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NAMM 2015: PRS Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon

prs 30th anniversary dragon
Press Release
As a teenager, Paul Reed Smith dreamed of building guitars decorated with European-style dragons. Paul’s dream became reality in 1992 when he unveiled his first limited edition Dragon guitar. Since that time, PRS Guitars has introduced only seven Dragon editions, each in very limited numbers. These guitars have become among the most desirable instruments in the company’s history, earning their place in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, the Museum of Musical Instruments, in Phoenix, Arizona, and the National Guitar Museum, a traveling exhibit now located at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey.

Each version of the Dragon guitar has featured a culmination of advancements in design with some of the most elaborate inlay work available. The new Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon, the eighth in the Dragon series and the first Private Stock Dragon model, uses this combination of innovation and artistic flair to commemorate the company’s 30th Anniversary.

The Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon nods toward history with a “pre-factory” style carved top and a pre-factory style Pattern Regular neck. The extraordinary Private Stock grade tone woods were hand selected for this very limited series and include a curly maple top, African ribbon mahogany back, and mahogany neck with a 24 fret Madagascar rosewood fingerboard. Newly introduced 85/15 treble and bass pickups define the tone with power, versatility, and clarity. The 30th Anniversary Dragon’s hybrid hardware includes PRS Phase III locking tuners and the PRS patented tremolo system.

The visual star of the guitar is the elaborate, fantastical dragon inlay designed by Jeff Easley, a fantasy artist famous for some of Dungeons & Dragons rulebook covers. PRS Guitars engaged Aulson Inlay, to deconstruct Easley’s artwork and recreate it into several distinctive sections that have been embedded into the body of the guitar and conclude with the dragon’s tail whipping up the fretboard. The finished product includes more than 285 parts fashioned from a wide array of inlay materials including most prominently: jade, azurite, lapis, pyrite, abalone, and mother of pearl. 30th Anniversary Dragons are available in two PRS high-gloss colors: Tiger’s Eye and Nightshade.

The Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon will be limited to 40 pieces, with the initial prototype already committed to be a significant feature in the Museum for Musical Instruments guitar exhibit in Phoenix, Arizona.

Combine the quality and playability of this guitar with its fire-breathing collectable value and it is easy to see why the new 30th Dragon will be highly sought after by guitarists and guitar enthusiasts alike. Pictures of the PRS Private Stock 30th Anniversary Dragon along with complete specifications can be viewed at:

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NAMM 2015: Diamond & Soldano Collaborate on the 327SD Amp Head

diamond soldano 327SD
It may not be the first time Mike Soldano has collaborated on an amp, he recently collaborated and designed amplifiers with Jet City Amplification, but this is the first time he has collaborated on a high end boutique amplifier company such as Diamond Amplification.

“The 327SD is a truly collaborative product, starting with the name. Soldano (a notorious hot-rod lover and builder) penned the 327 portion of the name in honor of his favorite hot-rod engine. “SD” is a simple moniker for Soldano-Diamond. The 327SD starts with Diamond’s tried-and-true, and very road-tested platform, along with their heralded clean channel. The output section of the amp switches from Diamond’s usual EL34 platform to Soldano’s traditional 5881 platform. Channel 2 (the gain channel) was a completely mutually developed channel. According to Jeff Diamant, “We wanted to do something in between Mike’s voicing and ours, which are both similar in ways, but both have very different, yet complimentary, tonal properties.” Diamant continued, “It needed to be related to the legendary SLO100, but with a modern thing happening too.” The circuit design of channel 2 was developed jointly by Diamant and Soldano.”

diamond soldano 327SD close

The look of the amp is definitely more Diamond than Soldano but it does have a different look to it than the other Diamond amp heads with the silver faceplate and racing stripes, and it does bear the Soldano name on the front too.

The 327SD has 2 independent channels (clean and crunch), each with their own tone controls. Master Volume and dialable “Deep” knob allow for even more tone alteration. Channel 2’s A/B control gives two voicing options, traditional to the Diamond line, and has a tube buffered effects loop. Black tolex covering and wrapped faceplate with US muscle car inspired silver racing stripes, metallic silver chassis, chrome accents and even a tachometer-inspired control set create distinctive hot-rod look. Powered by 4 x 5881’s and 6 x 12AX7’s, the 327SD boasts at least 100 watts of pure vacuum tube power. The 327SD will be a limited production run, with even a more limited version with silver tolex with black tolex racing stripes.

On display at The NAMM Show in Diamond’s Booth (Hall D, Booth 3290), the 327SD can be purchased through Diamond Amplification.

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Panama Shaman Series Tube Amps

Press Release

PANAMA GUITARS is proud to announce the launch of its Shaman Series of All-Tube Guitar Amplifiers. Starting at $699.99, the all-tube Shaman Series is designed for maximum tonal flexibility with no sacrifices.

The SHAMAN 20 is designed to deliver the ultimate in flexibility: From 50s cleans and hot-rodded British tones, to fire-breathing modern metal, this little beast does it all in a compact cabinet, handcrafted in Panama from sustainably harvested exotic tonewoods. It features 2 fully-independent footswitchable channels (“Clean” and “Unclean”) each with independent Master, Presence, Bass, Mid, Treble, Gain, and 2 switchable voicing modes covering a range of tones from classic tweed and blackface cleans to hot-rodded British and ultra-modern high-gain, with a shared, hard-bypassable effects loop and a selectable 10/20 Watt EL84 Power Section.

The SHAMAN Retro 20 is the same amp as the SHAMAN 20 but designed to deliver a more specifically vintage experience. The Shaman Retro still has plenty of gain on tap but eschews the more modern tonality in favor of a nuanced vintage flavor, still in a compact cabinet handcrafted in Panama from sustainably harvested exotic tonewoods. It features 2 fully-independent footswitchable channels each with independent Master, Bass, Treble, Gain, 2 clean and 3 unclean switchable voicing modes covering a range of tones from classic tweed and British cleans to classic 80s brown and 90s metal tones, with a shared bypassable effects loop and a selectable 5/10/20 Watt EL84 Power Section.

The Shaman Series of amplifiers feature our bypassable Harmonic Content Limiter which introduces symmetrical / asymmetrical clipping allowing for a wide range of subtle yet highly effective distortion variations, from Plexi and JCM800 to modern high-gain.

For more information check out the Panama Guitars website.

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NAMM 2015: Orange Tangle-free Twister Cables

Orange Twister Cables
I don’t play live gigs anymore but I don’t really recall twisted cables being that much of an issue? Mind you my gigging days did see me play at some rather lacklustre venues with little room to manoeuvre!

Anyway, someone must have had this problem because as they say, necessity is the mother of invention and Orange has solved the problem of tangled cables with their new Twister Cables.

“The Twister module itself is machined from high quality, lightweight, aircraft grade aluminium, incorporating three sealed internal precision ball races ensuring a robust and reliable cable for performing musicians. The signal transmitted remains unaffected and uninterrupted due to the unit’s extremely low noise factor. Featuring the highest grade of oxygen-free copper cabling, the new Twister Cables achieve the same high performance of signal transmission as Orange’s existing Professional Cable range, ensuring optimum clarity and articulation with the additional benefit of tangle-free operation.”

The Orange Twister Cable® will be available to purchase from Feb/March 2015.

Orange Amplification will be showing the Orange Twister Cable® and all their other new products at their Booth 4890 Hall C at Winter NAMM 2015. For Further information please visit

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NAMM 2015: Mad Professor Simble Predrive Pedal

simble predrive
Press Release
Simble Predrive is not just a preamp, it is a preamp/booster/compressor/upper harmonic enhancer. Simble Predrive boosts the signal and compress it without slow attack time and also adds musical harmonic overtones too. This musical tonal combination is totally adjustable with your picking attack and guitar volume pot.

The amount of boost depends on the input signal level and HOT/COOL switch position. Maximum is about +10dB on lower level notes and average is about +6dB.

Simble Predrive’s special circuitry uses low noise transistor with high input impedance (over 2 Mohm) so you can boost even piezo pickups without tone loss. The output impedance is 50 Kohm so it works even in front of fuzz pedals.

For more info check out and don’t forget to stop by at their booth if you are heading to NAMM.

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NAMM 2015: Mad Professor Evolution Orange Underdrive Pedal

Evolution Orange Underdrive
You’ve heard of an Overdrive pedal, something that adds gain to the single to push your tube amp’s preamp tubes harder and create singing distortion, well this is the opposite, hence the name Underdrive! The Mad Professor Evolution Orange Underdrive pedal lets you get cleaner tones from your favourite overdriven tone, which means if you have a single channel amp it is like adding a clean channel in a pedal. Some people might ask why do it this way around? Well this means you don’t have to sacrifice the amazing overdrive tone you might be getting from your amp’s tubes by setting it clean and boosting with a pedal. You might also say well you can already do that by rolling down your volume control, well here is Mad Professor’s answer:

“When you turn down the volume from your guitar to clean that tone, the sound often gets bit too dark and the clean tones are not as good as the overdriven tone. With EOU you can tailor your cleaner tone with the four pots. The Evolution Orange Underdrive works by lowering the midrange as that is where the overdrive mostly is. You can dampen the amplifier input with the EOU’s Volume control and then set the Bass and Treble to tailor your clean tone. EOU can also be used to boost mids by setting the Midrange and Volume up.”

Check out this demo of the Mad Professor Evolution Orange Underdrive in action:

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NAMM 2015: Zakk Wylde launching new Guitar & Amp Company – Wylde Audio

wylde audio
I didn’t see this one coming, Zakk Wylde, known for endorsing Gibson guitars and Marshall amps for, well forever is starting his own Guitar, Amp & Accessories company called Wylde Audio which will debut at NAMM 2015!

At the moment there are just a few sneak peek images on the company Instagram account but that includes, the Wylde Audio Master 100 Amp which is clearly going to be based on his signature Marshall JCM 800 2203ZW. There also appears to be a Les Paul Bullseye guitar and some kind of pointy headstock guitar. I will update this post with more details as I get them but word on the net is that this will be an affordable line of products, I wonder if they will be Epiphone & Asian Marshall products re-badged?

wylde audio headstocks

For more info:

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NAMM 2015: EVH Stripe Series Star Model

EVH Star guitar
The Van Halen News Desk have posted news of the latest addition to the EVH Stripe Series guitars, the last new model added was the crop circles guitar which is obviously still based on the superstrat body as per the other striped guitars whereas this guitar is clearly not. Many Van Halen fans probably don’t even associate Eddie with this guitar as it was really early in his career that the guitar was used, according to VHND the Star guitar was first seen during the “1980 Invasion” tour. It isn’t an exact copy of Eddie’s star guitar however, the striping is much more pronounced on this version as if to try and make it fit into the series. Not sure why they didn’t do an exact replica paint job like the other EVH guitars? Also I personally hate the headstock, I know it is the same as Eddie’s original guitar but it just looks terrible.

The EVH Star Guitar features a Basswood body, quartersawn Maple neck with a hand-rubbed urethane finish, a 12”-16” compound radius rosewood fingerboard with rolled edges and 22 jumbo frets, a direct-mount EVH Humbucker with just a master volume control, EVH Floyd Rose® bridge and locking nut and EVH tuners.

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James Norbert Ivanyi – The Matter Circumvention available now

the matter circumvention
James Norbert Ivanyi’s debut album “Aphasia” was a powerful onslaught of blistering metal riffs with moments of beautiful acoustic guitar, piano and violin. It was interesting, virtuosic and a significant beginning for a truly gifted young Australian musician. James went on to perform at the Suhr factory party which takes place every January and he has been invited back again this year where he will perform tracks from his latest release, “The Matter Circumvention”.

“The Matter Circumvention” was released a couple of days ago on Bandcamp and you can listen online before you buy – As you would expect from Ivanyi if you have heard his previous albums there are plenty of technical Metal riffs but this album takes a much more of fusion direction with more bluesy guitar tones, swirly hammond organs and more of a classic Prog rock approach to the compositions. With this new direction I feel James may have opened up his music to an entirely new audience who perhaps found some of Aphasia too heavy. This is definitely not a shredder album enjoyed by mainly guitar players, it will appeal to a wide audience of rock and metal fans.

“The Matter Circumvention” consists of 6 tracks and features David Horgan on drums, Keyboard solo’s and additional piano by Beau Golden and a guest guitar solo by James Muller on ‘thumb trick’. This new album from James Norbert Ivanyi is absolutely stunning, both in terms of composition and as a guitarist. James has drawn on the classic sound of 70’s prog and fused it with modern progressive instrumental metal and in doing so created something quite unique and definitely very enjoyable to listen to.

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NAMM 2015: Eminence Tomo Fujita Signature Speaker TF-1250

Press Release
Eminence has teamed up with long time Eminence endorsing artist Tomo Fujita to create a unique 12” guitar speaker with vintage American tone: the TF-1250.

A touch sensitive, bright and chimey vintage American tone with tight, punchy lows and nice, even mids. The 30 oz. ceramic magnet provides lower efficiency, which allows you to find the amp’s sweet spot at lower volumes.

“I feel lucky to have worked with Eminence since 2002, and my signature speaker is very special for me to achieve great quality vintage tone using modern technology.” said Fujita. “This speaker can show all of your musical finger noise, your emotion and all. And it’s affordable, anywhere, anytime.”

For full specs and sound clips check out

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