This time around our annual Amp Issue is yet again packed with speaker-pumping coolness, including a cover story on seven amazing off-the-beaten-path vintage amps, six amp reviews—Vox’s MV50 AC, Hughes and Kettner’s Grandmeister Deluxe 40, the Hilbish Design Beta, and Black Wing’s Screamin’ Eagle 50, as well as Traynor’s SB106 bass combo and Glockenklang’s bass head—plus a feature all about speaker basics, and a DIY project on building your own rotary-speaker cab. Artist interviews this month include chats with Deep Purple’s Steve Morse, one-woman band Tash Sultana, legendary bassist/producer Bill Laswell, Havok’s David Sanchez and Reece Scruggs, and Franklin James Fisher and Lee Tesche from punk-gospel outfit Algiers. Meanwhile, in the print edition, we’ve got song tabs for Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage,” Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” The rest of our gear-review section is rounded out by deep-dives on Trace-Elliot’s Transit-A acoustic multi-effector, Curtis Novak’s JM-WR Jazzmaster Widerange pickups, the Dunable Cyclops solidbody, Death by Audio’s Evil Filter, the Martin O-18, Electro-Harmonix’s Bass Clone, Newman Guitars’ 6-String, and Mu-FX’s Phasor 2X.
Premier Guitar August 2016: To kick off our annual Amp Issue, we’ve enlisted Tim Schroeder of Schroeder Amplification (whose clients include Nels Cline and Jeff Tweedy) to show you crucial things to consider before adding a previously owned amp to your arsenal. We also take you inside Hi-Tone Amplification, a Columbus, Indiana, outfit that’s making painstaking handwired clones of vintage Hiwatt amps with the exclusive endorsement of the family of the legendary U.K. brand’s late founder, Dave Reeves. We also review three new guitar amps—the EVH 5150 III LBX, Supro Black Magick, and Laney GH50R—as well as two powerful new bass rigs, Peavey’s MiniMEGA and Genzler’s Magellan 800. Our artist features this issue include chats with J Mascis and Lou Barlow from Dinosaur Jr., Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart from bluesy avant-garage duo the Kills, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker of electro-pop outfit Garbage, seminal punk guitarist East Bay Ray of Dead Kennedys, and Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere from psych-folk band Woods. We’ve even got a lesson from senior editor Andy Ellis on how to adapt to the new techniques, tools, and fingerings needed to make a foray into the high lonesome aural wonderland of lap steel. Our review section is rounded out with looks at the PHred DockStar Flame Maple, Matthews Effects’ Astronomer reverb, Walrus Audio’s Vanguard phaser, the Chase Bliss Spectre flanger, Red Panda’s Bitmap, the Gretsch Streamliner G2622T, Fredric’s Deeply Unpleasant Companion, and the Providence Heat Blaster.