Pre-CBS Strat Copy w/ Abigail Ybarra Pickups

Burgs has posted a video of him noodling on a copy of a pre-CBS Strat. What makes this particular copy extra-special is that it’s fitted with a set of pickups wound by Abigail Ybarra.

Everyone has “the one that got away” – a guitar they couldn’t get, didn’t get, or had to sell on. Mine is a Fender 2012 Custom Deluxe Strat, fitted with Abigail Ybarra pickups. It was the best sounding Strat that I’ve ever played.

If you’ve never heard of her, Abigail Ybarra has been winding pickups since the early days. I believe that she retired from Fender a few years ago. There’s something about the pickups she made in her career that just works. They’re highly sought after as a result, especially as it appears that she wasn’t able to pass on her technique to the next generation of pickup winders.

The pickups aren’t the only star in this video. Burgs is noodling a long through his AxeFX, and it sounds really good too. Close your eyes, and see if you can tell it’s digital modelling.

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Fender’s Stan Cotey On The New Pedals

This popped up in my Twitter feed of all places this morning. Fender has posted a video interview with Stan Cotey, who heads up the new pedal team inside Fender.

There’s a couple of things in the interview that really caught my attention.

These new Fender pedals aren’t clones of existing circuits; they’re all designed from scratch. That makes me even more interested in trying out the Santa Ana Overdrive for myself now.

Stan also talks about there being more pedals in the pipeline. I wonder what we’ll see next from them?

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Fender Santa Ana Overdrive Demo

The lovely folks over at AStrings have posted their third video on Fender’s new pedal lineup. This one looks at the Santa Ana Overdrive pedal.

The Santa Ana is a dual-voiced overdrive with an additional boost circuit if you want it. You can switch between the two voices using a toggle switch on the front panel.

After watching the video, I’m not sure how I’d describe the tone of the Santa Ana Overdrive. I think Adam hit the nail on the head when he said that this is a pedal you need to try for yourself, through the amp of your choice. I’d certainly like to hear it through something like a Hot Rod Deluxe to get a better idea of what this pedal is.

Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed their video.

Fender Pugilist Distortion Pedal Demo

Tom and Adam from AStrings have just uploaded another demo of one of Fender’s new 2018 pedals: the Pugilist Distortion. This one has some serious chunk to it!

There’s two separate gain circuits in the Pugilist. You’ve got the option of running a blend of them together, or stacking one into the other in series. Either one results in very thick and meaty tone.

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Fender Marine Layer Reverb Pedal

My local guitar shop AStrings have just posted a demo of Fender’s new Marine Layer Reverb pedal. Check it out.

It looks like the Marine Layer Reverb is a mono pedal, best suited either to go into the front of an amp, or into the FX loop of an amp lacking reverb of its own. Those are two situations where a stereo pedal offers nothing extra that you can use.

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One Marshall Is All You Need

Continuing this afternoon’s Marshall theme (yeah, the Metro Plex module has made quite the impression this morning 🙂 ), here’s a video from Johan Segeborn looking at a modded Marshall 1987X.

This particular Marshall has been modded so that it can be switched between something like half a dozen classic Marshall circuits. Very cool, if that’s your kind of sound.

It’s also worth a watch just to see how different two guitarists sound, even through the exact same amp and speaker cab.

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Amps In The Zone: Vintage Marshalls

Pete Thorn – pedal demo maestro extraordinaire – has started a new series of videos: Amps In The Zone. In this series, he’s showing us how he likes to dial in classic amps, along with great explanations of why.

We’re going to learn a lot from these videos.

In the first video in the series, Pete takes a look at vintage Marshall amps, along with the Suhr SL68:

I’m scouring it for any tips I can use to get the most out of my Synergy Metro Plex module 🙂

Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed Pete’s video.

Boss Katana Artist Amp Demo

Over on In The Blues, Shane has posted his demo and review of the new Boss Katana Artist amp.

The Katana Artist is the new top-of-the-line amp in the Katana series from Boss. If I’ve got this right, it’s the same models as the original Katana amps, in a 100W combo platform with a reworked power section – including attenuation – and a better speaker.

I’ve heard the original Katana 50 at gig volumes, and thought it sounded great in person. Katana isn’t trying to be a digital model of other amps. It’s basically it’s own thing, backed with models from Boss’s 40+ years of pedal heritage.

There is a trick to getting the most out of the Katana. Boss modelled the power section to work the same as a tube amp. Run it with the master volume up full, and adjust the channel volume to suit. The Artist’s reworked power section, with the built-in attenuator, should make it even easier to setup even at home tone levels.

Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a comment if you enjoyed Shane’s video.

Metallica’s Guitar Rigs From Sept 17

This is a very interesting video. It’s a walkthrough of the guitar rigs used by Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett.

Okay, here at the HomeToneBlog, we’re playing to an audience of one – not touring the world playing to arenas full of adoring fans hanging on every single note. There’s still a lot we can learn from seeing what the pros use – and why.

Two things in particular caught my eye in this video.

First off was that Metallica have gone entirely digital modelling for their live amps. The AxeFX has reached the point where it sounds good enough to replace tube amps – and whatever difference there is, it’s not big enough to be worth the challenges of using tube amps.

There’s a telling statement from James’ guitar tech partway through, where he discusses how using AxeFX means they have more time to spend on other aspects of the touring process, like guitar maintenance. Digital modelling promises to sound the same night after night. Tube amps don’t.

Kirk’s guitar tech also throws some light on that decision. He talks about how each tube amp has its own character, and what it can be like when you have to switch to a backup amp when the primary tube amp dies.

The second thing that stood out for me was how they’ve gone with analogue signal paths and switching. Mid-song, they don’t switch patches inside the AxeFX; they switch to a different AxeFX that has the next patch already loaded and ready to go. Why? Analogue just doesn’t have any added latency. Switching is instant.

Something to think about if you’re thinking of gigging with a digital amp yourself one day.

Hamstead Soundworks Odyssey Pedal Ad

Watching YouTube this afternoon, up popped an advert for the Odyssey drive pedal from Hamstead Soundworks.

It looks like a very interesting drive pedal. There’s 3 different clipping options, 3 different input boost levels, and an EQ section that can be moved about in the circuit to suit.

Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed their video.