Just in time for your holiday wish list, we bring you the best gear of the year. We also talk to Joe Satriani and Michael Anthony about the new Chickenfoot album, and interview Vince Gill about his new LP, Guitar Slinger-as well as his amazing vintage-guitar collection. In addition, we take you inside the new Chet Atkins exhibit at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, bring you an exclusive excerpt from photographer Neil Zlozower’s new book, Eddie Van Halen, and serve up a how-to on installing replacement pickups. To top it off, we profile Trev Wilkinson-designer of the Wilkinson tremolo and the new ATD HT440 self-tuning bridge-and look at how Paul Bigsby became one of the most innovative and revolutionary builders in modern guitar history. Gear reviews this month include the Egnater Tweaker-88, Perri Ink Protostar Custom, Carr Sportsman, Moog Moogerfooger MF-108M Cluster Flux, Traynor YBA300 and TC810, Rainsong S-OM1000N2, ESP James Hetfield Snakebyte, Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar, Peavey Session, and Bootleg Dawg Bass 4.
Take a look inside the incredible Rickenbacker instrument archive and at some of the most visually striking, influential, and groundbreaking instruments in modern music. Our artist interviews this month run the gamut from Nashville session ace Brent Mason talking about his new instructional DVD to former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans discussing his new tell-all book to shredmeisters Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes giving us the lowdown on the new Animals as Leaders album. We also visit with Top Hat Amps’ Brian Gerhard about his vintage Vox- and Marshall-style designs that are used by such renowned players as Steely Dan’s Walter Becker and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas. Reviews this month include the 3 Monkeys Virgil, MJ Guitars GrooveMaster, Hartke Kilo bass head, Mesa/Boogie Mini Rectifier Twenty-Five, Hagstrom Viking, Mario Guitars Serp, David Allen pickups, Spaceman Gemini III, Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay, and Two-Rock EXO 15.
Our annual “Pedal Issue” is one for the record books-literally: At 272 pages, it has been verified by Inquiry Management Systems, an independent publishing research firm, as the largest single issue of a US guitar magazine ever. It’s also the first PG ever to have four randomly distributed covers, each featuring a fully functional custom pedal with the issue’s cover lines printed directly on its face. (The pedals are a JAM Pedals RetroVibe, a DigiTech Whammy, a Diamond Pedals Halo Chorus, and an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, and you can enter to win them at premierguitar.com Oct. 19 through Nov. 16.) Inside, the issue is packed with 30+ stompbox reviews, three features-on Rolling Stone Ron Wood, Iron Maiden, and Zakk Wylde-a profile on “5 Boutique Stompbox Builders You Should Know,” a profile on Electro-Harmonix founder Mike Matthews, a wrap-up of Experience PRS 2010, and reviews of three guitars and two amps.