Unusual, dirty harmonic tremolo tones and more from a most unorthodox modulator.
Many unexpected, unusual, and useable tremolo tones. Many options in a compact box. Tap-tempo control. High-quality build.
Overdriven voice leaves less room to enjoy harmonic tremolo subtleties.
Coppersound Loma Prieta
Ease of Use:
Harmonic tremolo, the kind that makes brownface Fender amplifiers the subject of lust, is addictive stuff. I love optical and bias tremolo too—the former for its percussive throb and the latter for its smooth, round pulses. But in the wee hours, when you get into meditative tête á tête with your amplifier and look for your tremolo to take you to another dimension, the warbly, immersive undulations of harmonic tremolo can be powerfully transportive.
Coppersound’s Loma Prieta analog tremolo features two tremolo types. The first is an optical-sounding mode called traditional tremolo. But it’s the wobblier harmonic tremolo setting that is the Loma Prieta’s star. Combined with the pedal’s overdriven fundamental voice, an additional gain control that dirties things up further still, and a waveform selector, it adds up to an unorthodox tremolo.
Rigged to Rumble
Coppersound’s overdriven tremolo concept dates back to the company’s earliest experiments with the effect. And while they considered a cleaner voice, they worked their way back to a dirty tremolo design as Loma Prieta came together. It’s an interesting idea. It also yields some pretty funky colors.
There’s always some quantity of dirty signal in the Loma Prieta’s output, so at times it colors your signal in the way a small, saturated tremolo amp like a Fender Champ, Gibson Skylark, or Danelectro DM-10 might. When you add extra gain from the grit control, the Loma Prieta can also take on overdrive qualities reminiscent of direct-to-desk preamp distortion. If you’re used to tremolo pedals that sound uniformly clean, these tones can sound unusual, and even harsh at some settings. But as you get a feel for the way the volume and grit controls interact, and how the Loma Prieta responds to guitar input and amp characteristics, you uncover many very cool and unique overdrive sounds that can give distinct, uncommon shape to rhythm parts, solos, and hooks.
In smaller amps, the Loma Prieta’s overdrive can sound natural, organic, and of a piece with the tremolo pulses. With larger amps results can vary. A silverface Bassman with 12" speakers flattered the fizzier, direct-to-desk-like aspects of the Loma Prieta’s overdrive profile, especially at advanced grit settings. Paired with 10" speakers, I heard a less cohesive amp/effect whole. I suspect, though, that the Loma Prieta’s basically dirty tone benefits from extra low-end ballast that lends contour to the pulses and counterweight to dirtier sounds. Your results may vary. But if your experience is at all like mine, you’ll find a lot of depth and unexpected textures in the Loma Prieta’s voice. It works dynamically with guitar tone and volume controls, and there are many shades of distortion in the interactions between the pedal’s volume and grit controls alone. If you like the more off-kilter tonalities of Daniel Lanois, Tchad Blake, and early Neil Young, you’ll find lots to dig here.
Many Wobbly Roads to Wander
Unusual overdrive characteristics aren’t Loma Prieta’s only path to unique tremolo colors. The 4-way waveform-shape selector offers sine, square, ramp-up, and ramp-down triangle waves. Predictably, perhaps, the smoother sine wave was best for revealing the harmonic tremolo’s intricacies, while the square wave was ideal for accenting the traditional trem’s choppier signature. But there are awesome and surprising sounds everywhere among the possible combinations. Loma Prieta’s shift function will probably be used primarily to enable the useful tap-tempo capability. But the rate-doubling mode, lo-fi mode (which strips bass frequencies), and distortion setting (which momentarily adds a huge bump in gain and level) all offer quick blasts of drama for twisting already-twisted modulation settings. And the expression pedal option for controlling rate offers yet another path to deviant tremoloisms.
I’m almost reluctant to highlight the harmonic tremolo aspect of the Loma Prieta’s design, because the associations with super lush and dreamy modulation is so strong. The Loma Prieta has those qualities, but nearly every available texture is colored to some extent by the pedal’s unique overdrive and distortion signatures, which will make the pedal sound less lush and dreamy to a lot of players. These sounds will not be to everyone’s taste. And while I came to love and feel very inspired by these tones over my time with the pedal, they offer little leeway for exploring the more pristine side of the harmonic tremolo effect. In that respect, the Loma Prieta is a bit of a niche effect, and perhaps a touch expensive for it. But that niche is hardly a measure of the number of available tremolo sounds, nor of how very engaging and inspiring they can be. And if the same-old-tremolo blues has you down, Loma Prieta is a fascinating possible fix.
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Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.