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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Here's an interview with two luthiers Sébastien Gavet and Godefroy Maruejouls who collaborated to develop an electric guitar system with fast interchangeable pickup system. They came to show me the first prototype some time ago, this is the video where they explain everything.

The project continues to progress as they have recently introduced a new version of the guitar with an improved system to change the pickups:

What I think of the project
The guitar interchangeable pickup system that has been tried several times in the past.

Check-out the one and only French guitar player Brice Delage rocking the brand new high end solid state amp Leo '64 from Heptode Effects.

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Mooer Trescab: a great pocket cab simulator

Mooer is a Chinese brand that has caused a stir when it released her mini pedals range of guitar effects. I longed for a while to test out one to see what they were really worth.

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Phase Lag pedal by Anasounds, an awesome phaser - Pedal Review
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Phase Lag pedal by Anasounds, an awesome phaser

Anasounds is a French boutique pedal builder based in Nice in the South of France. They have a large range of pedals with fuzz, overdrive, distortion, delay and the Phase Lag pedal, a very cool phaser with some interesting hidden features.

Here's the 13th episode of the Spartan Project video series.  You will see how the luthier Mikaël Springer will do his TV white color on the guitar paint. It's quite fascinating to see how it is done.
#13 Spartan Project with @SpringerGuitars: Guitar paint & finish

A few pics from the video

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.

Here's a video of Zane Carney trying at Guitars Addicts in Paris for John Mayer a superb 69 Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top.

Until the next interview, keep on playing the guitar!

Pierre.

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Here's the 9th episode of the Spartan Project video series. Watch Mikaël gluing the fretboard and starting the work on the frets.

 
Playlist of the episodes of the Spartan Project
As a reminder, the goal of the Spartan Project is to document the building of a guitar for me by luthier Mikaël Springer.

Demo of a Nik Huber Blue Whale guitar by Etienne Prieuret

Video recorded on May 17th 2015 at Guitars Addicts in Paris, France when Nik Huber delivered the Blue Whale #6 to the owner, Didier. Etienne Prieuret, pro guitar player, improvised this demo on this superb guitar on the Rhythm channel of an Imperial amp from Tone King (above) and on the Leach channel (below).

Gear used

Guitar: Blue Whale #6
Luthier: Nik Huber
Amp: Tone King Imperial
Video and sound: Lumix GH2

The Blue Whale guitar is a 25 limited edition run. It is based on the Dolphin model from the Nik Huber catalog.