Yesterday a Electric Guitar Review reader caught in the Gibson site what could be the Guitar of the Week number 36. Although we don’t know if the guitar has a wrong number or they really showed the 36th week model in advance, the guitar, a Gibson Explorer New Century, is a very good looking guitar that reminds me a lot of the guitars used by James Hetfield.
The Gibson Explorer New Century features mahogany body and neck, ebony fingerboard, carbon fiber pickguard, 22 frets, 24.75″ scale length, Tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece, 496R Ceramic magnet (neck) and 500T Ceramic magnet (bridge) humbucker pickups, 3-way pickup switch, two volume and one tone controls.
This accidentally unveiled guitar comes with satin ebony finish and maybe some more features that will be announced when the right time come. As ll the previous models from the Guitar of the Week Series, the Gibson Explorer New Century production will be limited to 400 units.
Hartman Electronics is doing a great job providing musicians new effects based on old vintage pedals that is not possible to find anymore, or at least is very difficult and not affordable. The last effect they have released is the Hartman Electronics Germanium Treble Boost, based on the Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster, a 100% hand wired pedal that provides clean boost at low boost levels but at high boost levels (also with high volume on the guitar or hard pick-attack) provides a compressed sound with Germanium fuzz.
The Hartman Electronics Germanium Treble Boost features true bypass switch, frequency response switch (to adjust the boost range to hi or mid range frequencies, more mid range frequencies compensates high trebled amps tone), boost knob control, on/off LED and footswitch and genuine NOS Germanium OC44 (Mullard or Phillips) or NKT275 transistors.
This boost pedal can be powered by 9V battery (included) or by a DC adapter, is temperature-stabilized and comes with RF shielded enclosure. The Hartman Electronics Germanium Treble Boost is now available and its price is $174.99 (additional $5 if you choose Mullard OC44 transistors).
Another company that releases limited edition instruments, this time ESP releases new bass guitar model based on the 400 Series, introduced 20 years ago, that were the first instruments sold in the US. The ESP Vintage-4 Relic Bass Guitar will be available in two different versions whose only difference is the fingerboard wood and the finish.
The ESP Vintage-4 Relic Bass Guitar features alder body, maple neck, maple or rosewood fingerboard, 21 extra-jumbo frets, Gotoh bridge and tailpiece, Basslines SPB-2 (neck) and Basslines SJB-2 (bridge) pickups and two volume and one tone controls.
Besides the fingerboard wood the other feature that can be chose is the finish, black and three-tone sunburst, both of them with the classic wears and tears of the relic instruments. The price of the ESP Vintage-4 Relic Bass Guitar is near $1,330 and is now available.
It’s usual to have difficulties when recording your own ideas to have basic tracks. You can easily record the guitar tracks and bass and vocal tracks are more difficult but it’s possible, but if you want to have a real drum track, not that machine sounding drums, or organ or even string arrangements is not a very easy task. There are some sample libraries but, maybe a better option is the new software released by Cakewalk, Studio Instruments.
The Cakewalk Studio Instruments software is an easy-to-use instrument collection that can be used to jam along the tracks or inside a music editor software (works with almost every software as AU/VSTi). The collection includes drum kits (with tunning and tempo adjustments to fit your song and built-in effects), bass guitar (with multiple electric basses, pickup selector, slide-note tones, 3-band EQ, drive and compression controls), electric piano (with built-in effects like drive, chorus and tremolo) and string section (with bass, cello and violin, attack, release, chorus and reverb adjustable parameters for the string tone and pan and tone controls for each instrument).
All the instruments include patterns for all music styles, key transposing to fit your own creation and can be played with computer keyboard, mouse and MIDI controller. The most incredible thing about the Cakewalk Studio Instruments software is the price, $49.99.
Last year Line6 release a new recording interface for guitar, bass and vocals, you don’t need to worry anymore if your guitar tone doesn’t sound very good in the studio recording room or in your own room, the TonePort will help you providing a huge range of equipment sounds to adjust the tone to the song. Now Line6 is releasing a portable version of this product (as seems as they are doing with other products like PocketPOD), the Line6 TonePort GX, that almost fits in the pocket (better put it in the guitar bag pocket) and is a perfect tool for using with a laptop.
The main difference between the Line6 TonePort GX and its bigger brothers are the connections, this little one only features 1/4″ jack input and USB and 1/8″ headphones with volume level (for monitoring) outputs. The device also features 18 guitar amps, 24 cabinets, 5 bass amps and 29 effects (from the GearBox software), low latency ToneDirect monitoring, 24-bit audio recording, 96KHz sample rate support and 100dB SNR.
This recording interface works with Ableton Live, GarageBand, Logic, Cakewalk or Sonar. The Line6 TonePort GX is now available and its price is $69.
Krank Amps is releasing a new amp stack, that was briefly introduced at Winter NAMM ’07, and is based on the monster Rev Series 1. The Krank Rev Jr. 20W Stack Amp is available in full and half stack and can be an interesting tool for small club gigs because it provides a great tube tone even at lower volumes.
The Krank Rev Jr. 20W Stack Amp features 20W power output, all-tube circuit, 2 channels, two 5881 and three 12AX7 tubes, boost switch, active tube-driven effects loop, 3-band EQ, sweep and master level controls. one or two 12″ Eminence speakers and solid poplar wood cabinets.
This stack has a very cool design with signature metal front grill, looks like military stuff. The Krank Rev Jr. 20W Stack Amp is now available and its price is $699 for the half stack model and $899 for the full stack model.
The stompbox company Gig-fx ahs announced a new wah pedal, the Gig-fx Kilo-Wah, an all-analog pedal built with lightweight aircraft aluminum that provides different types of wah effects. This pedal is based on the Mega-Wah pedal but in mono format and with less wah modes and controls, so easier to use.
The Gig-fx Kilo-Wah Pedal features four wah modes, analog signal circuitry, transparent bypass, same frequency response as a true bypass pedal, zero noise, optically linked pedal, blue and red LEDs, mode selector switch and rate control (for auto-wah). The modes are classic wah (nothing more to say), mega-wah (similar to the previous one but with added bass frequencies), trig-wah (triggered by each note version of the bigger brother sound) and auto-wah (only have adjust rate with the control).
This pedal is powered by 9V battery or by DC adapter and is very compact, not like those huge wah pedals. The Gig-fx Kilo-Wah Pedal will have an approximate price of $175 and its availability has to be announced yet.
Pantheon Guitars, a very young company whose Luthier is Dana Bourgeois, is releasing a new acoustic guitar in the Slope Shoulder Dreadnought series. The Pantheon Guitars Bourgeois Short Scale Slope D is based on the last year’s guitar Slope D, but has a shorter scale, that wasn’t difficult to find out, and a very warm tone and more relaxed playability.
The Pantheon Guitars Bourgeois Short Scale Slope D features mahogany dreadnought body with Adirondack spruce top, mahogany neck, Ivoroid fingerboard, 25″ scale length, 20 frets, ebony bridge and snakehead headstock. You can also change the features for some other available like different spruce tops, body, neck and bridge woods, different inlays or a single cut-away, all this options have an additional price, so check them out.
The guitar is available in Bourgeois sunburst and natural finishes and in left-handed version. The Pantheon Guitars Bourgeois Short Scale Slope D is now available and its price is $4,095 (additional $100 for the sunburst finish).
We were talking about the rivalry between the Guitar Hero III and Rock Band videogames when we introduced the new stratocaster replica that will be used as a controller for the game, and this week it has been unveiled an advanced photo of the drum kit that will be used in Rock Band to play the drum tracks of the songs that will be in the game, that will be mainly original not covers.
The Rock Band’s Drum Kit consists of 4 toms and a pedal, supposedly, for the bass drum. The toms are colored, like the Guitar Hero guitar buttons, but you can’t really tell the difference between them, so I suppose the final version will have full color in the toms. Another question is if we’ll need drumsticks, well drumsticks are necessary but, we could use our own drumsticks or the drum kit will come with a pair.
The Rock Band game will be released at the end of the year and the price of the complete pack of “instruments” will be near $320. A lot of people are already waiting for it.
Seems like, lately, a lot of guitar companies, specially Fender and Gibson, want to have all the limited edition products they can. We have the Guitar of the Week series, the Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster, Jimmy Page Double-neck guitar or the relic series, and the series that produces more units is under 500 models. Now we have another one to add to the list, Fender Eric Clapton Crossroads Stratocaster guitar, but this one can come with a Crossroads ’57 Twin amp if you want, and have the money.
From this one there will be only 100 units and 50 of the amp. The guitar has been designed and had-built under the supervision of Eric himself in the Fender’s Custom Shop in California. You can make a reservation to get the guitar or the guitar with the amp, you have two options, the Gold Package that includes the Fender Eric Clapton Crossroads Stratocaster, an Anvil road case, Crossroads’ guitar strap, Eric Clapton’s Limited Edition guitar picks and certificate of authenticity. To get this option make sure you have $20,000 in the bank.
The other options is the Platinum Package that includes all the above with the Crossroads’ ’57 Twin amp with Clapton's autograph and some other things from the Crossroads Show. This one will cost you $30,000. There will be 50 units of each package. All the proceedings from this two packages will go to the Crossroads Centre founded by Clapton that helps drugs and alcohol rehabilitation.