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Guitar Magazine December 2018

The Guitar Magazine provides in-depth and essential reading for the serious guitarist, with dozens of guitar tests, playing techniques, an exclusive bass section and in-depth features on guitar heroes past, present and future. Each issue is packed full of reviews of the latest guitars, amps, effects and basses. The Guitar Magazine also delivers the informed verdict on home recording equipment and regularly offers tips on buying second hand and vintage gear. When you occasionally put down that guitar, it is also packed full of interviews with the great and good of guitardom!

United Kingdom
Bandlab UK Limited
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
show & tell

Welcome to the biggest issue of The Guitar Magazine in recent history, with a whopping 148 pages packed with star players and stellar instruments, amplifiers and effects. As we approach the end of 2018, we inevitably start thinking about the best new products that we’ve encountered this year in preparation for next month’s Gear Of The Year extravaganza Personally, I’ve managed to end prolonged period of procrastination and actually buy a couple of things, in the shape of a mind-blowing Lazy J J10LC amplifier – 10 watts of chewy tweed tone, bristling with harmonics and bathed in glorious reverb and throbbing tremolo – and a 1983 Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer that was a bit of a bargain on Reverb. I say bargain… it was a lot of money for an overdrive…

1 min
1935 gibson super 400

Named after its original $400 price tag, the grandiose Gibson Super 400 was launched in 1934. It would provide inspiration for virtuoso jazz-guitar luthiers such as Elmer Stromberg and John D’Angelico, while later cutaway and electrified versions were a response to demand from players as the wheels of time turned and popular music evolved into daring new forms. This gorgeous example is currently available from ATB Guitars in Cheltenham, UK and dates from 1935. It’s a visual feast, with engraved Grover ‘butterbean’ open-gear tuners, an original marbleised celluloid pickguard and other high-end appointments adding a real taste of luxury. You’d expect an 83-year-old instrument to have some miles on the clock and the faded Pan American Clipper Cargo label on its well-travelled case suggests that this guitar earned its playing wear…

10 min
arcade fire

Our first encounter with the Frank Brothers Guitar Company was in late 2017 when the Ontario firm’s debut electric guitar design – the sublime chambered double-cut known as the Signature Model – waltzed in to the office and promptly smashed our hearts to smithereens. Based in Toronto’s artsy Studio District, luthier twins Tim and Nick Frank (aided by older sibling and managing partner, Jon) build instruments that fuse vintage and modern influences with exacting attention to detail. Sweating the small stuff is in their genes: grandfather Philip was an acclaimed concert violinist and no stranger to a Stradivarius or Guarneri, while their award-winning audio engineer dad Jim worked with the likes of Alice Cooper and Peter Gabriel. Prior to Winter NAMM 2018, the Signature Model (from £3,330 direct) was the only Frank…

4 min
otis rush 1935-2018

Otis Rush, one of the last of the great original Chicago bluesmen, died in 29 September 2018 from complications related to a stroke. He was 83. Rising to prominence as one of the electric blues artists who, along with contemporaries Buddy Guy and Magic Sam, became a live fixture in the thriving hotbed of blues that was the Windy City in the 50s, he never became a household name – a fact he would refer to wryly and bitterly in his later lyrics and interviews. Instead, he earned himself a reputation as an innovator and a ‘guitarist’s guitarist’, with his unusual ‘southpaw’ guitar style proving a major source of inspiration to later players including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Peter Green, Paul Butterfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others. Born into a…

2 min
win a beetronics fx royal jelly overdrive/fuzz

When we first came across California pedal makers Beetronics FX, we wanted one of its units before we’d even heard one, purely on the basis of how damn cool they look – not a common state of affairs when it comes to the world of stompboxes. And now thanks to our friends at Face Distribution, you could have the amazingly cool looking and sounding Royal Jelly sat on your board by answering a simple question. Thankfully, there’s an awful lot more to the Royal Jelly than an undeniably cool case with 3D livery – this combined overdrive and fuzz pedal is made with a no-compromise approach to quality that means the insides look as eye-catchingly good as the casing. The Royal Jelly’s overdrive and fuzz circuits run in parallel, giving you the…

10 min
flying high again

Whether it’s his new band The Magpie Salute or his former one, The Black Crowes, it’s all about connectedness for Rich Robinson. For example, when the 49-year-old Georgian formed his new band in the wake of the platinum-selling rockers’ demise in 2015, he had to bring fellow ex-Crowes Marc Ford and Sven Pipien into the fold, too. The Crowes were, of course, co-founded by Robinson and brother/frontman Chris, bursting onto the scene in 1989 with rock ’n’ soul swagger, with Robinson filling the brief of rhythm guitarist and chief songwriter. However, the band’s global success papered over some hefty personal and creative differences – primarily between the two brothers. In 2015, after eight studio albums of critically and commercially lauded Americana-vibed rock ’n’ roll, the final, acrimonious split occurred. Introspective and considered,…