PG chief Shawn Hammond pauses to take stock of his most jarring Summer NAMM encounter.
Besides the ridiculously cool Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers Patch Box, and Analog Outfitters Scanner, the most shocking thing I heard at Summer NAMM was the observation that I always have “a chip on my shoulder" here in Tuning Up. I think it was meant as a compliment— the guy who said it is kind of quirky—but who knows? Despite my tough talk, I'm kind of a softy, so I kept waiting for a smile, laugh, or some indication he was dishing kudos with a side of ribbing. But his expression remained inscrutable until I was abruptly pulled away to a video appointment.
The rabble-rouser in me wanted to believe it was praise for not playing it safe in this space—for trying not to be predictable, for not blabbing about how awesome our latest reviews and articles are, for trying to say something of a little substance. But the other half of my brain kept asking, “When was the last time you heard that as a compliment, dumbass?"
Regardless, there's probably truth in both interpretations. I am kind of a contrarian. The fact that I was just about to write “But I wasn't always this way" just proves it.
Still, there was a time when I was very much by the book. I grew up in a religious culture that was very big on self-betterment and an eventual goal of achieving “perfection" in the afterlife. The definitions for this perfection were very black and white. Even though my family wasn't as strict as some, I became very gung-ho about doing things “right." It was a way of life. An all-encompassing worldview.
Given how traditional and straitlaced my cultural sphere of experience was, it's a wonder I ever got into guitar and rock 'n' roll at all. In retrospect, I'd chalk it up to three things: naiveté about the true extent of rockers' supposedly transgressive lifestyles, a mom who's cool and laidback (by our religious-bubble standards), and an insatiable love of music.
Still, it doesn't take a genius to see how this upbringing would inevitably filter into how I viewed everything, including music and guitar playing: Do it right, or don't do it. Be the best you can be. If something didn't meet my rigid standards for morality or excellence in achievement, the people involved were on the wrong life path or kind of underachievers. Most of the music I adored was by virtuosic musicians—mostly guitar-centric. In part, I blame the guitar mags I took as another form of gospel.
Over time this outlook gradually eased, especially once I moved outside the homogenized hometown of my youth and was exposed to wonderful music I never would've heard otherwise. But the biggest change came years later when I saw a fork in my life path that led away from so much I'd held dear. To be true to myself, I knew I had to take it.
The whys and hows and ramifications of my switch upended so much of my existence that it led to a very different kind of righteous indignation, though one with similar intensity. I began questioning status quos and kneejerk assumptions. I became a lot more stingy with my allegiances, yet increasingly more open-minded and adventurous. For better or worse, the culmination so far is lived out somewhat here in Tuning Up every month.
Everyone has similarly complex stories. No matter where we start, we're all mutants morphing at varying levels of conscious detection. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we can't escape who we are, can't change our genetic/socially programmed codes—at least not completely or in a timeframe that doesn't seem infinitesimally slow-mo'. In some ways we probably shouldn't even try. And sometimes we should just smile, take a compliment, and go on our merry way thinking, “I'll show you a chip, mofo!"
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.