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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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.
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.
Gear fanatics rejoice! Our cover story this month details the droolworthiest guitars, basses, amps, and effects from Musikmesse—Europe’s biggest show for new music toys. On top of that, we’ve got 18 guitar and bass reviews—including gear from G&L, Alvarez, Mesa/Boogie, Moog, TC Electronic, Greer, Matthews Effects, Mastro, Taurus, and Function f(x)—as well as a six-pedal overdrive roundup featuring stomps from J. Rockett Audio, Way Huge, T-Rex, SviSound, Visual Sound, and Sonic Fusion. Meanwhile, our totally stacked feature section includes interviews with Faith No More’s Billy Gould and Jon Hudson, Courtney Barnett, JD McPherson, Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch, Torche’s Steve Brooks and Jonathan Nuñez, and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard and Heath Fogg. Plus, we’ve got an eye-popping excerpt from celebrated photographer Jay Blakesberg’s new book, Guitars That Jam: Portraits of the World’s Most Storied Rock Guitars.