Roland Announces Blues Cube New York Blues Tone Capsule

Oz Noy is an awesome player and the concept of this is very exciting, but it is a little…..expensive?

“The Blues Cube New York Blues Tone Capsule brings another expressive voicing option to the Roland Blues Cube amplifier series. This user-installable Tone Capsule changes the sound and response characteristics of a compatible Blues Cube amp to produce a voice similar to a traditional British combo amplifier with EL84 tubes–often referred to as Continue reading Roland Announces Blues Cube New York Blues Tone Capsule

Michael Casswell 1963-2016

If you are familiar with the excellent Guitar Interactive site, then you have probably had your mind blown on a regular basis by regular columnist and superb guitarist Michael Casswell. So it is shocking to hear of his death in a swimming accident in Spain. Condolences to his family and friends and we leave you with a tribute from his colleagues at Guitar Interactive.

It is with great sadness that we have to report the news of Michael Casswell’s tragic death in a swimming accident several days ago, while on holiday in Spain.

Michael has been with Guitar Interactive since the magazine began and was a much loved contributor by both readers and everyone who worked with him.

A consummate guitarist capable of playing in many styles, Michael had a deep knowledge and understanding of the guitar, amps and effects, which he brought to his reviews and his hugely popular column, Pro Concepts, which uniquely taught guitarists to approach their playing from a professional point of view.

We will be running a tribute to Michael in the next issue of Guitar Interactive but in the meantime here is the very first Pro Concepts column Michael filmed for us to remind us of the loss of a great musician and an even greater friend.

Positive Grid Tone Match Pedal

I may have hinted that Positive Grid’s wave of innovation may be petering out…how foolish am  I because here they come with the frankly astonishing Distortion Tone Match Pedal. I quote…

“BIAS Distortion is a distortion/overdrive pedal that will give you the best analog sounding distortion tone with cutting edge technology. Continue reading Positive Grid Tone Match Pedal

State of Play – guitars and apps in 2016

State of Play

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these and much has happened. Moving house, broken arms (the two are not related) the discovery of the joys of piano.
But in all that time, there has not been the same rampant innovation in the guitar app world as we were used to. Go back 2 years and invention was everywhere, Bias? Blew us away! Bias FX? So good. Tonestack? Sounded so good.
But in August 2016, where are we now? Continue reading State of Play – guitars and apps in 2016

Review – Marshall Code 5o Amp

Have Marshall managed to break the code of amp modelling? Get it? I’m so witty!

One advantage in being an old bloke is to see how technology has developed over the years. Go back 30 years and the Rockman promised big stack tones in a tiny box, and it worked pretty well too. And as tech has developed, we got fancy digital modelling too, and then modelling amps as well. And now, a little late to the party, amp legends Marshall have introduced the all-new CODE range, combining modelled amps and effects under that iconic badge.
From the start there are some interesting features in the range (that go from a 25-watt 1×10 combo to a monster 100-watt 2×12 combo and head), not only have you got a classic range of Marshall amps from the past half century to play with, but Marshall have developed the modelling with legendary amp software designers Softube. I’ve played Softube software for years, and these guys really know their stuff.
I’ve spent a bit of time with the 50 watt version, and you get all the classic Marshall amps you would hope for, Bluesbreaker any one? JTM45, 1959? JCM800 all the way to the newest Marshall stuff. Add this to 24 effects and of course all the generic but essential amp tones that every modeller has. Fenders, Boogies, Voxs, you know the score.
It’s a handsome beast too, with a big LCD display, USB socket, tuner and a very solid iOS app called Gateway that allows wireless editing and selecting of tones. This worked very well on both iPhone and iPad and makes tone shaping a doddle.
But, I hear you cry, this is not new, Line 6 have had a similar package for a couple of years, how does it sound?
Well, you will be pleased to hear, it sounds most pleasant. The key of course is the Marshall sound and the modelled JTM sounds like a JTM, the Bluesbreaker sounds astonishingly close to a reissued Bluesbreaker that I played last year (and which weighed more than Australia), in fact the cleaner and mild breakup tones were very satisfying to play, with a liquid transparency that was, dare I say? Valve like?
Go into more extreme territory and the JCMs and JVMs will rock your world with a very pleasing depth and weight to the sound. The effects work well with a discretion that makes the presets genuinely usable rather than just a demonstration of processing power.
I loved Line 6’s Amplifi, I loved it’s usability and the innovation of it’s speaker technology. I think it is still a more innovative product than the Code.
But the Code sounds better, and I think would be easier to use in a live setting. The basic quality of the modelling (especially of the Marshalls) is the best I’ve heard in a modelling amp at this price range.
Have Marshall broken the Code? I think so, if you are a Marshall fan, hell, even if you are not, even if you hate the idea of modelling full stop. Play it, you might love it.image.jpeg

PRS Guitars Celebrate Experience PRS Event with Limited-Edition Custom 24-08

Specially appointed to commemorate the 2016 Experience PRS event, the Experience PRS 2016 Custom 24-08 adds a new control layout to the company’s most classic model. The Custom 24 first officially debuted at PRS Guitars’ first NAMM show in 1985 and has been played by internationally Continue reading PRS Guitars Celebrate Experience PRS Event with Limited-Edition Custom 24-08