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NY Amp Show '10 - Pigtronix Philosopher King Demo

August 3, 2010
PG's Shawn Hammond is On Location at the 2010 NY Amp Show where he visits the Pigtronix room. In this segment, Pigtronix's Dave Koltai walks us through the new Philosopher King.

The Philosopher King is a compressor, sustainer, distortion and polyphonic amplitude synthesizer. Combining their award-winning Philosopher's Tone circuit with a next generation envelope generator, the Philosopher King takes tone several steps further with a full set of ADSR controls including swell, fade, hold level, speed range, one-shot mode, selectable auto reset, CV i/o and expression pedals for swell and fade times.

With the Swell and Fade functions switched off, the Philosopher King provides optical compression with endless sustain on tap. Adjustable compression (ratio), sustain (threshold) and treble (2k cut / boost) controls allow the musician to tailor the nature of the effect to meet the needs of the material at hand. From a subtle dash of added punch to massive, over-the-top howling sustain, the Philosopher King delivers clean, powerful optical compression. The grit control blends in a layer of sweet harmonic distortion that plays nice with other gain pedals as well as amplifier-generated tube distortion.

The Philosopher King's swell function provides a pick triggered volume swell effect. The volume swell can be reset at any moment by muting or held open by continuous playing. This "slow gear" type effect is smooth and controllable with variable timing from extremely fast to very slow.

The fade function can be used independently of the swell and is also pick triggered. A new feature of the decay cycle in this pedal is the ability to fade out from peak level only partially, bringing the audio down to a predetermined level, set by the hold control. The hold level is then maintained until the player releases the note to close the cycle. With the auto reset turned on, the cycle will begin again immediately, creating undulating amplitude modulation and even pulsating tremolo stutter effects at faster decay settings. With the auto-reset turned off, the player determines the exact timing for the beginning of the next cycle.

Another new feature is the one shot mode, which causes the Philosopher King to run through the swell / fade / hold / release cycle regardless of what is played after the cycle is triggered. In this mode, the Philosopher King creates complex waves of amplitude modulation on top of the music coming from your instrument. A trigger input jack allows the swell and fade functions to be controlled by an external source such as a band mate or drum track.
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NY Amp Show '10 - Anacon Tech Zagray Head Demo

August 3, 2010
PG's Shawn Hammond is On Location at the 2010 NY Amp Show where he visits the Anacon Technology room. In this segment, Anacon Tech's Aleksander Niemand shows us his latest prototype--the Zagray.

The Zagray is a single-channel amp loaded with one 12AY7 and two 12AX7 preamp tubes. The power section has an ECC82 and two 7591 tubes. Both the power and output transformers are custom-wound toroids. The front panel controls are Bottom, Bass Treble, Gain, Dip - Hump, Drive, Crystal, and Volume. Some noteworthy features include the SC/90/HB switch that is used to engage with a particular guitar/pickup configuration to give the tone a distinct voicing. Also, the Dip/Hump control has four positions set at half-octave frequencies.
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Summer NAMM '10 - Randall Amplifiers RT503 Head

August 3, 2010
PG's Brett Petrusek is On Location in Nashville, TN, for the 2010 Summer NAMM Show where he swings by the Randall Amplifiers booth. In this segment, we get to check out one of their newest heads--the RT503.

The RT503 is a 50 watt, 6L6-loaded (can also come with EL34s), 3-channel amplifier. Its three channels include, Channel 1 - Classic Clean - from sparkling to highly overdriven, Channel 2 - Classic Overdrive - from mild grit to full saturation, and Channel 3 - Modern Overdrive - full hi gain tone. Each channel's controls include Bass, Middle, and Treble (Channel 1 has a Bright switch) and the master controls are Volume and Reverb.
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Summer NAMM - Santa Cruz Guitar 1934 D,OM,F Custom

August 2, 2010
PG's Brett Petrusek is On Location in Nashville, TN, for the 2010 Summer NAMM Show where he visits the Santa Cruz Guitar booth. In this segment, Santa Cruz's head luthier Richard Hoover shows us several of their models, including the OM, F Custom, 1929 OO, and 1934 D.

The 1929's design pays homage to the simple and elegant instruments made for players enduring the Great Depression of 1929. Vintage inspired appointments include scalloped bracing, a period correct script style logo done tastefully in Ivoroid and beautifully executed ebony pyramid bridge, bridge pins, tuner buttons, head-plate and fretboard. The rosette is an exercise in austere elegance with a rich tortoise ring nestled in a vintage Ivoroid border. It is made with a mahogany body, back, and sides and the neck is joined at the 12th fret.

In the 1920's, the Orchestra Model was originally intended to be a large guitar capable of being heard over other orchestral instruments, hence the OM name. Although it fit the bill, its relatively large body was soon eclipsed by the mighty dreadnought. Fortunately, the OM had secured its place in history as a powerful and versatile voice for public performance. Santa Cruz was among the first modern builders to reintroduce this now smaller bodied favorite at the beginning of the Eighties. Their practice of combining the most desirable attributes of old and new, rather than copying, made for a very successful introduction of the Santa Cruz Guitar Company to a whole new audience. The OM provides clean, loud mid-range and trebles that are complimented by a slightly predominate bass. It features an Indian rosewood body, Sitka spruce top and the neck joins the body at the 14th fret.

The secret to the often superior tone of vintage instruments lies in aged woods (crystallized resins) and the relaxation of tensions built-in during manufacture. This is exactly what we account for in our 1934 D Model. Brazilian rosewood cut in the 1930's, Adirondack spruce top and bracing from the same era and real hot hide glue, that sets glass-like and resonant, give us the foundation for an authentic vintage sound. By applying our singular tuning and voicing talents and taking our time to ensure a relaxed assembly, we consistently access the secrets to the 'Old Bone' sound. The original lacquer formula, nitro-cellulose, is composed of the same stuff as trees; we are protecting and enhancing the sound of the instrument with a fine coating of wood! It is the only choice to complement this heirloom quality guitar.
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NY Amp Show '10 - Cavey's Creations Guitar & Bass

July 30, 2010
PG's Shawn Hammond is On Location at the 2010 NY Amp Show where he visits the Cavey's Creations room. In this segment, we get to check out some of Cavey's (Matt Blake) Creations that include custom guitars and basses.

The new company showed off two basses and one guitar. Matt "Cavey" Blake says he gets most of his design ideas from his other passion in life—hot rod cars. The guitar model is called Nailed is a 25.5" scale with an all maple body and neck with a paudak and yellow heart fretboard. It has a unique neck design in that Blake describes as "not a neck-thru and not a bolt-on, it's my version of both—it really seems to work." The Low Rider bass has Nordstrand pickups and is built on a 35" scale. Matt also built the guitar stand holding Cavey's Creations.

Cavey's Creations neck design uses two different pieces of solid wood for the fretboard and neck, which is also connected to wood surrounding the pickups.
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GALLERY: Robert Kantor's Swarovski Guitars and Custom Collection

July 30, 2010
See new Robert Kantor Swarovski crystal guitars, along with some of the unique pieces from his collection.
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Molten Voltage Molten MIDI 2 Pedal Review

July 30, 2010
A programmable box that''ll have you experimenting and playing with your DigiTech Whammy IV in whole new ways.
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Rudy's Music - 1957 Kay Guitar, 1955 Silver Jet

July 29, 2010
PG's Adam Moore is On Location in New York City, New York, where he visits Rudy's Music. In this video, we get a sneak peek within Rudy's vaults located in his basement. Here, we get to see a vintage 1957 Kay guitar, a vintage 1955 Gretsch Silver Jet, and a vintage Sears Silvertone guitar that is matched with a hardcase that has a built-in amplifier.
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Summer NAMM - Fargen Amps Mini Plex MKII,Duo-Tone

July 29, 2010
PG's Brett Petrusek is On Location in Nashville, TN, for the 2010 Summer NAMM Show where he visits the Fargen Amps booth. In this video, we get to check out two of Fargen's amps--the Mini Plex MKII and the AC Duo-Tone.

The Fargen Mini Plex MKII features English classic rock and high gain crunch tones. It pumps out quality tone on par with a 50 or 100 watt Marshall, and maintains this tone at apartment/bedroom levels.

The Mini Plex MKII hand-wired tube amplifier delivers high-energy, cranked tube amp tone at quiet volumes with a mixture of great tube amp design, world-class custom components, and the amazing Kevin O'Conner Power Scaling technology. The power scaling circuit uses voltage manipulation (think variac) to control output volume and power tube overdrives without cutting high-end frequencies like an attenuator does, and allows you to run the amp anywhere from 12 watts down to below a 1/2 watt for the ultimate low volume jamming experience.

The Mini Plex MKII captures all of your favorite British high gain and classic rock tones with the help of our patented "Decade Switch" technology. The Fargen "Decade Switch" gives you 3 different classic sounds/gain structures and morphs between 3 completely different classic British preamp circuits ... the JTM45, Plexi JMP and JCM 800. It features EL34/KT66 /KT77/6550/6L6/5881/6V6 ECT tubes.

This new Fargen design features two channels of English vibe that will cover any and all of your EL84 Brit-tone needs. It all starts with the V15 channel. With its complex jangle and chime, it rings out for days with the perfect simplicity you expect from a classic AC-Brit style tube amp. It then follows with the throaty roar of the M18 Channel -- the perfect opposite of the V15 Channel. The Fargen AC Duo-Tone simply covers more sonic ground than any other 2 x EL84 tube amp you have heard, modern or vintage.
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Humidity Hassles

July 29, 2010
Tips for dealing with humidity in summer outdoor shows.
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