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Big Sounds for Little Bucks: Get the Most Out of Your Amps

Ted Drozdowski
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05.03.2012

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Every time one opens the pages of a guitar magazine there’s a bunch of reviews about new monster amps that get great tones under all kinds of conditions. The problem is, these boutique beasties cost a bunch of moola, and for actual working club musicians that’s usually an obstacle. Plus, spending $3Gs on a new amp that’s going to travel in the back of a van with a pile of other gear and get scraped, bumped, dropped and scarred as it zips between vehicle and stage numerous times – or, the horror, gets used as a drink table by the drummer – is impractical.
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Down to the Wire: Guitar Circuit Tricks

Peter Hodgson
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03.07.2012

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From the moment guitarists first plugged into amplifiers, they began looking for ways to customize their sound. Really, the first effect was not a primitive tremolo or reverb. It was the suite of controls on board guitars themselves.
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We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It: Fuzz Power!

Dave Hunter
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01.03.2012

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We have had a major renaissance in fuzz pedals in the past decade or so. New and old makers and alike have brought out dead-on renditions of mid-’60s germanium fuzzes, late-’60s silicone fuzzes, modern fuzzes with knobs to control every parameter of the circuit, and more. Rather than being the extreme distortion effect that the uninitiated might presume them to be, good fuzz pedals can sound very organic when used right, and can interact beautifully with a cranked tube amp to produce a broad palette of overdrive tones, from mild crunch to full-on sting. Certainly you can elicit the “bees in a tin can” sound from ill-conceived fuzz use, but legendary players from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Jeff Beck and Keith Richards have also used fuzz pedals to produce some of the richest, most expressive guitar tones in history.
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