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NAMM 2011 - Editors' Picks, Day 2

NAMM 2011 - Editors' Picks, Day 2

Rebecca Dirks - Web Content Editor

Fender's 12 Teles
It’s impossible to not find a Tele to love in Fender’s array of 12 limited-edition models, which were built to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Telecaster. The dozen Teles here are meant to show how versatile the classic single-cutaway can be, and each is an experiment in pickups, wiring, wood, binding, inlays, and just about everything else that goes into a guitar. There are nods to popular players’ mods along the way, too. There’s a bamboo-laminate neck and top (right side, upper right) and wood reclaimed from an old bridge and barn (left side, upper right, and right side, upper middle, respectively). There are homages to the venerable rosewood Tele (right side, upper left) and Vintage Hot Rod ’52 Tele, the latter with a completely new innovation: brass saddles with an Allen head on each saddle that’s adjustable to get perfect intonation. It’s inspiring to see a company as historic and massive as Fender getting creative outside of the Custom Shop—even if they’re limited to around 500 pieces each. And if out-of-the-box isn’t your thing, they’ve combined the best vintage and modern aspects of the Tele in their official 60th Anniversary Telecaster (center). It’s a good day to be a Tele fan.

Ernie Ball Music Man Game Changer
Yes, I watched the hype videos and read the press materials, but seeing the Game Changer in action was not something I’ll soon forget—and not just because it was presented by guys in Hendrix and Elvis costumes. The guitar’s tonal range is impressive before it’s plugged into a computer—among other things, you can save totally analog presets to each position on a 5-way switch—but it’s even more astounding once you access the software and adjust tones in real time. With a USB cord and a click of a mouse, pickups go in and out of phase. Or you can pull up one of the many available artist presets and scroll through their tones. The mind-blowing part is that none of it is digital—this is not modeling, it’s real-time analog circuit adjustment via a computer. I can’t say I understand how they pull it off, but they absolutely do.

Source Audio Bass Envelope Filter
Source Audio’s latest pedal for bassists brings about as many funky options as one could possibly need: ¬¬. It sounds great on its own, but when it’s paired with the company’s Multiwave Bass Distortion Pro and Tri-Mod Wah, it creates crazy, synth-like bass tones. Source Audio is simultaneously releasing an Envelope Filter for guitar that is basically identical in features, except that the signal is 100 percent effected, while the bass signal has a wet/dry mix control.
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