Skip to Content

PRS Guitars Announces New Small Batch Run – The Brushstroke 24

image
Press Release
(STEVENSVILLE, MD) August 13, 2014 – Based on Paul’s Guitar, the guitar that Paul Reed Smith is currently playing in the studio and on the stage, the Brushstroke 24 is lacking neither tone nor style. This limited edition model carries over a familiar carved, figured maple top with mahogany back wood combination, the unique “brushstroke” bird inlay design, and adds 24-fret, tremolo versatility to the Core Paul’s Guitar model.

The pickups deliver a full range of tones from sweet, clean highs to full, alive mids and driven lows, and the electronics configuration consists of two narrow 408 pickups with a 3-way toggle switch. Two mini-toggle switches, situated between the volume and tone controls, allow players to move between humbucking and single coil tones with no volume loss when switching from full to single coils for maximum versatility.

“The Brushstroke 24 is where visionary art and master craftsmanship meet,” said Jack Higginbotham, President of PRS Guitars. “This limited edition, with its elegant brushstroke bird inlay pattern and tonally versatile electronic package, is striking and performance ready regardless of whether the venue is a major concert arena or an intimate living room practice session.”

Color options for this small batch run include some of PRS Guitars most popular maple top options: Aquableux, Black Gold, Blood Orange, Faded Whale Blue, Jade, Obsidian, Red Tiger, Violet. For full specifications, visit http://www.prsguitars.com/brushstroke24

Fewer than 200 of these instruments will be made for this small batch run.

image
Press Release
(STEVENSVILLE, MD) August 13, 2014 – Based on Paul’s Guitar, the guitar that Paul Reed Smith is currently playing in the studio and on the stage, the Brushstroke 24 is lacking neither tone nor style. This limited edition …

Click here to comment

Nick Johnston’s Top 5 Influential Guitarists

Next up in the series of Top 5 Influential Guitarists is one of my personal favourite guitar players, Nick Johnston. Nick has a real style of his own with amazing chops and instantly recognisable melodies so I really wanted to know which guitarists had helped to inspire his techniques and compositions.

Nick Johnston

1. Paul Gilbert
paul gilbert
I was 16 when I got a copy of Racer X’s ‘Street Lethal’. I remember, clear as day, jumping ahead to a song called ‘Loud and Clear’ and feeling my jaw slacken. Paul was my absolute favourite guitar player for many years. He is so unbelievably good, so naturally gifted, that it’s almost unfair. The more I learned about Paul, the more I liked him. Obviously he’s one of the most incredible guitar players on the face of the planet, but the thing that always blew me away was how damn good of a songwriter he is. I have many fond memories listening to Paul Gilbert playing guitar. Recently, I had a chance to work with Paul. He recorded some guest solo’s on a song called ‘Trick Question’, off of my second record, ‘In A Locked Moon On The Moon’. I can’t even begin to tell you how special that was for me!

2. Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
I really got into Eddie’s playing when I was about 18, which was long after I had started listening to a lot of the big 80′s Shrapnel Records guitar virtuosi. Eddie was different. Eddie was raw, unchained and reckless. Up until that point, I had been listening to records where the lead guitars were all meticulously recorded to the point where it was almost unbelievable that a human being could re-create some of those lines. When I discovered Eddie, everything about his playing was exciting. His tone, touch, vibrato, sense of melody and rhythm were so different than anything I had heard up until that point. A lot of people talk about EVH’s tapping and speed, but they often overlook his jaw-dropping blues and swing playing. For me, Eddie is the perfect balance of technicality and musicality. He has had an incredible influence on me.

3. Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan
I remember the first time I heard SRV was in my dad’s car. He was listening to SRV’s ‘In Step’ and I was absolutely mesmerised. I had never heard a Stratocaster sound that huge, raw and that clean at the same time. I had always associated the blues with guitar players like B.B King, Albert King and Buddy Guy. As much as I loved their playing, it was Stevie that really turned me on to that genre. Every single time I pick up my guitar, I find myself wishing I could play like him. Stevie is also one of the main reasons I play a Stratocaster – I desperately wanted sound and look as cool as him!

4. Yngwie Malmsteen
Yngwie Malmsteen
The first time I heard Yngwie was life changing. It was a song called ‘Vengeance’, off of his Magnum Opus record and it completely shattered my idea of what you could do with an electric guitar. I was fortunate enough to see him live during the formative years of my guitar playing. I saw him on the G3 ’03 tour and It was the single most exciting thing I had ever experienced. There is no question – Yngwie is about as good as it gets. He has had an enormous impact on my guitar playing, to the point where I would sound NOTHING like I do now without his influence. I may sound nothing like Yngwie, but the fury and passion in his playing have been two of the many things I constantly try to develop in my own way.

5. Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck, to me, is the greatest living electric guitar player. I can’t even begin to figure out what he is doing with his guitar, or where his mind goes when he picks up his instrument – and I love that. When Jeff plays his guitar, every single note is exactly where it needs to be. A strong Intuition is one of the most important qualities a musician can hope to have, and Jeff has the strongest of any guitar player I’ve ever heard. I think there are few people who have gone beyond just playing their instrument and I believe Beck is one of them. He has completely transcended just ‘playing the guitar’ and truly speaks with his instrument. I hope to one day be as accomplished as him!

Keep an eye on Guitar Noize for a review of Nick Johnston’s new album which is coming soon and features Bryan Beller on Bass, Marco Minnemann on drums and guest solos from Guthrie Govan!

In the meantime I will leave you with this video where Nick Johnston plays through his track ‘Even If It Takes A Lifetime’ taken from his last album ‘In A Locked Room On The Moon’:

Next up in the series of Top 5 Influential Guitarists is one of my personal favourite guitar players, Nick Johnston. Nick has a real style of his own with amazing chops and instantly recognisable melodies so I really wanted …

Click here to comment

StompBox Band iOS – Another Great Looking Amp/Effects Modelling App


I’m constantly amazed by not only the amount of guitar and effects modelling apps that are available for iOS but also the quality, and I don’t just mean the audio quality either, the entire user experience of these apps including the graphical user interfaces are fantastic.

stompboxband-ios

StompBox Band is a new app, or at least new to me, that again looks stunning. How this app differs from all of the other guitar amp/fx apps that I have used on my iPad is that you can use it in portrait mode which is your rack view where you add/remove/move effects but when you switch to landscape mode it turns into a virtual foot controller to help you visualise what you are selecting with your bluetooth pedalboard or whatever.

stompboxband-ios-landscape

Another clever feature is Dual Channel mode which allows to band members to have to configurable effects racks which can be routed separately back to the mixing desk, powered speakers or amps on stage. If a single user is plugged in you can use this feature so that you have two independent effects racks that can be returned as two separate outputs.

Check out the walkthrough video below:

You can read more about StompBox Band at their website – http://www.stompbox-band.com/.


I’m constantly amazed by not only the amount of guitar and effects modelling apps that are available for iOS but also the quality, and I don’t just mean the audio quality either, the entire user experience of these apps including …

Click here to comment

Mr. Big announce new album “…The Stories We Could Tell”

Mr. big - ...The Stories We Could Tell
Paul Gilbert’s Mr. Big have announced that they will be releasing a new album called “…The Stories We Could Tell” mid September. This will be the band’s eighth studio album.

“This new album rocks,” says Paul Gilbert. “I love playing guitar, singing, and writing with Eric, Billy, and Pat. And after 25 years, I’m proud that we can make an album that is melodic, powerful, interesting, groovy, and emotional.”

“We wrote songs individually and collectively on this new record,” says Eric Martin. “To me this is the album that we’ve threatened to make decades ago. A classic, groovin’, blues-rock record with the spirit and spark of our rock and soul idols from the 70’s.”

Sadly Mr. Big recently announced that drummer Pat Torpey has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The diagnosis has left him unable to perform his normal drumming duties on the band’s upcoming World Tour. He did complete all of the drumming on the upcoming album, but unfortunately touring will be too difficult for him at the present time. Mr. Big intends to announce a drummer in the near future who will handle most of Mr. Big’s drumming duties on the Fall 2014 tour and expects Torpey to jump on the drums on suitable live songs as well as participating in the group’s acoustic set. We wish Pat all the best.

Mr. Big Official Website

Mr. big - ...The Stories We Could Tell
Paul Gilbert’s Mr. Big have announced that they will be releasing a new album called “…The Stories We Could Tell” mid September. This will be the band’s eighth studio album.

“This new album rocks,” says Paul Gilbert. “I love playing …

Click here to comment

VFE Pedals Collaborate with Adam “Nolly” Getgood on the VFE Focus Pedal

vfe focus
VFE Pedals have collaborated with Periphery’s Adam “Nolly” Getgood on a new pedal called the Focus which uses variable bass and treble cut filters for control over top end grit and low frequency saturation.

For years guitarists have been using an Ibanez Tubescreamer or similar in front of their amps to tighten up the bottom end but the control on the Tubescreamer is fairly limited. Nolly is not only a fantastic guitarist (with epic pinch harmonics) but also the bass player for Periphery and on top of that he is a producer/engineer! So Nolly knows a few things about sound which makes him the ideal person to collaborate with for VFE.

nolly

“The Focus is an EQ pedal with a variable clean boost, giving you independent control over the frequency and slope of the high and low end cuts (labelled “Smooth” and “Tight” respectively) to really tailor the tightness and “stringiness” of your tone far beyond what a typical boost pedal can do. This allows you to use it far more subtly than other boost pedals, so you can leave as much of the natural character of your amp intact as possible.” says Nolly, “In addition to the filtering and clean boost, it’s equipped with a wet/dry mix control so you can experiment with extreme settings, then blend the original unfiltered signal back in for more tone-shaping options.

Another use is in the FX loop, where you can use it to control the low end from the preamp stage, for example it allows you to crank the bass knob on the amp, then filter out the unnecessary sub-lows with the pedal to leave you with a fuller, yet tighter tone than can be achieved otherwise.”

Nolly is planning on recording a demo of the pedal soon once he has finished recording and engineering the new Periphery album so once it is done I will add the video to this post.

http://www.vfepedals.com/focus.html

vfe focus
VFE Pedals have collaborated with Periphery’s Adam “Nolly” Getgood on a new pedal called the Focus which uses variable bass and treble cut filters for control over top end grit and low frequency saturation.

For years guitarists have been using …

Click here to comment

Mark Holcomb of Periphery’s Top 5 Influential Guitarists

Recently Pappy published his top 5 influential guitarists and encouraged me to do the same (Jon’s Top 5 Influential Guitarists). I thought it would be fun to extend an invitation to a few industry professionals to get some insight into who influenced them in the beginning or throughout their career and I’m very excited to present the first person today, the exceptionally talented guitarist from Periphery – Mark Holcomb!

mark holcomb
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/therealmarkholcomb
Twitter – @MarkPeriphery

1. James Hetfield
james hetfield
This man was the reason I fell in love with guitar-based music. As a kid, I remember being hooked on certain artists like Prince, Michael Jackson and Genesis but not necessarily thinking about what role the guitar played in the music. Metallica changed that. As a young guitarist, hearing Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets was a pivotal event for me, and I knew instantly that I had to begin to learn how to play all of these riffs. And I did – as a teenager I learned every single riff from those two records. Because of those years I also developed a strong picking hand because of the dexterity required to play those songs all the way through.

2. Randy Rhoads
randy rhoads
Randy was my introduction to lead playing. I had liked other lead players up to that point but Randy was the first (to me) in metal who combined pure virtuosity with unabashed musicality. He was flashy and had all the makings of an 80′s shredder, but his classical leanings and melodic sensibility set him apart by miles. I loved Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, but hearing his work on Tribute, the live album, blew my mind. He played these songs live note for note, but would throw in these unheard-of fills, that sounded completely spontaneous but were just perfect for their context in the song. Thinking about it still gives me chills.

3. Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
He was the first player I ever heard who not only was a virtuoso at the top of his game, but whose guitar tone was just as good as his playing. His tone was almost an extension of his personality. All you needed to hear was one chord off any of the first VH records, and you KNEW exactly who it was. I’ve heard stories in the industry about just how crazy it ear is and how precise he’s able to dial in his signature sound, but what speaks to his genius most is that 30 years after the first VH record came out, not a soul has been able to emulate the original VH guitar tone. His virtuosity seemed inspired by just how damn good his tone was.

4. Dimebag Darrell
Dimebag Darrell
Dime was the master of feel in metal. Nothing he did sounded robotic, canned or rehearsed. Everything from the wildness of his riffs, to the wide, evenness of his vibrato, to the swagger and confidence in his finger tone – every detail about his personality seemed to translate to the guitar 1 to 1, much like EVH. He always seemed to be a bit of a savant to me – a guy who could drink anyone under the table yet he’d get up onstage and just NAIL it. His playing was pure confidence and you didn’t have to see him live to realize that – you could hear it on recordings.

5. Devin Townsend
Devin Townsend
Hearing Devin’s music was also a turning point for me. Here you had this guy with intense 80′s chops, a pure shredder in every sense – but he disguised it in some of the most tasteful songwriting and production on Ocean Machine, Terria, Infinity and so on. You could still hear the virtuosity in his playing, but it always took a backseat to crafting memorable, hook-laden songs that stuck with you and meant something to the listener. That taught me a huge lesson and I think it’s part of the reason why I stopped focusing on lead playing for a number of years. No one cares about how fast you can play unless you write real songs.

And finally here is an amazing video of Mark Holcomb in action playing the song he wrote for the recent Periphery EP Clear called ‘Pale Aura’:

Recently Pappy published his top 5 influential guitarists and encouraged me to do the same (Jon’s Top 5 Influential Guitarists). I thought it would be fun to extend an invitation to a few industry professionals to get some …

Click here to comment

Listen to POLYPHIA’s debut single Sweet Tea feat. Aaron Marshall of Intervals


I’m really liking the sound of ‘Sweet Tea’ by POLYPHIA, it has a catchy poppy melody which is something quite different for the progressive metal genre. Also POLYPHIA have some amazing talented guest guitarists playing solos on the album including Nick Johnston, Aaron Marshall of Intervals and Jakub Zytecki of Disperse.

All aged between 20-21, the devastatingly talented band’s debut marks a new stage in progressive fusion. Equally inspired by guitar wizards Guthrie Govan and Rick Graham and the pop sensibility of the R&B/rap world, ‘Muse’ is a 44 minute ride full of groove, ear-teasing riffs and melodies and blindsiding musical brilliance.

“Polyphia are backed by an impressive fanbase who fully crowdfunded the album, smashing the target by over 200%. Having already played SBSW and SXSW, Polyphia are set to undertake their first two tours, with Monuments and then Intervals and The Contortionist.”

Featuring members of Intervals, Chelsea Grin, CHON and more, Muse was produced by Nick Sampson (Born of Osiris, I am Abomination, In Fear and Faith) at 37 studios.

https://itunes.apple.com/album/id905008910
http://polyphia.merchnow.com/
http://polyphia.bandcamp.com/


I’m really liking the sound of ‘Sweet Tea’ by POLYPHIA, it has a catchy poppy melody which is something quite different for the progressive metal genre. Also POLYPHIA have some amazing talented guest guitarists playing solos on the album including …

Click here to comment

Stéphan Forté New Album “Enigma Opera Black” Available Oct 28

stephan forte enigma opera black
I heard about Stephan Forte back in late 2011 when he released his fantastic album ‘The Shadows Compendium’ (check out my review of The Shadows Compendium by Stephan Forte here). Stephan has been busy this year writing and recording his new album “Enigma Opera Black” and has released the single ‘Zeta Nemisis’ on YouTube (see below) featuring Marty Friedman.

Recorded at X Fade Studios in Nanterre, France, Enigma Opera Black was co-produced by Forté’s Adagio bandmate and keyboard player Kevin Codfert who he has worked with for the past thirteen years. The duo spent a whole year writing, recording and mixing the new material, honing down the songs, then adding layer upon layer of lush instrumentation to create a sonic landscape that is both breathtaking in its sonic beauty and staggering in its technical acumen.

Of his new label Zeta Nemesis Forté said, “It’s kind of an experiment. It’s an expensive experiment for me, but I wanted to try it. The goal is to not distribute physically into the stores and make it available in only two spots physically, Amazon and my own website. That way the customer doesn’t have to look too hard for it.”

‘Enigma Opera Black’ is a record that reflects Forté’s intense interest in finding beauty through darkness. “I like my music to be dark. That’s the main idea behind the concept.” Adding, “I’m on the good side of things, but I’m just seeing it through a darker veil.”

“I’ve been listening to a lot more modern kinds of stuff, whether it’s metal or classical, and I wanted to do an instrumental album, but not the kind of cliché Neo-Classical 80’s kind of thing,” Forté said. “Even though my first album is not really like that, it can have that kind of feeling. It’s still dark and metal and heavy, but I really wanted to move to something more modern.”

http://www.stephanforte.org/
https://www.facebook.com/stephanforte
https://twitter.com/stephanforte

stephan forte enigma opera black
I heard about Stephan Forte back in late 2011 when he released his fantastic album ‘The Shadows Compendium’ (check out my review of The Shadows Compendium by Stephan Forte here). Stephan has been busy this year writing and recording his …

Click here to comment

Jackson JCS Special Edition PC1

Jackson Custom Shop Special Edition PC-1 Ebony
The JCS Special Edition PC1 is part of the Jackson Custom Select Series which they say are their top-line best, recalling the time-honored traditions of the ’80s-era Jackson Custom Shop.

Nowhere else will you find U.S. built production-model shred machines of such stellar design, peerless performance and superior craftsmanship, brought to life by the best builders in the business.

The Jackson JCS Special Edition PC1 is a special edition Phil Collen (Def Leppard) signature model that features a satin-black-finished mahogany body with a bolt-on oiled natural quartersawn carbonized maple neck, ebony or maple fingerboard with a 12” to 16” compound radius and 24 jumbo frets. It also includes a DiMarzio Super 3 DP152 humbucking pickup (bridge), Sustainer Driver (middle) and DiMarzio HS-2 DP116 (neck); as well as a Floyd Rose Original double locking 2-point tremolo, a 5-position blade switch, 2-mini toggle switches, an 18-volt Jackson Sustainer System, master volume, master tone, intensity control and black hardware.

Additional features include a matching painted quilt maple headstock, abalone overlay ’90s logo, Custom Shop decal, Phil Collen signature decal on pegboard, a Jackson Custom Shop certificate, 2” poly logo guitar strap, Jackson 351 Black Bomb pick pack and deluxe Jackson moulded case.

http://www.jacksonguitars.com/

Jackson Custom Shop Special Edition PC-1 Ebony
The JCS Special Edition PC1 is part of the Jackson Custom Select Series which they say are their top-line best, recalling the time-honored traditions of the ’80s-era Jackson Custom Shop.

Nowhere else will you find U.S. built production-model shred machines

Click here to comment

Jensen Loudspeakers announce the P10R-F

Jensen P10R-F
Press Release
Jensen® Musical Instrument Speakers is pleased to announce the addition of the P10R-F to our speaker offerings. The P10R-F is for those who desire the tone of a classic broken-in 10” Alnico speaker.

The P10R-F was designed by the Jensen® factory in cooperation with Fender® for the reissue of the Fender’57 Bandmaster® and the 20th Anniversary Vibro King®. The goal was to design a P10R speaker with a more broken-in, worn sound straight out of the box. The P10R-F has a smooth, round top-end and a full-bodied low-end response; it distorts at lower levels and still maintains the Vintage classic tonalities of the legendary P10R.

Alnico speakers produce a sweet, warm tone. They respond quickly, giving the musician a “one with the amp” feel. Alnico speakers are world-renowned as the most premium speakers with the best tone.

For more information, including detailed specification sheets and sound samples for the new P10R-F, visit jensentone.com.

Jensen P10R-F
Press Release
Jensen® Musical Instrument Speakers is pleased to announce the addition of the P10R-F to our speaker offerings. The P10R-F is for those who desire the tone of a classic broken-in 10” Alnico speaker.

The P10R-F was designed by …

Click here to comment

3 of 390« First...234...102030...Last »