I promise that I’ll stop posting about the PRS Silver Sky soon. Before I do, I have to share with you John Mayer’s own thoughts on his new guitar.
He’s not pulling any punches here. He tackles the guitar’s Fender heritage, why he went to PRS for this guitar, what makes it different from a Fender Strat, and where the time went on designing the Silver Sky. If you want to understand how he sees this guitar, it’s compulsory viewing.
The key thing I took away from this is that this all started with tone. He wanted something that looked like a Strat, and played like a Strat, but that addressed some of the things he didn’t like about the Fender Strat sound. Paul Reed Smith is all about tone in a way that few other guitar builders are. And things evolved from there to become the Silver Sky that we’ve all been talking about.
Whether you like John Mayer or not, he deserves credit for putting out a video like this. It’s not some slick PR video. It’s just John talking into his phone on a livestream. How many other mega-artists would do this?
Sadly, he doesn’t post directly to YouTube, and I don’t know where the original video was posted. I couldn’t find it on Instagram or on Facebook.
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.
It’s a long one this week – even by their standards – which is why I’ve only just gotten to it.
Dan and Mick take a tour of Josh’s board, including an in-depth look at the Lovepedal Tchula. The Tchula was Josh’s idea. It’s basically two Church of Tone (COT) pedals in one enclosure, with the left hand side fixed at Josh’s favourite setting, and the right hand side adjustable to suit. I can’t think of anything else quite like it.
I loved the segment where the guys had a schwang on Josh’s Tele, which is strung with 13s (!!) It’s fascinating to listen to how different each of them sound, playing the same guitar through the same rig.
Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment in you enjoy their video.
Mary Spender’s Tuesday Talk this week is an interview with Angela Petrilli of Roses & Cigarettes. They met at Winter NAMM 2018 thanks to John Meyer’s PRS press conference.
Check out the full story in Mary’s video.
Angela talks about her Martin acoustics, and from the look on Mary’s face, they’re clearly a couple of very special guitars. She also mentions the upcoming acoustic EP that she used the guitars on. Mary also teases us about an acoustic jam with Angela … but we’re going to have to wait for her next video to enjoy that.
Please head over to YouTube for all the links in the description, and to leave a like an supportive comment if you enjoyed Mary’s video.