Samick Motherlode

December 2014
more... GearGear Award 2008

2008 Premier Gear Awards

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VERSATILITY
If you’re recording on a budget, or gigging with limited space, it’s essential to have a few units capable of adapting to many different functions; and it’s always a good idea to have something that’s ready and willing to cover a lot of sonic territory. We’ll give kudos to anyone who can zero in on one thing well; when you do many things well, it warrants extra recognition. For providing us an outstanding array of uses in a single package, we present our Premier Gear Versatility Award.
Fractal Audio Axe-Fx
Fractal Audio Axe-Fx

The Axe-Fx rackmount effects processor boasts 49 amp types, 23 cabs and 25 effect types (with multiple iterations of each) that can be combined and routed endlessly. The versatility was through the roof, with so many convincing tones from stellar reverb to vintage classics with added controls that you may just take this everywhere, from the recording studio to the road. “I can’t say enough good things about this box… a road-worthy all-in-one guitar preamp/effects processor,” said reviewer Steve Ouimette [September ’08, online].

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Soldano 44 BCM Soldano 44 BCM

Reviewer Mike Mueller said [August ’08, online], “I would rank this amp’s versatility somewhere between unbelievable and ridiculous.” The 1x12 combo BCM—which stands for Blues City Music, where the amp is exclusively sold—is as capable of producing crunchy classic rock as it is sharp death metal. Its 50 watts are louder than expected, and the reverb holds its own. Add customizable tolex, speakers and preamp configurations, and you have even more options for tonal bliss.

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Xotic BB+

Xotic’s BB+ is a little box packed with a lot of tone. It was two channels that can be stacked in either direction, with tone controls for each. The flavors it produces include all of the usual suspects—plexi, brown sound, tweed—but leave the door wide open for tone shaping of your own. The versatility is key for live situations, complementing whatever needs you have. Reviewer Chris Burgess said [August ’08, online], “While it might not be the last boost/overdrive pedal you ever buy, it will certainly be the last one you’ll ever think about selling.”
Xotic BB+
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Arteffect Zenith Overdrive Arteffect Zenith Overdrive

An overdrive with a mess of available tones isn’t always a good thing, but the Zenith manages to make each one count. The list of tones available with some working of the pedal’s five knobs reads like a checklist of desired tones: clean boost, Marshall, Screamer, Southern rock, woman tone, metal, and more. To top it all off, the pedal blends into your existing rig and tone flawlessly.

“The Zenith is an anomaly, offering an incredibly broad range of tones with nearly all of them kicking ass.” – June ’08.
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