Electro Harmonix Hum Debugger

Ok, so this pedal isn’t all that new, and this won’t be long, I just wanted to share it with everyone.

The EHX hum debugger eliminates hum.  It doesn’t do so the way that noise gates/suppressors do.  Instead in actually grabs the hum out of the signal.  The only control on this pedal, is a toggle switch, and the on/off button of course.  The toggle allows you to choose from normal to strong.  This sets the amount of hum you really want to be removed from the signal.  It is a very cool pedal, and I would recommend checking out the video.

Also, I wanted to let my readers know, if there is anything that you have heard about coming out, please feel free to comment and let me know.  I am always looking for things to research and, if possible, get my hands on it to play.

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Electro Harmonix Freeze

Electro Harmonix is getting ready to release the EH-Freeze, around 9-24-10.  This date may not yet be set in stone, I am not sure.  I can tell you however that this Pedal is sure to please anyone thats into effects.  The Freeze is a true guitar sustain pedal.  Not a pedal that adds sustain, but a piano style sustain that will las as long as your foot is on the pedal, with no loss in tone.  What a great idea.  This thing will add so many possibilities its not even funny.  From something as simple as playing a chord and having it ring out so that you can solo over it, to getting really cool sounds with other effect pedals….like putting this in the effects loop of a Memory Boy Deluxe.

Some places have this item up for pre-order, and I suggest you do just that.  I have heard rumors that EH is only allowing 2 pieces to be ordered per client, as of now.  So getting one of these after they come out may be a bit of an issue.  There are youtube videos up that will show exactly how the Freeze works.  And if you hadn’t guessed, I am recommending anyone who plays guitar, especially if you into effects as much as I am, to check these things out.

The Freeze has just a couple of settings.  First the switch allows you to change from fast and slow decay, or latch, which gives infinite sustain.  The other option is the level of the effect.  Thats it, no complicated settings at all.  This pedal would be used best in conjunction with other effects of course, and depending where it is in the chain, can give some pretty cool sounding effects.  And this thing is less than $120.

New Line 6 to be out very soon!!!

Line 6 is set to release the new POD HD series “pedal boards,” if you will, this month.  Sure its at the end of the month, but still this month.  These look promising, tho I would really love a chance to play with one.  The POD HD series includes a 300, 400, and 500.  These all have similar features, but are different in enough ways to make the price points valid.

From what I can tell, not only will the POD HD series have all, or at least most, of the effects from the M13 effect unit, but will also be able to control some other things.  For instance, the new Variax guitars that will be out probably around the same time, and the newest all tube amplifier will have settings that can be changed by the board.  Some of the most noted variables are:

  • Changing type of guitar (say from a Strat, to a Tele, to a Les Paul)
  • Changing the negative feedback loop on the amp
  • Change the DT50 from Pentode to Triode

There are many more options available,  but it would take all day just to get them listed.  This should give an idea as to how versatile this setup can be.  The only thing I can see as a problem, you have to have all 3 products (a Variax, a Pod HD, and the DT50) to get the full worth of any of the products.  But thats not to say they aren’t all great stand-alone products, you just can’t do all without all.

Believe me, I will be testing each product as/if I can to get an idea of just how well they handle all the available options, and how good they sound.  But if Line 6 has proven anything, its that the products they offer are unmatched in their price point.

Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster

I have had the chance, finally, to play on the new Jazzmaster Fender is releasing.  It is what you would expect from a Fender Jazzmaster guitar.  The Jazzmaster neck pickup has a very warm, creamy sound.  Sound great running through a little fuzz.  I didn’t have any noise at all on either pickup, at practice room volumes, which was a bit of a surprise to me.
The neck on the guitar is amazing.  Most of the Fender necks I’ve played on seem to be a bit too big for me to play comfortably, but the Blacktop series doesn’t seem to have this issue.  I had no problems executing sweeps, changing chord positions, or making pitch harmonics squeal.  I enjoyed playing this guitar for sure.

There are a couple of things I was disappointed about.  The guitar doesn’t come with a gig bag or case.  The lack of a hard case doesn’t surprise me, but a gig bag was expected.  The Jazzmaster, also, needed to be setup out of the box, as it was completely unplayable.  That could have been a fluke, but it was still annoying to have to deal with.

All in all, for less than $500 these guitars are sure to be a hit.  There wasn’t anything about playing the guitar that turned me off to buying the guitar.  Even with the little flaws, they are well worth the money and will surely give hours of fun for anyone that buys one.

New Fender Black Top Series Guitars

UPDATE!!!!! UPDATE!!!!! They are up for sale, so those of you who have been dying to get your hands on the Blacktop, nows the chance…..

The long awaited and debated Black Top guitars are here.  Fender is releasing, sometime in September, 4 new guitars.  They are all body styles we know and love: the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Jazzmaster, and Jaguar (pictured below in this order).  If the street price that is rumored is correct, $450, then we can expect them to take off.

Telecaster HH – The Telecaster features an Alder body, maple neck, and a rosewood or maple fretboard.  The bridge pickup is a Hot Vintage Alnico,  and the neck pickup is a Hot Vintage Alnico, both are nickel covered and humbuckers.  Fretboard Radius is 9.5″ and has 22 Medium Jumbo frets.  3 position pickup switch.  Available in Black, Candy Apple Red, and Silver, with Black pick guard.

Stratocaster – The Stratocaster features an Alder body, maple neck, and a rosewood or maple fretboard.  The bridge pickup is a Hot Vintage Alnico,  and the neck pickup is a Hot Vintage Alnico, both are nickel covered and humbuckers.  Fretboard Radius is 9.5″ and has 22 Medium Jumbo frets.  5 position pickup switch.  Position 1 is just the bridge humbucker, position 2 is both pickups, but just the inner single coils.  Position 3 is both humbuckers in full.  Position 4 is just the outer single coil in the neck.  Position 5 is the neck humbucker. Available in Black, Candy Apple Red, and Sonic Blue with either a Black or Mint Green pick guard.

Jazzmaster – The Jazzmaster features an Alder body, maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard.  The bridge pickup is a Ducan Designed Humbucker,  and the neck pickup is a Jazzmaster Single coil pickup.  Fretboard Radius is 9.5″ and has 21 Medium Jumbo frets.  3 position pickup switch.  American Vintage Jazzmaster Tremolo with Adjusto-Matic bridge and Tremolo lock button.  Available in 3-color Sunburst and Black, with either a Black or Mint Green pick guard.

Jaguar – The Jaguar features an Alder body, maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard.  The bridge pickup is a Hot Vintage Alnico,  and the neck pickup is a Hot Vintage Alnico, both are nickel covered and humbuckers.  Fretboard Radius is 9.5″ and has 22 Medium Jumbo frets.  3 position pickup switch.  Adjusto-Matic bridge with anchored tail piece.  Available in Silver and Black, with either a black or mint green pick guard.

I will be excited to try these out, as I am sure many others will be.  With a September launch, it will be a while, but if someone gets a hold of one before I can post and say my experience with them, please share.  I will be doing a follow up on each of the guitars separately as I get a chance to play them.

Bugera BC30

Remember the AC30?  Well Bugera certainly does.  They made the BC30, which is very similar to the Vox AC30 amplifier.  The BC30 is an all valve amplifier, and when I say all valve I mean it.  The rectifier also is tube driven.  This is a nice feature that you don’t see on a lot of amps anymore.  Mesa Boogie has the Rectifier, dual Rectifier and Triple Rectifier amps which, as the name suggests, has one, two, or three tubes in the rectifier.

So how does the BC30 compare the AC30, and other tube amps.  Well feature for feature the BC30 wins.  It has an FX loop for each channel, a speaker reverse switch, and a switchable impedance for an extension cabinet.  Check out the amp below:

As you can see, this amp looks like an AC30, but has the features of lots of other amps all compact into one.  The tonal possibilities of this amp are amazing, if you get the volume up.  I will say, like the AC30, the BC30 has to be at a higher volume to really get a good tone from it.  But for only $598.94 its pretty hard to let this amp go.

So, what do all those features do? Well….

With separate effects loops you can have different effects on different channels, obviously.  But you can also run out of the send from channel 2 into the input of channel one, which will not only give you lots more gain, it will allow you to get some killer tones.  The cabinet reverse switch allows you to change the tone, especially with gain, because it reverses the way in which the sound comes out of the speaker.  The switchable OHM load if just for different types of cabinets, which ensures this would work with any extension cab you already may have.

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