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.
This year’s annual Amp Issue features a smorgasbord of invaluable knowledge for guitarists and bassists—from beginners to advanced players. For starters, AmplifiedParts.com’s tube guru Kurt Prange goes deep on power tubes, detailing the crucial tonal characteristics, important historical developments, and quintessential reference recordings for EL34, EL84, 6L6, 6V6, KT88, and KT66 valves. Then Mark Gooday, founder of Ashdown Engineering and former head engineer at Trace Elliot—two of the most influential and highly respected new bass-amp companies of the last 30 years—demystifies power amp classes (A, B, and D), as well as how to read power ratings to ensure you get the tone and oomph requisite for your needs. PG Senior Editor Joe Gore’s The Recording Guitarist column also offers savvy tips for using popular plug-ins to generate stellar tones. Meanwhile, artist interviews this month include chats with former Gov’t Mule frontman and Allman Brothers all-star Warren Haynes, influential British guitarist Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention), fingerstyle acoustic guitarist Ryley Walker, and Ruban Nielson from garage-psych band Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Our latest Forgotten Heroes installment takes a look at the fascinating life and enduring legacy of Pops Staples—an influential gospel guitarist and friend and contemporary of blues gods Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, and Albert King. Gear reviews this month include guitar and bass toys from Electro-Harmonix, Eden, TC Electronic, Ibanez, Fender, Orange, Aria, Fishman, and more.
If you’re itching to mod your axe, you’ll find tons to dig in this issue. Our cover story is an in-depth interview with BilT Guitars’ Tim Thelen on the technical minutiae of installing effects in your guitar—as well as the musical epiphanies that await open-minded adventurers who walk this path. On the flip side, ace Nashville luthier Tony Nagy walks us through 10 mundane-seeming—but no less-impactful—ways to drastically alter the sound and responsiveness of your guitars for less than a hundred bucks. To round out the mod section we’ve even got a gallery of PG readers’ own guitar mods. Other features this month include interviews with the always-entertaining Noel Gallagher, prog-rock veteran Mike Rutherford, and Awolnation’s Adam Bruno. We’ve also got a Forgotten Heroes piece on late Chili Pepper Hillel Slovak, and acoustic troubadour Pete Huttlinger’s advice on gigging with your flattop. Gear reviews this issue include guitar and bass products from Dunlop, Taylor, Danelectro, Korg, Supro, Engl, Relish Guitars, Xotic, DV Mark, JHS, Keeley, and more.
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