Gibson Les Paul BFG Review

The Gibson Les Paul BFG is an American made Les Paul that has some very unique features and sounds great!

Gibson Les Paul BFG
Gibson Les Paul BFG

   As you know, I’m a Fender player and the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster is my main go-to guitar. But I do play some other guitars regularly onstage with my live band. I also believe that there are just some instances where a Gibson Les Paul is the best guitar to get a particular sound that the Fenders can’t do well. The Gibson Les Paul sound to me is buttery and creamy without a lot of the pop that you can get with a Fender.

   About 10 years ago I added a Gibson Les Paul Custom to my collection of guitars. I love that guitar but because it’s price has continued to climb over the years, I just can’t risk taking it out onstage anymore. I could never afford to replace it at it’s current market value so it stays home, cased up most of the time. I think that’s a sad, sad commentary on these outrageous guitar prices from Gibson and now Fender. It’s just a bummer to have an instrument that’s so expensive that nobody will ever see it played live onstage except in an arena.    Continue reading “Gibson Les Paul BFG Review”

Fender Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster Review

The Fender Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster is loaded with custom features at a bargain price. It’s the best MIM Stratocaster you can buy.

Fender Deluxe Player's Stratocaster - Transparent Blue Finish
Fender Deluxe Player's Stratocaster - Transparent Blue Finish

Even though I’m a skilled keyboard and bass player, I play electric guitar in my live band and the guitar is my main instrument. If I could, I’d buy a new guitar about every month. I can’t afford that so I get out and shop for them always looking for that next great instrument.

I like brand new guitars and I certainly haven’t bought into this whole “vintage instrument” craze. I believe that new guitars are being built better than ever before. It’s a lot more fun for me to get a new guitar and play it than to collect a vintage guitar and keep it in it’s case, un-played.    Continue reading “Fender Deluxe Player’s Stratocaster Review”

Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Guitar Compressor/Sustainer Review

Review of the Philosopher’s Tone compressor/sustainer guitar effects pedal from Pigtronix.

Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Pedal
Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Pedal

   Last week I picked up the new effect pedal from Pigtronix called the Philosopher’s Tone. It’s an analog compressor/sustainer that gives you the ability to sustain your held notes for a very, very long time. I had the opportunity to use it in my live band at a gig this past weekend and figured I’d let you all know how the Philosopher’s Tone performed.    

   I picked up my Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone from a webstore called GuitarX. I worked with Gary and the customer service was excellent. E-mails were responded to very quickly, shipping was super fast and the pedal arrived in perfect condition. It was a very good buying experience.     Continue reading “Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Guitar Compressor/Sustainer Review”

The Cheapest Way To Get Into A Pro Tools Recording Setup

An extremely affordable way to set up a home recording studio based around the powerful Digidesign Pro Tools 8 LE.

Digidesign Mbox-2 Mini Recording Bundle
Digidesign Mbox-2 Mini Recording Bundle

    Not only do I play professionally in a live band but I’ve also been a home recording enthusiast for many years. My first piece of recording equipment was my good old Tascam Portastudio 4-track which came with microphone, mic cord and a box of good cassettes. I made a lot of great recordings on that old Tascam and eventually wore the recording heads out. After the Tascam died I moved to a Fostex hard disk based recording setup that I built up to create a 24-track studio. But to get in line with the rest of the recording industry I had to build a Digidesign Pro Tools based recording studio.

   I now have a Digi 003 rack system running Pro Tools LE in my home studio. It has been a great system to work with and I’ve become really good with computer based audio editing. It would be really difficult to go back to editing tracks without the ease of being able to edit audio on the computer. Pro Tools is a very powerful program that is fairly easy to learn but can be a challenge to master. If you’re going to get into home recording, I recommend starting with an entry level Pro Tools LE system.    Continue reading “The Cheapest Way To Get Into A Pro Tools Recording Setup”

Affordable Practice Amp – Marshall MS-2 Micro Amp Review

The Marshall MS-2 Micro Amplifier is a very good battery powered practice amplifier and will serve you well for quick practices.

Marshall MS-2 Micro Amplifier
Marshall MS-2 Micro Amplifier

   A few years ago I was looking for a cheap battery powered amplifier to take with me on the road so I could practice my electric guitar while travelling. I really just wanted a convenient way to stay in practice for when I gigged with my live band. I came across the Marshall MS-2 Micro Amplifier during my search and I decided to give it a try. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how well this tiny amplifier filled my needs for a portable practice amp.

   The Marshall MS-2 stands a mere 5-3/4″ high and looks like a classic Marshall half-stack. The amplifier is powered by a single 9-volt battery that fits into a slot on the back of the amp and is very easy to change. The MS-2 has the Marshall logo on the front of the amplifier with a gold colored control panel. The amp has a guitar input jack, volume, tone and power/overdrive switch on the front panel. On the side it has a headphone output and a power adapter input plug if you want to use an external power adapter. You can also use the headphone out to run to a larger amplifier if you want to use the MS-2 as a pre-amp distortion box.   Continue reading “Affordable Practice Amp – Marshall MS-2 Micro Amp Review”

Upgrade Your Guitar’s Pickup With The Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker

The Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB pickup is one of the very best upgrades you can do to your humbucker equipped guitar.

Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker Pickup
Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker Pickup

   One of the best (if not THE best) humbucker pickups I have ever owned is my Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB pickup. I have been playing in my live band using the SH-4 in my custom built Stratocaster for quite a few years now. I have had this pickup in my guitar since 1986 and I have always loved the way it sounds.    Continue reading “Upgrade Your Guitar’s Pickup With The Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker”

Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick Review

The Jellifish Chorus Guitar pick won’t make your guitar sound like a 12-string, but it will give you a lot of effects for a decent price.

Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick
Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick

   I’m always looking for interesting and innovative products to try and and possibly use when playing in my live band. So I took a great interest in the the Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick. The sales material says that you can get 3 trademark sounds from this guitar pick. Chorus, which generates a 12-string like effect. Pluck, which is like a hammered dulcimer. Bow, which sounds like a cello. So naturally I had to order one and give it a try.

   I’ve got a great story about my experience with ordering the Jellifish from Music123. I ordered several different picks from Music123 that I had been wanting to try out including the Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick. When my order arrived, the Jellifish pick had been damaged in shipping and the metal tines had become bent which put a serious damper on the picks intended uses. So I called Music123 to request a return authorization and the simply said, keep the damaged one and we’ll send you a new Jellifish pick free of charge. That, in my opinion, was excellent customer service. I didn’t have to go through the hassle of returning the damaged pick and I got 2 picks for the price of one. I was able to bend the damaged pick straight enough that it would work even though it didn’t work as well as the undamaged one.      Continue reading “Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick Review”

Gibson Les Paul Studio Versus Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar Review

The Gibson Les Paul Studio is a high quality, American made guitar with a decent price point.

Gibson Les Paul Studio - Faded Cherry Only $999
Gibson Les Paul Studio - Faded Cherry Only $999

As you all know, I play primarily Fender Stratocasters in my live band. But I have to admit that I do own a Gibson Les Paul Custom but it’s current pricing is just outrageous and I can’t recommend it if you’re on a budget. I had the opportunity to play a Gibson Les Paul Studio just the other day and I was very impressed with the guitar. This is how I feel it compares to my Gibson Les Paul Custom.     Continue reading “Gibson Les Paul Studio Versus Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar Review”

Fender Frontman 212R 2×12 Guitar Combo Amp Review

The Fender Frontman 212R is an extremely affordable guitar amplifier that has plenty of volume for playing in a live band.

Fender Frontman 212R Guitar Amplifier
Fender Frontman 212R Guitar Amplifier

   I get asked all the time for guitar amplifier recommendations from guitarists that want to have a good amp to use in their live band. The amp I use and love is the Fender Cyber-Twin SE and I highly recommend that guitar amplifier. The Cyber-Twin SE is a professional quality amp which is also fairly expensive but I believe it’s worth every penny. That being said, many guitarists who are just starting out in their first live band are looking for quality guitar amplification and they don’t have a lot of cash to spend on an amplifier. That’s why today I’m going to talk about the extremely affordable Fender Frontman 212R guitar amplifier.     Continue reading “Fender Frontman 212R 2×12 Guitar Combo Amp Review”

Foot Control Pedal For Fender Cyber-Twin – Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller

The Behringer FCB1010 will work perfectly as a foot controller for your Fender Cyber-Twin SE amplifier.

Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller
Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller

   I have the Fender Cyber-Twin SE amplifier and have been using it in my live band as well as in my recording studio for about 3 years now. It has proven itself time and time again over the years and I’m very happy with the Cyber-Twin SE. I’ve recommended the amplifier often over the years to my students and fellow musicians. When I bought my Cyber-Twin SE the Cyber Foot Controller was readily available and I purchased one along with the amplifier. Since then the Cyber Foot Controller has seemingly disappeared. I haven’t seen any formal announcement from Fender that the pedal is discontinued but it sure seems to be gone. The only place I’ve seen them recently is occasionally on eBay. I have had many people ask me what MIDI controller to use with the Fender Cyber-Twin SE and I recommend the Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller. It’s unbelievably inexpensive for how perfectly it works with the Cyber-Twin SE.    Continue reading “Foot Control Pedal For Fender Cyber-Twin – Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller”