January 27, 2017

Written by PGS Staff   If there’s one question I’ve been asked nearly to death since my stint in the effects industry, “what volume pedal should I get” likely ranks near the top. It’s rather perplexing on the surface, especially to those of us that have peeked under the hood of one. However, there’s so much spin about each model and what they accomplish, that even this simple task can be muddied beyond comprehension. What’s more, many manufacturers make three or more different models, which further clouds the data pool. Hopefully, this list puts your mind at ease.   1. Ernie Ball VP Jr. Read More

January 24, 2017

Written by PGS Staff I’ve spent a fair amount of time on guitar forums over the years and the one topic I’ve seen brought up more than any other is “Suggest an overdrive/distortion pedal for my rig,” or something along those lines. And with more options on the market today than ever before—I get it. There are lots and lots and lots of great pedals out there, and finding one that hits your ears just the right way every time can be a daunting task. In an effort to help you find your way, here’s a quick checklist of things to consider. How much gain do you need? For

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January 17, 2017

Written by PGS Staff The pedalboards of the world have become dangerously overcrowded. With pedal companies multiplying like wet mogwai and pedal geekery spreading like a virus from every dark corner of the Internet, it's really no wonder. If pedalboards were like densely populated cities, the problem could be solved by expanding them upward, but this is a less than practical solution (for obvious reasons), and no one really wants to see their pedalboard turn into some kind of towering, overstuffed Kowloon Walled City. The only realistic solution, as I see it, is to make the pedals tinier. Apparently, I'm not the only one who has come to this conclusion, as the world of guitar effects has been

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January 10, 2017

Written by PGS Staff     We took a poll around the office and came up with this list of six guitar players and tones that really define Vox. It wasn’t easy, but in this end we all thought this was a fair summary and introduction to Vox tone and the AC30. Be sure to let us know who you think deserves to be on the list, and your favorite solo played through a Vox amp!    The Beatles The AC30 was vital to the British invasion of the ‘60s. When bands needed sparkling cleans or a small amount of dirt, they would turn to their Vox amps to make it happen. Too often we focus

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January 6, 2017

Written by PGS Staff   Hybrid Moments Leading to Modern Marvels Until recently, hybrid amp technology seemed to have been on hold. I remember in the mid-to-late ‘90s, one of my first half stacks was topped with a Marshall VS100 head. The Valvestate technology was all the rage for budget-minded guitarists back then. To this day, I know a few folks who still get a perfectly serviceable Marshall crunch through their blunt-burnt, beer-stained Valvestates and early AVT amps. I also used to have a Vox VR30 combo that sounded amazingly rich and chiming considering I picked it up for around $50. In fact, it was my go-to practice and home jamming amp for years—even when I had some

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December 30, 2016

Written by: PGS Staff   It’s nice to have some feeling of exclusivity in the gear world. Most companies largely stick to their guns, i.e. guitar companies generally stick to guitar accoutrements. Some such companies have successfully made the leap to other gear realms without much difficulty. Then there are companies like Boss: unquestioned leader of modern effects pedals. However, who among us would play a guitar built by Boss? Could an amplifier made by Planet Waves be trusted? Clearly, there are boundaries in play—yet throughout history, companies have overstepped them and muscled into the effects world, often to little or no fanfare. What follows may surprise you: Six companies that made pedals that probably

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December 23, 2016

Written By PGS Staff   Whether you like it sweet and sassy, hot and hairy or warm and fuzzy, chances are you’re using some kind of gain effect to push your sound into that sweet spot. As common and interchangeable as they seem to be, overdrive, distortion and fuzz are not necessarily the same thing, despite the blurry distinctions between them. To truly understand the difference between overdrive, distortion and fuzz, it is necessary to understand how each effect works with your guitar and your amp.   As you probably know, a guitar pickup works by inductance, the phenomenon of physics in which a change in a magnetic field creates changes in a conductor’s current, and

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December 16, 2016

Written by PGS staff   I'm pretty sure that when Paul Westerberg wrote the Replacements gem “Left of the Dial,” he was talking about the FM frequency dial. The lower range of the FM dial was home to the early independent and college radio stations. Those stations and the artists they fostered had a profound impact on my guitar playing, but today we're going to talk about staying to the left (so to speak) of the other dial—the volume dial.   What's the most important element to you guitar tone? It's not your guitar, it's not your amp, and it's not pedals. It's not something you can buy in

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