D Allen Pickups Echoes review

October 13th 2013 | Posted in Reviews | 58 Comments

D Allen Pickups Echoes review

Changing pickups on your guitar can do wonders to your tone. It’s an often overlooked aspect of the whole tone quest but it’s just as important for your tone as any pedal. D Allen recently released the Echoes single coil set. Promising to capture over four decades of David Gilmour’s Black Strat tones I had to check them out. Here’s my review.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge D Allen fan and perhaps I’m a bit too biased to write this review. Anyway, the man knows how to make some sweet vintage tones and after a head count I realized that a have quite a few guitars with his pickups. Se my review of the TruVintage54, 69 Voodoo’s and Voodoo Blues SSS here.

The Echoes set feature three single coils based on the late 60s Fender specifications. The neck and middle pickups are “stock” taken from Allen’s 69 Voodoo’s set, with a 5.8k output for classic glassy top, fat bottom and a deep mids scoop. The secret of the Echoes lies in the bridge pickup. Utilizing a push/push mechanism (the set feature a custom tone pot that you need to swap with your old) you can switch between two “modes” – a slighly overwound 69 at 7.6k (same as featured in the Voodoo Blues set) and the even hotter SSL5-ish at 12.5k. How cool is that?!

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Buffalo FX Germanium Fuzz V2, CVIII Silicon Fuzz and 18v Power Booster review

September 26th 2013 | Posted in Reviews | 66 Comments

Buffalo FX reviews

I recently did a review of Buffalo FX’s Ram’s Head – a take on the mid 70s Big Muff with a few very successful tweaks. Since then, Buffalo FX has released the Germanium Fuzz, CVIII Silicon Fuzz and the Power Booster. Here’s my review of all three.

With the Ram’s Head (see the review here) Buffalo tackled a common problem with the early 70s Big Muff circuit. The classic mids scoop sounds great but it has a nasty tendency to drown in a dense band mix. This is also an issue concerning the old fuzz pedals and once again, Buffalo’s approach is to maintain the true nature of the pedal, with a few minor tweaks for making them more versatile.

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Mach Analog Tone Morph review

September 6th 2013 | Posted in Big Muff Reviews | 13 Comments

Mach Morph review

Big Muffs comes in all shapes and forms and while some stick to cloning the original circuits others offer something new to the legendary design. Mach Analog Tone recently released the Morph – a dual effect based on the ram’s head and triangle Big Muffs. Here’s my review.

A couple of years back I did a review of the Mach Seagull/Clean Buffer. In addition to featuring a reversed wah circuit for those Echoes seagull screams, the pedal is a versatile buffer with a 0-30dB boost and EQ controls. Check out my review of the Mach Seagull/Clean Buffer here. Actually, the pedal has been a valuable companion in my home studio while recording guitars and that same studio quality mentality is the essence of the Morph.

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Electronic Orange Moon-Vibe MkII review

August 19th 2013 | Posted in Reviews | 48 Comments

Electronic Orange Moon-Vibe MkII

The Uni-Vibe seems to finally have gotten its well earned renaissance. Its haunting, throbbing phase tones captures the essence of the late 60s and early 70s and of course, if you’re a Hendrix, Trower or Gilmour fan, owning one is a must. A few years back I did a review of the Moon-Vibe from Electronic Orange. Now, the MkII has arrived and I know many of you have been waiting eagerly. Here’s my review.

The original Moon-Vibe, or the MkI, was one of the first Uni-Vibes I played that actually sounded like the old legend – the Shin-ei Uni-Vibe. It’s a funny story because the Uni-Vibe was actually designed to emulate a rotating speaker cabinet but it doesn’t sound anything like it. The original circuit was also very noisy and unreliable. It had a magical tone though, and the Moon-Vibe captured that lo-fi, swhoosh and throb.

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How do you know what gear to choose? Tracking down reliable information.

August 2nd 2013 | Posted in Miscellaneous | 70 Comments

How do you know what gear to choose

I spend a lot of time reading and searching through forums, reviews, YouTube clips, features and just about everything related to guitar. Hosting this site I have to know what’s going on out there but of course, I’m also, like you, above average interested in guitars, pedals and amps. The internet is a powerful tool when you’re searching for new stuff, tips and help but it can also be quite the opposite of what you need and ruin all the fun.

I’ll be very honest. Most of what I read is biased crap. Yep, there are so many fools and idiots out there just waiting to fill your head with all their expertise and know-how. It’s the forum bully, the “I never got to be a rock star” journalist and the sales man behind the counter pushing his latest campaign. None of them will help you in getting better at playing guitar, improve your tone or boost your confidence and inspiration.

I’m being very harsh, I know, but I was discussing this topic with a friend and I realized that although the internet gives you unlimited resources it’s also a place to get totally lost and lured into a labyrinth that’s hard to get out of. I started to play guitar in the early 90s. Before the internet was born. I’ve seen the internet grow from something obscure to a world where you can find anything you want. Through Gilmourish.Com I’ve come to know people from all over the world and I’ve learned so much. The guitarist I am today is much thanks to the internet, the tips and tricks I’ve picked up and everything I’ve learned from the people I’ve “met”.

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Buffalo FX Ram’s Head NOS BC239c review

July 18th 2013 | Posted in Big Muff Reviews | 33 Comments

Buffalo FX Ram's Head review

How many more Big Muffs do we need? Well, if you ask me I say keep ‘em coming! One of the latest additions comes from Buffalo Effects – a clone of the monstrous mid 70s ram’s head sporting NOS BC239c transistors. Well worth checking out, don’t you think? Here’s my review.

12-13 years ago, the Big Muff was all but extinct. Now everyone seems to offer at least one in their portfolio of pedals. Interestingly though, few have tackled the authentic nature and sound of the classic ram’s head, which I’ve missed, being a ram’s head fan my self!

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Buffers VS True Bypass

June 25th 2013 | Posted in Feature Guides | 151 Comments

Buffers vs True Bypass

Few topics seems to stir up so much controversy and opinions as whether true bypass or buffered pedals are the best solution for your tone. In this feature we’ll have a look at what’s really going on as well as a few tips on how to arrange your pedalboard.

This is a rewritten and updated version of a feature originally posted January 31 2011.

Whether you plug your guitar straight into an amp or depend on elaborate pedal boards – tone matters. However, tone isn’t just about squeezing your amp or stomping pedals. Tone is just as much about utilizing the full potential of your rig and regardless of your preferred approach, some basic know-how will get you far in reaching your goal.

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