus Stomp-Head amps before, the high gain 2.HG , check the link for an awesome demo, and the 1.BL 50 Watt Amp, again check the link for a great demo. The 2.CL is voiced for jazz, blues and rock and I have to say that the demo above isn’t as good as their previous product demos, but I think this is just the particular setup used for this song.

taurus 2.CL


  • Power output: 60W RMS with a power brake to 25W
  • 2 channels: CLEAN and LEAD
  • 3 different sounds: CLEAN, CRUNCH and LEAD
  • 2 foot-switches: CHANNEL (Clean/ Lead), MUTE
  • Input GAIN BOOST
  • Effect loop
  • LINE OUTPUT with speker simulationExternal controlel input for CLEAN/LEAD channel select LINE OUTPUT with speaker simulation
  • Additional input for external channel selector/controller
  • Dimensions: [H x W x Dl] 80 x 290 x 190 mm
  • Weight: 1.8kg

Designed and Manufactured in Sopot, Poland

Retail Price Retail Price Retail Price – 500EUR /US $620.00 500EUR /US $620.00 500EUR /US $620.00

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Esoterik Guitars unveils new mid-level 2015 model: The DR1

Esoterik DR-1
Esoterik Guitars has just released their new 2015 mid-level series. The first release of the new series is the DR1.

“The Esoterik DR1 delivers excellent tone, comfort, performance and sustain by means of its neck-through and string-through design. It features a spoke nut truss rod (with easy access), a carved body top and concave back. It comes with a mahogany body and a five-piece walnut/figured maple neck. A 25.5” scale length. 24 jumbo stainless steel frets on an ebony fretboard. The fretboard has a 16” radius, centered pearl dots and glow in the dark side dots. It’s topped with a natural satin finish and the very best in hardware. The DR1 features a TonePros tune-o-matic bridge with graphite saddles and a GraphTech nut, Gotoh 510 mini tuners and Seymour Duncan Distortion/Jazz pickups. The headstock is topped with an ebony overlay with a mother-of-pearl inlaid logo. It comes with a separate bridge volume and neck volume knob, one master tone knob and a three way toggle. The wood matched electronics cavity cover plate also features our laser engraved Phoenix logo. All new Esoterik Guitars include a hard-shell case.”

Temporary/Direct Wholesale Price $1006

DR1 video:

The DR1 features:
• Mahogany Body
• Neck Through Design
• 5 Piece Walnut and Figured Maple Neck
• 24 easily accessible Jumbo Stainless Steel Frets
• 25.5” Scale Length
• Glow In The Dark (Luminlay) Side Dots
• Spoke Nut Truss Rod
• Seymour Duncan Distortion/Jazz Pickups
• TonePros Tune-O-Matic Bridge
• GraphTech Nut
• Gotoh 510 Tuners
• Amazing Body Contours – Carved Top/Concave Back
• Laser Engraved Cover Plate
• Natural/Clear Finish


All Esoterik Guitars are designed and setup in San Luis Obispo, CA before being shipped direct to the customer.

All 2015 models can be purchased direct at temporary wholesale prices at

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Gearphoria Vol 3 No 2 available now

The latest issue of the always excellent and free Gearphoria is online now for your reading pleasure featuring a great interview with the legendary Steve Stevens and the incredibly talented Josh Smith. The cover features TK Smith, a luthier who favours vintage styling a with modern techniques and you can see his beautiful instruments inside. Gearphoria have picked their top 10 effects pedals of the decade so far, Saul Koll gives an old guitar build a fresh makeover and there is a wrap up from the LA Amp Show with lots of enticing photos!

Check it out now at

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RJM Effects Green Vodka Muff

rjm green vodka muff
The Green Vodka Muff is a 90’s Sovtek Muff style pedal from relative newcomers to the effects industry, RJM Effects. As you can see in the image above and hear in the demo video below from the Green Vodka has a few modern enhancements such as the Beef control which is a two way low end contour switch and a three way pass toggle switch for altering the treble spectrum. As Andy explains in the video below, “Between these five controls, the Green Vodka can cover a tremendous amount of tonal territory, from classic, scooped silicon Muff tones, to warm, compressed leads, and even grinding, op-amp style distortion.”

So if you are looking for a classic Big Muff style pedal that has more tweaking capabilites beyond the standard volume, tone and sustain controls check out the handmade in US RJM Effects Green Vodka Muff pedal.

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Jeff Loomis & Keith Merrow demonstrate Bias Desktop by Positive Grid

Jeff Loomis and Keith Merrow recently teamed up to create an exciting new instrumental Metal band called Conquering Dystopia which they are having a lot of success with, and rightly so!

In this video Keith & Jeff amp matched the original amp tones from Conquering Dystopia using Positive Grid’s new Bias Desktop plugin (check out my full review here) with amazing results.

“The amp matched tones were professionally engineered in Keith’s studio using the same mics and cabs used on the album. Jeff and Keith amp matching presets will soon be available for download on ToneCloud.”

The amp:
• Peavey 5150 (Signature) head, tube modded

The cab:
• Modded Randall ISO with 1×12 Vintage 30, upgraded baffling (Aurelex).
• Cab mic’d with Shure SM-57 (off-axis)

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New PRS All-Mahogany S2 Models

prs s2 mahogany
PRS have added 3 new guitars to their mid-priced, made in Maryland US, S2 range. Previously PRS boosted the range with 3 slick looking semi-hollow models which made the total up to 8 and the new all mahogany S2 models pushes that number up to 11, so clearly PRS feel that this is an important price bracket.

Here is more info from PRS about these new guitars:

Weeks before announcing their 2015 line up, PRS Guitars is introducing three new all-mahogany S2 Series guitars: the S2 Standard 24, S2 Standard 22, and S2 Singlecut Standard. These guitars feature the subtle aesthetic of mahogany and pickguard-mounted electronics for a vintage vibe with modern versatility and playability that is perfect for the gigging musician. All three models have solid mahogany bodies, set mahogany necks, versatile electronics, and tried-and-true PRS quality.

Known for its warm, woody tone, mahogany provides the S2 Standard models with a strong fundamental that has been built on to create guitars that play as well and sound as good plugged straight into an amp or run through a modern pedalboard setup. The set neck adds to the tone of these guitars by providing remarkable resonance and lasting sustain while the addition of PRS-designed pickups and push/pull tone controls gives players access to authentic singlecoil sounds in addition to strong, punchy humbucker tones.

The only 24-fret model in the lineup, the Standard 24 is a classic PRS reimaged for players who prefer a stripped-down approach to their music. The Standard 22 goes in a more vintage direction, but remains a bare-bones workhorse for the player who needs to cover a lot of ground with their music. The Singlecut Standard boasts a classic body shape and control layout, with volume and tone controls for each pickup and a 3-way toggle pickup switch on the upper bout, giving players plenty of options to dial in flawless tone.

As with all S2 Series guitars, the Standard models feature S2 locking tuners, PRS-designed bridges, as well as PRS nuts, frets, and strings. This means PRS fit, finish, and attention to detail all at a more affordable price. With solid build quality and versatile electronics platform, the S2 Standard lineup can effortlessly go from high gain punk and metal to low, bassy blues, making these guitars a solid choice for players who prefer a straightforward approach to a variety of different musical styles.

For full specifications and to see the rest of the S2 Series, visit

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