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THE UK’S #1 FREE MUSICIANS’ MAGAZINE ISSUE 28

2013 UK 3.95

FRANK TURNER “I DON’T EVER SEE THE POINT OF DOING SOMETHING HALF-COCKED!”

LEWITT MICS

THE NEW SOUND EXPERIENCE

FISHMAN

A GUITAR REVOLUTION

FRET-KING TOP OF THE PILE!

CYMATIC AUDIO

LIVE RECORDING MADE EASY

HUGHES & KETTNER THEIR NEW TECHNOLOGY OF TONE...

FEATURES: TRAMPLED BY TURTLES, CHRIS TSANGARIDES, SLAPSOUL, HK AUDIO PULSAR, GUITAR ROUNDUPS, AND MUCH MORE... Photo by Brantley Gutierrez


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UnbelievableSize. UnbelievablePower. UnbelievableOptions. Probably the world’s smallest, lightest, and pound-for-pound loudest PA! LUCAS Nano 300 is a fullrange rig for pub gigs, a keyboards and e-drums monitor, and a compact PA for DJs. Whatever your gig may be, it always delivers clear, assertive sound, leaves a tiny footprint, and handles with utmost ease, including its mixer.

Test-drive it now at your nearest dealer.

To learn more about LUCAS Nano 300, visit www.hkaudio.com/lucasnano

Ingeniously simple. Simply ingenious. Simply Ingenious Sound ELEMENTS’ award-winning design ensures stellar sound throughout the room - not too loud up front; not too soft in back. And its speech intelligibility, paired with depth and detailing of its sonic image, is nothing short of superb.

Ingeniously Simple Setup Just a few twists of the wrists and a couple of cords are all it takes, and your ELEMENTS system is ready to go. Be prepared for your audience to be amazed.

Simply Ingenious Transport ELEMENTS weighs just a fraction of PAs with comparable power ratings, as your back will soon appreciate. But it’s not just the ingeniously simple handling that gives cause for joy. With its very small footprint, it takes up little space on stage and in the car.

Ingeniously Simply Extendability No other system can be extended as quickly as ELEMENTS. Simply click-fit to add components, and the rig is good to go for bigger gigs.

"Everything’s so ingeniously simple since we started using ELEMENTS. Friends of ours also have a band that relies on ELEMENTS, so when we want to rock a big beer tent we borrow their system and pack the full 3.6 kW into our bass player’s little old compact car. Even a big rig as powerful as this goes up within just a few minutes, so we have plenty energy left to devote to our show – and that’s simply ingenious. So the truth is out: We’re fervent Elementarians. And so is our buddies’ band." Tonsport


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Gear Issue Gear 28 11 2013 2002

FEATURES 32 Frank Turner – The UK’s hardest working musician on songwriting, influences and scaling the charts...

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®

27 Trampled By Turtles – We catch up with Duluth’s hard playing banjo-toting country five piece 39 Chris Tsangarides – Top producer talks Vintage 10 Vintage in Nashville – The reason why so many country aces are turning to the affordable V52MRBS 11 Vintage Historic Series – A new trio of electro acoustics with a distinctly vintage vibe 23 Cymatic Audio – The LR-16 is a must for recording 14 HK Audio – Setting our minds Pulsaring... 14 SlapSoul – The latest and greatest thing to come out of Wales, an acoustic duo you just have to hear!

GEAR 8 Fishman TriplePlay – The new wireless guitar controller that’s set to revolutionise the way we approach our guitars 34 Hughes & Kettner – We take you through the entire offering from Germany’s finest guitar amplifier makers

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28 Lewitt – Shaking up the microphone world... 20 Fret-King – Loads of quirky new models for you to enjoy 43 DiVill by Italia – Trev Wilkinson’s Italia line celebrates its 15th birthday with a load of well-priced new axes!

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Let’s be Frank here Welcome to your latest fix of all that's new in the world of gear! The first time I ever set eyes on Frank Turner was back in the early 2000s. He was hanging from the rafters of Manchester's tiny Roadhouse venue, screaming out Million Dead lyrics at the top of his lungs, sweat pouring off him, straggly shoulder-length hair all over the place. I think he may have been topless too, although my memory is a little hazy at this point. Needless to say, I was hooked. In the decade since, I've watched Frank's steady transformation from cult hardcore kid to chart-scaling folk-punk sensation with nothing but pleasure. This is a man who's gone from sleeping on friends' floors after sparsely attended solo shows to playing at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony and having a Number 2 album – and he's done it all through constant touring, hard graft, and a collection of wonderful songs. That all makes Frank a no-brainer for the coveted cover of Gear, so we're delighted we got him this time. Turn to page 32 to get his thoughts on everything from songwriting influences to picking his own support acts.

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Elsewhere within these pages, we've got more great gear than you can shake a (drum)stick at. Guitars, glockenspiels, pedals, percussion, straps, strings, earphones, accessories... they're all here, so dive right in!

THROUGHOUT We’re taking our usual look at what the best musicians around are up to, so read on for reports on the likes of Gordon Giltrap, Oliver Wakeman, James Bell, Browsing Collection, David Locke, Bonafide, The Quireboys’ Guy Griffin, Tom Killner, Violet Bones, Fight The Bear, Brett Domino... and many, many more!

We'd love to hear what you think about it all too, so get over to Facebook and Twitter and shoot us a message. Happy reading, and see you around...

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Richard Morgan Editor

COMPETITIONS 34

41 The winner takes it all – If you fancy winning top kit like a Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM5 combo, head over to the competitions page right now!

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Three tasty new flavours from Danelectro Every issue of Gear we do, it seems like there's a load of fabulous new Danos to tell you about. Thankfully, this edition is no different, so sit back and relax as we give you the lowdown on the '67 Heaven, the '59 Alligator and the '56 Baritone – this is about more than just that eye-catching new paint job...

'67 Heaven

'59 Alligator

'56 Baritone

This gloriously offset design first appeared as the Danelectro Hawk way back in – you guessed it – 1967. Now it returns as the '67 Heaven, which combines the original's classic body style with a great neck feel and buckets of fabulous tones. With souped up Lipstick pickups, an adjustable bridge and a funky new Alligator finish – choose from Red, Orange, Blue or Creme (all £499), or a more traditional Gloss Black hue (£449, probably 'cos it's easier to do!) – the '67 Heaven is a real statement of stylish intent.

The most famous of all Dano models has also received that snappy new Alligator paint job! Popularised by no less than Led Zeppelin's guitar god Jimmy Page, the double cutaway Danelectro '59 is fabled for its unique tones, its fabulous playability and its effortless sense of cool – and now it returns in Alligator Orange, Red or Blue (all £499). Frankly, we'd bite your hand off for one...

From jangling surf instrumentals to down-tuned rock riffery, the Danelectro '56 Baritone (£499) has got your low end covered. Available in a classy Gloss Black finish, the singlecut '56 Baritone ticks all the expected Dano boxes: two beefy Lipstick single coil pickups, maple neck with rosewood board, no fuss controls, and amazing looks, playability and tone. All this, plus the 24 frets and the extended scale length – for all the low notes you could ever want – make this one versatile axe!

• DG67RD Red

• DC59OOR Orange

• DC59ORD Red

www.danelectro.com • DC59OBL Blue

• DGB56BLK Black

• DG67BL Blue

• DG67BK Black

• DG67OR Orange

• DG67CR Creme

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'67 Heaven Specifications:

'59 Alligator Specifications:

'56 Baritone Specifications:

Body: Masonite chambered Neck: C-shape maple neck with double acting truss rod Fingerboard: Rosewood, 21 frets Scale: 24.75” / 629mm Frets: 21 Nut width: 45mm Tuners: 6-in-line closed Kluson style Bridge: Intonatable saddled bridge Pickups: 2 x Lipstick singe coils Controls: Dual Concentrics, Volume, Tone, 3-Way Selector Hardware: Chrome

Body: Masonite chambered Neck: C-shape maple neck with double acting truss rod Fingerboard: Rosewood, 21 frets Nut Width: 42mm Scale: 25” / 635mm Tuners: Kluson Closed Gear type w/chrome knobs Bridge: Intonatable saddled bridge Pickups: 2 x Lipstick singe coils Controls: Dual Concentrics, Volume, Tone, 3-Way Selector Hardware: Chrome

Body: Masonite chambered Neck: C-shape maple neck with double acting truss rod Fingerboard: Rosewood, 24 frets Nut Width: 42mm Scale: 29.75” / 755mm Tuners: 3 x 3 Diecasting Bridge: Traditional with rosewood saddle Pickups: 2 x Lipstick singe coils Controls: 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone, 3-Way Selector Hardware: Chrome

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When you need to turn it up to 11.

Keeps tone 100% healthy.

FKLD

FKPB

FKCB

Guitar world legend Trev Wilkinson and Fret-King are giving guitarists something to stamp their feet about – a brand new range of Fret-King FX pedals! Trev's been around for decades, and he's been snapping up stompboxes like they're going out of fashion for most of that time. His vast collection has provided plenty of inspiration for Fret-King With the Fret-King Classic Wah (£89.99) Trev has gone back in time, found that original, pure wah tone, and brought it kicking and screaming into the 21st century! One of the keys to an authentic wah sound and response is using the right style of inductor. Naturally, Trev has made sure to use a custom designed, classic-style 'halo' inductor on the Fret-King wahs, so you can be sure you'll get all the vintage voicings you need in your playing. The Fret-King Distortion XXX (£79.99) is Trev's gift to the world of gain. Ideal for players who like a dirty sound, and perfect for everything from blues and indie to rock, punk and all-out metal, the Distortion XXX is incredibly versatile. Set the level, then use the gain knob and the tone control to dial in all the crunch you could ever want. Derived from an original example of one of the greatest overdrive pedals of all time, the Fret-King Klassic Drive (£79.99) will give you a full, smooth, creamy low gain tone that will be music to your audience's ears. Use it to break your clean tone up, or to drive your valve amp at crucial moments, and you'll be

For the ultimate volume gain.

pedals, and when you plug them in you'll get tones you’ll recognise straight out of the box. They're made to the usual Fret-King quality standards too – rugged, durable die-cast aluminium casing, true bypass technology, classy design, and dual paired inputs where necessary – so they're perfectly set for a lifetime on the road! Check 'em out...

rewarded with a sound that doesn't go over the top, but stays sophisticated, crisp and direct. It's a klassic in the making! A real revelation when you need to turn it up

to 11, the Fret-King Power Boost (£59.99) gives you up to 20dB FKWW of boost to your signal, and it'll also break things up ever so slightly, giving you that sweet tone of a tube amp just starting to let rip! Ideal as a boost for huge, crunchy rhythm sounds, or as the

secret ingredient in a stadium-filling solo, the Power Boost sounds great with a clean amp, or over the top of an overdrive pedal. The Fret-King Clean Boost (£59.99) is so simple, so self-explanatory – and so effective. Dial in up to 20dB of extra power for the parts that really matter, and play them as clean as a whistle. The Clean Booster will not colour your sound in any way, and it certainly won't distort your tone or overload your amp. In short, it's just what you need if you want to keep it clean – and loud. Finally, if you're playing big stages where you need long guitar leads, or if you're using true bypass effects pedals, you need to pay a visit to the Fret-King Line Doctor (£59.99). The Line Doctor is a simple yet ingenious buffer circuit that, when activated, will gently boost your flagging signal, replacing anything that has been lost somewhere along the way. That means you're free to use as many true bypass stompboxes as you like, and your lead can be 20ft long – or 200ft!

www.fret-king.com FKDXXX

FKKD

Full, smooth and creamy low gain tone. facebook.com/gearmagazine

A gift to the world of gain. twitter.com/gearmagazine

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Happy birthday to Italia guitars!

Trev Wilkinson's mega sparkly Italia guitars brand is celebrating its 15th anniversary of building unique guitars for rockstars in 2013, and to make it extra special they're releasing a load of exclusive new models, updates, and a brand new DiVill by Italia range!

Italia instruments, which are inspired by the idiosyncratic guitars of the 60s, feature unorthodox designs, pickup combinations and colour schemes, including the widespread use of innovative pearloid finishes – or, as Trev lovingly refers to them, “mother of toilet seat”. Among the slew of 15th Anniversary

Italia models are the Maranello Classic – in gold sparkle with a gold plexiglass fingerboard, no less – and the Mondial Classic in space age metallic purple. Also in stores in limited numbers are the intriguing Sonora and Muira models, which take Italia into acoustic and resonator territory, while some existing models have received some great new finish options. And if that wasn't enough, Italia has also introduced the affordable new line, DiVill by Italia, which includes a range of Trevmasterminded models at a price that any musician can afford. Sounds tasty to us! Asked about the burgeoning success of Italia, Trev says: “With Italia, I wanted to do something different, where I wasn't building for other people, and I was in control. And, as with everything in our industry,

when you do something new or different, people don't accept it quickly. People looked at Italias at first and thought they were toys, but they're not – they're serious guitars built to professional specs, and we've got some great players playing them. Italia is now taken seriously as a guitar brand, and Trev Wilkinson deservedly so!” By

Famous Italia players include musical heroes like Chris Rea, Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire, Bill Nelson, Marillion, Violet Bones and Kaiser Chiefs. If it's good enough for those guys, why don't you go and see what all the fuss is about?

www.italiaguitars.com

Shake your cajons to Rhythm Tech

Rhythm Tech, long known as a must-have name when it comes to hand percussion instruments, has pushed the boat out yet again with its first cajon, and an awesome new hi-hat shaker! The classic and beautiful shells of the Rhythm Tech Eclipse Cajon are made from plantationgrown, renewable wood sources that are renowned for their sonic qualities. The Eclipse features a set of internal wire snares (in the flamenco style) for a tighter top end slap, while retaining deep bass notes, and the strong plywood front striking panel is fastened to the body of the Cajon with screws (in the Peruvian style). Hat Shake G2: £34.99

Once you're sat down, a textured seating surface ensures a comfortable and slip-free playing experience, while the large rubber feet keep it secured nicely to the floor. All the technical specs in the world don’t make an instrument sound good, though, and this is where Rhythm Tech have this one nailed; rich bass tones, crisp highs, loud 'snaps' and that all-important slap!

foot. And best of all... you can actually hear it loud and clear! rhythmtech.com

Following in the same path as the classic Hat Trick G2, the Rhythm Tech Hat Shake G2 is a unique new instrument that allows you to add shaker textures and grooves to your kit. Hi-hat shakers have, in the past, always been difficult to hear over full kits, but the Hat Shake G2, with its four shaker pods that are actuated with the hi-hat pedal to create a crisp, tight shaker effect, finally unwraps the mystery that drummers have been pondering for ages. It’s perfect for articulating interesting new patterns so you can do more with your left

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Eclipse Cajon: £139


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Fishman’s revolutionary new TriplePlay Wireless Guitar Controller!

Every so often in the guitar world, something new comes along that changes how we play forever. Inventions like the electric guitar, stompboxes, modelling amps, and Trev Wilkinson's Fret-King Super-matic self-tuning axe have all helped the instrument evolve with the times – and now Fishman's groundbreaking TriplePlay Wireless Guitar Controller (£499) is here to take things forward once again. We asked Fishman's Paul Gallo to tell us all about it...

The powerful bunch of software that comes with the TriplePlay will let you create the most complex musical tracks and soundscapes – using just your own guitar!

Fishman is delighted to introduce the TriplePlay Wireless Guitar Controller – a truly revolutionary product that will shape the way guitarists interact with technology, providing a gateway to new creative, expressive, musical possibilities on electric guitar. TriplePlay is a composing, performing and recording system that puts an unlimited palette of instruments and sounds at your fingertips, all with the freedom of wireless control. The system comes equipped with a wireless controller, hexaphonic pickup, and wireless USB receiver. The controller and pickup can be quickly installed or removed on virtually any electric guitar with no permanent installation necessary. A low profile design (less than 13mm) allows

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fact, you’ll probably find yourself combining traditional and synthesized sounds in exciting new ways!

What can I do with TriplePlay? Compose: Create full accurate notation in standard and tab format by utilising the included PROGRESSION notation software. Plus, PROGRESSION’s precise note-for-note transcriptions let you create and share your compositions – so it's perfect tool for learning and teaching guitar as well.

How does it work?

Perform: Powerful and virtually limitless, TriplePlay will allow you to open up endless creative options with virtually any instrument at your command and create amazing performances with a wide variety of included sounds, samples and effects. What's more, you can even play more than one instrument at a time by 'splitting' the fretboard – want an upright bass on the low E and A strings, acoustic guitar on the D and G, and piano on the B and E? No problem! The TriplePlay will let you do all that, and more.

TriplePlay is a surprisingly simple device that converts the notes you play on your guitar into a language, MIDI, that can be understood by most music software and hardware. The TriplePlay system sends MIDI data wirelessly to your computer.

Record: Seamlessly integrate your guitar with the included PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW and create a complete music production tool. Build entire arrangements with drums, bass, keyboards, horns, strings, voices and more.

the Controller to be left on the guitar and still fit in the case. The Controller operates on a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery which offers over 20 hours of use per charge. TriplePlay’s powered USB Wireless Receiver interfaces with computers and iOS devices; the system is 64-bit compatible on both Mac and Windows platforms (including Windows 8).

This groundbreaking technology doesn’t change anything you love about your guitar, and you won’t sacrifice any of your current sounds. In

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MIDI guitar vs. Regular guitar TriplePlay doesn’t wirelessly transmit your 'regular' guitar pickup sound, so you will still need to use a cable to connect your guitar to a computer, amp, or other device. The best way to do this is by plugging into a dedicated audio interface. That way, you can combine regular and MIDI sounds inside the TriplePlay software (you can also connect directly to most computers via their audio input jacks, by the

The TriplePlay is easily removed from the guitar when not in use.

TriplePlay comes with a fabulous collection of VIs from such world-class developers as Native Instruments and IK Multimedia. You can also use TriplePlay with most commercially available virtual instruments – meaning you can now make your guitar sound like any instrument you can think of!

The included Progression 2 program will tab and notate your music for you as you play it!

A plug-in is a computer program that runs inside another 'host' program. TriplePlay works as both a plug-in and a host. When you run TriplePlay in standalone mode, it hosts all the plug-ins that come with the program and any others you’ve installed on your computer.

Powerful Software for Composing, Performing and Recording! The TriplePlay system comes with a powerful and comprehensive software suite with everything you need to start composing, performing and recording your own music straight away.

way, though most users opt for the superior sound of a dedicated interface). If you only plan to use MIDI sounds, you can do everything wirelessly without an interface.

What are Virtual Instruments and Plug-Ins? A virtual instrument (VI) is a software program or plug-in that mimics the sound (and often the look and feel) of a physical instrument.

Native Instruments’ Komplete Elements and IK Multimedia’s SampleTank 2 XT allow guitarists to play with any virtual instrument or hardware synthesiser with faster, more accurate tracking that virtually eliminates lag. Features include sustain and looping functions with support for MIDI footswitches and controllers. A virtually unlimited supply of guitar, tone and effects and amplifier modelling options are available with

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the included GuitarRig LE and Amplitube Custom Shop software. TriplePlay quickly and easily becomes a complete music recording and production tool that allows the guitar to be seamlessly integrated with a favourite DAW running on a PC, Mac or iPad. Using PreSonus StudioOne Artist, you can build entire arrangements with drums, bass, keyboards, horns, strings, voices and more, wirelessly. You can also play along with backing tracks to record, enhance live performances, and make practicing easier and more entertaining. With TriplePlay and Notion Music’s Progression 2 software, you can write music in guitar tab or notation for lead sheets and sheet music, and hear it play back instantly with real instrument samples and an audio track. Changes to tab, notation, key or tempo can be made quickly and easily too. Unlock your guitar’s potential and discover new musical possibilities with Fishman’s new TriplePlay Wireless Guitar Controller! www.fishman.com/tripleplay

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There aren't many cities whose names are synonymous with an entire musical genre. Places like Los Angeles, New York and London might have been responsible for a deluge of great bands and visionary artists, but none of them have bonds as close as Nashville does with country music. Put simply, it's the heart and soul of the country world – all the big stars are there, the writers, producers and players are there, legendary institutions like the Grand Ole Opry and Robert's bar are there. It's an institution, built on decades of success, hard work and tradition. Breaking in can be tough, for musicians and others. Why? Because you've got to be the very best at what you do, or you won't get a sniff.

and on shows like The Today Show and Jay Leno. Michael’s been playing a V52 for several years, and rates it as the best guitar in his arsenal, saying: “My V52 is my go-to electric now – it gets more air time than any of my others...”

Jimmy Capps

gs prig ael S Mich

That's why we were so surprised to find out how well the humble Vintage ICON V52MRBS has been doing over there! Nashville's a place where you would expect the musicians to be playing the most expensive and coveted axes around – you know, those custom jobs that cost thousands – but it turns out that the £349 V52 is becoming a much-loved Nashville staple.

S

`pecs appeal On the face of it, though, it's not that hard to see why. Trev Wilkinson's redesign of the Vintage electric range in 2008 married industry-standard hardware – Trev's own Wilkinson stuff, naturally – and specs to brilliant production methods, resulting in a set of instruments with all the chops to take beginning guitarists from the bedroom right the way to the stage.

With country music, that bright, twangy sound is all-important, so Trev made sure the V52 features his custom designed, vintage voiced Wilkinson single coils and his intonatable three-saddle WTB bridge. Both are crucial in achieving an authentic Nashville sound. The guitar also features the beautiful Vintage ICON relic finish, meaning although it plays and sounds like a brand new axe, it looks and feels like it's seen decades of gigs already!

True love `

The Nashville love affair with the V52 began with Michael Spriggs, an Englishman who's been in the States for decades and has played with the likes of Eddie Rabbitt

As a regular at the legendary Grand Ole Opry, Michael’s V52 came to the attention of the many stellar guitarists who play the Opry regularly. They were, to a man, so impressed that they started asking where they could buy one for themselves. Michael contacted Vintage and arranged to get a bunch of V52s sent out to Nashville. The results were sensational – the guys loved the guitars, and paid for them out of their own pockets. Since then, Vintage has had to send plenty more shipments of V52s across the pond as more and more country stars demand them!

Steve Gibson, the Musical Director of The Opry, was one of the earliest to be hooked. “We're all just so pleased with the V52,” he says. “I personally played all of the guitars when they arrived, and was very impressed at the consistency of construction, setup and sound. These are a fantastic discovery…” Steve Gibso n

This is country music `

Other players who have discovered the joys of the V52 include Jimmy Capps, one of Nashville’s – and indeed the world's – best ever players. Jimmy's played on all sorts of huge records, including Stand By Your Man by Tammy Wynette, He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones, and The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. Jimmy says: "My Vintage V52 is REALLY comfortable to play – the neck is perfect, the weight is perfect, and the sound is as good as it gets!" Heady praise, indeed. Other Nashville aces who play the V52 include Duane Allen, Mike Severs, Bruce Bouton, Dee Allen, Hoot Hester, Larry Paxton, Steve Hinson, Kerry Marx, Paul Martin, Coleman Murphy, Dave Demay, Eric Dahl, Fred Mollin, Calynn Green, and Corey Congilio. And it's not just country artists who love the guitar – wonderful players like Jerry Donahue, Will Ray, Jamie Watson (Big Country), Neil Taylor (Robbie Williams, Chris de Burgh) and Paul Guerin (The Quireboys) also appreciate its great playability, tones and mojo! If you've not tried a Vintage V52MRBS, now's probably the time to right that wrong...

Read the full Nashville story at www.jhs.co.uk/nashvillesbest.html

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Vintage Historic Series acoustics The newest addition to the award-winning Vintage acoustics range, the three Historic Series models are all built to the same exacting specs, and all cost just £299 – where they vary will be in sound and performance, thanks to their respective size and shape differences.

• VE440VB Orchestra

With more and more top players nailing their Vintage colours to the mast, we thought it'd be great to look to the past – well, stylistically speaking – and take the brand new Vintage Historic Series acoustic trio for a spin to see what all the fuss is about...

Depending on what type of player you are, there will be a Historic Series model that will be most appropriate to your needs. The VE880VB parlour should suit fingerpickers down to the ground, whereas the VE440VB orchestra model is a natural for strumming, and the drop-shoulder dreadnought VE660VB should be a smooth all-rounder.

From booming bass notes and blues rhythms through to twinkling arpeggios and mellow strummed chords, the VE660VB can do it all – all the way up the neck.

• VE880VB Parlour

We picked up the VE880VB first, and sure enough, it proves a beautifully sweet fingerpicker, with big warm tones easy to coax from wherever you are on the neck. It can be soft and mellow, too, which makes it perfect for accompanying a singer. For unplugged folk, indie and pop, it's a real no-brainer. Dig in with a pick, though, and you'll get a lot of top end, but it's not brittle in any way – rather, the high end sparkles and shimmers in a way that's not harsh at all.

First impressions are always important with guitars, and even more so in the overcrowded acoustic market. If a new model is to catch your eye, it's got to have something special about it, a little something extra to elevate it above its peers. The Historic Series score well here, their wonderfully rich Vintage Burst satin open pore finish evoking the acoustics of yore, and the distinctive slotted headstocks adding to the desirable retro vibe. Beyond this, the aesthetics are fairly minimalist, with simple body binding, soundhole rosettes and dot fret markers – bar Vintage double ‘V’ at the 12th fret – keeping the look as traditional as possible.

If you're after an affordable new acoustic, then, make sure you give the Vintage Historic Series a try. There's a model for you no matter what style of music you play, and with the great Fishman electronics and those solid tops, they're sure to only get better the more you play them in! These three classy instruments may evoke aesthetic times past with their beautiful vintage burst finishes and their gently curved body shapes, but they feel, play and sound like modern classics.

• VE660VB Dreadnought

All three models feature solid spruce tops with mahogany backs and sides, mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard, a Nubone nut and saddle, and Fishman Sonicore pickups and Acoustic Matrix VT soundholemounted preamps (with volume and tone controls) for when you need to plug in – and, the preamble over, that's exactly what we're going to do!

The VE440VB is next, and we tear into it straight away with some booming open chords. The balance between the treble and the bass is superb, and the high ends really come through sweetly, which lends the guitar very well to rhythm playing. That said, arpeggios and melodies work well too, so this is a real all-rounder. The king of acoustic versatility, though, is more often than not the dreadnought, and we're happy to report that the VE660VB exceeded our expectations in every way.

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Professional Pickups & Preamps fitted as standard!

®

Vintage Historic Series VE440/VE660/VE880 specs: Top: Solid Spruce Back: Mahogany Side: Mahogany Binding: Ivory White Neck: Mahogany Fingerboard: Rosewood Bridge: Rosewood Scale: 645mm Nuts/Saddle: Nubone Preamp: Fishman Acoustic Matrix VT with Volume and Tone Control Pickup: Fishman Sonicore Tuners: Open Gear Chrome Strings: High Quality USA Made Finish: Satin Open Pore

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OFL300SHJ Silver Headjoint Flute

OAS700BLK Saxophone

OAS700SVR Saxophone

The award-winning Odyssey brasswind range continues to win new fans and admirers daily, and now designer Peter Pollard has taken it upon himself to inject some luxury metals and beautiful colours into the stellar Odyssey Premiere lineup. First up is a pair of flutes with solid silver appointments. The OFL300SHJ (£519) has a solid silver headjoint, and the OFL400 (£1299) has a solid silver headjoint and body – so basically, it's silver all over! A step up from the usual silver-plated models in quality, performance and tone, these two new models are a fantastic choice for the more advanced player who wants professional tones from their instrument. Meanwhile, Peter's love of flamboyant colours is evident in two stunning new OAS700 Odyssey Premiere Eb alto saxophones. The Black OAS700BLK (£619) has a black nickel-plated finish, while the Silver OAS700SVR (£629) has a silver-plated finish, and both feature gold-plated key work. The two new OAS700 saxophones – which join the standard rose brass model – feature superb response and intonation, and have been designed to meet the expectations of teachers and experienced players in both sound and playability. Plus, if you pick one of these up, you'll stand out on stage no matter what your motley bandmates might look like! Make sure you give them a blow next time you're down the music store... OFL400 Solid Silver Flute

Box of 10 reeds

If you play the clarinet or saxophone, you need reeds. You need them to be good too, if you want to sound your best every time you pick up your instrument. Odyssey's new Debut Reeds are just that. Made in France, they're crafted from the finest French cane by one of the world’s leading reed manufacturers. As you may or may not know, cane is selected by its season and the textures of its fibres, which governs its quality, suppleness and resilience. Odyssey, lovely folks that they are, only select and cut the finest cane for their Debut reeds. They also specifically select the ones that will ensure easy playability for students who will find them long lasting and, most importantly, consistently playable – reed after reed. Best of all, they're available now, at £1.49 each for clarinet and £1.99 for alto sax. They even come in packs of 10 too – with each reed individually wrapped – if you want to stock up! KBJ4DX 4 String Banjo Case

Banjo might still be a more traditional American pastime, but with the recent growth of folk music over here, more and more people are picking up these country picking machines. That means more and more people are looking for a decent case to look after their new purchases – so step forward this lovely new pair of Kinsman deluxe hardshell banjo cases. The KBJ4DX and KBJ5DX (both £99.99) are suitable for 4 and 5-string banjos respectively, and feature classic looks and styling combined with the best modern-day instrument protection the case world has to offer. The 5mm-thick wood shell case is wrapped in durable mock crocodile skin covering, with 10mm of internal padding and a crushed velvet lining that won't mark or scratch the banjo inside. The cases are lockable too, so you're keeping unwanted attention away from your banjo at every turn! If you're serious about professionally protecting your banjo, then the KBJ4DX and the KBJ5DX are the obvious choice...

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Antoni High quality, affordable orchestral stringed instruments for students of all abilities.

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Perfect for the new player, the Antoni ‘Debut’ Series features solid carved maple back table and ribs, a superb bow and many other attributes. The Antoni Debut series is available in a range of sizes, in violin, cello and bass.

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Perfect for the progressing student, the Antoni ‘Premiere’ Series violin outfit features a carefully selected, highly figured hand-carved maple back, close grain spruce top and select solid maple ribs. With ebony fittings including heart-shaped pegs, the Premiere is finished in a traditional, high-gloss ‘moose nose brown’ varnish, and supplied with an octagonal bow.

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The Antoni ‘Symphonique’ violin is set apart by its luxurious timbers, finish and appointments, making a clear statement of serious intent, marking the player out as one for whom care, attention to detail, finesse, subtle nuances and beauty are all essential personal and musical attributes. Provided with a superlative wood bow, also beautifully appointed, and protected by a professional and luxurious case, the Symphonique will astonish the most accomplished player with its focused tone, beauty and breadth of ability. As the player matures in capability, so too will the Symphonique, proving to be a worthy long term companion in a lifetime of fulfilling performances.

The Premiere is an ideal ‘step-up’ and an instrument which will prove its worth in any environment.

from £89.99rrp

£319.00rrp

£205.00rrp

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Alan Morrison Signature Cornet

“My signature Odyssey Symphonique cornet is as good as there is in the market. It's extremely well made, aesthetically it's very bright and positive, and it just plays so well! I find it quite exciting to have my name associated with such a good instrument.”

Denis Wick Heritage 4 Mouthpiece included

Odyssey Premiere Brass Band Range Designed by Peter Pollard

Alan Morrison Former principal cornet of the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery and Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band.

OdysseyBrasswind Visit www.jhs.co.uk or or try one out at your local Odyssey stockist.

OCR3100AMP Bb Silver-Plated Cornet with carry case.


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This is Pulsar! German sound reinforcement wizards HK Audio have unveiled Pulsar, their newest line of affordable cabs for DJs and music types! Pulsar has been specifically designed for those musos who can't live without state-of-theart acoustics and electronics packaged in a classic format. • The PL 112 FA top with TB-1 single-cab Made at HK Audio's St. Wendel tilt bracket (optional) plant in south west Germany, these PA cabinets feature select wood chosen for its superior acoustic qualities and sophisticated insides to pack a mighty sonic punch! The most affordable of the bunch is the 12” PL112FA (£699). Compact and comfortably portable, this high performance unit continues to deliver remarkable bass response even at high volume levels – without sacrificing any of the midrange performance • The electronic circuitry with all the that is so vital to connectors and controls is a cohesive live sound. block well-protected by an epoxy frame.

Although just slightly larger and heavier than the PL112FA, the 15” PL115FA (£799) packs a heftier wallop in the bass frequencies and low mids, making it an excellent standalone solution for DJs, as well as the perfect complement to the PL118FA subwoofer in larger setups! Lastly, the chunky PL118FA (£899) is a powerful 18” subwoofer that delivers crisp, tight signals. This is a sub that renders higher register bass tones with plenty of snap, despite its remarkably low-ranging response. This makes it everything the demanding DJ wants, and is just what larger PAs need in a bass bin. In stores as you read this, Pulsar gives gig venues, clubs, DJs and • A hybrid design artists great new with a resonator chamber delivers impressive SPL options to boost from the lowest sub-bass frequencies up to the crossover frequency. their live sounds – if that's you, why not give it a try? It'll give you perfectly balanced, rich and transparent sound at any volume...

www.hkaudio.com

SlapSoul

• Martin Jones, singer with SlapSoul

part drum kit, and Soul, because Martin's voice is just that – pure, unadulterated soul. We've taken a liking to SlapSoul because they represent something new and exciting, and because they're both just so damn good at what they do! Watch them play, and you'll be amazed at the amount of sound this single guitar and voice can conjure up. All Martin needs live is his Lewitt MTP 340 mic. He says: “The Lewitt is such a beautiful mic – it's absolutely brilliant for live performance and studio recording. It picks up every little detail from my voice. I'm so happy using it and would recommend to everyone to try the range before they buy anything else.”

Big things are expected of Sam Humphreys and Martin Jones, the much-hyped guitarist and vocalist duo who presumably account for the 'Slap' and 'Soul' parts of their compound moniker. Slap, we imagine, because Sam is one of that new breed of percussive acoustic players who use their instrument as part guitar,

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• The new Pulsar line of speaker cabinets was designed specifically for musicians and DJs who want state-of-the-art acoustics and electronics packaged in a classic format.

Sam, meanwhile, gets his unique guitar tones from a Vintage Sweetwater VEC1900N Grand Auditorium model, which he runs through a Fishman Rare Earth humbucking acoustic pickup. “The Sweetwater responds great to my percussive style,” Sam says. “It has great tone and sustain too, as well as being harmonically rich and balanced. The Rare Earth is the perfect pickup for my percussive style of playing as the gooseneck has an amazing clarity and dynamic range as well as accurately capturing the tone of the guitar and transferring the power of the strings, picking

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up the whole spectrum of frequencies. The humbucking pickup has the power to pick up the delicate harmonics as well as evenly picking up the strings with clear definition and power. Fantastic Fishman does it again!” With a stunning debut album in the works, SlapSoul are set to break out into the mainstream soon, so look them up now! Nothing like being able to tell your friends you got there first...

• Sam and Martin

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W

e all need a good pair of earphones, whether we're studio engineers, pro musicians, joggers, gamers, or just casual music fans. Thanks heavens for EarBombz, then, because these awesome new in-ear monitors are now dropping into music shops all over the place! Pro quality but really affordable nonetheless, there's a trio of EarBombz to try. Top of the line are the EB-Pro Series (£39.99, available in Black and Sky Blue) which feature noise isolating silicone tips and a unique, acoustic chamber design that brings a brilliant depth of audio field and note-by-note clarity to your musical experience.

Drop on the UK!

With highly responsive 10mm transducers, H-Bombz (£19.99, available in Black and Silver) deliver explosive highs, accurate mid-range, and earth-rumbling lows, achieving a perfect blend of full-spectrum audio-immersion. Last but most definitely not least, A-Bombz (£12.99, available in Black and Red) provide absolute audio resolution at an incredible price. A-Bombz feature enhanced, full-range, 9mm matched transducers that deliver superior audio detail with powerful bass resonance for an epic listening experience.

EB-Pro

All EarBombz models are optimised for use with modern technology such as tablets, computers and smartphones, and all come equipped with an in-line cell phone microphone for safety and convenience, as well as three pairs of silicone tips (in different sizes) for optimum comfort and fit. The EB-Pros and H-Bombz are also supplied with a durable tin carrying case to protect your earphones when not in use. For discerning ears, we reckon EarBombz are the bomb! Check them out and see what they could do for your ears...

H-Bombz

A-Bombz

Fishman Loudbox Performer Revealed

Step into perfect tuning with the Snark SN10 Pedal Tuner!

Fishman's all-conquering Loudbox acoustic amp family has a powerful new big brother! The newly re-designed Loudbox Performer offers more power and enhanced features in a lighter, more efficient design. The most powerful Fishman acoustic amp, the Loudbox Performer features 180 watts of pure acoustic power and two versatile input channels that accept 1/4” and XLR sources. Each channel includes Fishman’s renowned 3-band EQ – so versatile in helping you shape your sound – feedback-fighting controls, and a new effects section for more tonal options than ever before. The Loudbox Performer's dedicated midrange provides enhanced detail and note definition over conventional 2-way designs, while an improved, integrated kickstand design allows the amp to be tilted back 50º for better sound projection at short range. At £999.00, the Loudbox Performer is a great option for the performing player, and there's even a handy Slip Cover available for an extra £59.99...

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Snark already had the best clip-on tuners around, but now they've sown up the stompbox market too, with the SN10 pedal tuner. With its trademark big and bright display – which is perfect for getting in tune on dark stages, by the way – and fast and smooth pitch tracking, the SN10 also has true bypass switching, and is fully chromatic with a handy pitch calibration feature (415-466Hz). Other handy features include a mute output jack socket (again, a must-have for the gigging musician) and 9V power input/output sockets that can power another pedal from a standard 9V supply (not included), all housed in a tough, road-proof die-cast unit, with easy battery access. At a very wallet-friendly £49.99, the Snark SN10 is already a massive hit, not just with pro musicians and studios, but with anyone who needs a professional pedal tuner at pocket money prices! www.snarktuners.com twitter.com/gearmagazine

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KAC201 Touch screen tuner

Essential for the gigging musician, a staple of music shops up and down the country, and a brilliant stocking filler for the instrument-toting folk in your life, the musical accessory is the bread and butter of our world. Thank your lucky stars for Kinsman, then, and their brilliant new range of musical accessories – reliable, hard-wearing and affordable, it's got everything today's demanding players need to bring the rock in style...

KAC202 Tuner/Capo

Get in tune! It's no good being able to play all those light speed licks if you're not in tune. Thankfully, though, Kinsman's got your back here. There's three new clip-on tuners in the range: the KAC200 clip-on chromatic tuner (£10.99), the KAC202 chromatic tuner/capo (£15.99, and which you can use as a capo when you're not tuning up), and the space age KAC201 chromatic touch screen version, which is £17.99. They're flexible, ergonomic, and deadly accurate, with a bright blue backlit display – which turns green when you hit your note – making tuning a doddle, even on dark stages. Even better, the touch screen one is powered by a rechargeable battery, which you can keep juiced with the included USB cable. Every player needs one of these!

KAC200 Clip-on Tuner

Stay clean KAC502 Chrome Slide

KAC503 Glass Slide

The Kinsman Guitar String Cleaner will help dramatically extend the life of your guitar strings, plus the lack of sweat and gunk means you'll play and sound better too! For £7.99, that sounds good to us! And all it needs is a few gentle slides up and down the neck, and your strings and fingerboard will be as good as new...

Find the key to success

KAC302 Universal Capo

KAC307 Universal Lever Capo

KAC301 Universal Toggle Capo

A singing guitarist's saviour, the humble capo will take your guitar to the key you need to suit your vocalist's range. There's a wide variety of capos in the new Kinsman lineup, from the classic universal toggle capo (£2.99) to lever and clamping versions (£4.99 and £8.99), and there's even a dinky little uke capo too (£7.99)! Meticulously constructed, gig-proof and gentle on your instrument's neck, Kinsman's capos can be relied on time and time again to provide accurate tuning wherever you use them on the neck.

Slip sliding away...

KAC305 Curved Capo KAC501 String Cleaner

From dirty bottleneck blues to gentle country leads and soaring rock solos, slides are a great tool for the guitarist who wants to broaden their sonic horizons. The Kinsman Glass slide (£3.99) is lightweight and will give you a warm and detailed top end, while its Chrome brother (£4.99) gives a rounder, brighter sound. You'll have no problem dusting your broom with these!

Kinsman Mini Jack Amplifiers Perfect for silent practice with amazing tones, pocket-sized and easy on your wallet, these mini jack amplifiers (£16 each) are ideal for the guitarist on the go. Use their versatile Gain, Tone and Volume controls to hone your very own sound, and jam with your favourite tracks using the aux socket. Whether you're noodling in your room, warming up before hitting the stage, or travelling the world with just your guitar and a bag on your back, you'll really need one of these! The Super Lead puts wailing lead lines and howling solos in the palm of your hand. From Slash to Satch and Vai to Vedder, the tones you need are all there! Create lush tube drive tones and rich cleans with ease using the Tube Drive – great for rhythm or lead, it's your ticket to classic rock, blues, jazz, and anything in-between.

TM

KAC701 Super Lead Headphone Amp

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From doom to thrash to all-out sludge, the Metal brings the down-tuned dirge! The versatile controls easily make your sounds as heavy as you want them, and it'll clean up nicely too should your ears need a little rest from time to time...

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Fab sounding effects

LUCKY 13 GUITAR STRAPS

The Lucky 13 series brings you a line of straps sporting full-throttle, in-your-face imagery straight off Lucky 13 Apparel. Featuring easy adjustment custom buckles, patented Comfort Edge速 webbing and 100% leather ends.

Skull Wings

Skull GFY

Skull Paisley

Skull MFG

Diamond Skull

for cool cats!


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Ravens And Lullabies with Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman album led to a raucously received tour of the same name, and Gordon and Oliver have plans to continue to work together again in future.

When acoustic guitar legend Gordon Giltrap decided a return to his prog rock roots was long overdue, he knew he'd need to enlist a killer keyboard player to make the tracks sing. Step forward Oliver Wakeman, the immensely talented former Yes man (and yes, son of Rick!)...

Of the collaboration, Gordon says: “When I started working with Oliver, I made a conscious decision to tap into his energy, his creativity, and let him take over the reigns, because he is that much younger than I, and has that much more energy, and he also knows the genre far better than I. I'm proud of the fact that I stood by my guns and let him get on with it and trust him to know what he's doing, which he does BIG TIME!”

The result of this collaboration is Ravens And Lullabies, an impressive album of atmospheric, proggy sounds featuring some wonderful playing from both men. The success of the

Oliver, meanwhile, has appreciated the chance to work with a man of Gordon's great experience. He says: “For me it was great to work with

another legendary artist after having worked with both Yes and Strawbs. As a 'younger' musician, it has been a great collection of experiences that have improved and helped develop my career and musicianship...”

Left: The intense Ravens And Lullabies album cover. Below: Gordon Giltrap finds that special moment onstage with his Fret-King artist guitar!

www.giltrap.co.uk and www.oliverwakeman.co.uk

Vintage Viator

Padded carry bag included

and sides and customised x-scalloped bracing, making it ideal for playing authentically in any number of styles. Don't let the small body fool you, as this is one loud guitar! The Viator is perfect for playing at home or taking with you on your travels, thanks to the supplied Vintage custom Viator luxurious padded carry bag.

In these times of austerity, many previously big things have got smaller: salaries, holidays, meals... the depressing list goes on. But here's one dinky little thing that might be on the tiny side, but is all the better for it! This is the Vintage Viator travel acoustic, co-designed with Vintage signature artist Paul Brett. At just 229 of your English pounds, the Viator – the name means Traveller in Latin, for you educated types – is a supremely affordable proposition, but, being Vintage, it also plays way above its weight and size. The Viator features a solid sitka spruce top, sapele back

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Paul says: “Following on from my successful Paul Brett six and 12-string guitars by Vintage, I am proud to present the new Viator travel guitar. This guitar will suit both beginners and professionals who want to have a great sounding and affordable guitar that they can fit into small spaces for travelling convenience. My inspiration for this guitar came from the early 20th century style of guitars and the sound the Viator produces both in fingerstyle and strumming modes is very much reminiscent of that era. I have tried most styles on it, from blues, jazz, plectrum and picking through to classical, folk and open tunings – and yes, with lighter strings on it will play beautifully in Terz tuning [that's basically like playing a standard tuned guitar with a capo on the third fret, folks – Ed.]. Vintage, again, have done a fantastic job in reproducing my design and I can't wait for it to spread its wings and travel afar. The Viator is one little packet of dynamite!”

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“The Viator is one little packet of dynamite!”

More info at: www.jhs.co.uk/paulbrett.html www.paulbrettguitarist.co.uk

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Vintage Gordon Deluxe MusicalGiltrap Accessories The legend returns! The original Vintage Gordon Giltrap signature acoustic wowed players, fans and the presses and went on to win the UK's coveted Music Industries Association Award for Acoustic Guitar Of The Year. Now, Vintage, Gordon and top British luthier Rob Armstrong have worked together to create a Deluxe edition of the guitar to Gordon's favoured specifications. The Vintage GG Deluxe features a solid cedar top, solid rosewood back and rosewood sides, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, ebony bridge, NuBone nut and saddle, and a USA-made, top of the range Fishman Rare Earth pickup. The guitar is also supplied in a Kinsman 'Gordon Giltrap Signature' hardshell case. For £699, that's a whole lot of guitar! Gordon says: “My Deluxe GG Signature model has all the sonic qualities of its earlier cousins and more, giving a wonderful warmth to the tone with the featured solid rosewood back and sides and the crispness of cedar, with the luxury of ebony for the fingerboard. The choice of wood is my favourite combination – the warmth of the rosewood and the immediacy of the cedar make for a wonderfully crisp, bright sound that suits my playing style perfectly.” So, if you want that authentic Giltrap sound, go track one down – the only thing they don't come with is Gordon's talent... www.giltrap.co.uk

Bob Marley and the Dunlops

they're a great gift for the Marley fan in your life, or for collectors.

More than 30 years after his death, Bob Marley's music, image and personality continue to inspire people around the world. Songs like No Woman No Cry, Could You Be Loved and Buffalo Solider have grown far beyond the reggae genre and have become worldwide anthems that we all relate to in our own way – and there's not many artists you can say have had such an effect on the human race. Few artists before or since have eclipsed Marley's pure passion and aura, but if you want to try and channel some of the Marley mojo into your playing, you could do a lot worse than giving Dunlop's new range of Bob Marley straps and pick tins a go.

For shop owners, there's even a shop display pack of the Marley pick tins, featuring 24 tins (6 of each type) in a classy countertop box. We really like the way Dunlop has honoured Bob Marley’s contribution to music with these accessories, so check 'em out next time you're at the music store...

jimdunlop.com

The Bob Marley pick tins are available in Rasta and Silver designs. Each contains six Dunlop picks – which are available in medium or heavy format – with a range of Marley portraits and designs. At £10.19 each,

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BOB08

BOB07

The Bob Marley Series of guitar straps sees two new straps, bringing the range to eight in total. Each features art and designs inspired by Marley, with a range of colourful and tasteful patterns and images to choose from. The straps, which all cost £30.49, are made of a range of materials, including cotton, polyester, and hemp.

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Back in Blac k

The Esprit features an agathis body, a set maple neck with a 22-fret rosewood fretboard, graphite nut, Fret-King pickups, and Wilkinson hardware – and there's a model for every occasion. A stripped down rock and roll machine with one no-nonsense stacked P90 pickup in the bridge, the Esprit I (£569) was born to chug, riff and wail! With such an ergonomic setup, you can't go wrong – there's a volume control, tone, and the Fret-King Vari-coil (so you can wind down to single coil), and that's it! Plug in, and rock out.

• FKV71PGHB Esprit I

The Fret-King Esprit has become an icon of the electric guitar world, and rightly so. Oh-so-familiar, yet somehow different, the Esprit's distinctive reversed six-a-side in-line peghead and striking asymmetric body make it a guitar that's impossible to mistake. Strap one on for live shows, and your crowd will remember you forever. Use one in the studio, and you'll sound the business.

• FKV75HVTB Esprit V

For those wanting a bit more nuance to their sound, the Esprit V (£599) is the way to go. It might look like a classic rock layout with its twin Fret-King humbuckers, but the Esprit V can do all that, and a lot more. The key, again, is in the Vari-coil. Roll it all forward, and the high output bridge humbucker will rage; switch to the neck pickup, back off the tone a little, roll the Vari-coil back a touch, and you could be listening to the sweetest neck mount P90 ever; switch to the middle, turn it all up, and get a massive wall of sound for the most amazing rhythm setting ever.

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If that's still not enough for you, then the Esprit III (£749) could just be what you're looking for. With three of those wonderful stacked P90s and a Wilkinson vibrato, the sounds on offer here are almost endless. The Vari-coil brings umpteen pickup variations, and that vintage ‘60s 'Long Tail' vibrato and the Wilkinson roller bridge add even more dynamic and performance opportunities to the Esprit III. Put simply, this is a guitar that will never fail to surprise you, with a huge range of sounds – some very familiar, some new, but all exceptionally useable. Four-stringers will be pleased to learn that Trev hasn't left them out when it comes to the Esprit. The Esprit I bass (£699) has the same distinctive looks as its six-string brothers, and is similarly versatile in the authentic tones it produces. The Esprit I bass is fitted with Fret-King’s distinctive WJM humbucker. Many pickups in one, this Wilkinson masterpiece is a profound and powerful pickup which will hold its own in every musical style. Routed through a traditional volume control, passive tone ontrol, and the Wilkinson Vari-coil, the WJM takes you on a journey from jazz on to punchy slaps and pops, vintage to vicious, passive to

the equation, you've got a veritable treasure trove of tones on tap! How many guitars look this cool, and will take a player from searing slashing and shredding through twang central, to sweet and mellow, from arena stage to intimate venue?

Country Squire The Country Squire is all about versatility – and those Fret-King twists, of course. Matching classic looks with 21st century playability and a mixture of classic and modern tones, this is the model for you if you need to deal with flitting between genres at the drop of a hat.

The Country Squire Semitone De Luxe (£699) is billed as “a true journeyman”, and we couldn't agree more. As well as an alder body, maple neck and rosewood 22-fret fingerboard, and Wilkinson hardware, the Semitone De Luxe features the unique Wilkinson WVT vibrato bridge – giving you that

"Strap one on for live shows, and your crowd will remember you forever."

Ventura

all-important three-saddle tone and the ability to whammy to your heart's content.

A perfect stage or studio guitar, the Black Label Ventura is a standout guitar in every way – and you will certainly stand out if you play one! Available in stunning Gloss Black, Laguna Blue and Candy Apple Red finishes, the Ventura (£629) is built to the usual rigorous Fret-King standards: alder body, bolt-on maple neck with 22-fret rosewood 'board, and Wilkinson hardware, including the deadly accurate WVP vibrato bridge. Sounds come from a humbucker in the bridge and mini 'buckers at the neck and middle positions, and, when you add the Vari-coil to

It's the first time this has ever been done on one guitar, as far as we know! On top of that, the De Luxe's sounds come from a neck mini humbucker, a middle single coil and a bridge humbucker – and don't forget the

an almost active-like depth, definition and power. In short, it's a beast!

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• FKV41TR Esprit Bass

Esprit

• FKV73PCAR Esprit III

Since its 2012 launch, Trev Wilkinson's Fret-King Black Label range has gone from strength to strength. Now, on the back of much public demand, Trev has created a bunch of new models to further establish Fret-King's reputation as the leading supplier of professional working guitars. But the question is: which one's for you?


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So, there you have it. We've been given exclusive access to all of these guitars for a few weeks now, and if we had to choose just one to keep, it'd be... Hmm, that's a tough one! Trev Wilkinson has really pulled out all the stops – again – to come up with such great additions to the Black Label range. All the guitars (and the bass) are top notch in terms of build quality, playability and tone,

"This is a guitar that will never fail to surprise you…" and a traditional three-saddle bridge, topped off by a neck humbucker and single coils at the middle and bridge positions. With the Vari-coil too, it's a top multi-tasker, and a great all-rounder for a varied player.

and they all do so much! Normally, if you're off to a gig and you need three distinct sounds, you'll take three guitars. But with these Black Labels, you'll get by with just one. Plus, with such versatile pickups and that brilliant Vari-coil, you'll be finding great sounds all over the place. We recommend you give them all a try and go home with the one that sings for you...

Fret-King’s

“With these new Black Label models, we’ve worked to give players even more axe for their hard-earned cash!”

Shiny New Website Fret-King has completely revamped its website to let players in the UK and Ireland buy their guitars immediately. The new site provides a much more user-friendly experience all round, with a more modern looking layout and plenty to watch and hear. There are sections on the site for each of Trev Wilkinson's guitar ranges – Black Label, Blue Label, Green Label and STVDIO – as well as for the Fret-King FX pedal line and cases and bags.

• FKV21SAGB Country Squire Semitone Special

Vari-coil control. There's not a lot you can't do with this guitar. If you prefer green, though, there's always the Country Squire Semitone Special (£649) to lust over. The Semitone Special – resplendent in a beautiful Ash Green Burst finish – has the same basic build as the Semitone De Luxe, but features a maple fingerboard

• FKV22HB Country Squire Semitone De Luxe

• FKV5HMMBK Ventura

c k (Label)

There's now more info on every Fret-King model than ever before, with full specs and image selections only a click of a mouse away, and there's also the lowdown on Fret-King news, reviews, artists and dealers. If you need to know anything about Trev's creations, here's the place to go to do it! There's even a handy compare button so you can see which guitars have all the features you need. But the coolest thing about the new site is that people can now buy guitars right there and then! It's a novel idea for a guitar company, and it opens up the availability of Fret-King to guitarists who might not have a dealer just down the road.

The prices on the site are great, and the way Fret-King are doing it is that when someone clicks to buy a guitar, the nearest dealer who has it in stock will supply it direct to the player. In short, everyone wins! Get over to Fret-King.com to see what all the fuss is about!

www.fret-king.com

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For only £64.99, the Patchfactory kit – which comes with 10 patch plugs, a cutter, and plenty of wire, good to make five custom new patch cables in all – is a real snip, and you can buy all the constituent parts separately too. What's not to like?

Never ones to think inside the proverbial box, Diago have come out with two awesome new gadgets for guitarists with pedalboard woes: say hello to the Patchfactory solderless patch cable maker and the Pedal Riser, erm, pedal riser. The Patchfactory lets you create your own custom length patch cables without needing any specialist tools or skills. Typically Diago, it gives you first class connection reliability, the smallest solderless plug heads, and the most transparent signal transfer available – plus it'll let you get your FX pedals closer together than ever before, saving valuable pedalboard space! To build your own Patchfactory cable, just cut the cable to the length you want it (a handy cutter's supplied), push the cable firmly into each plug, bend it 90 degrees through each plug slot, and screw the cap ends on tightly with a coin – and you're done!

Think a cheapy £5 lead is enough for top notch tones? Think again! The humble guitar cable is the one thing many decent guitarists forget about when they're building their setup, and lots of people end up with a crappy cable making their two grand rig sound like sludge. This is where Asterope from Fishman steps in... Asterope's premium audio cables deliver pure, uncoloured, high definition sound, providing greater clarity, bandwidth and harmonics while dramatically improving the musical experience for both the musician and the listener. They really do, by the way – we've tried 'em! The Asterope range includes leads for both onstage and studio use. The Pro Stage Series is ideal for more demanding environments – like a gig – when consistency, control and durability are essential to a successful performance. The Pro Studio Series, meanwhile, provides a more dynamic, spatial and superior sound. This is ideal for more intimate environments when clarity and harmonic response are critical – like when you're cutting your new EP, for example.

The Pedal Riser is simple, but genius. It's a small steel platform, wrapped in the very same pedal carpet that appears on Diago's pedalboards (to make it super grippy, you see) and they'll stop you inadvertently kicking the knobs on your front row of pedals when you're onstage and need to concentrate on more important things. You know, like bringing the rock! They're only £5.49, but they're worth a whole lot more than what could go wrong PB10 if there's not one on your board... Pedal Riser You know what to do!

components, or recording vocals, acoustic instruments, an amp, or the room... Asterope will enhance your sound. For guitarists and bassists, there are a wealth of Asterope options available. Leads are available with straight or right angled connectors from lengths of 6ft upwards, with 1ft and 3ft patch cables also on offer. Prices start from £89.99 for a 6ft stage lead, which might seem like quite an outlay, but trust us – the difference really is there to be heard!

Pro Stage angled/straight jack

Pro Stage straight/straight jack cable

Pro Stage XLR/XLR cable

Pro Studio angled/straight jack cable

Now for the science. Made in the good old US of A, all Asterope cables feature the highest quality conductive materials that optimise the electron flow in your signal path, as well as proprietary wiring and production methods, patented ultra-clarity connectors, durable exterior jacketing, enhanced noise-resistant shielding, unique unidirectional design, and a limited lifetime warranty.

FROM

Pro Studio straight/straight jack cable

Asterope's Balanced XLR line of audio cables features the same unique architectural design and proprietary processes, so whether connecting

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Pro Studio XLR/XLR cable

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Cymatic Audio LR-16 live recorder Have you ever wanted to record your band live – but then to be able to hear what each of you is doing individually? Well, now you can, thanks to Cymatic Audio's LR-16 live recorder. For a mere £449, the LR-16 will let you lay down 16 individual tracks simultaneously, making it ideal for capturing – and later breaking down into minute detail – practices, gigs, and loads more. Sloppy musicians beware... For those who have never heard of them, Cymatic Audio is an exciting new brand, offering standalone Direct to USB recording to Thumb and Hard drives. The world's most ergonomic multitrack recorder, the LR-16 is perfect for capturing live performances, mobile recordings, Dropbox collaboration, rehearsals, redundant backups, podcasting, interviews, and loads more. A far more affordable proposition than other multitrack digital recorders, the LR-16's insert-style TRS connections are hardwired, which means there is never the need to arm tracks or assign any channels. The unit is always recording 16 discrete wave files at 16/24 bit/44.1-48kHz and elegantly auto

Connect

Record

names the tracks and take folders. You simply connect, hit record... and you're done. It's that simple. Great for beginner recordists who don’t want to deal with difficult and time-consuming learning curves, as well as the most seasoned pros who don’t want to be bothered with messy setups, the LR-16 also doubles as a 16 x 2, 24 bit/96kHz USB class compliant audio interface for your iPad, Mac and PC. When you’ve finished your live recording in the field, simply connect the LR-16 into your computer or tablet and you have a high quality USB interface. Plug your USB drive and drag and drop your

files into your favourite DAW to edit your audio or perform additional overdubs. Convenient features such as native Mac and iPad driver support make installation simple, while zero latency hardware monitoring and a built-in mixer allow for error-free recording, flexibility and hassle-free setup. And that's really all there is to it! Whether you're at the rehearsal or the gig, the LR-16 should be your go-to tool if you want to really analyse your performances. If the fear of having all those duff notes relayed in crystal clear isolation to your bandmates doesn't help tighten up your playing, then nothing will... www.cymaticaudio.com

Done

Cymatic Audio LR-16 specs: • Records directly to USB 2.0 compatible thumb drives or hard disks (16/24-bit 44.1 - 48 kHz). • 4 bit/44.1 - 96 kHz USB class compliant audio interface. • Mac OS-X compatible - core audio plug and play drivers. • iPad compatible - plug and play (USB adapter required, e.g. Apple Camera Kit). • No powered USB hub required for iPad connectivity. • Windows PC compatible (Win XP, Vista, 7&8 32/64) WDM and ASIO drivers. • 16 analog 1/4" TRS insert-style inputs with stereo output and headphone output. • Independent and global 12dB input padding. • Zero latency hardware input monitoring. • Built in mixer with pan, solo, mute and volume control. • Stereo wave player.

Records direct to USB sticks and hard drives. No computer required!

THE

Live Recorder

COCKPIT

Being the decent chaps that they are, Cymatic Audio sent an LR-16 down to the legendary Leeds Cockpit venue to see how it functions in a professional gigging environment. After seeing the LR-16 in operation, Joss Coltart – the Cockpit's Technical Manager – says: “Feedback for the LR-16 has been extremely positive. It is very easy to use, intuitive, and lends itself to the live music environment very

Another busy night at the Cockpit

well. I think if we could have a more permanent installation it would be very valuable and would allow one person to not only mix the live sound, but to record the show as well.” Cool beans! Of course, the idea of venues recording live shows and then selling the performances on to bands is also something the LR-16 makes possible – sounds like a great idea for all involved, to our ears at least…

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growing its electric family In the last issue of Gear, we gave you a rundown on a load of great new Vintage players. Since then, though, they’ve grown their electric family even more, with a list of top new and up-and-coming artists longer than, erm, a long piece of string. Here, we take a look at the cream of the new crop – with players in all sorts of bands and with all sorts of talents, we reckon there must be something in the water over Vintage way...

Vintage

Witch cross

A Higher Demise

Blacken The Name

Dave Simpson Trio

Formed in early 2012, A Higher Demise’s thunderous rhythms, sweeping melodies, brutal riffs and angelic harmonies mean they’re ready to push their name to the forefront of their scene.

Describing themselves as a metal/experimental band, Blacken The Name fuse complex bass lines, ripping guitar riffs and energetic drum work with melodic and screaming vocals.

Dave first picked up the guitar at age 17 and started playing live 6 months after he learnt his first few songs. He’s played in various bands of varying genres throughout the years, but mainly performs in his own group, the Dave Simpson Trio.

Lead guitarist Dan Pape is an avid Vintage user, and is currently rocking a VRS110C, VRS100AW, V99CS VS6, EST96 and a VS6GO! Dan says: “I need a guitar that can take a bit of a beating and still sound smooth and that's exactly what I get with my Vintages!"

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Originally founded way back in 1980 in the Danish city Hillerød, Witch Cross recorded and released their first single, No Angel/Are You There, in 1982, which led to great press coverage.

www.vintage.art.pl

www.witchcross.dk

Oli says: “It seemed the quality of instrument I wanted was way outside of my budget... until I tried a Vintage!”

Dave has recently taken a shine to the Vintage Icon Series V6MRBK, which he uses at his many live shows. “This is one of the best guitars I have ever played!” he says. “I haven’t put it down since I got it and don’t intend to for a long time!”

www.facebook.com/ AHigherDemiseBand

www.blackenthename.com

www.facebook.com/ davesimpsontrio

Thorun

Defy All Reason

Andy Barnett

Welsh rockers Defy All Reason bring hard-hitting drums and ear pounding guitars to let the good people know that rock is far from dead!

Guitarist and songwriter Andy Barnett first came to prominence during his tenure with UK rock band FM during the 1990s.

A thunderous cross between stoner, sludge and doom metal, Thorun offer up a slab of instrumental riff worship. Having supported the likes of Karma To Burn, their first EP, Reprise 2010, picked up some serious Now fast forward a mere 30 plaudits from the music press. years, and Witch Cross are back! The band feature "I've used my Vintage VV60 founder member Michael and V100 for almost every Krzysztof currently owns Koch and Paul Martin on Thorun live show, recording several Vintage guitars, guitars, and they’re now and rehearsal,” says guitarist including a V100MRTSB using a V100MRPGM and ICON, V100GT and a V60BK respectively for their Keeran Williams. “They're solid, reliable and sound V6HMRSB – all of which he European tour to promote uses for the band’s awesome their awesome new album, just as good – if not better – than guitars in a much live shows in Poland and Axe To Grind! That’s some across Europe and the world! serious dedication to rock! higher price bracket!” Formed in 2005 by charismatic lead singer, guitarist, composer and lyricist Krzysztof Walecki, Vintage (what a great name for a band, by the way!) are a Polish hard rock band who – as their name suggests – take their cues from the sounds and grooves of yesteryear.

Founding bassist Oli Smith had been out of the music scene for a while before BTN, and needed to find an affordable bass that could perform well live and in the studio.

www.thorunband.com

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Raised on a diet of classic rock and southern flare, Defy All Reason combine heavy riffs, melodic storytelling and good ole fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. The band’s debut EP, Every Second Counts, came out in 2013 to critical acclaim – with guitarist Gavin Jones bringing the rock on his V100AFD Paradise guitar! www.facebook.com/ DefyAllReason

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Now residing in Sweden, Andy continues to gig regulary, as well as writing for other artists. Happily for us, Andy’s guitar of choice is the Vintage ICON V6HMRSB! “During my career, I have played and owned just about every guitar out there,” he says, “but nothing comes close the amazing Vintage range... they’re just spectacular guitars. I love my V6!”


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Rage of Angels

Hell’s Gazelles

Piston

Browsing Collection

Originally a member of Ten, Ged Rylands went on to play with Contagious and guitar wizard Danny Danzi. He later returned to play on albums by Omega, Scar For Life and Lover Under Cover, before joining Tyketto in 2012 as a touring member of the band.

Heavy-hitting hard rock from Oxfordshire, Hell's Gazelles bring the fire of greats such as AC/DC and Black Sabbath up to date, taking cues from the likes of Heaven's Basement and Tracer – forging modern songwriting with a classic fist to the guts.

One of the UK's best up-and-coming guitarists, Piston’s Jack Ed has been praised by some of the biggest names in the guitar world – from Guns N’ Roses members, to members of Alice Cooper and Michael Jackson’s live bands.

Consisting of four young women from the Skaraborg region of Sweden, Browsing Collection are an energetic quartet playing catchy punk rock with hints of metal.

Currently working in his own band, Rage Of Angels, Ged has begun using Vintage electrics live and in the studio. “The second I started playing the Paradise, it just felt instantly right!” he says. “The build quality is superb, the neck is comfortable and the pickups are intense. Quality throughout..." www.rageofangels.co.uk

Guitarist Nath Digman is a V100AFD Paradise fan. “The Paradise is capable of creating a huge variety of tones and puts up with my rigorous onstage routine,” he says. “Combining that with looks that kill is why you’ll rarely see me using anything else". www.hellsgazellesrock.com

Mercury Underground

"The Vintage V52MRBS is by far one of the best guitars I’ve ever owned or played,” says Jack. “I put my guitars through their paces live, and this copes with the punishment and ferocity of my live playing like no other: it screams rock 'n' roll!"

Glasgow-born D.R Webster is lead singer, guitarist and the sole songwriter for Mercury Underground, who have already worked alongside artists like Adrenaline Mob, Voodoo Six, Gun, The Sword, Moa Lenngren got her first Sick Puppies, Simon McBride guitar at the age of 12, and and Attica Rage. a few years later Browsing Collection was born. Within D.R is currently developing the last few years, they many other projects outside have played at the biggest of the band, most recently festivals all over the working with former Yes man country and across Europe. Billy Sherwood on a new composition. Moa, a long time user of a the Metal Axxe Raider, now D.R says: "Since receiving also counts a Vintage my Vintage VRS100C, I’ve VP6BK among her arsenal! rarely put it down!”

www.facebook.com/ PistonUK

www.facebook.com/ browsingcollection

www.facebook.com/ mercuryunderground

Pat McManus "I am proud to be associated with Vintage!” guitar legend Pat proclaims. “I have been blown away by the quality of these instruments (and I am one fussy guitar guy!!)..."

Christian Warburg

Jamie Wilcox

Danish guitarist and session player Christian tours and records with many artists, including Paul Young and the Danish hard rock band INTO CENTURY. Christian has two Vintage guitars that he uses at his live shows: the V6MRTBG Thomas Blug signature and a V100TSB.

One half of the guitar duo behind gindcore metallers Merciless Precision, Jamie knows the importantance of a durable instrument. “Giving the kind of performance that we do, I need something in my hands that feels solid, powerful and dominant,” he says. “My Vintage VR100C achieves this in looks and sound as well as anything on the market today."

“I just want to let you guys know I’m very happy with my guitars!” he says. “I recently gigged with Paul Young in Monaco and Hyde Park with the V6MRTBG, and I'm looking forward to playing lots of gigs in future on Vintage guitars!” myspace.com/ christianwarburg

During their gigging career, Merciless Precision have played with acts such as Napalm Death, Exhumed and Wormrot. www.facebook.com/ MercilessPrecision

Pat’s first band, Pulse, featured his brothers John and Tommy on bass and drums respectively. Changing their name to Mama’s Boys after a chance remark on their youth, they began to win over their live audiences, supporting bands like Hawkwind, Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy. In 1982, the band released the self-financed album Plug It In, which gained great reviews and spurned the hit single Needle In The Groove. They continued to tour and record until Tommy lost his battle with leukemia. These days, Pat gigs with the Pat McManus Band. www.patmcmanus.co.uk

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New Kinsman

www.jhs.co.uk/kinsmanpedals.html

Stompboxes One of the greatest skills you can learn as a guitarist is the art of tap dancing. Yes, you read that right. Tap dancing. That might sound a little odd, and we're not suggesting you start wearing a tutu on stage (although that technique has worked for some), but there is definitely a fine art to coordinating your various pedals when moving between verse, chorus, and ear-splitting solo.

Unfortunately, Kinsman have only made this worse with their awesome new pedal range, which is sure to have guitarists all over the place Riverdancing like loons as they treat their audiences to some fabulous sounds! Check these out, and see what takes your fancy... Analogue Delay – KAC001, £49.99 The Kinsman Analogue Delay has a beautifully warm and natural sound which will hark your tone back to the revered delay units of yesteryear. Use the intuitive Delay, Effect and Repeat controls to dial in anything from a neat '50s slapback delay to way-out-there spaced-out sounds! Hi-Gain Lead – KAC002, £44.99 A surefire hit with rockers and metallers everywhere, the Kinsman Hi-Gain Lead is built for filth! Just plug in and set the Level, then use the Gain and Tone knobs to sculpt your sound to suit your needs. From scooped rhythm riffs to howling solos, the Hi-Gain Lead pedal is an instant inspiration when you need to inject some real grunt into your tone! Dynamic Overdrive – KAC003, £44.99 If you're a rock, blues, jazz, pop, indie, metal or punk player, the

Kinsman Dynamic Overdrive should be the first pedal on your board for every show. With its versatile Level, Gain and Gain Boost controls, the Dynamic Overdrive is just perfect for anything from slow, smoky blues to crisp pop melodies and thrashed punk chords. Use it on your guitar's clean signal for creamy, stadium-filling classic overdrive sounds, or flick the switch when you want to drive your already-broken up valve amp to the edge of sanity for that big solo! Analogue Chorus – KAC004, £49.99 Create beautiful layers of lush, sweeping chorus tones with the Kinsman Analogue Chorus pedal. Simple to use thanks to its ergonomic Speed and Effect knobs – which set the effect's speed and the level of chorus respectively – the Analogue Chorus will take you from a subtle 60s jangle all the way to washed-out psychedelia in seconds. Crunch Distortion – KAC005, £54.99 A hugely versatile world of classic crunch tones, the Kinsman Crunch Distortion is an amalgamation of a bunch of the best classic distortion stompboxes around. Rock, indie, punk, metal and a whole lot more are catered for here, with Level, Gain, Boost and Tone controls allowing you to really hone your sounds to suit as many stages as you'll ever play. Featuring True Bypass design, gig-proof metal construction, and powered by 9 volt battery or mains adapter, the five Kinsman pedals will give you a bunch of amazing core tones that will elevate your sounds to professional levels – with plenty of cash left over for beer and other indispensable rockstar accessories, of course. So, take our advice and dance down to your local music shop to give them a whirl!

German amp boffins Hughes & Kettner have revamped their awesome Red Box DI box for guitarists! Say hello to the new Red Box 5! Loose/Tight: Tight gives you a taut, dense tone that’s great for throatier riffs, while Loose conjures up an airier, softer sound. Vintage/Modern: The Modern voicing gives you the bark and honk of modern speakers, while Vintage yields a warmer, woolier tone associated with old-school cabs. Small/Large: Small captures the compressed sound of a small housing, and Large gives the you greater girth and added bass of a sizeable cab! This small (200g), red (surprise, surprise) box of fun not only sounds like a mic'ed cab – it sounds like the cab itself! This makes it ideal for all sorts of live and studio situations, for guitarists playing in any genre, the Red Box 5 has five sliding switches that let you subtly tweak your sound and EQ to that of your favourite cab!

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The Ground/Lift switch severs the Red Box 5’s ground circuit to eliminate humming or buzzing caused by ground loops and Lift, as the name suggests, severs the connection. Finally, the 0 dB/-26 dB switch selects your input gain level. An incredible tool for home recording, studio work and even live shows, Red Box 5 is your key to an authentic cabinet sound – without the cab! Oh, and it's only £89.99. Bargain...

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Trampled By Turtles The interview

Duluth, Minnesota's intriguingly-named Trampled By Turtles are steadily taking the bluegrass and country worlds by storm, with each successive album going higher in the charts, and shows on both sides of the Atlantic getting bigger and bigger. Plus, with a banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bass player, but no drummer, the band's onstage look is unique – and it's supported by a line of Fishman Loudbox Performer amps. We asked them all about that moniker, life on the road, and what makes them tick as musicians... Live photo © Zoran Orlic

Gear: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us, guys! Trampled By Turtles is one of the most interesting band names we've come across in a long time, so what's the story behind it? Dave Carroll (banjo/vocals): I'm sorry to inform you there is no amazing story behind the name! We've been trying for nine years to come up with a story, but never have. If you have a really good one, let us know! It was just something our mandolin player, Erik, came up with out of the blue, and we went with it.

• Fishman Loudbox Performer

You guys all came to TBT after having being in rock bands. How was the transition from mosh pits to being sat down on stage? Dave Carroll: Well, to be honest, everyone BUT me had been in rock bands before TBT, so I don't have anything to compare it to – TBT was my first band. I imagine, at least in the beginning of TBT, that it was a little more relaxed than their previous bands. Nowadays there actually have been mosh pits occurring at some of our shows. It can be fun to watch, or disturbing, depending on how out of hand it can get!

You don't have a traditional 'drummer' in the band, which gives TBT a unique visual impact, but how was adjusting to life without a dedicated timekeeper behind you? Dave Simonett (vocals/guitar): In all of my previous bands I've played with drummers. It was a little bit of a challenge at first, but everyone in our band has pretty good time and rhythm so we adjusted fairly well. The way it's developed, each member of the band kind of became part of a drum kit. We've played together long enough now so we're capable of treating ourselves as such. That being said, there have definitely been train wrecks that would never have happened with a kit behind us. But, that's the excitement of live music, right? Since 2004, you've released six albums in nine years. That's quite a prolific streak! How does the band keep up with such a relentless writing schedule? Erik Berry (mandolin): The writing schedule doesn't seem relentless to us. A lot of my favourite bands put out a record a year, which is twice as busy as us. It just seems like we find the time. But I say that as not the primary songwriter... You're using Fishman amps to power your shows. What's so good about them? Dave Simonett: I've probably tried every acoustic amp I've heard of and I keep coming back to Fishman! They sound great, are reliable and roadworthy, and very versatile. I would (and have) definitely recommend them to

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anyone looking to amplify an acoustic instrument on stage. Finally, which TBT records should new fans from the UK go to get the best flavour of the band? Ryan Young (fiddle): The best way to do it would be to get our records in reverse order. That way you will get the best idea of who we are now, and eventually see where it came from. Start with Stars And Satellites, then Palomino, then Duluth, and so on...

Stars And Satellites, TBT's most recent album, has been the highlight of their career so far, topping the Billboard Country charts and reaching Number 32 on the Hot 100. To get a feeling of their modern bluegrass sound, check out outstanding tracks like Alone, Midnight On The Interstate, and the anthemic Wait So Long from 2010s' Palomino LP.

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SOUNDS LIKE LEWITT!

In five short years, Lewitt microphones have taken the music industry by storm, with top musicians relying on them for high-profile gigs and renowned studios cutting records with them. The Lewitt range runs from affordable live mics to professional recording solutions, and an awful lot in between. We asked Lewitt’s Steffen Grachegg to let us in on their secrets...

Lewitt, founded in 2008, stands for highperformance microphones designed to deliver unaltered, authentic sound for memorable recordings and live applications. The technical expertise and design talents of Lewitt CEO Roman Perschon, the Austrian research and development team and the company’s own production facility in China enable Lewitt to offer a full range of professional microphones, setting new benchmarks in terms of innovation, sound quality and ease-of-use both in the studio and onstage. Lewitt microphones are intended to address the pro audio market, ranging from ambitious

home studio users right up to the top-flight professional segment. Each series offers a broad selection of models – from efficient entry-level products like the astonishingly good, leastexpensive mic in the range, the MPT 240 DM vocal mic, up to the high-end segment – represented, for example, by the class-leading MTP 940 CM handheld vocal condenser mic with its stunning 135dB-A dynamic range, three switchable polar patterns and a three-position high-pass filter, or by the LCT 940 studio microphone, which allows continuously variable mixing of crystal-clear FET sound and warm, full tube sound.

Ideal for the big stage: the LTS Wireless Series.

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Lewitt has won Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman, as well as Atlantic Records itself, as official endorsers. Craig says of the LCT 940: “With the rebirth of Atlantic Studios, we are constantly searching for state-of-the-art gear to bring out the best in our artists’ performances. The Lewitt LCT 940 has been a fantastic addition to our audio arsenal. It not only has a full, rich low end and crystal clear highs, but its combination of sonic flexibility and transparency is truly

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exceptional. We have been making beautiful recordings with the LCT 940 and are looking forward to more great things from our friends at Lewitt.” The growing list of official Lewitt endorsers continues to expand, attracting artists from all walks and eras of the recording industry, illustrating the sonic ability to transcend all musical genres. Over the past few years, this illustrious group has been joined by several international greats. Lewitt is used and officially endorsed by some true living legends like Bootsy Collins, Dan Penn, and David Crosby, as well as by newcomers with rocketing careers like Steve Aoki and Travis Garland. Lewitt is also used by some of the most renowned studios and recording facilities, such as Atlantic Records, BMI, Serenity East and Serenity West Studios, California Road Studios, Warren Huarts Swing House Studios, and many more. In the live arena, Lewitt is on tour with the likes of Derrick Wright – Adele's drummer – Keith Harris (Black Eyed Peas), and German rock band Oomph! J-Lo's front of house man, Rick Camp, even changed the setup of the J-Lo World tour to switch to Lewitt microphones on the drums...

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As well as being a favourite of the stars, Lewitt also love to help musicians at grassroots level. To that end, they’re sponsoring Open Mic UK 2013 – which is the UK’s biggest annual singing competition. Lewitt is the sole provider of live mics for the competition’s live shows and Grand Final, and they’re even giving away an LCT 640 – worth a whopping £749! – to the overall winner. Not bad, for a song...

The Grand Final of Open Mic 2012

Lewitt mics are ideal for anyone from the pro studio to the player recording at home.

“My use of the LCT 640 has been extremely vital to my recording process...” Faith Evans Faith Evans, Recording Artist A Grammy-winning, multi-platinum recording artist, also known as The First Lady Of Hip-Hop/R&B, or The First Lady Of Bad Boy, Faith Hill is a devoted user of Lewitt mics!

Numerous award-winning producers and engineers also rely on Lewitt, including big names like Bob Horn, Mark Isham, Neal Pogue, Brian Vibberts, J. P. Negrete, Percy Bady, Hector Delgado, Andrew Frampton, and Jared Gosselin. For such a young brand, this is a pretty astonishing list, and it confirms that the industry absolutely does have a need for new solutions in a market that’s dominated by long-established players.

character of their own. It’s not ours to put our own stamp on the recording: that is the job of the artists and engineers who trust in our products. Our part is to capture the sound and the 'personal touch' of the artist, not to change it.”

Lewitt offers a full range of professional microphones and every single product offers the same high build quality, that typical modern Lewitt look and feel, and they all follow the same basic acoustic idea: to transport the signal as well as possible, but in a way that’s unaltered and authentic – that is, to make the best of whatever is being recorded, capturing the sound without changing it. Nothing of the original character should be lost, but nothing should be added, either. The individual characteristics of the sound source should be optimally preserved and brought out.

Another fundamental idea The world-beating Lewitt LCT 640 that goes into Lewitt recording microphone. product development is versatility – as with the multi-pattern studio recording microphone LCT So, there you have it. There's something out 640 and its single pattern counterpart sporting there for every type of musician with the Lewitt that typical unaltered, rich and detailed Lewitt range, so we suggest you go and have a listen sound which suits almost every voice. Then and see which of them are for you! there's the dual-element DTP 640 REX kick drum microphone, which combines a dynamic capsule and a condenser in the same housing and allows All sorts of well-known music types have their individual characteristics to be separately already discovered the joys of Lewitt – from the adjusted and combined at will on two separate pro performers, producers and studios mentioned channels. Thanks to a multi-step 'enhanced in this article through to legions of semi-pro frequency response' control, you can also make and amateur players across the world. Why not direct changes to the frequency response curve check them out and see what they could do for in order to optimally record any bass instrument your sound? while at the same time avoiding any compromises www.lewitt-audio.com on the kick drum.

Roman Perschon, CEO and co-founder of Lewitt, says of the so-called “Lewitt Sound”: “We’ve settled on a comparatively neutral, albeit somewhat 'complimentary' tonal character because we trust our customers to have enough

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g29p30_31_Layout 1 16/10/2013 16:41 Page 1

James Bell One of the guitar world's fastest rising stars, James Bell first came to prominence when he won the coveted 2011 Young Guitarist Of The Year award at the age of just 13. He followed this victory by winning the Nickelodeon channel's Fruit Shoot Skills 2012 award, beating off some seriously stiff competition from other talented young musicians from across the country.

Here’s a quick lowdown on the newest additions to the growing Fret-King artist family... There’s loads more on the new Fret-King website too, where you can now also buy guitars direct from official Fret-King dealers!

Now at the grand old age of 15, James continues to wow audiences with his incredible playing technique and his feel for his instrument. His YouTube channel has thousands of subscribers, and his performances at guitar shows and trade fairs around the country are always the highlight of the day.

Fret-King.com taway to nks to the cu y position tha d the le to play in an playability, an ab t ort fas r mf pe co su ry ve tility!" makes for "The Eclat is with true versa m neck also sli te e let Th pa in. al ton James Bell rest your arm to become a les this guitar Vari-coil enab

Chicco Gussoni Chicco began his musical career studying oboe at the prestigious Milan Conservatory – not your typical route into rock!

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Also a proficient drummer, bassist and singer, James is turning his talents to songwriting now, and is most definitely going places…

Stewart Methven Mark Lucas Olivier St. Louis Tiago Ferreira Olivier, also known as Tiago is a guitarist with the in Pittsburgh, & Aaron Brake Born Olivier Daysoul, is a Haitian successful Portuguese rock Philadelphia, Mark started

Both former members of the British Armed Forces, Stewart and Aaron helped to form the Red Pine He soon turned his attention Timber Co. at the Southern to the guitar, though, and Fried Festival in Perth, has since worked with the Scotland, in 2009. likes of Max Pezzali, Ron, Biagio Antonacci, Franco Their music is an electic Battiato, and Lucio Dalla mix of Americana-based – all Italian stalwarts – as country styles, with a well as a number of strong Celtic influenece – significant international not typical for a Scottish artists. band, then!

studying the guitar way back in 1967.

As well as live and studio work with a variety of artists, Chicco is currently working in television production.

For all this, Mark uses his Black Label ‘JD’ guitar. He says: “My Fret-King ‘JD’ is just incredible!” Too right...

Stewart just loves his new Black Label Country Squire Semitone, while Aaron is a strident user of the versatile Blue Label Corona 60.

During his career, he has played in a wide range of musical genres, and has released three solo albums: Silent Witness/Oneria, Uncovered and Myth and Feeling, and he also arranged and played on vocalist Carolyn Thompson's The First Time and Pam Pryor's Pryor Knowledge.

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American based in the UK – where he studied at no less than Oxford University before going pro. Not too shabby! During his career, Oliver has worked with numerous artists, such as Hudson Mohawke, Onra, Dam-Funk, Mike Slott, rapper Oddisee, and many more. His prime axe is a Black Label Eclat. Olivier says: "I love my Eclat! The ergonomics, the honey sound of those Fret-King pickups... it’s hands down my favourite guitar!”

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bands Kalu and ArtMata, both of whom are doing increasingly well on the European scene. Recently, Tiago has switched to using the Black Label Eclat for his live performances with both groups – a choice that he has not regretted! "I realised there was something special in these guitars from Trev Wilkinson!” he says. “The Eclat has a powerful sound and amazing versatility – undoubtedly my guitar of choice! Thanks Fret-King..."


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Ross McEwen

Dr. Ralf Heyne

Benny Brown

David Locke

Born in the barrenness of the Highlands of Scotland, Ross has forged a successful career so far, working with greats like Doogie White, Fret-King signature man Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell, and John Sinclair, and since 2010 with his own band, Roadway – who tour regularly and have gained frequent radio play in the USA, the Far East and all over Europe.

After taking a PhD in engineering (so he is a real doctor, not like those Dr Feelgood frauds!) Dr. Ralf decided to give it all up to focus on his love – playing guitar.

Benny hails from the UK’s south coast and has had a love for music ever since an early age.

Currently living and teaching in Guildford, Surrey, David Locke has built himself an impressive reuptation through his successful YouTube channel, which features his emotive and technically brilliant six-string performances.

"My Fret-King ‘DBC’ is a meat and potatoes rock guitar!” Ross says. “It’s built right, sounds right, feels right, and despite having just one pickup has a lot of diversity!"

A veteran of numerous bands, the Doc has worked with Paul Shortino, Paul Sabu, and Marc Storace. He has now founded his own group – the Doc Heyne Band – who released their 4th album in 2013, mixed by Vince Sorg (producer of legendary German bands Die Toten Hosen and H-Blocks). The doc currently operates four Fret-King guitars...

A gifted guitarist with a raw, expressive vocal technique, Benny has shared stages with the likes of Mick Taylor, Larry Miller, Larry Garner, Stephen Dale Petit, and Buddy Whittington. Benny’s main guitar is a luxurious, one-off Fret-King STVDIO Corona he has nicknamed The Abombination. It produces “a tone that hits the 'sweet spot' and just lingers”, apparently! Nice...

Stevie Pearce & Jim Bones The Black Bullets hail from the south of England, where they like to shoot out at the music scene with their hard, fast and filthy rock ‘n’ roll sound.

Guitarist Stevie has taken to using a Blue Label Elan for their energy-packed live shows, while bassist Jim says of his brand new Black Label Perception bass: “My Perception is possibly the best instrument I have “My Green Label Country Squire is so comfortable and played – it has every natural to play,” he says. “This element I'm looking for, is guitar has it all: looks, quality, easy to play, and has a feel and tone to die for!" truly monstrous sound!” Shoot to kill... The owner of several FretKing guitars – and a big Hughes and Kettner amps fan – David gets hundreds of comments praising his great tone.

itar ly versatile gu e is an extreme ness of Squire Semiton xed with with aggressive try un Co ing itar." mi llowbody "The Fret-K ilt into one gu onance of a ho t I need all bu rker Lundgren that has the res It has all of the tones tha Pa body. a mean solid

Damo Fawsett

Shane Parsons Andrea Basiola Parker Lundgren

After studying at The Guitar Institute in London, Damo quickly found himself replacing no less than Dave Kilminster in the Londonbased Juke Box Heroes.

Formed in 2008, Australia’s DZ Deathrays feature Simon Ridley on drums and Shane Parsons on guitar/vocals.

Born in Cremona, Italy, Andrea first began playing the guitar at the tender age of 12.

After a short stint with 80s metal legends Sacrilege, Damo is now working with US rock singer Robert Tepper on his first ever UK tour and discussing future recording projects.

The hard rocking duo are going from strength to strength, having supported massive bands like Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro, and NME even gave them #8 in a recent ‘50 Best New Bands’ poll – so they’re clearly going places.

In 2009, he won a scholarship to study at Tech Music Schools in London, graduating a with One Year Diploma. During the course, he also wrote for the Italian national guitar magazine Chitarre.

Damo says: “The Fret-King Country Squire Semitone is deceiving – it looks pretty but it will bite!” Check out some of Robert’s playing and you’ll hear that that’s absolutely true!

Andrea has recorded albums ”I love my new Esprit III!” with Kill For Eden and says Shane. “It’s set up Future Shock, has gigged exactly how I need, with all around the UK (including the 5-way P90 pickups not at places like the legendary only being crazy responsive, Shepherd’s Bush Empire but also giving an extremely venue), and he also versatile tone...” teaches guitar. facebook.com/fretking

As guitarist since 2009 with legendary US prog metal outfit Queensrÿche, Parker Lundgren really has lived the rock 'n' roll dream, going from aspiring young guitarist to treading some of the biggest stages in the world with his childhood heroes. He began playing guitar at high school, influenced by Django Reinhardt and Queensrÿche's Chris Degarmo. After graduating he moved to Seattle to build a career in music, at first playing in the punk group Slegeback, but he then got asked to join the touring band of Geoff Tate's (Queensryche singer) solo project. When falling out occurred between Queensrÿche and their then-guitarist Mike Stone, Parker was the natural replacement – he was a fan and he already knew most of their material. He took over for the planned tour, and played on the following album, Dedicated To Chaos, and tour. Parker was introduced to Fret-King guitars by his good friend Mick Radford, and has acquired a Black Label FKV22HBK Semitone to use for live and recording work.

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Talk to Frank The last decade or so has been a hell of a journey for Frank Turner. While some of us might not have changed our hairstyle in that time, Frank's gone from hardcore gatherings with Million Dead and sleeping on friends' floors as a solo acoustic troubadour to selling out Wembley Arena and playing at the London Olympics Opening Ceremony. Plus he probably got a lot of haircuts. Most recently, though, his album Tape Deck Heart hit Number 2 in the UK album charts and he and his backing band, the Sleeping Souls, have torn up festivals around the world. We sat the man down for five minutes to ask him all about it... - How did you feel when you found out Tape Deck Heart had entered the UK album charts at Number 2? Were you secretly gunning for a Number 1 when you found out how good the midweek sales were? It felt good, if a bit weird. I never paid any attention to the charts growing up, or much liked bands therein. That said, it's an impressive statistic, it represents a lot of people paying attention to my music all at the same time. Number 1 would certainly have been funnier, but I don't think it was ever a realistic prospect. - Gear was fortunate enough to catch you in Germany recently with two great supports in tow – Adam Arcuragi and Larry And His Flask – and you've previously had top up-and-coming English bands like Jim Lockey And The Solemn Sun open for you. How much of a say do you have in picking your supports, and how do you choose who gets the gig? I spend a lot of time putting the bills together for my headline tours. It's important to me to present a great night of entertainment, to make sure people get their money's worth. I also think it's a great opportunity for me to try and help out some bands that I think deserve more exposure, and hopefully help them on their way to bigger things. - Your music has evolved consistently over the years, with each successive album having a bigger, more epic full-band sound. Who have been your greatest influences as a songwriter? Springsteen, Townes Van Zandt, John K Samson [of The Weakerthans], Adam Duritz [lead Counting Crows man]... I absorb a lot of different stuff as well. I have a habit of listening to songs analytically. - Who have you learned the most from in your time in the music business? I've been fortunate to cross paths with a lot of wise people over the years. Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry, Dropkick Murphys... also the guys in the Sleeping Souls have taught me a lot, they're older than me. I learned a lot on my own as well, just by throwing myself in at the deep end all alone and seeing what would happen.

- To what extent do The Sleeping Souls and others have a say in your songwriting process? Do you take suggestions in the studio? Generally speaking, I write the songs myself as an acoustic guitar and vocal arrangement. Beyond that I usually have some pretty firm ideas about how I want the rest of the band to sound, but it becomes a collective process when we get into the rehearsal room. Everyone contributes. Plus the guys are all better players at their own instrument than I am, so it makes sense for them to fine tune the parts themselves. I retain my power of veto, of course, but they're a huge part of the sound of the music I make, and I wouldn't want to play with any other band. - Your side project, Möngöl Hörde, sort of takes you back to your hardcore roots and lets you concentrate on some shouty vocals. With the MH album coming along, are you going to be devoting more serious touring time to the project, or is it more about having fun outside of your solo work? MH is a side project, so it's not a priority, but we are working on an album, and once that's done we will be looking at touring it. It's hard to say when that will be. It's a lot of fun, but I don't ever see the point of doing something half-cocked, so it'll be done properly. - What's the next Frank Turner album going to be like? Do you know much about it yet? Got any songs ready for it? I wouldn't want to try and predict what the record will be like, but I do have a pile of songs. I want to make something a little more stripped back, grittier, maybe punkier, next time around. But who knows, I might well change my mind a thousand times between now and anything seeing the light of day... frank-turner.com

Tape Deck Heart is Frank's fifth studio full-length, although he's also released live albums, EPs and DVDs along the way. Themed around a break-up, it's a deeply personal record, which Frank has described as being about “self-examination, running through your own faults, about change, and about ending”. Try out Recovery, Plain Sailing Weather and Four Simple Words to get a flavour of that, and if you're after another Frank album, we'd recommend 2011's England Keep My Bones – his most coherent work so far, in Gear's humble opinion.

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Fishman Turner Overdrive For years now, Frank's used a trusty Fishman Rare Earth pickup on his acoustics. What does he like so much about it? “It's just ultra reliable,” he says. “It never lets me down, it sounds great, it doesn't feed back (like, ever)... In combination with the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI that I've taken to using, my acoustic guitar actually sounds like a real instrument now, rather than some flappy artificial scratching sound.” We've seen Frank play live plenty of times – it's true!

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g28p34_35_Layout 1 16/10/2013 16:32 Page 1

The groundbreaking GrandMeister works with new technology.

Since their formation in 1984, Hughes & Kettner have quietly gone about becoming the world's leading electric guitar amp company. That might sound like a heady statement, but consider this: the all-conquering TubeMeister, H&K's take on the portable all-watt amp head, is the top-selling valve amp in North America. This is remarkable when you consider that the TubeMeister was only released in 2011, but when you factor in the competition – much of which has decades of history and nostalgia behind it – the feat is even more impressive. Now, with the release of the new GrandMeister head, H&K are set to shake up the amp world once more. We thought we'd take a look at H&K's range of superior German engineering... Compact and powerful, TubeMeister is the versatile guitarist’s dream amp, ideal for gigging, recording and practice.

HHHHH

“H&K might just have launched the amp of the decade!” MusicRadar.com review.

H&K's GrandMeister (£1,129) takes the TubeMeister's winning all-tube amp formula and brings it fully up to speed with modern technological advances – and a range of classic guitar tones. The GrandMeister is an analog tube amp as we know it, but H&K have added studio quality effects and replaced all the conventional pots with Smart Rotary Controls that make tube tone programmable. With GrandMeister, you still get all those TubeMeister features – including that all-important Red Box DI output and the cool blue lighting – but with the addition of reverb, tap delay, flange, phase, tremolo and chorus and full programmability of the four valve channels, effects and power soak. The GrandMeister is available as a 36-watt head, with the power soak allowing you to switch to 18-watt, 5watt, 1-watt and silent modes – meaning you can feel the full power of the valves, and thus the best tones, at any volume level! This makes the GrandMeister perfect for performing anywhere from the world's biggest stages to recording silently at home during the night. It's fully controllable via midi controller too, or even your iPad – check it out online to see its mind-boggling capabilities! This brings us to TubeMeister, the modern day classic on which the GrandMeister was based. Available in 36, 18 and 5-watt versions – both as combos and heads – TubeMeister is perfect for guitarists who want to rock on stage, play at home, and record at night. Full of fantastically useable tones, the TubeMeister amps all feature the Red Box DI, which allows silent recording, and all give you a huge amount of options as a player. Just check out

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the features and choose the one that suits you best! TubeMeister prices start at £349 for the 5-watt head, and there are also cabs available to suit your size and volume needs. If you're looking for a great amp that won't break the bank, H&K's Edition Blue range could be just what you need. Be it a pre-gig warm-up, living-room practice session, or an impromptu jam with a small line-up, Edition Blue's warm solid-state tones and responsive performance are ideal for anyone from the beginner through top the touring pro. The icing on the Edition Blue cake, though, is the DFX models’ digital FX (reverb, chorus, flanger and delay) which, along with clean and lead channels, will take you anywhere from shimmering cleans to all-out metal leads. With prices ranging from £159 for a 15-watter to £339 for the 60-watt DFX model, it's a no-brainer!

complex effects setups into your gigging rig is a piece of cake courtesy of the included MSM1 MIDI module, and the Red Box DI box will make your recording life so much easier. TriAmp MK II stands as an impressive testament to the fact that purist tube sound and tonal variety are not mutually exclusive. That makes it the amp of choice for artists who want nothing less than the best. Oh, and if you're a massive Rush fan, there's an Alex Lifeson signature model too!

TriAmp’s amazing features make it the most versatile amp around!

H&K built the Duotone (available as a head or combo, both £2,199) to make a pure rock amp that would satisfy all the demands of discerning guitarists right out of the box, teaming up with German amp tweaking guru Dirk Baldringer to build an amp tuned to taste

First released in 1995, the TriAmp (£2,599) – now in its MKII version – is the flagship of H&K's amp armada and the first choice for the gigging guitarist. The TriAmp features no less than three independent amp sections (each with two channels) and 13 hand-picked tubes, to deliver a mind-boggling array of sounds spanning 50 years of rock history. Integrating

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The Duotone comes in standard and Tommy Thayer signature versions.


g28p34_35_Layout 1 16/10/2013 16:33 Page 2

right there in their factory. The plan worked – Duotone ladles out huge helpings of typically assertive British rock roar, with tons of presence and a Boost switch to turbocharged tone that's thick enough to slice. And for dessert, Duotone serves up the sweetest clean sounds even at LOUD levels. If amps could weep, this one would certainly drive its lesser competitors to tears! If you want the nofrills-all-thrills tone of a classic tube-driven rock machine, Duotone is your ticket to instant tonal gratification. There's also a Tommy Thayer Duotone, made to the exact specs of the Kiss six-stringer.

(£1,299) has programmable pots, just like the Coreblade, meaning building a sound library of your favourite tones has never been so easy, while the 50 and 100-watt combos provide a huge range of pro quality tones.

Boasting 100 watts of solid-state power, four foot-switchable channels, and the ingenious FX Memory (which recalls the built-in multieffects’ settings for each channel) the Attax 100 head (£439) is the perfect high-performance tool for today’s stages. As the name suggests, the current feedback power amp delivers a brute-force attack, blistering high-gain sounds and, perhaps most remarkably, crystal-clear clean tone even at high volumes. A matching 4x12 cab (also £439) complements the head perfectly, and combo fans can get their Attax fix too – the Attax 100 combo is £469.

Put simply, Coreblade (head, £1,749) is the most advanced tube amplifier money can buy, delivering tough tone, untamed dynamic response, and a truly explosive punch! Two of the four channels are voiced to offer completely different high-gain alternatives. The amp's phenomenally versatile Drive channel supplies the classic sounds of the early metal era, and the Clean channel offering tons of headroom, rendering even the most aggressive attack with sparkle and chime. Programmable pots enable your favourite settings to be stored in 128 memory slots, and the included MIDI board gives you easy access to these presets. You can even download your presets directly to USB sticks and upload new ones! And all at the touch of a button... There are two 4x12 cabs available to go with the Coreblade head, costing £999 and £1,099.

Available since 2006, Switchblade has won a loyal following across all genres. Available in a range of head/cab and combo formats, Switchblade delivers the full spectrum of sonic goods, from spanking clean to a raging scream, and is at home no matter what kind of music you're playing. The Switchblade head

It's not all about guitarists at H&K, though. The Basskick range of combos provides everything a gigging bassist could need – power, reliability, and tone in spades. Basskicks come in 100, 200 and 300-watt versions (at £399, £539 and £649 respectively), meaning whatever level you're at, you'll find the perfect one for you. They're serious bass amps that deliver in every sonic scenario – from the rehearsal room to the stage!

Music sounds better with Hughes (& Kettner)... It's no surprise that H&K count many of the world's greatest guitar players among their fans. As well as those signature amps for Alex Lifeson and Tommy Thayer, top players like Stone Sour's Josh Rand, Don Airey (Deep Purple), Peredur ap Gwynedd (Pendulum), Geoff Whitehorn (Procol Harum) and German guitar virtuoso Thomas Blug all plug in to Mr Hughes and Herr Kettner's products in order to get their world-class tones. And these guys are just the tip of the iceberg – check out the H&K site to see the full list, and see if your favourite band's on there... Alex Lifeson

Tommy Thayer

We've only really skimmed the surface of the Hughes & Kettner range here, as it would take pages and pages to go through all the features and options available. Their catalogue is pretty much a book! The German firm's engineers basically do the same thing with every amp they design, though – they study the competition, see what's out there, ask players what they want, and put it all together to create the ultimate amplifier. To find out more, visit their website, or head down to your local H&K stockist and tell them to gets those valves cooking! This is real Vorsprung durch Technik...

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g28p36_Layout 1 16/10/2013 16:30 Page 1

• ITMSOBK

To celebrate their 15th birthday (turn to page 6 for more on that, fact fans!) Trev Wilkinson and the Italia boys have graced us with three sparkly new guitar models to make you swoon! The Modena model existed previously, but is now reborn with a chambered, semi-hollow body. Covered in sparkles front and back, the Modena Semitone (£599) features an Italia P90 at the neck and an Italia humbucker at the bridge, for a vast range of tonal possibilities. The bound rosewood fingerboard and sparkly (spot the theme here yet?) headstock add to the vibes, making this guitar a serious contender for players who want to shine onstage and in the studio. Is it an acoustic? Is it an electric? Is it a resonator?

By

Actually, the all-new Italia Mondial Sonoro (£679) is all three of these – and much, much more. The Mondial Sonoro gives you that traditional resonator sound, full of sustain and resonance, thanks to its biscuit bridge with piezo pickup, and the neck-mounted humbucker will give you all those smooth and creamy electric tones you desire. Mix them together, and your tonal options are pretty much endless...

• ITMODMG

Last of the newbies is the eye-catching acoustic/ electric Muira hybrid (£749). Controlled by a pair of volume knobs, the Muira's low-output magnetic single coils and onboard 3-band preamp will give you all the acoustic sounds under the sun, while a super-fast neck makes playing any musical style a breeze. Then there's the finish

• ITMODMR

Trev Wilkinson

which, in true Italia style, is a lavish pearl and sparklefest with lashings of chrome on top. Trev Wilkinson says: "Saying the Muira is different from other acoustic guitars would be an understatement, and Italia is NEVER understated!" • ITMUR

And indeed, only Trev could have designed a guitar – or guitars – like this. If you're a confident player who loves to stand out on stage and in the studio, take a trip to Italia and give this awesome new trio a spin!

Performer Series

Celtic Dawn Series

Shady Grove Series

Rocky Mountain Series Jubilee Series

Progress Series

Redwood Series Mandolins

Celtic Dawn Series Mandolas

Banjos, mandolins and mandolas designed by Paul Tebbutt

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g28p37_Layout 1 16/10/2013 16:27 Page 1

New Fret-King Black Label artist guitars Not content with offering the likes of Jerry Donahue, Gordon Giltrap, Geoff Whitehorn and Dave 'Bucket' Colwell guitars with their names on, Trev Wilkinson and Fret-King have increased the Black Label artist stable again. Say hello to three brilliant new axes made in honour of three legendary blues players...

body – finished in a stunning Candy Apple Blue – coupled to a maple neck and fretboard. Then there's the slanted neck humbucker, John Verity middle single coil and neck P90, which give you the key to all of Danny modern blues tones, and a whole lot more besides.

John says: “It's the sound I've had in my head all these years – the best guitar I’ve ever played! Since I got the first production model 'JV' it’s become my main guitar – stock, just as it came in the box. Its nicely played in now after a few months' steady gigging and of course it gets better, as all nice guitars do. I love my Fret King Corona JV.”

Danny says: "I've been playing FretKing guitars at every live show and recording session since I acquired my first Corona SP 60 back in 2005. To have my own DBR model is a

• FKV

6JV

Legendary British bluesman John Verity has been a stalwart of the scene for more than 40 years now – so he knows what he wants in a guitar. The Black Label Corona 'JV' (£649) has all the features John needs to make his playing as authentic as possible. That means a double cutaway alder body finished in a stunning Original Classic Burst, hard maple neck and fretboard, three single coil Alnico V Fret-King pickups (with an extra Fret-King Power-coil pickup under the scratchplate to cancel any unwanted hum), a five-way selector switch, and lashings of gold Wilkinson hardware.

Gregg Wright

V6G W • FK

dream come true and for me a huge honour! The FKV6DBR incorporates aspects of every great usable sound I have ever wanted – this guitar really does it all!"

• FKV6DBR

A giant of the modern blues world, Danny Bryant has evolved from teenage guitar prodigy into one of the most respected and admired players around, sharing stages with legends like Carlos Santana, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker and Mick Taylor. A deeply emotional and a startlingly powerful player, Danny's been a Fret-King fanatic since his early days, with Trev personally making him a number of Green Label Coronas. Now, they've worked together to transfer the exquisite features of those Green Labels into a professional quality package that's within the reach of all guitar players. The 'DBR' (£649) features a double cutaway alder

Fleetwood, and now long-time Fret-King fan Gregg Wright brings his signature blues rock sound to guitarists everywhere with the Black Label Corona 'GWR'. Based on a guitar that Gregg used for a Michael Jackson tour and then gave away, the 'GWR' (£699) features an alder body – in an eye-catching white and red 'rising sun' finish – a maple neck with a 17” fingerboard radius, two Fret-King single coil pickups and a stacked P90 in the bridge (which, naturally, can be rolled down to single coil with the Vari-coil). Wilkinson hardware completes the guitar, with the WVC vibrato bridge just perfect for Gregg's dives and wobbles.

R

If it's good enough for a man who's shared stages with Hendrix, then it's good enough for us! Check out John's video for his ode to Trev – Trev Sho' Got It Right – on the Fret-King website.

John and his JV – what a legend!

© William Hines Photography

Gregg says: “The GWR is without a doubt the very best guitar I've owned or played. The sound, look and feel of it is absolutely killer! What a tone! These days, when I go in to do a show or session, I feel as if I'm carrying a secret weapon...”

He's shared the bill with countless blues legends, played guitar for Michael Jackson and Mick

Check out the new Fret-King website for more information.

Danny Bryant

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p38_g28_Layout 1 17/10/2013 13:12 Page 1

It’s all happening in Italia land! By

Trev Wilkinson

There's not much more rock 'n' roll than a shiny Italia guitar being played by an unshiny rockstar. Here's a roundup of the latest bands who have got a taste for Bella Italia... when they headed out on their first European live shows in seventeen years.

Rob Lane has divided his musical commitments between several hardworking bands on the UK and international music scene. Since 2004, Rob's band Teenage Casket Company have combined the fun and energy of radio friendly hard rock but bolted to a raw punk edged backbone. In the past, Rob was bassist with multimillion selling American hard rock band The Bulletboys

In 2010, Rob even won the coveted Bassist Of The Year award at London's prestigious Pure Rawk Awards, in which 15,000 votes were cast. Rob says of his Torino bass: “The Italia Torino, with its vintage look and feel, has bags of style. It packs a massive punch and oozes character!" www.facebook.com/teenagecasketco

Screaming out of the frozen north of England, Spill Sixteen bring back everything you once loved about rock 'n' roll. Tearing the roof off with tales of sleaze, damnation and heartbreak, they take inspiration from everyone from Bad Company to Shinedown, mixing in everything from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Atlantic Soul to come up with their unique sound. Bassist Indy Chanda is a big Italia fan, using the Maranello four-string. "I couldn't believe it when the

The four friends that make up Fight The Bear have spent the last ten years making their music and voices heard. Their approach has always been to focus on what it is they feel and care about and this is reflected in their music and lyrics.

www.spillsixteen.com

Lead guitarist Johnny Keeley uses an Italia Modena in a stunning gold sparkle finish. "The diverse nature of the Modena means I can get the sound I want when I want it!” he says. “I can hit this guitar as hard as I like and it doesn’t complain. It sounds just as good as it looks!" So, if you want to stand together and Fight The Bear, check out their Thirty Eight Degrees album... www.fightthebear.net

A four piece rock ‘n’ roll band from Cambridge, Violet Bones pack an incredible amount of passion, energy, animation and spirit into their singalong garage-pop anthems. Their fierce DIY ethic and constant touring across the UK has earned them support slots with punk heroes New York Dolls and Ash, while on home turf their following is loyal and raucous.

Italia Maranello '61 guitar, saying: “We did some recordings earlier this year, and the Maranello sounds SWEET! It's the best guitar I have owned...”

Lead guitarist and vocalist Si Dartford swears by his

www.violetbones.com

With more than 100 shows under their belts and supports with luminaries like UK Subs, Vibrators, Peter And The Test Tube Babies, Boomtown Rats and Anti Nowhere League, Leeds-based The Kingcrows have gone from strength to strength in the last five years, winning glowing and in-depth reviews and a unanimously positive reaction.

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Maranello's beautiful looks were matched by incredible feel and tone!” he enthuses. “I had to get my hands on one as soon as I could!" Check out their debut album, Let It All Hang Out, to hear Spill Sixteen in action!

Guitarist Lee J is an avid fan of Italia guitars and owns and uses two Torino ITT90 guitars in black and orange – which he uses at all their live shows and recordings. “I've played a lot of different guitars in my time from cheapos through to high-end,” says Lee, “but there hasn't been any out there to rival the feel, tone, playability and outright awesomeness of the Torino!” www.kingcrows.com

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Bonafide: Straight Outta Sweden! Formed in 2006 by singer/guitarist Pontus Snibb, Bonafide comprises fellow guitar player Mikael Fässberg, drummer Niklas Mikael Fässberg Matsson and bass with his prized Vintage VR100W. player Martin Ekelund. "We play hard rock the way it's supposed to be played," says Pontus. "It's true to its roots in the electric blues and early RnB!"

Bonafide’s Martin is a huge fan of Vintage basses.

Hard rocking Swedes – that's the country, not the hearty root vegetable, by the way – Bonafide are renowned for their punchy live shows and their full-on albums, so them pairing with Vintage guitars along the way was no surprise to us!

In 2007, Bonafide released their eponymous debut album, which led to supports with Deep Purple, Europe, Status Quo, The Quireboys and loads more in arenas and theatres across Scandinavia. Their second album, Something's Dripping, was released worldwide and went to No 16 in the Swedish charts, beating both Megadeth and Ace Frehley in the process!

Non-stop European touring has been the order of the Bonafide day since then, along with an EP of covers – which they called Fill Your Head With Rock – Old, New, Tried & True, and which features their take on tracks from Humble Pie, Rose Tattoo and The Who – that raced to the No 1 slot on the Swedish chart.

Guitarist Mikael loves the no-nonsense Vintage VR100W – "It sounds and plays amazing!" – while bassist Martin rocks a Vintage ICON V4MRSSB four-string. Mikael sums up the band's love for Vintage with this: "The great thing about Vintage guitars is not only can we get up on stage and rock out with them, night after night, but any kid who comes to our shows and wants to take up guitar can go out to a music store and buy the EXACT same guitar for a modest sum of money!" With new album Bombo bothering charts across Europe again, it's time you discovered Bonafide. www.bonafiderocks.com

www.jhs.co.uk

Chris Tsangarides produces with Vintage Chris Tsangarides, the award-winning producer who has worked with the likes of Gary Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy, has joined the ranks of music pros who have fallen under the spell of Vintage guitars. Grammy award-nominated Chris, whose recordings have reached millions of music fans over the decades, first came into contact with Vintage when artists he was producing started bringing them to the studio. He says: "I first became Chris (right) with Paul Guerin of The Quireboys.

aware of Vintage guitars due to the Wilkinson pickups they use. I have a band on my label called Snakewater, and Bobby the guitar player came in with a Vintage Icon V100MRJBM model (£399)... It really surprised me that such an affordable instrument sounded so great!"

got from Peter Green – and that was essentially what I learned to play on. So I knew that guitar pretty well. The Vintage Lemon Drop is an incredible instrument, at a price that won't break the bank!”

So impressed with what he was hearing, Chris went out and bought himself a Vintage ReIssued V60TA (£349) to use with his own band Exmore (which also comprises ex-members of the the New Wave of British Heavy Metal outfit More). Chris recently produced The Quireboys' new album, Beautiful Curse, where he got to try out guitarist – and Vintage endorser – Paul Guerin's Vintage Icon V52MRBS (£329) and V100MRPGM Lemon Drop (£429) guitars.

www.audioauthority.co.uk/ christsangarides.html Chris and his Vintage Lemon Drop – just like the original!

"The sounds we are achieving with the V52MRBS and Lemon Drop on the new Quireboys record are totally stunning,” he says. “Just wait till you hear it!" And Chris is in the enviable position of having played the world famous guitar the Lemon Drop is based on. "My first outing on guitar and production was when I was recording Gary Moore's classic track Parisienne Walkways,” he says. “Gary showed me some chords and licks and the only guitar we had was the guitar he'd facebook.com/gearmagazine

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News from the world... The latest comings and goings in the world of rock that you probably didn’t hear about!

Gregg Wright joins the Louisiana News in brief Music Hall Of Fame Golf Rocks! Gregg Wright has been inducted into the prestigious Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. Fret-King signature artist Gregg, who used to play guitar for Michael Jackson, joins the likes of Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, James Burton, Buddy Guy, Lead Belly, Tim McGraw and Jerry Lee Lewis in receiving the honour.

Vintage and Fret-King guitars both had a solid presence at a recent Golf Rocks charity day in aid of vulnerable people. The event, which was held at Wildwood Golf & Country Club in Alfold, Surrey, was co-hosted by Fret-King endorser and former Foreigner, Bad Company and Small Faces bass player Rick Wills, while Vintage donated a prize guitar for the charity raffle.

Gregg Wright live with his Fret-King Corona ‘GWR’ guitar.

Gregg's career began in the '70s, when he began to set the US's southern circuit alight with his incendiary show, but it was after his move to Los Angeles in 1980 that things really picked up. Opening shows for blues legends like Albert King, Freddie King and many others, Gregg learned the blues game from the masters of the genre. He then went on to become a top session guitarist, playing with Jacko, Mick Fleetwood, and many others. These days, Gregg tours the world with his own band – don't miss them when they're next in your town!

It was all in aid of Rowley's, an independent '50+ Centre for the Community' that supports older members of the local community.

Gregg said: "I am humbled and honoured to inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame! So much of America's music and culture started right here in Louisiana... jazz, blues, rock 'n' roll, zydeco, and so much more. I urge everyone to support the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. A sincere thanks to [Hall of Fame founder] Mike Shepherd, the Hall and the great music fans of Louisiana!"

The bass is back

www.greggwright.com

Manuel Rodriguez in the hands of the stars

John Verity gets his kit off in aid of tigers

Manuel Rodriguez's fine classical instruments are much loved by all sorts of guitarists – from those bedroom players who want to inject a bit of luxury into their playing, to professional players like Raymond Burley and Duck Baker, and even celebrity fans like Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Santana.

British blues legend and Fret-King signature artist John Verity has done a number of frightening things in his time – opening for Hendrix in front of 6,500 people a couple of days after his 21st birthday and playing to 230,000 people at the Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, to name but two – but he recently outdid all of these things by streaking through London Zoo in aid of endangered Sumatran tigers!

In fact, the pull of Manuel Rodriguez is extending to famous musicians from all walks of musical life. Recent converts include disco legends Earth, Wind & Fire, Deep Purple six-stringer Steve Morse, members of heavy metal titans Judas Priest, and super shredder Michael Angelo Batio! So, if you've not yet tried a Rodriguez, why not dust off your flamenco licks and give one a go? You'll be in great company... www.guitars-m-r-sons.com Melon M elon SSteve St t ve Mo M Morse rsrs e JJavier a vvii er e Cat Ca Catala atala t

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John was joined by his wife Carole and 298 other daring volunteers as they did their bit for one of the world's most endangered animals. With only 300 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, the event raised much needed funds for the Zoological Society of London and served to highlight and raise the profile of the drastic work that needs to be done in order to save these rare beasts. John said: “I must be mad – or very much in love with my wife Carole. It was her idea... We stripped off to help save the Sumatran tigers and had a great time among 300 other bare bodies. Hopefully we helped promote the event and the plight of these beautiful tigers...” If you want to see a (fully clothed) John live, check his website for upcoming dates! www.johnverity.com

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Vintage guitars endorser Chris Laney was left in a bind recently when needing a bass for a highprofile live show. Playing at Shotgun's 25th Anniversary Reunion in Sweden, Chris needed his Vintage Icon Series V74MRBK sending over from the UK – but it was delayed by couriers. The day was saved by Shotgun's vocalist, though – who was able to arrange the bass's safe passage through work connections... Phew!

Chris Laney on stage with Shotgun!

A festival Vintage We were amazed to see a load of heavy metal bands playing Vintage acoustics at the HammerFest 2013 festival. In a far cry from the fest's high-octane down-tuned riffery madness, the likes of Attica Rage politely rocked an Acoustic Stage with a Vintage VEC900N, VEC500N, and a VCB430N acoustic bass. "The quality and ease of play of these Vintage guitars is what you would expect of a guitar four times the price!” enthuses Attica Rage guitarist Johnny Parr.


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What is TubeMeister's amazing feature that allows you to crank your amp for great valve tones even at lower volumes? (Please tick the correct answer)

A. Power Choke

B. Power Soak

C. Power Umbrella

Name ..............................................................................................................

Age ...............

Hughes & Kettner's revolutionary TubeMeisters are widely regarded as the best tube amps around – whether you want to rock on stage, play at home or record at night – and you could win one!

Address .................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................

Just answer the simple question here, post back your entry with all your details, and you'll be in the draw with a chance of taking home a fabulous TubeMeister 5 combo! Or, if the prospect of licking a stamp disgusts you [this is a reasonable point – Ed.] just head over to our Facebook page and enter there! www.facebook.com/GearMagazine

Post Code...................................... Daytime Tel No .............................................................. Email.......................................................................................................................................... Send to GEAR, Salem House, Parkinson Approach, Garforth, Leeds LS25 2HR, UK. Closing date 30th April 2014. The first correct entry out of the bag wins.

Win your choice of instrument from the Odyssey Debut Series 2

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Win an instrument of your choice from the award-winning Odyssey Debut brasswind range!

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Fill out the fiendishly taxing Gear crossword to be in with a chance of winning an Odyssey Debut instrument of your choice. Yes, your choice! We'll draw a winner from all the correct entries, and that lucky, lucky person will be able to choose whichever Odyssey Debut outfit they want!

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That means you could take away a Saxophone, Flute, Trumpet, Cornet, or Clarinet – and all come with all the accessories you'll need for years of great playing! Just fill out your crossword and post it back to us to be in with a chance of winning...

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Post Code ................... Daytime Tel No ............................................... Email ........................................................................................................ 26

Send to GEAR, Salem House, Parkinson Approach, Garforth, Leeds LS25 2HR, UK. Closing date 30th April 2014. The first correct entry out of the bag wins.

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1. The archangel who foretold the birth of Jesus (7) 5. Groups of three or more notes (6) 9. A dancer's garment (7) 10. In a moderately slow tempo (7) 11. A quarrel in a queue (3) 12. Famous director and actor who appeared in the film Compulsion (1959) (5,6) 13. Keyboard instrument (5) 14. Foot and ankle-wear for dressy rocker (4,5) 16. Buzzing around in a small cart on a small track (2,7) 17. A mistake (5) 19. Making available again – a film for example (11) 22. A file format for sending electronic documents (3) 23. Where Gracie Fields lived for many years (2,5) 24. Gerry will never walk alone (7) 26. An ornament against danger (6) 27. More light-footed (7)

1. See 16 Down (7) 2. The 'dot' website of tubular percussion instruments (12,3) 3. Independent Broadcasting Authority (3) 4. Open air swimming pools (5) 5. Criminal group, ankle locked together (5,4) 6. A golden one (5) 7. One from the 'FAB' group of guitar FX (10,5) 8. A poetry line (6) 12. Distintive smell (5) 14. A strummer and a picker (9) 15. Chinese sage or saint – term used by Confucius (5) 16. Guitarist with signature model Vintage (6 and 1 Down (7)) 18. A person who improves sugar (for example) (7) 20. A place on a jacket for a carnation (5) 21. John from 'Are You Being Served?' (5) 25. Sugar cane tipple (3)

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www.jhs.co.uk/encoreelectric.html

The new E89: the best 'first' modern rock guitar money can buy!

E89BLK Gloss Black

Hands up if you like smacking things? All of you? Good. Well, your luck is in today, because Boomwhackers are here to make sure you no longer get into trouble for hitting things. In fact, with their new Boomwhacker Power Pack, you'll be hitting things and making music at the same time! Sounds sweet, doesn't it? The Power Pack includes an eight note diatonic set of Boomwhackers' award-winning brightly coloured musical tubes, two Octavator Caps (which, when fitted to a Boomwhacker tube, lower its note by an octave), the Whack Tracks audio CD and a DVD with exclusive interview and performance footage by Plastik Musik, the world's premier Boomwhacker performance group. Perfect for recreational music making, senior music health and wellness therapy, creative music composition and choreographed dance or movement activities, the Whack Pack set's only £24.99! Whack us down for one, if you don't mind...

E89TRD Thru Red

There's a new Number 1 choice for the burgeoning rock and metal player in town – say hello to the brand new Encore E89 rock guitar! The latest addition to the Trev Wilkinson-designed Encore range, the E89 is so much more than the sum of its parts. Available in striking Gloss Black and Thru Red finishes – both with black headstocks – the E89 features a streamlined double cutaway basswood body, which gives great access to all 24 frets. The maple neck with rosewood fingerboard is slim and fast-playing, and the guitar is strung through the body, giving amazing amounts of sustain and clarity – not to mention making changing strings a lot easier for less experienced players. Sounds come courtesy of two supercharged Guitar Tech humbuckers operated by a three-way switch and master Volume and Tone knobs. The open 'buckers and chrome knobs and hardware juxtapose perfectly with the E89's lack of a scratchplate, meaning you're getting a guitar that not only plays and sounds fantastic, but looks the business too. In short, the E89 is everything you need to get out and gigging right away, and it's in stores now. Pick up the guitar itself for a paltry £169, or plump for an outfit (which includes the guitar plus a 10-watt amp, tuner, carry bag, stand, lead, strap, Encore Tutorial DVD, spare set of strings and plectrum) for £239. For those about to bring the rock, we salute you...

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Laka VUC50 concert ukulele Ukuleles continue to dominate the world of unplugged musical instruments, so why not treat yourself to a veritable concert in the form of the new Laka VUC50? A concert size uke, the VUC50 (£89.99) features a solid mahogany top and mahogany back and sides, and these are complemented perfectly by the mahogany/ nato neck and rosewood fingerboard. The onboard, side-mounted chromatic tuner means that tuning your uke has never been easier, while the chrome machine heads with white pearloid buttons increase tuning stability. As with all Laka ukes, the VUC50 comes fitted with a set of top quality Italian Aquila strings too. And what do we mean by concert-sized? Well, concert ukes feature a 15” scale length, compared to a soprano’s 13” scale, and have a correspondingly bigger uke sound. The VUC50 is the big brother of the soprano Laka VUS50 – so there's a Laka for everyone! Just have a Laka next time you're down the music store...

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DiVill by Italia The Trev Wilkinson-designed Italia guitar brand recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and, as befits such occasions, they dazzled us with an entirely new range of axes! DiVill by Italia continues the company's philosophy of creating uniquely beautiful and playable guitars, but with prices that practically everyone can afford. We took a look at the new M100, B100 and F100 models...

If looks could kill Make no mistake about it, these new DiVills are lookers. This is true of the entire Italia stable, of course, but we noted a general intake of breath around Gear HQ as we unwrapped a Metallic Blue M100 (£399), a Metallic Orange B100 (£399) and a Heritage Burst F100 (£429). All three models feature agathis bodies, bolt-on maple necks with 22-fret rosewood 'boards, and Italia's own reliable hardware – but that's where the similarities end. The M100, which features a sublime and sparkly blue finish, is classically shaped, with a twist: the traditional singlecut design is offset by a large, control-encompassing scratchplate and a lower horn that looks more like something you'd see on an old hollow body. We can just imagine the chunky rock tones this one's going to crank out! The B100 and F100, meanwhile, share a similar doublecut offset body shape, which recalls the gloriously retro – and in many cases, completely unplayable – Italian electrics of the 60s. Covered in a black, sweeping scratchplate, the B100 has a gentle sparkle to its finish, almost reminiscent of those sugar-sweet 80s orangeade drinks. The F100 is more classic in looks, with a subtle burst finish, white scratchplate and Italia trapeze tailpiece for when F100 you want to get wobbly.

Heritage Burst

Tonal tweaking

M100 Metallic Blue

On plugging in the M100, it's a cinch to dial in those thick rhythm and classic rock tones associated with singlecut, double humbuckerequipped axes. The bridge pickup has a surprising amount of bite, while the neck will take you from smoky jazz to wailing blues solos with ease. Access to the upper frets is no concern thanks to the well-placed cutaway, and the volume and tone controls are

versatile enough to let you shape your sounds to suit any stage. The B100's pickup selection is altogether more unconventional. The mini humbucker at the bridge packs a hefty punch, and contrasts brilliantly with the vintage-sounding P90 in the neck. Mixing these distinct tones via the tone knob and the three-way selector switch, and you've got a pretty diverse array of sounds on tap. The guitar's nice and light, thanks to its slim body, and it hangs really well on a strap. We were expecting to have to hit the delay and reverb pedals hard with the F100, but to say that's all it can do is a huge disservice. While the customdesigned bridge humbucker and neck and middle single coils do work extremely well for all your post-punk and indie rock needs, we found that the guitar came into its own playing rock, funk and jazz too. Best of all, the tuning held firm no matter how much grief we gave the Italia vibrato.

A star is born These DiVill by Italia guitars offer a surprising amount to the guitar player who is willing to step out from more established models and try something a bit out of the ordinary. Beautiful to look at and a joy to play and hear, they're astonishing value for money, and will compete with axes that cost twice the price – or more. If you're after a guitar with personality that will give you and your audience an experience to remember, head down to your local music shop and give this tasty trio a test run. They're a real breath of fresh air in the stale six-string climate...

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Specifications M100 Body: Agathis tonewood Neck: Maple, bolt-on Fingerboard: Rosewood Frets: 22 Scale Length: 648mm / 25.5" Pickups: 2 x DVH high output humbuckers Bridge: Tune -O-Matic Controls: 1 volume, 1 tone, 3-way toggle switch Machineheads: Italia die-cast tuners Finishes: Metallic Blue, Satin Black

B100

B100 Metallic Orange

Body: Agathis tonewood Neck: Maple, bolt-on Fingerboard: Rosewood Frets: 22 Scale Length: 648mm / 25.5" Pickups: DVM mini humbucker, DV9 soapbar pickup Bridge: Adjustable six saddle Controls: 1 volume, 1 tone, 3-way toggle switch Machineheads: Italia die-cast tuners Finishes: Metallic Orange, Laguna Blue

F100 Body: Agathis tonewood Neck: Maple, bolt-on Fingerboard: Rosewood Frets: 22 Scale Length: 648mm / 25.5" Pickups: DVH high output humbucker, 2 x DVS single coil Bridge: Tune -O-Matic with vibrato Controls: 1 volume, 1 tone, 5-way toggle switch Machineheads: Italia die-cast tuners Finishes: Heritage Burst, Vintage White

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Sticks for all styles! The awesome guys over at Regal Tip really spoil drummers with their Performance Enhancing Finish sticks (which get stickier the more you play, minimising hand fatigue and improving your grip!) and now they're wining our affections once again with four awesome new models. Daniel de los Reyes

PF-DR

Daniel de los Reyes, percussionist with the two-time Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, needs sticks as rugged and as versatile as the music he plays. The Daniel de los Reyes Power Grip sticks (£20.99) feature a rubberised comfortable sleeve not only for grip but also for cymbal swells. The sticks measure 16” in length and .555” diameter, and with the 7 ¾” long comfort sleeve, the diameter measures .655”. There's also something new for jazz fans, in the form of a new pair of Ulysses Owens signature sticks. Ulysses, who used to play the standard Regal Tip Jazz .520" x 16"s, says of his new £13.99 signature 'U' pair: “My new 'U' stick is perfect. Great feel, touch, and balance continuing with Regal Tip's reputation of creating the best feeling stick in the business!” PF-UO

The new Regal Tip Session model (£12.99 RRP) is built for balance and finesse – as if you needed that, as a drummer! – featuring a fast sloping taper for greater bounce and speed. The compact tip brings out precise quality and warm tones on the cymbals, and the stick measures 16” in length and .555” in diameter.

Ulysses Owens

RWSESW

Lastly, if you love Nickelback, the new Daniel Adair B-52s will be right up your street. Dan's a long-time Regal Tip player, so it was about time they worked together to come up with a signature stick for the man to blast out hits like Rockstar and How You Remind Me! The B-52s emphasise extra length, with a heavy taper and neck, and an acorn tip. Measuring 16.25” in length and .590” in diameter, they're designed to hold up under any punishing treatment. Not bad for £12.99 a pair! PFDAB52

Daniel Adair

Sweeping up... Every drummer needs a set of brushes to expand their range of sounds. They're ideal for unplugged sessions, for use with cajons, and while playing jazz, swing, blues, pop, and even heavier stuff if you know how to use 'em! Regal Tip have a load of brushes to choose from. The old favourite among many drummers is the 583R Classic Drum Brushes set – said to be the world's most widely used brushes. Durable and great-sounding, 583Rs (£32.99) feature rubber handles for a warm and tactile playing experience, they keep their position well when extended and they outlast most of the competition. Another great option is the Throw Brush (£24.99), which features retractable wire

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brushes and retracts to 7”. More extravagant are the colourful Flares set (£26.99), which feature a thick black vinyl handle bright red plastic bristles and sound control rings to further influence your playing tone. Suitable for rockier players, meanwhile, Blasticks (£26.99) have durable hard moulded handles and plastic bristles for a harsh attack. There's also a range of signature Regal Tip brushes available, for players like jazz superstar Jeff Hamilton and the late Ed Thigpen. Built to the favoured specs of their namesakes, they're just the ticket for you if you want to emulate the sound of your heroes. There's loads more Regal Tip brushes to choose from too, so head over to their website www.regaltip.com and see which ones will help make you a better drummer!

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Classic Telescopic 583R The most widely used brush in the world! Rectractable with comfortable gum rubber handle and adjustable wire spread

Throw Brush 500PLB Retractable wire brush compacts to 7”

Flares 532R Thick vinyl handle, plastic bristles, sound control rings

Blasticks 531R .655” hickory handle, plastic bristles and adjustable sound control rings

Jeff Hamilton 596R Retractable with heavy gauge wire and thick rubber handle

Ed Thigpen 584W Retractable wooden cross stick butt end, rubber sleeve and adjustable wire spread


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Over30 Years of Innovation

The Rhythm Tech

Studio Pack The Rhythm Tech Studio pack is intended for both conventional and home studio situations, features a FREE Gig Tray and Player’s Guide, along with a Studio Cowbell and beater, Studio Shaker, a Trigger Triangle and Eggz Shaker.

Authentic instruments

Recreate the rhythms of Africa with PP World Percussion!

Use djembes, hand drums, shekeres, cane shakers, straw caxaxis and more to capture the life-affirming sounds of the Sub-Sahara. Available in all good music stores.

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www.jhs.co.uk/ppdrums.html

www.jhs.co.uk/rhythmtech


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Hangers for Home, Stage & Studio use. Plate CC01K Wood Guitar Hanger

John Hornby Skewes winner of

‘The Innovation Award’

Our most popular instrument hanger. The knurled ring collar ensures a secure and positive screw-in padded yoke mounting. The attractive natural-finish solid wood mount is made from specially selected wood supplied to String Swing by the nearby Amish community.

for SpongeBob SquarePants

Easily adjustable yoke accepts almost all instrument neck widths. Complete with screws and rawl plug.

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AVAILABLE AT ALL GOOD MUSICAL RETAILERS

Check the full range at:

Made in the USA

© 2013 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. Created by

www.stringswing.com

WANT OPTIONS? A Kyser Quick-Change is expertly engineered and built to last. It is reliable and does just what it is designed to do — clearly raise the pitch of the guitar so you can play in a different key without retuning or changing fingering. Seasoned professionals and beginning players alike appreciate how the Kyser Quick-Change helps them transpose their guitar in seconds, with only one hand. The beauty of the Kyser Quick-Change is in its simplicity. We pioneered this design and although often imitated, a Kyser is never equaled. There is no substitute for a Kyser Quick-Change.

KYSER HANDLES IT ™ FORGED BY HAND FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS

www.jhs.co.uk/eagle.html

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INTRODUCING INTRODUCING Perri's Perri's straps straps go t je a n s, a n d you've y n in sk e th t, cu gu it a r, th e h a ir st ra p to gi ve you s -a ol co a S o, you've go t th e d ee n pat. Now you just st age! you r ch op s do w n d le t you ow n th e n a o oj m r a st ck LP th at ul ti m ate ro

For those six-stringers who prefer a more classic or restrained strap look, there's plenty of choice in the Perri's lineup too, in all sorts of materials and designs. From durable 2.5” wide plain leather and suede offerings, to 2” polyester webbing designs, you'll find something to suit your look. There's also plenty of other patterns available, featuring the likes of lightning bolts, skulls and leopardskin.

PLP25INMH

Pick Perri's!

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PLP25V KST

PL25VKF

www.perris.ca

Perri's are not all about straps, by the way. The all-star licensing continues with Perri's awesome collector pick packs. Available in packs of six or 12, these premium plectrums feature iconic designs from music history, from bands like AC/DC, Iron Maiden, ZZ Top, Rush and Pink Floyd. There's album covers, band mascots, logos, and more – so check them out, and see if you can collect them all! Oh, and if you needed that perfect birthday present for the guitarist in your life, we think this is probably it...

And it's not all just for guitar players either, as Perri's cater for a range of instruments. If you're a banjo, mandolin and saxophone player, there's no need to get jealous of your guitarist's gear, as Perri's have got you covered. So, if you need to get strapped up, make sure you give Perri's a try!

PLP 25G NRY

PL P2 5V KS S

2 LP-GR

Huge names like AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, Slash, Pink Floyd, Queen and Slayer all have their very own Perri's straps, and you can choose from a number of different designs. Some of them come in premium leather varieties, and there are polyester versions available too – just choose whatever suits you best, and off you go. All the designs and logos are printed in full colour and in high resolution, so no matter how big the venue, even fans in the back row will see who you're swearing allegiance to!

PL P2 5T JH

New in stores are Perri's straps, which should help you do just that. Made in Canada by large bears* and built to the highest standards for comfort, durability and reliability while playing, Perri's have also got together with a bunch of the world's biggest and best bands to give you a load of rockstar-approved swag.

PL P2 5V KF S

12INM 1

LP12-ACDC1

* this is not true

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The New Wave Of British Heavy Blues! Thanks in no small part to stellar artists like Joe 'my guitar's worth more than your house – and I've got 17 of them' Bonamassa, John Mayer and the UK's very own Danny Bryant, there has been a huge resurgence of the blues rock genre in recent years. We thought we'd check out who's flying the NWOBHB [this will definitely catch on! Hopeful Ed.] flag for Britain at the moment...

The Quireboys' Guy Griffin Bedford-born Guy picked up the guitar aged 12, inspired by his heroes: Paul Kossoff, Jimmy Page, Wilko Johnson and Chuck Berry. He joined The Quireboys in 1990, just in time for the release of their classic debut album, A Little Bit Of What You Fancy, and has been a mainstay ever since. Over the last couple of decades, The Quireboys have toured the world, sharing stages with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Whitesnake and Rush along the way.

Pure denim, pure rock ‘n’ roll: it’s Guy from The Quireboys.

finish!” Recently, Guy and Paul have also been using Vintage VEC1900N acoustics for a series of 'unplugged' gigs at festivals – including the Sweden Rocks festival in June 2013, where they played to a crowd of more than 40,000 people. Check out their newest album, Beautiful Curse, to hear Guy and the boys in action! The Quireboys’ Paul Guerin with his Vintage Lemon Drop.

Having been introduced to the Vintage range by fellow Quireboys guitarist Paul Guerin, Guy was keen to take one out on the road himself, deciding on the Vintage ICON Series V62MRAB. "Great sound, great look, great price!" he says. "The V62 gives me everything I need in a rock 'n' roll guitar, and is perfectly suited to life on the road... and I love the 'vintage'

Photo: Baz Groom

www.quireboys.com

The Mentulls Unapologetically rooted in the '60s, but infused with a boundless youthful energy, The Mentulls are a thrusting blues rock band with subtle proggy overtones. Featuring brothers Andrew and Jamie Pipe on guitar/vocals and keyboards respectively, with Nick Colman on drums, the band have performed with greats like Wishbone Ash, Focus, and Dr Feelgood in the UK and Europe. Andrew, who was nominated for a British Blues Award in 2012 and 2013 for his guitar mastery, uses a Fret-King Eclat and a Corona as part of his live rig. "My Fret-Kings are really awesome,” he says. “The Eclat really does the blues rock thing really well and has brilliant sustain. The Corona is fantastic for those SRV type sounds or anything really, and the Vari-coil really is a great feature too. I would recommend the Fret King brand to anyone that wants a great quality guitar that won't break the bank!” The Fret-Kings are sure to make it on to the band's debut album, which is slated for 2014... www.thementulls.com

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The Gav Coulson Group Tom Killner Band Tom Killner first picked up the guitar aged 10, started his first band a year later and regularly played at local jam sessions, gaining interest from the audiences with his guitar skills and a huge voice that is far beyond his years. The Tom Killner Band have played plenty of gigs and guest spots so far, including the Great British Blues Festival, sharing stages with guitar heroes Danny Bryant and Gwyn Ashton. Tom's guitar arsenal includes a Vintage Lemon Drop and a Fret-King Black Label FKV6JV Corona model. Tom says: "The Fret-King JV, as soon as I picked it up I knew this was the one. The tone and playability is out of this world, and it beats any other guitar like it! The Lemon Drop has a sweet tone from the out-of-phase pickups which gives it a subtle edge over any other guitar – it's a fantastic blues and rock guitar!"

Regular Gear readers will no doubt recognise Fret-King/Vintage demo guy Gav Coulson, whose new outfit plays a selection of bluesrock classics as well as some original tracks. Formed in 2011 with former members of local South Yorkshire rock bands Stormbringer and Raw Gallagher, GCG have played the Wakefield, Dundee and Hebden Bridge Blues Festivals, the Leeds, North East and North West Guitar shows, and have had support slots with John Verity (acting as the ex-Argent frontman's backing band on occasion), as well as a whole host of gigs from Derbyshire to Newcastle and everywhere in-between. Gav obviously uses a lot of Vintage/Fret-King guitars, but his main squeeze and pride and joy is his UK hand-built Fret-King Green Label Corona 70. "It has sustain to die for,” Gav enthuses. “Coupled with my Hughes and Kettner GrandMeister amplifier, it cuts through the mix and just oozes tone!”

www.tomkillnerband.co.uk

www.gavcoulsongroup.co.uk

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Top of the Pops... There’s so much great eclectic music coming out of the UK at the moment, we thought we’d round up some of the best: here’s a bit of country, folk, musical poetry, and proper Stylophone madness! McKay McKay, fronted by the eponymous Tim McKay, are one of the brightest rising stars in the modern country genre. Having recently toured with country superstars Rascal Flatts, the band are now recording their debut album in Nashville, the spiritual home of country music, after signing to Thumbprint Records. McKay, which also includes brothers Henry and Arthur Bird on guitar and keyboards respectively, decided to spice up their sound by adding some Pilgrim mandolins to their set. "I'm loving my Pilgrim VPMA50EAV mandolin – it's a fantastic bit of kit!" says Henry. "In fact, I was so impressed with it that I decided to get a Pilgrim VPBG26 Resonator Guitar banjo as well!" An in-demand guitarist, Henry has just upgraded his backline to a Hughes & Kettner

TubeMeister TM36H head and TM212 cab combination. "My TM36 TubeMeister head is awesome!” he says. “It's extremely versatile with the power soak option, and the Red Box DI output makes getting a great mix a doddle!" With growing interest over here and in the States, expect to see McKay playing some big stages very soon… www.mckayband.com

Ray Jackson An accomplished singer, mandolin and harmonica player, Ray 'Jacka' Jackson originally found success as a founder member of the iconic Lindisfarne, with whom toured worldwide and recorded numerous iconic albums. He's also worked with other great artists, including Chris de Burgh and Rod Stewart (Ray's mandolin skills can be heard on the classic Maggie May, for example), and in recent years has been touring and recording with The Gathering, a folk-rock supergroup featuring musicians like Jerry Donahue, Doug Morter, Clive Bunker and Rick Kemp. For touring and recording, Ray uses the Pilgrim range of folk instruments, including a VPMA50EAV Redwood electro-acoustic mandolin and the Celtic

Brett Domino Internet Stylophone sensation Brett Domino is becoming a powerful force in musical comedy, with his YouTube videos having already been viewed more than 15 million (yes, that's 15 million!) times. Leeds-based style icon Brett – together with smouldering percussionist Steven Peavis – likes to cover popular songs in his own inimitable style, using instruments like skoogs, ukuleles, keytars, kazoos, and Stylophones. A talented singer, his distinctive

Dawn VPMD100 Mandola and VPOM100 Octave Mandola, both of which have been fitted with Fishman PRO-M200MA mandolin pickups. "I’ve been playing both the mandolas and the mandolin," says Ray. “They have a lovely acoustic tonal quality, and the Fishman pickups are superb..." Lindisfarne have got back together recently, so Ray'll be getting plenty of use out of them! www.lindisfarne.co.uk Offstage, Ray's a gifted artist, and he owns an art gallery in Witney, Oxfordshire. He specialises in painting period buses, with an uncanny attention to detail... www.rayjacksonart.co.uk

vocals are delivered in proper Yorkshire style. Check out Brett's YouTube site for great versions of tracks by the likes of Gun N' Roses, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, One Direction, Ellie Goulding and more! And if you're a hip hop fan, his Stylophone Beatbox skills and unique MC style are not to be missed on his Hip-Hop Medley – which has already before watched by fans more than 1.5 million times... www.youtube.com/user/brettdomino

LiTTLe MACHiNe The poet laureate’s (that's Carol Ann Duffy, philistines!) favourite band and darlings of the literary festival scene, 3-piece LiTTLe MACHiNe perform classic poems (Shakespeare, Keats, Blake, Eliot, Chaucer, Byron, etc.) set to music and played, sung, recited and acted with energy, passion, humour and sometimes heartbreaking poignancy. Vocalist and acoustic guitarist Walter Wray hasn't always been poignant, though – in 1987, he donned leather trousers and a big attitude to front Steve Halliwell's bad-ass rock band King Swamp! As a solo artist, he's also toured with Jools Holland, Julia Fordham, and INXS among others. Nowadays, Walter's calmed down a bit, and plays a beautiful Santos Martinez classical guitar with

LiTTLe MACHiNe. “My ‘Santos’ is a beautiful thing and an absolute joy to play,” he says. “From the quality of the design, materials and construction to the excellent electronics, it delivers on all fronts. We (LiTTLe MACHiNe) reinterpret classic poetry for a modern audience and this guitar could be a metaphor for what we do, embodying as it does a reverence for tradition and craftsmanship alongside onboard technology with the sensitivity to reproduce a wonderfully faithful tonal range, whether we’re ‘up to 11’ or pin-drop quiet." Quite. www.little-machine.com

TM

• SM675

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LINEAR 5

POWERPACK

Uncompromising Performance, Maximum Sound Pressure Linear 5 series components are now also available as fully powered versions that are ready to go right out of the box. The system comes in four sizes tailored to ďŹ t your expectations for power and performance. A monitor package rounds out the offering. Five peerless power packs, perfect for ambitious musicians, bands, DJs and hire companies. Made in Germany, of course.

Club Pack

Rock Pack

To learn more and see more systems, visit www.hkaudio.com

Big Venue Pack

Pro Sound Reinforcement Tools Range of Equalisers, Microphone Splitters, Microphone Processors, Dynamic Processors & Accessories www.laaudio.co.uk

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Original British Design

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You'd be surprised at all the places pro audio folks get. Indeed, over the course of just this page, HK Audio will take us from St Pancras station in London, to Lowestoft's Marina Theatre, and then on to some pink party buses (yes, really)! Read on to find out what connects the three... Brian May and Kerry Ellis rock St Pancras Station with HK Audio.

Marina Theatre Lowestoft

Lowestoft's Marina Theatre refurbished its 800 seater Edwardian auditorium in 2012, choosing HK Audio's revolutionary – and inconspicuous – Elements install system to provide crystal clear sound throughout the venue. The budget for the system was very tight, amounting to less Brian May is Born Free than £20,000 for a system that would cover both tiers of the Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May and Auditorium, plus Front Fills and Broadway star Kerry Ellis played a set Delays for the back in support of endangered tigers of the Circle. at London's iconic St Pancras Elements filled the station a few months ago, with criteria perfectly. sound provided by HK Audio's The setup purchased Linear 5 speaker system. Brian by Marina Theatre and Kerry were playing in includes fourteen support of the Born Free E435 enclosures – Foundation, which works to six covering the main Stalls protect threatened animals. (three per side, powered by the Sound at the event came from active E210 Sub AS subs), and an HK Audio Linear 5 Big Venue eight covering the Circle (four Pack – which contains four per side, powered by an EA600 LSUB2000A active 2x12" subs, digital power amp module each two L5115FA Mid/Hi active side). Four E210 Sub AS subs cabs and four L5112XA multi underpin the system, and also functional active cabs configured in place are four HK Audio as stage monitors – supplied by Installation Line IL 8.1s for Hertfordshire-based entertainment Circle Delays, with a further and production firm Mr H two for Front Fills (all running Productions. It worked perfectly, off pre-existing theatre as Brian and Kerry played amplifiers) completing the classics like Born Free and Knockin' On Heaven's Door to a • L5-Pack 1, Big Venue Pack system. Marina Theatre Technical Manager Karl Dunnett said: “I'm large group of fans and supporters. really impressed with the HK Elements system. Mr H Productions' Andy Harvey said: "We are The installation kits made for a really quick no stranger to HK cabinets – we have been and easy installation, the system using HK Audio Actor systems for a number fills the space very evenly, and the of years. We favour active cabinets because tonal quality and clarity of the we don't have to worry about trucking racks sound is maintained throughout of amplifiers and processors. This means the auditorium.” quicker preparation and setup times.”

LUCAS Nano 300: soundtracking parties on pink buses everywhere.

• LUCAS Nano 300

Surrey's Session Music to help them find a solution. After other systems were found to be not up to scratch, Session pitched the idea of using a series of LUCAS Nanos, which worked brilliantly – the Nano is easily compact enough for the job, but also provides superior sound quality at any level required by Blush. The results were so impressive that Blush and Session Music will be working to the same formula in the future. • Nano Satellite So, if you ever find yourself partying in a pink bus in Surrey, stop and think where those top notch sounds are coming from!

Blush Hospitality’s Pink Bus.

• Elements E435

Lowestoft’s grand Marina Theatre.

Blush Hospitality's pink buses When Blush Hospitality needed to fit out two of their neon pink double-decker party buses with discreet sound systems, they turned straight to HK Audio's revolutionary LUCAS Nano 300. Blush specialise in providing mobile disco environments – book one, and you and your friends can be transported in style with music, lighting and karaoke – and so they turned to facebook.com/gearmagazine

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Quiet is the new loud

With acoustic guitars and nu-folk music booming [could that be because of rising electricity prices? Inquisitive Ed.] we thought we'd see who's currently lighting up the world of unplugged playing with their Vintage acoustics... Josh Taylor

Tristan Seume A soloist, accompanist, writer and session musician, Tristan Seume is one of the UK’s leading acoustic guitarists. His solo album You Just Know blends his love of folk, jazz and country styles into a unique set of guitar instrumentals. Tristan also plays guitar and bouzouki for multiple BBC Folk Award-winning star Jackie Oates, appearing all over Europe. Tristan couldn't resist getting hold of one of the everpopular Vintage VE200GG Gordon Giltrap Signature Guitars for his musical arsenal. He says: “I need a guitar that sounds huge when detuned to C, has a sweetsounding pickup, and is priced to afford peace of mind when touring abroad – this is a guitar with racehorse elegance at workhorse money.”

Josh Taylor's debut single Time And Again was played on Sky TV and numerous radio stations, ending up second in the Beat100 Global Music Charts for Unsigned Artists. Already an accomplished actor of stage, screen and feature films, Josh has worked with some of the biggest names and directors in the business, and at the age of just 14 set up his own record label, Cloud9Records, to release his material. For songwriting and live work, Josh uses the Vintage VEC1900N, which is helping him build up a global following. www.joshtaylor.com

www.tristanseume.co.uk

ben smith

adam Moss An appearance on BBC radio led to a 17-year-old Adam bagging a deal with VaVoom Records, and his debut album Hold On went on to be produced by no less than British blues legend John Verity. His second LP, Get A Grip Kid, was also produced under Verity's wing and received rave reviews. Adam gigs regularly in his native Suffolk area, and we're pretty sure it's going to be a case of next step... the world for him! Adam uses a Vintage VEC1400N acoustic for his live shows, which he runs through his Fishman SA220 Solo Performance amplifier. Check him out live to see that setup in action...

Shortly after first picking up a guitar at the age of nine, Ben Smith was introduced to the sounds of B.B King, and he's never looked back. With a style that's influenced by the greats of the blues, funk and folk worlds – and beyond – Ben plays a pretty mean acoustic or electric guitar, and has a big voice to match. Ben's recently supported the likes of Robert Cray, Matt Schofield and Joan Armatrading (after winning a place on her Local Talent competition), and has been using a Vintage V880N parlour-style guitar for his acoustic gigs. He says: “My V880N really punches above its weight. It has a classic parlour sound, and is surprisingly loud for a small bodied guitar. I've played guitars costing ten times as much that don't have the character or playability of the V880N, and would recommend it to anyone. For the price, I would say it's unbeatable!”

www.facebook.com/AdamMossMusic

www.bensmithguitar.com

• VSA535

Only those of you with the most eaglelike eyes will have spotted this – well, until now, of course – but Vintage have subtly tweaked the body shapes of some of their wellloved electric guitars. The models in question are the doublecut VS6 ReIssued and ICON lines, and part of the semiacoustic VSA range, both of which Trev Wilkinson has decided to evolve with the times.

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The VS6 is less symmetrical than before, with the upper horn now slightly more extended than previously, and the lower horn retracted a little. As well as giving the VS6 an edgier, more streamlined appearance, the new design also helps with balance – often an issue with guitars of this style – and provides easier upper fret access on the higher strings. It'll have you dusting off your Angus solos, that's for sure! The redesigned VSA models, meanwhile, have taken on a more classy air. This is, again, down to a gentle reworking of their waists and horns, which have been given similar treatment to those of the aforementioned VS6s. It's given them something of a more refined look, we think, and they certainly hang better on the body too – we've tried it! If you feel like your favourite VS6 or VSA has a little something missing, then, these new innovations by Trev might just be what you're looking for.

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• VS6MRMA

Pulling some shapes...


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continues to thrive The award-winning range of Vintage guitars elsewhere in this – as well as the new acoustics mentioned new basses, and issue, here's a new electric six-string, two ies! a classic that's been switched round for left ' list... Here's the next axes to go on your 'wanted The V74MRBK's distinctive black distressed body, with no scratchplate, is sure to be a conversation starter – it looks like it's seen a good few hundred gigs already – and the maple neck and maple fingerboard with chunky black block inlays is a sight to behold, and super slinky to play to boot! The bass is finished off with Wilkinson hardware, including two of his full toned, crisp and clear bass pickups. With two master volume controls, and one master tone, the VJ74MRBK is hugely versatile, allowing you to go from jazz to rock, indie, pop and even metal with ease.

Vintage ReIssued ‘Lemon Drop’ We all know the Vintage ICON Lemon Drop. Inspired by a legendary guitar that's been owned by Peter Green and the late, great Gary Moore, it's a showstopper in every way, with its amazing out of phase tones and its gorgeous – and unique – battered looks. But now Vintage have asked the question: what would the Lemon Drop guitar have looked like before those guitar gods got their hands on it? How would it have been when it Lemon Drop V100PGM was fresh off the shelf? £449

Paradise LV100AFD £409

Well, the answer is now here, in the form of the Vintage ReIssued V100PGM Lemon Drop (£449). Shiny and new in a stunning Hi-Gloss Tobacco Burst finish, the guitar has all the features of its beaten-up older brother – like Wilkinson hardware, a mahogany body with maple cap and flame maple veneer, and a set mahogany neck with rosewood 'board – but it also showcases an ingenious new Trev Wilkinson improvement. Upper fret access has always been an issue on singlecut guitars, so Trev's equipped the V100PGM with an offset neck heel. Sounds simple, and it is – but it looks great and gives you easy access to the dusty end of the 'board. Get ready to get the blues all over again with this one!

Vintage ReIssued ‘Paradise’ lefty! This one's been a long time coming. We're always wondering why more guitar makers don't do more for the left-handers of this world, and now Vintage have obliged with a lefty version of their best-selling V100AFD Paradise. Costing £409, the LV100AFD [the L must stand for Lefty – intelligent Ed.] features all the best bits of the V100 range: solid mahogany body with carved flame maple cap, set mahogany neck with rosewood 'board, a wonderful Flamed Amber finish, and all the Wilkinson hardware you need to bring the rock big style! If you're wondering how good the Paradise is, iGuitar had this to say about it: “To sum up? This is the best value for money instrument iGuitar has seen yet. It's simply stunning!” Can't say no more than that, can we? Lefties, get on it now! And harassed parents, if your left-handed son or daughter is still desperately after a guitar, now you know what to get for that Sweet Child O' Yours...

Icon VJ74MRBK £269

The ReIssued VJ74MSSB (£299), meanwhile, will give you all of the VJ74MRBK's wonderful tonal variations and its awesome playability, but in a beautifully glossy Sunset Sunburst finish. Again rocking that maple neck/board/black block inlays look, the VJ74MSSB is a classy beast, and it'll look the part whatever you're doing, be that playing in wedding bands, in jazz orchestras, in indie rock combos or with hard rock and metal ensembles. Give it a rumble if you want to add some cool new bass sounds to your collection!

ReIssued VJ74MSSB £299

Vintage ICON & ReIssued basses Pick up the new VJ74MRBK ICON bass (£319) and you'll be like a giant hornet, prowling, buzzing, and owning the stage. facebook.com/Vintage Instruments

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g28p54_Layout 1 17/10/2013 16:49 Page 1

Tuned

Percussion

The best ‘first’ instruments money can buy...

Glock

enspiels

Falcon acoustics offer the inexperienced or novice acoustic player the chance to enjoy the experience of playing a full size, full bodied, dreadnought style acoustic guitar – at a totally affordable price.

Chime bars

Xylo

phones

Metal

lophones

Melody horns

Choose from this great range of full-size acoustic guitars, folk guitars, 3/4-size classic guitars and ukuleles.

The

Practice Pads Reduce the volume of your drums by up to 90% with Softapads! Noise reducing, technique improving Softapads reduce practice volume by up to 90%. Responsive, resilient and reversible, Softapads are the ideal solution for practising – without annoying the neighbours.

Palma Junior Acoustic Guitar Pack An ideal introduction to playing acoustic guitar. Available in Natural and three other striking metallic colours.

“As good as it gets!” magazine All sets are packaged for shop display

The Multi-Instrument Anti-Slip Mat Keep bass drum pedals, hi-hats, keyboards, guitar FX and other instrument pedals firmly in place on any surface with SoftaMats, the non-slip, ‘anti-creep’ musical instrument pedal mats.

For Drummers...

For Guitarists...

For Keyboard Players...

For Orchestral Players...

Visit www.jhs.co.uk/softapads.html for more info

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g28p55_Layout 1 17/10/2013 17:04 Page 1

Play your first gig with A lot of guitarists read this mag, and we'd like to think a fair share of them fall into the category of being almost ready to play their first gig. Songs, nerves and rockstar poses aside, when you get up and play in front of an audience for the first time, you won't want your choice of gear to let you down. Now, we've covered the big things like guitars, amps, FX pedals and all the new Kinsman accessories more than adequately in the rest of the issue, so here's a look at a few of Kinsman's lines of affordable necessities for the musician who wants to play live – and win!

Mics If you're short of a decent quality mic, Kinsman offers a trio of well-priced examples – and of course they do mic stands too!

Stands If you've got a spare guitar, leave it on a well-placed stand. Well-placed, as in make sure the bassist won't put his size 9s through your pride and joy! Whatever your instrument, Kinsman have a stand that'll be more than up to the job.

Cases/bags Get your instrument to the gig in a Kinsman bag or case. There's loads to choose from, so pick the one that'll keep your axe safest, and that looks the coolest as you walk to the venue with it!

Leads Link your axe and your amp with one of these – you'll be lost without one! Don't just go for a cheapy £3 lead, by the way. It'll crackle, pop, and probably go dead on you just before that important solo. You can't go wrong with Kinsman's Neutrik Silent Plug leads, though: with great tones and rugged design, they'll last you for a lifetime of gigs.

Pedals and Boards As well as their great range of pedals, Kinsman also offer a place to put them, in the form of Kinsman Ultima Pedal Cases. Strong, light and sleek, they'll look after your stompboxes without any problems.

Capo kings Shubb have updated their classic C1 capos to include the firm's innovative roller design as standard. The roller – which was originally reserved for Shubb's deluxe capos, and replaces the old delrin cap design – runs along a track on the underside of the capo, which provides smoother operation and more precise alignment than ever before, as well as reducing wear. The result? A capo which performs better than anything else out there. Shubb has also subtly tweaked the C1's design to make it an even more enticing proposition. They've replaced the original's straight bar with a contoured lever for more ergonomic operation, and the ends have been rounded out to be softer to the touch. Plus, you'll never lose another delrin cap! The new C1s are in stores now from £20.49. You know, capos come and go, but the fact remains: for the guitarist who is serious about quality and intonation, nothing but a Shubb will do.

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Bright Lights Dark venue? In the orchestra pit? Clip this to your music stand or pedalboard and let there be light!

Headphones Plug your mini jack amp in with these, or get them on if you use a laptop or triggers onstage. Failing that, just use them to chill before the show! The more relaxed you are, the better the gig will be. Well, unless you're on the wacky baccy, that is. That's too chilled! Now go own that stage...

New from Grover If you're feeling like your tuners might be due an upgrade, then consider giving Grover a gander – they've got a series of new guitar and bass tuners out that might just do the job! The new Grover 102 Rotomatics – available in chrome or gold from £72.99 – use the shape of the original Rotomatic housing from the 1960s, making them perfect for restoring vintage guitars. The 103s – also in chrome or gold, from £91.99 – have that 1960s vibe too, but with a pearloid button. Those with more modern desires can plump for the 602 Locking Rotomatic series. Available in chrome, black chrome or gold (from £66.99), the 602 series features a locking mechanism found at the tip of the string post, for super steady tuning. Bassists are not left out, either; there's a whole range of new Grovers for four-stringers in the new 143 series. Prices start at £116.99 for tuners that include special plastic housing for a lightweight 20:1 gear ratio. Finally, there's also a new guitar humidifier for acoustic players. For just £15.49, it'll keep your acoustic from taking in too much watery gunk – or too little!

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Go one louder with Kinsman amps! Kinsman are already the Number 1 choice for affordable musical accessories, so it's no wonder that they've now moved into the amp market with a selection of brilliantly priced combos!

With four options • K50GFX available for guitarists, and four for bassists, the Kinsman • K25GFX amps range is specced to provide professional quality tones for only a smidgen of your hard-earned cash, with a range of volume levels and features to suit players of any type or ability.

eight 24-bit digital FX (choose from Reverb, Echo, Chorus, Flanger and more). Whatever kind of music you play, you'll find all the sounds you need here. Plus, as well as sounding great, the • K15GFX K100GFX looks the business too, with its blue jewel power indicator light, chrome effect control knobs, and vintage style cloth grille.

Watt's your problem? The big daddy of the six-string line is the 100-watt, 2x12 Kinsman K100GFX. At just £299, the K100GFX is easily loud enough for any gig and comes ready to rock! The K100GFX features two channels that will take you from shimmering clean tones to extra-thick distortion, as well as

The 50-watt Kinsman K50GFX (£169) is slightly more portable, with a 10-inch speaker, two channels and 24-bit digital effects. The Lead channel has two High-Gain preamp choices, and both channels share common Bass, Middle and

• K100GFX

Treble EQ controls. Other features include an external speaker jack, headphone jack, and a CD/Tape input – so this amp will take you from the practice room to the stage with ease! If 50 watts are too much for your needs, the Kinsman K25GFX – which will only set you back £129 – offers 25 watts of power and an 8-inch speaker, making it perfect for rehearsals or smaller gigs. Like its bigger brothers, it has two channels, loads of FX and stacks of other great features. Meanwhile, the diminutive 15-watt K15GFX (£69.99) combines 15 watts of power with a two-channel (Clean/Lead) design, a 3-band EQ and Reverb/Delay FX. It might be the baby of the bunch, but it still packs a hefty tonal punch!

Four-string attack If you're a bassist, Kinsman have got your back with their four new combos. The chunky 50-watt K50B (£169), with its 10-inch speaker, and the 100-watt, 12-inch speaker K100B (£279) are equipped with bucket loads of great features – the pick of the bunch being eight fantastic 24-bit digital FX – and are loud enough to cover a wide range of playing environments, while the 25-watt K25B (£89.99) and the 15-watt K15B (£64.99) feature 8-inch speakers, active EQs and a built-in, circuit-protecting Limiter. Built to last, with heavy vinyl covering, protective corners and metal speaker grilles, the Kinsman bass amps are pure rhythm machines!

• K100B

So, there you have it. Getting a great sound at a great price just got a whole lot easier, thanks to Kinsman amps. They're in shops now, so make sure you head down and plug in at the first opportunity!

Dunlop bits 'n' pieces

Heavy (45-105), Heavier (55-115) and Heaviest (55-120).

and acoustic instruments, and the Mudslide Classic Style Tonebar (£44.99) brings these Dunlop are spoiling you lot again! Not content qualities to the lap and with giving us a whole load of new kit to talk Meanwhile, Dunlop's new Tapered B pedal steel player's about in the last issue, they've now gone and Bass Strings come in 5 and 6-string world for new and released a bunch of cool new sets, and feature dynamic sounds. accessories for guitarists and higher tension for Meanwhile, the bassists everywhere. tighter lows, increased Mudslide Hybrid • 912 Hybrid Tonebar sustain and more accurate Tonebar combines the First up are the awesome Heavy intonation. The 5-string singing brightness of glass with the rich and Core Bass Strings. Designed for (£29.99, gauges 45-125) and full resonating tone of ceramic. This light• 911 Classic Tonebar rock and 6-string (£34.99, gauges weight tonebar's handle is unglazed bisque, metal players who like 30-130) sets are both available in nickel or providing a porous and gripping material that to down tune and dig in stainless steel, so there's something for every absorbs sweat and reduces hand fatigue. to their strings for a type of bassist here. huge low end sound, So, there you have it – more new Dunlop stuff Heavy Core feature For six-stringers, Dunlop's Mudslide line is now to make your life better. Go get it... specific core-to-wrap bolstered by two new Tonebars: the Classic www.jimdunlop.com ratios that deliver the and the ceramic/glass Hybrid. Ceramic has optimal balance of tone and tension. They're long been a favoured material among slide available in the following gauges for £29.99: players for its rich warm tone on both electric

Dana Dixon gets The Blues! If you thought harmonicas weren't serious instruments, then think again! That's certainly the message Dana Dixon would give you. Dana's the vocalist and blues harp player for the

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Dana Dixon Band, who play an intoxicating mix of authentic Texas, Chicago and west coast jump blues, coupled with other influences such as rockabilly and '50s R&B. Dana's a unique performer and widely regarded as one of the best female blues harmonica players and singers – indeed, she's been likened to blues greats like Big Mama • TB10 Thornton and Janis Joplin, thanks to her powerful vocals that go from raw, authentic blues to soulful gospel tones.

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Dana's a big fan of The Blues Harmonicas, saying: "The JHS Blues harp is a fantastic harmonica for the beginner. In terms of playability and value for money it really is ideal – plus, with most of the major keys available, the player will be able to purchase a few to jam along with records or with a band!" Check her website to find out when she's hitting your town next... www.danadixon.com

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Watch out for

Seikos! Timekeeping kings Seiko have revamped their range somewhat recently, and prices are down too! So, if you're in the market for a metronome or a tuner, then give this lot a beat of your time... You can convert any instrument tuner into a clip-on style with the STM30 (£9.99). Just plug it into the Line-In socket of your regular tuner and it clips on to your instrument to enable you to tune directly via the vibrations in the instrument's body. Meanwhile, the industry standard STX1N Clip-Style Chromatic Tuner (£16.99) is as stylish, accurate and reliable as ever, its built-in vibration sensor ensuring perfect tuning every time! A classic, professional tuner with ultra-thin VU meter, the SAT1200 Chromatic Tuner (£69.99) makes staying in tune easier than ever before. With its accurate and smooth response and A0-C8 tuning range, it's ideal for a vast number of instruments.

clear reference tones, input/output jacks, a high contrast LCD display for high visibility, and a digital cent indication that offers extremely accurate tuning. The SAT50WE chromatic tuner (£14.99) covers all of the SAT10's features, and has a handy key transpose function too. For clip-on fans, the STX5E clip-on chromatic tuner (£14.99) is incredibly accurate, and it also features ergonomic 2-button operation and up to 15 hours of battery life. On the metronome front, the DM51 clip-on digital metronome with clock (£14.99) features a clear and solid sound from its compact body, a high-contrast LCD display for excellent visibility, dial-style volume control and a flashing light to indicate tempo. The pocket-sized DM71 (£24.99) has a dynamic speaker that provides clear tempo sounds and reference tones, a 4-step volume control, 3.5mm headphone jack, a high-contrast LCD display for excellent visibility, and a flashing light to indicate tempo. That's your lot, then – no excuse not to stay in tune or in time any more!

The affordable SAT10 guitar/bass tuner (£11.99) features a / tuning function, a dynamic speaker that provides

If life in the spotlight isn't for you, it doesn't mean you have to give up your dream of a career in rock 'n' roll. With stage shows becoming ever more spectacular and complex, it's more important than ever to understand the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the backstage industry. Backstage Academy in Wakefield launched in 2009 and is quickly becoming the go-to place for short courses, degree courses and bespoke training in all aspects of live events production. Its state-of-the-art facilities are based within the famous LS-Live production rehearsal arena complex, which counts megastars like Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses and Kasabian among its clients. The Academy therefore has exceptional industry links and places emphasis on practical training, up-to-date technology and engagement with industry practitioners; JHS are working with them to provide Lewitt microphones, HK Audio PA systems, Cymatic Audio LR-16 live recorders and Kinsman studio accessories. Some of the Academy's recent graduates have toured with Mumford & Sons and Jay-Z, and undertaken work placements at Glastonbury, BBC Radio One and Secret Garden Party.

Said Director of Courses Robin Watkinson: “If I had a pound every time a production manager or sound engineer told me they started out life wanting to be a rock star I’d be a very rich man right now! But these people have gone on to travel all over the world, make a good living and work with colleagues that they consider to be close friends, like family.” There isn’t a more perfect place to get into the backstage touring industry and if you’re quick, you can still apply for a place on their FdA Live Events Production for this November!

© Laurie Cooper-Murray: www.StageZero.co.uk

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Affordable percussion types PP Drums have released three great new drum kits for all the world's budding Bonhams and prospective Pearts! The full-size PP225BLK (£299) comes in a rock 'n' roll all-black finish with matching black double-braced hardware. The kit includes a 22"x16" bass drum, 16"x16" floor tom, 13"x11" tom tom, 12"x10” tom tom, 14"x 5.5" snare drum, 12" hi-hat cymbals and a 14" crash cymbal, as well as an adjustable drum stool, drum key and drum sticks.

PP150RD 5-piece kit

With its traditional 5-piece kit layout, the P200RD (£229) is a great way for kids to get to grips with drumming techniques. Proper rhythmic co-ordination and timing can quickly be developed – and it’s great fun to play, too! Offering a 16" bass drum, 10" and 8" mounted tom-toms, 12" floor tom and a 10" snare, the PP200RD drum kit set includes a snare drum stand, 10" cymbal and cymbal arm, junior bass drum pedal, hi hat stand sticks and drum stool. Meanwhile, the little bright red, 3-piece PP150RD (£91.99) is the ideal beginner's kit. The PP150RD package features an 8"x 5" tom, 10"x 5" snare drum mounted on adjustable arms, 8" crash cymbal, cymbal stand, bass drum pedal, drum stool, adjustable drum stool, drum key and sticks. With everything you need to get started straight away, these new kits are the ideal way to get into drumming in style, so go give them a thump when you get the chance! PP200RD Junior 5-piece kit

PP225BLK Full size 5-piece kit

String Swing's amazingly reliable guitar hangers are still the industry standard after 25 years in the business, but with their Stylz range, they're really giving you the chance to make hanging up your instrument cool! The brand new Freedom Stylz model features a bold American flag design, perfect for showing your colours. Of course, it's built to the same quality levels as all String Swing's other hangers, with powder-coated steel cradles, cushy headstock padding, and a sturdy wall-mount back plate making for unrivalled strength and durability. All that, and it'll set you back just £14.99 – just like the rest of the Stylz range, which includes Digi-Camo, Eternity, Feelings, Jazz, Blues and Torn designs. Plus, they're all made in the USA, and they're all guaranteed for life. What more could you ask for?

STO1K-7 Freedom

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If you've got a guitar – and if you're reading this, we reckon it's a pretty safe bet that you have – then you'll be needing something to keep it in shape after all those beatings you give it! It can't be big and bulky, though, as you might be on the road, in a tiny toilet venue dressing room, or even busking on the high street when something goes wrong. That means you need a solution that's both portable and practical, so say hello to Guitar Tech’s handy Guitar Repair Tools Pack. For £19.99, the foldaway, carry-sized pack gives you everything you need to keep your axe in tiptop working condition, plus two roomy accessory pockets wide enough to fit spare strings in. Lightweight in grams but heavyweight in what it'll do for you and your six-string, it's a must for every guitar case, roadie rucksack and practice room!

1 x String Cutter 1 x 2 in 1 Screwdriver 1 x String Winder 1 x String Poker 4 x Allen Wrenches 1 x 9 Volt Battery 1 x Polishing Cloth 2 x Accessory Pockets 1 x Flashlight Batteries (included)

GTRP1 Guitar Repair Tools Pack

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Beaters at the ready! The PP chaps are back with four lovely new glockenspiels that are ideal for beginners and advancing students alike. Bright, colourful and durable, they're just perfect for introducing youngsters to the idea of musical harmony, and they're top fun for anybody else. All are housed within a practical carrying case for easy transportation, and they all feature quality metal keys and a pair of included beaters. The PP25WK and PP25CK both have 25 keys (with a G5-G7 note range), and the PP27WK and PP27CK each have 27 (G5-A7 note range). The PP25CK and the PP27CK also have lovely coloured keys, which we have to admit we found rather exciting! They're in shops now, so go get 'em...

PP25CK £29.99

PP27CK £29.99

Ukuleles may be dainty, but it doesn't matter whether you're headed to the gig, the rehearsal rooms, or just to your school music lesson – you need a decent carry bag to transport your pride and joy around in safely. Well, enter the all-new Kinsman KSUK3 ukulele carry bag! Like all Kinsman cases and bags, the KSUK3 is attractively priced – just £3.99 of your English pounds, sir – stylish and, most importantly, durable, lightweight and hard-wearing. Because of this, it'll not only offer you peace of mind when you're headed from A to B, but you'll look good doing it too. If you're a uke player on the go, it's all you need!

PL34ROFT Red Outfit

£59.99

PP25WK £24.99

PP27WK £29.99

Ideal for musicians who want perfect tuning at their fingertips, the all-new Kinsman KAC205 clip-on chromatic tuner also features a practical Power Save feature (meaning it'll switch itself off if you don't use it for three minutes) – very useful for forgetful six-stringers who need to save battery power all the way to the second encore! The tuner will give you dead-on tuning every time thanks to its bright blue backlit display that turns green when the string is in tune, and with its ultra-flexible 360-degree rotation, it's the perfect addition to any headstock or instrument case, whether you're at the gig, in the practice pad or just noodling away at home. It's not just limited to guitarists, though: being chromatic, the KAC205 will tune any instrument you attach it to. Flautists of the world, rejoice! KAC205 £7.95

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available in: Black, Natural and Blue Finishes

If you've got kids who want to learn to play, a ¾ size guitar can be ideal – just that little bit more dinky than a full-size model, it's perfect for small hands. If that's what you're after, then look no further than these four Palma 3/4 Classic Guitar Outfits. Besides the size thing (they measure 36”, by the way), they also come with everything a beginner needs to get playing straight away: a carry bag, guitar strap, pitch pipe, plectrum, and a handy tutorial DVD. Available in Red, Black, Blue or Natural finishes, and costing just £59.99, they're a surefire way to keep those budding little rockstars happy as they take their playing to the next level! If ¾ is too big, though, Palma also do a similar package, The Junior Classic Guitar Outfit – which is 30” long – for £49.99... twitter.com/gearmagazine

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Now Online facebook.com/gearmagazine twitter.com/gearmagazine Come Join Us! Gear on the web Gear is now more online than ever before! We might only do the print version once in a while, but now, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, you'll be able to find us on the world wide web. That means you can get the latest on all the best new gear and bands news wherever you

are, thanks to our dedicated website, Facebook and Twitter pages. With content ranging from reviews to video or even audio samples of some of the latest and greatest products you can get your hands on, Gear online is the place to be for the most up to date news on the best musical equipment money can buy. Not only that, our great Gear competitions are playable online – and you've got to be in it to win it! So, with no

further delay, become our friend, follow us, and join in with digital Gear! We look forward to sharing all our content with you through the web until our next print version... Plus, check out the links below to see all the latest from the great brands we’ve featured in this issue!

hughes-and-kettner.com

hkaudio.com

lewitt-audio.com

labgruppen.com

laaudio.co.uk

tannoy.com

Instrument Amplification

Portable, Install & Concert Sound

Acoustic Amplification

Power Amplifiers

LA Audio Signal Processors

VQ Live PA

stringswing.com

jimdunlop.com

diago.co.uk

wittner-gmbh.de

italiaguitars.com

boomwhackers.com

Instrument Hangers & Holders

Guitar Accessories

Power Supplies & Pedalboards

Metronomes & Tuners

Electric Guitars

Tuned Percussion

seiko.co.uk

danelectro.com

rhythmtech.com

shubb.com

grotro.com

regaltip.com

Tuners & Metronomes

Guitars & FX Pedals

Percussion

Capos

Machine Heads

Drumsticks, Brushes & Mallets

davapick.com

stylophone.com

fishman.com

mightybright.com

Dava Picks

Portable Electronic Instruments

Acoustic Amplification

Musicians’ Lights

guitars-m-r-son.com

kysermusical.com multisonusaudio.com Capos

EarBombz In-Ear Studio Monitors

AUGUSTINE cymaticaudio.com

fret-king.com

feadog.ie

albertaugustine.com

jhs.co.uk

LR-16 Live Recorder

Guitars & Basses

Irish Whistles

Classical Guitar Strings

The UK’s No.1 Musical Instrument Supplier

Classical Guitars

CROSSWORD Issue 27 Competition Answers Italia guitar and amp competition Answer: 1959 Winner: Dale Binney Crossword winner: Robin Oxford

Across 1. Tomahawk Bob 9. Shellac 10. Ill Muso 11. Kit 12. Grovers 13. Exposer 14. Sew 15. Seiko 17. Diago 18. Sol Fa 20. Tuner 22. Mim 24. Unicorn 25. Clean As 26. Ado 27. I Assist 28. My Uncle 29. Nanoseconds

Down 1. Trevor Wilkinson 2. Mallets 3. Hacks 4. Whitehorn 5. Bolt Pad 6. Blues Harmonicas 7. Usages 8. Journo 16. Intonates 18. Studio 19. Aeolian 21. Raeburn 23. Master 25. Comic

GOOD LUCK WITH THIS ISSUE! 60

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Salem House, Parkinson Approach, Garforth, Leeds LS25 2HR, U.K. Tel: 0113 2865 381

Fax: 0113 2868 515 E-mail: gear@jhs.co.uk Publisher: Simon Turnbull Editor: Richard Morgan Contributors: Paul Gallo, Gavin Coulson, Steffen Grachegg Art Editor: Simon Turnbull Art Team: Richard Dennison, Gary Barlow, Ryan Crossland Staff Photographers/Illustrator: Gary Barlow, Richard Dennison Subscriptions (Free): Susan Lindley Chairman: John H. Skewes Managing Director: Dennis J. Drumm Printed by: Warners (Midlands) PLC. 0177839 1000

All material is copyright and must not be copied or reprinted in any format without the express permission of the publishers. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Unsolicited contributions are welcome, but we regret we have no budget to pay for any such material that we choose to print. We do our best to ensure accuracy but we cannot be held responsible for any omissions or errors, though any complaints will be fairly investigated. All recommended retail and guide prices mentioned in this magazine were correct at time of going to press. Please note prices (recommended retail inc. VAT) and specifications may be subject to change without notice.

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Raymond Burley Signature

SM2000RB

“Beautifully constructed, the quality of the woods used on my signature is superb throughout, as is the finish. The playability, owing to the beautifully crafted neck shape and action, is excellent, as is the balance between the treble and bass. From new, the guitar had a surprising amount of volume and this will no doubt improve further the more the instrument is played. The SM2000RB represents amazing quality for a very modest price tag, which is even more astonishing when one considers the instrument comes with a plush shaped hard case.” Raymond also plays the Santos Martinez SM650CEA Concierto Electro Classic.

The award-winning, critically-acclaimed Santos Martinez range offers a combination of rich, sweet-toned performance and easy playability. Available for you to try at your local Santos Martinez stockist.

Principante 1/2

Principante 3/4

Principante 4/4

Estudio

Estuduiante

Preludio

Preludio Electro Classic

Allegro

Conservatorio

Virtuoso Electro Classic

Virtuoso 'Bossa Nova’

Virtuoso

Professional pickups and preamps fitted as standard

Concierto Electro Classic

Concierto 'Bossa Nova'


g28p62_Layout 1 16/10/2013 15:48 Page 1

Feadóg The Feadog ‘Original Irish Whistles’ are the oldest commercially produced Tin Whistles in Ireland and played worldwide by amateurs and professionals alike.

The new Shubb Lite Capo weighs less then 30 grams thanks to its super lightweight aluminium construction. The special rubber grip is designed to simulate the finger tip, so the capo doesn t affect the guitar s tuning stability by bending the strings over the frets. The Shubb Lite Capo is available for both steel and nylon strung guitars.

The Shubb Lite Half the weight of the original Shubb Capo! SHL1  Steel String SHL2  Nylon String

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the music store...

Country star Johnny Hiland uses

GRIP TIPS

STRUM GENTLY with the SMOOTH EDGE... DIG DEEP for a HARDER SOUND from the “WAVED” EDGE.

Tips are the best picks ever made. They are easy to pick with,comfortable to hold on to and look cool, too. They totally RULE!!!

For the ultimate playing experience, Choose DAVA!

A SOUND INVESTMENT. ACME have been producing whistles and authentic bird calls SINCE 1870 and have a reputation second to none.

The EPM evolution has been creating better sound for acoustic guitar players for more than a decade. Easy to set up, EPM’s innovative pickup systems are designed for maximum tone and response.

Acme products are used throughout the world; from school and orchestra use, to football match referees, concert and carnival goers and ornithologists.

SEE THE FULL RANGE AT WWW.JHS.CO.UK

GIVE YOUR GUITAR A TUNE-UP! Black ST-type Knobs

Chrome Straplocks

Vintage Style Mini Oval Machineheads

White Single-Coil Pickup

Zinc Saddle Vibrato

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Wild Cat Yellow Scratchplate


g28p63_Layout 1 18/10/2013 11:16 Page 1

Q T7

TUNERS & METRONOMES FAST, ACCURATE AND EASY TO USE! Highly accurate, easy to use guitar tuner plus pitch pipe... plus a CHORD FINDER that teaches the new player to play over 250 different chords!

Quartz metronome with true ‘Wood Block’ click with a ‘Bouncing Ball’ visual.

Q T GP1

www.jhs.co.uk/qwiktune.html

The Number One Choice for Schools

The JHS HORNBY range of student recorders has been popular with schools and colleges throughout the land for many years. These instruments match perfectly for ensemble work and are extremely affordable for both the private student and education authorities.

Drum Heads,Tension Rods, Bass Drum Beaters,Cymbal Felts, Snare Strands and more!

Percussion Essentials

RS82 SATELLITE SPEAKER

T WO

A choice of three instrument sizes, designed to fit student and beginner players of all ages and hand sizes. Light and responsive, these instruments offer a smooth, well-defined nylon string tonality with good note detail and a lively resonance. With outfits available in 4/4, 3/4 and 1/2 size formats, each outfit contains a Guitar Carry Bag, Encore Strings Set, Tutorial DVD, Pitch Pipe, and Tutor Listing.

The Sound House system serves up substantial and assertive sound in a sensationally easy-to-use package.

Sound Reinforcement System

RS15 SUB

for Musicians, DJs and Bands

Designed by

See the full range of stands at: www.jhs.co.uk/kinsmanstands.html

All Kinsman microphone stands have a stylish, black tough anodised finish for long lasting protection. Each is fully adjustable and all are supplied with a microphone clip. Made from heavy duty, solid clear plastic, these Firestix light up at the end in use once you start tapping!

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Standing

MS66

MS03

MB05

MB55

Round Base Straight Mic Stand Height: Min. 85cm Max. 1.55m

Tripod Base Straight Mic Stand Height: Min. 85cm Max. 1.56m

Tripod Base Boom Mic Stand Height: Min. 22.5cm Max. 2.27m

Tripod Base Boom Mic Stand Extendable double boom Height: Min. 0cm Max. 2.77m

Room Only twitter.com/gearmagazine

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Less connecting of wires. More connecting with people.

NEW ROLLER DESIGN

Rounded ends are softer to the touch.

Contoured lever replaces straight bar: easier to use

Roller replaces delrin cap: • smoother action • superior geometry • reduced wear

(Don’t) carry that weight... The Fishman SA220 Performance System

. Rocks.

Ever since we introduced the roller on the Shubb Deluxe capo in 1998 we have liked this design. For several years we have been researching production techniques that would enable us to offer the roller design, along with the contoured lever shape for ease of use, at the same price point as our standard capo.

Rolls.

Now it's ready. And while we were at it, we smoothed and rounded its edges to make it feel even better to use.

www.shubb.com

Precision engineered metronomes of distinction.

from fishman.com

Solo Performance System

Ingeniously simple. Simply ingenious. The Scalable High-Performance Line System

Elements Install

Now available in white! Great for inconspicuous installation...

www.hkaudio.com

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g28p65_Layout 1 16/10/2013 15:32 Page 1

The original pocket electronic organ

Model No. BBX1

BEATBOX Pocket Digital Drum Machine

Model No. STYLO

The new Dubreq Stylophone Beatbox is an exciting new percussion instrument based on the Stylophone’s unique stylus-based method of playing and featuring three percussion voices including electronic drums, human beatbox and bass melody. The revolutionary circular keyboard and loop function make it easy to set up repeating bass-lines and rhythms.

Stylophone - the original pocket synthesiser – is back with additional fun features! • • • • •

Built-in Stylus Built-in Speaker Vibrato Switch Volume Control Tone Switch

• • • • •

Tuning Control On/Off Switch MP3 Input (3.5mm) Line Out (3.5mm) 3.5mm Cable Inc.

What are you waiting for?

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Guitarist’s ‘Dual-Stool ’ • Comfortable • Portable • Lightweight Ideal for stage, rehearsal room, home, school or shop use.

Stool

• 4 Gain Stages. • 2-Band Active EQ (+15dB boost). • 4 to 16 ohms output impedance – can be used with any cabinet • Durable and shock resistant fabricated carbon steel construction. • 600g, 120 x 43 x 86mm. • Powered on standard 9V DC @ 600mA

Stand

Store

The ultimate combination stool and stand for the performing musician! facebook.com/gearmagazine

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VJ74 Icon

VJ74 ReIssued

®

Classic Vintage feel. Authentic tone.

maple Now with s rd fingerboa

great sounding, “My Vintage is a ty at has a playabili well built bass th e.” ng ra e ic pr other in its y an nd yo be ll we ist ms Session Bass Dishan Abraha tophe Willem) Sugababes/Chris (Kylie Minogue/

Visit your local dealer and try one out today!

Super Tight Tuning • SUPER FAST REsPONSE • SUPER BRIGHT DISPLAYS

QTSN1 Guitar/Metronome

QTSN1

QTSN2 All Instrument/Metronome

QTSN5 Guitar, Bass & Violin

QTSN6 Ukulele

QTSN8 All Instrument/Metronome

Award Winning Industrial strength tunING Total Guitar magazine - QTSN1

HHHHH

Guitar Buyer magazine - QTSN1 Guitarist magazine - QTSN1

HHHH

HHHHH

SN10 Chromatic Stage & Studio Pedal Tuner

QTSN2


g28p67_Layout 1 16/10/2013 15:26 Page 1

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They TTh h ey e y al aallllll hhave aave vee ha hhad ad a M ad MR R in i n their th t h eeirir ha h a nds… n d s… nd s…

WWhat Wh h aatt are a rere you yyoouou wwaiaaiittiniingngng for foforor ? • Quality at at yyour our servic servicee

Commitment •C ommitment to to the environment environment • Managing natural natural rresources esources rresponsibly esponsibly

Manuel Rodríguez Rich in Sound, Rich in History, Rich in Beauty

All these artists artists have have owned owned or own own a MR Guitar MR Guitars ar e endorsed by by Manuel Hernández Hernández “Algiva”, “Algiva”, David David Palau, Palau, are P edro Andr ea, Miguelon, Ja vier Ca talá, José L osada. Pedro Andrea, Javier Catalá, Losada.


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Gear 28  

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