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.
You want to watch the video?
Get the Backstage Pass to watch all the exclusive videos and more!
Click here for more info on the Backstage Pass
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.
You enjoyed this review and want to keep them coming? Support the show on the Patreon page for the price of a coffee per month.
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.
Doug Redler is one of the top guitar tech, he has toured behind countless musicians. From Brian Ferry to K.D. Lang to the Black Crowes. He is currently working with Rich Robinson from the Crowes.
He wrote a great book to share his experience on the road.
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.
Here's a YouTube Playlist with all the gear reviews produced for the show.
Get the Backstage Pass to support the show and to access great exclusive video content, deals and the private community.
You can also support the show on the Patreon page for as low as 1$ per podcast.
The Guitar Channel is your independent guitar media, 100% passion, 0% ads.Passion amplifier since 2009.
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.
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.
In July 2014 Premier Guitar released a cool Rig Rundown of Larry Carlton gear shot in his studio. The video is cool despite the fact that we don't get to hear Larry play except at the very beginning. Anyway, it's in this video (see below) that I first heard about the Zenkudo overdive pedal from tanabe.tv.
I decided to contact the builder, Toshihiko Tanabe, to do this mail interview to learn more about this great Japanese boutique pedal builder.
The interview with Toshihiko
PJ: What is your training?
TT: I am not from electric engineering background, I started as a hobbyist. I am self-trained.
PJ: Are you an electronic engineer?
TT: No but I made them by myself, alone.
PJ : Why did you start to build pedals?
TT: I struggled with some personal problem in 2006. One of my friend advised me to build a pedal with new old stock parts such as Japan Radio Company OP-Amp that called gloss version 4558D. I found that building a pedal was fun.
PJ: What is the inspiration behind the different pedals you produce (Zenkudo, Dumkudo, etc. )?
TT: I build them with the sound I wanted to hear.
PJ: How do you fine tune a pedal? Do you have a Dumble amplifier at home to compare the tones for example?
TT: No, my final goal was not the sound of the Dumble. After I completed my first pedal a few of my friends told me that the sound was like the Dumble.
PJ: How did you get in contact with Robben Ford?
TT: In the year of 2011, when he was looking for a new overdrive pedal, the president of Vertex effects recommended him my Dumkudo pedal. Robben liked my pedal and I was contacted form Vertex effects to have some pedal orders. In 2012 February, while Robben was in Japan, I met him and his tech. Rick.
PJ : How did you get in contact with Larry Carlton?
TT: Rick (technician from Robben Ford) is also taking care of Larry’s gear and he found the pedal on eBay. He bought it and recommend to Larry. I was told from Rick that Larry liked it very much. So, I made the new one from scratch for him.
PJ: Any interesting stories you can tell about the famous users of your pedals?
TT: Paul Jackson, Jr. is my first famous user and I went to see him in 2010 in L.A. I was very anxious about his late appearance, I was not sure if he was to come or not. But we finally met at restaurant and became friend, we had a fun time.
Henry Kaiser liked my pedals very much and he is my best friend now. I built him a lot of new pedals such as Fuzz box and various of overdrives. He brought them to Antarctica and played just for fun. Then I got a order from Antarctica. And he introduced me to a lot of his friends.
PJ: Are you going to develop a signature model with one of those artists?
TT: Every pedal is my signature…
PJ: Does your pedals have to be plugged in a tube amp to perform the best?
TT: It sounds great on a tube amp but my pedals are also suited for solid state type amplifier.
PJ: What are the future projects you are working on?
TT: I am planing to build a tube amp.
Thanks a lof for your time Mr Toshihiko Tanabe, I sure hope to try one of your pedal in the near future.
The Zenkudo and Dumkudo overdrives
I haven't tried (yet) a tanabe.tv pedal but no doubt that if Larry Carlton and Robben Ford are using it, it must be a pretty sweet sounding overdrive. The pedal has 3 modes, Marshall, Dumble and Zenkudo. Many people seem to say that the Dumble mode comes pretty close.
The conception of both pedals is identical. The Dumkudo has more gain is more suited to single coils when the Zenkudo is better for humbuckers.
Larry Carlton small pedal board
The Zenkudo pedal is bottom right.
Tanabe TV, pedal builder for Robben Ford, Larry Carlton and more
The AMPLIFi line is the latest offering from Line6 regarding guitar amps.
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
We are in the specifications realm of the Les Paul Junior, a mahogany body, a P90, a volume and tone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you enjoyed this post?
Get the Backstage Pass to watch all the exclusive videos and more
The trend is more than ever to host our beloved pedals in pedalboard.