Tech 21 Sansamp Blonde Overdrive

The Tech 21 Sansamp Blonde Overdrive pedal can supply both those great blonde tones you want plus the blackface tones you’ve always desired.  This pedal is part of the Tech 21 Character Series, and it features many throwbacks to the early days of guitar tones, especially rock and roll tones, when that big bottom sound was in.  tech-21-sansamp-blonde-overdriveBack then, to get more overdrive, guitar players had to turn their amps way up—there was no master volume control on those early American amplifiers, so it all had to come from the guitar.  The Sansamp Blonde harkens back to that time, putting what Tech 21 considered “true American tone” back into the pedal without making the pedal expensive or unresponsive.

The Sansamp Blonde gives you different controls for your lows, highs, level, mid, character, and drive.  It’s a reasonably priced amp for what you get, coming in at $149.  However, if you’re looking for a cool amp that brings in some old school rock and roll tones without any type of modern distortion or tone, then the Sansamp Blonde Overdrive is exactly what you want.  It brings this classic sounds back with a vengeance, and it can give you tones that no other overdrive can. (more...)

September 30, 2009
Posted in Guitar Effects,Tech 21 — anthony @ 1:40 pm

Swart Amps

Swart amps was created by Michael Swart, a musician and recording engineer based out of Wilmington, North Carolina.  Swart owned a 24 track recording studio in Wilmington, and he only used vintage tube amps for recordings.  swart-ampsHowever, while he often used Ampeg, Fender, and Vintage Vox amps for both his recordings and his live performances, he always felt like something was missing from these vintage amps.  They just didn’t give him the sound or tone that he wanted.

Because of this, Swart set out to create an amp that would feature all the distortion and tone that he wanted for recording in his studio while still maintaining the flexibility he needed.  The custom tube amps he started working on eventually lead him to creating the Space Tone, the first of Swart’s amps.  It worked perfectly for small studios, small venues, and for playing at home.  It gave off the large tone he wanted and provided the distortion necessary.  He followed this up with the Atomic Space Tone, and Swart Amps was born. (more...)

September 28, 2009
Posted in Boutique Amps,Swart Amplifiers — anthony @ 8:19 pm

Matchless Amps

Founded in 1989, Matchless Amps set out to be exactly that: matchless.  The original founders set out to create a series of amps that would provide both a great amount of power and be incredibly versatile.  matchless-ampsToday, that dedication to quality still continues, and Matchless is known as one of the top amp companies in the world.  They build some of the best sounding and most durable products available.  Of course, they’re all hand wired by professionals using only the absolute best materials around.

Matchless has made some amazing amps over the years.  Some of their top boutique amps were made during what is now referred to as the Sampson era of Matchless.  This was the time between 1989 and 1998 when Mark Sampson, co-founder of the company, was very hands-on in designing amps.  Some believe these amps are of better quality than the amps Matchless produces today, although that opinion is not shared by everyone. (more...)

September 25, 2009
Posted in Boutique Amps,Matchless Amps — anthony @ 6:08 pm

T-Rex Alberta Overdrive Pedal

Need a very capable little pedal that’s going to give you more than a tube screamer clone?  If so, you need the T-Rex Alberta Overdrive Pedal.  This little pedal features only the highest quality of components, and the people at T-Rex have paid the utmost attention to every little detail and characteristic of the Alberta Overdrive.  t-rex-alberta-overdrive-pedalThis means it doesn’t have any of the issues or annoyances that screamer pedals have.  Your low end will keep intact, but you will be able to get better gain—more or less as you need—than the standard overdrive pedal.

This pedal is much more than just a tube screamer.  Its gain can provide you with some creamy, thick overdrive that features just a bit of a mid-boost that will give you the kick you need without warping or distorting your sound in any way.  The overdrive itself is very smooth and doesn’t get muddy at all.  Your low end is going to sound dynamic and tight while your tone control offers up a wide range of sound without any tinny noises.  It’s a great overdrive that stays true to your sound while still offering you a lot of options.  It costs a bit more than some other pedals; the T-Rex Alberta Overdrive Pedal runs around $199.99. (more...)

September 19, 2009
Posted in Guitar Effects,T-Rex — anthony @ 6:48 pm

Mack Amps Review

Mack Amps works to provide guitar players with some of the best resonant, warm amps out there.  They sell only hand made tube amps designed for blues, rock, and jazz.  These amps are all built to withstand use just about anywhere from your home to your studio to the many different venues you may play.

mack-ampsMack produces several different types of amps.  One of their newest ones is the Gem.  It’s a Class A, single tube amp that is very versatile and has great tone.  It can go from 4 watts to .4, depending on what you need.  It’s a great amp for any small venue.

The Heatseeker line of amps includes the HS-18 and HS-36.  The HS-18 pumps out some very rich tones and is useful for gigs or for recording in the studio.  The HS-36 is a quad version of the HS-18 and provides more of the great features that the 18 does.

Likewise, there are two different versions of the Skyraider amp—the SR-15 and SR-30, with the SR-30 being a quad 6V6 version of the SR-15.  These amps feature the same pre-amp as the Heatseeker, but they run off of 6V6 tubes instead of the EL84s that the Heatseekers use.  However, the two SR models feature a power amplifier overdrive that will boost up the preamp and add clean tones. (more...)

September 16, 2009
Posted in Boutique Amps,Mack Amps — anthony @ 5:02 pm

Seymour Duncan SFX-01 Pickup Booster

The Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster SFX-01 is known as the first pedal that was designed to specifically work with pickups.  It’s a very dynamic pedal that features three different options.  seymour-duncan-sfx-01-pickup-boosterYou can shift the resonance of the pedal down 2 to 3 kHz, shift it down 3 to 5 kHz, or not change the resonance at all.  Either way, you get 25 decibels of gain in addition to this resonance shift.  The resonance switch works with any single coil pickup.  If you put it in position one, you’ll create a sound that is similar to vintage humbuckers.  Position 2 gives you a high, modern gain, while position 0, or the no change position, leaves everything neutral and simply gives you a great, clean boost for your amp or your signal.

The Seymour Duncan pickup booster can do just about anything to your tone and your sound.  It can add a thickness and richness to it, or it can bring in some very transparent boost.  It all depends on what you want and need.  It’s great for pushing your amp or overdrive pedal, and some people have even gone as far as to call it the best boost pedal ever.  It’s certainly a very useful pedal to own, and it can be yours for $79.95.

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Additional Resources for: Seymour Duncan SFX-01 Pickup Booster

September 15, 2009
Posted in Guitar Effects,Seymour Duncan — anthony @ 9:07 am
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