Stompbox Gear Finds Fall 2022
Check out the ALL-NEW PRS Pedals and more in this edition of our Stompbox Gear Finds!
The PRS Horsemeat transparent overdrive pedal is designed to enhance your sound without coloring your tone. Horsemeat adds harmonic midrange richness and overdrives without cutting out your high notes – all while giving you more available headroom. It features a robust EQ section so you can dial in your tone and has a wide range of gain on tap. Depending on the setting, Horsemeat can be used as a clean boost, straight overdrive, or even enhance your amplifier’s distortion by slightly pushing the front end of the amplifier’s preamp section.PRS pedals were created to be high-end pieces of audio gear. Designed by PRS Guitars in Stevensville, MD, USA. Made in the USA.
Maestro created the world’s first fuzz pedal – the Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-1. Introduced in 1962, the Fuzz-Tone became the sound of rock and roll and a must-have accessory for guitarists everywhere after the success of 1965’s (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, which prominently featured its cutting edge sound. Now Maestro is bringing the fun and sonic fury of those early Fuzz-Tones back with the new Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-M. This all-analog pedal boasts a Mode toggle switch that provides two pedals in one functionality for increased sonic versatility with both an FZ-1 inspired fuzz sound and a thicker, more modern fuzz tone. Its 3-knob control layout gives you intuitive control. The Attack knob controls the amount of fuzz. The Tone control lets you adjust the timbre from bright and raspy to warm and wooly and anywhere in between.
The SansAmp Character Plus Series celebrates the unique chemistry between specific historic amplifiers and specific historic pedals, and cleverly unites them together in single packages:
- Screaming Blonde = Fender-style + Tube Screamer-style
- English Muffy = HiWatt-style + Big Muff-style
- Fuzzy Brit = Marshall-style + Fuzz Face-style
- Mop Top Liverpool = Vox-style + Rangemaster Booster-style
Each of the individually-voiced Character controls sweep through an entire spectrum of eras within their particular amp style. Screaming Blonde tones range from the ‘50s Fullerton to blackface and silverface. The English Muffy spans from classic UK rock to prog rock. Fuzzy Brit goes from classic hard rock to all current rock genres. The Mop Top Liverpool embodies the British invasion through “Bohemian” rock.
These 2-channel multi-function pedals are each like having a stompbox within a stompbox. You can use the SansAmp amplifier emulation on its own or just the effect on its own. The all-analog SansAmps Character Plus Series pedals can be used as stand-alone pre-amps to drive a power amp, a studio mixer, or a PA system, or to complement your existing amp. Other features include built-in speaker simulation individually tuned to match each of the speaker/cabinet configurations associated with each amplifier type; 3-band active EQ, XLR Output, included 9V DC Power Supply. Rugged all-metal housing measures 7.75”l x 2.5”w x 1.25”h and weighs just 12 oz.
Never before has an effects pedalboard been so effortless to build and painless to change or rearrange on the fly - So you can Focus on the Music, Not the Set-Up!
Our game-changing design incorporates Rare Earth Magnets ("cupped" so there is no risk to your pedals!) and a long-lasting Battery to give you the neatest, cleanest sounding and looking rig! All of the hassles of using a traditional board are gone. No more messy cobweb of cords and cables. No need to look for outlets and extension cords. No need to deal with dirty noise at gigs. Increase voltage and isolate those "picky" pedals without adding more mess and expense of separate power bricks and adapters. NO MORE SOUND OF RIPPING VELCRO!!!
Here's what's possible with EARTHBOARD:
- Your choice to use our Battery or AC Adapter
- Jacks are on both sides to accommodate YOUR style and the unknowns of the gig space
- All of our power supplies have built in circuit protection to safeguard your pedals
- Built-in cross board audio patch cable saves you money and the hassle of finding the right length cable to connect your top and bottom rows of pedals
- Ability to power large pedals off the board to maximize board real estate - make room for one more pedal!
- The built-in, under mounted, Blue LED lights enhance visibility and the "cool factor"
- Daisy-chain multiple boards and power them all with a single battery
- Rearrange or add pedals on the fly, between sets, in a matter of seconds
Large tour grade pedal board and flight case for 10-14 pedals with removable 24″x11″ pedal board surface and inline wheels
Pro-grade shock absorbing EVA foam interior
Removable pedal board surface 24" x 11"
Two (2) rubber-gripped handles for easy lifting in and out of the case
3M Dual Lock» hook and loop fastener for pedal installation
Cable and accessory storage under the removable pedal board
Retractable tow-handle and inline wheels
Plywood construction with aluminum edging to create a secure closure between lid and base
Protective ball corners at vulnerable points
Commercial grade Gator red signature hardware
Spring-loaded rubber gripped handles
Enhance the tone and clarity of your pedalboard with award winning sound.
The George L’s effects kit.
The kit comes with 10’ of cable, 10 right angle plugs and 10 stress relief jackets.
Available in black, vintage red and purple.
As easy as 1, 2, 3 no soldering!
Cut, poke and screw your way to 47 years of sound excellence.
Jamming is an essential part of American musical tradition, and should be part of yours. Here are some bass-centric tips.
Jam sessions have been an essential part of the history of American music, going back at least 120 years, to a time when “live in person” was the only way audiences could experience music. In those days, one might attend informal house parties, social clubs, or basement speakeasies, where liquor flowed plentifully as musicians provided entertainment. Sometimes, musicians would arrive with a preset show. But quite often, and especially in the case of jazz, the music would be completely spontaneous, and that was the whole point. There might be a house band, but what they’d play, how long they’d play for, how they’d play it, and who might show up and join would be completely unscripted. This gave birth to what many now regard as the beginnings of jazz.
The spontaneous, unknown element, where literally anything can—and very well might—happen, has made jam sessions the ideal space for developing musicians. Artists from Slam Stewart to MonoNeon cut their teeth, honed their skills, developed their sounds, and built their first audiences at jam sessions.
The terms “jam session” and “open mic” are not interchangeable, though many confuse the two. There are many differences, but one that stands out is the band’s role in the affair. Open mics are mostly about the singers, and sometimes about amateurs who simply wish to sing popular songs backed by a band. At jam sessions, musicians and singers—though there may be no singers at all—have equal status, and every participant needs to have honed their ability to respond spontaneously on the fly.
Many of my formative years were spent at jam sessions. First in London and later in Philly, NYC, or whatever other cities I visited while on tour. In those days, I practiced a lot and gained much from that controlled environment. But the things I learned at jam sessions like Philly’s Black Lily and Back2Basics, the annual jam sessions at North Sea Jazz Fest, and so many others, would be hard to learn anywhere else. After witnessing many jam-session trainwrecks, I learned that no session could withstand a bad bassist or drummer, let alone both at once!
"At jam sessions, musicians and singers—though there may be no singers at all—have equal status, and every participant needs to have honed their ability to respond spontaneously on the fly."
A much younger me made it my mission to always be the bassist who elevates what is happening onstage—and never the bassist who brings everything crashing down! The following advice, I believe, will help the jamming bassist avoid the latter. I’m going to assume that we’re all already practicing and getting our basic skills and sounds together, so no need to reiterate those areas.
Tune up. The bass you’re handed at a jam session probably won’t be in tune. Nobody cares about anything you play if you’re out of tune. Tune before you get on stage, before the song starts, or better still, learn to tune as you’re playing.
Avoid becoming a fixture. There are lots of people who also want to play. Do what you have to do and then get off stage.
Master the changes. Understanding and being able to play common forms and tunes will greatly improve your chances of dealing with whatever is thrown at you. A good place to start is the blues and rhythm changes. There are an inexhaustible number of songs that are based on these, so learning to play both in all 12 keys will go a long way.
Learn common jazz standards like “Donna Lee,” “Cherokee,” “Autumn Leaves,” “All the Things You Are,” etc. Even if your goal is not to play jazz standards, learning to play them is like an entire course in advanced harmony, melody, form, and the way that things move. Learn the common Motown classics. So many of them, especially songs by Stevie Wonder, are the blueprints for many songs you might encounter.
Actively listen while playing and figure out what everybody else is doing. A bassist with great ears will be able to learn any song by the second rotation of the form, and should be able to fake it well until then. I find that an excellent way to work on active listening at home is playing along with the radio, or in any situation where you don’t know the song and have to learn as you play.
So, where can one jam? If you’re in NYC, a great jam session to check out right now is Producer Mondays at NuBlu, which happens every Monday and is run by my good friend, keyboardist Ray Angry. If you’re not in NYC, ask some of the players on your local scene.
There are a lot more things I could mention, but one of the most important is attitude. Jam sessions are social events. Be courteous to everybody you encounter. Enjoy the atmosphere, and have a great time—without ruining anybody else’s!
Our columnist has a habit of accidentally breaking things, so when he came across this seemingly fragile Yamaha, he was a bit nervous.
Football is certainly a game of attrition. The team started out with around 60 players, and now that number ranges from 40 to 50, depending on the week and amount of injuries sustained. I think I passed along some of my caveman sensibilities to the boy, but thankfully my wife passed on her smarts, so he’s not a total meathead like me. However, the arrival of football season has got me thinking about breaking things (I’m really good at accidentally damaging stuff) and how I feel about guitars.
I’ve mentioned many times before how I avoid guitars that are mint, for fear of finish damage, and guitars that have overly complex features that I might accidentally destroy. There’s also a third category I try to avoid: fragile guitars. So for this column, I’m going to examine a guitar I truly thought I would crush: the Yamaha SA-15D.
In a strange design choice, the pickguard on the Yamaha SA-15D is raised off of the body on foam-like spacers.
There were two types of SA-15s in 1969: the SA-15 and the SA-15D. They were both basically gone from the Yamaha catalogs by 1970. The SA-15D guitars featured celluloid neck binding, side fret-position markers, and black-and-white checkerboard-pattern binding on the body. The SA-15 was simply more plain with regular ol’ circular fretboard dots. The guitars were aesthetically beautiful, with elongated, sweeping lower horns that were accented by a flowing pickguard and soundhole. Totally cool, and in typical Yamaha fashion, no corner-cutting. Basically, all the early Yahama guitars were over-engineered and everything from the pickups to the tremolo to the bridge were all in-house designs and exclusive to the late 1960s era.
The pickups were described as being “noise-free” and “high-sensitivity,” and, of course, they sorta deliver. Yamahas almost always have great-sounding pickups, and in playing my own SA-15D, I discovered that these units are no slouches, but they are a little noisy at the extreme settings. The pickups are single-coils featuring anisotropic ferrite magnets. (Look that up if you want an education in magnetism!) To my ear, the pickups sound a bit more chunky and full than other single-coils, and this model does have a warmth to its sound that I very much like. The electronics feature your typical 3-way switch and volume/tone knobs for each pickup.
At least the headstock seems solid!
The scale is 23¾", like a Gibson, with 22 frets and a zero fret. These SA-15Ds are super light and that’s the first reason I was wary. The construction is superb and I don’t really think I could crush one of these, but they are so well-balanced and featherweight that it almost felt like the guitar had fallen off the strap! Seriously.
The biggest concern I had when I got the guitar was the pickguard. See, it’s raised off the body with little foam-like spacers, and the knobs and switch are mounted on the raised pickguard. It really spooked me! It was a rare Yamaha design mishap that might have led to the demise of the model. Who knows, but it is kind of a shame since the guitars play so well and sound so good. But soon, I started to notice how the foam seemed to be chemically reacting to the white pickguard, further weakening the already troubled area. So, alas, just like football and attrition, the same can be said for guitar collections. It’s a long season, peeps!
Now featuring a string-sensitive Gotoh Sitar bridge and precision-cut graphite nut, this meticulous reissue offers alnico pickups, searing mids, and classic Dano chime.
The original Danelectro electric sitar gave guitar players all over the world the opportunity to not only easily recreate and master beautiful sitar sound with accurate authenticity, but to also play in the style of popular records from that period, from the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and has appeared on hundreds of records since the late ’60s in various musical styles, from pop to rock and Motown to metal.
With its distinctive angular body design, with leg recess for performing in a sitting position, the new 6-string Danelectro Big Sitar with 13 sympathetic strings, retains all the charm of the original 1960s classic design in all its vintage glory, with just a few modern upgrades.
Now featuring a string-sensitive Gotoh Sitar bridge and precision-cut graphite nut, this meticulous reissue maintains the combination of a trio of Danelectro’s flagship lipstick alnico pickups, upgraded to deliver even more crystal clear highs with a warm open low-end, searing mids, and that classic Dano chime.
With natural acoustics from the hollow body construction, bolt-on maple neck with double truss-rod, and the tight density of the 21-fret pau ferro fingerboard, the Danelectro Big Sitar delivers in pure sitar style.
Played as a conventional 6-string guitar, the 13 sympathetic strings can be played harp-style intermittently whilst strumming chords or playing lead lines or, left to add a resonating richness to the mix at a desired level, via their individual volume and tone controls.
Whether you study and play within Ionian, Lydian, Aeolian, or Dorian scales, or just want to be totally inspired as a songwriter fingerpicking open chords or solo note runs, the fun aspect of the Danelectro Big Sitar, looking supercool in White Crackle finish, is a true compliment to Indian sitar style music, at home in the studio or live environment is enormous.
For more information, please visit danelectro.com.