A versatile, powerful, and portable amplifier handles analog pedalboards and digital multi-effects with equal ease.
Clip 1 — Clean tone is just the 170 straight into the cab
Clip 2 — Dirty tone is used with an Orange Amplifiers sim from the Boss GT-1At some point in your gigging career, you’ve probably been fed up with your guitar amplifier. It’s too heavy, it’s too loud, it needs its own cargo hold on the plane. Traditionally, the solution is either to suck it up or downsize, which often means a sacrifice in tone. And for the player used to a full Marshall stack, switching to an 8”-speaker combo just isn’t going to cut the mustard.
Seymour Duncan aims to solve part of this problem with the PowerStage 170: a 170-watt power amp with a clean preamp, master volume, and 3-band EQ—all in a package small enough to fit on a pedalboard. You will still need to sort out your speaker situation or have a reliable PA on hand, but the PowerStage can be used with just about any4- to 16-ohm setup.
An Amp at Your Feet
Getting started with the PowerStage 170 is really simple. You just place it at the end of your effects chain, connect to your speaker cab, and power up the unit. The PowerStage 170 needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet just like any amplifier, and there’s a small, quiet fan onboard to keep it cool. The controls are super simple: master volume increases output, and the 3-band EQ will adjust bass, mid, and treble content.
The unit itself seems very sturdy and feels just the right kind of hefty. And while it seems most at home on a pedalboard, you could just as easily throw the PowerStage on top of your cab. One upside to pedalboard placement is that you can adjust the master volume with your foot for a quick boost in output.
My first session with the PowerStage 170 involved at least one of the situations Seymour Duncan had in mind when they designed it. I needed to travel, and didn’t want to throw an amplifier in the car or add to my already excessive luggage burden. My destination was already home to a late ’60s Fender 2x12 cabinet and a collection of guitars, so this was a perfect opportunity to test the PowerStage’s plug-and-play capacity. I hooked up a ’60s Japanese Stratocaster knock-off and my pedals, and pushing the master volume on the PowerStage just a hair past zero brought the cab alive. A range of sounds you could safely call “bedroom” volumes were available at settings right up to 9 o’clock.
The output emanating from the closed-back Fender 2x12 was crystal clear at these levels. And the lack of any real added coloration makes the PowerStage 170 an excellent platform for effects. That agreeability extends to the realm of digital multi-effects. For this test, I used a Boss GT-1, which has a vast array of amplifier simulations, from vintage Fenders through modern metal stacks.
I summoned an Orange amplifier simulation that has similar characteristics to my own Orange OR50. Played through the PowerStage, the output exhibited a nice push/pull feel that’s fairly sensitive to playing dynamics. Digging into an SG’s P-90s yielded a heartier growl from the Orange simulation, and rolling off the volume knob relaxed the output—a testament to the Boss unit’s realism, certainly, but also to the PowerStage’s excellent transparency and dynamic range. I ran through a few more presets on the Boss GT-1 with equally satisfying results. But I also noticed that the PowerStage added extra air to some of the GT-1’s muddier settings, which was a very nice bonus!
Another bonus is the PowerStage’s abundant headroom. Unless you’re playing a stadium without sound re-enforcement, there’s no way you’ll need to dime this thing to get an audible signal above your band. It’s plenty loud and plenty quiet provided you have speakers that can handle the output. The only time the PowerStage felt like a bad fit in my tests is when I hooked it up to a small 1x6 cabinet, which it tended to overmatch at all but the quietest volumes.
Over the course of testing the PowerStage 170, I came to see it as more than just a compact, solid-state amplifier. It’s a very utilitarian piece of gear if you have to travel light to a show, and it’s as agreeable and transparent as an amp in this role should be. For most folks, it won’t replace tube amplifiers. And $399 is in the same ballpark as many decent, low-power tube amplifiers that can sound big with sound reinforcement. But as more players warm to performing with high-quality digital multi-effects and digital audio workstations, a reliable blank slate like the PowerStage 170 will become an ever-more-valuable asset—especially when you can get sounds and volume enough to compete with the real deal.
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.
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
Belltone P-90 Foil-Tron Pickup
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.