Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet Demo

Chappers and The Captain have taken a look at the Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet.

This is an affordable version of the Duo Jet guitars that I’ve blogged about recently. It features a hard tail rather than a Bigsby, and broadtron pickups.

The body is chambered mahogany, so it’s quite a bit lighter than a Les Paul. On the video, it sounds brighter and less mid-focused than a Les Paul – something I love about my Les Paul Custom.

Watch the video to hear it for yourself, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.

Initial Thoughts On The Marshall Origin

I’ve just got back from a Marshall demo evening, put on by my local guitar store A huge thanks to them for putting on evenings like this, and to Marshall for coming out and demoing their amps.

Steve Smith from Marshall demoed three products: Marshall Code, the new DSL amps, and the new Origin amps. These are my personal thoughts and observations whilst they’re still fresh in my mind.

Marshall Code

Some of the audience were very interested in Code, both for the flexibility it offered and for being a complete all-in-one (amp + effects) at an affordable price. I think it got the most questions on the night. Certainly felt that way.

Even more interestingly, it was the amp that most people played during the break.

This amp clearly fills a need for some people.

Marshall DSL

Next up was the newly revamped DSL. I think it was the 20W combo. First time I’ve heard one of the new ones in person. I thought it sounded fantastic.

I think I was the only person to play a DSL during the break. I tried the 5W version. Honestly, I thought it was the 20W version, it sounded that good for a small speaker combo. Great clean tone, the gain was easy to dial in, and the amp felt very responsive to pick dynamics.

I would be very very happy with the 5W DSL as a practice amp in the lounge, or as an amp to chuck in the car to take on holiday with. I will probably get one soon exactly for that.

I wish Marshall made a 40W or 50W DSL head. It would probably be the amp I’d recommend for pedals. Alas, there’s only a 20W or 100W head, with only combos in between. I don’t know how much headroom the 20W model has for pedals.

Marshall Origin

Last up was the new Marshall Origin line. It was what I was there to hear. We got to hear the 50W combo.

I’m interested in Origin to see if it can be a great amp for pedals. On paper, the 50W Origin head ticks all the boxes: head format amp and enough headroom to take a wide variety of drive pedals well.

There’s quite a gap in the market for an amp like that. Fender doesn’t really do amp heads, and their combos don’t play well at home volumes (although the new versions are a lot better at that than they used to be!)

How did Origin sound? For me, it was more of a mixed bag than I was hoping for.

That vintage mid-range was definitely there. But there was a sharpness to the top-end that I found physically difficult to listen to. I found it really piercing, and my ears are still ringing from it over an hour later.

Now, that might have been down to the speaker in the combo. The 50W combo ships with a Celestion Midnight 60. Celestion doesn’t have this speaker on their website, and there isn’t a tonne of information about it online. I’ve got a 1×12 with a very nice G12M-65 Creamback that’s already broken in. I’m hoping to hear the 50W head through this at the weekend.

The other reason it was a mixed bag? The Origin doesn’t clean up quite as much as I’d hoped. Some people love running a drive pedal into an amp that’s starting to break up – and it’s a great way to get fantastic tones. I prefer to run pedals into a totally clean amp, to hear as much of the pedal’s colour as possible.

Sadly, there wasn’t an opportunity to play the Origin on the night. But stock is due tomorrow (Friday), and I’m hoping to get down there with my cab, pedal board and a Les Paul to see if I’m adding an Origin 50W head to the Hermit’s Cave or not.

EarthQuaker Devices Rainbow Machine – What Is It?

Henning has taken a look at the Rainbow Machine from the mad scientists at EarthQuaker Devices.

I don’t know how to describe this pedal. It’s nothing like your traditional chorus, modulation or delay pedal. It’s its own thing.

Watch the video to hear it for yourself, then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.

Attack Of The Klons!

Chappers and The Captain have done a shootout between ten Klon-like pedals.

If you’re not sure what all the hype around the Klon is all about, let me explain …

The Klon is low-gain pedal that (in its day) did something unique. Set as a clean boost, it lifts the guitar in the mix (or in a live setting) thanks to the way it increases the upper mids. And yet – it also does something to the bass response that makes clean tones sound fuller, without making drive tones muddy or boomy.

The hype is partly because, for many years, the only way to get this tone was to get a Klon Centaur. They were hand-built by Bill Finnigain, and due to limited availability they started changing hands in the second hand market for eye-watering amounts of money.

Eventually, klones (with a ‘k’) started appearing. Bill himself created the Klon KTR as a mass-production version of the Centaur, did a deal with JRAD to make them, before JRAD went on to create their own klones.

The most important klone is the Soul Food. It wasn’t the first klone, and I’d argue it is amongst the worst, but it did bring awareness and availability to the mass market. Since then, there’s been an explosion of interest in klones and the Klon thing. Today, there’s plenty of choice to suit all tastes and budgets.

I’ve got three of these on my boards, including the (for me) unmatched Klon KTR. It’s the only one that I’ve tried that doesn’t add a huge bass bump to overdrive tones. That’s something that doesn’t come across in this demo, to be honest.

Watch the video to choose your favourite, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment..

Danelectro ‘84 Lipsticks vs Fender Mexican Strat Single Coils.

Shane’s had a lot of interest in his Danelectro ‘84 since introducing it on his YouTube channel. So he’s done a shootout against his Mexican Strat.

The two guitars sound quite different. The Danelectro has a lot more twang, without sounding like a Tele. It’s also a little thinner sounding, but not in a bad way. The overall result is a guitar which looks like a Strat but has its own thing going on. Very cool.

Watch the video to hear for yourself, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.

Gibson Or Gretsch?

Darrell Braun has posted an interesting look at two single-cut guitars: the Gibson Les Paul and the Gretch Duo Jet.

I can’t find the Gretsch Duo Jet on Gretsch’s website – or in any UK stores at the time of writing. Darrell’s Playing the G6128TVP model (I think), which seems to be out of production right now.

A shame, because that Gretsch compared very favourably to the Les Paul.

Watch the video to make your own mind up, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.

Vintage Celestion G12 Tone Crash Course

Johan Segeborn – the master of tone comparison videos – believes that the speaker is the single most important component in creating vintage guitar tones. He’s put together a whirlwind demonstration of a number of vintage Celestion speakers to show us why.

Speakers are such simple things on the surface, yet – as Johan demonstrates – there’s a lot of variables that make an audible difference. And if you can hear the difference on YouTube, imagine how big the difference is in the room, or in any kind of recording.

Watch the difference to hear how these speakers vary, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.

Solo In Any Key With One Scale Shape

Mike Geronsin of The Art of Guitar has posted a new, free lesson. Here, he’s looking at how to use the same scale shape to solo over any key – major or minor.

This is very helpful if, like me, you’re just starting out with learning how to solo or improvise over a chord progression. It’s a neat tip, that Mike clearly explains and demonstrates.

Watch the video to see how this works, then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.

Gretch Duo Jet G6128T Review

Shane has taken a look at one of the high-end, Japanese-made Gretch guitars: the Duo Jet.

This premium guitar looks like Gretch’s answer to Gibson Les Paul reissues. It has that fat Les Paul tone when the amp’s nice and dirty, but it also offers very usable clean tones – something I’m hard-pressed to say about any modern Les Paul!

Watch the video to hear how good this sounds, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.

An Intro To Using MIDI With Guitar Pedals

Dan and Mick of That Pedal Show have put together an introduction to using MIDI with guitar pedals.

MIDI is a protocol that – for guitar pedals – allows us to switch presets, control individual settings via a MIDI-enabled expression pedal, and to sync the tempo of multiple pedals together. For pedal boards or signal chains built from several different components, MIDI is an important tool for controlling everything in a live performance without tonnes of tap dancing.

What does that all mean? Watch the video to learn more, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.