Twice a year we bring you a slew of guitar-modding projects to sate your DIY appetite. This time around we’ve got an entry-level piece on the dos and don’ts of building a parts guitar, a how-to on optimizing acoustic and electric guitar for lap-slide playing, and experimental builder Yuri Landman’s drone-guitar project for former Sonic Youth axe man Thurston Moore. Plus, we also have our usual gallery of readers’ DIY projects! In our artist section this month we climb aboard the Axes & Anchors rock cruise—which boasts performances by Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, and more—to take you behind the scenes on perhaps the most shredding boat ride ever. We also talk to Adam Hann from up-and-coming British neo-New Wave outfit the 1975, American Primitive acoustic guitarist Glenn Jones, and acclaimed Malian songwriter/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré. As for gear, our 13 reviews include two cool new reissues—Hagstrom’s Impala, and the Boss VB-2W Waza Craft Vibrato—T-Rex’s remarkable new Replicator tape delay, Vintage’s Jerry Donahue signature T-style guitar, Blackstar’s Artist 15, the Henriksen Bud amp, Line 6’s Helix multi-effector, and the Eastwood Surfcaster bass. We also take a look at unusual gadgets that really deliver—sometimes even saving the day.
Start the year off with a bang! Our cover story puts four shredding axes from EVH, PRS, B.C. Rich, and Blakhart through the PG review wringer to see which offers most bang for the buck—and with surprisingly great results across the board. Other gear reviews this month include the TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Mini, the D’Angelico EX-59, Fender’s Classic Player Rascal bass, Risen’s Legacy amp head, the Blackstar FLY 3 micro amp, Chase Bliss Audio’s Wombtone, Brubaker’s JXB Standard bass, the Tone Ranger Bustier, Livid Instruments’ Guitar Wing MIDI controller, the Piod What You Want 2, and Amptweaker’s TightDrive Pro. But that’s not all—our killer live-looping lesson also includes reviews of the new DigiTech JamMan Express XT, Boss, RC-1 Loop Station, and Hotone Wally. Meanwhile, our artist features this month include chats with blues master Rory Block, the eclectic and chronically underrated Sean Lennon, roots guru Steve Gunn, pedal-steel songstress Maggie Björklund, and hair-metal revivalists Black Veil Brides.
As always, PG brings you the fastest, most comprehensive, most insightful coverage of Summer NAMM—Nashville’s new-gear extravaganza. Look for pics, descriptions, and links to video demos on 31 of the coolest new guitars, basses, amps, effects, and accessories from the show. Artist interviews this month include Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti, Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan, Between the Buried and Me’s Paul Waggoner, Pharrell guitarist/session ace Brent Paschke, and Alex Edkins from noise-rock outfit METZ. Gear reviews include in-depth looks at the new PRS S2 Vela, B.C. Rich’s BCR6N acoustic, Hudson Electronics’ Broadcast, XITS Amps’ X10, the Electro-Harmonix Bad Stone, and Tronographic’s Boxidizer. We also take a look at five mid-priced 5-string basses from Ibanez, MTD, Dingwall, G&L, and Spector.