Skip to Content

Positive Grid Launches BIAS Pedal – Tone Matching Distortion Modeller App

Bias Pedal
Those incredible boffins at Positive Grid have done it again! If you have tried BIAS Amp, and I sincerely hope you have or you are seriously missing out, you will know that Positive Grid have already perfected an amazing amp modelling app for iOS and plugin for your DAW. BIAS Amp lets you take a classic amp design and tweak the inner workings such as tubes, tube bias, transformer, eq, gain settings etc. to create your own signature amp. BIAS Pedal is the same idea but for overdrive and distortion pedals, start with a preset base pedal such as a Tube Screamer or a DS-1 then tweak the inner workings such as the input volume, distortion stages and gain control, pre and post EQ, switch out the Germanium transistor to Silicon, or JFET or MOSFET or even for a Tube!

BIAS Pedal comes with hundreds of factory loaded distortion pedal presets, from blues to rock, to alternative and metal, to everything in between and it also integrates with BIAS FX. Seamlessly add your custom distortion pedal into dual signal effects and rack chains and dual BIAS Amps.

“Guitarists and bassists are now able to tone match any real life analog distortion stompbox in the world, and capture their favorite distortion, overdrive, fuzz, and boost pedals tones right into BIAS Pedal. Its Tone Match technology analyzes and compares the currently selected pedal and the sound of a target tube pedal. It then executes the tonal compensation and enhancements needed to make any pedal’s sound accurately match that of the target pedal. Positive Grid is working with several artists, engineers, and producers to create a never ending tone match pedal distortion collection.”

Steve Booke demos some rock, blues, and metal stompboxes in BIAS Pedal

BIAS Pedal is now available for free download on iPad App Store ($19.99 in-app purchase to unlock full feature), and for $99 as a desktop plug-in for Mac/Win.

http://www.positivegrid.com/bias-pedal/

Click here to comment

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster

If you fancy a little taste of Hendrix the new Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster may be for you. It is not really what I would call an authentic Hendrix Strat due to the fact it is a right handed model with a reverse headstock and bridge pickup angle but it certainly gets you in the ball park of the guitars Jimi played, the Olympic white below for instance is a nod to the guitar he used at Woodstock in ’69.

Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster®, Maple Fingerboard, Olympic White
fender-hendrix-white

Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster®, Maple Fingerboard, Black
fender-hendrix-black

“The reverse headstock produces a longer string length for the bass strings, creating a tighter playing feel along with easier bending and vibrato on the treble strings. A trio of unsurpassed American Vintage ’65 single-coil pickups includes a reverse-slant bridge pickup, producing uniquely inspiring tone with tight, warm sound and enhanced upper harmonics and definition. The highly versatile 9.5”-radius “C”-shaped maple neck with medium jumbo frets offers a flatter playing surface—ideal for chording while simultaneously allowing you to bend notes to the stratosphere during scorching solos.

Commemorating Hendrix’s unrivaled legacy, the large ’70s-style headstock bears the guitarist’s signature on the rear. A unique neck plate displays a shoulders-up silhouette of the man himself and the engraved inscription, “Authentic Hendrix,” leaving no doubt as to the inspiration behind this guitar. Available in classic Olympic White or Black, both with chrome hardware and including a gig bag.”

Check the Fender website for more info.

Click here to comment

MXR EVH 5150 Overdrive Pedal

mxr 5150
Dunlop’s MXR design team has collaborated with Eddie Van Halen on a drive pedal that emulates the beast that is his signature 5150 amp that Eddie himself has used for years in various forms and all over the world by heavy metal bands who love the crushing tone.

“The MXR EVH 5150™ Overdrive joins hand-adjusted multi-stage MOSFETs with a full complement of controls to deliver overdriven tube-like tones and exceptional sonic flexibility through a wide variety of amps and speaker cabinets. The EVH 5150 Overdrive’s controls dial up the whole spectrum—from Eddie’s groundbreaking early classic tones to the high gain, super-articulate sound he uses today.”

The Output and Gain controls set your volume and distortion levels, and a 3-band passive tone stack EQ section shapes your sound to taste. The Boost switch adds extra gain and compression and the Gate control (powered by the Smart Gate® circuit) tames unwanted noise.

The EVH 5150 Overdrive features true bypass switching and comes in a road-worthy housing emblazoned with custom EVH artwork.

  • Designed in close collaboration with Eddie Van Halen
  • Delivers a full range of powerful saturation via multi-stage MOSFETs
  • Features 3-band EQ section for versatile tweakability
  • Boost switch adds extra gain and compression
  • Gate control tames unwanted noise
  • Sounds great through a wide variety of amps and speaker cabs
  • Expected street price: $199.99

    Check out this demo of the MXR EVH 5150 pedal by Andertons:

Click here to comment

Blackstar to announce new Artist Series on Nov 2nd 2015

blackstar artist 30
I am genuinely relieved to see this news because I think Blackstar are a great amplifier company and great innovators but they seem to have concentrated on modelling and low powered amps for a while now. On November 2nd 2015 at 7.30pm BST Blackstar are hosting a webinar to launch a new “Blackstar Artist Series”, you can visit their website to tune in. From the image I have posted above it would appear this series are true tube amps and in this case a 30 watt 2 channel Combo with Reverb. What is not clear is what the difference is between the Artist and the Artisan or Series One amps at this stage. More updates to follow.

Click here to comment

Misha Mansoor Meet & Greet In Sydney

Misha Mansoor
With Periphery heading to Australia in a couple of weeks there have been a couple of announcements from the band. The first was the announcement of the Mark Holcomb Sydney & Brisbane guitar clinics which I reckon will be pretty awesome and now Jackson Guitars have announced a Misha Mansoor meet & greet at Big Music in Crows Nest, Sydney (which is a great shop/studio/rehearsal space).

“Come along and have a chat, and get yourself a signature or a photo with the man himself. You can also check out his new Jackson signature model ‘Juggernaut Bulb HT7’ while you’re there.”

For more info on the new Misha Mansoor signature model Jackson guitars – http://www.jacksonguitars.com/en-AU/features/newin2015/

More info about the event can be found here.

Click here to comment

Ibanez PWM100 Paul Waggoner (Between The Buried And Me) Signature Model Guitar

Ibanez PWM100
Between The Buried And Me’s Paul Waggoner has developed a beefed-up S Series Ibanez guitar for his Ash bodied signature model featuring Mojotone signature Pickups, the Mojotone PW Hornet (H) neck pickup (Passive/Alnico) and the Mojotone PW Hornet (H) bridge pickup (Passive/Ceramic). The neck on the PWM100 is 5pc Maple/Bubinga with a Rosewood fretboard with offset White dot inlays and Jumbo frets with Prestige fret edge treatment. The PWM100 also features an Ibanez Lo-pro Edge tremolo bridge in Cosmo black (as is all the other hardware). Other features include a 3 way pickup selector and a separate coil split mini toggle switch.

For more photos and info check out the Ibanez PWM100 product page.

Click here to comment

MannMade USA’s Intonatable Stoptail Bridge

Mannmade-StopTail
MannMade USA have created a no modification necessary, intonatable stoptail bridge that can easily be retrofit on PRS and Gibson stoptail guitars.

The Stoptail Bridge is precision CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum and is available in the following colors: Natural Aluminum, Gold Anodize, Black Anodize. Choice of Polished or Satin finish. The saddles, screws, studs and stud wells are all machined from solid brass billet and left unplated for better tonal transfer. These are also available in Nickel, Gold or Black plating.

According to John Mann, founder of MannMade USA and designer of the innovative bridge, “Many PRS guitars are equipped with non-adjustable stoptail bridges, and it seems like a lot of owners want to have an intonatable solution. Our bridge offers a number of benefits for these folks.”

“With the new MannMade USA Intonatable Stoptail Bridge, there is no need for locking studs, because they are machined to exacting tolerances. As a result, they couple solidly with both the bridge and the guitar, which improves tone transfer. Plus, they won’t flop around or fall off and ding the top of the guitar when changing strings.”

Get more information at MannMadeUSA.com.

Click here to comment

Mark Holcomb of Periphery Australian PRS Clinics Announced

mark holcomb
Well this is a bit exciting, except if you are a Periphery fan and happen to live outside of Brisbane and Sydney… sorry. Mark Holcomb recently announced a signature PRS Custom 24 7 string Guitar which is very tasty and loaded with his new signature Seymour Duncan Alpha Omega pickups. As Mark is about to descend upon little old Aussie-land with a certain band of his a couple of Music shops have thankfully managed to shoehorn a couple of guitar clinics into his busy diary.

The first is 12:00 PM October 22 at Music Express Brisbane (2048 Logan Rd. QLD, Brisbane) and the second is October 24 in my home town of Sydney 12:00 PM at Guitar Factory, 255 Church St, Parramatta. No idea why Parramatta!? ah well you’ll all have to get the train out there. It will be worth it though.

Click here to comment

Positive Grid Announces BIAS Distortion Beta Program

BIAS Distortion
Positive Grid recently released BIAS FX which is the perfect compliment to BIAS Amp as it contains a plethora of perfectly modelled stomp and rack effects to use for recording or performing. In true Positive Grid style they have taken this idea a step further by creating a new product called BIAS Distortion which allows you to create your own distortion pedal by designing the circuit and down to a transistors level!

BIAS Distortion also includes the ability to tone match any real life analog distortion pedal which is an awesome idea as hopefully you will be able to download tones from other users which means you get access to the sounds of a huge range of expensive stomp boxes, woo! Of course you will also be able to integrate BIAS Distortion with BIAS FX dual signal chains, and seamlessly transfer distortion pedal creations between iPad and Mac/Win devices.

To sign up for the beta testing program head over to http://www.positivegrid.com/bias-pedal/.

Click here to comment

Fractal Audio AX8 Amp Modelling Floor Unit Imminent


The L.A. Amp Show last weekend saw the debut of the much anticipated Fractal Audio AX8 which is the floor unit version of their flagship Axe-Fx product and follows in the footsteps of the multi effect Fractal floor unit FX8. The AX8 is not exactly the same as it’s rack mounted big brother however, it apparently has the same amp and cab modeling but it features a stripped down effects section and smaller grid (4×8 vs 4×12). The two 450 MHz DSPs are for amp modeling and the other for effects/housekeeping. The same silent switch technology as the MFC-101 Mark III and FX-8 are used and the switches are assignable per patch via a new “Switch Assign Matrix” feature.

AX8_rear

Here are some more details from the Fractal forum: “…the switches are multi-function. They operate as preset, scene, looper or bypass switches. There are four expression pedal inputs. There is a stereo effects loop. The dedicated knobs control only those parameters for which they are indicated. There are five soft knobs under the display that are used for adjusting other parameters.”

AX8

Apparently the AX8 will cost just $1399 which is just over half the price of an Axe-FX II XL rack unit (without a floor controller).

Click here to comment