The leading-edge guitarist introduces a sleek Schecter signature and continues maximizing RAM for tone with Neural DSP’s tablet-sized powerhouse.
Aaron Marshall loves guitar. “I make a living every day playing the electric guitar. My identity is built around this thing. I’ve been my own boss since 2015,” he declared in a 2021 PG interview.
Aaron Marshall believes in guitar: “Anyone who thinks the death of the electric guitar is upon us is very out of touch. You can’t hold its head underwater. The electric guitar is iconic. It’s not going anywhere.”
And Aaron Marshall is never satisfied with guitar: “Everything’s perfect. Let’s change it all,” the Intervals visionary joked during this new Rig Rundown. “Everything is different, which is probably the most on-brand thing I can provide. But hopefully this is the beginning of that not being the case.”
The guitar disciple started Intervals back in 2011. He’s been the solo constant member and the band’s musical pilot. He’s put out four riveting, guitar-centric albums to date. And sure, the obvious 6-string influences are found within Intervals’ music, with complementing flavors of prog, metal, djent, and jazz all percolating together. But the ’90s kid has an unabashed love for Top 40 pop and has drawn from acts like NYSYNC, TLC, and Destiny’s Child, too, giving Intervals’ music more bounce, groove, and life. “I’ll challenge myself to put my spin on a chord progression that feels like [TLC’s] ‘No Scrubs,’ but still be Intervals about it. It’s always an experiment between me and the guitar. These sorts of experiments yield new songs.”
Before Intervals’ December ’21 headlining show at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge, prog-rock maestro Marshall reconnected with PG’s Perry Bean to catalog his rig revamp. The ensuing conversation covered the decision to pass on a high-end (but limited) partnership with Mayones for a collaboration with Schecter that aims to bring guitars to everyone across the globe. (“You still have young people that are really interested in music for music’s sake. And there is this wave of online instrumental guitar music that is the best it’s ever been.”) Plus, he meticulously details how he’s testing Neural DSP’s pedalboard powerhouse with a space-encompassing stereo setup that will resonate with fans in every corner of the room.
[Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard: https://ddar.io/xpnd.rr]
Trial by Tour
Our first Rig Rundown of 2020 also featured Aaron Marshall. In that episode, he showed off a batch of gorgeous prototypes from Poland’s high-end guitar maker Mayones. The relationship eventually presented two issues for Marshall: the limited quantities produced by this handmade shop and the top-tier price tags that would make them a rare commodity for most of his fans. What he really wanted was a way to encourage more novices to pick up the instrument.
“Everything is completely amicable with Mayones—I love those dudes—but a very quality opportunity with Schecter presented itself where I’ll get influence over models that will be actually obtainable for a reasonable price point,” adds Marshall.
He toured the States in late 2021 with four Schecter signature protypes (a pair of 6-strings and 7-strings). First, his new guitar starts with Schecter’s “super-strat” C-1 platform. The DNA of these testers include a basswood body, quartersawn wenge neck (with carbon-fiber reinforcement and a truss-rod wheel), and ebony fretboard (lighted up with Luminlays side dots for dark stages). He admits to focusing a healthy amount of its development on the neck profile because he believes that “the neck dictates the user experience” and wenge was selected because “it has an heirloom-esque feel that gives you a really nice handshake with some character.” It has a real-deal Japanese Gotoh 510 Series trem (with a steel block), extra-jumbo stainless-steel frets, and is decked out with Hipshot hardware. For this run, he was auditioning Schecter’s Custom Shop Pasadena Plus pickups, but noted that those could change before production starts. (Also, he hints at a future U.S.-made model that would come with Bare Knuckle pickups.) Marshall still puts D’Addario NYXL strings (.009–.046, and .009–.064 for 7-string) on all his guitars.
Marshall wanted something new and something old when codesigning the headstock. So, he took Schecter’s classic, 6-in-line silhouette and reversed it (a first for the company). It also has a more severe tilt-back break than standard Schecters, removing the need for a string tree.
The lone serial number and signature marking on the instrument is reserved for a subtle spot on the back of the headstock.
Marshall has always preferred a bolt-on neck, and things are shored up with a 4-screw connection. This curvy layout gives full access to all 24 frets.
The Whole Enchilada
Here’s the No. 1 prototype from boot to bonnet.
Another String, Another Inch
Schecter and Marshall are also testing a 7-string model. Everything is the same as the 6-string, but this instrument has a 26.5" scale length to help with string tension.
Smaller Footprint, Bigger Tones
“People can get confused when they see changes in this type of stuff and think ‘Oh, this must be better’” comments Marshall. “Everything is sick in 2021. It’s all good.” Last time we checked in with Marshall and Intervals, he was running a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx III. But as you see here, another transformation happened when he swapped out the rackmount unit out for the smaller, pedalboard-ready Neural DSP Quad Cortex. (Again, no bad blood between Aaron and Fractal. He still loves their gear, too.) And the ethos behind this rig is the same in as the past, where impulse-response-based tones are feeding the front of house PA and a Seymour Duncan PowerStage 700 compact head is pumping the onstage cabs.
Within the Quad Cortex, Marshall created three specific impulse responses with different frequencies for rhythm, lead, and split-coil sounds. The amps he uses within the unit include a Friedman (“hot sounds”), JCM800 (“clangy twangy sounds”), Bogner Shiva (“clean sounds that need a little spring and bounce”), and a Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus (“stylized ’80s cleans”).
More than Meets the Eye
This is it—everything that Marshall uses to power up for an Intervals live show. Alongside the Neural DSP Quad Cortex, he employs a Hologram Electronics Microcosm for stutter/glitch effects, a Red Panda Tensor for laser sounds, and the DigiTech FreqOut for instant feedback. A Boss EV-30 Dual Expression pedal helps handle the filter on the Microcosm and dial in dynamics for the Quad Cortex. A TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Mini keeps his Schecters in check. And everything is housed on a custom Temple Audio DUO Series Templeboard.
Another evolution is the stereo cabinets onstage, which providing a completely symmetrical sound. Both Aaron Marshall and guitarist Travis LeVrier each have a pair of custom vertical Revv 2x12s (with exquisite paisley tooling) that have a couple of Celestions: a Vintage 30 (bottom) and a G12M 65 Creamback (top).
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Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
Belltone P-90 Foil-Tron Pickup
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.