Fender Circuit DIY • How to Adjust Pickups • The Perfect Bass Line Cab Talk • Short-Scale Roundup • Reggae Tutorial • & More!
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Premier Guitar December 2015: PG spends the entire year putting a ridiculously diverse lineup of gear through a rigorous battery of tests, and this issue recaps the Premier Gear award-winning guitars, basses, stomps, amps, and accessories that blew our minds in 2015. And this is no snob’s club either—the coveted Premier Gear prize goes to a wide array of equipment that stands apart from the crowd due to astounding tones, flexibility, build quality, and value. We also have brand-new reviews on Cort’s Matt Bellamy signature guitar, the Vox AC10, La Bella’s Olinto bass, Benson’s Monarch combo, Analog Man’s Black Logo envelope filter, Hovercraft’s Ionostrofear Fuzz, the Boss Waza Craft DM-2 analog delay, and more. We’ve also got a full house in the artist-interview department: We talk to the one and only Billy F. Gibbons about his Afro-Cuban-inflected solo album, Perfectamundo, visit with classic-rock legend John Fogerty from Credence Clearwater Revival about his iconic career and new memoir, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, chat with Deafheaven’s Kerry McCoy about the brutal-but-ethereal New Bermuda, get psych-rock scion Kurt Vile’s story on his Southern-rock-tinged new album, and catch up with Brazilian nylon-string virtuoso Badi Assad about her new LP of pop and electronic-dance-music covers. And our latest Forgotten Heroes piece examines the life and career of Miles Davis sideman Pete Cosey, whose gnarly tones and playing hinted at a more “out” Hendrix.
This month our gear reviews include a killer array of acoustic tone toys—from Martin’s D Jr. to the Cole Clark CCFL2EC, Taylor’s 562ce, and parlor flattops from Fender and Ibanez, and DiMarzio’s new Black Angel soundhole pickup—as well as Marshall’s JCM 25/50 2555X Silver Jubilee head, the Ethos Clean-Fusion preamp, L.R. Baggs’ Stadium bass DI, Schroeder Amplification’s SA9+, the Keeley ME-8 Multi-Echo, SolidGoldFX’s Horizon, and Mike Lull’s TXB4 bass. Meanwhile, in our interviews section, famed record producers Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed), and Steve Evetts (the Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die) offer tips and tricks for recording crushing guitar tones, while Paul Gilbert, Nigerian Tuareg guitarist Bombino, Lukas Nelson (country icon Willie Nelson’s son), neo-bluegrass renegade Michael Daves, genre-spanning veteran Gary Lucas, Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere from folk-rock outfit Woods, and world-music guitar guru Adam Rudolph dissect the songwriting, recording, and gear behind their latest albums.
PG scoured the floor at the annual Summer NAMM gear expo in Nashville, and our cover story this issue shares the deets on the most enticing new guitars, basses, amps, effects, and doodads to watch for at your local shop. In other gear coverage, our reviews section includes a practice-amp roundup that gives you the straight dirt on five new combos—the Marshall CODE 25, Vox AV30, Ibanez TSA5TVR, Orange Crush 35RT, and Roland Blues Cube—as well as reviews of Fender’s new American Elite Telecaster, Peavey’s revamped Classic 30, Schecter’s Michael Anthony signature 4-string, the Alvarez Delta00TSB, Source Audio’s Nemesis, the Alexander La Calavera, EarthQuaker Devices’ Spatial Delivery, the Ashdown RM-500-EVO, Ibanez’s Mini Chorus, Jim Dunlop’s Mini Volume, Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher, and more. Meanwhile, our interviews this month include chats with Les Claypool and Sean Lennon, Bjarte Lund Rolland and Maciek Ofstad from Norwegian metal outfit Kvelertak, former Black Crowe Rich Robinson, Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi, Eric Krasno, and Scandinavian experimental guitarist Stian Westerhus.