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.
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.
This month brings a trilogy of hot-rod makeovers that’ll pique the interest of all types of players: a commissioned ’80s PRS CE redo, a Squier Tele twangified with a Bigsby and Curtis Novak pickups, and a cheap axe transformed into a weird wonder by eccentric luthier Yuri Landman. Our artist features include interviews with rhythmic blues players Eric Bibb and Habib Koité about their Brothers in Bamako project, as well as a chat with Nashville hero JD Simo about his psychedelic rock debut. We also go inside the shop of legendary guitar tech and builder Bob Bradshaw. In the gear department, we review Teye’s R-Series La Gitana bass, Epiphone’s 1962 Sheraton E212T, the Roland GA-112 amp, Carvin’s HH2 Allan Holdsworth, Van Amps Sole-Mate Jr., and the Takamine P3MC acoustic. In pedal news, we take a look at Mesa/Boogie’s new line, TC Electronic’s Flashback X4, the Strymon Mobius,and the Vox StompLab IIB for bass.