Walrus Audio Iron Horse distorsion pedal review
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Walrus Audio Iron Horse distorsion pedal review

Walrus Audio is an american builder of pedals. They propose a wide range of products. Here's a video review of the Iron Horse distorsion pedal. Get ready for some big and fat saturated tones with this gain machine!

www.walrusaudio.com

Walrus Audio Iron Horse distorsion pedal review

Review setup
Guitar used : Spartan Springer with a single P90 pickup (Haussel)

Sound : the base clean sound used throughout the review is provided by an Apollo Twin Universal Audio interface in which the guitar is plugged directly.

Godin Guitars factory visit
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Godin Guitars factory visit in Richmond, Qc Canada

Doing a visit of a factory building guitars is an awesome thing to do. Back in January 2016, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Taylor Guitars factory in California.

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Honk Machine IT-11 Audio: a vocal overdrive pedal

The Honk Machine overdrive pedal from IT-11 Audio is a very vocal overdrive pedal with its specific Honk setting which allows to increase or decrease a 700Hz frequency bump right in the middle of the human voice.

Honk Machine IT-11 Audio: a very vocal overdrive pedal

This video is accessible to all because IT-11 Audio
owns a Pro Backstage Pass on The Guitar Channel

What I enjoyed the most on this pedal

The overall sounds
The possibilities given by the Honk setting
The look

What I enjoyed the least

The changing colours of the LED is kind of distracting

Conclusion
Frankly the market

Assona Curve from @MJSGuitars: a great guitar
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Assona Curve from MJS Guitars: a great guitar

I met the luthier Godefroy Maruejouls from MJS Guitars during the Guitares au Beffroi festival in 2015 where he was exhibiting his instruments.

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Beatbuddy pedal demo by François C. Delacoudre

Here are a couple of video demos recorded to demonstrate the variety of contexts where the Beatbuddy pedal can be used.

BeatBuddy wbsite: www.mybeatbuddy.com

Beatbuddy demos by François C. Delacoudre : from contrabass to slap and 2-string bass!
On a 2-string bass :

Slap:

With a contrabass :

En jam à deux :

Conclusion
As you can see from the video demos, it's possible to use the Beatbuddy pedal in many different contexts. François C. Delacoudre who is a professional bass player in France really enjoyed playing the pedal in very different styles.

Here's the 15th episode of the Spartan Project video series.  You will see how the luthier Mikaël Springer is doing the final guitar setup.
#15 Spartan project - Guitar setup

Photos extracted from the guitar setup video
Final drilling for the stop bar installation:

Installation of the Häussel P90 pickup:

Shielding of the electronic cavity:

Previous episodes of the Spartan Project
The goal of the Spartan Project is to document the building of a guitar for me by luthier Mikaël Springer.

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Amp Review – DV Mark Micro 50: good sounding solid state head

During the NAMM I was intrigued by theDV Mark Micro 50 amp. It's super small and quite powerful with 50W. DV Mark is a brand more established in the bass amp market but big players like Greg Howe or Frank Gambale are using their guitar amps so it says something about what they propose.

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Universal Audio Fender ’55 Tweed Deluxe plugin review

Universal Audio is highly respected for its great plugins which run in their interface. So far, the guitar amps plugins available were geared toward the big distorted sounds with the Friedman or Marshall plugins. It was possible to get some cool clean tones from the existing plugins but not as good as a real Fender amp. Until now. Universal Audio has just released a plugin for the Fender '55 Tweed Deluxe amp. Here's below the Tweed Deluxe plugin review in video.

Universal Audio website: www.uaudio.com

The cool looking user interface for the plugin.

Here's the 14th episode of the Spartan Project video series. You will see how the luthier Mikaël Springer is doing his fretting on the guitar. It is a very crucial step of the process as the way the frets are dressed is paramount to the quality of the sound and of the comfort of the instrument.
#14 Spartan Project: Fretting

Close up photo of the fretting once finished on the guitar:

Previous episodes of the Spartan Project
The goal of the Spartan Project is to document the building of a guitar for me by luthier Mikaël Springer.

Hubert Hochleitner interview (Hoovi Deeflexx) at the 2016 Musikmesse

Here's a Hubert Hochleitner interview, inventor of the Deeflexx, done during the 2016 Musikmesse.

Taylor Guitars factory tour in video
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Taylor Guitars factory tour in video

The day I did the in-depth interview with Bob Taylor, I did a full Taylor Guitars factory tour of their El Cajon facility near San Diego, California.

Maybach is a guitar brand launched a few years ago with a line of instruments manufactured in Prague, Czech Republic with German pickups.

Mobile guitar rig presented with Snapchat
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Mobile guitar rig presented with Snapchat

Here's the mobile guitar rig I use when I want to play in the park right next to our house.

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Jeff Loomis Blackouts pickups from Seymour Duncan review

Reviewing pickups is by definition difficult since they are necessarily installed in a guitar which itself has an enormous impact on the sound. However if we consider that the pickups are on electric guitar what an engine is to a car, we can agree that it is a very important factor. To review this "engine" built by Seymour Duncan, we used a "frame" from the Paul Reed Smith race squadron with a Custom 24 model.

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Guns’n’Roses Paradise City sound with Universal Audio

Yes you can get Slash Guns N'Roses Paradise City sound (or at least get close to it) with the Apollo Twin Universal Audio interface with a couple of plugins and the Burst guitar from luthier Mikaël Springer.
Paradise City sound with the Universal Audio interface and a Springer guitar
It's always a challenge to try to get close to a legendary tone from a hit like Paradise City.

Control the sobriety of your drummer with BeatBuddy!

We all know that some drummers have a problem with alcohol. Some drink way too much and become unreliable time keepers. This can be a real disaster when you are trying to make it big or just trying to survive playing your music.

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Friedman BE100 Universal Audio plugin review

Here's a video review of the Friedman BE100 plugin available in the Universal Audio Apollo interface. Friedman is well know for the quality of their high gain tube amp. That's why I was very curious to test drive the plugin based on the BE100 model.

Here's a screenshot of the plugin in what I call the simple mode where you see only the amp settings:

Here's a screenshot of the plugin in what I call the rack mode where you see in the top half all the settings to fine-tune the sounds : noise gate, cab and mikes, delay, etc.

Test drive of the Deeflexx during a concert and rehearsal
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Test drive of the Deeflexx during a concert and rehearsal

Through the partnership with Deeflexx which is a Pro Backstage Pass owner, The Guitar Channel is able to have Backstage Pass owners to test drive the products using their own gear and in a real situation rather than simply in a guitar store. Here's the full testimony from José.

Deeflexx website: www.hoovi.at

Here's a picture of José playing his Telecaster and experimenting for the first time the Deeflexx during the Gear Afternoon #1.

Deeflexx test drive by José
As a Backstage Pass owner on The Guitar Channel I was able to test a Deeflexx product live in a bar.

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Guitar Review - Origin Tattoo from luthier Tony Girault

The luthier Tony Girault (giraultguitars.com) based in Normandy at Evreux makes excellent electric guitars. Here is in test the Origin Tattoo which is no exception because it sounds great with its two humbuckers. Origin Tattoo by luthier Tony Girault Until the next gear review or interview, keep on playing the guitar! Pierre Journel.

Guitar Review - Fastback Alquier by Maurice Dupont

This Fastback Alquier model Codetalker built in the Maurice Dupont luthier workshop is a design by luthier Jean-Yves Alquier. It's still possible to get a custom Fastback entirely made by Jean-Yves but you now have the option to get a more affordable version with the same design and built by Maurice Dupont team in France.

Spoiler: this instrument is a great luthier guitar.
Fastback Alquier "Codetalker" by Maurice Dupont

Fastback Codetalker photos
Here are a couple of photos of this very elegant instrument.

Rig used for the review
Here's the pedalboard used for the review.

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Pedal Review – Drive Recovery Thrilltone overdrive Made in France

It's not everyday that you get to review a French overdrive pedal based on a new fully analog technology. The Drive Recovery Thrilltone pedal is such a product. It's a double pedal with two stages.

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Gear Evening debrief – Feb. 18th 2016

Here's the Gear Evening debrief. On February 18th, the first Special Event of the year took place with the Gear Evening with Maurice Dupont (luthier), FX amps (guitar amps), Anasounds (boutique pedals) and Verspieren (insurance).
Gear Evening debrief video
Here's a video to give you an idea of this first Gear Evening of 2016. The first part of the video will show you the event while it is being setup and during. The second part of the video is composed of short interviews in French of people present for the event.

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Dynacord Echocord Super 76: review of a real tape echo

Here's a review of a real tape echo and spring reverb studio effect, the Dynacord Echocord Super 76. One of the Backstage Pass subscriber, Philippe, who is very good at electronics repaired this nice piece of gear and lent it to me. It's quite something to experience for the first time ever to play with a real tape echo machine. I don't know if has to do with being able to see the tape move around, the quality of the sound itself or a mix of both but I was floored by the sound of this unit.

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Pro Backstager announcement: HooVi Deeflexx
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Pro Backstager announcement: HooVi Deeflexx

Name : HooVi
Type : Company
Web : www.hoovi.at
e-mail : info(a)hoovi.at
The Deeflexx Systems invented by HooVi solve the problem of the sound diffusion from guitar amps. The highly engineered Sound Deflection System is just to be placed in front of any guitar amp to enhance the sound and get rid of the shrill sound coming from the speaker cone.
Without the Deeflexx: the sound is not distributed evenly, shrill and dull zones

With the Deeflexx: spherical sound distribution, fat and clear sounding amp

The Deeflexx products
In the range of products proposed by HooVi, you will find 3 models.

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Laguz The Special from Soultool Customized Guitars - Guitar review

The Laguz The Special guitar from Soultool Customized Guitars is an instrument which was presented by the luthier Egon Rauscher (watch his interview in this article) during the 2015 Holy Grail Guitar Show.

Pedal Review: shoutout Wampler Plextortion, Celmo Pimento, Tanabe Dumkudo
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Pedal Shootout – Wampler Plextortion, Celmo Pimento, Tanabe Dumkudo

Here's a pedal shootout to make a comparison between the Wampler Plextortion, the Celmo Pimento and the Tanabe.tv Dumkudo. 3 very different pedals to add overdrive or distorsion (in the case of the Plextortion) to your pedalboard. Wampler comes from the US, Celmo is built in France and Tanabe.tv is built in Japan.

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Pedal Shootout: pedalboard
The cab simulation and power amp section is done by the Torpedo CAB Two-Notes.

Luthier Guitar Review - Heartbreaker - Christophe Grellier

The Heartbreaker model by luthier Christophe Grellier is a guitar with a very clean look but full of possibilities of sounds with its clever 6-position selector. Yes, there are six possibilities of sound on this selector that looks like a simple 3-position toggle switch. The 3 bottom positions are the combinations of pickups in humbucker

Sustainable Guitar Review: the Ethiq in bamboo by Alquier Guitar

The guitar tested in this video is the electric model Ethiq range presented in Berlin during the 2nd edition of the Holy Grail Guitar Show by luthier Jean-Yves Alquier. The characteristic of this range is that it is made of bamboo from 65% to 100% as in the case of the guitar tested in this video. So this might be one of the first sustainable guitar from a luthier.

We clearly see in the photo below how the body of the guitar is composed.

Cerbersus overdrive and Utopia delay by @AnasoundsFr - Pedal Review

In a previous gear review, The Guitar Channel had you discover the excellent Phase Lag phaser from Anasounds, now here's a double test with two pedals of the same French manufacturer boutique shop: the Utopia delay and Cerberus overdrive pedals.

Anasounds website: www.anasounds.com
Cerbersus overdrive and Utopia delay - Video review

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Overview of Utopia
The Utopia offers a very well done analog delay simulation that works great from a slapback (an echo very short often used in Rockabilly), to a

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Presentation of the 2016 Gibson acoustic guitars in Paris

Yesterday I had the pleasure to spend the afternoon in the private showroom of Gibson France to discover the 2016 range of acoustic guitars from Gibson. For this event two people from the US Acoustic Division were present, Josh Taborski (General Manager) and Jeremy Morton (Product Specialist), see the interview below.
The 2016 guitars in a few photos
From left to right:

A J-45 Vintage (so with the thermally processed top)
A Hummingbird (same comment as above)
A J-200
A J-100

Some others models from the 2016 range:

The Bob Dylan J-200
The signature model is truly a magnificent instrument.

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