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.
Looking for your next gear fix? Our cover story this month takes you inside the Winter 2016 NAMM show to give you a look at the most intriguing new guitars, basses, amps, effects, and accessories to keep your eyes peeled for at your local shop. Meanwhile, our review lineup assesses 13 new tone toys, including Fender’s Jimi Hendrix Strat, Warwick’s Adam Clayton signature bass, the MXR Carbon Copy Bright, Allen Eden’s 1987 solidbody, the Radial Headload, Ventura Valve Amplifiers’ VVA50, the Echopark F-1 Dual Germanium fuzz, Magnetic Effects White Atom, Bergantino’s B|Amp, and Tyyster’s Pelti 12-string. Our artist features this issue includechats with Stephen Carpenter and Chino Moreno of Deftones, Ben Harper, Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale, Lucinda Williams and Bill Frisell, jazz guitarist Liberty Ellman, and John Jorgenson. We’ve also got a roundtable discussion with Parliament-Funkadelic’s George Clinton and guitarists Michael Hampton (aka Kidd Funkadelic), Dewayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight, and Ricky Rouse about the seminal funk outfit’s history and the gear, techniques, and musical approaches on their R&B masterpieces. To top things off, we offer tips and tricks on how to create quality recordings on the go with your phone, tablet, or laptop.
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.