Earthquaker Devices Park Fuzz Sound

Photo Credit: Earthquakerdevices.com

Photo Credit: Earthquakerdevices.com

Named one of the 10 “Must Have” pedals at NAMM by Guitar Player magazine

When I read about the painstaking process that Earthquaker Devices went through during the development of the Park Fuzz Sound, I was very interested in checking out this rare and mysterious device. I wasn’t very familiar with Park Amplification and didn’t know that it was a company started by the legendary Jim Marshall in 1965. I had seen some Park amps in pictures or videos, but didn’t know of their origins. I also didn’t know that they made pedals, specifically the Park Fuzz Sound. In 2013, Mitch Colby resurrected Park Amplifiers and sought the help of the pedal wizards at Earthquaker Devices to reintroduce the Park Fuzz Sound. Earthquaker had an original Park Fuzz Sound and was able to inspect its nuances in order to ensure they got it right. The original Fuzz Sound had some powering issues and was limited in that it couldn’t be daisy-chained along with other pedals, but the clever builders at Earthquaker fixed that problem on their reissue and even added some more fuzz, which is always good. These pedals are handmade in a mythical land in Ohio, named Akron.

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EVH 5150 III 1 x 12 Combo

Photo Credit: Evhgear.com

Photo Credit: Evhgear.com

Eddie Van Halen is as meticulous with his tone as he is with his playing. While a considerable part of his tone lies within his fingers, his guitars and amps also factor greatly into the equation. Eddie played Marshall amps during the first few Van Halen albums and later went on to use Peavey amps. During the past few years, Eddie has developed his own line of amps that are manufactured by Fender. The EVH series of amps come in 50 and 100watt options for the head and 50watt for the combos. I read that during the testing phase of these amps, Eddie and Fender put these amps through rigorous trials including leaving it on and letting it feedback for a month to see how it held up. I appreciate the type of quality control that has gone into the production of this amp. I am reviewing the EVH 5150 III Combo that features one Celestion speaker and comes in a great ivory color. A four-button footswitch and casters are also included with the amp.

For this demo, I played a Jackson Dominion and a Gibson Dave Grohl 335 plugged straight into the amp. Channel One is the clean channel and while it sounded decent, I feel like it lacked some of the warmth that I prefer in an amp. Don’t get me wrong, the clean channel still sounds good, but just doesn’t have those pristine cleans that other amps may have. That being said, I think if you’re playing an EVH amp it’s for what the other two channels have to offer. My reason for wanting to try out this amp was for its overdriven and distorted options. There is also a switchable reverb that is very natural and sounds great in all channels

Channel Two is great for all around rock and metal playing. You can dial in a number of suitable tones that sound amazing. For this review, I kept all of the Low, Mid, and High settings between 11 and 1 o’ clock. I wanted to get a consistent tone throughout all of the channels for comparison. I also kept the Presence at noon for all channels during this demo. I think if this amp only came with the option for the first two channels it would be great and be better than most on the market. You can easily dial in the classic brown sound in the second channel and that alone would be enough for people.

The third channel of the EVH 5150 III is a beast. It takes all of the elements of the second channel and then adds copious amounts of gain. This is the channel for the modern metal player looking to sonically annihilate and stand out in the mix. I dialed the mids down a bit and got a good, scooped crunch in this setting that didn’t muddy up the sound of my playing. I was able to get note definition without sacrificing any tone.

To anyone looking for a high quality amp for rock or metal, look no further than the EVH 5150 III Combo. This amp also comes in a 2×12 version for those who want that additional Celestion.

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Gibson Dave Grohl ES-335

Photo Credit: Gibson.com

Twenty years ago when Dave Grohl went from behind the drum kit in Nirvana to front the Foo Fighters, I never thought that he would end up with his own signature guitar from Gibson. Throughout his time in the Foo Fighters, Dave has played an Ampeg Dan Armstrong, Gibson Firebirds and SGs, but no guitar has been associated with him more than the Gibson Trini Lopez. He first picked up a Trini Lopez in the early 90s and that guitar has become the foundation of his sound and the sound of the band. In 2007, Gibson released the ‘Inspired By’ DG ES-335 in Pelham Blue and Ebony. Both guitars were a limited run and went on to be very popular and highly collectable. I was fortunate enough to have owned an Ebony one, but had to sell it a few months later due to a financial situation. I had no idea that within a few years that guitar would almost triple in value. Not only do I regret selling it, but I also regret the price I sold it for. It was a versatile, well-made guitar that was fun to play, and I missed it.

 

In November 2014, I received an email from Gibson that gave me the chance to correct a mistake I made 7 years earlier. They announced they were bringing back the Dave Grohl ES-335 in Pelham Blue and a new color, Gold Metallic. These guitars, like the modelsbefore, are a limited run – only 200 Pelham Blue guitars were produced and 400 of the Gold Metallic. I opted for the Gold Metallic because of price and the uniqueness of that color. The retail price for the Pelham Blue is $6,999, which is out of my price range, while the Gold Metallic lists for $3,499 and is worth every penny. Continue reading

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Martin LX1E Ed Sheeran Signature Edition

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Photo by Steve Rose

 

The Ed Sheeran LX1E is a limited edition model that Martin released last year. I purchased this guitar based on it’s portability and features. It’s nice to have a guitar that you can just pick up and play while sitting on the couch or take with you when playing around a campfire.

Playability

While this is a smaller scale, travel-type guitar, it doesn’t feel like you are playing a small guitar. It fits well when in your hands and has good balance whileon your lap. I was concerned that I would have some playability issues given the smaller sized neck and fretboard, but that was not the case. Whether you’re flatpicking or fingerpicking, the notes ring out well and sound great on this guitar. I may not choose this over a D-28, but it is a nice option for those looking for portability or someone starting out and looking for a quality instrument.

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