All About Amps Vol. 2
How tube amps work, tonal characters of the most common power tubes, and how to replace speakers properly.
Exclusive downloadable ebook.
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.
In our cover story this issue, we talk to Tal Wilkenfeld, the young bassist who gained worldwide attention backing Jeff Beck, about her stunning stylistic development as singer-songwriter, guitarist, and bandleader. Other artist features include chats with recent Rock Roll Hall of Fame inductees Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, and Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, as well as jazz virtuoso Julian Lage, Asking Alexandria’s Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell, world-music-bass-goddess-turned-vocalist/songwriter Esperanza Spalding, and former Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould. The latest in our Forgotten Heroes series looks at the ongoing, astonishingly prodigious career of studio ace Reggie Young—whose credits include stints with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and countless other legends. Meanwhile, DrowningInGuitars.com’s Frank Meyers—one of the world’s foremost experts on quirky vintage gear—takes us back in time to the 1960s amp-in-guitar craze. Our gear reviews include a roundup of six new dirt boxes—Mojo Hand Fx’s Sacred Cow, J Coloccia’s Id, Oddfellow’s the Bishop, the Zen Zero Red Crown, and Pettyjohn’s PettyDrive—in addition to reviews of Fender’s new Bassbreaker 45 and American Elite Precision bass, the Electro-Harmonix Super Pulsar, IK Multimedia’s iRig Acoustic, Cusack Music’s Reverb SME, Strymon’s Dig, the Dean Zelinsky LaVoce Z-Glide Custom, Blackstar’s Artist 15 combo, the Darkglass Microtubes B7K Ultra, the Pigtronix Echolution2 Ultra Pro, and 3Leaf Audio’s WonderLove envelope filter.