Back Issues

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  • 2016 Issue 05 May

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    Premier Guitar May 2016: Twice a year we bring you a slew of guitar-modding projects to sate your DIY appetite. This time around we’ve got an entry-level piece on the dos and don’ts of building a parts guitar, a how-to on optimizing acoustic and electric guitar for lap-slide playing, and experimental builder Yuri Landman’s drone-guitar project for former Sonic Youth axe man Thurston Moore. Plus, we also have our usual gallery of readers’ DIY projects! In our artist section this month we climb aboard the Axes & Anchors rock cruise—which boasts performances by Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, and more—to take you behind the scenes on perhaps the most shredding boat ride ever. We also talk to Adam Hann from up-and-coming British neo-New Wave outfit the 1975, American Primitive acoustic guitarist Glenn Jones, and acclaimed Malian songwriter/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré. As for gear, our 13 reviews include two cool new reissues—Hagstrom’s Impala, and the Boss VB-2W Waza Craft Vibrato—T-Rex’s remarkable new Replicator tape delay, Vintage’s Jerry Donahue signature T-style guitar, Blackstar’s Artist 15, the Henriksen Bud amp, Line 6’s Helix multi-effector, and the Eastwood Surfcaster bass. We also take a look at unusual gadgets that really deliver—sometimes even saving the day.

  • 2016 Issue 04 April

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    Premier Guitar April 2016: Looking for your next gear fix? Our cover story this month takes you inside the Winter 2016 NAMM show to give you a look at the most intriguing new guitars, basses, amps, effects, and accessories to keep your eyes peeled for at your local shop.
Meanwhile, our review lineup assesses 13 new tone toys, including Fender’s Jimi Hendrix Strat, Warwick’s Adam Clayton signature bass, the MXR Carbon Copy Bright, Allen Eden’s 1987 solidbody, the Radial Headload, Ventura Valve Amplifiers’ VVA50, the Echopark F-1 Dual Germanium fuzz, Magnetic Effects White Atom, Bergantino’s B|Amp, and Tyyster’s Pelti 12-string. Our artist features this issue includechats with Stephen Carpenter and Chino Moreno of Deftones, Ben Harper, Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale, Lucinda Williams and Bill Frisell, jazz guitarist Liberty Ellman, and John Jorgenson. We’ve also got a roundtable discussion with Parliament-Funkadelic’s George Clinton and guitarists Michael Hampton (aka Kidd Funkadelic), Dewayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight, and Ricky Rouse about the seminal funk outfit’s history and the gear, techniques, and musical approaches on their R&B masterpieces. To top things off, we offer tips and tricks on how to create quality recordings on the go with your phone, tablet, or laptop.

  • 2015 Issue 11 November

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    Premier Guitar November 2015: Our features this month are all over the place. Cover artist Gary Clark Jr. ponders his eagerly anticipated new album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, Iron Maiden’s Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers discuss the triple-guitar attack of their 16th studio album, avant guitarist Mary Halvorson talks about blurring the lines between trad jazz and experimental rock, Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes opines about the tongue-in-cheek grooves from Zipper Down, and Dean Fertita from Jack White’s other other band, Dead Weather, sets the record straight on how much his drum-playing boss actually bossed him around on the raging fretwork for Dodge & Burn. As for gear, twice a year PG brings you a boatload of rad features on ways to mod your axes. This time the lineup starts with a photo-illustrated primer on how to solder, proceeds to a piece on experimenting with pot and capacitor values by Falbo Guitars luthier (and former Seymour Duncan pickup designer) Frank Falbo, and culminates with Senior Editor Joe Gore’s review roundup of five sets of vintage-style Strat pickups. We also take a look at five very different luthiers striving to make their mark in the Middle East. Reviews this month include Peavey’s 6505 MH, EarthQuaker Device’s Park Fuzz Sound, the Maxon Hybrid Bass Driver, Catalinbread’s Fuzzrite, the PureSalem El Gordo, Dean Zelinsky Guitars’ Mule bass, the Michael Kelly Triad 10-string acoustic, and more

  • 2015 Issue 10 October

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    Premier Guitar October 2015: Widely copied but never matched, our annual Pedal Issue skips the endless lists of catalog fluff and instead digs deep to offer insights and audio samples that help you figure out which of the coolest new tone toys might match your needs. This year we take a look at 34 of the latest stomps from industry heavyweights, revered boutique gurus, upstart tweakers, and everything in between. Other reviews this issue include Asher Guitars’ GT-3, Schecter’s Diamond-P Plus bass, and Guild’s M-140E acoustic. Our feature interviews this issue run a massive gamut—from Slayer’s Kerry King and Gary Holt to Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, jazz-fusion god John McLaughlin, Kristofer Steen of Swedish hardcore band Refused, acoustic legend Tommy Emmanuel, Slightly Stoopid, Soilwork, and a Forgotten Heroes piece on former Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart sideman Denny Walley.

  • 2014 Issue 12 December

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    Premier Guitar December 2014: Whether you’re looking for gift ideas for yourself or your favorite player this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with our recap of the coolest gear we reviewed this year—the 45 or so guitars, basses, amps, effects, and accessories that won our illustrious Premier Gear award during 2014. On top of that, we’ve also 13 brand-new reviews, including the Carr Skylark, Zemaitis Generation 2, Taylor 150e 12-string, Electro-Harmonix B9 Organ Machine, Eden I-90 Chorus, JHS Colour Box, Maxon FV10 Void, Electra Phoenix, and more. Our artist interviews this month include chats with Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Bill Frisell, Exodus’ Gary Holt and Lee Altus, Donna Grantis from Prince’s 3rdEyeGirl band, and Liam “Skin” Tyson and Justin Adams from Robert Plant’s Sensational Space Shifters band. We also bring you a cool, step-by-step DIY project for installing onboard effects in your guitar, as well as talk to the Trace Davis at Voodoo Amps.

  • 2014 Issue 11 November

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    Premier Guitar November 2014: We’re all over the place this month—in the coolest way possible. Our cover story chronicles the charity work of Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit that aims “to preserve the musical traditions of the South” by helping artists combat poverty—and providing them with gear to use in their art. Our artist interviews this month include chats with Steve Stevens, Blake Mills, the Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner, Nels Cline and Julian Lage, David Fiuczynski, and Flash Lightnin’s Darren Glover. We also look at the life and legacy of R&B legend/Forgotten Hero Curtis Mayfield, go inside Musicians Institute’s Guitar Craft program, and serve up a country-guitar lesson. Our gear reviews this month include Taylor’s T5z Custom, the Line 6 AMPLIFi 150, Caroline Guitar Company’s Haymaker, the McInturff Spitfire, Coldcraft’s Harmonic Tremolo v2, EarthQuaker Devices’ Arrows preamp, Nordstrand’s NVT A3 T-style pickups, the Darkglass Duality Dual Fuzz Engine, Gretsch’s G5620T-CB Electromatic Center Block, Pettyjohn’s PreDrive, and Yamaha’s TRBX505 5-string bass.

  • 2014 Issue 10 October

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    Premier Guitar October 2014: Our annual pedal issue never disappoints, and this year is no exception: Continuing our history of brilliant stompbox-adorned covers, we teamed with animator (and avid PG reader) John Achenbach from Twentieth Century Fox’s The Simpsons™ to bring you cover model Homer Simpson—who’s clearly experiencing tonal nirvana … or something. But who can blame him? Inside we’ve got 30 killer pedal reviews—everything from sweet delays like TC Electronic’s Alter Ego X4 and Death by Audio’s Ghost Delay, to crazy fuzzes by Electro-Harmonix and Daredevil, dirt boxes by Greer Amps and Stomp Under Foot, modulation stomps by Wampler and Carl Martin, and bass pedals by Malekko and Tech 21. Other pedal radness includes a DIY distortion-pedal project, and a captivating story by Tom “Analog Tom” Hughes on the history of delay devices. In this issue we also talk to Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and Fredrik Åkesson about the making of Pale Communion, Red Hot Chili Pepper Josh Klinghoffer and Clint Walsh about their Dot Hacker project, psych-rocker Ty Segall about his breakout Manipulator album, and jazz badass Joel Harrison about his latest.

  • 2014 Issue 09 September

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    Premier Guitar September 2014: The Summer NAMM gear show is here again, and as usual we’ve got the scoop on the new tone toys—30 of the coolest guitars and basses, amps, effects, and accessories from Nashville. We’ve also got two rad pickup stories this time around: One walks you through three must-try pickup-wiring DIY mods, and the other takes a look at six unsung vintage pickups from Teisco, Gretsch, Gibson, Franz, Burns, and Supro. Our artist interviews this month include chats with the mighty Slash, Brian Setzer, and Ernest Ranglin, and we also take a look at the life and legacy of jazz great Emily Remler. Reviews this month include gear from Danelectro, EarthQuaker Devices, Beigel Sound Labs/Tru-Tron, Maton, Cort, Universal Audio, DigiTech, Stomp Under Foot, Novax, Visual Sound, and more.

  • 2014 Issue 07 July

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    Premier Guitar July 2014: This month we take you back in time to check out 10 bizarre vintage-guitar oddities from the ’60s and ’70s—instruments from Avalon, Eko, Guyatone, Teisco, Wurlitzer, and more. In our interviews section, we talk to blues legend Johnny Winter, the War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel, the String Cheese Incident, and Mastery Bridges’ John Woodland. We also deep-dive with the Minnesota State College “Red Wing” luthiery school, and go aboard the Yes prog-rock cruise. And our latest Forgotten Heroes piece looks at the life of folk-rock legend Bruce “Mr. Tambourine Man” Langhorne. Gear reviews this month include the Mooer LoFi Machine, Hotone Opto Tremolo, MXR Echoplex Preamp, Fender Custom Shop 60th Anniversary 1954 Heavy Relic Strat, Keeley Seafoam Chorus, Zon Mosaic Mojo, Cordoba Acero D9-CE, ZVEX Fuzzolo, GJ2 Shredder, Electroplex Rocket 42, EBS Classic 500 and ClassicLine 210, and Hermida Dover Drive.

  • 2014 Issue 06 June

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    Premier Guitar June 2014: As usual, we’ve got a huge range of artist and gear coverage in store this month. Our feature interviews include chats with shred legend Joe Satriani about his new 15-CD box set, alt-folk acoustic badass Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek, Linkin Park’s Brad Delson, bluegrass virtuoso Bryan Sutton, and nylon-string shredders Rodrigo y Gabriela. Just in time for sunny-day strumming in the park, we’ve got a roundup of four 12-string acoustics—from Breedlove, Godin, Martin, and Fender—that cost less than $650. We also take a fascinating look at the prewar Martin D-45 flattop, possibly the most coveted acoustic guitar on the planet. This month we also talk to influential acoustic and electric luthier Joe Veillette about his contributions to instrument design. Our gear reviews this month include the Fender Coronado, Peavey ValveKing 20, Positive Grid’s BIAS amp-modeling app, the Musicvox MI-5 bass, Electro-Harmonix’s Soul Food, MTD’s Kingston Rubicon 6-22, the Orange Crush CR60C, Seymour Duncan’s Dirty Deeds Distortion, and Daring Audio’s Laser Cannon HD bass DI box.

  • 2014 Issue 05 May

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    Premier Guitar May 2014: Whether you’re into heavy music, indie rock, or something with serious hooks, we’ve got a barnburner for you this month: In our artist-feature section, we have a roundtable discussion on the state of metal and hardcore with guitarists from six of the heaviest bands on the planet—the Dillinger Escape Plan, Baroness, Funeral for a Friend, Deafheaven, Propagandhi, and Gorguts. We also talk to the guys from chart-topping neo-New Wavers Neon Trees, ska-metal vet Tim Mahoney from 311, and the dual-guitar team in Manchester Orchestra. Gear-wise, we’ve got the latest, greatest guitars, amps, and stompboxes from the Musikmesse trade show, as well as a recap of our greatest Rig Rundowns with headbanging bands. Our reviews include the new PRS Archon amp, Aristides 070 7-string, Jack White’s Third Man Bumble Buzz fuzz, Warwick RockBass Star Bass, TC Electronic Ditto X2 looper, DiPinto Melody Mach IV, Black Cat OD-Boost, Breedlove Premier Auditorium Rosewood, Dr. J Sparrow bass DI, and Origin Effects Cali76 Limiting Amplifier. We also get stories, tips, and tricks from a posse of guitarists on ways to get—and keep—a gig supporting singer-songwriters with big ambitions. As always, we’ve got an incredible set of columns from industry experts on everything from recording to budget eBay finds, vintage gems, bass advice, and home guitar projects.

  • 2014 Issue 04 April

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    Premier Guitar April 2014: Gear connoisseurs rejoice—we just got back from the Winter 2014 NAMM show in Anaheim, California, and here we’ve got the top 28 guitars, basses, amps, and stomps to covet in 2014. We also get to talk to John Frusciante about his long-awaited solo album, be a fly on the wall as bass legends Will Lee and Nathan East interview each other, and hear the latest from roots-rocker Jimbo Mathus and classical virtuoso Jason Vieaux. Meanwhile, luthier/pickup maker Tom Jones (TV Jones) writes about the history of the baritone guitar. Our gear reviews this month include the Line 6 POD HD Pro X, Eastwood Airline Map Baritone, Vox Night Train G2 NT15C1, Carvin PB4, MXR Phase 99, Lowden 32 SE, Synaptic Groove Snapperhead, Markbass Bass Multiamp, Solid Gold FX Zeta, and Fender Kingman Pro Custom.