Ibanez' strategy to have virtuoso guitarists as endorsers have paid off big time, allowing them to not only produce signature instruments, but to also improve on their production line guitars using the ideas they compiled from various artists. Among their many signature instruments, the Ibanez JEM series is easily one of the most easily identifiable, thanks to its affiliation with guitar wizard Steve Vai and its unique monkey grip handle, which is carved into the body.
You honestly could get a single multi-effects unit that will already have thousands of the most popular stompboxes built in, plug it into your PA or headphones, turn on one of the many built-in amp modelers, and you’re good to go. This is actually a solution that many touring musicians have gravitated towards, as it is so much easier to just carry around a single multi-effects unit compared to a pedalboard with several different pedals and a separate amp.
The Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II is the signature guitar of one of jazz music’s great guitarists. Joe Pass played on records with Ella Fitzgerald, and his influence has cemented his name among the greats of the genre. The guitar which bears his name is a fine example of a guitar geared precisely towards one genre. It won’t win any awards for versatility, but it is a fantastic instrument for jazz fans of any skill level. Featuring the classic hollow body arch top design of old but with two high quality Burstbucker pickups for a range of silky tones.
If you’re new to the world of guitar or bass, a looper pedal is a great way to hone your skills. A looper pedal is not an effect, but more a tool that allows you to record chord progressions, notes or riffs and then play it back through your amp. It’s ideal for playing a chord progression or rhythm section, looping it and then playing a lead line or riff over the top – like two guitars playing together.
The HSS pickup configuration with a five-way switch keeps things versatile and beginner-friendly. Two single-coils and an overwound bridge humbucker provide a good mix of glassy Strat-like and fat Les Paul-esque tones that are capable of straight-up rock, funk and blues. They’re good as far as in-house pickups go, but don’t expect tonal authenticity at this price point.
"It's a labor of love," says Youngman, a guitar master who's been handling guitars since the '50s and '60s when rock 'n' roll was still in its infancy. But he's not just a surgeon; he's a neck specialist. "If the neck doesn't feel right, you're not going to play." He's always been good at setting guitars up, and today he works mostly from home, although he also does repair work at Guitarasaur in Watuga. "It's always nice to make someone happy. It makes me feel like I'm doing something right."
Once CNC (computer numeric control) equipment was introduced into guitar factories starting in the late 1980s and continuing on into the 1990s, it became far less of an issue where a guitar was made. Many of the CNC machines were made in Japan. In some cases the difference between an American-made guitar versus a Japanese-made guitar versus a Korean-made guitar was little more than where the machine was located. To make a guitar in the USA involved putting a Japanese-made CNC machine on a boat and sending it to the US whereupon it could be programmed in the USA and then American or other wood could be fed into the machine, which would spit out components made to tolerances within a few thousandths of an inch of the programming. By contrast a Japanese-made guitar would be produced by leaving the CNC machine in Japan, programming it with a disc done in the USA, and then importing wood to be put into the machine which would spit out components to the same specifications as those which would be made by a similar machine in the USA. A Korean-made guitar could be remarkably similar since the Japanese-made CNC machine could be sent to Korea whereupon the same process could be done there. By 1990 the quantity of guitars made in Japan was nowhere near what it had been earlier, but Korean production was in high gear. While some Japanese instruments have come to be viewed as quite desirable and collectible, I have seen little evidence of such activity with respect to Korean instruments, but the fact remains that the better-quality Korean guitars are remarkably good and most certainly are suitable for use on stage or in the studio.
James Burton, another famous Twin user, put it best: “If you can plug your guitar into an amp and make it sound good, that’s what it’s all about. The amp I really enjoy playing, especially when I’m traveling, is the Fender ’65 Twin Reverb. It’s got everything you need for live playing and it has great tone. That amp just works for me and it’s real trustworthy. When I travel on the road, I do use a little digital delay and maybe a little chorus, but I just like the sound of the guitar and playing something that I think people will appreciate and understand.”
Kaman and his technicians began by building traditional square-backed guitars, but by the sixth prototype were using oscilloscopes to develop the now familiar bowl-backed shape, its spherical shape being self-reinforcing, thus eliminating the need for bracing. After some experimentation, the carved, round-crowned Ovation three-and-three headstock was developed. The modern Ovation guitar with a Lyracord back was born.
So you decided to play electric guitar. Once you get a guitar and an amp, the next step is to explore effects. Effects pedals can be separated into groups based on their functions. Understanding the different pedal groups is the key to getting the best sound when chaining them together. The largest pedal group is probably overdrives and distortions, and BOSS currently makes 16 different pedals in this category.
Many people "re-amp" direct guitar tracks recorded to a DAW using amp-modeling software, with good results. Plug-ins are wonderfully suited to the virtual recording environment, allowing for fast access to a plethora of modeling amplifier and speaker cabinet combinations, hence tones, effectively replacing a roomful of amps, cabs and microphones. Programming the virtual amplifier is the same as tweaking the knobs on the real thing, and the same is true for programming software dynamics and effects processors in relation to their hardware equivalents. As the realism and sophistication of modeling technology continue to develop, so does the viability of virtual re-amping as a production technique.
Much like ESP, Schecter started out as a parts company which decided to start building their own guitars. Right from day one it was apparent that their mission was to deliver ultimate metal guitars. Everything from their design, to the choice of electronics pointed in this direction. It didn’t take long for Schecter to become one of the go to brands that has reached the elite level.
Wife wants to play guitar again after a long hiatus. My full sized Takamine with fat strings is too big and heavy for her. Got her this 3/4 Yamaha and I fell in love with it. I may have to get another one for her because I've been hogging it. It has a great voice for a 3/4. The action is nice, the built in tuner is a real treat. Never had one before but it is unbelievably convenient. I don't plug it in often but I had to check out that sound too. The electronics sound decent. Can't crank it up too loud or it starts to feedback, but I'm actually sitting right on top of my small but punchy VOX amp so I can't really say how it would work for playing out. The reviews convinced me to buy this one. The best review only had one major complaint; the tuning pegs. I agree they could be better, but I don't think they are awful. I have to tweak the tuning just a little once or twice a day before I play, but it isn't like it goes out of tune when I'm playing, even when I'm beating on it hard. I think it is well worth the price and was surprised by the volume it produces. Much better than expected. If you don't find the tuning pegs worthy, I think the instrument is good enough to spend money on for an upgrade, but I don't plan to. It is solid, light weight, comfortable, nice sounding, well designed, feature rich and handy. I'm keeping it in the corner by the bed and I pick it up every chance I get. I haven't played guitar much the past few years so having a guitar at my fingertips all the time is helping me get my callouses back quickly. No matter what you play, if you lose your callouses, rebuilding them is always painful for a few weeks, but this instrument is pretty easy to play. I've gone through the process several times over the years with my Takamine. This is far less painful. Perhaps that means it will take longer, but at least I can still use my fingers to type long reviews in the meantime. No avoiding the pain regardless of what you play, but there is pain, and there is agony. This guitar hits a sweet spot somewhere in between. It's just right for young or old, big or small. (FWIW, I heard an interview with Clapton where he confessed he doesn't play much when he's not working and when he has to prepare for a tour, even he has to go through the callous building process). Well, I'm way off topic now. Again, great little guitar. Go for it.
The final spot in our top 5 list goes to the DigiTech RP500, the second-largest of the DigiTech RP line of multi-effects pedals, but definitely the most popular out of the lineup. Like Boss and Line 6, DigiTech is no stranger to making very good guitar effects. Their parent company Harman also owns Lexicon, famed for their top-of-the-line reverb sounds, which DigiTech very much benefits from. The DigiTech RP500 is a multi-effect unit with amp modeling, a looper, USB connection, and an onboard expression pedal. Out of the 5 pedals on this list, it draws the most comparisons to the Zoom G3X and the Boss ME-80 (both in terms of price and features). Throughout this review we’ll make sure to cover how it stacks up against those.
Nice-4-Bass-V1.5 This is an sf2 simplified version of three different basses - all with 4 velocity layers. It includes the 1958 Otto Rubner double bass played and mapped by Drogomir Smolken, recorded by Ludwik Zamenhof. The samples are exceptional and some percussive effects have been mapped to some high notes. Royalty-free for all commercial and non-commercial use. Copyright 2016 Karoryfer Lecolds (Karoryfer Samples). The original Meatbass sfz version for Sforzando has round-robin sampling and includes arco as well as pizzicato presets. (http://www.karoryfer.com/karoryfer-samples).
Flawless build, the action is set up so well I don't see any need to tinker with anything. Pulled it out of the box, tuned it and strummed a few chords, then set it aside for 24 hours. Re-tuned it the next day and it has stayed in tune. I cannot find anything amiss or out of place on this one. Per the serial number, this is a 2015 Indonesian build. The wood is simply perfect in appearance and the tone is outstanding for a thinline. Yeah, I am happy with this one. Recommended.