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.
PG scoured the floor at the annual Summer NAMM gear expo in Nashville, and our cover story this issue shares the deets on the most enticing new guitars, basses, amps, effects, and doodads to watch for at your local shop. In other gear coverage, our reviews section includes a practice-amp roundup that gives you the straight dirt on five new combos—the Marshall CODE 25, Vox AV30, Ibanez TSA5TVR, Orange Crush 35RT, and Roland Blues Cube—as well as reviews of Fender’s new American Elite Telecaster, Peavey’s revamped Classic 30, Schecter’s Michael Anthony signature 4-string, the Alvarez Delta00TSB, Source Audio’s Nemesis, the Alexander La Calavera, EarthQuaker Devices’ Spatial Delivery, the Ashdown RM-500-EVO, Ibanez’s Mini Chorus, Jim Dunlop’s Mini Volume, Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher, and more. Meanwhile, our interviews this month include chats with Les Claypool and Sean Lennon, Bjarte Lund Rolland and Maciek Ofstad from Norwegian metal outfit Kvelertak, former Black Crowe Rich Robinson, Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi, Eric Krasno, and Scandinavian experimental guitarist Stian Westerhus.
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.