mulder audio

Diode switching means drive diversity in Mulder Audio’s first overdrive.

Until recently, Colorado-based Mulder Audio exclusively made audiophile cables and wiring. A funny place from which to jump into overdrive stompboxes, you say? Perhaps not. The principles of amplification are pretty much the same whether it’s a stereo, guitar amp, or overdrive. And a stereo audiophile probably knows a few things about reducing noise that the average guitar goon can’t fathom.

Mulder Audio’s foray into overdrive, the X-1, has the beautifully made look of a pedal built to audiophile standards. Better still, is dishes heaps of dirty vintage-flavored goodness with a versatility that belies its streamlined design.

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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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