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Category Archives: Gear

The Gretsch G5655T-CB Electromatic Center-Block

Gettin’ Gainy
 
The Gretsch G5655T-CB Electromatic Center-Block

The Gretsch G5655T-CB Electromatic Center-Block Price: $1,275.00 (list); $899.00 (street) Contact: www.gretschguitars.com It’s no secret that hollowbodies don’t excel in high-gain situations. Gretsch’s Electromatic line of guitars use a solid-spruce center block designed to cut feedback when things get loud. The smallest of (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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Visual Sound’s H20 V3 Liquid Chorus & Echo and VS-XO Premium Dual Overdrive

A Step Further
 
Visual Sound’s H20 V3 Liquid Chorus & Echo and VS-XO Premium Dual Overdrive

Visual Sound’s H20 V3 Liquid Chorus & Echo and VS-XO Premium Dual Overdrive Price: H20 V3 $199 (list); VS-XO $199 (list) Contact: www.visualsound.net Since bursting on the scene with its Visual Volume, Tennessee-based Visual (more…)

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ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker

Best Amp You've Never Heard of
 
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ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker Price: $1,200 Info: www.tonetroamps.com. On a quiet residential street in Minneapolis lives a mad scientist. Erstwhile rockabilly guitarist Jeffrey Falla is the brains behind ToneTron. And from his laboratory come some of the best-sounding amps you’ve never heard of. Falla began modifying and (more…)

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Providence Silky Drive and Stampede DT

Japanese Silk (and Stomp)
 
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Providence Silky Drive and Stampede DT Price: $394 (Silky Drive); $249 (Stampede DT) Info: www.providence-ltd.com. From the Land of the Rising Sun, Providence pedals have been building an audience among players in the Western Hemisphere thanks to a buzz regarding their versatility and stout construction. (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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3rd Power Dream Weaver

Tone Cubed
 
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3rd Power Dream Weaver Price: $3.299 Info: www.3rdpower.com. Purchasing a new amp is much more than buying a piece of gear – think of it as hiring out a job. In most cases, you hope this new employee will help you sound great, cover the (more…)

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Blackstar ID:30TVP

Tone in the Digital Domain
 
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Blackstar ID:30TVP Price: $399.99 Info: www.blackstarampsx.com. Since forming in 2007, Blackstar has been building user-friendly amplifiers and attracting high-profile artists like Leslie West, Neal Schon, and Gus G. The company’s ID series would seem to represent the next logical step: Blackstar’s first digital non-tube amp (more…)

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Brimstone Audio Crossover Distortion XD-1

Bi-Amping in a Box
 
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Brimstone Audio Crossover Distortion XD-1 Price: $299.95 Info: www.Brimstoneaudio.com. Brimstone Audio is a relatively new company that hit the ground running, entering the stomp-box arena with some innovative ideas that offer tone geeks unparalleled aural flexibility. The XD-1, for example, is essentially two amps in (more…)

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Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive

Love That Yellow Snow
 
Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive

Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive Price: $149 Contact: www.lotuspedaldesigns.com You may be wondering, “What in the world is an ‘underdrive’ pedal?” Good question. Well, you know the traffic-jam of overdrive pedals you likely have crowding around your amp, all designed to push it (more…)

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