There’s much more to this analog phaser than outlaw country swirl.
An inexpensive, rangy phaser with fun, interactive, and easy-to-use controls
Some whistle-like overtones in treble-heavy peaks
Fender Waylon Jennings Phaser, $129 street
When I was a kid, my mom got a cassette of Waylon Jennings’ Greatest Hits, which went into heavy rotation in her Cutlass Supreme’s tape deck. Much was striking about that introduction to Waylon Jennings—not least that voice and the frank, plain-spoken narration. Just as arresting, though, were the swirling guitar sounds that popped up on “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” and “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).” They didn’t sound like the Buck Owens or Patti Page I would hear on oldies stations, or, for that matter, George Harrison’s version of Don Rich’s “Act Naturally” lead. In fact, as a Beatles obsessive, “Luckenbach, Texas” struck me as bearing a certain resemblance to the arpeggios in “Dear Prudence.” Those phaser sounds helped make me a Waylon fan for life. So, I’m tickled to see Fender honor the effect that opened up one very strange corner of my musical mind with the release of the Waylon Jennings Phaser.
Hazy, Phasey Origins
Fender built a 4-stage phaser in the 1970s. As far as we know, Waylon never used the Fender Phaser, opting instead for a Maestro PS-1A, various MXRs, and Boss phasers over the course of his career. Without the need to replicate a ’70s artifact that Waylon didn’t use anyway, Fender’s designers were free to create an analog tribute that covers the breadth of Waylon’s phaser tones—from his 2-stage Phase 45, to his 4-stage Phase 90, to his 6-stage PS-1A. That doesn’t mean Fender didn’t aim for a definitive Waylon sound: A “sweet” switch defaults to a voice that’s a little more confined to tasteful modulations. But to Fender’s credit, the Waylon Jennings Phaser is not constrained by strictly Waylon-like textures. Indeed, it’s just as happy to get weird.
Weird Waves on the High Plains
Though complex relative to a 1-knob MXR or Small Stone, the Waylon Phaser’s controls are easy to sort. They work in cool, interactive ways which take some practice to master, but are ultimately easy to wrangle. The interrelationship between the range control (which controls the portion of the frequency spectrum that’s phase shifted), and the feedback control, which governs intensity, is the one that’s most fun to explore. It’s also key to unlocking the pedal’s freakiest tones.
The user guide features a few helpful templates for exploring the pedal’s range. Fender’s recommended PS-1A-style sound, for instance (6-stage setting, rate at 5, range at 4, and feedback at 6), is a bit more rubbery than you might expect, with cool vowelly peaks in the midrange. But just a couple clockwise notches on the range and feedback controls and a slower rate transforms Fender’s version of Waylon’s PS-1A to a lysergic, ultra-elastic wavescape. The user guide’s recommended Phase 45-style, 2-stage setting creates a mellow, tasty pocket for arpeggios and lightly strummed parts, but at advanced feedback and rate settings the 2-stage setting percolates charmingly, lending bubbling animation to psychedelic chord melodies and a demented attitude to funky soul riffs.
The 4-stage mode, which, incidentally, bears the greatest audible resemblance to the sweet mode in most respects, is plenty sweet itself. Here, you can play with fairly intense feedback and rate settings while maintaining a softness in the peaks that doesn’t overpower melodic or rhythmic textures. And just as with the other three modes, you can very easily move from restrained Dreaming My Dreams phase adornments to much weirder fare with a few small adjustments to the other controls.
While 1-knob phasers are easy and often voiced just right, it’s fun to have the extra, but not overwhelming, control the Waylon Jennings phaser provides. There are plenty of weird, wobbling, bubble gum-chewy textures here that have nothing to do with classic outlaw country, that psychedelicists will relish. But the mellower fare that made Waylon’s tunes move is here in tasty plentitude and can be tuned to your own needs with a flexible, interactive control set that’s full of surprises.
Fender Waylon Jennings Phaser Demo | First Look
As the brainchild of Fender luthier Roger Rossmeisl and the finished product of Philip Kubicki, the instrument instantly gained significance as it was the company's first all-rosewood guitar.
Hollywood, CA (August 22, 2017) -- Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the limited-edition George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster, inspired by the late musical legend. With only 1,000 units available worldwide, it is a masterpiece that will capture the imagination of musicians everywhere. In conjunction with the Harrison estate, Fender is commemorating his remarkable career with an instrument that embodies his elegantly restrained playing style and sound.
The George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster is inspired by the guitar that Fender built specifically for him in 1968. As the brainchild of Fender luthier Roger Rossmeisl and the finished product of Philip Kubicki, the instrument instantly gained significance as it was the first all-rosewood guitar ever to be produced by Fender and was unveiled in the hands of the world’s most recognized guitarist. Harrison used the rosewood Telecaster while recording some of the most recognizable music of the late 1960s and famously played it during the historic London “Rooftop Concert” in January of 1969. Hand-crafted using the most up-to-date luthier techniques, this new edition is more accessible than the Fender Custom Shop’s George Harrison Tribute Rosewood Telecaster® released in 2016, and provides more fans with the opportunity to celebrate the iconic star.
“The Rosewood Telecaster was exceptional due to its craftsmanship and venture into uncharted territory, serving as the prototype for future Fender electric guitars of its kind,” said Justin Norvell, SVP Fender Products. “George Harrison showcased the uniqueness of the guitar through his talent and passion for music by using it in some of the most influential concerts and albums in music history. With the help of the Harrison Estate, we hope to encourage the next generation of players to explore music and draw inspiration from Harrison’s performance style on a guitar that represents artistic creativity.”
A modern, more accessible and lightweight version of the original Rosewood Telecaster, the guitar remains true to its heritage with a classic look and unique tone only an all-rosewood guitar can produce. The body is chambered for reduced weight and increased resonance. Other features include a rosewood neck with a laminated 9.5” radius rosewood fingerboard and custom neck plate engraved with an Om symbol.
In true tradition, Fender’s Artist Signature Series models honor popular and iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists. Poised to inspire players for decades to come, the George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster acknowledges the lasting influence of George Harrison and continues his musical legacy for today’s players.
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Items include guitars from George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Vinnie Vincent.
New York, NY (March 13, 2015) -- Julien’s Auctions, the world’s premier entertainment and music memorabilia auction house has announced their highly anticipated Music Icons Auction event to be held at Hard Rock Café New York on Saturday, May 16, 2015 beginning at 10:00 a.m. One of the most extraordinary collections of rock n’ roll royalty will be offered at the exclusive auction event including memorabilia from The Beatles, rare guitars from the world’s most iconic musicians, musical stars of an era gone by and ladies who continue to sell out arenas in record time.
The George Harrison played 1963 Mastersound Electric Guitar (Estimate: $400,000-$600,000) is one of the finest highlights to be mentioned. The guitar was used by Harrison in the summer of 1963 when he had it on loan from Barratt’s Music Store. According to Andy Babiuk, Harrison's Country Gent was experiencing problems and was brought to Barratt's in Manchester to be repaired. The Maton was given to Neil Aspinall for Harrison to use while repairs were made. The Country Gent was returned the same day, but Harrison retained the Maton and played it in concert at Margate (July 8 to 13), in Liverpool (August 2), at a photocall at the Cavern (August 3) and when the Beatles played Guernsey, Channel Island (August 6-10). The Australian solid-body guitar has a flame maple natural finish top, dark sides, a sunburst back, mahogany neck with a bound rosewood fingerboard and dot inlays, two pickups, a three-way pickup selector switch, two volume knobs and two-tone knobs with an input jack mounted on a black pickguard, fitted with a Bigsby Vibrato and Bigsby bridge.
The guitar is accompanied by letters of authenticity from Roy Barber's former bandmates: Dave Berry, J. Fleet, and Eric Haydock. It is also featured in "Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments, From Stage to Studio" (Revised Edition) by Andy Babiuk (San Francisco: Backbeat, 2002) and has been exhibited at The National Center for Popular Music, Sheffield, England, 2000 and The Beatles Story, Liverpool, England, 2014-2015.
Rarely is there a chance for collectors to own a guitar played and owned by the legendary Eric Clapton, one of the world’s most revered guitarists. A vintage owned Eric Clapton Gibson SG Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar, circa 1962 (Estimate: $30,000-$40,000) purchased by Clapton will also be offered at Music Icons. Originally purchased by Clapton to recreate the same experience as the psychedelic guitar he used in Cream, he found that he could not switch back into using it, having grown accustomed to Fender guitars. It was the tremolo (vibrato) that Clapton ultimately ended up not liking about the guitar although the guitar design was what immediately got his attention. The guitar features a Heritage cherry finish, double cutaway, trapezoid inlays, two humbucking pickups and is accompanied by a black hardshell case.
Virtuoso guitarist Vinnie Vincent brought KISS back to musical life in the Eighties then disappeared into a haze of hair-metal allegations. The controversial and often misunderstood rock star, Vincent was the original replacement for KISS founding member Ace Frehley and garnered the reputation as one of the band’s most influential members.
His guitar shredding from 1982 to 1984 is said to be among the reasons KISS was revived during this time. Three prominent guitars attributed to Vincent will be offered in the auction. These include a Vinnie Vincent model electric guitar manufactured and gifted to Vincent by Pear Guitars, 1990. This custom guitar model is also known as The Double V and Vincent initially worked with Jackson guitars to produce the Double V. The shape itself, a pair of layered V's, invoke the guitar's namesake as do the V-shaped inlays, (Estimate: $10,000-$20,000). Also offered at auction is a Vinnie Vincent stage used Jackson Randy Rhoads electric guitar in white finish with dot inlays and shark fin shape which Vincent used early in KISS’s “Creatures of the Night” tour in 1982. The guitar has the original strings used on the tour and a hard case (Estimate: $10,000-$20,000) and Vinnie Vincent’s doubleneck Carvin DN612 Electric Guitar with pearl silver finish which Vincent played at the end of the “That Time of Year” video (Estimate: $10,000-$20,000).
John Lennon’s bath robeCrossing every segment of what has made for iconic musical artists, Julien’s Auctions’ Music Icons Auction event will not disappoint. Other highlights of the very special auction include John Lennon’s Bath Robe (Estimate: $9,000-$10,000), Jimi Hendrix’s ring presented in a carved wooden box (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000), Frank Sinatra’s 1970s-1990s address book (Estimate: $7,000-$9,000), a variety of iconic items from Lady Gaga including a Lady Gaga Stage Worn Latex Body Suit (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), a Lady Gaga stage worn face mask (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000) and a Lady Gaga worn leather corset (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000).
Other highlights will include an original oil on burlap painting by Frank Zappa (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000), a Nat King Cole worn Sy Devore suit marked 1961 (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000), AC/DC worn shorts (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000) and a rare Michael Jackson red face mask (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000). Over 600 historical pieces of music memorabilia will be offered by Julien’s Auctions at the spring Music Icons auction at The Hard Rock New York located in Times Square. All lots can be viewed at www.juliensauctions.com and catalogs may be purchased online.
Fans and collectors will have the opportunity to view many of the highlights to be presented in the auction during a one-week, limited engagement exhibit to be held at The Hard Rock New York beginning Tuesday May 12, 2015 and ending Saturday, May 16, 2015. The exhibit will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily.
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