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Guitar Effects

A Little Thunder from Andy Alt

For the last few years, guitarist Andy Alt has been chipping away at a new kind of electric guitar pickup that allows a player to add a separate low end signal to the two lowest strings. A Little Thunder has been designed as a humbucker replacement and is reported to take only 5 minutes to install, without harming your precious guitar in the process. At the press of a button, git-fiddlers can bring a touch of funky bottom to a solo picking performance, making it a good fit for dark metal gods with hands too small for a 7 or 8 string shred machine or sonic scientists on the lookout for a new six-string laboratory for wacky riff-offs with the band's bass player.  Read More

The ToneWoodAmp from Ofer and Helene Webman

Acoustic players looking to augment the natural sound of their guitars with live effects may well have to succumb to a world of cables, amps and stomps to do so. Ofer and Helene Webman out of Phoenix, AZ, have developed a smartphone-sized box called the ToneWoodAmp – or Twamp for short – that brings the kind of effects enjoyed by electric guitarists to acoustic pickers without needing to route the instrument through a big power amp.  Read More

Aalberg Audio's Ekko and Aero

Norway's Aalberg Audio has developed what's billed as the world’s first remote-controlled effects pedal for electric guitars. The first part of the equation is a delay pedal named Ekko that's cabled up somewhere between the guitar and amp pretty much like any other floor stomp. Things get interesting when its Aero companion enters the picture, which can be mounted onto a guitar or attached to a strap or belt and wirelessly controls the Ekko effects on the fly.  Read More

The B9 Organ Machine from EHX

New York's EHX (electro-harmonix) has designed an effects pedal that allows guitarists to dial in classic tonewheel and combo organ sounds from the 1960s and 70s without having to worry about trudging through multiple MIDI parameters or having to route a signal through a special synth pickup to a computer before it gets to the amp. The B9 Organ Machine offers nine presets with either chorus, tremolo or vibrato effects, a percussive "key" click control and knobs to determine the mix of dry signal and organ preset at the output jack.  Read More

Portalmod's MOD Duo prototype mounted in acrylic housing

The MOD system from Brazil's Portalmod was born of a desire to break free from the confines of carefully considered manufacturer-supplied digital effects for guitar and bass, and sail into the vast uncharted territory of independent developer-generated plug-ins. The hardware features its own mini computing system capable of wirelessly receiving user-customized virtual pedalboards configured via a browser-based interface. Having sold out of its original Quadra model, the company is currently making plans to release its next product, the MOD Duo, in the US.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the TriplePlay wireless MIDI controller and pickup from Fishman (Photo: Pau...

In addition to showing off its new Fluence pickup at this year's Winter NAMM, Fishman followed last year's debut of Godin's Session Custom TriplePlay guitar with a TriplePlay version of Fender's HSS Stratocaster. The wireless MIDI controller and hex pickup allows players to tap into a world of almost infinite digital sound generation, tracking the picking and neck action and sending the signals to a computer for processing and output. Gizmag was given the opportunity to give the system a whirl, but rather than break in a brand new instrument, we opted to attach the stand-alone version of the system to an otherwise innocent and unsuspecting guitar of our own.  Read More

The Amp1 from Thomas Blug's BluGuitar

Toneheads will doubtless already be familiar with Thomas Blug. In 2004, Fender held a competition in Europe to find the regal ruler of its iconic Stratocaster to celebrate the guitar's 50th birthday. The German fret master took the crown, and has been known as the Strat King ever since. He's also known for his mammoth tone, something he's brought to the recently-revealed Amp1 in buckets. The 100 W signature boutique tube amp is also small enough to fit on a pedalboard or throw in a gigbag.  Read More

Roland's new Cube Street EX portable amp

Roland has give its lightweight, battery-powered Cube Street amp from 2007 a powerful upgrade in the shape of the Street EX portable busking amp. Where the original featured two 2.5 W Neodymium speakers and promised 15 hours of use from six AA-sized batteries, the EX has two woofers and two tweeters for up to 50 W of output oomph, and can stay on the street for up to 20 hours on battery power.  Read More

The AMPLIFi FX100 from Line 6

A few short weeks after claiming to have reinvented the guitar amp with a pair of AMPLIFi streaming music player and combo instrument amp hybrids, Line 6 is expanding its new connected range with the introduction of the AMPLIFi FX100. The effects unit leverages the connected world of iOS devices to grant players access to a wealth of professional-quality tones in the cloud, as well offering intuitive creation of brand new sounds, the ability to match the signature tones of fretboard masters from tracks in a user's music library, and share favorites with fellow musicians via an online community.  Read More

The footswitches can be used to send program change messages to the software, or they can ...

There are a number of ways to take digital amp and effects modeling to the gig or studio, including the new AMPLIFi models from Line 6, or routing your signal through a laptop or tablet running something like AmpliTube. Accessing and controlling settings on a device screen can be somewhat fiddly, though, and many guitarists feel more comfortable with physical knobs and switches. This is where the Amperage MIDI controller pedal could help to bridge the gap between analog stomp familiarity and the brave new world of digital tone tweaking.  Read More

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