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Author Archives: Phil Feser

Dynamic Amplifiers 2040 Series

Tone to "Dy" For
 
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Dynamic Amps 2040 series Price:  $2,570 (VA Combo) David Carambula’s Dynamic 2040 series of amplifiers consists of three models: Vintage American (VA), Vintage British (VB), and the HG DynaLead. All use class AB single-channel design that can utilize a variety of output tubes, with output reduction, tube rectifier, tube-driven tremolo, spring reverb, welded-aluminum chassis, point-to-point […]

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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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Fender’s J Mascis

Fender’s J Mascis Artist Jazzmaster - J’s Rockin’ Axe
 
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Introduced in the late 1950s as Fender’s “jazz guitar,” the Jazzmaster was also supposed to compete in the market with Gibson’s semi-hollow ES line. But despite its very specific moniker, the guitar never caught on with the jazz crowd. Lucky for Leo, the Jazzmaster was hijacked by many of the top surf and instrumental bands […]

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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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PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow

Multi-Functional Gem
 
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While most guitarists are familiar with PRS (and some dream every day of adding one of the company’s Private Stock axes to their collection), the company’s import SE line typically gets much less play in the git-tar press. Developed at the request of Carlos Santana so beginners and “weekend warriors” could experience playing a PRS […]

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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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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 would, were it not for the fact a Leslie cab can […]

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The Drew & Sebastian Avenger

Multi-“caster”
 
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  At first glance, the D&S Avenger looks like a long-lost prototype from Leo’s shop, with its offset-waist shape and familiar pickup/hardware/control setup. The Avenger’s two-piece alder body sports a well-executed tobacco-sunburst finish and deep contours. Its one-piece 25.5″-scale bolt-on maple neck has a vintage C profile, aged/tinted poly finish with modern 9.5″-radius fretboard and […]

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PRS P22

Split Personality
 
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PRS P22 Price: $6,092 (as tested, retail), $3630 (street) Info: prsguitars.com. While PRS has for several years offered a piezo bridge-pickup system in its Hollowbody models, it recently worked with LR Baggs to improve their collaborative piezo, and the end result is being offered for the first time on a production PRS solidbody. The P22 […]

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