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
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What I enjoyed the most on this pedal
The overall sounds
The possibilities given by the Honk setting
What I enjoyed the least
The changing colours of the LED is kind of distracting
Frankly the market
I met the luthier Godefroy Maruejouls from MJS Guitars during the Guitares au Beffroi festival in 2015 where he was exhibiting his instruments.
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 :
With a contrabass :
En jam à deux :
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.
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.
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.
Maybach is a guitar brand launched a few years ago with a line of instruments manufactured in Prague, Czech Republic with German pickups.
Here's the mobile guitar rig I use when I want to play in the park right next to our house.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To start 2016 in the best way possible, The Guitar Channel invites you to come to the first Gear Evening of the year where you will be able to meet the luthier Maurice Dupont, the amps from Fx Amps, the boutique pedal builder Anasounds and Verspieren which proposes specialized products for musician to insure their instruments.
The concept of the Gear Evening is to meet and interact with a small selection of exhibitors and to try their gear in a real rehearsal studio.
The exhibitors for this Gear Evening
Guitars: the luthier Maurice Dupont
Amps: the French distributor for Fx Amps
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.
Here's a BeatBuddy interview with the CEO David Packouz
Here's a Mason Marangella interview done via Skype. Mason is the mastermind behind Vertex, the boutique pedal builder. The interview was a good opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with Mason about his approach to pedal building.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Maybe you don't know it (yet) but on vibrato equipped guitar, the metal block below where the strings attached has a very important role in your tone. I heard about the FU Tone product through the years and I thought it would be interesting to have the guy behind the product to talk about it. So here I am presenting you with an interview with Adam Reiver from FU Tone.
Here's below the block Adam sent me to try on my Ernie Ball Music Man EVH model. I will try it and report here on the website my findings.
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).
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.
Here's a Relish guitar review, the Jane model by Relish Guitars is entirely developed and built in Switzerland with some cool innovative ideas.
Here's my video review of the Line6 JTV-59.
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.
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
ConclusionWhen 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
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.