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.
In addition to talking to Gene Baker about his involvement with the boutique consortium of designers at Premier Builders Guild, we go back in time to look at the rise of B.C. Rich-one of the most iconic guitar brands of the 1980s. Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and John Myung talk about thriving after the apocalypse of founding drummer Mike Portnoy’s departure and their subsequent epic, A Dramatic Turn of Events. We also interview Primus’ bass-and-guitar freak show-Les Claypool and Ler LaLonde-to find out how friendship and new tone toys resurrected the most bizarre power trio of the last 25 years. And then we talk to mind-boggling classical guitarist Matt Palmer about his evolution from learning Yngwie tunes to redefining classical guitar with an incredible new nylon-string picking technique. We also take you way outside the box with Avant Guitar 101: Alternate Attacks-a how-to feature that explores the unorthodox playing approaches of iconic experimentalists Keith Rowe and Fred Frith. In the gear-review room this month, we take a look at the new Line 6 POD HD, the Collings 290 DC, the Dingwall Z3 bass, the Blackstar HT-5R, the Amptweaker TightMetal, the Yamaha A3M acoustic, the DV Mark DV40 212, the MXR M87 Bass Compressor, the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18, and the Gretsch G6128T-GH George Harrison Signature Duo Jet.
Get wired! In this special issue, we serve up popular Mod Garage columnist Dirk Wacker’s top wiring mods for Strats, Teles, Les Pauls, and “super strats.” We also talk to Seymour Duncan Custom Shop “queen” Maricela “MJ” Juarez, who’s built pickups for everyone from Eddie Van Halen to Slash, Clapton, and Joe Bonamassa. We also bring you a report on all the rad new tone toys from Summer NAMM in Nashville, as well as an insider’s first look at Apple’s stunningly tricked-out new Logic Pro X recording suite. Our artist features this month include chats with Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy, Seattle bluesman Dudley Taft, and hard-rock Studio Legend Michael Wagener-whose credits include Metallica, Megadeth, Accept, and more. We also send one of our writers to check out Paul Gilbert’s Great Guitar Escape. Our 10 guitar and bass gear reviews this month include the G&L Superhawk Deluxe Jerry Cantrell, Martin BCPA4 acoustic bass, Dr. Z Antidote, Catalinbread Echorec, Pagelli Massari archtop, Port City Orleans bass preamp, Fargen Blackbird, Devi Ever FX Drone F*** Drone, Gibson LG-2 American Eagle, and Rotosound Fuzz.