Our first-ever “Amp Issue” is chock-full of tube-amp coolness. In our cover story, we recruit three stage and studio aces-Justin Derrico (The Voice, Tina Turner), Steve Trovato (USC guitar department, video instructor extraordinaire), and Taylor Locke (Rooney)-to give us their impressions on nine of the hottest EL84-driven amps on the market. The test amps include models from Vox, Matchless, Goodsell, Budda, Fargen, Carr, 65Amps, Dr. Z, and Top Hat (and we've got complementary videos of each amp and player on our YouTube channel, too!). We also have a story on must-know amp first-aid by Jeff Bober of EAST Amplification, a DIY piece on eight easy amp mods by Tim Schroeder of Schroeder Audio, and a wrap of the 2012 New York Amp Show. Artist features this month include interviews with Brian May and the two guitarists playing the Queen Extravaganza tour, as well as talks with jazz/blues wunderkind Joe Robinson and gypsy-jazz innovator Stephane Wrembel. We also talk to legendary producer Ken Scott about his studio work with the Beatles, and go inside the shop of influential luthier Harvey Citron. Other gear reviews this month include the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II, Cort Sunset 1, Mike Lull JT5-24 bass, Crushsound Farmer's Mill, Hahn Model 1229, Wren and Cuff Caprid, Mad Professor Golden Cello, and Scarlett 200-Watt tube bass amp.