Ernie Ball Music Man commemorates the 30th anniversary of partnership with Grammy award-winning composer and Toto guitarist/co-founder Steve Lukather, by introducing the 30th Anniversary L4 Guitar.
Featuring a Steamroller Walnut Burst satin finish, this anniversary edition combines a beautiful flame maple top seated in an exotic Black Limba body with a figured roasted maple neck and ebony fingerboard. The Ernie Ball Music Man designed HT HSS pickups deliver an incredibly dynamic and responsive playing experience and can achieve an ultra-high-output, powerful low-end response while retaining a distinctively clean, clear tone at lower volume levels. Also unique to this limited edition model is a Music Man double locking tremolo.
This anniversary L4 HSS shares many of the standard specifications of the previous Luke guitars, including a double-cut contoured body, a roasted maple neck with 22 nickel frets, 5-way switching, an adjustable 12dB boost, and Music Man's double locking tremolo. Each guitar includes a tremolo cover personally signed by Steve Lukather, a certificate of authenticity, and a Mono case.
- Lightweight Okoume body and maple top double-cutaway design with polyester finish
- Crafted with a roasted maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and 22 nickel frets
- Equipped with an adjustable 12dB push push boost and 5-way switch for more tonal diversity
- HT humbucking bridge and custom neck pickups
- Premium roasted maple neck featuring a comfortable soft "V" neck profile
- Schaller Locking Tuners
- Roasted alder body double-cutaway design with select hi-gloss polyester finishes
- Crafted with a roasted maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and 22 nickel frets.
- Equipped with an adjustable 12db push push boost and 5-way switch for more tonal diversity
- HT single coil pickups
- Silent Circuit
- Premium roasted maple neck featuring a comfortable soft "V" neck profile
- Schaller Locking Tuners
Ernie Ball Music Man: Steve Lukather 30th Anniversary L4 Guitar Collection
This very special limited edition anniversary model will be limited to only 150 instruments.
The Steve Lukather L4 Collection is available for purchase starting today. The HH and SSS models are available from authorizied Ernie Ball Music Man Dealers. The 30th Anniversary L4 is limited to 150 units worldwide, and is available from both authorized dealers as well as directly from the Ernie Ball Music Man Vault.
Our First in a month of pedal giveaways! Enter below for your chance to win one of SIX pedals from Aclam Guitars, Chase Bliss, Ernie Ball, JangleBox, Renzo Sound, and Revv Amplification!
Enter Here: Be sure to visit each sponsor below.I Love Pedals 2023 - Week 1
The Shawn Tubbs Tilt Overdrive is the tonal culmination of a lifetime in music. Shawn not only needed a practical tone tool to give him the right sound quickly in any musical context - he aimed to combine the greatest vintage amp tones & recorded guitar sounds of all time into one ideal sound. Now that tone is available to you in an award-winning compact 9v double pedal with a unique Tilt Boost.
Designed to be both the core of your entire guitar sound you can take anywhere & a useful tool to upgrade your existing setup, Tilt Overdrive adds an all-new record-ready tone to your palette that expands your recording & performance capabilities while channeling Shawn’s 30+ years of professional guitar experience into a combination of the best recorded guitar sounds in history. Not only was it developed by a AAA session musician who always has to have perfect tone - it’s designed to bring out the best of each player who plugs in. It drops right into your rig to produce Shawn’s trademark clear, balanced overdriven sounds.
Renzo Sound is showing up to this party with our newest (and only!) overdrive pedal, the Autumn Drive.
The vibes are chill and deceptively simple for all you modern rock and pop gals and guys. Twist our knobs and you’ll be treated with the satisfying crunch and fuss-free controls of our 250-style drive. We’re keepin’ it fresh with a totally redesigned circuit for greater clarity and expressiveness - which we all know you could use
Nerd out on the details:
* Drive ranges from beefy boost to creamy overdrive that touches fuzz territory
* Flat EQ retains bass, tames treble, and lets your tone shine through.
* Top-mounted jacks, soft-click true bypass, and standard 9v power, so it’s right at home on your pedalboard.
JangleBox Byrds 50th LE
The original JangleBox compressor/sustainer is the pedal that captured the clean, bright ringing chime popularized by the Beatles, enhanced by the Byrds, and integrated into the sonic palettes of so many contemporary groups.
This simple plug-in/play compression pedal creates a bold sustain that will give your Ric, Tele, Gretsch, Strat — whatever the guitar — remarkable presence. Unlike pedals that clip or distort the original signal, the JangleBox expands the compression “sweet spot” to maintain a clean, even tone, with true bypass.
Compact and powerful, the JangleBox is ruggedly constructed for demanding pros and aspiring artists alike. Whether you’re looking to get that Beatles/Byrds chime and jangle, never-ending slide sustain, Nashville “squish,” or just a big, clean boost, the JangleBox delivers the distinctive compression edge.
The VPJR Tuner pedal combines Ernie Ball’s world-renowned volume pedal with an enhanced definition digital guitar tuner. In the heel-down position, the pedal’s vibrant touchscreen automatically enters tuner mode, allowing for silent tuning. As the foot sweeps forward, the screen switches to volume mode, providing a graphic display of your volume level. Alternatively, the screen can remain in volume mode or tuner mode, regardless of the pedal’s position in the sweep. Simply double-tap on the touchscreen to toggle between modes. The VPJR Tuner provides the same rugged construction and time-tested performance as Ernie Ball’s traditional volume pedal, resulting in the most useful guitar tuner pedal on the market.
Generation Loss MKII is a study of tape in all its forms.
We decided to start from scratch this time and really explore what tape is all about. Get into those crinkles that make it so magical. We took apart VCRs, we analyzed anything we could find with a tape in it, from camcorders to cassette decks.
All available for you to saturate, fail and flutter, until everything sits just right. And if you prefer the way it was before, you can do that too. In stereo.
The most accurate replica of the iconic VOX UL730 amp. Made famous by 'The Beatles' as they used it on Revolver & Sgt. Pepper's albums. It was also used by The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Page or Joy Division.
Klaus Voormann (Revolver's cover album designer) has created the artwork for the Dr. Robert pedal and this is an exclusive unit signed by himself.
With its circuit tailored for both guitar and bass, and a meticulous process of tracing the original tag board circuits and measuring each component’s value, the result is an approach of this sound never reached before.
After seven albums with her trio, the avant-garde Norwegian guitarist branches out and collaborates with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra on a concept album, Maternity Beat, which explores themes of empathy and parenthood, inspired by displaced persons fleeing war.
For a stiff contraption of metal and wood, the guitar can convey an extraordinary range of human emotions. Combine it with an 11-piece ensemble and the options expand like a flower. Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad, her blonde Gibson ES-335 in hand, revels in these myriad possibilities on her latest album Maternity Beat, a commissioned project with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. (Previous TJO guest collaborators include Chick Corea and Joshua Redman—not too shabby.)
It's a logical progression. Over the course of seven albums for Rune Grammofon since 2011, the Oslo-based Mollestad remained focused on the decidedly rock-edged sound of the Hedvig Mollestad Trio, with Ellen Brekken on bass and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad on drums. Then came a shift in 2020, which led to the release of two solo albums, Ekhidna and Tempest Revisited (2021), also for Rune, that changed the sonic equation.
Instead of electric bass, Mollestad recruited two keyboardists for Ekhidna and added trumpet. On Tempest Revisited, the lineup grew to include three saxophonists and two drummers. She may not have known it right away, but she was laying the foundation for Maternity Beat and the expanded sound world made possible by the TJO.
Hedvig Mollestad & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra - All Flights Cancelled
Part of the catalyst was motherhood and the huge personal and professional changes it can bring. “My first child was born in 2015 and the second in 2017,” she explains. But more than this, it was the plight of migrants, including many children, during this same period that triggered Mollestad’s artistic response. “At that time, it was mostly people fleeing the Syrian war,” she observes, “and a lot of them came to Norway. They were treated in a harsh manner, picked up in the middle of the night and driven up north where the weather was minus 40. It was so inhumane. This was happening while my children were very small, and it had a big impact on me.”The disconnect between this hardship and her own relative comfort proved jarring for Mollestad and others in her circle, and it prompted a search for new modes of expression. “You go around in your perfect everyday mood, happy to play with your children while people are experiencing real traumas so close to us. I wasn’t doing anything in particular, except thinking about it. So, it made me wonder: What is caring for other people? What is it that makes us care? Do we have to be parents? What does it take to care for another’s child? The title Maternity Beat grasps at our only common experience, that we are all born from someone. It’s not an homage to perfect parenting or motherhood, but it comes from an experience of deep caring, and a kind of awakening on the question of what makes us care, what makes us act.”
“It’s so dangerous to play in a band with Ståle because he’s such a box of extreme surprises and wonderfulness that you really have to step up and get your game on to match what he’s doing.”
To convey any of this, Mollestad realized, she needed words. And so, as a first, she wrote lyrics. More than sung melodies, they are mainly short spoken-word passages voiced by Mai Elise Solberg and Ingebjørg Loe Bjørnstad. At times the two also harmonize wordless melodies as part of the orchestra (joined by Mollestad herself on the culminating epic “Maternity Suite”). “Is there a boat on the horizon?” they intone on the album’s leadoff track. “With mothers and children and fathers? … / Life is all they bring / Life is all we bring.”
It wasn’t just the heightened turmoil of this period that led Mollestad away from the direction of her trio. “I’d always been true to this guitar-only concept,” she says, “but I found myself wanting to break it up a little more.” This didn’t necessarily mean downplaying the guitar, but rather featuring it in different settings to explore its capabilities more fully. In this respect, she mirrors the influence of a major role model, veteran ECM recording artist Terje Rypdal.
Hedvig Mollestad's Gear
Mollestad uses various Fender amps on tour, but her go-to setup is an early-’70s Fender Dual Showman Reverb atop a 2x15 cabinet.
Photo by Julia Marie Naglestad
- 1988 Gibson ES-335 Showcase Edition (modified with’57 Classic pickups, Bigsby tremolo, gold hardware)
- 1970 Gibson ES-335 (for “On the Horizon, Part 2”)
- Gibson ES-345
Close to home:
- Fender Dual Showman Reverb, 2x15 cabinet (approx. 1972)
For the road (options requested for backline):
- Vintage Fender Super Reverb
- Fender Bassman with 4x10 cabinet
- Fender Deluxe Reverb
- Orange Rockerverb 100 MKIII
- EarthQuaker Palisades V2 Overdrive
- Vulk Audio Germanium Fuzz
- Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
- Moog Moogerfooger
- Empress Superdelay
- Boss DD-7 Digital Delay
- Ernie Ball volume pedal
- Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal
Strings and Picks
- Elixir or Ernie Ball, .011–.048
- Dunlop 1.0 mm (default)
- Dunlop Jazz III 3 mm (for jazz)
- Dunlop .73 mm (for strumming)
One priority was moving away from electric bass—and yet Brekken, who had always doubled on upright bass with Mollestad’s trio for the more jazz-oriented numbers, had made herself indispensable enough to get hired on upright for Maternity Beat. “It’s easy for a guitarist to play with bass guitar,” Mollestad maintains. “It’s the same kind of riffing, the same kind of fingering, and it’s beautiful, but I wanted to move away from that, which is why I first chose the double keyboards on Ekhidna. But I still needed Ellen’s presence on Maternity Beat. Her sound is so full, and her beat is so concise and steady, and I really needed her energy. It was also nice to involve her in such a personal project because we’re close friends.”
On keyboards, Mollestad brought in the formidable Ståle Storløkken, from the influential electro-acoustic improvising quartet Supersilent. Storløkken’s toolkit includes otherworldly synths, warm Rhodes textures and a raw, earthy Hammond organ that can recall Jan Hammer with John Abercrombie on Timeless (or perhaps Larry Young with the Tony Williams Lifetime).
When she spoke to Premier Guitar, Mollestad was on the road with Storløkken as part of a new trio called Weejuns (a play on “Norwegians”). “It’s so dangerous to play in a band with Ståle,” she says, “because he’s such a box of extreme surprises and wonderfulness that you really have to step up and get your game on to match what he’s doing. There are so many beautiful details coming out and he’s so musical. You can’t dwell on your choices when you play with him, you just have to act.”
Hedvig Mollestad’s Maternity Beat is a collab with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Mollestad was moved by the plights of refugees and wanted to explore themes of empathy and how that relates to parenthood.
While Maternity Beat is a departure, one thing that hasn’t changed for Mollestad is her main axe, the semi-hollow ES-335, chosen precisely for its versatility in jazz and rock settings. That plus vintage Fender amplification and a pedalboard full of fuzztones and delays keeps Mollestad in her happy place. “I need my tuner,” she clarifies, citing fairly extensive use of the Bigsby tremolo arm, which can wreak havoc during a set. “Also, with the trio there are songs where we have to tune to drop D in the middle of a song. In ‘Leo Flash’ Return to the Underworld,’ for example, we have to retune on the last drum break.”
In aesthetic terms, Mollestad wanted her encounter with the TJO to depart from a mainstream big band sound. To that end, she enlisted not only Storløkken but violinist Adrian Løseth Waade and flutist Trine Knutsen as prominent melodic voices to supplement the guitar, two saxophones, and trumpet. There are complex, meticulously-notated lines and counterpoint but also room for the breath and collective release of improvisation. Elements of chamber music, prog rock, and fusion intermingle as Brekken, drummer Torstein Lofthus, and percussionist Ingvald André Vassbø lay a robust rhythmic foundation.
“You go around in your perfect everyday mood, happy to play with your children, while people are experiencing real traumas so close to us.”
Mollestad’s guitar is a shapeshifting constellation of sound, from the crunchy overdriven speed-riff of “On the Horizon, Part 2” to the fractured, echoing wails of the markedly dissonant, slow-grinding “Do Re Mi Ma Ma.” Her glassy, expansive chording meshes with Storløkken’s eerie melodies in a marvelous five-minute duet that opens the title track, before a transition to some of the richest ensemble orchestration on the album. And on “Maternity Suite,” she goes full-on arena rock, with big anthemic chords that give way to a striking and truly imaginative flourish: a unison passage for fuzz guitar and flute.
“All Flights Cancelled” is an outlier, a song conceived for (and recorded by) Mollestad’s trio but reworked for Maternity Beat as the one track without the full TJO ensemble. “I felt that we really needed a combo piece,” she explains. “The album starts with dark, heavy emotional stuff and then this song is a little break in the middle, a fun song to play, focusing on Ståle with [Torstein and Ingvald] both playing drum sets.”
Mollestad switches up her picks depending on what she’s playing. Her default is Dunlop 1 .0 mm, but she’ll use a Jazz III for jazz runs, and a .73 mm pick for strumming.
Photo by Arne Haug
Amid the lyrical guitar balladry and lush ensemble adornment of “Her Own Shape,” the voices return, reciting words on what Mollestad calls parenthood’s “extreme gift and responsibility.” “My cell within me / Will split to become larger / Part to become stronger,” they speak about watching one’s offspring separate and blossom.
“It’s so strong and sad at the same time,” Mollestad says, “because they will always be your biggest concern and you will carry it with you everywhere. At the same time, they’re here to live their own life. And they are perfect as they are. You don’t have to interfere at all because they’re the most equipped to be perfect people. You just have to be yourself because that is what they need from you.”
But how to get through those difficult moments? On “Little Lucid Demons/Alfons” Mollestad recommends a way forward. In unison and with impeccable timing, Solberg and Bjørnstad offer a staccato pep talk of sorts for when the kids “pull your hair for you, and paint it gray.” Think of everything, they suggest, in terms of music:
look for swing
look for flow
look for beat
and thentake it away.