Seymour Duncan Unveils the Vise Grip Compressor

A studio-grade soft-knee compressor designed for guitarists.

Santa Barbara, CA (January 20, 2015) -- The Seymour Duncan Vise Grip Compressor is a studio-grade soft-knee compressor designed for guitarists who want to take control of the dynamics of their sound, from a subtle smoothing-out of peaks and valleys to the most squished and pinched extremes and everywhere in between. The Blend knob lets you add as much or as little of the original signal as you like to the compressed sound, while the Mid/Full/High lets you choose the character of the blended signal by deciding what frequency range of the dry signal is blended in with the wet. The Sustain knob determines how long your notes will ring out and the Attack control regulates how quickly the compressor reacts to your initial pick attack. Higher settings give you a late attack that lets your picking dynamics come through before the compression kicks in. And the Volume control does more than just let you match the output with your bypassed sound: you can also use it as a boost while taking advantage of the Blend and Mid/Full/High controls.

This rare English Tonemaster was made circa 1957.

The Valco-produced English Tonemaster is a rare, lap-steel-inspired gem from the 1950s—when genres and guitar design were fluid.

The 1950s were a peculiar time for the electric guitar. Innovators, designers, and tinkerers were pushing the boundaries of the instrument, while musicians were experimenting with various playing techniques and sounds. There was an evolution of sorts (or de-evolution, depending on your slant) from solidbody “sit-down” guitars, like pedal and lap steels, to “stand-up” or “upright” solidbody electrics. If you look at an early Fender catalog—let’s say from 1953—you’ll see the Telecaster (and Esquire), the Precision Bass, and then a whole bunch of steel guitars. There was a shift underway, and many manufacturers began to blur the lines of what a guitar should look, sound, and play like.

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PRS Guitars and John Mayer officially announce the PRS SE Silver Sky, an affordable version of the original with PRS trademark bird inlays and three single-coil pickups.

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