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Jake Bowen of Periphery talks about his signature Ibanez JBM100


I really like the look of Jake Bowen’s signature Ibanez JBM100. I think it helps that I’m a fan of gold hardware on a black guitar, I’m not a huge fan of reverse headstocks however but it does at least give it an extra level of customisation from a standard model. I recently had the chance to see Periphery live and saw Jake in action with this guitar, it definitely looks and sounds perfect for metal. What do you think? Is this something that you would buy?

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DOD Compressor 280 (2014)

DOD 280 Compressor
I love simple compressor pedals, it’s hard enough for guitarists to understand compression without a myriad of controls to twiddle. The updated DOD Compressor 280 has just two controls, Comp and Output. Even I can figure that one out! Turn the Comp knob to add the amount of compression you want and adjust the output level to taste.

Like its predecessor, the DOD Compressor 280 (2014) offers independent Compression and Output controls. True bypass allows your guitar tone to remain pristine even when the DOD 280 (2014) is off. This is a big difference from the original, which would color your bypassed tone. The modern 9V DC power supply input makes the pedal more pedalboard friendly.

“The Compressor 280 employs an electro-optical circuit that varies the amount of the pedal’s dynamic compression using a light-dependent resistor and internal LED. At lower settings the “Comp” knob adds a subtle volume-leveling effect that adds a touch of evenness to the guitar’s signal, bringing up the level of low-volume playing and limiting the maximum volume of harder-hit single-note passages and chords. At higher settings the Comp knob “squashes” the initial attack and raises the level of notes and chords as they decay. The Level knob controls the overall volume of the effected signal and can act as a volume boost if desired.”

Check out the DOD Compressor 280 over at the DigiTech website – http://digitech.com/en-US/products/compressor-280-2014

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Strymon Deco Tape Saturation Pedal


Strymon don’t do things by halves, except when they do! One of my favourite pedals is the Strymon Flint which is half Tremolo, half Reverb (check out my demo here). Well their latest offering the Strymon Deco is half Tape Saturation, half double tracker which includes slapback echo and tape flanging.

As always the pedal looks fantastic too, the logo has similar styling to the Flint, very retro (well duh!), I think it would be a nice addition to my pedalboard which is already 50% Strymon!

“Deco’s Tape Saturation smooths out your sound with familiar and delicious tape compression and saturation, while fattening it with subtle tape-driven transparent overdrive. The Doubletracker provides the power to shift your sound in many ways, easily allowing you to achieve syrupy slapback tape echoes, psychedelic tape flanging, and gorgeous tape chorusing sounds.”

Check out the teaser video above to hear the Deco in action.

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TWA Little Dipper MkII – Envelope Controlled Vocal Formant Filter

TWA little dipper 2.0
I have never personally heard the original TWA Little Dipper but I have a couple of pedals that have vocal formant filters and I think they are great fun and although aimed at a very specific sound can actually be used in many different situations. This type of effect can also lead to inspiring you to explore new ideas so it is great as a riff or solo brainstorming tool.

The TWA Little Dipper® MkII is “an envelope-controlled vocal formant filter based on the uber-rare Colorsound Dipthonizer circuit” which, for this new version has “improved tracking, fuller frequency response, lower noise floor, and a pedalboard-friendly chassis”, over it’s predecessor.

The Little Dipper’s® dual filters will bend and morph your guitar tone into a blabbering, gurgling fury, creating frequency peaks and notches that simulate the vowels and diphthongs of human speech!

You can get a lot of different types of sounds from The Little Dipper as Andy from Pro Guitar Shop demonstrates in the video below. You can emulate talkboxes, filters, phasers, or flangers or even an AutoWah.

The following changes/upgrades have been added to the Little Dipper® Mk II that were not present on the LD-01 –

  • Low Boost switch added to improve performance when used with Bass Guitar
  • Output Level trim (internal) to control overall output volume of effect
  • EXP Jack for external, expression pedal control of Ascension knob
  • S3TM “Shortest Send Switching™” – a relay-based true bypass switching that defaults to bypass if power is lost
  • 5th “diphthong” setting on Inclination switch for additional vocal effects
  • Occultation rotary switch – 7-position switch that offers different timing & EQ configurations for the 2 filters, including shutoff settings for filters 1 & 2
  • Smaller, pedalboard-friendly chassis (Hammond 1590 size)
    Same price as DIP Mk 1

You can read about what each of the controls do in detail on the Godlyke TWA Little Dipper MkII product page, I couldn’t find a website for TWA (Totally Wycked Audio) it seems they are only available through the Godlyke website and costs $299.

As Always Andy from ProGuitarShop.com does a fantastic job of demonstrating this pedal with a suitably funky track:

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‘That Guitar Show’ Kickstarter Campaign

That Guitar Show. A show for guitar players by guitar players. The guitars. The people. The stories. You can help make it happen!

Although the trailer has no content so to speak I like the idea of a guitar show that travels coast to coast meeting guitar players, builders, collectors etc. The goal is to raise $50,000 so that they can produce 5-10 broadcast quality webisodes, with a long term goal of airing on a network, on cable or online (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.). Money raised will fund camera rentals, travel, editing, post-production, lighting, direction, art direction and other production-related expenses.

“That Guitar Show and its producers have a background in the guitar world that allows for unprecedented access to the characters that inhabit the guitar universe.”

As with all Kickstarter campaigns there are plenty of rewards for donations, everything from guitar picks to a 50th Anniversary 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard – #149 of only 500 made, although that particular guitar comes at the price of a $10,000 donation!

I think I speak for all guitarists when I say the world needs more quality guitar TV shows so if everyone donates anything from $5 we can help get this show on the road! Use the widget below to click through to the Kickstarter campaign or visit http://thatguitarshowtv.com/.

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EHX Release Turnip Greens Pedal

The new Turnip Greens multi-effect pedal combines two of our hottest selling products, the transparent Soul Food overdrive and lush Holy Grail Max reverb. Beyond simply combining these two great products, we’ve added additional features to make the pair even more potent! This could easily become a go-to pedal for the player looking for a simple yet sweet sounding set up or the secret weapon you never knew you were missing.

I don’t think I’ve seen a drive & reverb combo pedal before, it’s a nice idea for a complete amp in a pedal. Read more about it at EHX.com.

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TrueFire Andy Timmons Electric Expression


I’ve always thought that an Andy Timmons instructional video would be really cool and this definitely looks like a great video for TrueFire.com from Andy covering lots of musical concepts and then putting them into practice. Check out the video above for a full explanation about everything that is included in Electric Expression.

Andy Timmons Electric Expression is available to pre-order from truefire.com. Expected release date is October 1st, 2014.

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New Alter Ego V2 Vintage Echo and T2 Reverb Pedal from TC Electronic

tc-alter-ego-v2-t2
TC Electronic have announced an update to the amazing sounding vintage voiced Alter Ego delay pedal, now called the Alter Ego V2. This is the regular size pedal the same as the original Flashback Delay, not to be confused with the Alter Ego X4 that was recently released. The Alter Ego V2 contains nine of the echo sounds from Alter Ego X4 including faithful recreations of the most sought after echo units such as the Echorec, the Space Echo and the Echoplex. The Alter Ego V2 Vintage Echo also sports a built-in looper, TC Electronic’s proprietary TonePrint technology and the futuristic audio-tapping feature, which let’s you set the tempo of your delays simply by strumming your guitar.

T2 is a new Reverb pedal that contains eight new reverb sounds plus the two ethereal reverbs that made the original Trinity Reverb such a hit. “With T2 you get decay for days combined with beautiful swirls of modulation, making it the perfect addition to every ambient guitarist’s pedalboard.” T2 also includes TC Electronic’s TonePrint technology which, combined with the Windows or Mac Desktop or iPad toneprint editor you can create and save your own reverbs (or delays with the Alter Ego V2) and beam to your pedal via your phone or transfer via USB.

Alter Ego V2 Vintage Echo and T2 is available exclusively at Pro Guitar Shop in North America.

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Mesa Boogie’s new Mark Five Twenty-Five

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The Mesa Boogie Mark Five is a modern day classic, it includes the best tones from the company’s history combined with modern day metal tones enjoyed by the likes of John Petrucci. In short it’s a monster amp.

Well now Mesa Boogie have introduced a more compact and lower wattage version for those of us who aren’t selling out arenas called the Mesa Boogie Mark Five Twenty-Five which is a 25 Watt amp but is switchable down to 10 watts. The amp also includes Mesa’s new CabClone™ Cabinet Simulator Built-In with an Output and Internal Amp Load and Headphone Output – Featuring Closed-Back and Open-Back Voicings, Speaker On/Off and Ground Lift Switches!

The Mark Five Twenty-Five amplifier is powered by 2xEL-84 Power Tubes & 6x12AX7 Preamp Tubes, Fixed Bias for consistent, maintenance free performance, includes a Selectable 5-Band Graphic EQ – Footswitchable, Channel Assignable or Bypassable and has an All-Tube, Spring Reverb with Independent Channel Control (rear panel) and Fully Buffered, Tube FX Loop.

The amp has 2 channels with 6 modes that cover every possible tone scenario you can think of, you can read more about these modes on the product page.

The photo above is some sort of special edition version, the standard version comes with black tolex, check out the brilliant demos below:

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Review: Nick Johnston – Atomic Mind

nick johnston atomic mind
Atomic Mind is the third solo album from the super talented Canadian guitarist Nick Johnston. Nick has been carving out his own style of music for years and stands head and shoulders above a crowded landscape of instrumental guitarists as someone who is instantly recognisable. Nick has a certain sound not only when he is soloing but also when he is writing music, there are so many influences that come through in the music much like his friend and guest on the album Guthrie Govan. In fact there are a lot of similarities in Nick and Guthrie’s playing, they’re both on another level. An exciting addition to ‘Atomic Mind’ is the rhythm section, the supremely talented Marco Minnemann Drums and Bryan Beller on Bass, that’s right Marco and Bryan from The Aristocrats and currently touring with Joe Satriani. Needless to say these guys’ contribution enhance what was already a stellar album.

Nick has a quirky composition style at times which can be heard on tracks like ‘Ghost of the Robot Graveyard’, it has a sort of spooky melody as the title suggests, Nick likes to create a back story for each track and try to tell the story with the music. He plays the main melody with all this little ghost notes (ho ho), rakes and scrapes that show how much control Nick has over the instrument. They are the kind of additions that make the track but 99% of guitarists wouldn’t have time to add because they would be busy trying to play the melody. The reason you can hear so well all of these little inflections is because Nick uses a very pure guitar signal with single coil pickups and not too much gain. It is very much like a great vocalist, they don’t just sing the words they add in their own personality to the melody.

DEM TONEZ!

Nick Johnston made the transition to a Friedman HBE100 amp before recording this album and it sounds amazing. I don’t think I’ve heard a bad demo of a Friedman but the tones Nick pulls on this album are the best Friedman examples I’ve heard, plenty of gain when you need it but super articulate with crystal clear note separation. The Seymour Duncan single coils on his Custom Shop Fender Strat also help with this articulation and he seems to use this simple configuration throughout the entire album, using the volume control on his guitar to get all sorts of low and high gain tones. Check out the title track ‘Atomic Mind’ below:

Nick has also been kind enough to upload another track called ‘Silver Tongued Devil’ which begins as a kind of slow jazzy Bossa Nova which is so Nick Johnston, very quirky and transitions into a heavier track which reminds me of the Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro and features an incredible guitar duel between Nick and Guthrie Govan. Check it out below:

Nick Johnston’s latest album “Atomic Mind” has an exceptional lineup of musicians playing exciting and unique instrumental guitar music. Nick is growing with each release into a phenomenal musician and having Marco Minnemann and Bryan Beller on the album really augment each track.

To pre-order (or purchase the album if you are reading this post releae) head over to Nick’s website – http://www.nickjohnstonmusic.com/
Make sure you follow Nick on Facebook as he posts a lot of little videos and is always happy to chat guitars – https://www.facebook.com/NickJohnstonOfficial
Finally make sure you subscribe to the Nick Johnston YouTube Channel

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