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Sound Check 2009

“Hot-rod” is a verb as well as a noun. It describes the act of making your guitar your guitar—either by giving it a new look, a new sound or some

“Hot-rod” is a verb as well as a noun. It describes the act of making your guitar your guitar—either by giving it a new look, a new sound or some kind of new feature that clearly wasn’t part of the original design. Not to take anything away from the purity of a mint-condition ’63 Strat or a ’56 goldtop, but there’s just something cool about firing up a guitar that was tweaked for your particular style and tone. That’s what we’re doing with Premier Guitar. We’re redesigning the look here, adding a new column there, and basically retooling our approach. We’re doing it in order to make this thing fit your interests as an experienced player—just as comfortably as a neck shaped to fit your own hand. We appreciate that many players like to know what’s going on under the hood of their gear, so allow me to take this opportunity to fill you in on some of our latest tweaks and the motivations behind them.

Multiple Voices
The guitar industry comprises a diverse group of old-world luthiers, modern-day tweakers, theoretical virtuosos, feel players, by-thebook scientists and experimental tonehounds hell-bent on dissecting mojo and recreating it. We find great value in exploring what is to be learned from each of these camps, and we will always strive to include a diversity of voices. In our relentless pursuit of tone we are all ears and always will be. This is why you’ll find industry vets like guitar makers, amp designers, pedal gurus, artists and artist techs writing columns and occasional articles for us—we value what they’ve learned and are excited to share their knowledge with you. What they bring to the table, along with the contributions of PG staffers and our experienced stable of freelance guitar journalists, rounds out what we consider to be a potent offering of guitar-focused stuff to sink your teeth into every month (and every day on

The resulting in-depth discussion about tone continues with each new issue. Like a backstage conversation among techs at an all-star jam, the collective dialogue is enriched by the different experiences and viewpoints involved. That’s why you’ll see more familiar names penning new columns, and rotating into existing ones, in the near future.

Full Disclosure
With this approach comes the embedded responsibility of holding our contributors’ feet to the fire. People in the industry who are willing to share their secrets still have a dog in the race, so to speak. However, they understand and respect our audience and know that opportunities to contribute are not fortuitous moments to pimp their products or slag their competitors.

Along these lines, it’s important to note that we pay industry contributors for their submissions— just like we do with professional writers. Whether or not they advertise with us has no bearing. Likewise, we welcome any and all gear gurus willing to share what they’ve learned to write for us. There is no cool club of industry vets who receive preferential treatment, either—we receive many submissions and reject a lot of them. Our contributors also know that anything they submit has to make it through a gauntlet of editing and fact checking before the content is presented to you.

Guitar Media 2.0
Remember that your voice is valued within the Premier Guitar community. Every column, article, interview, review, etc. in our magazine appears online for free (as always) and includes a comments section where players around the world weigh in with their own $.02. It’s not unusual to find an amp builder or artist mentioned in an article answering reader questions within the article’s online comment section. Our aim is to get away from the practice of guitar magazines being the preachers while the readers are the humble disciples. The way we see it, we facilitate discussions about tone. We start them with our articles and invite you to jump online to join in, or hang back and take it all in. is also where you’ll find soundclips, videos, extended photo galleries and podcasts that give you a chance to hear and see the gear, people and events that we cover in the magazine. Because many of you are like us and simply can’t get enough of this stuff, we offer a considerable tally of new articles and reviews online—that you won’t find in the magazine.

If you’re unable to cruise by our site everyday, but would like to be alerted to it all, be sure to sign up for Backstage Pass, our free weekly newsletter that brings everything to your inbox. And of course, you can also sign up for the Online Edition of Premier Guitar, which is a free digital version of the magazine you’re holding in your hands. Just as some people dig Floyds and some don’t, we understand that some of you like having the print edition around and some of you do your reading online. Like most hot rod guitars, the tweaking is never done and we’re open to suggestions. If you have an idea for a killer story, a new feature or any feedback whatsoever—let us know.

Joe Coffey
Editorial Director