Our cover feature this month taps the craniums of some of the most knowledgeable and esteemed pedal builders in the industry to serve up the story and gory visual glory on rare, weird stompboxes that inspired them. For both recording newbies and tracking vets, we survey the market of new and upcoming studio gear that’s specifically well suited to helping guitarists capture stellar audio at a variety of price points—from interfaces to apps, mics, and more. Artist interviews this month include Baroness frontman John Baizley, Dweezil Zappa, Mutoid Man’s Stephen Brodsky, DJ Williams, Caspian’s Philip Jamieson and Calvin Joss. We also take you inside Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience, a travelling exhibit making stops around the country. Gear reviews this month include Reverend’s Descent RA Baritone, the Jackson SLATXMGQ 3-6 Soloist, Faith’s Neptune acoustic, the Nace Amps Pro-18, Analog Outfitters’ Scanner, the Jordan Fuzztite, Fulltone’s 2B, Malekko’s Scrutator, the Demeter Bass 400, the Danelectro Baby Sitar, Wampler’s Low Blow, the Red Witch Zeus, and the Soundtwirl iOS app.
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.
We all know the usual suspects when it comes to amps that bring the heavy, but for those who want something crazier—something more off the combat-boot-beaten path—our cover story takes a look at obscure amps that absolutely destroy. Meanwhile, PG Bass Bench blogger Heiko Hoepfinger takes us inside The Holy Grail Guitar Show, an annual gathering of top luthiers that’s fast becoming the most talked about and respected guitar-gear gathering in Europe. Artist interviews this month include Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson, Shana Cleveland from wicked Seattle surf-rock outfit La Luz, flattop fingerstyle master Mark Goldenberg and jazz guru Eric Skye, Jazzmaster-wielding sonic agitator Ava Mendoza, and Tortoise’s Jeff Parker. Our latest Forgotten Heroes piece celebrates the amazing and irresistibly funky life of Kool & the Gang co-founder and bassist Robert “Kool” Bell. Gear reviews this month include the new PRS SE 277 baritone, the Ibanez Talman TM330, MXR’s new EVH 5150 Overdrive, the Carr Lincoln combo, Fender’s new Acoustic SFX amp, the Catalinbread Katzenkönig, DLS Effects’ RotoSPIN, Ampeg’s PF-50T, Mojo Hand Fx’s El Guapo, Providence’s Bass Boot Comp, the Siegmund Doppler Stereo combo, TC Electronic’s Hypergravity, DryBell’s Vibe Machine, Sire’s Marcus Miller signature 4-string, and a roundup of the latest loop-switchers from Boss, RJM Music, and Carl Martin.