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First Look: Marshall BluesBreaker, DriveMaster, The Guv'nor & ShredMaster

Marshall BluesBreaker, DriveMaster, The Guv'nor & ShredMaster Demos | First Look

England’s foremost volume dealers resurrect four U.K.-made stomps that inspired players from Johnny Greenwood to John Mayer.


Bluesbreaker

The sound of the 1962 ‘Bluesbreaker’ amplifier became a legend, with the smooth tone, rich warmth and full character that gave guitarists more expression than ever before. The original Bluesbreaker pedal took this and put it in a stompbox. Today, this reissue accurately delivers the timeless tones and style once again. It captures the magic of those classic vintage amps with added sweetness, crispness and extra edge to carry solos and squeeze out those vital harmonics.
Street: $249

DriveMaster

The Drivemaster is based on the original Guv’nor but takes things a stage further with a new tone and drive network. It’s three band tone network acts as if adding an extra amp to your set up, with real Marshall tone and overdrive. The iconic look has also been accurately recreated, right down to the finish of the control knobs and unique shape. There’s plenty of reasons the first edition is so heavily sought after today. This reissue takes everything that made the original so special and replicates it for today’s player.
Street: $249

The Guv'nor

Released in 1988, the Guv'nor set the bar for future generations of distortion pedals. This reissue faithfully recreates the classic sound of The Guv’nor, providing a smooth overdriven sound with a touch of compression. The pedal is housed in a casing that is accurately modelled on the original, from the unique shape right down to the individually coloured control knobs. All that’s missing are the stories collected over 30+ years of use, but that’s where you come in.
Street: $249

ShredMaster

The original Shredmaster was our first ever high-gain pedal and has become synonymous with game-changing music throughout the 90s and beyond. The ultimate care has been taken to ensure that this reissue accurately recreates that iconic Shredmaster sound. The pedal casing is accurately modelled on the bespoke design of the original. The gold Shredmaster name, embossed Marshall logo and the heavy-duty casing are all right here, exactly as you’d expect.
Street: $249

With a team of experts on hand, we look at six workhorse vintage amps you can still find for around $1,000 or less.

If you survey the gear that shows up on stages and studios for long enough, you’ll spot some patterns in the kinds of guitar amplification players are using. There’s the rotating cast of backline badasses that do the bulk of the work cranking it out every day and night—we’re all looking at you, ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue.

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Amazon Prime Day is here (July 16-17). Whether you're a veteran player or just picking up your first guitar, these are some bargains you don't want to miss. Check out more deals here! https://amzn.to/3LskPRV

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A technicolor swirl of distortion, drive, boost, and ferocious fuzz.

Summons a wealth of engaging, and often unique, boost, drive, distortion, and fuzz tones that deviate from common templates. Interactive controls.

Finding just-right tones, while rewarding, might demand patience from less assured and experienced drive-pedal users. Tone control could be more nuanced.

$199

Danelectro Nichols 1966
danelectro.com

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The Danelectro Nichols 1966, in spite of its simplicity, feels and sounds like a stompbox people will use in about a million different ways. Its creator, Steve Ridinger, who built the first version as an industrious Angeleno teen in 1966, modestly calls the China-made Nichols 1966 a cross between a fuzz and a distortion. And, at many settings, it is most certainly that.

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The author standing next to a Richardson gunstock lathe purchased from Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory. It was used to make six necks at a time at Gibson in the 1950s and 1960s.

Keep your head down and put in the work if you want to succeed in the gear-building business.

The accelerated commodification of musical instruments during the late 20th century conjures up visions of massive factories churning out violins, pianos, and, of course, fretted instruments. Even the venerable builders of the so-called “golden age” were not exactly the boutique luthier shops of our imagination.

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