Big White Monkeys Freaky – EQ shaping boost pedal

Okay another pedal review, and I will try to keep this short, as the Big White Monkeys Freaky is more of a functional boost pedal with EQ shaping capabilities rather than the usual effects stuff I normally review. The Freaky is a pedal the boys on the Gold Coast at Big White Monkey amps have had in their big yellow stomp box range for a while now, which I am finally getting around to checking out.

First up, I just want to give BWM a bit of a plug, then we’ll check out a couple of vids, along with my review. Now for those of you who are not familiar with BWM, please check out our list of growing reviews or their Facebook page, where you can get good discounts (as opposed to buying through EBay, which charges big fees and obviously gets added to your buying costs). I personally think their products are fantastic value for money and their amps and pedals rock!, but also, the customer support for an online distributor is fantastic. I have found that any thing I buy from them, I always receive excellent customer service and they stand by their warranty, so I can have peace of mind knowing that if I have a problem they will fix it! Okay there is my plug, on with the Freaky!!!

So first up, lets have a look at a couple of videos. This first video Darren has the Freaky at the end of his signal, meaning it’s the last pedal before it hits the amp. In front of the Freaky is a mid 90s ProCo Rat distortion pedal. The amp is a Peavey Delta Blues and the guitar is Darrens heavily modified ‘E’ serial MIJ Fender Strat.


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98 CY Squire Affinity Stratocaster Review – Cheapy or well-priced bargain?

I don’t know about you, but I love mucking around with low priced guitars that actually play and sound really good. It must be the Scottish in me, that loves the idea of getting a nice sounding Strat for about $100.

So first up let’s have a listen to how the Squire Affinity sounds. In the video below Darren is plugged straight into a Marshall JCM 800.

Fender Custom Shop Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child Signature Journeyman Relic

End Date: Tuesday Jun-25-2019 17:48:09 PDT
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Carl Martins AC Tone – Vox in a Box!

I recently managed to get my hands on an AC-Tone by Carl Martin, but admittedly, turned it over pretty fast due to my slippery fingers not being able to hold anything for long. I must admit that I have always wanted to try the AC Tone by Carl Martin, a pedal regarded by some reviewers (such as Brett Kingman aka Burgerman 666) as one of the best Vox in a box pedals around.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a video review of my AC-Tone, so here’s a couple of Brett’s…

Sticking that pedal into a Fender or any other amp with ample clean headroom turns said amp into a great old Vox – instantly.- Brett Kingman

Carl Martin AC-Tone Dual Channel

End Date: Tuesday Jul-16-2019 21:42:12 PDT
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Epiphone Dot Super VS – Another Great Limited Editition Axe from Epi

Howdy, you may remember my review on the Epiphone Sheraton, a jazzy and bluesy black number, where I shared a little bit about Epiphone’s very Greek history. Well, today we have a similar beast as the Sheraton, but no history lesson, it’s Epiphone’s Dot ‘Super VS‘.

As with most of our reviews, first up a couple of vids…

For this first video, the guitar is plugged into a Ceriatone JTM45 and a Hiwatt 300W 2×12 speaker cab loaded with Fane speakers. Darren is also using a mid 90s USA ProCo Rat for the distortion.

Epiphone 1961 E230T Casino "Fat Head with Dot Marker" 604-3985-19530

End Date: Thursday Jul-4-2019 2:32:44 PDT
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1995 Orville Les Paul Gold Top

So here we are again, this time we’re looking at a very nice made in Japan Orville Les Paul Gold Top. And to start off, before we get into looking at the pics, lets have a listen to her. Dazza was kind enough to demo this guitar using a couple of amps.

First up lets check out how she sounds through a Ceriatone JTM45, the cab is a 1×12 Fargen, fitted with a Celestion 70th anniversary G12H. The distortion used in the video is my ProCo Rat2 pedal, which is a made in the U.S.A model.

Orville Gibson Les Paul Standard beutiful JAPAN rare useful EMS F/S*

End Date: Sunday Jul-7-2019 19:13:56 PDT
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Big White Monkeys FG15 DC Tube Amp – Matchless 30 Clone!

Okay time for another review of some new gear from our friends Big White Monkey Amps on the Gold Coast Australia, this time in the form of their new hand wired amp, the FG15 DC.

First Up, the vid…

Okay, lets get into it, this amp is based on the Matchless 30 amp, well specifically the EF86 pre-amp section of that amp, which in turn is based on the old vintage Vox AC30s, some of which featured an EF86 tube in the pre-amp section. Continue reading

Smoothly Does It – Legato Technique for Guitar

This guest post was written by Chris Lake, from a professional guitarist and guitar teacher of over 25 years.

Legato is a term that you will hear a lot once you start getting into lead guitar playing, but what exactly does it mean?

Translated literally as ‘tied together’ the term legato tells you that you should let the notes you are playing flow smoothly from one to the next, without any pause between them. With legato you get a very smooth flowing sound to the music, as opposed to ‘staccato’ in which each note played is sharply detached and separate from the following notes.

Legato Technique

Legato Technique

To achieve a legato sound different techniques are employed for different instruments. Take a wind instrument such as a flute. To produce legato here the player would play all the notes under one breath. With a bowed stringed instrument, the player would play the notes under a continuous bow.

To play legato on the guitar you need to minimize the use of the pick. This means using ‘hammer-ons’ and ‘pull-offs’, and when talking about guitar technique this is precisely what is meant by legato.

So, when employing a legato technique for guitar these are the two main techniques you will need to master. By combining the two you can play fast, smoothly flowing runs with ease.

So, to begin with let’s take a look at hammer-ons.

Hammer-ons are used to go from one note to a higher note on the same string without picking the new note. You can use a pick to play the very first note, but the subsequent notes will be played by ‘hammering-on’ to the string with your fretting fingers.

So for example, suppose you are playing the note E on the fifth fret of the B string with your first finger, and the next note you want to play is an F# two frets above. You need to use the tip of your ring finger to strike the string at the 7th fret to make the note sound.

You need to come down on the string perpendicular to the fretboard, and with enough force to produce the same volume, more or less, that you would with a pick. That’s about all you need to know about hammer-ons. Continue reading

ToneWoods – Seriously Do Tonewoods Really Make a Difference?

Howdy again! Now let’s take a break from reviewing gear and take some time to have a look at the somewhat controversial subject of Tone Woods!

I don’t know about you, but I am not easily convinced about people’s theories and ideals, just because someone else believes in something, such as the notion that a particular Wood can make a big difference to the sound of an electric guitar.

Do tonewoods make a difference?

Do tonewoods make a difference?

I like to ask questions and find out myself the truth of a matter (God created us to investigate and make up our own minds didn’t he??).

So, this article isn’t about me saying that I know all there is to know about Tonewoods, or even that the notion of Tonewoods is a load of rubbish, I just wanted to take a look at the debate raging at the moment on how timber used in making an electric guitar effects its tone, because there is always at least 2 sides to every story.

There are some very good points to be made, depending on your perspective, and (cough cough) financial status!! LOL, Which is what we will be looking at today!

This article is aimed at looking at all sides of the Tonewood debate. Do Tonewoods really make a difference to the sound of your electric guitar, or is it all just marketing hype?

I will express my views later in the article, and I will preface by saying that I am not a professional Luther, Sound engineer, Player, I only play guitar at home, I have however bought and sold a lot of guitars over the years and have formed an educated opinion based on my own personal experience of buying and selling the odd guitar or two!

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Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker

Happy Belated New Year all you bedroom rockers, may Peace be with you, if you of course live in peace where possible! Okay, I am very guilty as I promised Mr J to do more reviews, but unfortunately I have been busy painting my house and doing many other put off jobs that only seem to get done at the end of the year!

Anyway… on with the review of the Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker.

Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker

Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker

The Big Muff Pi needs no real introduction, I have reviewed the standard Little Big Muff already, which to summarize I felt was a great unit for the Big Muff tonal range. It worked very well with the Little Vox AC4 amp I had at that time and did my Gilmour thing really well.

Now a slight variation in this model is the tone wicker. This pedal still has the standard Big Muff Volume, Tone and Sustain knobs but adds a ‘Wicker‘ and ‘Tone‘ toggle to it.

So… What is a Tone Wicker? you ask…

Well the premise of this pedal is that it allows greater versatility, with the “Wicker” mode giving enhanced presence and sustain to an already cool pedal.

Actually being able to add extra presence can be a good thing for a Big Muff that can get dark and a bit ‘heavy‘, so some extra presence can certainly help you cut through a bit better.

You also have a tone switch that allows the tone stage to be bypassed for an even more scooped middle tone and some reviews claim a chunkier distortion. I would definitely say that when the Tone switch is off there is a big volume jump, a real boost and a more edgy ballsy fuzz sound.

It gets a little less smooth, a bit more raspy but yet still usable and fun. So really you have 3 or so tonal options, and for a fairly cheap pedal (around $100 which is not bad for USA made) it will satisfy most fuzz heads.

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi Tone Wicker Fuzz Guitar Effects Pedal P-06993

End Date: Wednesday Jul-17-2019 0:42:48 PDT
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Tips for Travelling with Your Guitar

Guest Post By Johnny Peters, Follow Johnny on Google Plus here… and on Twitter here…

There are some really important precautions to take when traveling with a guitar if you want to make sure that your beloved instrument arrives in one piece.

Image has some rights reserved by cathyse97

Image has some rights reserved by cathyse97

Things like choosing the right case, paying attention to the weather, and making sure you’re following all the correct regulations when taking your guitar on an airplane, are all things we’ll discuss more in-depth. Also, we’ll talk about a couple of really useful tips to help prevent your guitar from being stolen while you’re travelling.

First things first, a protective case…

Those soft gig bags might be okay for taking your guitar back and forth from your buddy’s place, but if you plan on doing any serious traveling with your instrument then you’re going to need a hard-shell case, plain and simple. Hard-shell cases are a little bit more expensive, but the soft bags barely provide any protection at all and they’re just not good enough.

Thinking About the Weather

You might not realize how important the weather is when it comes to traveling with your guitar. Sudden changes in humidity can cause the guitar to warp or bend ever so slightly, but still enough to totally mess up the sound and the alignment of the fret board. If you’re going to a dryer climate, you can purchase little sponges that soak in water and help to keep the humidity correct inside your guitar case. Continue reading

Digitech Screamin Blues – Another Polarizing Cheapy from Digitech

Oh I love Digitech stuff, partly because some of it is (I have to say), actually quite good! It also has the effect of polarizing some people who insist on boutique gear and can’t believe that a $50 pedal will produce an effect that’s really, really good or at worst good enough.

Digitech Screamin Blues pedal

Digitech Screamin Blues pedal

This is my second review of a Digitech overdrive, so if your in the market for a new overdrive pedal, make sure you also read my review of the Digitech Bad Monkey that I wrote a while back.

Okay, so the pedal itself is a nicely colored cool blue, with minimal graphics and the same controls as the Bad Monkey…

  • Level
  • Low
  • High
  • and the essential Gain.

The 9volt power input is at the top of the pedal, which I think should be standard with all pedals…, along with the standard left to right input output configuration.

Similarly it has an extra output (Output 2) so you can go straight into a mixing desk and use this pedal sans amp (no amp) ala Tech 21 Character pedals.

So it comes with all the features you could need and to top it off it’s built like a tank, seriously tuff steel case that you just won’t break!

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Laney Lionheart L20H Tube Head – Okay I am in love!!

Now I admit the title is a little dramatic, but other reviewers were correct to describe this amp as “wonderfully rich and complex in tones” and with a fair few mentioning it was one of the best amps they had ever played… and You know what?

Laney Lionheart L20H Tube Head Front

Laney Lionheart L20H Tube Head Front

I am going to go out on a limb and agree…!

This amp, which is made in the UK by Laney is amazing! Why?

Well after buying and selling TOO MANY AMPS you start to get a little jaded and after a while they just start sounding so very, very similar, which is probably why they come and go so often…

But then you get one that not only looks amazing, like the Laney Lionheart, with it’s blue tolex and wheat colored grille, but when you strum out a chord, it is just absolute tonal bliss!

Laney Lionheart L50H 50-Watt Tube Guitar Head

End Date: Wednesday Jul-3-2019 8:27:13 PDT
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