Five DIY flattop-maintenance and modding pieces covering everything from must-have tools to filing frets, installing strap locks, and mounting a soundhole pickup.
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Premier Guitar December 2015: PG spends the entire year putting a ridiculously diverse lineup of gear through a rigorous battery of tests, and this issue recaps the Premier Gear award-winning guitars, basses, stomps, amps, and accessories that blew our minds in 2015. And this is no snob’s club either—the coveted Premier Gear prize goes to a wide array of equipment that stands apart from the crowd due to astounding tones, flexibility, build quality, and value. We also have brand-new reviews on Cort’s Matt Bellamy signature guitar, the Vox AC10, La Bella’s Olinto bass, Benson’s Monarch combo, Analog Man’s Black Logo envelope filter, Hovercraft’s Ionostrofear Fuzz, the Boss Waza Craft DM-2 analog delay, and more. We’ve also got a full house in the artist-interview department: We talk to the one and only Billy F. Gibbons about his Afro-Cuban-inflected solo album, Perfectamundo, visit with classic-rock legend John Fogerty from Credence Clearwater Revival about his iconic career and new memoir, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, chat with Deafheaven’s Kerry McCoy about the brutal-but-ethereal New Bermuda, get psych-rock scion Kurt Vile’s story on his Southern-rock-tinged new album, and catch up with Brazilian nylon-string virtuoso Badi Assad about her new LP of pop and electronic-dance-music covers. And our latest Forgotten Heroes piece examines the life and career of Miles Davis sideman Pete Cosey, whose gnarly tones and playing hinted at a more “out” Hendrix.
This year’s annual Amp Issue features a smorgasbord of invaluable knowledge for guitarists and bassists—from beginners to advanced players. For starters, AmplifiedParts.com’s tube guru Kurt Prange goes deep on power tubes, detailing the crucial tonal characteristics, important historical developments, and quintessential reference recordings for EL34, EL84, 6L6, 6V6, KT88, and KT66 valves. Then Mark Gooday, founder of Ashdown Engineering and former head engineer at Trace Elliot—two of the most influential and highly respected new bass-amp companies of the last 30 years—demystifies power amp classes (A, B, and D), as well as how to read power ratings to ensure you get the tone and oomph requisite for your needs. PG Senior Editor Joe Gore’s The Recording Guitarist column also offers savvy tips for using popular plug-ins to generate stellar tones. Meanwhile, artist interviews this month include chats with former Gov’t Mule frontman and Allman Brothers all-star Warren Haynes, influential British guitarist Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention), fingerstyle acoustic guitarist Ryley Walker, and Ruban Nielson from garage-psych band Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Our latest Forgotten Heroes installment takes a look at the fascinating life and enduring legacy of Pops Staples—an influential gospel guitarist and friend and contemporary of blues gods Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, and Albert King. Gear reviews this month include guitar and bass toys from Electro-Harmonix, Eden, TC Electronic, Ibanez, Fender, Orange, Aria, Fishman, and more.
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.