The latest boutique amps, guitars, and pedals on display at the annual Van Nuys gear gathering.

"Sandberg Guitars is known for their extensive line of high-end bassesя25 years in the bizяbut they make high-quality guitars as well. At the show, they showed their California ST model with its 4-bolt, Canadian hard-rock maple neck, alder body (swamp ash or mahogany are options, too), three Sandberg 60уs Vintage Power single-coils with alnico 5 magnets, and a push-push pot for a special humbucker sound in the bridge position. Another notable feature is in the design of the Sandberg tremoloяbecause the arm doesnуt have the typical thread, it gives the tremolo the same start/stop position no matter what. "

A maze of modulation and reverberations leads down many colorful tone vortices.

Deep clanging reverb tones. Unexpected reverb/modulation combinations.

Steep learning curve for a superficially simple pedal.

$209

SolidGoldFX Ether
solidgoldfx.com

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A lot of cruel fates can befall a gig. But unless you’re a complete pedal addict or live in high-gain-only realms, doing a gig with just a reverb- and tremolo-equipped amp is not one of them. Usually a nice splash of reverb makes the lamest tone pretty okay. Add a little tremolo on top and you have to work to not be at least a little funky, surfy, or spacy. You see, reverb and modulation go together like beans and rice. That truth, it seems, extends even to maximalist expressions of that formula—like the SolidGold FX Ether.

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Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

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The Atlas Compressor offers up an extensive library of compression options and allows for transformation into a bass specific compression machine.


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