Just in time for your holiday wish list, we bring you the best gear of the year. We also talk to Joe Satriani and Michael Anthony about the new Chickenfoot album, and interview Vince Gill about his new LP, Guitar Slinger-as well as his amazing vintage-guitar collection. In addition, we take you inside the new Chet Atkins exhibit at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, bring you an exclusive excerpt from photographer Neil Zlozower’s new book, Eddie Van Halen, and serve up a how-to on installing replacement pickups. To top it off, we profile Trev Wilkinson-designer of the Wilkinson tremolo and the new ATD HT440 self-tuning bridge-and look at how Paul Bigsby became one of the most innovative and revolutionary builders in modern guitar history. Gear reviews this month include the Egnater Tweaker-88, Perri Ink Protostar Custom, Carr Sportsman, Moog Moogerfooger MF-108M Cluster Flux, Traynor YBA300 and TC810, Rainsong S-OM1000N2, ESP James Hetfield Snakebyte, Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar, Peavey Session, and Bootleg Dawg Bass 4.
Our annual “Pedal Issue” is one for the record books-literally: At 272 pages, it has been verified by Inquiry Management Systems, an independent publishing research firm, as the largest single issue of a US guitar magazine ever. It’s also the first PG ever to have four randomly distributed covers, each featuring a fully functional custom pedal with the issue’s cover lines printed directly on its face. (The pedals are a JAM Pedals RetroVibe, a DigiTech Whammy, a Diamond Pedals Halo Chorus, and an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, and you can enter to win them at premierguitar.com Oct. 19 through Nov. 16.) Inside, the issue is packed with 30+ stompbox reviews, three features-on Rolling Stone Ron Wood, Iron Maiden, and Zakk Wylde-a profile on “5 Boutique Stompbox Builders You Should Know,” a profile on Electro-Harmonix founder Mike Matthews, a wrap-up of Experience PRS 2010, and reviews of three guitars and two amps.
This month we feature interviews with country superstar Keith Urban, jazz-fusion bass legend Stanley Clarke, and the two guitarists and bassist from the mind-bending prog-metal outfit Last Chance to Reason. We also bring you highlights from the 2011 NY Amp Show, and share the touching story of the late British Royal Air Force pilot Alf Binnie and the 1940s archtop that he treasured from the time he was imprisoned in a Nazi POW camp until his final days as a ski instructor in Canada. In addition, the third installment in our Forgotten Heroes series focuses on genre-hopping session legend Cornell Dupree. Reviews this month include the new Gibson Les Paul Studio Baritone, Fernandes V-Hawk Elite, Batson No. 5 acoustic, Anacon Technology Zagray! head, Empress Multidrive, Trombetta Tornita!, Metal Pedals XXX HardCore, Kustom KXB500 bass head and DE115NEO cab, Reverend Thundergun and Justice basses, and Vox TB35C2 Bruno combo.