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Author Archives: Phil Feser

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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Fender Vaporizer Amp

Retro on 11
 
Fender Vaporizer Amp

Fender’s Vaporizer Amp Price: $399.99 (street) Info: www.fender.com Given the popularity of smartphones, tablets, digital recorders, and amp modeling in today’s music industry, when it comes to guitar amps, what was once “old school” is “retro cool” and remains incredibly popular among (more…)

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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 (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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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 (more…)

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DLS TR1 Tremolo and RotoSim

Swirls and Twirls
 
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The DLS TR1 Tremolo and RotoSim Price: $299 (RotoSim) , $249 (TR1) Info: www.dlseffects.com. If you’ve ever played guitar through a Leslie rotating-speaker cabinet, you’re aware of its lush 3D sound. Many guitarists would love to be able to use that sound – and (more…)

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St. Blues Juke Joint Series

Domestic Bliss
 
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St. Blues Juke Joint Series Price: $1,798 (list, Bluemaster/Mississippi Bluemaster); $1,898 (list, Legendary Bass) Contact: www.saintblues.com With the elimination of its Korean-made Pro Series and the introduction of the Juke Joint Series, Memphis-based St. Blues can boast an entire lineup made in the good ol’ (more…)

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The Electro-Harmonix Superego Synth Engine

Synthful
 
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Electro-Harmonix Superego Synth Engine Price: $283.60 (retail); $212.70 (street) Contact: www.ehx.com Building on the success of its Freeze Sound Retainer (a.k.a. the world’s shortest looper), the Electro-Harmonix Superego Synth Engine is a “short” sampler pedal, but with more control and options. The Superego not only (more…)

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