Mojo Classic Ruokangas Guitars review: a Telecaster coming from Finland

Juha Ruokangas is a Finnish luthier well known on The Guitar Channel since he has been the subject of several interviews and has also animated a series of luthier chronicles. Juha (pronounced Yu-A) manufactures with a small team of luthiers instruments of very high quality entirely by hand, without the help of CNC (ie without Computer Numeric Control machine).

Riverside Strymon overdrive pedal review - Powerhouse tone machine

Until now Strymon proposed mainly pedals in the delay and modulation field, with the Riverside they are now getting in the overdrive business.

"The Burst" is a guitar made by the luthier Mikaël Springer as a tribute to the mythical Les Paul Standard 1959 by Gibson.

Guitar D'Angelico model EX-SS: an elegant lady to play Jazz

Finally a Jazz guitar reviewed on The Guitar Channel! Yes, everything happens. Here is the D'Angelico model EX-SS in a very standard configuration: archtop type guitar with two humbuckers.

D'Angelico EX-SS video review

Audio version of the video available in the podcast:

Photo album

What I enjoyed the most

The sounds
The built quality
The confort of playing

What I enjoyed the least

Too much gold hardware!

Conclusion
For a budget of around $1,500, the EX-SS offers a very good guitar that should delight the fans of Jazz and Blues.

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John Mayer presents his new PRS amp during the NAMM 2017

One of the important announcements of NAMM 2017 was the release of a new John Mayer 100W all tube amp by PRS. As a media The Guitar Channel was invited to the press conference. Usually I am not very fan of the exercise of the press conference as it is usually limited to basically reading a press release or pretty much so.

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Backstage Gear Tour – Bellwether review by Joris

Feedback from Joris, a backstager who reviewed
the Bellwether Walrus Audio delay pedal
during a Backstage Gear Tour

Hello fellow guitar players,

Thanks to a Backstage Gear Tour, I had the pleasure to test at home the Bellwether, a delay pedal from the American boutique builder Walrus Audio (reviewed by The Guitar Channel in this article). Here's a video which will hopefully inspire you to test this pedal.

Joris video review

My feedback
Overall, the sound is very warm with a slight dark side on my gear. The Tone setting is well thought out to adjust the tone of the effect.

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Pickup Shootout: PRS McCarty vs Häussel Pickups 59

As promised in the article documenting the installation of the Häussel Pickups in my PRS McCarty, here's the pickup shootout between the stock PRS McCarty pickups and the set of 59 pickups from Häussel Pickups.

Pickup Shootout: PRS McCarty vs Häussel 59
I tried as much as possible to cover the same kind of guitar playing throughout the test: with the fingers only, with a pick, light and heavy riffing, etc.

Conditions of the test

Guitar: 2005 PRS McCarty
Strings: no change of strings to keep this parameter the same between both recordings
Sound: Universal Audio Apollo Twin interface
Types

Häussel Pickups installation in a PRS McCarty
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Häussel Pickups installation in a PRS McCarty

The German pickups Häussel Pickups equip many high-end European luthiers, Nik Huber, Ruokangas and Springer to name only those three. It was necessary that The Guitar Channel studied more on those pickups.

Walrus Audio offers, with the Bellwether, a very complete analog sound delay pedal offering a delay with many possible settings. In addition to the conventional time, level and tone settings, you can activate and set a modulation and decide the subdivision in time, not to mention the tap tempo button (to determine the delay time) and the possibilities with external connections.

Xtomp Hotone - Pedal Review of a chameleon tone machine

The XTomp Hotone pedal is a brand new pedal that has recently come on the market with an innovative concept: the ability to load an effect (or a couple of effects) on the pedal to make it sound like a reverb / delay, Chorus / reverb, overdrive, etc. The proposed catalog is very extensive and contains just about all the great classics of the analog pedal you can think of.

The effects are loaded on the pedal using an iOS / Android app that communicates in Bluetooth with the pedal.

Häussel Pickups: the upcoming projects with Harry

In 2014 I had the opportunity to meet Harry Häussel (Haussel Pickups - www.haeussel.com) at the Holy Grail Guitar Show (see interview below). Harry is a renowned manufacturer of electric guitar pickups whose products are used by Ruokangas, Nik Huber and Springer.

At each major guitar event like the Musikmesse or the Holy Grail, Harry was present and we always took time to discuss.

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MJS Acoustic guitar J-78 built by luthier Godefroy Maruejouls

Here's a first on the show with a video review of an acoustic guitar, and one built by a luthier!

Anasounds (www.anasounds.com) is a French boutique pedal builder with already a wide range of products from overdrive to delay, the company is now launching a new pedal, the Bitoun Fuzz. It was developed with the musician and journalist Julien Bitoun, a Fuzz connoisseur, who wanted something special. And something special they created with this Bitoun Fuzz.

Gator vs Mono - Electric guitar soft case shootout
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Gator vs Mono – Electric guitar soft case shootout

The offer for the soft guitar cases did a lot of progress lately. Gone are the days of ugly cases which do not really protect our beloved instruments. We now have a wide range of cases including ones manufactured by Mono (monocreators.com) and Gator (gatorcases.com).

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Trescab, Shimverb, Ana Echo, Micro Looper Mooer pedals review
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Trescab, Shimverb, Ana Echo, Micro Looper Mooer pedals review

Here's a foursome review of Mooer pedals with the Trescab (cab simulator), Shimverb (reverb), Ana Echo (analog echo), Micro Looper (you guessed it, a looper).

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How to setup to play electric guitar on the go
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How to setup to play electric guitar on the go

What's more enjoyable than playing guitar outside in a nice weather or just during a business trip or vacation? For acoustic guitar, nothing more simple since, as per definition, the amplification system is integrated with the instrument.

For electric guitars, it is different because our dear electrified instruments need at least an amp to operate. Here's an overview of possible solutions for playing guitar in mobility:

Mini-Amp
Headphones
Hybrid system

Update: 9/5/16
Mini-amp solution
There are many electric guitar amplifiers which combine the advantage of being very compact and battery operated.

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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.

Joe Jackson guitar player Teddy Kumpel pedalboard demo

Joe Jackson and his band were part of the official indoor schedule of the 2016 edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival.

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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.

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.

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.

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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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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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. [cta_video]