The veteran prog-rock hero continues his fearless forays into the future with a tubeless setup heavy on digital effects and MIDI capabilities that give him ultimate control.

Fripp will forever be associated with his 1957 and ’59 Les Paul Customs, the three-pickup Black Beauties he rocked with early King Crimson, as well as The Talking Heads, Blondie, and his other seminal work. Now Fripp plays a highly modified Fernandes LP-style goldtop. The Fernandes features a Seymour Duncan in the bridge and Sustainer in the neck. Fripp is the inventor of the New Standard Tuning, which is C–G–D–A–E–G. To facilitate that tuning he strings up with D’Addario Nickel-Wound XL strings (.009-.054).


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



Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.

$399

HeadRush MX5
headrushfx.com

3.5
4
4
4.5

The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

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"'If I fall and somehow my career ends on that particular day, then so be it," Joe Bonamassa says of his new hobby, bicycling. "If it's over, it's over. You've got to enjoy your life."

Photo by Steve Trager

For his stylistically diverse new album, the fiery guitar hero steps back from his gear obsession and focuses on a deep pool of influences and styles.

Twenty years ago, Joe Bonamassa was a struggling musician living in New York City. He survived on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen noodles that he procured from the corner bodega at Columbus Avenue and 83rd Street. Like many dreamers waiting for their day in the sun, Joe also played "Win for Life" every week. It was, in his words, "literally my ticket out of this hideous business." While the lottery tickets never brought in the millions, Joe's smokin' guitar playing on a quartet of albums from 2002 to 2006—So, It's Like That, Blues Deluxe, Had to Cry Today, and You & Me—did get the win, transforming Joe into a guitar megastar.

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