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This month we bring you the industry’s fastest and most comprehensive summary of the world’s biggest gear show-more then 30 of the coolest new guitar and bass toys from Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Germany. We also talk to avant-jazz mastermind Bill Frisell about his new Floratone album, and then chat with riff-rocker Billy Duffy about using his Gretsches and multi-amp setup on the Cult’s new Choice of Weapon. We also take you to New York City’s theater district to talk to the guitar gurus who bring 6-string glory to three of Broadway’s hottest numbers-Book of Mormon,Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, and Rock of Ages. We also shine the spotlight on the astonishing career of Forgotten Hero Johnny “Guitar” Watson-a funk icon whose groovin’ lines have been sending aftershocks through modern music for 30+ years. Then, for both novices and vets, we delve into the oft-overlooked tonal implications of steel strings and picks with two in-depth features that explain archaic terminology and suggest new ways to approach your sound. Reviews this month include the new Gibson Jeff Tweedy SG, Jackson Ampworks Newcastle, Ibanez Gerald Veasley 6-string bass, Taylor 710ce Rosewood, Alairex H.A.L.O. overdrive, Jason Z. Schroeder Chopper T-Pine, Mojo Hand Nebula IV phaser, Orange OR50H reissue head, Rivera Sustain Shaman, and Peavey Headliner bass head and 4×10 cab.
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 talk to Rush’s legendary guitar-and-bass duo, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, about their new album, Clockwork Angels, as well as their favorite road and studio gear. We also interview Kim Thayil from Soundgarden about the band’s new comeback album, King Animal. We also find out how Dave Knudson of Minus the Bear creates tapped rhythms and synth-y tones with four Line 6 Delay Modelers. Other features in this issue include a do-it-yourself story on setting up a Strat to play like a dream, a how-to guide on choosing a 1/4 cable, and a profile of Dagmar Custom Guitars. Our gear reviews this month include the Gibson J-45 PureVoice Custom, TV Jones Spectra Sonic C Melody baritone, Yamaha BB1025X 5-string bass, Marshall JMP-1C, Fender Select P bass, Malekko Plus Ultra 213, JHS Panther, Brunetti Singleman, Jetter Red Square, and Electroplex Rocket 35-EL.