Solid-state bizarros, custom instruments, and shape-shifting digital dynamos power these lo-fi rockers' aural adventures.

Scott McMicken loves a lively guitar. Because of this, he’s spent most nights with a varying combination of a Fender Coronado, Epiphone Sheraton, and since 2014, his black-eyed bestie—a Silvertone 1446. This tour saw the black bomber left back at home, as Scott was looking to push his playing in a different, more expressive direction, and he thought taking the above solidbody—a Lil Trees Tall Friend—would provoke a positive reaction. Some specifics about the model include a swamp ash body with an arched Douglas fir cap (and contoured back), mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, and a 24.9" scale length. While Scott can’t recall the pickup installed in this Tall Friend, the most notable features in this guitar have to be the control knobs—one is a master volume, but the two matching knobs are treble and bass. Scott really likes how these controls enable him to slightly dial back his drive and fuzz for nuanced, articulate sounds when he’s not looking to roar.


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D'Addario XT Strings: https://ddar.io/XT.RR



A maze of modulation and reverberations leads down many colorful tone vortices.

Deep clanging reverb tones. Unexpected reverb/modulation combinations.

Steep learning curve for a superficially simple pedal.

$209

SolidGoldFX Ether
solidgoldfx.com

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A lot of cruel fates can befall a gig. But unless you’re a complete pedal addict or live in high-gain-only realms, doing a gig with just a reverb- and tremolo-equipped amp is not one of them. Usually a nice splash of reverb makes the lamest tone pretty okay. Add a little tremolo on top and you have to work to not be at least a little funky, surfy, or spacy. You see, reverb and modulation go together like beans and rice. That truth, it seems, extends even to maximalist expressions of that formula—like the SolidGold FX Ether.

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The Atlas Compressor offers up an extensive library of compression options and allows for transformation into a bass specific compression machine.


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