The closing of 2010 may signal the end of a rather turbulent decade, but it’s certainly a time to celebrate the state of the independent guitar-building industry, which, despite
The closing of 2010 may signal the end of a rather turbulent decade, but it’s certainly a time to celebrate the state of the independent guitar-building industry, which, despite uncertain economic times, has been fruitful and innovative over the last decade. Small builders are not an entirely new phenomenon, but the popularity of the internet really helps small outfits get the attention they deserve. And playing a superb guitar like the JET Caldera reminds me how wonderful it is to be a player in a time when such outfits can thrive.
Force of Nature
You can tell the Caldera is a special guitar by just opening the case. It’s a stunning instrument in every sense of the word. From headstock to strap button, the guitar revealed no finish or structural blemishes, no matter how hard I looked for them. The Caldera weighs just 7 1/2 pounds and was perfectly balanced when I stood and let it sit across my shoulder with my strap set waist high. The gorgeous transparent black korina body is capped with a quilted maple top and finished in a three-tone Caribbean Burst paint scheme with exquisite natural wood binding.
JET uses a unique process to join their body and top pieces, which involves carving the body wood to a peaked center in the middle, routing carefully placed tone chambers, then finally gluing the top on with an extremely strong polyurethane- based adhesive. According to JET, this makes the guitar tremendously resonant and lively. The entire body is encased in a polyester finish that exhibits a strong sheen and transparency.
I was taken aback by how closely JET paid attention to minor details, such as using exotic wood pieces to surround the pickup screw cavities and installing a recessed, angled jack on the back of the guitar. It’s a practical and aesthetically pleasing design touch that’s typical of JET’s work. A string-through bridge, two custom-wound Seymour Duncan humbucking pickups (which are screwed directly into the body for better resonance and sustain), two Volume, and two Tone knobs (with a push-pull coil-tap switch in the neck pickup’s tone control) make up the rest of the Caldera’s hardware. Except for the pickup bobbins, there’s not a trace of plastic on this instrument.
Neck Over Heels in Love
As lovely as the Caldera’s body looks and feels, its neck was the real source of joy for me. Made of three pieces of quartersawn hard maple with a 25"-scale, the ebony-stained, 24-fret neck felt like a piece of finished marble in my palm. And with the perfectly smooth slab of ebony used for its fretboard, the Caldera’s neck was one of the best I’ve felt in years. The joy didn’t stop there, though. The Caldera’s highly sculpted neck joint fit my hand like a glove, giving me effortless access to the higher frets. All that reach can feel a little strange if you’re accustomed to the chunkier neck joints of a Stratocaster or Les Paul. But with its enhanced playability, the joint is a true design improvement that’s easy to get used to.
Born to Burn
It’s pretty evident that the Caldera has its roots in the hardrocking tones of a choice Les Paul, so I was eager to test the Caldera’s mettle with a rig known for its LP friendliness—a 1981 Marshall JCM800 2204 half stack, set with the gain up about halfway. Starting right into some tight, blues-rock riffing, I was treated to clarity, sustain, and tonal bite that were off the charts. The highs were clear and present, but pleasantly rounded. The Caldera has a solid, defined low end, but I was struck by the guitar’s pronounced high-midrange tones. Far from annoying or nasal, they work exceptionally well in exactly the way you’d want a humbucker to interact with a great British tube amp.
The dual custom-wound Seymour Duncan pickups are, in general, quite hot, but they possess a juicy bounce and sweetness that feels natural and easy to control. By comparison, the Caldera’s coil-tapped sounds are a little disappointing and seemed a bit weak and thin, even when I ran just the neck pickup into a Fender Twin Reverb. Obviously I wasn’t expecting the guitar to exhibit the same amount of force and punch as it had in full humbucking mode, but the chime-like quality of the high end was noticeably deadened when the tapped mode was engaged. That said, it’s a tone that could work for jazz or blues players who require a little less muscle and high-mid kick in front of their amp.
The JET Caldera is an outstanding guitar. It offers many familiar Les Paul design motifs with refinements that alleviate some of the most common complains of that time-honored axe. I was hard-pressed to find anything involving the tone that was not top notch, except for an arguably weak coil-tap mode. Thanks to its great neck and super-resonant, lightweight body, playing the Caldera is almost as effortless as pulling it out of the case. Traditionalists should have no problem gravitating towards its impeccable build, though they might be turned off by how brazen and hot the pickups are. For modern rockers, however, the Caldera is a great choice, especially if you crave a guitar that stands out from the pack.
Watch the video review:
you’re looking for a great-sounding, hot-rodded rock machine that’s distinctiv eand magnificently playable.
you rely primarily on single-coil guitar tones.
Street $6350 - JET Guitars - jetguitars.com
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.