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Author Archives: Phil Feser

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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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?
 
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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 (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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