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.

Relish guitar review - The Jane from @RelishGuitars: an innovative instrument from Switzerland

Here's a Relish guitar review, the Jane model by Relish Guitars is entirely developed and built in Switzerland with some cool innovative ideas.

Line6 JTV-59: so many sounds in one guitar!
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Line6 JTV-59: so many sounds in one guitar!

Here's my video review of the Line6 JTV-59.

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More than ever there is a humongous choice of picks available nowadays. I recently received a set of Dragon's Heart Guitar Picks. I admit I was intrigued by the original shape of the model which present three different edges: a sharp one, a normal one and a round one. Original+Tweed Hardened+Tweed Pure+Tweed

What I like the most

  • 3 distinct sounds in one pick
  • Quality of the material
  • Very durable

What I like the least

  • Added complexity
  • Not for everyone

Conclusion

When I use a pick I tend to use thicker and thicker one. I don't know if it's because as I aged I get better at guitar playing and need more control or just a matter of my taste evolving. Anyway, I enjoyed the thickness of the Dragon's Heart picks. As for the sound, having such a variety of type of attacks on the strings is a pretty cool feature. If you are ready to deal with the fact that you need to pay attention to how you hold your pick to choose the right edge you want to use, the Dragon's Heart offer an excellent option to get different sounds right from your finger tips. Pierre.  

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Dragon’s Heart Guitar Picks (@DragonHrtPicks): a triple edge pick
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Strymon Flint stereo reverb and tremolo pedal review

In this Strymon Flint review, don't be fooled by the analog appearance of this pedal as there're only buttons and switches, no display. It actually hides a powerful digital processor that produces some very cool sounds.

It has 3 types of effects for tremolo and reverb as well as the usual adjustment knobs. Note that the pedal is full of dual functions for example to change the order tremolo into reverb or the opposite, you can also choose if there is a boost when you activate the effect, etc.

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2014 Holy Grail Guitar Show photo album - Day 1
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Photo album – 2014 Holy Grail Guitar Show

Below are a small selections of the 200+ photos I took during the Holy Grail Guitar Show.

On the interview above Judge Fredd presents the Money For Nothing pedal he has developed with JMB Experience to obtain the famous Mark Knopfler sound on the Dire Straits song Money For Nothing and more.

Last year Fredd introduced also with JMB a great overdrive pedal called the Riff Shooter, the Money For Nothing has some great potential to produce not only the trademark tone but also plenty of other cool tones.

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Watch all the gear reviews

Here's a YouTube Playlist with all the gear reviews produced for the show.

Enjoy,

Pierre.
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The Guitar Channel is your independent guitar media, 100% passion, 0% ads.Passion amplifier since 2009.

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Sardine Can compressor (and the best deal to get it) - Pedal Review
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Pedal Review – Sardine Can compressor

The Sardine Can compressor from Celmo is a high quality pedal built in France. It sounds very musical whatever the settings you use on the pedal (watch the demo video to judge by yourself). On top of the standard compressor settings which are the compression rate and volume you can change the tone of the compressor with a three position input filter (again, watch the video to hear the different tones).

It also has a Rectifier mode which adds a touch of drive to your sound if you desire so.

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Toshihiko Tanabe from tanabe.tv builds boutique pedal for famous musicians like Robben Ford or Larry Carlton. You can read an interview with him in this article. In this Dumkudo review in video it's one of his overdrive pedal.

The AMPLIFi line is the latest offering from Line6 regarding guitar amps.

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Spartan guitar from Springer Guitars: an awesome Junior!

I love P90 pickups, that's a fact. When Mikaël Springer posted some pics of his Spartan guitar, his Les Paul Junior inspired beauty, on his personal Facebook profile, I immediately said I would love to review it. A couple of weeks later I received the guitar at home to spend some quality time with this awesome instrument.
Spartan guitar in video

Specifications
We are in the specifications realm of the Les Paul Junior, a mahogany body, a P90, a volume and tone.

  • DerekSusan
  • SusanPlaying
  • DerekSusan2
  • SusanStage
  • DerekSG3
  • DerekSG4
  • DerekAmpBack
  • DerekSGAmps
  • DerekSG2
  • DerekSGHead
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  • SusanGuitars
  • SusanTele
  • SusanAmpBAck
  • SusanPedals
  • SusanStrat
  • DerekBassRig
  • DerekBasspedals
  • DerekOnDrums
  • DerekPJ

When Derek Trucks was in town for the Tedeschi Trucs Band at the Olympia Hall, I had the opportunity to go on stage and take pics of all the stage gear.

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Here's a review of a great distortion pedal built by LNA Effects in France for the great French guitar player Patrick Rondat.

 The pedalboard used for the review
The LNA pedal was inserted on my regular pedalboard for the review.

Pierre-Marie Châteauneuf, luthier for PMC, is a great guitar builder from Montpellier in France. I am reviewing here a new creation of his with the Thelonious model.
The guitar
With PMC, we are in the high class guitar area. Starting from the choice of woods to the attention to details and quality of the building, the guitar is a great job and it sounds awesome as you can judge for yourself in the video.

The look of the beauty is beautiful, simple and elegant.

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UE Boom speakers as a guitar amp

UE Boom guitar amp - Nowadays you can't enter an electronic store without seeing a plethora of Bluetooth speakers. Last month I was invited to a presentation of the UE Boom from Ultimate Ears, the speakers sounds really great especially seeing the relatively small size. I wondered how it would sound to plug a guitar in one and see if it can be used as a guitar amp.
UE Boom guitar amp video

Unpacking the UE Boom
If you are familiar with the Apple unpacking experience, you won't be disappointed with the UE Boom one.

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Setup of a PT-2 @Pedaltrain pedalboard

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The trend is more than ever to host our beloved pedals in pedalboard.

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Frankenstrat Project – End of part 1

One day in June I went to see my luthier Patrick Querleux to get the guitar finished of the Frankenstrat Project. It was almost finished.

In order to wait until the full soundseeing, here's a video teaser of the Riff Shooter pedal that Judge Fredd conceived in collaboration with JMB Experience. I only had the time to play with it for a short while but I can assure you it sounds awesome. I can't wait to get a unit to review it.

As the name Riff Shooter kind of implies, this pedal is an overdrive. The possibility to voice the sounds is pretty big yet it remains very easy to operate. The "Shoot" switch allows to turn on and off the pedal.

Here's an update on the Frankenstrat Project as I received some pics from the Patrick Querleux who has just finished the preparation on the body and the varnish on the neck.

Pedaltrain makes some excellent pedalboards (see my review of the PT-2 here), they sent me a Mini model and a Volto battery pack to review. The Volto can power up to 9 pedals and is charged either straight from a wall wart plug or from a USB connector.

As you can see it allows you to have a pedalboard without any wire attached to an outside power source which can be very useful.
Review of the Pedaltrain Volto

What I liked about

The compact format
The ability to power a full pedalboard
The integration with the Pedaltrain products

What I did

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Here're some pics taken at Patrick Querleux's workshop last time I went to check on the Frankenstrat Project guitar he is building for me.

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Video setup to record gear reviews

This is the setup I use to make video soundseeings for the show. The MOTU Ultralite mk3 interface plays the lead role since it serves both as a preamp for Shure SM58 for vocals for comments and as a mixer for the output of Torpedo CAB Two-Notes.

Note that the camera used is a Lumix GH2 with a 14-42 lens. This camera has a stereo mic stereo input required to make a good sounding video.

Be careful though as this input is very sensitive and is quickly saturated if you are not careful.

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