Is Alanis Morissette about to collaborate with Harley Flanagan, or am I just flying high on Delta-variant wings?
Believe me, the irony of writing what I'm about to write after my previous column called out "Guitardom's Biggest Crybaby" is not lost on me. As we once again put the final touches on our annual Pedal Issue—a mammoth effort stacked with 25 reviews of killer new stomps from both biggies and underdogs—I decided to take a look at how I commemorated the big event last year. In that little ditty ("This World Sucks, So I Made My Own"), I mentioned how the process had been complicated not just by the then-new pandemic wreaking havoc on the industry, but also by both a freak storm here at PG headquarters and a Mad Max-esque wildfire situation for PG staffers based in California.
How rich, then, that a year later we—collectively—are yet again on our heels from the hip new Delta variant and a crapload of new fires all over the world. (Apparently John F. Malta, artist for this year's super-neato Pedal Issue cover, was feeling the same vibes, too!) Meanwhile, all the humans in my household are recovering from one mother of a virus. We're all vaccinated and tests say it's not COVID, but maybe they're false negatives? Either way, it's the shittiest we've felt in a decade, and only a fraction of the OTC meds we've been downing seem to do any good. After a couple weeks of tissue-filled garbage cans and a chorus of ungodly nose-blowing and hacking coughs, we're finally kind of on the mend, but my sinuses are still so clogged and my brain so sleep deprived I can hardly put words together in any semblance of sense. Hell, I don't even know if any of this is truly textbook irony or whether I'm just mucus-musing, Alanis Morissette-style, to the tune of a nonexistent Cro-Mags album.
Point is, my perception of things might be just slightly colored by my own misery, but it seems to me the world still kinda sucks—probably a helluva a lot more than we thought it would this time last year. But hey, at least we still have pedals!
I don't even know if any of this is truly textbook irony or whether I'm just mucus-musing, Alanis Morissette-style, to the tune of a nonexistent Cro-Mags album.
And that's no sass either, friend. Sure, PG crewmembers still lurching toward deadline might read some sarcasm into the statement. But it truly is a testament to our resilience as a community, as a species, that we've somehow managed to come up with so many mesmerizing stompboxes and make ever-cooler music with them, despite the state of things.
I personally got my first-ever whacks at three pedal brands I'd never really played before—one from an industry heavyweight, two from tiny outfits—and each took me by ever-so-pleasant surprise. Call me shallow … or maybe say I'm setting the bar low … or whatever, but hey, if I can derive a few hours of somnambulistic sonic pleasure as the world around me/us seems to fall further into the pot, then that's a win in my book. (Granted, again, it probably isn't quite textbook material.)
Rest assured, once my head is cleared, I'll have better perspective on all this. In the meantime, all I can say is—get your jabs (vaccinations), mates. A snot-filled week is better than dead. And it's your best chance to witness the next batch of ear-tantalizing pedals come this time next year.
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Which one do you prefer?
Rhett and Zach unpack the big news for secondhand guitar sellers and buyers: Sweetwater has launched their new Gear Exchange. How does it compare to Reverb, Craigslist, and Marketplace? To find out, Zach takes the site for a spin and buys a pedal. He calls the process both “very easy” and “normal.” They discuss the pros and cons of the various used-gear outlets and share tips for not getting got when buying gear. Plus, Zach grew a mustache, Mythos Pedals is moving, and he talks about his forthcoming line of Strat pickups inspired by Hendrix’s reverse-stagger setup.
Sweetwater vs. Reverb
Get 10% off from StewMac when you visit stewmac.com/dippedintone
The Tour Collection is defined by a minimalistic, vintage-inspired aesthetic, top-of-the-line components, and a simplified electronics configuration featuring new, custom pickups by Supro.
Available in the collection is the 16-inch-wide double-cutaway DC, the 15-inch-wide single-cutaway SS, and a 14-inch-wide Mini DC. Each model comes in three finishes: Slate Blue, Solid Wine, and Solid Black.
Every detail of the Tour Collection was chosen to achieve retro minimalism. Small diamond fingerboard inlays match 1930s-style diamond f-holes, and an undersized Throwback Scroll-style headstock achieves excellent head-to-body balance. The collection also features satin nickel hardware and custom Vintage Deluxe Grover tuners with a 15:1 gear ratio. Each model also features a simplified two-knob electronics configuration with 50s-style wiring to retain top-end clarity upon rolling off the volume knob. The neck shape in the Tour Collection is similar to the slim C-shape found throughout the D’Angelico line, but with more thickness in the shoulder to allow for snug hand fit as well as extra sustain. Medium Jumbo fret wire and a 12-inch fingerboard radius allow for quick navigation of the fingerboard while also prioritizing comfort for both rhythm and lead playing.
In 2020, Supro and D’Angelico became part of the same family of brands under Bond Audio. At that time, EVP of Product Ryan Kershaw and CTO Dave Koltai began designing custom pickups under the Supro name for the Tour Collection project.
“Supro Bolt Bucker pickups were designed to offer the tone of the most sought-after vintage "PAF" pickups from the late 1950's. Scatter wound, just like the originals, Supro Bolt Buckers utilize 42-gauge enamel wire along with a mixture of Alnico II (neck) and Alnico V (bridge) magnets to provide the perfect balance of warmth and clarity with unrivaled articulation and note bloom.” - Dave Koltai, Chief Technology Officer at Bond Audio.
Introducing the Excel Series Tour Collection | D'Angelico Guitars
All models are available for pre-order and will be in stock this holiday season. US MAP $1499. For more information, please visit dangelicoguitars.com.
The Cream Amp is a handmade low-gain overdrive pedal based on the Electra Distortion circuit.
The Cream Amp was designed to deliver full dynamics amp-like dirt to your clean and crunch amp or to another pedal in the chain without altering your tone too much. To add some grit at low volume or to make your amp sound more full, use the Drive control to set the gain and the Level control to match with your amp.
- Two knobs to control Volume and Drive
- Shielded inputs/outputs to avoid RF
- Filtered and protected 9VDC input
- Daisy-chain friendly
- Current draw: 7.5mA
The Cream Amp pedal is hand-made in Barcelona with carefully selected components and has a price of 100.00€. The pedals are available and can be purchased directly from the Ananasheadonline store.
For more information, please visit ananashead.com.
The Red Sea was born out of the vision to provide complex signal routing options available to the live/performing musician, that up until now, are only found in a studio mixing environment.
Introducing the Red Sea, an all-analog signal routing matrix, designed for countless stereo and mono signal path routing options. The Red Sea was born out of the vision to provide complex signal routing options available to the live/performing musician, that up until now, are only found in a studio mixing environment. The Red Sea has accomplished this in a compact, easy-to-use, and cost-effective solution.
Wet | Dry | Wet
The Red Sea gives you the ability to run a FULL Stereo wet dry wet rig using only 2 amps or just 2 signals to the FOH, while also giving you complete control over your Wet & Dry mix! Use the Blend knob to control the overall mix between stereo wet effects and mono dry/drive signals.
Stereo Dual Amps
Run dual amp modelers if full stereo w/ stereo effects. Gone are the traditional ways of one amp in the Left channel and another in the Right channel. Now use the Red Sea to seamlessly blend between two separate amps in true stereo. Think of this as a 2-channel amp where you can blend anywhere between both amps.
Stereo Parallel FX
Red Sea has two independent stereo FX loops. Use each FX loop to run stereo delay's and reverb's in parallel, where each effect does not interact with each other. Huge soundscapes can be achieved with washy reverbs and articulate delay repeats while being able to blend between each FX loops mix level.
The Red Sea can also do the following routing options:
- Wet | Dry utilizing a single amp
- Clean Wet | Dry | Wet (drives DO NOT run into wet effects)
- Wet | Dry | Wet with dual delays (one in the L channel & other in R channel)
- Parallel Dual Amps (run dual amp modelers in FULL stereo)
- Convert a tube amp's serial FX Loop to a parallel FX Loop
- Stereo and Mono analog dry through (avoid latency in digital pedals)