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Author Archives: Phil Feser

Amptweaker’s TightFuzz and Bass TightFuzz

A Good Buzz
 
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Amptweaker’s TightFuzz and Bass TightFuzz Price: $280 retail/$199 street (TightFuzz); $310 retail, $219 street (Bass TightFuzz) Info: www.amptweaker.com. Since the birth of the fuzz pedal in 1960s, its scratchy, buzzy, sometimes “psychedelic” sound has freed the creativity of many guitar players. Now, the crew at Amptweaker is seeking to feed that creative “buzz” with its […]

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Carvin Steve Vai Legacy 3 VL300

The Legend Continues
 
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Carvin Steve Vai Legacy 3 VL300 Price: $899 Info: www.carvin.com. For more than 13 years, Steve Vai has been collaborating with Carvin on a signature amp line, and their third-generation Legacy 3 VL300 sports a new look, added features, and tons of Vai vibe. At first glance, the Legacy 3 looks a bit like a […]

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Carr Impala

Big-Block Tone
 
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Carr Impala Price: $2,490 (retail, in black); $2,640 (two-tone) Info: www.carramps.com. While the new Carr Impala amplifier gets its name and some of its aesthetic inspiration from the classic Chevy muscle car, its tone inspiration comes from one of the classic ’60 workhorse amps – the Fender Bassman. The Impala’s overall look and vibe are […]

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G&L Fallout

Form Follows Function
 
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G&L Fallout Price: $1,400 (retail) Info: www.glguitars.com. From automobiles to kitchen appliances to, of course, electric guitars, designers have gotten a lot of mileage out of retro style in the past decade or so. When these designs truly succeed, however, is when they combine the stylish panache of days gone by with modern functionality, thereby […]

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The Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi

Smooth Successor
 
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Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi Price: $133 (list)/$99.75 (street). Contact: ehx.com. The Big Muff Pi overdrive is the effect stompbox that put Electro-Harmonix on the map, and in the decades since its introduction, it has undergone changes both subtle and substantial. Today, the company’s lineup includes no fewer than 10 versions including the newest, […]

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Awesome Musical Instruments T3 Pickup Switch Upgrade

Wicked Switch
 
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Awesome Musical Instruments T3 Pickup Switch Upgrade Price: $149.99 (black or white three-ply); $164.99 (white pearloid); $169.99 (brown tortoiseshell) Info: www.awesome-guitars.com. When Leo Fender was designing the Strat back in the early ’50s, he equipped it with a surplus three-way pickup selector. Three pickups, three choices – simple and straightforward. Players ever since have tried to […]

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Mesa/Boogie Drive Pedals

Four on the Floor
 
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Mesa/Boogie Drive Pedals Price: $179 (Tone-Burst, Grid Slammer and Flux-Drive); $199 (Throttle Box) Info: www.mesaboogie.com. Long a stalwart in the world of guitar amplification, California-based Mesa/Boogie has stomped into the world of effects pedals with four new releases: the handmade Tone-Burst, Flux-Drive, Grid Slammer, and Throttle Box drive pedals are housed in heavy-duty die-cast 2.87″ […]

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Cort’s Sunset I and II

Jonesin’ For Tone
 
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Cort’s Sunset I and II Price: $1,195 (Sunset I), $750 (Sunset II) Info: www.cortguitars.com When Cort isn’t busy making guitars and basses for major musical instrument companies, they’re hard at work building some pretty cool instruments under their own name. From jazz boxes to the Gene Simmons AXE Electric Bass, Cort covers a lot of […]

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Yamaha THR10

Practice Perfection?
 
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Yamaha THR10 Price: $299 Contact: usa.yamaha.com. As a rule of thumb, practice amps are a compromise. Blissfully portable, they typically lack tone and features. Yet whether in a bedroom or hotel room, a practice amp should help inspire an artist by making practice more pleasure than chore. Yamaha’s THR10 is a definite step in the […]

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Crazy Tube Circuits Stardust, Splash MKII, and Pin Up Fuzz

Pure Sanity
 
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Crazy Tube Circuits Stardust, Splash MKII, and Pin Up Fuzz Price: $290 (splash MKll); $260 (Pin Up Fuzz); $235 (Stardust) Contact: www.crazytubecircuits.com Athens, Greece – birthplace of the Olympics, democracy, Western philosophy – and killer boutique effects. Under the aegis of Christos Ntaifotis, Crazy Tube Circuits has been building pedals since 2005 with the goal […]

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