Need a new Stompbox? Find your next effect in this month's Gear Finds!
Inspired by the classic Tri-Stereo Chorus and stompbox choruses of the 1970s and early 1980s, the TriceraChorus pedal pairs rich Bucket Brigade-style chorusing with Eventide’s legendary MicroPitch detuning for a lushness that rivals the jungles of the late Cretaceous Period. TriceraChorus features three chorus voices and three unique chorus effects which can be used to create a wide stereo spread with pulsing waves of modulation. The innovative “Swirl” footswitch adds psychedelic flanging, phasing, and Univibe-style tones. It has never been easier to dial in syrupy smooth, deep modulation on guitar, bass, synths, strings, vocals, and more.
To be called “legendary” is to have shaped music as we know it. From the Rolling Stones to the Raconteurs. From Pete Townshend to George Harrison and from Clapton to Frampton. They strived to coax the truest expression from their instruments - the sound they heard in their heads and their hearts. Their signature sound - so uniquely shaped by effects that it changed everything. It’s the Fuzz-Tone FZ-1 that fuels the groundbreaking riff in the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and the funky wah filter that anchors the “Theme from Shaft.” While the impact they had on the lineage of music is also unique, many have one thing in common—Maestro. So, while not everyone has heard of Maestro, everyone has heard Maestro.
Maestro, the “Founder of Effects,” is back with an all-new line of effect pedals - the Maestro Original Collection. Five new pedals, designed, voiced, and styled for the musician looking to shape their unique sound. A tribute to the sound and style of the brand’s much-beloved classic models of the 60s and 70s, with modern features, expanded versatility, and advanced tone-tweaking capabilities. Each function as an innovative “two-in-one” pedal, with a single toggle that switches between two distinct modes. Each features a straightforward three-knob setup, true bypass switching, and an ergonomic, pedalboard-friendly wedge profile.
It doesn’t matter what you play. As long as there are sounds being made, new legends will emerge. Maestro is back to help you SHAPE YOUR SOUND.
The EHX Intelligent Harmony Machine instantly creates matching harmonies to what you play. It’s like having one – or even two – guitarists jamming with you at the same time and always in perfect sync. The Intelligent Harmony Machine opens a door to the music of great multi-lead guitar bands and multi-part harmonized solos. Plus, its ability to apply harmonies ranging from simple to sophisticated will totally transform what you play. Of course, it also boasts EHX’s renowned impeccable tracking and genuine musical tone.
MESA® Drive Pedals are built by the same artisans that create the award-winning Mark Five™ and the legendary Dual and Triple Rectifier® amps. They stand ready to serve up all rock genres with cut and aggression while retaining much of the signature warmth and organic sonic quality found in our amplifiers. Ranging from high to lower gain applications, including classic rock or howling blues, we have a drive pedal that will help you achieve the sounds that so many artists have employed in our amps to create the world’s heaviest guitar tones!
Progressing along the gain spectrum, the transparent boost/overdrive CLEO™ is joined by the vintage-inspired, medium gain DYNAPLEX™ and the higher gain GOLD MINE™. The CLEO is a transparent boost/overdrive design focusing on vintage-inspired low to medium gain overdrive sounds packed with dynamic nuance, lively attack, and a wide variety of essential clip sounds. Moving on to medium gain, the DYNAPLEX is all about the “British Crunch” style with classic mid punch, chirping harmonics, and the chime players desire for classic rock sounds and beyond. Progressing to the higher end of the gain spectrum, the GOLD MINE is focused on mid to high gain sounds, classic heavy chunk, and rich gain with harmonic complexity, soaring single note sounds, and the liquid gain and girth that gain lovers expect from MESA.
Like every MESA product, our pedals are built using the same quality components, craftsmanship, and inspiring performance as our custom amplifiers...all hand-built in Petaluma, California, USA!
Dual engine pitch shifting with nearly endless possibilities and expansive control options! The EHX Pitch Fork®+ features two independent pitch shifting engines with full control over each. Both will transpose your pitch up or down over a +/- three octave range and detune +/-99 cents. With rock solid tracking, an organic, musical tone and extensive control, it’s your ultimate harmonizer.
Pedal Pad pedalboards are hand-built for YOU in Coatesville, Pennsylvania! Our boards feature an ALL-IN-ONE solution where the board is also the case. Just pop the top and PLAY! Our ordering interface allows you to configure any board with a plethora of options. More options or requests? Just email or call and we'll make it happen! Most custom orders ship within 2-3 weeks!
EHX took the Big Muff Pi circuit and simply shrunk it without changing its rich, creamy, violin-like sustain and sound. The EHX Nano Big Muff Pi works and sounds identical in every way to our classic NYC Big Muff Pi. Get a piece of the pi for yourself!
Implementing the HD digital modeling technology accumulated throughout years of the Valeton team's diligent efforts, the GP-200 delivers hundreds of re-editions of tones from world-classic amplifiers and stompboxes with a comprehensive upgraded algorithm. Combining 140 legendary amplifiers and cabinets simulations and 100 renowned stompbox effect pedals, plus 20 factory cab IR slots, the GP-200 will guarantee your consistently great sound on stage.
Transform your electric guitar into a sitar! Very few instruments offer as much harmonic and dynamic flexibility as a sitar. Electro-Harmonix has streamlined the essence of the sitar into a compact enclosure that offers a polyphonic lead voice and tunable sympathetic string drones that dynamically react to your playing. With the EHX Ravish Sitar Emulator, you can create your own custom scales for the sympathetic strings while you set the decay time for the lead voice.
Two expression pedal inputs allow you to bend the pitch of the lead voice and control the volume of the sympathetic strings simultaneously. These unique controls offer the player the ability to program the Ravish to become a totally unique and organic instrument unto itself.
The Ravish is truly a design with the flexibility to be a crossover tonal wonder.
Iconic amp sounds for your pedalboard. The Valvenergy series valve distortion pedals offer the warmth and harmonics of amp distortion in a compact pedal format. The all-analog signal path and Nutube allow for genuine overdrive and distortion tones with the feel of a real tube amp, while internally boosted voltage gives greater headroom and dynamics. Three output modes allow you to use this as a standard pedal, a line-level preamp, and a direct amp-sim using the built-in analog cabinet simulator.
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The F#%k Face is a triple gain stage fuzz with thick and meaty sustain that sounds huge in front of a slightly cranked tube amp. Baseball card collectors from the late 80’s will immediately recognize the infamous ‘error card’ graphics of the same name. The circuit is based on the legendary Fuzz with a different Face, but with an additional silicon transistor gain stage and voiced to retain more useable and dynamic fuzz tones all along the sweep of the two controls. In the front of your pedal chain, the F#%k Face will add dynamic interactivity to the volume controls on your guitar which enable a sweep from slight grit to full ripping-velcro breakup.
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Brought to you by Blackstar’s R&D division responsible for blue-sky innovation and design, Dept. 10 are the most advanced valve pedals in the world. Meticulously designed and engineered by a team of musicians for musicians. At the heart of each Dept. 10 pedal is an ECC83 triode valve, running at more than 200V internally like a valve amp, which allows them to deliver organic tone, dynamics and break up. Dual Drive and Dual Distortion include Cab Rig, our next-generation DSP speaker simulator that reproduces the sound and feel of a mic’d up guitar cab in incredible detail. Deep-dive using our free software and capture the incredible tones via low latency USB, XLR D.I. out or headphones. Choose from Boost, Dual Drive or Dual Distortion to help you craft your perfect tone.
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The ODR-mini delivers creamy, natural overdrive – Everything from pushed clean amp tones to gain filled stacks! It has the same tones as its legendary brother – the ODR-1. You‘ll love the warm mid-gain tones for rock and blues, and the screaming hard rock sounds from the ODR-1 Mini. Plus the mini features true-bypass switching, the SPECTRUM pot with mid-click, fluorescent pointers on the “GitD“ – knobs (Glow-in-the-Dark). Guaranteed to be a BIG part of your sound while a small part of your pedal board.
Mono/Stereo: Mono In, Mono Out
Control: Drive, Tone, Level
Bypass Modus: True Bypass
9-18 Volt, center negative
Consumption 25 mA
Dimensions (WxLxH / mm): 42 x 93 x 50
Weight: 175 gr
Country of origin: China
Solid metal housing
Low current consumption
Requires stabilized power supply 9-18 Volt DC, with min 100 mA, 2.1 mm plug, center negative, (not included)
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Versatility, empowerment, limitless options, and ever-demanding tools at the disposal of every musician and composer are today on demand. A call for inventive devices continues to make musicians more inspired, clever and connected. The Alpha·Omega Photon combines Darkglass' signature Alpha·Omega parallel distortion with the versatile format of the Aggressively Distorting Advanced Machine. In addition to powerful distortion and studio-quality compression, the Alpha·Omega Photon is capable as an audio interface via USB-C or an amp replacement using cab sim IRs and XLR DI output.
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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.
The Holy Grail of guitar reverb effects, the Fender®-style spring reverb, has been finally revisited with modern features!
Try it and discover why most surf guitarists and the truly reverb addicted are turning to SurfyBear.
★ exclusive SurfyPan type-4 spring reverb pan by Accutronics® and Surfy Industries
★ aluminium body with removable feet on the bottom side for better positioning on pedalboards
★ clean boost to adjust the volume when the effect is on
★ innovative dual-LED on/off button
★ true bypass functionality to keep your signal intact when the effect is off
★ external footswitch possibility though the dedicated 1/4" jack (footswitch not included)
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Guitarist extraordinaire Joe Robinson—touring behind his new mostly acoustic album, The Prize—shows PG’s John Bohlinger some of his prized 6-strings, ’60s Fender amps, and effects.
When Joe Robinson was learning to play in the remote village of Temagog, New South Wales, Australia, YouTube was his teacher. Then he discovered Tommy and Phil Emmanuel—Australia’s sibling 6-string slicers—and set out on a path that would lead him to Nashville, where he’s been a part of the city’s guitar cognoscenti for the past 13 years.
At 31, Robinson’s fans include Tommy Emmanuel (who’s been a committed mentor), Steve Vai, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, Steve Lukather, Albert Lee, Steve Morse, and Lee Ritenour. He’s released six acclaimed albums, performed in 40-plus countries, and continues to serve a large online audience through livestream concerts and his own popular YouTube channel. Robinson shared his current touring rig before an October 18 show at his adopted hometown’s City Winery.
Brought to you by D’Addario XS Coated Strings.
Robinson is equally at home playing fingerstyle on acoustic or flatpicking electric. When he’s on acoustic, Joe plays his 2020 Maton signature model, which features a AA Sitka spruce top, Tasmanian myrtle back and sides, stainless steel frets, and proprietary Maton electronics. It wears Ernie Ball Paradigm or Earthwood sets, gauged .012–.054, but Joe replaces the high E with a heftier .014.
Here’s Joe’s Fender Custom Shop Telecaster styled after a ’53, with 52T pickups designed by Ron Ellis (originally, for Julian Lage), a swamp ash body, and a 9.5" radius neck. It is typically strung Ernie Ball Slinky sets (.010–.046), or, sometimes, Mega Slinkys (.0105–.048).
The “Blessing ’Burst”
This 1960 Les Paul, called the “Blessing Burst,” is being auctioned off for Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives. HFOT has built more than 345 homes to date, with another 65-plus projects underway nationwide. Robinson played the “Blessing Burst” on this gig, and before that it was on tour with Joe Bonamassa and Marcus King, among others
Fly AER Joe!
Joe usually uses the Udo Roesner Da Capo 75 amp, but on this tour he’s using his tiny but mighty AER alpha because it fits in his flight case.
This 3-dial Fender toughie is from 1967, and Joe uses it for recording electric guitars as well as solo gigs, since it fits, well, just about anywhere!
His burlier amps are a 1966 Fender Deluxe and a Magic Amplification tweed-style. If he needs to get really loud, Joe also has a 1967 Fender Showman that was modded by tube amp guru Kye Kennedy that he runs with a 1x15. Oh, and that’s an Amp RX Brown Box input voltage attenuator out front.
Yes, This is JR’s ’Board
Robinson’s pedals sit on a Pedaltrain Metro 20 with a CIOKS DC-5 power supply hidden underneath. It’s divided into acoustic and electric sides. The acoustic domain houses a TC Electronic PolyTune Mini and a Boss RC-1 Loop Station. For electrics: another TC PolyTune Mini, a Dunlop Cry Baby Mini, a Nobels ODR-1 mini (run at 18v), another Boss RC-1, and a TC Hall of Fame mini.
Three little brute combos by Fender and Danelectro.
Delivering dirty brujo tone is not simple. Just grab a ouija board and ask Hound Dog Taylor or Pat Hare. Or, if communing with the spirits in a literal way isn’t your thing, check in with Patrick Sweany. He’s easy to find since he’ll be on the road for most of November and December touring a double-bill with fellow Nashville-guitar sparkplug JD Simo. And when he’s at home … even easier, since he holds down the Monday early evening slot at Music City’s indie mecca, the 5 Spot, with the Tiger Beats, a blues tribute band he co-fronts with McKinley James, who was profiled in last month’s PG feature “10 Young Guitarists to Watch.”
Sweany swaps the ouija board for raw-speaking amps and a ’90s Epiphone Riviera with gold-foil pickups, plus a sawdust-and-blood voice that would make Howlin’ Wolf cock an ear, as a means to conjuring the dirtiest, deadliest tones of primal electric blues—like those found on nascent recordings by the labels Chess, Cobra, and King. Or, for that matter, on Sweany’s own catalog of a dozen albums, including 2018’s Ancient Noise, where his abilities as a songwriter propel the blues form into the present, leaning toward the future.
But enough about Patrick. This is an amp column, and when he turned up at a recent Tiger Beats gig to talk gear, he brought three Clydesdales with him: a vintage ’60s Danelectro Explorer, a Fender ’57 Custom Pro-Amp, and an Excelsior from Fender’s Pawn Shop series. What do his favorite amps have in common?
“A 15" speaker with an alnico magnet is it for me,” he says, “and 15 to 20 watts is my sweet spot, where the amp breaks up and still has some bottom end. I’m a fingerstyle player, with a thumbpick and two finger picks, so compression is the devil. Amps with 10" speakers are too harsh, which can work for playing lead like Freddie King, but when I was trying to find my sound, 15s were the answer. It’s very full and rich.”
All three of his amps are in harness, but only the Fender ’57 Pro-Amp has the microphone for this gig.
Sweany says his signature sound crystallized when he got the Danelectro, which is a quirky beast. Unlike some earlier Explorers, this model has its tubes and transformers on display, enclosed by a cage at the rear top of the amp. Better yet, that cage flips open, which means the amp—with its array of two 6L6 tubes, a 6FQ7, a 12AX7, a 12AU7, a 6AU7, and a 5Y3GT, plus heavy transformers—can be its own workbench while remaining plugged in. Explorer amps came with a single Jensen C15N speaker. Sweany’s is all-stock except for a recapped power supply, and amp tech Kyle Wierzba cleaned it up and restored it to original spec.
While the Dano Explorer isn’t worth a fortune, Sweany values the amp enough to keep it at home or nearby, so it doesn’t join the Pro or the Excelsior on tour. “If you’re a piece of my equipment, you’re not in a comfort environment,” he says, laughing. “You’re a shovel handle.”
His favorite road amp is his ’57 Custom Pro, a killer reissue I had the pleasure of reviewing for PG in early 2017. Sweany’s first chance to play through the model was while filming a demo for Fender with Laur Joamets. “They gave it to me after the session,” he says. The amp has a thin tweed cabinet and is inspired by Fender’s famed 5E5A circuit. It’s got a 12AY7 and two 12AX7s preamp tubes, two 6L6 power tubes, and a 5AR4 rectifier tube, and it is a loud 26 watts. As a shovel handle, Sweany’s Pro has not led an easy life. After it died on the road, Wierzba replaced the transformers with Mercury Magnetics, swapped the caps, and installed reissue GE 6L6 tubes, along with some lesser maintenance.
I’m a fingerstyle player, with a thumbpick and two finger picks, so compression is the devil.
And finally, there’s the Excelsior: a 13-watt tiger that emulates the look and sound of Valco-type late-’50s/early-’60s circuits. Sweany had his eye on the Excelsior the minute it was unveiled in 2012. It’s got two 6V6s and two 12AX7 preamp tubes. It has the simplest control array of his troika, with old-school mic, accordion, and guitar inputs, a bright/dark switch, and volume and tremolo dials. But this Excelsior was modded by Nashville amp builder Mickey Sandora, who added a tone stack with more headroom and bottom end, activated by a toggle switch.
In addition to tremolo, another thing these amps have in common is an absence of reverb. “For a long time, I didn’t use reverb—just tremolo, which is another important part of my sound,” Sweany says. But his Tiger Beats compadre James’ Fender Super Reverb always sounds so damn good that it wore him down. His team of plough horses now have a partner: a Strymon Flint. And you’ll hear them all when the Tiger Beats finish their debut album of original music that’s in the works.
PATRICK SWEANY "Up And Down" **OFFICIAL VIDEO**
Hear the nasty old-school sound of Sweany’s Danelectro Explorer amp in “Up and Down,” from his most recent album, Ancient Noise.
When it comes to forming patterns, no computer algorithm can outperform the human mind. Sometimes we must change directions to have a breakthrough.
Every now and then, a misguided guitar player asks me something like: “What should I do to become a better guitar player?” For the record, I’m probably not the one to ask. I suspect I don’t really know what I’m doing in guitar or life, but I love to play music, and I’ve noticed some improvement in my playing over the years, so here goes. A surefire way to get past a plateau and become a better player is to stop playing guitar … then dive deep into a different instrument.
You probably remember the agony of making an F chord, and later a barre chord, thinking your fingers just could not do it. Eventually you get it, then jump over the next hurdle, be it learning the pentatonic box, etc., until eventually, you notice that what you’re playing sounds like music. We make improvements quickly on the journey from beginner to intermediate, and before you know it, you can jam with others and pick up enough licks and tricks where you sound like a guitar player. But eventually we hit a plateau where we quit advancing and that’s where most of us stop. I suspect we plateau because humans love patterns, and once you’re in a pattern, it’s hard to see beyond it.
Humans can’t help but look for patterns. Our neocortex (the outermost layer of the brain found only in mammals) gives us our ability to recognize patterns, and we do it well. Although computer algorithms can spot patterns, no algorithm can outperform the human mind. Our body feeds our pattern addiction by giving us a fun hit of dopamine when we recognize one.
How do you break the pattern of patterns? You have to shift from thinking about patterns to melodies. This has made me a lot freer in my note choices on guitar, and it’s made me a bit more forgiving with myself.
Neil deGrasse Tyson explains: “Over centuries of evolution, humans’ pattern recognition skills determined natural selection. Hunters skilled at spotting prey and predator and telling poisonous plants from healthy ones offered them a better chance of survival than those blind to the patterns. It enabled the survivors to pass on those pattern-friendly genes to future generations.”
Learning guitar is learning chord, scale, and riff patterns. For most of us, the guitar neck becomes a series of patterns rather than an opportunity for melodies. The more you play, the more diverse your bag of patterns becomes, so you have more to shoehorn into any situation. Ultimately, they’re still patterns. How do you break the pattern of patterns? You have to shift from thinking about patterns to melodies. When you attempt to play an instrument where you know no patterns, all you can do is search for melodies.
I’ve loved pedal steel since I first noticed it on Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” but it’s such a complex, baffling, and expensive instrument that I never considered jumping in. As I aged and watched working guitarists get younger, I noticed that steel players remained mostly old crusty dudes. When I realized steel could extend my career, I was motivated to buy one. I’m glad I did, as this is one of the few times I made a prediction that was dead on. Pedal steel has opened a ton of gig opportunities, but it’s also expanded my concept of music and done more to improve my guitar playing than another 10,000 hours of just guitar.
When you dive deep into another instrument, you’ll find yourself approaching it more naively, like a kid, not looking for patterns but rather discovering what music will fall out of the instrument. There will be lots of surprises where you don’t know what note you’re going to get. Look at it like Bob Ross—those weird notes are just happy little trees. Those happy accidents have led me to playing much more interesting parts than if it went as I planned. This has made me a lot freer in my note choices on guitar, and I’m a bit more forgiving with myself.
When you start exploring technique on a new instrument, you can’t help but reevaluate how you play guitar. For instance, muting or blocking is wildly important on pedal steel, because if you don’t mute, you’ll have a constant discord of a b7, major 7 ringing over everything. It’s a cacophony. So, when I got back on a 6-string, I noticed where my slop was ringing and how some palm muting, like on pedal steel, makes my notes clearer. I’ve always muted, but now I’m listening closer, realizing when I need to apply more or less. Similarly, playing pedal steel with my fingers (fingerpicks) has made me less dependent on a flatpick when I play guitar. Although I’ve always used hybrid picking on guitar, I now use my fingers more and do more blocking with my fingers on guitar. It sounds smoother, cleaner, and seems to flow better.
Life doesn’t have to be the same old thing. Try something totally new and see how it makes you see everything in a new light.