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.
Pedal freaks rejoice! We’ve got info and close-up photos of 10 of the coolest stomp stations from our recent Rig Rundowns—from Pixies to Brent Mason, the War on Drugs, Larry Carlton, Brand New, Jonny Lang, Death from Above 1979, Bring Me the Horizon, the Gaslight Anthem, and Third Eye Blind. Then we’ve got a gallery of your pedalboards, which often give the pros’ boards a serious run for their money. We’ve also got a review roundup of “spring-reverb” pedals—Subdecay’s Super Spring Theory, Mojo Hand Fx’s Dewdrop, and Catalinbread’s Topanga—new photos from our Gwar and Lucinda Williams Rig Rundown video shoots, and a DIY feature with setup and maintenance tips for 12-string guitars. Our artist interviews this month include chats with Robert Pollard, Cancer Bats’ Scott Middleton, and Consider the Source’s Gabriel Marin. Other gear reviews include toys from MXR, Eastwood, Veillette, Tone Bakery, TC Electronic, T-Rex, Schertler, BC Audio, Red Witch, Outlaw, Electro-Harmonix, and Stone Deaf.
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.