Troubleshooting advice, speaker basics, in-depth tips from Celestion and Weber gurus, and a look at seven vintage “sleepers” that rule.
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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.
Our cover feature this month taps the craniums of some of the most knowledgeable and esteemed pedal builders in the industry to serve up the story and gory visual glory on rare, weird stompboxes that inspired them. For both recording newbies and tracking vets, we survey the market of new and upcoming studio gear that’s specifically well suited to helping guitarists capture stellar audio at a variety of price points—from interfaces to apps, mics, and more. Artist interviews this month include Baroness frontman John Baizley, Dweezil Zappa, Mutoid Man’s Stephen Brodsky, DJ Williams, Caspian’s Philip Jamieson and Calvin Joss. We also take you inside Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience, a travelling exhibit making stops around the country. Gear reviews this month include Reverend’s Descent RA Baritone, the Jackson SLATXMGQ 3-6 Soloist, Faith’s Neptune acoustic, the Nace Amps Pro-18, Analog Outfitters’ Scanner, the Jordan Fuzztite, Fulltone’s 2B, Malekko’s Scrutator, the Demeter Bass 400, the Danelectro Baby Sitar, Wampler’s Low Blow, the Red Witch Zeus, and the Soundtwirl iOS app.
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.