First Impressions: Fender 57 Custom Deluxe Amp

I’ve finally done it. I’ve gone and bought an actual 5e3 circuit tweed amp. I wasn’t planning on getting one, but when a different planned purchase didn’t happen, I went for it. And then, by an amazing stroke of luck, the amp arrived months earlier than expected – right when I’ve got a short break from work between jobs.

This is going to be one of the longer First Impression posts. I’ve got a lot of notes to share with you, even though I’ve only had the amp a couple of days.

Continue reading “First Impressions: Fender 57 Custom Deluxe Amp”

Leo’s Shuriken / Helix Live Setup

Leo from Frog Leap Studios has posted a demo of his Line 6 Shuriken Variax, and how it enables him to perform his famous metal covers live.

It’s really cool how far the Variax has come from the early days. I had the original Variax – boy was that a long time ago – and it was so bad it ended up in the recycling. I couldn’t even give it away. But the Shuriken – especially paired with the Helix – looks worlds apart. Check out Leo’s video to see just what it can do.

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

2018 Rig For Clinics

Sam Coulson has posted a short video, showing us the rig he’s using when he’s giving guitar clinics this year.

He’s running a modded Charvel into a Helix, out to the Yamaha THR-100HD. The Yamaha’s setup as a clean platform for the Helix. It’s a simple rig that looks very easy to load in and out without a lot of effort.

I’ve got the Yamaha THR-100HD myself, and for a couple of years it was my main practice amp. It takes pedals better than any other modelling amp did at the time. You can run two amps at once out into different cabs, and that gives you a taste of that two-amp blended tone thing.

My main complaint with the THR-100HD is that it felt like Yamaha abandoned it to a large extent. It’s been a couple of years since the last firmware update, and they haven’t added any new models – or improved the existing ones – since launch. It’s become a very much take-it-or-leave-it amp.

But – unlike some modelling amps – you can use it as an amp, without hooking it up to a computer. Which means that they’ll continue to be usable long into the future.

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

In The Blues Podcast / Vlog: Amp Talk

Over on the In The Blues YouTube Channel, Shane has posted his latest podcast episode in its new format. This one is all about amps that Shane has recently played.

I thought that my own views on the Kemper echo Shane’s: a great studio tool that doesn’t take pedals at all well. I’ll be writing a lot more about the Kemper soon!

He also covers the PRS J-MOD 100, BOSS Katana Artist, and the Line 6 Helix. I’m always interested in what he has to say about amps. He’s played a lot of gear over the years, and he’s a gigging musician to boot.

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