Premier Guitar September 2011: In this issue, we take you to two of the year’s biggest gear shows-Summer NAMM in Nashville and the Montreal Guitar Show. At the former, we saw the latest guitars, basses, amps, and effects from both big companies and smaller outfits, while the Montreal gathering found us talking to some of the most prestigious and forward-thinking acoustic and electric luthiers in the world. We’ve also got features on Def Leppard’s Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, and UK bluesman Matt Schofield. Gear reviews this issue include Kendrick Amplifiers V-Front 212, Vigier Guitars G.V. Wood, Jack Deville Electronics Mod Zero, Ampeg Portaflex PF-350 head and PF-210HE cabinet, Breedlove Guitars Focus SE Custom Walnut, Electro-Harmonix Stereo Talking Machine, Richmond Guitars Empire Mahogany, Crimsontone SE Mini Amp, ToneNation Heartland Standard, Peavey Void 4 PXD.
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 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.