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NAMM 2014: Fender Stratocaster 60th Anniversary

Gear


NAMM 2014: Fender Stratocaster 60th Anniversary NAMM 2014: Fender Stratocaster 60th Anniversary
By Ivan Chopik

March 31st, 2014

At this year’s NAMM convention in Anaheim, California, Guitar Messenger was invited to an exclusive media event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster. Ivan Chopik had the opportunity to speak with Fender product specialists Allen Abbassi and Stephen Jackson about Fender’s Past/Present/Future theme for the Stratocaster and get an up-close look at some of the new 60th Anniversary models. We also had a chance to meet with Lynn Robison of the Fender Music Foundation for a closeup look at a custom Stratocaster designed for pop star Bruno Mars. The Fender Stratocaster Turns Sixty – Check out the four anniversary models, starting at $399.99 From Fender.com:  Past   The Stratocaster guitar’s formative years come back to electrifying life with... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Randall Amplifiers NAMM 2014: Randall Amplifiers
By Ivan Chopik

March 4th, 2014

At this year’s NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA, I had a chance to meet with Mike Fortin of Randall Amplifiers. By the time Mike joined the Randall team two years ago as exclusive design engineer, he was already established in the high gain amplifier world for his cutting edge designs with Fortin Amplification, his own company which he founded in 2008. Mike’s work has had a major impact on Randall’s new releases, many of which we discussed in detail in our conversation: IC: How did you get connected with Randall at the time they were doing the big redesign for the company and introducing many new products? How did you get on board with that move and become one of their engineers? MF: Well, I got contacted by Joe Delaney about three years ago. They were looking to reinvest... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Strandberg Guitarworks NAMM 2014: Strandberg Guitarworks
By Ivan Chopik

February 11th, 2014

Ivan Chopik talks with Ola Strandberg of Strandberg Guitarworks and Astral EXR Systems at NAMM 2014 in Anaheim, CA. Check out the video above and then click on the image thumbnails below to see full-size pictures from our gallery. From Guitarworks.theStrandbergs.com Strandberg Guitarworks is committed to innovation. We continuously strive towards new solutions that address the needs of guitarists today. The global musician community is engaged in the design process. The process is public and documented on-line. The results are licensed under Creative Commons Share-And-Share-Alike 3.0 Licensing. Ola Strandberg built about a dozen instruments (guitars and basses) between 1984 and 1993 and worked at Uppsala Musikverkstad and HBL (the Swedish Charvel/Jackson distributor) as a guitar technician... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Bohemian Guitars NAMM 2014: Bohemian Guitars
By Ivan Chopik

February 6th, 2014

Ivan Chopik talks with brothers Adam and Shaun Lee about their company Bohemian Guitars at NAMM 2014 in Anaheim, CA. Guitarist Brandon Massey demonstrates some of the sounds these guitars can create! Check out the video above and then click on the image thumbnails below to see full-size pictures of our Bohemian Guitars gallery. From BohemianGuitars.com Bohemian Guitars’ mission is to build funky, unique, and innovative sounding instruments out of unconventional materials for real, everyday use. Passionate about art, music and community outreach, Bohemian Guitars puts a creative spin on a timeless and classic instrument—the guitar—offering a refreshing and inspirational change of pace to the music and art scene. The inspiration behind the oil can guitar comes from the resourceful... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Caparison Guitars NAMM 2014: Caparison Guitars
By Ivan Chopik

February 6th, 2014

Ivan Chopik chats with Jeff Williams of UK thrash metal band Onslaught about Caparison Guitars at NAMM 2014 in Anaheim, CA. Check out the video above and then click on the image thumbnails below to see full-size pictures of some of Caparison’s finest guitars! From CaparisonGuitarCompany.com:  “Caparison Guitars are hand crafted boutique instruments made in Nagoya, Japan and to the highest quality and specification. It is our aim to make the highest possible quality, best sounding and most satisfying guitars that you will ever play. The Caparison Guitar company was established in 1995 with the former Jackson/Charvel Japan design division, the designers at Charvel Japan created the CDS Series, CDS II Series and Questar Series and the designers at Jackson Japan created... Read More →


NAMM 2014: TronicalTune NAMM 2014: TronicalTune
By Ivan Chopik

February 6th, 2014

TronicalTune is a retrofit robotuning device that tunes your guitar at the push of a button and strum of the strings. From Tronical.com: The TronicalTune is a revolutionary device for electric and acoustic guitars alike that seamlessly self-tunes your guitar in a matter of seconds, all the while preserving the integrity and tone of your instrument. The first system musicians can retrofit to guitars, TronicalTune installs to the back of a guitar’s headstock without the need of professional installation or alteration. Featuring 18 different tunings, (12 factory presets and 6 user presets) musicians are now able to switch between tunings in seconds by simply pushing a button and strumming the strings. The TronicalTune consists of a miniaturized low profile micro-controller and six motorized... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Ernie Ball Music Man NAMM 2014: Ernie Ball Music Man
By Ivan Chopik

February 2nd, 2014

From musiciansfriend.com: Featuring laser-etched maple that’s finished to resemble carbon fiber, the Majesty guitar boasts a super-lightweight body with unparalelled fret access, DiMarzio voicing and a rosewood fretboard with the Majesty logo (for Dream Theater’s original moniker) above the first fret. Music Man’s Majesty guitar was a hot topic leading up to the 2014 NAMM Show. Two years in the making, the guitar also features the Game Changer pickup switching system, which allows you to put pickup coils in series, parallel, in or out of phase without rewiring the guitar. The system gives you access to an extensive library of tones, over 250,000 possible combinations in total. By default, the Game Changer is set to just be a switch that you can easily activate if you... Read More →


Riffstation Software Riffstation Software
By Ivan Chopik

December 17th, 2013

Riffstation is a top-notch collection of tools that were designed with the practicing guitarist in mind. It’s available in both Mac and PC formats and it allows us to import audio files, which we can then manipulate in a number of ways. We can: Change the speed and pitch of the audio. Extract chord progressions from the music. Look up various chord voicings. Isolate or mute specific instruments within the mix. Playback the music with a synchronized metronome. Create seamless loops to practice over. And more… Check out the above video for an in-depth review and demonstration of Riffstation, then head over to RiffStation.com to download a free 30-day trial. Stay tuned for our Riffstation Giveaway Contest!    Read More →


Elevon Audio Pro Series Guitar Cable Elevon Audio Pro Series Guitar Cable
By Ivan Chopik

September 2nd, 2012

Mike Dunne and Rob Stepnowski are two avid guitarists with a synchronous vision of both music and audio product design philosophy. While their musical background lays the bedrock for their pro audio enterprise, the duo’s unique perspective on precision and ruggedized products first materialized in collaboration on a Navy aviation project with the Department of Defense. Harnessing their expertise in the development of rigorously engineered electronics systems and rugged aviation cables, they were able to plant the technology within their own line of products, leading to the formation of Elevon Audio in 2011. EA has since spawned into a boutique product shop for musicians, offering high-end custom cables, pedal modifications, and custom pedals. [Elevon Audio will be introducing their own line... Read More →


Framus Dragon Head & Cabinet Framus Dragon Head & Cabinet
By Ivan Chopik

January 10th, 2009

The appropriately-named Framus Dragon is indeed a fire-breathing beast. It’s a versatile 3-channel boutique amp that can deliver a range of tones, from sparkly cleans, to brutal rhythms, to soaring leads. It definitely has a very organic, punchy sound to it, as well as very nice natural compression, especially when paired with the accompanying cab. I specifically acquired this half-stack for use in heavy rock and metal styles, and its sound is geared very nicely towards this. Like other amps used in these genres, it can be very brutal sounding with its tight low-end, but it’s refreshing to hear an amp that can combine the heaviness with an open-sounding and warm tone as well. I won’t talk too much more about the sound, but let you hear a bit for yourself in the video I recorded... Read More →