Behind the scenes Thursday night with Artists Relations and Bugera, Seymour Duncan, and more...

Nashville, TN (June 20, 2008) -- While the show opened to healthy crowds and the sounds of amps being fired up all around the convention hall, we already had some product demos in the bag. We spent Thursday night with Randy Fuchs (not to be confused with Andy Fuchs of Fuchs Audio Technology) of Artist Relations, at the company''s training programs. Here, artists can come learn about new products before they hit the floor. While we were there, we got a look at some of the new products before the show opened:

Here, Randy explains the program, then the guys from N-Tune show us their tuning system.

Then, Joe Delaney from Bugera shows us their four new 120-watt, all-tube amps including the old school 6260 and the three-channel 333XL, then takes the 333XL for a quick spin to demonstrate it''s versatility.

Also showing their amps was Gallien-Kruger, with the 1001RB stadium monster:

After that, we talked with Evan Skopp from Seymour Duncan about the artist endorsement process, and took a look at some of their newer pedals and pickups, including the 7-string Blackout, along with some new products from Duncan Turner Acoustic research, like the Mama Bear (reviewed this month).

Check back for more updates all weekend long!

Multiple modulation modes and malleable voices cement a venerable pedal’s classic status.

Huge range of mellow to immersive modulation sounds. Easy to use. Stereo output. Useful input gain control.

Can sound thin compared to many analog chorus and flange classics.


TC Electronic SCF Gold


When you consider stompboxes that have achieved ubiquity and longevity, images of Tube Screamers, Big Muffs, or Boss’ DD series delays probably flash before your eyes. It’s less likely that TC Electronic’s Stereo Chorus Flanger comes to mind. But when you consider that its fundamental architecture has remained essentially unchanged since 1976 and that it has consistently satisfied persnickety tone hounds like Eric Johnson, it’s hard to not be dazzled by its staying power—or wonder what makes it such an indispensable staple for so many players.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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