MXR M78 Custom Badass ’78 Distortion

MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 DistortionMXR’s new ’78 Bad Ass is a dammed good distortion pedal that offers true bypass and a warm sound, at a very reasonable price.

OK, this thing is pretty good. The kicker is that it retails for under $100. At that price range, true bypass and warm analog distortion is definitely a feature set that should impress anyone. Of course this is all very subjective. You have to factor in your setup, taste, and playing style. That said, all things considered, it’s a strong pedal.  I’m not too sure what the ’78 stands for. I guess I don’t really care, but I am curious.
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THD Flexi-50 50W/20W Class AB Amplifier Head

flexi-50Is it really possible to get a tweed sound and a British sound out of the same amplifier? Yep, you bet. The THD Flexi-50 does both and a whole lot more.

Few would argue that most amps fall into one of two categories; 6L6 (tweed) and EL34 (British). There are certainly a few other options out there, but for the most part, it’s a two-party system when it comes to power tubes. There are a few amps out there that can accommodate either tube type, but you need to know how to bias an amplifier, or pay someone else who knows how to do it. This is like a health-club membership: you’ll pay for that feature, but you will never use it. THD Flexi-50 50W/20W does double duty and you do not have to be a rocket scientist to switch hit.

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Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer – Still Going Strong After 30 Years

Ibanez TS9 Tube ScreamerStarting with the TS-808, these little green monsters — known as “tube screamers” — have been gracing the pedal boards of guitarists for more than 30 years.

Over the years, the shade of green and look of the pedal have morphed a bit, but the popularity has never waned.

I remember these pedals being quite popular back in the late ’70s, but I think most would agree that it was Stevie Ray Vaughan who played a pretty big role in the TS9’s surge in popularity. Eric Johnson was also a fan and known to use one to a large degree. What’s amazing is that over all these years, and through all the reissues, the overall design has never really changed. This is most likely due to the fact that Ibanez had no reason to fix what was not broken. Many guitarists love the Tube Screamer, and many have loved it just the way it is.
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Line 6 Vetta II Combo Guitar Amplifier

Line 6 Vetta IIAs digital modeling amplifiers go, the Line 6 Vetta II is at the head of the class.

The Line 6 Vetta II is extremely well designed, well made and sounds fantastic. At 150 Watts, there is more than enough volume and headroom. Whether you plan to use the Vetta II for live performance or recording, the feature set provides plenty of tools for you to sculpt your sound as you wish.

The Line 6 Vetta II is literally two amplifiers in one. At first glance, one might say: “Well, it’s just a stereo amplifier,” and this is true. But more importantly, it is designed so that you can have two completely different sounds going on at once. Of course, you’d probably choose two sounds that are somewhat alike, but in theory, you could have a clean Fender Twin sound and a cranked Marshall Plexi tone combined into one. The combined sounds become one named and saved preset. This is amazing. Just imagine all the possibilities.
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Reader Question: Is the Takamine ef508kc a Good Choice?

Takamine ef508kcA reader wants to know what we think of the Takamine ef508kc.

If you’re considering a  2007 Takamine ef508kc, be assured, it’s a good choice — it’s not only a top-ranking guitar, but it’s also a genuine beauty!

George writes:

I am considering purchasing a 2007 Takamine ef508kc. In researching it I saw your comments in Bestcovery. What do you think of the ef508kc?

Thanks for your time.

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What Are the Best Telecaster Modifications?

What Are The Best Telecaster Modifications?So you have a stock Telecaster; now what? There are several modifications you can make that will transform your Tele.

Judging by the number of articles related to the Fender Telecaster in this site, anyone can guess that I am a big fan of this guitar. In some ways, the Telecaster is for me, the perfect guitar; it looks right, it feels right, and it sounds right. But out of the box, this guitar might not be equipped for exactly what you had in mind and you may want to consider a few Telecaster modifications. For example, some want more muscle in the bridge pickup, some want more beef in the neck pickup, some want a speedier neck, some want… well, you get the picture. Fortunately, most Telecaster modifications are fairly painless. You can take the modifications to various levels and in some cases, you might want to enlist the help of a qualified guitar technician. So, that said, just use your best judgment.
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What Are the Best Mini Humbucker Guitar Pickups?

What Are The Best Mini Humbucker Guitar Pickups?If you are thinking of switching to Mini-Humbuckers, or upgrading to them, here is a rundown of the best ones out there.

Mini Humbucker pickups offer you the best of both worlds; they are humbucking (i.e. no 60-cycle hum), they are capable of great chime and clarity when you play clean, and when you use a lot of drive, they sound fantiastic. They will never sound quite the same as a full-sized humbucker, but they have a fullness and grit all their own. You really have to experiment with Mini Humbucker pickups and find the ones that are best for you, but it is worth the effort.
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Telecaster Neck Pickups: What Are the Best?

telecaster neck pickupsIf you are looking to upgrade your Telecaster neck pickup, you are in luck. Many great-sounding models are out there, and they offer a high-quality tone at a pretty reasonable price.

Nowadays, between digital modeling and overall great engineering, you can make virtually any guitar sound like just about any other guitar. Except, you cannot make any guitar really sound like a Telecaster. You can try, but it will never really quite smell right. But if you’re thinking about upgrading your Tele neck pickup, you’ll find many great-sounding, affordable models. Here’s a sampling of some of the best Telecaster neck pickups.

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Music Man RD-50 Head

Music Man RD-50 HeadI’ve been ranting and raving for years — to anyone who will listen — that Music Man amps are some of the greatest. Unfortunately, you are in for more of the same.

This rant is about the much-overlooked Music Man RD-50 Head. I must admit that, for a long time, I didn’t even know this thing existed. If you can believe it, I actually found one in a pawn shop on 7th Ave and 23rd Street in New York City. These kinds of things don’t happen quite so much anymore, as Guitar Center and Sam Ash have pretty much put everyone else out of business.

But in this case, there I was in this pawn shop, surrounded by cameras and cheap jewelry, when I saw this little mini head, with that familiar Music Man logo on it. I scratched my head: “…this ain’t an HD-130… what the hell is this little thing… I didn’t know that Music Man even made a head this small…”
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Fender Cyber Twin SE Amplifier

Fender Cyber Twin SEOk, so they pretty much invented the analog guitar amplifier. They perfected it and pretty much any guitarist would agree that few are better. So, why the heck would anyone use a Fender digital modeling amplifier? …’cause it’s a great amp, that’s why.

I’ll admit that I really resisted this stuff, I really really did. In principal, it just goes against everything I believe in. But then again, when the “Frying Pan” guitar was first put out by Rickenbacker, I’m sure it was met with the same disdain. Same for the solid body electric, the Flying-V, The Explorer, the Parker Fly, etc. So, I decided to lighten up and just try the Cyber Twin SE, and as it turns out, there’s a lot to enjoy.
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