april 2014

This luthier duo from Finland draws inspiration from their homeland and offers a wide range of instruments with both a “classic” and “extreme” line.

Halla
The solidbody Halla model is part of Amfisound’s classic line of guitars and this particular example that’s finished in a high-gloss red has an alder body with a flamed maple top, and a bolt-on maple neck that’s dressed with a rosewood fretboard. Hardware appointments include Hipshot locking tuners, a Bigsby and TonePros Nashville-style bridge, and Amfisound non-slip potentiometer knobs. For electronics, this regal-looking axe has a pair of TV Jones Classics.

Finnish luthiers Tomi Korkalainen and Sampo Leppävuori met in 1997 at the Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design where they were both students in the guitar-making department. And though they came from different parts of the country—along with completely different personalities and tastes in music—they quickly found they had a lot in common and became close friends. One of those commonalities was a huge respect and love for nature and the “North.” Another was a shared belief that music is more than just sound—there’s something deeply emotional and personal about it. “These are things that we have always applied to our guitar building,” says Korkalainen.

After finishing their initial studies in 2001, the two founded Amfisound Guitars in 2002 and decided to base their shop in Oulu, in Northern Finland, “because our Northern roots and attitude are very important for us. A lot of things about Finland are pretty extreme: the climate, the nature, the history, the people, the music, etc. But there is also a deep sense of tradition and that deep love for nature. Our guitars often impart these feelings,” shares Korkalainen. “In fact, the name for each of our models refers to something Finnish or Northern that is deeply meaningful to us.”

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Bogner's beastliest amp is made miniature—and still slays.

Excellent sounds in a portable and very affordably priced package.

A footswitchable clean channel and onboard reverb would make it perfect.

$329

Bogner Ecstasy Mini
bogneramplification.com

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The original Bogner Ecstasy, released in 1992, is iconic in heavy rock circles. Though it was popularized and preferred by rock and metal artists (Steve Vai and Brad Whitford were among famous users), its ability to move from heavy Brit distortion to Fender-like near-clean tones made it appealing beyond hard-edged circles. Even notorious tone scientist Eric Johnson was enamored with its capabilities.

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Rig Rundown: IDLES

See how chaotic co-pilots Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan bring five pedalboards to mutilate, mangle, and mask their guitars into bass, synth, hip-hop beats, raging elephant sounds, and whatever “genk” is.

Do you hear that thunder? That’s the sound of strength in numbers. Specifically, it's the sound of four 100-watt stacks. (Actually, one is a 200-watt bass tube head.) IDLES’ guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan finally have the firepower to match their fury. (Original members singer/lyricist Joe Talbot, drummer Jon Beavis, and bassist Adam Devonshire fill out the band. Kiernan took over for guitarist Andy Stewart after 2015 EP Meat was released.)

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