Gear and music communities have come together to help combat Bob Sweet''s cancer
Bob Sweet playing at Buzz''s before he found out about the cancerous tumor in his neck
Bob Sweet is a pedal maker out of southern Florida whose line, Sweet Sound Electronics, is often noted for its simple designs, high quality construction and truly sweet sounds. In December, Bob found out that he had a cancerous tumor in his neck (squamous cell carcinoma).
Needless to say, the cancer is trying to take him down. Since the start of chemotherapy he has encountered problems with his back. Several of his vertebrae have cracked as a result of calcium depletion. This has required more surgery and brought additional debilitating pain, beyond what was caused by the tumor alone. The back surgeries forced Bob to put off some of the chemo treatments and have limited his ability to make pedals that people continue to order -- pedals that he desperately wants to make.
In an interview with Premier Guitar, Bob described the pain, saying that at times he cannot even write an e-mail without pain shooting up his back and forcing him back to his bed -- a reclining chair that keeps his back at an appropriate angle.
Besides being an emotionally and physically draining experience, the actual cost of fighting the cancer is staggering -- chemotherapy costs up to $3500 a week. As we all know, being a professional musician and independent builder usually means having no health insurance and Bob''s situation is no different. However, Bob is not fighting this alone, thanks to a charity started by Musictoyz.com owner/Administrator, Ted Rasch, and user Paul DiBenedetto.
Since the public announcement of Bob''s situation on forums like forums.musictoyz.com and The Gear Page, both noteworthy and under-the-radar gear makers and musicians, most of whom compete with or have never met Sweet, are pooling resources in an effort to raise money for the electronics maker. Fundraising methods have included community-based fundraisers, direct donations to Sweet''s PayPal account, email@example.com (with a zero), forum-based auctions and eBay auctions.
The wealth of items contributed to eBay auctions for the self-described "old musician making pedals" could restore anyone''s faith in humanity; it surely has for Bob, who, along with others, had previously grown impatient with negative comments in the forums. With the help of manufacturers like Dunlop, Wah-Wah and Lovepedal, and musicians like Slash, Steve Vai and Steve Stevens, the call to action started resonating quickly. Gear already auctioned includes an Ibanez Jemini Distortion Proto-Type #2, signed by Steve Vai; a Lovepedal 200lbs of Tone - Eric Johnson pedal; a Teese Picture Wah, autographed by J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr.; a Teese Wizard Wah, autographed by Moby; a Dunlop Slash Wah, signed by Slash; a Pro Analog MKIII fuzz, signed by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top; and an assortment of custom-built pieces designed specifically for the Bob Sweet Charity.
More items are expected to be posted in the upcoming months, each listed without shipping fees, which -- along with eBay''s posting fees -- are being taken care of by Rasch.
In addition to the enormous help generated through eBay auctions, the South Florida Blues Society hosted a Bob Sweet Fundraiser. The Happy Hour Open Mic Jam at Red''s Club in Fort Lauderdale, immediately following the SFBS monthly meeting on Friday April 25, featured 2006 International Blues Competition winner Joey Gilmore and Premio Estrella Music Latin Rock Award winner Galo Rivera. Sweet is a member of the Blues Society, so the event consisted largely of fellow players, friends and family from the region. Bobby Weinberg, president of the South Florida Blues Society, put the event together after a suggestion was made by Bob''s friend Jack Carchio. The following morning, Carchio, on behalf of the Blues Society, handed Bob an envelope containing cash and checks totaling $1000.
Bob playing his guitar with his teeth
Bob''s response to the help and positive comments is pretty typical for someone in his position -- he has no words. In a voice cracking under the pressure of tears (Ted Rasch says he''s a big softy these days), Sweet told Premier Guitar, “I cannot find the words that will relay the extent of my feelings of what the online community is doing for me. From manufacturers, dealers, rock stars, wannabe rocks stars, musicians to non-musicians and just plain old good folks from Norway to Singapore, Japan to Germany and everywhere in between, and of course across the United States; I don''t know what to do to thank people. It can really change you. I really look at things differently.”
As for Bob''s condition, the tumor is responding well to the chemo treatments he is able to make. He is in his third round of chemotherapy (once a week for about eight hours) and radiation (39-40 treatments five days a week) started in February.
The Ultra Vibe pedal is part of Bob''s Sweet Sound Electronics line
Want to know how you can help? According to Rasch and DiBenedetto, the best way is to contribute any amount to Bob''s PayPal account (firstname.lastname@example.org -- with a zero). Otherwise, go to Sweet Sound Electronics to see what Bob makes, keep a lookout on eBay for Bob Sweet-related items or visit the forums at Musictoyz, The Gear Page and Plexi Palace.
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.