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.

Blindfold Challenge: Tele or Not?

Chappers and The Captain have done another of their blindfold challenges: can Rob tell if a guitar is a Fender Telecaster, or a T-style from another brand?

Every time someone on the forums insists that guitars don’t sound that different, or that the differences aren’t that great, I want to make them sit down and watch videos like this. It’s not always easy to tell them apart after YouTube has processed the audio, but in person – and importantly, through a great amp – the differences are real, both in tone and in feel.

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

BluGuitar Amp1 Mercury Demo

Thomas Blug – the Stratocaster King of Europe – has been working on the next generation of his all-analogue Amp1 amp-in-a-pedal. He sat down with Henning, and they’ve done a great demo of the new version.

In this video, they compare the Amp1 Mercury with some of the amps from Henning’s collection – by tone matching the Amp1. Thomas dials in the tones while Henning plays.

The results are impressive.

I lost count of how many times Henning either couldn’t tell the difference between the Amp1 and his amps, or when he simply guessed wrong. In the room, he was clearly impressed – and I couldn’t tell the difference when I watched the video either.

Henning also made an important point that’s worth highlighting. In this video, he’s running the Amp1 into the UAD OX. All too often, demos of the Amp1 use the unit’s DI out, and that’s partially responsible for the lack of interest in the Amp1 in the past.

Even if you’re not interested in the Amp1, this video is worth watching just to watch how Thomas dials in each tone he’s matching. Not only a great player, but also great knowledge and understanding too.

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

Does A Decade Make A Difference?

Adam and Tom from AStrings have posted a cracking comparison video. They’ve taken two reverb pedals that are currently in production, but a decade apart in their design, to try and answer the question: does a decade (of progress) make a difference?

What a wonderful, original idea for a gear demo video!

Have a listen, see which one you think, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment and let them know which pedal you preferred and why.

Kemper vs Tube Amp

Camilo Velandia has posted an interesting comparison video. He’s made a Kemper profile of his Indigo Amps El Mariachi, and then put them side by side for comparison.

Have a listen, and see whether you can hear the differences between the two.

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

Do Thicker Strings Sound Better?

Chris Buck is back with another Friday Fretworks video. This week, he’s looking at how string gauge affects tone,

Have a listen, and then head over to YouTube to leave a like and say which string gauge you preferred the sound of.

Blindfold Tubescreamer Challenge

Chappers and The Captain have posted their latest blindfold challenge. Can Lee tell a real Tubescreamer from a pool of clones? And which ones will he like?

The Tubescreamer is possibly the most-copied pedal circuit of them all. Most pedal brands have a TS-style pedal in their range, and there’s a TS-style pedal to fit every budget.

It’s not really an overdrive pedal, and that’s very confusing when you get one for the first time. It’s more of a colour pedal, thanks to it’s pronounced mid-hump. Run it into a dirty amp to shape the overall sound, or run it after a gain or fuzz pedal to act as a great boost.

A Strat -> Zendrive -> TS signal chain in particular is a very special sound.

Over the years, I’ve had a few of the pedals in the video, and the one I use is the Mad Professor Little Green Wonder. You can’t get a sense of it from this video, but one of the great things about the LGW (and, indeed, all Mad Professor pedals) is the low noise floor.

I’d love to try a Wampler Clarksdale one day – just waiting for one to turn up at a good 2nd hand price. The J Rockett Blue Note is another pedal featured in this video that I want one day. Burgs did a demo of it years ago now that really sold me on it.

And just how good does the new Hot Rod Deluxe Mk 4 sound?

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

Pedals Into A Clean Amp vs A Dirty Amp

Brian Wampler has posted a video of what it’s like to run drive pedals into a clean amp, and what it’s like to run the same pedals into a Dirty amp.

He’s picked an Orange Rockerverb 50 Mk 2 for this. It’s an interesting choice, as it isn’t your typical Fender-voiced or Marshall-voiced amp.

If you’re interested in running pedals into an Orange amp, hopefully you’ll find it useful.

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