Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Pickup

Dacia's Duster goes pickup for São Paulo

The Fiat FCC4 wasn't the only interesting utility vehicle concept to come out of the recent São Paulo Motor Show. Renault experimented with a sporty pickup version of the Dacia Duster SUV, showing how the platform could haul five people with a bed full of gear.  Read More

Ford Vaughn Gittin Jr. street truck

When it introduced the vehicle earlier this year, Ford said the all-new F-150 was its "toughest, smartest and most capable ever," a line it's still eager to reiterate. With a few aftermarket tweaks, it can effectively add "most thrilling" to that list of superlatives. In preparing for next month's SEMA Show, Ford has previewed two F-150 special editions aimed at adrenaline junkies.  Read More

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 one-of-a-kind Leaf pickup truck created at Nissan's Technical Center in Stanfield, Ari...

Beyond the polished concept cars and design studies, automakers sometimes build unique vehicles simply because they have all the parts and tools lying around and, as Nissan says, "why not". That type of open-minded thinking recently gave way to a one-of-a-kind vehicle that blurs the lines between the Frontier pickup truck and the Leaf EV. The new concept joins the ranks of unlikely tiny pickup truck concepts from the likes of Mini and Smart.  Read More

Volkswagen presents the Transporter-based TRISTAR pickup truck

If your work carries you over the rugged ground of desert, forest or tundra, a rolling office like the Brabus Business Lounge is likely to break down before getting to the job site. What you need is a mobile office built into something more rugged; something like the Volkswagen Tristar concept. In place of the luxury van typical in roadtrip-ready office spaces, the Tristar is underpinned by a specially built 4Motion pickup truck.  Read More

The Doyle Coils Tru-Clones PAF 57 humbuckers

When guitar virtuoso and tech innovator Les Paul died five years ago, one of his last projects was an attempt to create high impedance humbuckers that matched the clear, dynamic sparkle of his beloved low impedance pickups. Sadly, the Reaper took the Master before his endless experiments hit pay dirt. But his collaborator and guitar tech for over four decades has picked through Les Paul's numerous experimental models and prototypes, his extensive notes and hotchpotch of parts and joined the dots to realize his friend and mentor's dream and create the Tru-Clones PAF 57 humbucker.  Read More

Livermore-based guitarist Brandon McCullough tries out the Dialtone 'infinitely adjustable...

The “right” guitar tone is an elusive and personal thing, and many seasoned guitarists strive to achieve a particular tone that reflects their musical style or matches the genre in which they are playing. In response to this, Dialtone is set to launch its new guitar pickup aimed squarely at the musician who likes to adjust their sound on the fly. Claimed to be the world's first on-guitar version of an infinitely adjustable pickup, the Dialtone promises a lot of tone control without the need for further effects boxes or software control.  Read More

The Fluence pickup from Fishman

Fishman says that its new pickup range is the first truly new electric pickup system design for over 80 years. Its Fluence technology is claimed to deliver the kind of pure, consistent tone and responsive playing dynamics that today's musicians demand, while also offering multiple voices. Additionally, since the single coil and humbucking units are of a similar shape and size to traditional wound pickups, you can leave the carpentry tools on the bench and just drop in the Fluence pickups in existing slots.  Read More

The stock 2014 Nissan Titan

DARPA and the US Army have done it with military vehicles, and Volkswagen has done it with a hovering car concept – they've turned to laypeople for design ideas. Now, Nissan is doing the same thing with the next generation of its off-road capable Titan truck. The automaker claims that it will be the world's first crowd-sourced pickup.  Read More

It may not look like it there, but that's a pickup truck, convertible and SUV

Major automakers come up with pretty cool concepts on their own, but for really "wow-worthy" designs, sometimes you need to pay attention to what the other firms are doing. Take the MILA Coupic concept from Austrian engineering firm Magna Steyr. This innovative concept gives you the hauling capacity of a pickup truck, the family moving comfort of an SUV and the stylish driving enjoyment of a convertible - all from the same driver's seat.  Read More

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