The Hellecasters hero shows us epic finds ranging from an early-aughts Firebird to vintage weirdo axes and a steam-punk cigar box 3-string.
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Start the year off with a bang! Our cover story puts four shredding axes from EVH, PRS, B.C. Rich, and Blakhart through the PG review wringer to see which offers most bang for the buck—and with surprisingly great results across the board. Other gear reviews this month include the TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Mini, the D’Angelico EX-59, Fender’s Classic Player Rascal bass, Risen’s Legacy amp head, the Blackstar FLY 3 micro amp, Chase Bliss Audio’s Wombtone, Brubaker’s JXB Standard bass, the Tone Ranger Bustier, Livid Instruments’ Guitar Wing MIDI controller, the Piod What You Want 2, and Amptweaker’s TightDrive Pro. But that’s not all—our killer live-looping lesson also includes reviews of the new DigiTech JamMan Express XT, Boss, RC-1 Loop Station, and Hotone Wally. Meanwhile, our artist features this month include chats with blues master Rory Block, the eclectic and chronically underrated Sean Lennon, roots guru Steve Gunn, pedal-steel songstress Maggie Björklund, and hair-metal revivalists Black Veil Brides.
This month our gear reviews include a killer array of acoustic tone toys—from Martin’s D Jr. to the Cole Clark CCFL2EC, Taylor’s 562ce, and parlor flattops from Fender and Ibanez, and DiMarzio’s new Black Angel soundhole pickup—as well as Marshall’s JCM 25/50 2555X Silver Jubilee head, the Ethos Clean-Fusion preamp, L.R. Baggs’ Stadium bass DI, Schroeder Amplification’s SA9+, the Keeley ME-8 Multi-Echo, SolidGoldFX’s Horizon, and Mike Lull’s TXB4 bass. Meanwhile, in our interviews section, famed record producers Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed), and Steve Evetts (the Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die) offer tips and tricks for recording crushing guitar tones, while Paul Gilbert, Nigerian Tuareg guitarist Bombino, Lukas Nelson (country icon Willie Nelson’s son), neo-bluegrass renegade Michael Daves, genre-spanning veteran Gary Lucas, Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere from folk-rock outfit Woods, and world-music guitar guru Adam Rudolph dissect the songwriting, recording, and gear behind their latest albums.
We all know the usual suspects when it comes to amps that bring the heavy, but for those who want something crazier—something more off the combat-boot-beaten path—our cover story takes a look at obscure amps that absolutely destroy. Meanwhile, PG Bass Bench blogger Heiko Hoepfinger takes us inside The Holy Grail Guitar Show, an annual gathering of top luthiers that’s fast becoming the most talked about and respected guitar-gear gathering in Europe. Artist interviews this month include Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson, Shana Cleveland from wicked Seattle surf-rock outfit La Luz, flattop fingerstyle master Mark Goldenberg and jazz guru Eric Skye, Jazzmaster-wielding sonic agitator Ava Mendoza, and Tortoise’s Jeff Parker. Our latest Forgotten Heroes piece celebrates the amazing and irresistibly funky life of Kool & the Gang co-founder and bassist Robert “Kool” Bell. Gear reviews this month include the new PRS SE 277 baritone, the Ibanez Talman TM330, MXR’s new EVH 5150 Overdrive, the Carr Lincoln combo, Fender’s new Acoustic SFX amp, the Catalinbread Katzenkönig, DLS Effects’ RotoSPIN, Ampeg’s PF-50T, Mojo Hand Fx’s El Guapo, Providence’s Bass Boot Comp, the Siegmund Doppler Stereo combo, TC Electronic’s Hypergravity, DryBell’s Vibe Machine, Sire’s Marcus Miller signature 4-string, and a roundup of the latest loop-switchers from Boss, RJM Music, and Carl Martin.