Double Double MIDI Trouble

I just recorded a solo version of one of my fave film themes: Jerry Goldsmith’s main title to the 1967 spy spoof In Like Flint. I’ve adored the melody since childhood, and I blame it for instilling the love of chromaticism that made possible my extraordinarily uncommercial career.

I’d previously posted another version [...]

Odds & Ends & Pixies

Oh man — the gods have been generous this week.

I just received from Warmoth all the parts for my next DIY guitar. I loved testing eight sets of P-90 pickups for Premier Guitar, but I don’t own any P-90-eqipped guitars.I will soon, though!

This one will be a bit of a platypus — [...]

Logidy EPSi Review:
The First Customizable Convolution Reverb Pedal

One of the coolest gizmos from last weeks NAMM show is already in my grubby little hands: It’s the Logidy EPSi, the first customizable convolution reverb pedal. I ordered it the instant I heard about it, and it arrived right before I left for Anaheim.

Convolution (or impulse response) reverbs can mimic acoustic spaces and [...]

The Lipstick Lab
New Experiments with Old Pickups

Do you ever get an idea that you just know is going to work out brilliantly? And then discover you were totally wrong?

That’s how it was when I finally reassembled my generic Mexican Strat with Duncan lipstick tube pickups. After I recorded a demoing of it here almost two years ago, the guitar lay [...]

The One-Knob Manifesto

Can you help me figure this thing out?

It’s almost always a bad idea to label something a manifesto. It’s pretentious, and it makes you sound like a crank, especially if you were born between 1890 and 1990. But it is dramatic. And would anyone pay attention if I gave this post a more [...]

Blood on the Workbench

Small puncture, big pain.

I was trying to decide which self-indulgent experiment fascinating project to demo this week when my hand slipped, driving a sharp soldering iron tip into the meat of my fretting-hand index finger. It didn’t hurt all that much—until I tried to play. Ye-OWCH! (No, of course I wasn’t using the [...]

Phasers That Stun

 

UPDATE: My Premier Guitar Heptode Virtuoso review is live. Read and listen here.

I’ve got phase shifters on the brain, especially after encountering a couple of truly stunning ones. I just wrote a review for Premier Guitar of Heptode’s Virtuoso phaser, a superb clone of the old Maestro PS-1A. (I’ll link to the [...]

It’s Raining Germanium!

I just bought 500 germanium transistors.(Yes, as a matter of fact, I am insane. Why do you ask?)

UPDATE: My Dunlop Fuzz Face Mini review is live at Premier Guitar. Audio clips included!

How and when did it get so frickin’ easy to procure great-sounding germanium transistors?

I’ve been building stompboxes for four years [...]

The WRONG Way to Use a Talk Box

Any talk box fans out there?

Whew. Didn’t think so. I mean, doesn’t everybody hate those godforsaken things? Wasn’t it all downhill after “Tell Me Something Good?”

But did you know that the “talking guitar” has a rather exalted history four decades pre-Frampton Comes Alive? Check out this performance by Alvino Rey, the steel guitar [...]

Klon vs. Screamer Test:
The Results Are In!

As promised, the correct answers to the Klon vs. Screamer blind listening test posted exactly a week ago:

Example 1: medium gain, medium tone

Pedal A = BYOC clone Pedal B = Klon Centaur

Example 2: high gain, medium tone

Pedal A = BYOC clone Pedal [...]