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Author Archives: Phil Feser

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 (more…)

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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 (more…)

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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 (more…)

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Yamaha THR10

Practice Perfection?
 
The Yamaha THR10

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 (more…)

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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 (more…)

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Traynor’s Darkhorse DH15H

Canadian Bakin’
 
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Hugely popular in its native Canada, Traynor amps are a formidable force from north of the 49th parallel and its line includes a variety of quality tube amps. The company’s latest “lunchbox” amp is the (more…)

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Lazy J 20

Deluxe inspiration
 
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The Lazy J 20 Price: $2,700 (reviewed) Contact: www.lazyjprojects.com After moving to England and leaving behind the vintage Fender Deluxe he modified as a gigging amp, Jesse Hoff decided to build a new amplifier from scratch, using the modded Deluxe as his inspiration. After many (more…)

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Carvin’s HH2 Allan Holdsworth

Off With Their Heads
 

Carvin HH2 Allan Holdsworth Price: $1,199.00 (base); $1703.00 (tested) Info: www.carvin.com. Headless guitars and basses, which had their heyday back in the big-hair/thin-necktie ’80s (think Power Windows-era Geddy Lee), still have a few diehard fans who like the instruments’ compact, lightweight design. But for the (more…)

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Ruppert Acouswitch and Basswitch IQ DIs

Switching Up
 
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Ruppert Acouswitch and Basswitch IQ DIs Price: $600 each with gigbag Info: www.rmi.lu. Part DI, part preamp, and part A/B switcher all rolled into one pedal with a big emphasis on quality, versatility, and reliability, Ruppert Musical Instruments’ flagship Basswitch and Acouswitch share an 8.5″ (more…)

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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 (more…)

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