Stompbox Gear Finds: Feb 2022
Need a new Stompbox? Find your next effect in this month's Gear Finds!
UltraTap is a unique multi-tap effect pedal perfect for staccato leads, swelling chords, and other evolving effects — everything from reversed reverbs to the sound of ripping it up in the Grand Canyon! Think of UltraTap as the mother of all Echoplexes and you won’t be too far off. That’s basically how it operates but with the flexibility to add as many ‘tape heads’ as you want and expressively control their positions and levels.
UltraTap’s controls make possible new and unexpected effects. The controls that you would expect in a multi-tap delay pedal — Number of Taps, Delay and Feedback—are just the basics. Controls for Spread, Slurm, and Chop open up a new world of possibilities.
Maestro Original Collection
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.
Electro-Harmonix Intelligent Harmony Machine
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/Boogie Drive Pedals
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!
Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork+ Polyphonic Pitch Shifter
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 CUSTOM PEDALBOARDS : BUILT TO ORDER!!
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!
Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Pi Fuzz
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.
Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar Emulator
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.
VOX Valvenergy Pedals: Mystic Edge
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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Acorn Amplifiers F#%k Face Fuzz
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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Blackstar Amplification Dept. 10 Pedals
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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Darkglass Electronics Alpha Omega Photon
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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George L's Effects Cable Kits
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.
SurfyBear Metal Reverb Unit
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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Epiphone Noel Gallagher Riviera Review
Classy design extras, ultra-buttery playability, and sweet, growling pickups distinguish this excellent ES alternative.
Faultless construction. Very nice PAF-style tones. Exceptional playability. Beautiful visual presence and cool vibe. Comes with a hard case.
The extra 200 bucks you’ll pay over the price of a more modest Epiphone ES-335 might be too much for practical players.
Epiphone Noel Gallagher Riviera
Whatever your opinion of Oasis—and they have a way of engendering opinions—there’s little arguing that Noel Gallagher has an ear for a tune. And like many contemporary British indie guitarists and forebears like his hero, Johnny Marr, Gallagher also understands the romantic and iconographic power of a great tune played on a classic guitar—particularly as a means of asserting difference from the pop and hair metal tribes that came before.
Between a keen awareness of those cultural forces and Gallagher’s not-even-kinda-subtle worship of the Beatles, it’s little wonder he found his way to the Epiphone Riviera that inspired this signature model. Gallagher’s original Riviera, which was a Japan-made 1980s model, is a very different guitar than the Beatles’ hollowbody, P-90-fitted Epiphone Casinos, though. In fact, with its center-block, semi-hollow construction, PAF-inspired humbuckers, and Tune-o-matic bridge, it’s much more like a Gibson ES-335.
Epiphone currently makes several very nice ES-style guitars, from their own ES-335 to the closely related Riviera and Sheraton. Most of those guitars, save for the B.B. King, Emily Wolfe, and Joe Bonamassa signature models, sell for $599 to $699, which begs the inquiry: What does this Noel Gallagher Riviera give you for 200 bucks extra that its cheaper stablemates do not? If you’re a hardcore Oasis fan, that’s a non-question. But even at $899, this guitar is a great value. It feels and plays like a more expensive instrument. The build quality is pretty close to faultless. It comes with a hardshell case. It growls, sings, and stings in classic style. And by amalgamating several elements from Casinos, vintage-style Rivieras, and Gibson ES instruments, the Noel Gallagher Riviera adds up to a unique twist on a classic profile.
An E for Elegance
I’ve longed for a Gibson ES-335 since … forever. They loomed large in images of some of my biggest heroes: Keith Richards on the back of the Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! album, Roky Erickson, and Jorma Kaukonen to name just a few. Usually, an Epiphone Dot was the most affordable means of satisfying my 335 desires, and I’ve played a lot of them in shops and some that belong to friends. But I had weird luck with those Dots. When I found a good one, my interests seemed to be somewhere else. When I was feeling enthused, I could never find one that was quite right. But I feel like if I had ever come across an Epiphone 335-style as nice as the Noel Gallagher Riviera, I might have dropped the cash down on the spot—regardless of my current musical predilections. It’s a very inviting and easy-to-hang-out-with kind of guitar.
If you haven’t taken a break from your pedalboard for a while and need a taste of straight, mainline amp thrills, the Noel Gallagher Riviera is a satisfying means of getting there.
For starters, the Noel Gallagher Riviera feels next to effortless to play. Not everyone digs cradling a 16" body. And not everyone loves a 12" fretboard radius. But just about anyone else that touches this guitar is at risk to succumb to its smooth-playing charms. The action could fairly be called delicious, and the setup perfect, even after a cross-country journey.
The Noel Gallagher Riviera looks good, too. The wine-red finish and binding, aged to a biscuit-tan hue, look like a rather scrumptious meal. But the guitar also holds up to scrutiny at the detail level. I couldn’t find a construction or finish miscue. If there is any possible complaint, it’s that the finish might be a tad thick. All the same, I love looking at it. And though dogmatic Gibson players will probably scream heresy, I prefer the way the slim, florid hourglass headstock looks on this guitar compared to a Gibson. The white, curvaceous pickguard is also a pretty contrast to the wine finish, which I prefer to a Gibson ES-335’s black guard.
Air and Cultured Muscle
If you haven’t taken a break from your pedalboard for a while and need a taste of straight, mainline amp thrills, the Noel Gallagher Riviera is a satisfying means of getting there. The Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers, which aspire to a late-’50s, low-output PAF sound and feel, might lack some sense of the wide-screen, aerated texture you hear in the real thing or a top-flight replica, but they are a very nice facsimile. The top end zings and is neither too soft nor too bossy. And though the low end can be a touch woofy in some settings—a quality that applies to just about any PAF to a degree—it just as readily offers growling counterweight to the sweet treble tones. Like any PAF-profiled pickup, the Alnico Classic Pro is scooped in the midrange. In a great PAF, there’s usually enough personality in the scooped mids to lend a little purr to the output. That edge is slightly blunted here. But on balance, this a very nice set of pickups for a guitar in this price range.
The pickups are also a beautiful match for the semi-hollow construction, which I always think feels a little more dimensional than a Les Paul. The bridge pickup and combined pickup settings in particular seem to benefit from the extra body resonance, which lends them size and firecracker energy. The neck pickup alone, meanwhile, feels and sounds a little extra smoky, vocal, and soft around the edges. Each of these settings, by the way, pair to thrilling effect with overdrive tones. But I particularly love how it matched up with Marshall-style and raspy ODs, where the extra midrange adds a sweet toughness.
The knock on the Noel Gallagher Riviera will almost certainly be that it’s 200 extra bucks for what is, elementally, an Epiphone ES-335. But the little details—the parallelogram markers, the curvaceous, white Rivera pickguard, and the wine finish and aged binding, add up to a very pretty, distinctive, and unique twist on an ES. It’s also a very classy alternative to a Les Paul if you want PAF sounds in a less common instrument. I might also argue that it’s just a touch more versatile in some musical situations, thanks to the combination of airy resonance and growl. If you’re a songwriter, you’ll love how great it sounds nowhere near an amplifier. But this guitar is a joy to hear loud, alive, electrified, and unadulterated.
Epiphone Noel Gallagher Riviera Demo | First Look
Epiphone Noel Gallagher Riviera
Paul Gilbert Announces The Dio Album
Paul Gilbert will release an album celebrating the music of Dio on April 7th. Listen to "Holy Diver" now.
Guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert, best known for his work in chart-topping hard rockers Mr. Big and Racer X – as well as numerous solo records – was in his car when he saw something that made his heart start beating faster in a moment of unexpected, unadulterated joy. This was not a high value item of interest or even particularly rare, simply a baseball cap with the word ‘Dio’ emblazoned across the front. Sometimes, even for the biggest of guitar legends, it’s the little things that hit us in the most profound ways.
On his drive home, a plan was being formulated. Why not capture all of that raw energy and excitement on an album devoted to Ronnie James Dio’s most celebrated tracks – spanning across his career from Rainbow to Black Sabbath and the singer’s own solo endeavours? Gilbert is no stranger to instrumental music, but an entire album dedicated to replicating well established and world-famous vocal melodies on his trusty six-string genuinely felt like new territory. This was already shaping up to be a challenge that he would truly relish.
The Dio Album consists of 10 standout and career-defining tracks, from “Neon Knights” and “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll” to “Holy Diver” and “Man On The Silver Mountain”. As well as analysing Ronnie James Dio’s electrifying vocal melodies, Paul also enjoyed paying tribute to three incredibly talented guitar legends – Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Ritchie Blackmore of Rainbow and Vivian Campbell from the Dio band, who has been a member of British stadium rockers Def Leppard since 1992.
1. Neon Knights
2. Kill The King
3. Stand Up And Shout
4. Country Girl
5. Man On The Silver Mountain
6. Holy Diver
7. Heaven And Hell
8. Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll
9. Lady Evil
10. Don’t Talk To Strangers
12. The Last In Line
Paul Gilbert - Holy Diver (The Dio Album)
You can pre-order the album here: https://lnk.to/PaulGilbert
Rig Rundown: Ariel Posen 
The silky smooth slide man may raise a few eyebrows with his gear—a hollow, steel-bodied baritone and .017s on a Jazzmaster—but every note and tone he plays sounds just right.
KingTone’s The Duellist is currently Ariel Posen’s most-used pedal. One side of the dual drive (the Bluesbreaker voicing) is always on. But there’s another duality at play when Posen plugs in—the balance between songwriter and guitarist.
“These days, I like listening to songs and the story and the total package,” Posen told PG back in 2019, when talking about his solo debut, How Long, after departing from his sideman slot for the Bros. Landreth. “Obviously, I’m known as a guitar player, but my music and the music I write is not guitar music. It’s songs, and it goes back to the Beatles. I love songs, and I love story and melody and singing, and there was a lot of detail and attention put into the guitar sound and the playing and the parts—almost more than I’ve ever done.”
And in 2021, he found himself equally expressing his yin-and-yang artistry by releasing two albums that represented both sides of his musicality. First, Headway continued the sultry sizzle of songwriting featured on How Long. Then he surprised everyone, especially guitarists, by dropping Mile End, which is a 6-string buffet of solo dishes with nothing but Ariel and his instrument of choice.
But what should fans expect when they see him perform live? “I just trust my gut. I can reach more people by playing songs, and I get moved more by a story and lyrics and harmony, so that’s where I naturally go. The live show is a lot more guitar centric. If you want to hear me stretch out on some solos, come see a show. I want the record and the live show to be two separate things.”
The afternoon ahead of Posen’s headlining performance at Nashville’s Basement East, the guitar-playing musical force invited PG’s Chris Kies on stage for a robust chat about gear. The 30-minute conversation covers Posen’s potent pair of moody blue bombshells—a hollow, metal-bodied Mule Resophonic and a Fender Custom Shop Jazzmaster—and why any Two-Rock is his go-to amp. He also shares his reasoning behind avoiding effects loops and volume pedals.
Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
Blue the Mule III
If you’ve spent any time with Ariel Posen’s first solo record, How Long, you know that the ripping, raunchy slide solo packed within “Get You Back” is an aural high mark. As explained in a 2019 PG interview, Posen’s pairing for that song were two cheapos: a $50 Teisco Del Rey into a Kay combo. However, when he took the pawnshop prize onstage, the magic was gone. “It wouldn’t stay in tune and wouldn’t stop feeding back—it was unbearable [laughs].”
Posen was familiar with Matt Eich of Mule Resophonic—who specializes in building metal-body resonators—so he approached the luthier to construct him a steel-bodied, Strat-style baritone. Eich was reluctant at first (he typically builds roundneck resos and T-style baritones), but after seeing a clip of Posen playing live, the partnership was started.
The above steel-bodied Strat-style guitar is Posen’s third custom 25"-scale baritone. (On Mule Resophonic’s website, it’s affectionately named the “Posencaster.”) The gold-foil-looking pickups are handwound by Eich, and are actually mini humbuckers. He employs a custom Stringjoy set (.017–.064 with a wound G) and typically tunes to B standard. The massive strings allow the shorter-scale baritone to maintain a regular-tension feel. And when he gigs, he tours light (usually with two guitars), so he’ll use a capo to morph into D or E standard.
Another one that saw recording time for Headway and Mile End was the above Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt ’60s Jazzmaster, made by Carlos Lopez. To make it work better for him, he had the treble-bleed circuit removed, so that when the guitar’s volume is lowered it actually gets warmer.
"Clean and Loud"
Last time we spoke with Posen, he plugged into a Two-Rock Classic Reverb Signature. It’s typically his live amp. However, since this winter’s U.S. run was a batch of fly dates, he packed light and rented backlines. Being in Music City, he didn’t need to go too deep into his phone’s contacts to find a guitar-playing friend that owned a Two-Rock. This Bloomfield Drive was loaned to Ariel by occasional PG contributor Corey Congilio. On the brand’s consistent tone monsters, Posen said, “To be honest, put a blindfold on me and make one of Two-Rock’s amps clean and loud—I don’t care what one it is.”
The loaner vertical 2x12 cab was stocked with a pair of Two-Rock 12-65B speakers made by Warehouse Guitar Speakers.
Ariel Posen’s Pedalboard
There are a handful of carryovers from Ariel’s previous pedalboard that was featured in our 2021 tone talk: a TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Noir, a Morningstar MC3 MIDI Controller, an Eventide H9, a Mythos Pedals Argonaut Mini Octave Up, and a KingTone miniFUZZ Ge. His additions include a custom edition Keeley Hydra Stereo Reverb & Tremolo (featuring Headway artwork), an Old Blood Noise Endeavors Black Fountain oil can delay, Chase Bliss Audio Thermae Analog Delay and Pitch Shifter, and a KingTone The Duellist overdrive.
Another big piece of the tonal pie for Posen is his signature brass Rock Slide. He worked alongside Rock Slide’s Danny Songhurst to develop his namesake slide that features a round-tip end that helps Posen avoid dead spots or unwanted scratching. While he prefers polished brass, you can see above that it’s also available in a nickel-plated finish and an aged brass.