may 2013

The DSP-based Orbital Modulator from Source Audio packs 12 modulation effects and significant shaping power in a compact pedal that’s formidable onstage or in the studio.

As you navigate the controls for the new Source Audio Orbital Modulator—or any of its cousins in the Soundblox 2 family—you’ll notice readouts for “options” and “control.” If you’ve worked with Source Audio’s pedals at all in the past, you know those two words might as well be part of a company mantra. Indeed, the Massachusetts pedal manufacturer can seem more stacked with engineers than MIT, and many of their stomps are designed to deliver something approaching the processing power, functionality, and control of a larger rack device.

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The tone, playability, and flawless build of the Vigier Excalibur Special 7 elevates the guitar to a level of all-around performance that few companies can touch.

In an industry that so often looks backward, Vigier Guitars seems to thrive on pushing forward. They were among the first electric-guitar builders to experiment with carbon fiber-reinforced wood to improve durability and tuning stability. They’ve used onboard microprocessors and helped pave the way for the fretless guitar with their Surfreter in the early ’80s.

Vigier has also catered to 7-string players for more than 30 years. And though the new Excalibur Special 7 reviewed here doesn’t find Vigier reinventing the wheel, the tweaks and refinements that set this guitar apart make it one of the biggest-sounding and slinkiest-playing 7-strings you’ll ever encounter.

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Packed with soulful singing and blazing 6-string, Taylor’s new Out of My Mind is a mesmerizing, nuanced, and imaginatively arranged collection of blues-inflected originals.

Cassie Taylor
Out of My Mind
Yellow Dog Records

Cassie Taylor - "That's My Man"

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