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Author Archives: Tom Guerra

Jay Geils

Blues and Archtop
 
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If you grew up listening to music in the ’70s, you probably associate the name J. Geils with a five-piece band that played raucous rock and roll to hip-shaking partiers. Led by guitarist John “Jay” Geils, the group toured the world and recorded more than a dozen albums, selling millions through the early ’80s. Originally […]

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Goodtone Roadrage PD, Mad Professor Golden Cello

Secret Weapons
 
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Goodtone Roadrage PD, Mad Professor Golden Cello Price: $155 Info: www.goodtone.com. Goodtone Amps builder Norm Matthews has a rep for building noteable guitar amps, and more recently he delved into effects pedals. Matthews’ first box is the Roadrage PD, a true-bypass, two-stage MOSFET-based unit designed to deliver neutral clean gain boost or overdrive. In other […]

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Bare Knuckle Pickups’ PAT Pend, Flat ’52, and Mule

Bruising Tones
 
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Bare Knuckle Pickups’ PAT Pend, Flat ’52, and Mule Price: $125-$340 Info: www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk. From the ever-expanding world of boutique pickups comes a builder out of southwest England who creates a handmade, hard-hitting alternative – Bare Knuckle Pickups. We received three sets of pickups from Bare Knuckle; the Mule (humbuckers), Blackguard Flat ’52 Series (for Teles), […]

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Music Man Game Changer

Twelve Tons of Tone
 
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Music Man Game Changer Price: $2,275 (street) Contact: www.gamechanger.music-man.com Since the introduction of the electric guitar, builders have sought ways to increase the variety of tones that can be had from an instrument; in 1959, Gibson created the Varitone circuit for its ES-345, and in the decades since, virtually every company has attempted some means […]

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Sitori Sonics pedals

New Highs with Sitori Sonics’ Doob Dreamer, Tidal Phase, and Reel Repeat
 
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Sitori Sonics pedals Price: $188 list (Doob Dreamer, Reel Repeat); $168 (Tidal Phase) Info: sitorisonics.com. Despite the vast possibilities of electronic guitar effects, boutique pedal builders perhaps sometimes focus their effort in the cheeky names to evoke a vibe. Sitori Sonics is no exception, with offerings such as the Doob Dreamer, Tidal Phase, and Reel […]

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Colby Dual Tone Booster 50

Double Versatile
 
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Colby DTB50 Price: $3,800 (head); $750 (cabinet) Contact: www.colbyamps.com From 1978 through 2010, Mitch Colby helped Marshall become a preeminent name in amplifiers. He recently founded Colby Amplification, where he builds amps by hand, one at a time, and his first model, the Dual Tone Booster (dtb), was built in collaboration with Jim Weider, best […]

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Brian Ray

From Blues to Beatles
 
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Brian Ray spent the last 11 years playing guitar as Paul McCartney’s side man. While such duty would be a career topper for pretty much any player, Ray is also thrilled about his new band, The Bayonets, and his forthcoming signature-model Gibson. How does one get a gig with a Beatle? Well, the gig came […]

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The Siegmund Doppler Vibe

The Faster We Go, the Rounder We Get
 
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Siegmund Doppler Vibe Price: $495 Info: www.siegmundguitars.com. It’s been said that Buddy Guy was the first guitarist to put his instrument through a Leslie rotating speaker. Supposedly, this was done in a pinch after his amp crapped out during a 1965 session for Junior Wells’ seminal Hoodoo Man Blues, but the result was a fresh […]

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Budda Verbmaster 112

Versatile 18-Watter
 
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Budda Verbmaster 112 Price: $1,800 (street) Contact: budda.com As part of its Hand-Wired series, Budda has reissued the tube-rectified Verbmaster 1×12 combo that differs from similarly powered amps because it’s a two-channel with reverb and a second (hotter) input. The Verbmaster uses the same A/B high-gain, low-wattage circuit as Budda’s Twinmaster, but with a three-spring […]

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Andy Fraser

Finally Free
 

Andy Frasier In the late 1960s, Free emerged as a four-piece blues rock powerhouse – a bridge between Cream and Led Zeppelin. Fronted by the incredible voice of Paul Rodgers and the stinging guitar of Paul Kossoff, the group’s rhythm section consisted of Andy Fraser on bass and Simon Kirke on drums. Besides being a […]

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