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AUGUST 4 & 5 CAULFIELD RACECOURSE Tickets from oztix.com.au australianmusician.com.au/melbourne-guitar-show


DISCOVER COLLARTS LIFE COURSE INFO NIGHT 7 & 9 AUGUST 2018 CAMPUS OPEN DAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2018

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New World Artists, Human Warfare and Graphic Nature Management Presents

The Death Dealers - Australian Tour VIC SHOWS

WITH GUESTS

W W W. T H YA R T I S M U R D E R . N E T

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What Happens Next Tour 2018 ........................................................................................................................................

WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER FORUM THEATRE GO TO

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In Show & Concert! 2 WEEKS TO GO

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MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE PRESENTS

Double bill concert with two of the world’s greatest guitarists

KAKI KING

(U.S.A.)

Kaki King, her guitar and dynamic visual projections tell an extraordinary creation myth.

Marc Ribot

‘I’ve never seen anything like it … A sumptuous feast for the senses, a dizzying display of sound and vision .. I repeat; do not miss this.’ THE BOSTON GLOBE

(U.S.A.) Legendary guitarist Marc Ribot has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 30-year career playing no wave, free jazz, rock and Cuban music. Don’t miss him play favourites from his vast back catalogue.

Monday 13 August 7.30pm • Tickets $59/$49 CNR SOUTHBANK BLVD & STURT ST, SOUTHBANK

BUY NOW: 9699 3333 MELBOURNERECITAL.COM.AU

PRINCIPAL GOVERNMENT PARTNER

A transaction fee between $5.50 and $8 applies to orders made online and by phone. A delivery fee of up to $5.50 may also apply.

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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Welcome to Melbourne Guitar Show 2018 BY LEXI HERBERT

The biggest weekend dedicated to guitar brands, suppliers, manufacturers, and music in Australia is back. The Melbourne Guitar Show will bring together an array of world class artists, alongside the brands you know and love. UK guitar legend Albert Lee will be in attendance, alongside Sydney punk-pop band RACKETT, The Baby Animals lead guitarist Dave Leslie, and Australian fingerstyle guitarist Van Larkins. There’s a lot to take in, so we’re giving you a sweet taster to get you started.

Alison Ferrier

ALBERT LEE

2018’s Melbourne Guitar Show is stacked with talent from across the globe, including legendary UK export, Albert Lee. Known for his unusual playing technique – a hybrid fingerstyle picking movement – Lee has worked alongside the likes of Eric Clapton, Jow Cocker, Emmylou Harris, and The Everly Brothers. There’s nothing quite as hardcore as seeing a 74-yearold shred an electric with ease, so let one of the world’s leading guitarists show you how it’s done. AON Whammy Bar, Saturday August 4

BEN KELLY

SONGS AND STRINGS

FIONA BOYES BAND

CAT CANTERI

Aussie multi-instrumentalist Ben Kelly leads the charge when it comes to producing a sound that can’t be confined to a genre. With the intention of creating music for change, Kelly brings forth the sounds of Latin America, Spanish guitar, Africaninspired rhythms, and eastern-inspired melodies. Usually found travelling and meditating, Kelly will bring his internationallyinspired music to the stage. Exclusively Acoustic Stage, Saturday August 4

One of MGS’ biggest collaborative events this year, a powerhouse collection of five singers, songwriters and exponents of acoustic guitar will perform their songs in a round robin-style concert. Alison Ferrier, Cat Canteri, Fiona Boyes, Zevon Hiltz, and Abbey Stone are all Melbourne-based country musicians, and this will be a tutorial in technical proficiency as well as a chance to check out the jamming skills of five industry professionals. AON Mezzanine Stage, Saturday August 4

James Ryan

VOX SHOWCASE

One of the MGS specialties is creating a junction between the biggest brands in the guitar business and the musicians who use them. The VOX showcase will see James Ryan – Men At Work, Jon Stevens, Kate Ceberano – test out the newest amps released by VOX, from the pocket-sized MV50s to the monstrous AC30S1 in real time. It’s an invaluable lesson in what to look for when purchasing equipment, provided by an artist-slashindustry professional. Winners Circle Workshop Room, Saturday August 4

Matthew Fagan

ESPANA

Internationally-renowned ten-string guitarist Matthew Fagan, guitarist Bernardo Soler, and bassist Dean Gaudion will unite to bring the groove and spirit of Spain. Having toured internationally, with particular interest in exploring the origins of Latin guitar techniques, Fagan will combine his love for Latin music with the talents of Soler and Gaudion to create a collaborative rendition of his new album, el Vito. AON Mezzanine Stage, Sunday August 5

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Fiona Boyes has been performing and recording for over 25 years – touring the world and marking her name as a festival favourite in the blues genre. Simultaneously described as “Australia’s first lady of Blues” and “Bonnie Raitt’s evil twin,” Boyes switches between electric and acoustic with ease; try to pick out each influence and technical lick (the Delta-slide is a favourite). AON Whammy Bar, Sunday August 5

When folk meets country meets indie-rock meets the inherent grit of art made in Melbourne, you get Cat Canteri’s catalgoue; 2014’s While We Were Young, 2016’s Late At Night and 2018’s Inner North. Canteri’s music flows slow and deep, with an unmistakable realism that pairs cleanly with her latest release’s exploration of life spent growing and learning in Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs. Canteri’s intimate and emotional country-meets-folk ballads shouldn’t be missed. AON Mezzanine Stage, Sunday August 5

Charlie Bedford

TRIPLE M FINALE JAM

Always a highlight of the MGS program, this year’s Triple M Finale Jam is set to be huge. An exciting, overwhelming, noisy, guitar-laden shred sesh, the Whammy Bar will bring some of the festival’s best together for a final hurrah. The lineup includes Jack Jones, Brett Garsed, James Ryan, Shannon Bourne, and Charlie Bedford. Get excited, it’ll be shred central. AON Whammy Bar, Sunday 5 August.

DAVE LESLIE

Previously the lead guitarist for Baby Animals – the Sydneyborn rock’n’roll staple founded almost three decades ago – Dave Leslie was responsible for the infectious licks and riffs of ‘90s hits such as ‘Rush You’ and ‘One Word’. After breaking up in 1996 and regrouping in 2007, Baby Animals have been touring ever since. Leslie will discuss guitars and his life in a highprofile band during an Up Close & Personal Session. Up Close & Personal, Sunday August 5


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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Fender Player Series Stratocaster It feels like lately the kind folk at the Fender dream factories have decided to smarten up their already spiffy act. Gone are the modern appointments, nay quirks of the Blacktop and Highway One series’. Workhorse American Professional models have well and truly planted themselves in the hearts and minds of players from all walks of life and their classic era builds have those of us with nostalgia on the brain tied up in knots. What’s next then for the biggest name in the game? Why not leave no stone unturned, take a trip south of the border and tweak the whole catalogue from the ground up? It’s about time to close the gap between the made-in-Mexico standard riff sticks and the rest of the family. Say hello to the new and improved Player Series Stratocaster. Over the course of the last few years of cleaning up, Fender have gotten very good at identifying their own faults. Standard Series guitars are probably one of their highest sellers, owing mostly to the price point, and it stands to reason that this is where they should look next in order to get that classic Fender sound into as many hands as possible. I’ve always had a lot of time for Mexican builds.

With the Corona, California factory mere miles from door-to-door there is no reason why anyone should snub one build in favour of another, aside from the obvious differences in spec sheet and the necessary variation from piece to piece. The Player Series picks a few cherries from their gringo neighbours’ tree in order to sweeten its own pie. The most obvious improvement by far is the way these things sound. As soon as I picked up this aged Malmsteen yellow axe I knew that something had changed. Side by side the old stock has something of a dimmed, sock-over-the-mic dullness that has well and truly been replaced by a light, crispy chime much more akin to an American Standard with Texas Special pickups on board. The neck too feels less like an imitation. It arcs gently across a more vintage ‘C’ shape than its predecessor making for a smoother ride that is as easy on intermediate hands as it is familiar to a more seasoned Strat-ophile. Simply put, it’s Strat-ier than ever before. 22-frets, a twopoint anchored tremolo, ‘F’ stamped neck plate on the back of an Alder body and some of the choicest, vintage paint jobs you’ve seen, the only thing that reminds you that it’s not actually American is the

MX at the beginning of the serial number. Fender remind us once again that there’s classic, and there is classic. The improvements they have made to the entry point of their line are just enough to put the Player Series ahead of not only the old Mexican Standard stuff, but streets ahead of any pretender to the throne. If this is where the story starts then more and more people than ever are going to be tempted to read on.

unprecedented detail; choose from a swathe of mics and then position them as you please. You can add tap tempos, notch EQs and take to it with any number of other fine-toothed combs. In browse mode you can scour the landscape for all the tools and tricks you need then save your own patches in the order that most suits the flow of your set. Not only that but the first thing the unit asks you to do when you first light it up is enter your name and the date and time so that it can apply that information to your patches as a personal signature, helping you recall and copyright all your own unique snow flakes. It was quickly apparent that there was little to no limit to the possibilities of what I could conjure myself once I really got stuck in. It’s an experience not unlike moving into a new house – you may not

like what the previous tenants had done with the place, but once you move all your stuff in it starts to feel like home. The rotary cabinet sound was one of the nicest I’ve heard in this context and some of the low gain, Fender and Soldano reproductions were quite brilliant. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then The Kemper Profiler is bound to get you where you need to go. The faithful simulations in this stylish, pea and bottle green housing are second to none. If you’re looking for the simplest way to get a Triple Rec on the same stage as a ’56 Bassman without millionaire status then look no further.

Fender Music Australia fender.com.au Expect to pay: $1199

HITS: Improvements are actually improvements, not just changes for the sake of it. MISSES: None

BY LUKE SHIELDS

Kemper Amplification Profiler Head and Remote Modeling effects are hardly a new idea, companies have been trying to replicate the nuances of tonal triumphs for decades, a case in point being the swelling market for clones of prized overdrive pedals. For years the use of professional digital imitators carried a stigma of philistinism around with it, largely due to manufacturers’ inability to overcome the indelible effect that digitisation has on fidelity. It seems like players are realising the potential inherent in some of the more top of the line examples and utilising them in live touring rigs. Cue the rise of Axe-FX as one of the most divisive names in today’s riff game, and the engineers at Kemper have certainly come nipping at its binary heels. With a lot of these units, functionality is the key to success. Often you’re faced with something that’s far from plug-n-play, meaning you spend as much time studying the manual as you do shredding away to your heart’s content. Kemper’s Profiler, however is only as complicated as you want it to be. You can simply pick a patch from the exhaustive list of factory presets designed by card carrying Kemper alumni and use the buttons that litter the face plate to sculpt to taste; add stompbox-style effects or switch between faithfully reproduced cab and head emulations. If you really feel like being fiddly you’re afforded

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BY ROB GEE

Innovative Music innovativemusic.com.au Expect to pay: from $3399

HITS: Easy to use, endless possibilities, faithful reproductions of tones. MISSES: Presets won’t be to everyone’s taste.


AND

NEW

ACT I V E G U I TA R S P E A K E R SYS T E M S F O R YO U R M O D E L L E R

S E E U S AT

STAND

43 Designed For Guitarists Inside And Out

Built For Gigging

The Powercab is a 1x12 active speaker system that delivers an authentic “amp-in-the-room” playing experience when paired with any modeller. When set to Flat mode, you simply plug your modeller in and play; Powercab amplifies the sound of your presets as they are — but with the response and feel of an actual guitar amplifier.

The Powercab guitar speaker system accomplishes this by combining a clean 250-watt power amplifier with a custom hybrid coaxial speaker. The speaker combines the range, clarity, and power-handling capabilities of a P.A. speaker, with the rapid transient response of a guitar speaker, in just the right measure to function optimally in both Flat and Speaker Modelling modes. And Powercab is loud, producing a room-filling 125dB SPL maximum volume.

Speaker Modelling Now imagine having an empty 1x12 speaker cabinet that you can instantly load with any one of six classic speaker types just by pressing a button. Setting the Powercab to Speaker Modelling mode enables you to do just that — virtually — using a new technology developed by Line 6. Simply bypass the speaker cabinet models in your modeller’s signal chain and let Powercab provide the sound and feel of playing through those classic speakers.

Need Even More? The Powercab 112 Plus features an extra XLR/Jack input, 128 Patches, MIDI control, Digital AES/L6 Link, plus the ability to import your IRs via the Powercab Edit Software.

AVAILABLE NOW AT YO U R AU T H O R I S E D L I N E 6 D E A L E R PRODUCT INF0 line6.com/powercab

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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Cioks DC8 Pedalboard Power Supply A guitarist’s pedalboard is often an ever evolving work. New pedals, different gigs, different patch leads, new signal paths, buffers, wireless, cables and of course, the power supply. This last item, however, doesn’t always receive the attention it properly deserves. You spend so much time researching, trying, buying and playing with pedals to then use them with a $15 power supply and daisy chain from a dodgy online supplier? Doesn’t make much sense to me. Thankfully, there is an ever growing selection of power supplies to cover your needs for boards of all sizes with Cioks being one of the best, in my experience. From its Professional line, let’s check out the DC8. Described as a medium-sized power supply, the DC8 comes in the typical Cioks tough metal casing that feels like it could withstand almost anything. Both the pedal outlets and the IEC input are recessed, which adds some coverage to the possibility of them being pulled out. The unit also comes with mounting accessories for those looking to fasten it to a pedalboard. Spec-wise there are eight outlets grouped in six isolated sections (pairs 5/6 and 7/8 share the same section). As the name suggests, these outlets are DC power offering two 100ma outlets at 9V, two 100ma outlets that can be run at 9 or 12 volts and the final two sections

that can be run at 9 or 12 volts and offer 300ma. The package then comes with a range of Flex cables in various lengths to cover a good cross-section of standard pedal types. Cioks has added LED indicators to each section so you can monitor performance, and the tweaking of each section’s power options is easily done via the DIP switches on the bottom of the unit. The various options are also clearly marked on the underside of the DC8 meaning you don’t have to drag out the manual to remember what’s what. Furthermore, the mains can be switched from 110V to 230V, allowing you to travel without the worry of needing to swap power supplies internationally or lug step down transformers and the like. Cioks really seems to make consistently high quality products that are reliable. I’ve used many different brands of power supplies over the years

(including some other big name competitors) and haven’t found anything better than this brand. For my purposes, it’s been the quietest and most reliable power supply across a range of gigs, venues and circumstances, with the Flex cables always keeping up and offering plenty of options – even for those random finicky pedals. Most players typically spend lots of money on their pedalboards – why not make a great investment with a quality power supply? Especially when they cost less than some of the favourite (insert latest boutique drive/delay/verb name here) pedals on the market. Go Cioks.

light but tough. With rounded edges and multiple cut outs the Dingbat has a slightly different design and aesthetic to its competitors with the design enabling you to place pedals almost anywhere and utilise either Velcro or cable ties when fixing them to the board. Another major feature of the Dingbat is the pre-attached Mondo power supply which offers 12 outlets in a variety of AC and DC settings. Essentially you just have to stick on your pedals, plug in the appropriate power adaptors and you’re good to go – it’s as easy as that. The Dingbat feels solid, really solid. It could easily hold a swagger of pedals combining smaller boss sizes through to Strymon and the like with the board cut outs making great spaces for running leads whilst still offering plenty of contact space

in between for Velcro or dual lock. The Mondo is a beast of power supply, and if you’re undecided or unsure of your power requirements it’s a very impressive starting point as an all-in-one unit. Gigbag’s are a great lightweight and portable alternative to a road case and the included straps and handles give you enough options to manoeuvre and handle the Dingbat quite easily. A great unit at any level (amateur through to professionals) with pro-level gear that is built to last and flexible enough to accommodate a multitude of options and setups.

Amber Technology ambertech.com.au Expect To Pay: $349

HITS: Quiet and reliable, tough housing, well built. MISSES: Some will want more power and/or more cables (but there are plenty of other models and accessories if needed).

BY NICK BROWN

Voodoo Lab Dingbat Large Pedalboard Voodoo Lab have long been major players in the guitar industry. Effects, power supplies, switchers and more are part of the VL stable with items such as the Sparkle Drive, Pedal Power Micro Vibe and Ground Control Pro all instantly recognisable and widely used. In fact, Voodoo Lab’s Pedal Power line of pedal power supplies was one of the first pro level units to really hit widespread usage and it’s still going strong today. Combining a couple of their items, VL have released the Dingbat Pedalboard packages with this particular model coming loaded with a Pedal Power Mondo and housed in a snazzy padded gigbag. Aimed as an all-in-one, ready to go deal, the Dingbat looks the goods, so let’s take a closer look. Coming in three sizes the Large is the biggest of the group and measures around 64 x 40 cms. VL suggest the Large will hold 10 to 16 pedals, depending on size obviously, so it should cover quite a few setups, styles and players. Made from aircraft grade aluminium, the board itself is super

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BY NICK BROWN

Eastgate Music eastgatemusic.com.au Expect to pay: $939

HITS: Power supply being included means you’re ready to go. Lightweight and tough. MISSES: Some may like a hardcase option.


D

I

E

S

E

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SIGNATURE STRATOCASTER® LIMITED EDITION

"This guitar rings a lot of bells for me — visually and sonically speaking it's where it all started"

APPEARING AT THE MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

11:30AM SUNDAY, 5TH AUGUST  WINNERS CIRCLE WORKSHOP ROOM

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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Truetone CS6 Pedal Power Supply Most guitarists will have used or seen the classic 1 Spot power supply with its streamlined plug that doesn’t hog a power point. For years Truetone let the 1 Spot solely rule their power supply offerings until they saw a need for extra isolation, function and flexibility thanks to the changing landscape of new pedals on the market. This led to the well received CS7 and CS12 power supplies which can be seen on boards the world over.Extending their wares even further, Truetone have released the CS6 sporting six outlets in a low profile casing. Is size really that big of an issue/selling point/ marketing slant? A big yes from myself, and many others I think. Guitarists agonise over pedalboard decisions and pour lots of dollars into trying the latest and greatest, or rare and hard to find, stomp box. It’s then fitting that they use a high quality power supply that provides the correct power in a clean and noise free manner, which isn’t always the case. Six outlets are on offer providing switchable options from 9,12 and 18 volts at 100, 200 and 500mA. These are set via the easy to access DIP switches and the unit is powered by your typical IEC cable. While the size in terms of both length and width is smallish, the height of the CS6 is only about 3cms. This gives you options for mounting underneath many boards as well as mounting on your board with the ability for the CS6 to act as a riser. Truetone also include a cardboard template with clear ‘drill here’ markings for those that want to mount the CS6, making it easy to get your pedalboard underway.

Truetone really have hit the mark with their range of power supplies over the last few years and the CS6 is no exception. The options of 9, 12 and 18volts at anywhere from 100 to 500mA covers a lot of ground and the included converter plugs can hook up a whole lot more if needed. The switching voltage input lets you travel with ease and of course the CS6’s size and form factor will impress many that have limited pedalboard space and/or specific size requirements. It’s been said before but I’ll say it again now – if you’ve spent a heap of money on pedals and/or putting a pedalboard together why would you skimp on powering it with a cruddy power supply? Size, reliability, noise-free, or at least much quieter operation, voltage options for

the price of, perhaps, one or two pedals. It’s really an easy answer – and with a great range of units on offer, and plenty of pros and amateurs alike sporting them, you should definitely check out Truetone. BY NICK BROWN

Eastgate Music eastgatemusic.com.au Expect to pay: $289

HITS: Tough, smaller size, plenty of power options. MISSES: None

Fender Player Series Telecaster Let’s use much loved ‘90s cartoon series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as an analogy for a moment. Imagine Leo Fender’s famed Stratocaster is Leonardo, a wise leader, the oldest of the crew and ready willing and able to take any situation in stride. That would make his Telecaster the equivalent to Raphael – an emotionally raw, younger upstart with as much anti-authoritarian angst as it has a tendency towards its softer side. Leo himself then becomes Master Splinter and a certain other rival builder with evil robotic attachments The Shredder, but I digress. Since their inception, the two at the top of every Fender catalogue have always had that hand-inhand yet push/pull relationship. Even as individual as they are, you rarely think of one without thinking of the other. Fender have taken aim at their entry point as the next in line for the continuing spring clean of their entire line up. Replacing the old Standard models, the Player Series makes a blind comparison of American and Mexican builds next to impossible. The Player’s Telecaster bolts a 22-fret neck and either maple or Pau Ferro fretboard into a choice Alder body with a newly ‘F’ stamped neck plate. The particular beast that I held purring in my hands was as butterscotch blonde as the

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cover of a Springsteen record, just as I’d hoped, and with it’s three-ply black pick-guard, it is just as classic. I have had the distinct fortune of taking in just about every colour in this new branch of the family tree and I must admit that choosing between this and its blackon-black brother is the kind of thing that keeps a kid up at night. As with the Strat, and indeed the entire line, the pick-ups are voiced much closer to their northern counterpart. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the unmistakable chiming nature of the lipstick pick up in the neck position. It is incredibly responsive to the nuances you conjure with your pick hand, almost to the point of leaning back with you in your more delicate moments. Back at the bridge and there is just about enough punch and raucousness to wake up Joe Strummer without the harsh, ice pick sharpness that fader jockeys love to dial out. That amount of characteristic tonality coupled with the minor yet imperative adjustments to the spec

sheet make the thing feel bigger and more alive in your hands too. It might be psychosomatic but the impact on the personality of the guitar has a direct connection to the way you approach playing it. Both you and your new guitar will play up to each other in a new and inspiring way. Much like it’s Stratocaster counterpart, the Player Series Telecaster is more of what you deserve from that name without the limitations you’d expect from the price point. It has all the personality and tonality of an American build and is just as full of songs. All I need to do now is figure out which one is Donatello and which is Michelangelo. BY LUKE SHIELDS

Fender Music Australia fender.com.au RRP: $1149

HITS: More Tele than the price point would have you believe. MISSES: None


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MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW 2018 PROGRAM SATURDAY TH AUGUST Today’s Show: 10am-6pm

AON WHAMMY BAR

Click to website: http://www.australianmusician.com.au/melbourne-guitar-show/

EXCLUSIVELY ACOUSTIC STAGE

Presented by Australian Musician and Triple M FM

Level 2 Escalator West

Level 1 Escalator East

11.00am

WINNERS CIRCLE WORKSHOP ROOM

AON MEZZANINE STAGE

Level 1 Escalator West 10.30am

Level 1 Escalator West

AMEB: Rockschool A Creative Focus

10.30 am

Join Lead Examiner Alyson Locke as she takes us through Rockschool’s Guitar, Bass, Ukulele and Music Production syllabuses with performances by young guitarist Joe Wright.

ROHAN STEVENSON (I built the sky)

ADAM MILLER BAND

Adam uses complex rhythms dissonant haunting phrases, combined with breathtaking riffs and melodies. His jazz influenced style with finger-picking mastery creates a improvisation filled performance that’s beautifully unpredictable.

12.00pm

DAVE LESLIE (Baby Animals)

Dave Leslie is the lead guitarist from iconic Australian rock band The Baby Animals, who have had numerous hit songs over the last few decades. We’re honoured to have Dave perform for us at MGS2018

1.15 pm

ALBERT LEE (UK)

Courtesy of Ernie Ball Music Man guitars, we’re thrilled to welcome UK guitar legend Albert Lee to the show. Albert is one of the most respected guitarists in music history, having worked with Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and The Crickets. Lee has received numerous awards as a guitarist, winning consecutive times Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Country Guitarist”

2.45pm

12.00pm

NICK CHARLES

A class act, revered by peers and critics as one of the finest pickers and players in the land. 201 Artist of the Year at the Port Fairy Folk Festival

1.00pm

JUSTIN BERNASCONI

Straddling styles and sounds from the Delta Blues, Appalachian Bluegrass, English Folk and all stops in between, Justin Bernasconi’s highly original tunes are infused with exciting and soulful guitar playin

2.00pm

BEN KELLY

NAT ALLISON BAND

Nat Allison delivers a pitch-perfect scream, strut antics and evil guitar showboat. A high energy, guitar heavy performance with tough lyrics, powerful vocals and guitar solos to match. To date Nat has played over 000 gigs, and well known as guitarist in Suzi uatro’s band.

3.45 pm

RACKETT

RACKETT make loud and experimental punk-pop. Based in Sydney, Australia, the band have moved from virtual anonymity to playing in major theatres and festivals throughout Australia, receiving regular airplay on community and commercial radio.

4.45pm

SCOTT DARLOW

Scott Darlow is a versatile singer guitarist didge player, who has released albums to date. A famously down-to-earth performer, Darlow is known for using his infectious charm, from the biggest festivals to the smallest club crowds to raise awareness and funds for World Vision Australia’s Indigenous program.

Ben Kelly’s music is difficult to pigeon-hole as his musical stylings come from across many genres including Latin America, Spanish Guitar, African inspired rhythms, eastern influenced melodies, and the all inspiring driving factor of creating music and situations for the betterment of mankind.

3.00pm

ADAM MILLER Adam uses complex rhythms dissonant haunting phrases, combined with breathtaking riffs and melodies. His jazz influenced style with finger-picking mastery creates a improvisation filled performance that’s beautifully unpredictable.

*PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Rohan Stevenson has released 2 albums, 1 EP and singles as the prog-electric band, I Built The Sky. This year, Rohan dons an acoustic guitar and presents another side to his creative palette.

11.30am

POSITIVE GRID CLINIC

With James Ryan. BIAS mini is a 300W small format guitar head with 16 fully editable amp presets. You can also connect to BIAS AMP software iphone ipad Mac PC) to open up a world of component options all without a soldering iron). Choose between different preamp and power amp circuits, change the tubes and transformers, add clipping diodes and tryout different rectifiers.

11.30am

SONGS AND STRINGS

Featuring Alison Ferrier, Cat Canteri, Fiona Boyes, Zevon Hilt , and Abbey Stone. Five fine singer, songwriters and exponents of acoustic guitar present their songs to us in this round robin-style treat.

12.30pm

BOSS TONE DESIGN MASTERCLASS

In this masterclass, Joshua Munday will show you how to ‘hear’ guitar tones on famous guitar recordings and then show you step-by-step how to recreate them! After explaining the original studio techniques used on each famous record, Josh will then demonstrate his approach using the BOSS GT-1000.

12.45pm

JEFF LANG

Australian guitarist-songwriter-vocalist-producer, Jeff Lang has built a reputation for making startling music that is accomplished, intricate, gutsy, melodic and loaded with soul. Anyone who witnessed Jeff at the 201 MGS will know what an amazing, energetic show he performs.

1.30pm

VO SHOWCASE

In this session Australian guitarist James Ryan Men at Work, Jon Stevens, Kate Ceberano) will showcase the newest amps released by VO including the new monster AC30S1, the pocket-sized MV 0s and all new, all Nutube MV 1 0 series. James will play some songs, do some A and show you how to get the best out of this new gear.

2.00pm

DANIEL CHAMPAGNE

2.30pm

Daniel Champagne is regarded as a leading light in acoustic music, with a firm reputation for making festivals buzz, holding crowds in his palm, dropping jaws and breaking guitars wherever he goes. Daniel has relocated to North America where he continues his exciting career as an international touring and recording artist.

MATON AP5 PRO PICKUP SEMINAR

By Head of Research and Development Patrick Evans. Patrick has been at Maton for over twenty years and is one of the designers behind the AP PRO. He will go through every aspect of the Maton’s world renowned AP PRO Pick up System. From design to operation. The AP PRO is the first choice for some of the worlds most respected guitar players.

3.30pm 3.30pm

NICK CHARLES BLUES & ROOTS SHOW Some of our finest blues exponents will talk about their approach, plus there’ll be finger-picking good solos and “all-in” jams. Nick Charles hosts Fiona Boyes, Justin Bernasconi, Charlie Bedford, Phil Manning, Ed Bates

COLE CLARK SHOWCASE

Miles Jackson, CEO of Cole Clark, Neil Kennedy, designer of the new Cole Clark Kennedy bass and Jamie Pye, Cole Clark Artist, will present the new Cole Clark Kennedy bass and Cole Clark acoustic guitars. We will cover timbers, construction and electronics.

4.30pm

MALCURA PRESENT KATOH GUITARS

MALCURA are a “Heavy Flamenco” trio from Melbourne. See them as they take Katoh guitars through their paces.

The Melbourne Guitar Show acknowledges its sponsors for their support in staging the event

MEET THE PLAYERS Cafe Corner. Ground Level Get up close and personal with the Pros, in this play chat session. It’s an MGS A where you get to talk to the pros and hear some of their magic too. 12noon THE ART OF ELECTRIC BASS Featuring Rod Bustos, Craig Newman, Mitch Cairns. A bit of playing, a bit of talking, a bit of demonstration about what it takes to be a pro bass player 1.30pm PHIL MANNING As a founding member of Chain, one of Australia’s best known blues bands, Manning has been equally successful as a soloist and sideman for a lengthy list of artists. Phil’s musical tastes have broadened to include folk, celtic and world music flavours. 3.00pm FINGERSTYLE GUITAR Featuring Thomas Leeb, Van Larkins, Mark Fisher. Inspiring the making of the Acoustic Nation movie, this style of guitar playing is capturing a lot of players. We’re happy to present three of the very best exponents in an enthralling session.

MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW 2018 PROGRAM SUNDAY 5TH AUGUST Today’s Show: 10am-4pm

AON WHAMMY BAR

Presented by Australian Musician and Triple M FM

Level 2 Escalator West

Click to website: http://www.australianmusician.com.au/melbourne-guitar-show/

EXCLUSIVELY ACOUSTIC STAGE

SHANNON BOURNE

Melbourne Guitar Show regular Shannon Bourne is known as one of Australia’s premier guiatrists. Shannon has just released an incredible new solo instrumental guitar album, ‘Words Fail’ and will perform music from it at the guitar show. One not to miss.

12.00pm

FIONA BOYES BAND

Australian Blues guitarist and singer, Fiona Boyes, has been variously described by reviewers as a ‘musical anomaly’, or ‘Bonnie Raitt’s evil twin’. Fiona has become become an internationally recognised and awarded recording and touring artist, who has even got the nod of approval from the late Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin,

1.00pm

ALISON FERRIER BAND

Alison Ferrier is a prolific songwriter and talented guitarist, performing regularly in Melbourne with some of the town’s best musicians. In the last couple of years, she’s played at Port Fairy Folk Festival and Cool Summer Festival, had a successful solo tour along the east coast of Australia, and made Bluebirds, an album with supergroup collaboration Suzannah Espie, Kerri Simpson and Barb Waters.

2.15pm

You’ve spent the weekend watching some of Australia’s finest guitar talent, you’ve picked up your dream guitar bargain, seen a cool demo or two and thinking life couldn’t get any better… BUT ... we’ve saved the best until last! Some of Australia’s slickest pickers will come together on one stage for the Triple M Finale Jam. The line up includes: Jack Jones (aka Irwin Thomas), Brett Garsed, James Ryan, Shannon Bourne, & Charlie Bedford

10.45am 11.30am

VAN LARKINS

Combining classical guitar style with musical influences like electronica, Psytrance and 70s funk, Van Larkins’ ground-breaking techniques and complex compositions have earned him a coveted spot on the U.S. CandyRat Records roster, multiple endorsements and praise from the world’s best fingerstyle artists

12.30PM

MARK FISHER ( PHISHA)

Talented Melbourne based acoustic guitarist Phisha brings a refreshingly modern approach to the acoustic singer songwriter genre, infusing traditional folk sensibilities and evocative lyrics, with jaw dropping style and technique.

1.30pm

THOMAS LEEB Thomas Leeb is a frequent performer at concerts and festivals in Asia, the Americas and Europe and has been featured in numerous guitar magazines all over the world. Every year, he teaches workshops and master classes in universities and colleges and his album “Desert Pirate” was voted one of the essential albums of the last twenty years by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. His peculiar guitar style owes as much to percussive techniques as traditional fingerstyle guitar

The Melbourne Guitar Show acknowledges its sponsors for their support in staging the event

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Level 1 Escalator West

Level 1 Escalator East

11.00am

TRIPLE M FINALE JAM

AON MEZZANINE STAGE

CAT CANTERI

Cat Canteri is a true musician in the sense that she lives for the music, primarily as a solo artist but also with a rich history of collaboration with other bands and songwriters. Cat’s acclaimed current album is called Inner North

11.45am THE WEEPING WILLOWS

Featuring Andrew Wrigglesworth The Weeping Willows play almost every week of the year, often three or four times, winning over new fans and loyal friends wherever they go. It’s the reason they turn up on more festival bills than just about any other local act

12.45pm

ESPANA

Featuring Matthew Fagan, Bernardo Soler, Dean Gaudion Internationally renowned 10 String Guitarist Matthew Fagan combines musical passion and virtuosity to celebrate the Spirit of Spain with music from his new album “el Vito”, featuring Bernardo Soler and Dean Gaudion.

2.00pm

WORLD OF ACOUSTIC GUITAR

Hosted by Nick Charles and featuing Daniel Champagne, Peter Baylor, Jeff Lang, Adam Miller, Van Larkins. The acoustic guitar has left its imprint on many cultures and musical genres across the world. This show will feature some of the diverse styles and sounds of the instrument

*PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE

WINNERS CIRCLE WORKSHOP ROOM

Level 1 Escalator West 10.30am

AMEB Classical Guitar with Benjamin Dix ‘Communicating through tone and technique’ and discussing the importance of establishing a solid foundation. Exploring how simple scale and arpeggio techniques are developed throughout the various AMEB grades and how technique and tone can facilitate musical expression at any level. Musical excerpts will be performed to demonstrate key learnings and to provide insight into the process of preparing or sitting for an AMEB examination.

11.30am

DIESEL SIGNATURE STRATOCASTER® feat MARK DIESEL LIZOTTE

Join Australian guitar legend Diesel as he demos his new Diesel Signature Stratocaster. Blending a brash 80s look with modern playability and maturity, this guitar has been designed to look and sound as cool as its namesake.

12.30pm

BOSS TONE DESIGN MASTERCLASS

In this masterclass, Joshua Munday will show you how to ‘hear’ guitar tones on famous guitar recordings and then show you step-by-step how to recreate them! After explaining the original studio techniques used on each famous record, Josh will then demonstrate his approach using the BOSS GT-1000.

1.30pm

LINE 6 SHOWCASE

In this session we will deep dive into the flagship Line 6 Helix guitar processor and what it can do in the studio and on stage. Writer, performer and producer Michael Paynter (Icehouse, The Veronicas) will show you how he uses Helix to layer tracks in pop, rock, and country music, as well as how he uses Helix live. You’ll learn tips, tricks and how to make the most of Line 6 Helix.

2.30pm

FRACTAL AUDIO WORKSHOP Featuring Michael Dolce

Michel Dolce will demonstrate his use of the Fractal gear live and in the studio. Michael has been part ‘of The Voice’ house band on their ‘Live to air’ shows and on recordings as well as numerous recordings with Delta Goodrem and more

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL Cafe Corner. Ground Level

12.00pm BRETT GARSED Brett Garsed is one of Australia’s most celebrated guitarists. Best known as John Farnham’s guitarist on numerous tours, Garsed also made a name for himself overseas with Nelson, and later with Chicago-born guitarist TJ Helmerich. Brett is now back in Australia and we’re lucky to have him join us in this intimate session in which he’ll discuss his career and guitars. 1.30pm DAVE LESLIE Dave Leslie is the lead guitarist from iconic Australian rock band The Baby Animals, who have had numerous hit songs over the last few decades. We’re honoured to have Dave at MGS2018. Check out this session in which Dave will discuss guitars and life in a high profile recording and performing band.


EXHIBITOR LIST MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW 2018 FLOOR PLAN - GROUND FLOOR

MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW 2018 FLOOR PLAN - LEVEL ONE

MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW 2018 FLOOR PLAN - LEVEL ONE

MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW 2018 FLOOR PLAN - LEVEL ONE

Electric Floor Ground Level 1 Wildwood Instruments 2 Melbourne School of Guitar Making 3 Melbourne School of Guitar Making 3A Bose 3B Owen Ray’s International Music 3C Strandberg Guitars 3D Cilia Guitars 4 Melbourne Bass House 4A Poly Expressive 4A Crossley Guitars 4A Grubisa Guitars 5 Guitars Plus 6 Jack’s Music 7-9 Amber Technology 10-11 Eastgate & EGM Distribution 12 Sunburst Music 13-14 Eastman Guitars 15 The Resource Corporation 16-19 Gibson & Epiphone 20 Colonial Leather 21 Port Mac Guitars 22-23 Guitar Village 24 Brock Guitars 25 Bass Centre 26-30 Ibanez 31 Hal Leonard 32 Studio 19 Rentals 33 & 35 CMC music 33A Link Audio 34 Music Junction 36 Macron Music 37 Headrush 38 Independent Music Products 39 Oz Inventions 40 Roland 41-42 Ruben Guitars 43, 50, 55 Yamaha 44-46 Cranbourne Music 47 ET Guitars 48 Innovative Music 49 Bernies -Hammond 51 George Evans Custom 51A DK Alloy Guitars 51B Brookwood Guitars 52 aPurla – Handcrafted Guitars 53-54 Dunphy Imports 55 Vox 56-58 KC’s Rock Shop 59 GH Music 60 Mannys 60-63 Fender Australia 64-65 D’Addario 66 Fusion Guitars 68 Reverb.com

Mezzanine Level- Acoustic only A1 Cargill Custom Guitars – Southern Tonewoods A2 CMC Music A3 Cole Clark A5 – A6 Maton Guitars A8 – A9 Taylor Guitars A10 Yamaha Music A12 Washburn A13 Pat’s Music A15 AMEB Rockschool A16 Fender Australia A17 Tanglewood – Elixir A24 NCAT A25 Shoma Guitars A25 Octigan Guitars A26 Rizollo Guitars A26 Rainbow Music A27 Melbourne Guitar Night A28 Double Bass Tattoo A28 Racz Leatherart *the list is subject to change and will regularly update

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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Cat Canteri While you might now know Northcote local Cat Canteri for her work on the guitar, the versatile instrument wasn’t actually her first musical love. A drummer in high school, Canteri didn’t find herself drawn to guitar until she was in her mid-teens and wanted to pursue songwriting. “I really felt drawn to writing songs and being a songwriter, and guitar is the ultimate instrument to do that with,” she says. “Guitar playing is a bit more of a creative outlet [than drums].” Her new album, Inner North, sees Canteri take on the role of storyteller as well as songwriter. Tracks ‘Fitzroy Bowl’ and, particularly, ‘Pentridge Wasteland’ offer much more than just solid lyricism. The latter discusses the confronting issue of child sexual assault, inspired by a former neighbour of Canteri’s who was convicted of such a crime. “Occasionally when I’ve got it on my setlist at gigs I sit there and I go, ‘I don’t know if I really want to play this song,’ because it’s really intense, but the reason I continue to play it – and I don’t know if I will forever – but I feel that being onstage you’re in a position of power,” she says. “Me speaking about it now enables anyone who’s younger than me, looking at me the same way I looked at people in my teens, to go ‘Oh, she’s speaking about these things and she’s noticing these things and they’re real, and it’s ok for me to speak about them, too.’” As a kid growing up, Canteri wasn’t exposed to a great deal of contemporary music. Her parents preferred the sounds of classical and traditional Irish music, which meant it took Canteri a while to discover which genres she really liked and identified with.

“Whenever I heard something come on the radio occasionally that was like blues, or rockabilly, or outlaw country music, whenever I heard something like that I would go ‘Oh my god, what is that sound? I love this music; I don’t know what it is, but I love it.’” Her first proper gig at age 14 was the Silverchair Diorama tour at the Palais Theatre, but her love for grassroots music continued to bloom when she discovered Mia Dyson and a string of other musicians in that vein. “The people who I’ve always really looked up to as musicians, have always been local people and that’s because it’s really tangible and real. When the person you’re idolising is someone you can literally go and travel like two kilometres, and go to a pub with your mum so you can get let in,” – she pauses with a laugh – “when you can sit down and take it all in, you can just be like ‘Yeah, this is fucking incredible,’ and that’s really powerful. “There were some amazing performances I saw when I was a teenager that changed my world. It was particularly great to have some amazing female songwriters and guitarists to look up to.” This passion for live, local music is something Canteri still carries, and she takes joy in helping others

find artists and musicians they can get around too. “One of the things that I do a lot is have conversations with people who’ve never been to a local gig before. There’s all these people out there who want to go and experience the live music culture that we have in Melbourne, but literally don’t know where to start. “Once you find one band that you really like, most likely people who play in that band will play in other bands in a similar vein, and it’ll explode for you. If you find one band that you’re like ‘I fucking love this,’ it’ll expand to at least three or four other bands, and then you’ll find other songwriters, and then it opens up your world.” It’s one thing she loves about events like Melbourne Guitar Show; the fact that it brings people together. “Melbourne has its own discreet music industry that thrives and works all on its own, and events like Melbourne Guitar Show and the Ultimate Drummers Weekend that they have in Melbourne as well, feeds into that. That’s also part of the broader musical, creative landscape.”

“I had a week’s notice to fill his shoes, but literally within two days with the Helix I built what I needed for the entire Icehouse set.”

Although he’s not that far into his 30s, Michael Paynter has a vast and respectable resume as a professional musician.

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Catch Cat Canteri perform on the Aon Mezzanine stage at 10.45am on Sunday August 5, and as part of Songs & Strings on the Aon Mezzanine stage at 11.30am on Saturday August 4, as part of Melbourne Guitar Show 2018.

BY GRETA BRERETON

Michael Paynter

As well as his solo discography, he’s also been a touring musician for the likes of Icehouse, Seal, and The Veronicas, toured in support of Miley Cyrus and The Script, and now works with Michael Delorenzis as part of MSquared Productions. At the Melbourne Guitar Show he’ll be running the Line 6 Showcase, a session that will see Paynter taking attendees deep into the capabilities of the flagship Line 6 Helix guitar processor and what it can do in the studio and onstage. Paynter, who was an early adopter of modelers ten years ago, grapples with a statement made under a video explaining that the Helix Floor modeler is “the death of the backline.” “I got a Helix pretty early on in the piece – almost two years ago. As a producer I’ve been using guitar modelling software for about ten years and this is my preferred way of operating in a studio environment – to have control of a plug-in or a processor over an amp. “This is coming from a guy that did over a decade touring around the world with $20,000 worth of amplifiers in a truck, so I’ve definitely been on both sides of the equation and it’s changed my life – and I don’t say that lightly at all.” While Paynter isn’t saying the Helix is the death of the backline per se, he is contending that the device has allowed him to focus more on the quality of the artist he’s producing, instead of the time-consuming minutiae of integrating multiple pedals with large and heavy amps. It has given Paynter the ability to take his music further.

“There’s all these people out there who want to go and experience the live music culture that we have in Melbourne, but literally don’t know where to start.”

“It has always been very easy to pull a great sound in the studio with plug-ins because you have EQ [equalizer] and compression. It’s buried in a mix, so unless you’re making a solo-guitar record you could never tell anyway. What the Helix has done is taken the quality of a fully produced record feel and put it in a compact processor that can sit in front of you like a pedal board meaning that you can take it anywhere,” Paynter says. Pushed on the true expansiveness of the Helix’s capability, Paynter gives an example specific to his work playing guitar for Icehouse. “In 2017, Icehouse’s lead guitarist, Paul Gildea, broke his wrist. This was about a month after I got the Helix. We had the fourteenth anniversary tour coming up that included 50 shows. “I had a week’s notice to fill his shoes, but literally within two days with the Helix I built what I needed for the entire Icehouse set. Keep in mind this set spanned their entire career, so I had to build in Fender Deluxes, AC30s, Plexies, a little Gibson supros, all those amps,” he says.

Even though it’s over 12 months since he achieved this feat, Paynter’s voice still seems filled with a sense of awe over what the device achieved. A common reproach levelled at modulators and processors is that they lack the warmth of the analogue devices they are emulating. A sense of exacerbation creeps into Paynter’s voice as he tackles this criticism. “It’s warmer,” he says. “It’s the same two things with any gear – it is the fingers that are on the guitar and the ears that are setting the tone. “If you have the ears for it, and great fingers, you can make anything sound good. You could buy a 1972 Plexi and put an L series Strat through it but if you can’t it’s going to sound like shit.” Paynter encourages guitarists of all abilities to attend the workshop and ask as many questions as possible. “The more interactive the better because then I shape the workshop to what is relevant to those attendees. The Helix will improve the output of any guitarist, from a beginner to an expert,” he says. BY DAN WATT

Michael Paynter will lead the Line 6 Showcase in the Winners Circle Workshop Room at 1.30pm on Sunday August 5, as part of Melbourne Guitar Show 2018.


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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Maybach Guitars Very often hearing the name “Maybach” has people wondering, “Isn’t that a car brand?” Indeed they are correct, in automotive terms Maybach is to Mercedes what Music Man is to Fender. There’s a considerable correlation here as the namesakes both make their names as incredibly hearty riffs on the theme lain out by their forebear. The brainchild of German music purveyors iMusicnetwork, the Maybach line not only offers shapes and styles you know and love, but also some sought after things that the big guys simply refuse to do. All of the timbers used are sustainably sourced from certified suppliers, and each piece is expertly created from start to finish with an unwavering eye on the incontrovertible quality of the finished product. Essentially it is “one of each” selection. The Stradovari, Teleman and Jazzpole series’ square up against Leo’s big three, while Lester, Albatroz and Capitol keep the once mighty Les in check. It would be all too easy to write them off as simple facsimiles of the original – especially with such a tongue-in-cheek naming convention – but the proof really is in the pudding. All of their builds are replete with a lush and not overly applied nitro finish, peppered subtly

with a tasteful amount of road-worn charm. The necks in all three Fender-baiters have the heft and intimidating wrestle familiar to fans of ‘50s models. Eyes closed, the only thing that’ll remind you that the latter three aren’t genuine Gibson axes is the fact that they don’t fall apart in your hands. The feel on these things is everything you’d expect from either company’s Custom Shop without the price tag or wait time. Where feel is concerned they go over and above to prove themselves in the twin shadow of such greatness. Sonically the chorus repeats. I haven’t played a ‘50s-style Tele that was so harmonically rich, touch sensitive and stratospherically clear in all my life as this Aged Vintage Cream one. Provided by fellow Germans Amber Pickups, the voicing is not unlike a thoroughly gigged in Texas Special pairing or some mythic thing that you might dream of finding in a backwater pawn shop somewhere below the Mason Dixon line. Now, at this point I’ll have it known that I’m as skeptical as the rest of you. I’ve seen a lot of gear that talks a big game up against bigger names, so much of which falls criminally short of the benchmark.

Maybach, however, seem to have a knack for capturing the under-the-radar, troublemaker spirit that keeps so called “lawsuit era” riff sticks in such high demand. Everything that’s often amiss about name and off-brand guitars alike is taken in stride; so much so that the only thing I can really fault them for is over-referencing the big two in their blurbs. If I might chance a couple of popular culture references; far from being pretenders to The Iron Throne, these are the kind of wands that choose their own wizard. BY LUKE SHIELDS

Van Larkins

“That type of performance is a masterclass in how to perform and break the boundaries of what’s traditionally known as acoustic guitar playing.”

He’s the fingerstyle guitar virtuoso who’s been making waves as a solo artist, and continues to break boundaries and cover new ground in this intricate style of playing. Van Larkins has a massive touring itinerary ahead and wants to share his music, stories and knack for breaking ground along the way. In the past, Larkins has said that, “Aussies tend to associate the acoustic guitar with genres like bluegrass, country and blues, but fingerstyle covers every genre on the planet.It’s the next big thing in the live music industry – people just don’t know it yet.” The confidence of his statement says it all – fingerstyle can encompass every genre, which makes his work as much of an education for the audience as it is an education for Larkin when he sees how his performances are received. “I think that type of performance is a masterclass in guitar,” Larkins says. “The reason why I love [fingerstyle guitar] so much, [is that] it might be classed as a genre now but when you define it, it can be inspired by any genre which I think helps it to appeal to a wider audience. That type of performance is a masterclass in how to perform and break the boundaries of what’s traditionally known as acoustic guitar playing.” Larkins’ technique is a fluid motion of sonic beauty. Some of his extended techniques include using the palm of his hand to create a beat and emulate the sound of a snare drum when he brings his hand down onto the strings, the whole concept allowing him to echo the sounds of a whole band. It’s easy to think Larkins is using a backing track – he isn’t. “I concentrate on original compositions and arrangements of other people’s music,” he says. “I put my own spin on it.” BEAT.COM.AU

Maybach Guitars are now available in Australia thanks to Cranbourne Music. You can see them at booth 4446 at the Melbourne Guitar Show.

Larkins dubs the Melbourne Guitar Show as the standout event of the year for guitar nerds and he’s looking forward to exchanging ideas and performances with other players. “The calibre of players there is outstanding,” he says. “You get bang for your buck – all the gadgets and gizmos, all the players that are showcasing. I’ll be representing Tanglewood guitars as well as doing a couple of performances.” With his own compositions already standing out as much as they do, Larkins is sure to leave a mark on Australia. Wanting to spread the word a little further, however, Larkins has been hard at work with filmmaker and guitarist Drew Roller, who has created the world’s first fingerstyle movie, a documentary called Acoustic Uprising. A fingerstyle player himself, Larkins says Roller was inspired to make this movie after travelling around the world to interview guitarists who are making their mark at the moment. Larkins makes an appearance on the film, talking about YouTube and how the social media platform has changed the way players learn. “I’ve seen people use gimmicks to boost views online,” he says. “With YouTube and Facebook, you have to pay for views to spread the word, unless you throw a gimmick in there which is where people start

using different parts of their body and gadgets. But that’s just for fun, really. “[YouTube] is an infinite library of anything you can imagine, including guitar playing, composition, technique – it’s just a motion now.” Larkins’ mission to maximise the popularity of his genre doesn’t stop there. He’s preparing to move to Nashville in a couple of months, confident he’s done enough within his craft to stand out among some of the best musicians in the music-making capital of the world. “I think it will fit because it’s acoustic guitar,” he says. “There’s been a massive wave in the fingerstyle movement in the last few years. I’ve tried to translate all the experiences I’ve had and the places I’ve been, all those inspirations into a song. The acoustic guitar will help me fit in, but the compositions will help to stand out.” BY ANNA ROSE

Van Larkins’ latest album Cinder Moon is out now. He’ll perform on the Exclusively Acoustic stage at 11.30am on Sunday August 5 and as part of the Meet The Players Fingerstyle Guitar session - Café Corner at 3pm on Saturday August 4, as part of Melbourne Guitar Show 2018.


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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

GH Music

MUSIC

Northern College of the Arts & Technology

MUSIC

Tell us about GH Music. The story of GH Music started much earlier than the five years our store has been open. A true Melbourne musical icon, the building that we now operate from was the original Billy Hyde’s Music shop, which opened in 1962. Over the years this shop has played host to many music greats including Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones), Don Henley (The Eagles), Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), to name a few. What sets GH apart from other stores? GH Music was opened with the philosophy of giving the best possible service to our customers and ensuring that they feel they are the priority. Whether you’re just starting out on your musical journey or are a touring professional, here at GH Music we take the time to understand your needs and make sure you receive the best suited equipment and advice. We’re not striving to be the biggest store in Australia, but rather the best. What types/brands of guitar do you stock? Our guitar department stocks a wide range of both electric and acoustic guitars including the brands Fender, Gretsch, Gibson, Ibanez, Suhr, Schecter, Maton, Cole Clark, Martin and Yamaha, plus many more. What other accessories and equipment do you offer guitarists? We offer a full range of amps, pedals, cables, strings, cases and bags. We also offer maintenance and spare parts through our in-house guitar tech service. What model would you recommend for a beginner and why? We have a full range of student model guitars with some popular options being the Squier Affinity Series, Yamaha Gigmakers and Valencia Classical guitars.

What is NCAT? The Northern College of the Arts & Technology offers specialist, hands-on education in all areas of arts and technology. The college’s Musical Instrument Making and Repair curriculum is the only qualification of its kind in Australia, covering both traditional and emerging digital technologies. Opportunities are available in the guitar industry, practicing repair or instrument set up, manufacture and design. Programs offer both traditional woodcraft and high volume manufacture techniques. Do prospective students need prior skills or certificates? We cover all the necessary skills from the starting point. This not only happens in woodcraft, but also in instrument repair, setup, business, drawing, design and 3D modelling skills. As with all hands on skills, the more prior ability students have, the easier they’ll find it. What skills can students hope to acquire? Students begin by completing an extensive OH&S program. Across the year, students learn to make a bolt-on electric guitar, a dreadnaught-style acoustic guitar, and design a custom-made instrument of their choice. Students also learn to complete perspective drawings, isometric and concept drawings and use their skills to develop a product range. They also learn to generate computeraided drawings and create custom templates and jigs, and develop custom logos and inlays for their instruments. In the Repair and Set-up class, all of the classic models are investigated, and tips given on improving the playability and sound quality of their instruments. We look at timber repair methods, sanding techniques, paint and finishing methods, acoustics and sound transfer. The course also covers the development of a business plan.

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NCAT.VIC.EDU.AU

Pat’s Music

MUSIC

What types of guitars do you stock? Pat’s is a full-range music shop and we stock a great range of guitars, from classical through to steel string and electrics. We stock all the best guitar brands including Fender, Yamaha, Gretsch, Sigma, Maton, Martin, Valencia, Katoh and Alhambra. We also have a great range of Kala and Mahalo ukuleles, as well as violins, violas, cellos, drums, brass and woodwind instruments, too. What sets Pat’s apart from other stores? Pat’s Music is a family owned business, with a friendly group of staff who are always keen to help, whether you’re buying your first guitar to begin learning or you’re looking for the guitar you want to take with you on tour. Pat’s is an all-round music store and provide great, high quality brands, no matter what instrument you play, whether that be piano, guitar, percussion, brass, wind or strings. If you could only own one guitar in your shop, what would it be? The Maton EM100 Messiah. Praise the lord. What model would you recommend for a beginner and why? Most beginners start with a nylon string classical guitar, because it’s much easier on your fingers while you’re developing your playing technique. However, if you don’t see yourself playing a classical guitar, we stock plenty of suitable entry-level steel string and classical guitars. What’s the most valuable tool a guitarist can have? Patience, discipline, inspiration and most importantly, a guitar, are equally important. PATSMUSIC.COM.AU

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SPIDER V

Spider V is the first amp to have a built-in wireless receiver — making it easier than ever to take your performance wireless. It’s a serious addition to your rig that combines incredible wireless freedom with refreshing simplicity. Just plug a Relay G10T transmitter into a Spider V 60/120/240 and start playing.*

NEW

Spider V 20 $289.99 RRP

Spider V 30 $349.99 RRP

Spider V 120 $699.99 RRP

Spider V 240 $899.99 RRP

Spider V 240HC $849.99 RRP

Spider V 60 $549.99 RRP

• Create your sound with over 200 newly refined amps, cabs and effects • Use LED colour-coded controls to select, build and edit your tone • 128 presets include iconic rigs and classic artist tones — choose a tone and play • Hone your timing and chops with real drummer loops and a built-in metronome * Relay G10T transmitter sold separately. Compatible with Spider V 60, Spider V 120, Spider V 240HC, and Spider V 240 models only. The Relay G10T transmitter is compatible with typical 1/4" output jacks used on most passive and active instruments. Guitars that have non-standard jack wiring may require a 1/4" mono adapter for use with Relay G10T. The prices set out in this advertisement are recommended retail prices (RRP) only and there is no obligation for Line 6 dealers to comply with this recommendation. Errors and omissions excepted.

FIND A DEALER line6.com/dealers

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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Inside The Ernie Ball Music Man Factory By Nicholas Simonsen | Photos by p1xels

For decades now, Ernie Ball Music Man has been at the forefront of innovation and quality in the guitar and bass industry. From the legendary StingRay bass, through to signature guitars for game-changers like John Petrucci, Steve Morse, Albert Lee and St Vincent, the brand is synonymous with incredible quality and forward thinking ideas. Last month I had the opportunity to visit the Music Man factory in the heart of San Luis Obispo, California and get the inside look on how their instruments come to life. With 160 employees, Ernie Ball Music Man is far from the biggest guitar company around, but that need not be their concern. It was clear from the moment I walked into the factory that their focus is most certainly on quality over quantity. With up to 15 people working on each instrument in their respective roles along the production process, it’s safe to say that by the time something reaches the warehouse to be shipped out, every fine detail has been checked to ensure it’s up to the strict qualities of craftsmanship the brand is revered for. This was also clear when stumbling upon a few reject bins around the factory; even the slightest imperfection won’t make it through complete production and is discarded without hesitation. The building process begins with a number of CNC machines, including Big Bird, the big yellow robot that takes the raw wood and carves the body blanks in the blink of an eye. From there, the bodies are sanded to perfection, painted, buffed and dried to ensure they are set and stable. The necks are carved out from blanks then given the personal touch and

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sculpted by one of the craftsmen in the workshop. They are then sanded down and the frets are applied by hand. Believe me when I say that this entire process is incredibly meticulous and every employee ensures that their respective part is done perfectly. Once the bodies and necks are all finished and lacquered, the really nerdy stuff begins. Music Man engineer and plate their own bridges. These bridges are designed for maximum comfort and durability. They also design and produce their own hand wound and custom voiced pickups. These pickups can be found in the StingRay, Cutlass, Valentine and St Vincent models. With the electronics all wired and the hardware installed, the final stage of production is the rigorous testing and setup each instrument receives. Given the amount of high quality materials used in the construction, it’s of the utmost importance that the instruments play and sound like a dream. I’m fortunate enough to own a few Music Man guitars myself, and was completely blown away that they were so perfectly setup straight out of the box after travelling from the other side of the world. Seeing the instruments come to life was without a doubt amazing, but the coolest part of visiting the factory was the environment. Every staff member I spoke to on the factory floor was so excited to be

working on the instruments and proud to work for the company. The design and marketing team were filled with passion and eager to talk about ideas for the future. It was plain to see that Ernie Ball Music Man started as family business and that even though they have grown in size, those family values are still very much in place. Given their guitar lineup, it’s plain to see that Music Man has no interest in resting on their laurels or getting complacent. The Valentine and St Vincent models show them trying new things and focusing on the needs of modern players and innovators. The return of classic Music Man models like the StingRay and Cutlass show the vast legacy that the company has built, but now with a practical and modern approach. The continuing development of the John Petrucci guitar models and the StingRay bass show that even though they’ve nailed them time and time again, they’re still looking for ways to take things to the next level. It’s simple; Ernie Ball Music Man aren’t concerned with being the biggest guitar company in the world. They’re far more concerned with the needs of the modern musician and ensuring that their pristine legacy of incredibly built instruments continues to prosper for many years to come.

Ernie Ball Music Man are distributed by CMC Music in Australia.


BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Line 6 Powercab 112 and Powercab 112 Plus Line 6 take their modelling very seriously. The Helix (and original POD) offer amps, cabs, effects tones to use in the studio and onstage to give you a huge sonic palette with a myriad of tweaking options. Further developing this concept, Line 6 have introduced the Powercab range of active guitar cabinets designed as a live sound reinforcement device. Yes, it takes on the FRFR ethos that many modelers utilise, but it also incorporates specific cab sounds for added tonal flexibility. Going for the more traditional look, the Powercab has a cool combo/small cab look to it as opposed to the PA speaker look that many modellers use. Grabbing it out of the box I was surprised at how light it was – great for those sick of lugging big rigs. Housing a 12” speaker designed in collaboration with Eminence and a 1” high compression driver made by Celestion, the Powercab already has some street cred on its side. Rated at 250 watts, all the connectivity is on the back panel. There are some variations between the Powercab and the Powercab Plus with the latter having additional inputs and a USB interface. Otherwise essentially you get combo XLR/TRS inputs, an XLR out, Midi in and out/ thru, ground and low cut switches, power switch and Line 6 Link/AES in and out jacks. The standard Powercab has a push button to cycle through the speaker emulation options, which are colour coded

for easy reference, while the top of the Powercab Plus then features a volume knob, home button, backlit display, save button and select knob. This makes it so easy to get started, you can really just plug your Helix in and crank it up as a starting point. In ‘Flat’ mode the speaker emulation is disabled and you get a clean and clear representation of your modeller tones. This is great for reproducing your finely tweaked sounds but can also be quite confronting at first as it really exposes those sounds you’ve been crafting at home. In the long run I feel this is a good thing though, and it means you’ll get exactly the sounds you’ve been looking for – especially with all the effort put into modeling/ profiling classic guitar tones. Line 6’s angle with the Powercab is then the speaker emulations which offer vintage, green, cream, jarvis, bayou, essex and Hf off models. The idea now is that you can add

some cab emulations to your tones for even more shaping. Line 6 have covered most of the typical speaker faves here too with clean, sparkly F type sounds, rock tones, chimey brite sounds and some American sizzle. All of these can be accessed quickly on the Powercab’s top panel and saved as presets or easily scrolled through on the standard Powercab. Of course there’s great connectivity when combined with a Line 6 Helix. FRFR mode is great for your modeler tones, with the feeling and look of a 112 cab. Then add in the speaker emulations and you could tweak ‘til the cows come home to really hone in your favourite presets.

Yamaha Music Australia au.yamaha.com Expect to pay: 112 - $1119 112P - $1599

HITS: Traditional type cab looks with modern functionality, lightweight and portable, two models adds choice of features. MISSES: Price may exclude some punters.

BY NICK BROWN

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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Positive Grid BIAS MINI Bass and Guitar Head The digital age has brought about a number of products that play gleefully into the hands of this concept. Modeling amps and floorboard units abound, each promising unmitigated combinations and permutations allowing you to dial in the entirety of sonic history at the click of a drop down box. Positive Grid was one of the first companies to bring this hivemind mentality to the fingertips of smartphone and tablet users the world over in their BIAS Amp line of apps, which have now expanded to include Mac and PC users in their stable. They subsequently entered the world of hardware a few years ago with the BIAS Head. I had the pleasure of reviewing one as one of my first forays into the modeling world and was struck dumb by the limitless possibilities the physical product afforded me even before plunging into the software. As such, I had a reasonable idea of what I was in for when faced with the two new miniaturised versions I see before me. Before I get to the amps themselves, I have to make mention of the electronic brain of the enterprise, the software. This is, after all, where the vast majority of the tone shaping comes to life. Positive Grid’s software allows you to choose from hundreds of different amp models just as they appear in the real world; anything from the giants of the industry like ‘70s Plexis, British Class A Tube circuits, searing solid-state shredders and a plethora of others. Starting with those blueprints, you can swiftly and

easily change out power transformers, pre and power tubes and their age and era of manufacture, capacitors that warm over time, tonal filtering and just about every possible thing there is to tweak about an amp. The cabinet well is just as deep. Speaker cone types and combinations, cabinet thicknesses, mic placement and even the parameters of the simulated room said cab is in is all up for grabs and ready to take with you wherever you’re playing. Whether you’re a guitar or bass player there are literally millions of different combinations on the menu even before you download the impulse responses designed by world-renowned artists and tone chasers. My head is spinning just thinking about it. While it all sounds a lot, when you pour all of that infinite possibility into something as compact and lightweight as either of these heads, the whole thing becomes strangely easy and familiar. Both the bass and guitar MINI heads come loaded with 16 factory presets that start the smoke clearing as soon as you plug in. From glassy Princeton clean tones, to bluesy break up, to abject sonic destruction, there is enough in tow from the get-go to simply set up and start playing. At this point, possibility turns to functionality and renders either or both units a perfect choice for those of us looking to downsize a touring rig, especially when you realise just how much of the 300 watts of output power you’re ever going to need. Once you have designed your own Tonehenge in the app and assigned it a destination on board, you can zero in on the specifics of the room with the staggeringly simple three-band EQ, input gain and Master volume. This is where I genuinely preferred the MINI heads to their predecessor as this achingly simple final touchstone

streamlines proceedings for those instances when there is just too much else going on. In sound check, this amount of distillation would prove a handy way to hone in without getting lost in the milieu and without proving to be little more than limitation. In many cases, this is where a lot of modeling units fall down. Any and all of them are, or at least should be, designed with the heady, anxiety inducing arena of live performance at the fore. The last thing anybody wants to do is spend a whole sound check reading a user manual or scouring the FAQs for answers when the drummer is pilfering the rider. Positive Grid has done well to balance unmitigated possibility with on-the-fly functionality. This, combined with the surprisingly lightweight yet next to bulletproof allmetal housing, makes the MINI heads a particularly road-ready variation on the theme. We all want to leave as distinct and individual a mark on the world as we can. For many of us, looking to music as a chief means of personal expression is a direct reaction to this innate desire. While the digital age has opened up can after can of worms and the burden of choice weighs heavy on those who dare to wander down that rabbit hole, it is incredibly encouraging to know that companies like Positive Grid keep a watchful eye on real world application in designing their units. Both the guitar and bass versions of the BIAS MINI heads are two of the most user-friendly modelers I’ve come across, guiding you through the process of fully tailoring your sound to suit your every waking need.

how and why channel jumping works as much as we have, whether or not we bother venturing down that path. This is where the new AC comes in. For what feels like the very first time Vox delivers a single channel, single 12” speaker variation on the theme and for me it immediately takes its seat at the top of the hierarchy. Much like the models it joins in the AC council of elders, 12AX7 preamp and EL84 power tubes drive the beginning, middle and end of the S1 story. The expansive, chiming response of the former is beefed up and thrust forward by the latter in exactly the way you’d expect from a Vox build. For what it’s worth, I’ve never found an AC30 I’ve loved as much as I’ve wanted to. I’ve always found the voicing a little too dry and evened out for my taste and wanted more space in the reverb tank to splash around in. That is until now. Immediately the S1 has a vastness, harmonic richness and almost Fenderesque brilliance that I’ve yearned for from Vox for

as long as I can remember. I feel like the distilled nature of the single channel design has trimmed a lot of fat from the voicing and allowed it to blossom gloriously, giving that famous tube combination a lot more breathing space. Driven hard there is a luscious amount of natural compression to the gain stage that opens up as you dig in while retaining a warmth, versatility and transparent grit that blues and jazz players will respond as favorably as your average rock pig. I can now breathe an eternal sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that Vox have perfected their historic AC line. While it might seem like me making a big deal over a simple modification, the proof is in the aural pudding. With a luxurious harmonic landscape and classic design features, the AC30 S1 is the Holy Grail amp that Vox have been promising for eons.

Link Audio linkaudio.com.au Expect To Pay: $999

HITS: Limitlessness, simplicity, power and portability. MISSES: None

BY LUKE SHIELDS

Vox AC30 S1 Amplifier As it’s defined by the Oxford Dictionary, in physics, singularity is the “point at which a function takes an infinite value, especially in space–time when matter is infinitely dense, such as at the center of a black hole.” Taken more figuratively it is the position that a thing takes of absolute self hood, where any given object is the most condensed version of itself, leaving little to no room for accouterments, addendum or paraphernalia; the one and only source of its own characteristic. Metaphorically speaking there is a number of beings that exist in the musical world that could claim to have achieved this solitary state of being. Jimmy Page’s ancient Supro, the first Strat or Nocaster, and Keith Richards’ original skin all hold an absolutely singular place in the great hall of musical artifacts. Given its pivotal role in defining the sound of generation after generation of guitarists, Vox’s inimitable AC30 guitar amplifier has been achingly close to achieving this holy oneness for decades. Now, in one of the more closely kept secrets of recent times, the AC30 S1 takes this earth-shattering vibration to that higher plane. Now, we’ve all seen, heard, played through, and tried to lift an AC before. We all know what they are there for. Heavier than hell and louder than your neighbouring nation could abide, that infamous hazelnut grille-cloth has long been the dream for anyone with a thirst for tube transcendence. At the same time we’ve all scratched our heads wondering

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BY LUKE SHIELDS

Yamaha Music Australia au.yamaha.com Expect to Pay: $1499

HITS: Harmonic richness like never before. MISSES: None


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Tickets on sale Tuesday 7th August: www.ticketmaster.com.au 1300 139 588 www.rogerhodgson.com presented by bluesfesttouring.com.au

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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Positive Grid Bias 600W Modeling Amp We may not eat food in pill form or hoon around in hovercars just yet, but we are well and truly living on the cusp of, if not smack bang in, the belly of the future. Positive Grid is a company that has been at the coalface of this technological tin mine for years now. Famous for creating some of the most user-friendly and sonically advanced music apps on the market, their new Bias Head sees them take one almighty leap into the physical realm and apply the entirety of their tone-tech prowess in the real world. The Bias Head is, at its genesis, a modeling amp – just not like you’ve known before. As opposed to being an engorged menu of presets and optional extras, this unit seeks to put the power in your hands. You choose just about everything except the printed circuit board it’s built on, and the unit itself quietly ensures that a) you have easy access to all your choices and b) every last one of them sounds as natural as the real thing. Despite being loaded with features, the unit itself is simple enough to navigate. The traditional controls are there along the bottom row; input gain, bass, mid, treble, presence and master volume can all be used to chip away at what it is you’re looking for. There’s an output volume for your neighbours’ sake and a vintage/modern switch that changes the era your tone mimics. Along the top row is where it gets interesting. Essentially, you have five banks with

Vox MVX150C1 Combo and MVX150H Head and Cab Is there a way to be everything to everyone? Is it possible to please every comer no matter what his or her particular predilection may be? Is there even a point trying or is it simply too much to ask? These are the basic questions behind much of the research and development that has poured into the design and manufacture of most, if not all of the musical instrument, effect and amplification products available on the market today. Nine times out of ten a product will take a specific bent, with the sole intention of doing one thing and doing it well. There are, however, a number of products, particularly of the digital persuasion, that have a ruddy good crack at the spread. The digital age has brought on wave after wave of advancements where the distillation of the spirit of analogue componentry is concerned and while most sure fall flat long short of the finish line, increasingly over the last decade or so others have come as close as anyone before to getting the whole thing right. Vox entered this arms race a long time ago with BEAT.COM.AU

five presets per bank, each loaded straight out of the factory to represent a broad sweep of desirable heavy hitters in the amplification hall of fame. Anything from Fender Blackface or JC120 clean to Marshall Plexi and 5150 high-gain are on offer straight out of the box and make for a great place to start. From there the tube stack selection, circuit design type, and power-amp dials offer you a simplified version of the options you can tune in once you hit the digital realm, but more on that later. The back panel is a studio or live engineer’s dream. The speaker out reads and matches impedance to just about any cabinet you can put it in front of. There are balanced and unbalanced XLR and TRS outs in stereo pairs for sending signal to various destinations. Effects loop, headphone out, and pre and post switch for the cabinet simulator mean that the person behind the faders has just as much control over what comes in as the person doing the shredding. Dual footswitch ports offer yet another hall of possibility, and the whole unit is MIDI compatible via the in, out and through five pin ports. Whether you’re playing the thing live, recording it patched straight into a desk or using the machine to trigger lighting rig changes, there is absolutely no limit to what you can do with this sleek, black and silver capsule. Here’s where it gets really incredible. All of what I’ve written above is merely a conduit for the infinite, awe-inspiring possibility you get once you hook your Bias Head up to your Mac, PC, or

tablet. The companion apps offer you not only the opportunity to render your tone from the library of options available, but you can also render an exact replica of your favourite rock box simply by using a recording into the interface to map its tonal fingerprint. It’s the kind of thing that there are X Files episodes about: upload the consciousness of even the shitty, ancient practice amp that you’ve become accustomed to into the machine and the Bias Head lets you take it anywhere. This means it will never die on you, never conk out at the crucial moment, and always be there when you need it. Kinda spooky really, especially when you actually do it and see just how startlingly accurate it is. One of the fatal flaws of even the frontrunners of the digital modeling amp race is suspension of disbelief. All of the examples I’ve played so far are good, but I’ve always been deathly aware that I am not playing the real thing but shredding inside a simulation. This is where Positive Grid has made a huge leap forward. Not once in the few hours that I played with this amp did I think to myself, “Yeah, but…” and that’s all down to how much care has been given to make the amp feel like a real, humming and whirring machine in its own right. 600 watts of power and one of the cleverest processors on the market, close your eyes and you’d never know you were sleeping next to a Replicant.

the advent of their Valvetronics range. Hot on the heels of the then fledgling Line 6 modelers, these amps used a combination of analogue, solid state and digital thinking to pack more sounds into the same box than ever before, to varying degrees of success. Skip ahead a number of years and it seems they have turned their attention partly away from modeling, back towards the classic tube realm. Enter the MVX150, a whopping 150-watt combination of PCB and proprietary Nu Tube technology. Developed in conjunction by KORG and the Noritake Itron Corporation, Nu Tube harnesses the tonal juiciness of the humble vacuum tube in order to rectify the sonic limitations of ones and zeroes. Vox first used a Nu Tube in the output stage of their VT and AV lines which were impressive enough but it wasn’t until they unveiled their MV50 micro head units that people really started to sit up and notice. Both the MVX combo and head/cab units take the successful thinking of these previous iterations and applies it to a more performance based approach. The first thing I thought when I pulled the impressively lightweight combo out of its box was that it reminded me of my first big-box, only with more switches and dials. With all the lights off I’d be tempted to put it next to Peavey Bandit 112s and the ilk in a shop. Powered up though, it is a much more flashy and searching experience. There are two foot-switchable channels, each with a designated master volume and two stage gain switch. Channel 1 is either bell-like and replete with headroom or

mildly overdriven and crunchy depending on your mood and dialed in with a combination of a single tone knob, bright and fat switch. Channel 2 is the angry one. Go from beefy, ‘90s friendly overdriven sounds to searing high gain at the flick of a switch. Zero in with both the three-way EQ and mid shift switch and you have just about every type of clip from transparent overdrive to flat out distortion at your fingertips. To the left of the panel you have the aforementioned master volumes as well as a swelling, spring style reverb. There are alo presence and resonance knobs that allow you to wrap your tone up in a warm, rich, thick blanket of energy. On the back panel there are further enhancements that you can make. Dial in a healthy dollop of vintage charm on either or both channels with independent voicing knobs and keep your housemates happy with the six way attenuator. The Celestion Redback speaker in both the combo and the separate BC112150 cabinet is perfectly equipped to handle just about everything this amp can throw at it. In the MVX150 range, Vox have made an excellent attempt at the above rubric, everything to everyone. While it may not have the inbuilt effects, amp models and user preset banks of its Valvetronics cousins, it is an incredibly versatile unit with the unmistakable warmth and distinguished air of a real tube amp.

Link Audio linkaudio.com.au Expect To Pay: $1999

HITS: Incredibly realistic tone. Literally infinite tone shaping options in a totally portable yet durable package. MISSES: None – reverb would have been nice but you can get that elsewhere.

BY LUKE SHIELDS

BY LUKE SHIELDS

Yamaha Music Australia au.yamaha.com Expect to Pay: MVX150C1 – $1799 MVX150H – $1399 BC112-150 – $699

HITS: Chiming, clear clean and light crunch tones in a portable and snappy looking box. MISSES: There’s nothing better than the real thing and no shame in being a one trick pony.


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BEAT’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 MELBOURNE GUITAR SHOW

Musicology: Top Eight Tips for Tasty Tone BY ALEX WATTS

We thought we’d look at some of the areas that may be affecting your guitar tone. Some of these are obvious, some are not, and some kind of are, but maybe you didn’t want to ask, and that’s cool. There are so many components to do with your signal that have an incremental effect on the overall sound. Here are a few to keep in mind.

SPEAKER CHOICE

The type of speaker magnet used is one of the major factors affecting your sound, with ceramic and alnico being the most common. Alnico was once king and can be relied on for warm, 1960’s tone, whereas ceramic is much more common these days and delivers a cleaner and punchier sound.

AMPLIFIER VALVES

LEADS

If you want to go to Tone Town, you have to let your valves warm up before playing. You’ll hear a massive difference if you can leave your amp turned on for half an hour before playing. If you plug in and turn on immediately you won’t be getting the full sound of warmed up valves that sounded so good in rehearsal until the tail end of your set. Secondly, if you are gigging regularly with a valve amplifier, it’s a good idea to change the output valves every year. Valves will begin to wear after a while, resulting in loss of volume and occasional errant high frequency noises.

The longer distance your signal has to travel the higher capacitance it will have, resulting in a loss of high frequencies. There are other factors that affect your tone when it comes to guitar leads, but assuming you are using good quality brands, capacitance is important to be aware of.

STRINGS

POWER SUPPLY CHOICE

Hate to be Captain Obvious here, but your string choice will drastically alter your guitar tone. Regardless of the gauge, the make of the strings is a tone-oriented decision. It’s fairly easy to get a consistent, medium tone from the round-wound nickelplated steel strings produced by the major brands, however it’s also fun to experiment. Generally speaking, pure nickel strings will give a ‘rounder’ sound associated with vintage tones, while stainless steel strings are brighter and more aggressive, and flatwound strings are mellower, with less treble emphasis resulting in a tone favoured by jazz musicians.

Many of us have been guilty at one stage or another of carefully selecting the pedals that will help shape the sound we are after and then using a $12 power supply and daisy chain for the lot of them. Take a little time to check the different power requirements of your pedals, especially if you have second-hand pedals that were made for an overseas market, and get to know the difference between AC, DC and negative and positive polarity tips. Having one pedal in the chain that doesn’t match the power requirements can at best result in a loss of tone and introduce a 60-cycle hum, and at worst destroy your pedals. Using an isolated power supply will help ensure that your board doesn’t affect your sound adversely.

PICKS

Picks are made from a variety of materials and each will result in a different tone. Softer materials, such as nylon, typically yield a softer attack and therefore a ‘rounder’ sound. Harder materials, like Tortex, on the other hand, tend to be better at producing a brighter and more percussive attack. Thinner picks, such as the .40-.60mm nylon range, will have a lighter sound well-suited to acoustic strumming, while the .60.80mm range produces a fuller sound, either for solo performers or rhythm guitar players as they are both stiff enough to accentuate individual notes with high-end bite, and flexible enough to still strum with.

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UNDERSTAND YOUR VOLUME SETTINGS

Many won’t have realised that the volume pots on your guitar also act as a subtle low-pass filter, meaning that when you turn down the volume you also roll off some of the treble. This is by no means a problem, but it’s good to understand how that may be affecting your overall tone when you turn down during the quieter sections of your set.

REMEMBER TO ADJUST THE SETTINGS FROM REHEARSAL TO STAGE

Again, this seems so simple, which is why it’s so easy to overlook. Of course you are going to set your pedals for what feels right during rehearsal, but remember to adjust them during soundcheck as each venue is different and you will need to react to that in order to sound your best. A large reverberant space will call for less delays and reverbs muddying up your tone, and similarly you will usually want less bass frequencies once you are playing at full volume with other instruments through a large PA.


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MVX150

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150 Equipped with NuPower technology, Nutube pre-amp and Nutube equipped power amp

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Power Level control allows you to reduce volume while retaining power amp distortion and tonal character

High-quality, on-board digital reverb; Wet Only output alows for a simple and easy wet/dry rig without the need for a second amplifier

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Beat's Guide to the Melbourne Guitar Show 2018  
Beat's Guide to the Melbourne Guitar Show 2018