january 2015

Dynamic Marshall-style distortion meets powerful parametric EQ.

Stone Deaf Effects’ Trashy Blonde Overdrive proves the power of a good parametric EQ. While that statement may provoke a collective “duh” from the studio engineers and bassists who regularly rely on parametric EQ, many guitarists have never experimented with—let alone understood—the effect. Sure, many stompboxes have tone controls, and some allow you to choose the target frequencies. But true parametric EQ also lets you specify the <em>width</em> of the affected band, dialing in anything from a wide swath to a narrow slice. It’s a useful tool for bringing out the liveliest frequencies in a tone or mix, or cutting frequencies that muddy the sound. Combining that degree of tone control with righteous and responsive Marshall-style overdrive circuit makes the Trashy Blonde a powerful and versatile tone shaper.

Goldfinger
If King Midas had been a gear hound, he’d have owned a Trashy Blonde.
The pedal’s bold gold finish and large enclosure make it hard to miss. Weighty construction and substantial knobs and switches make it feel like a quality product. A side-mounted 9V battery drawer enables quick battery changes.

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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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