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Chase Bliss Thermae


I haven’t spoken about Chase Bliss Audio much on here, but Joel Korte makes some really great and unique pedals. He just announced a new delay pedal called the Thermae, which is a pitch-shifting and harmonizing delay pedal:

Thermae represents a radically new approach to analog delay and harmonization. The pedal digitally manipulates an analog signal path created by 4 re-issued versions of the legendary MN3005 bucket-brigade delay chips. This creates the ability to change delay time in musically interesting intervals which allows for innumerable options for harmonizing and other sonic madness. These intervals can be sequenced through automatically, or triggered manually for ultimate usability in a musical context. Thermae can also be used as a more standard analog delay with unprecedented analog modulation options. Every knob and switch is connected to a little digital brain while your guitar signal stays 100% analog and never gets digitally processed.

Fender Troublemaker Telecaster


One of the anticipated releases being announced tomorrow is Fender’s Parallel Universe series. Basically, the series contains several guitars that combine features together to create something interesting. One of the more interesting to me is the Troublemaker Telecaster.

From the leaked picture, the Troublemaker Telecaster is basically a Les Paul in Tele form. It purportedly will have a mahogany body, maple top, two wide-range humbuckers, 22 frets, a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard, and classic LP controls (2 volume, 2 tone, and 3-way toggle). The rumors are that it will have the traditional 25.5″ Fender scale. It’ll be interesting to see what actually gets announced tomorrow.

JHS Pedals The Bonsai


The Winter NAMM show is coming up tomorrow, and there have already been quite a few products released. For instance, JHS released an interesting new pedal yesterday called The Bonsai:

Following in the steps of the our Muffuletta (released 2015), the Bonsai utilizes a simple rotary knob to switch through nine classic, vintage, rare, or hard to find variations of the Screamer. Creating the Bonsai became an archeological dig of sorts that sent us deep into the history of this circuit by examining dozens of versions, variations and replications. At the end of it all, Josh chose nine of his personal and favorite units and we painstakingly replicated every nuance and aspect of each pedal. One of the most challenging parts of this project was accounting for component drift as many of these pedals were decades old and the internal components had strayed from their original values. Each pedal was individually replicated using our Audio Precision analyzer and various other methods that allowed us to perfectly replicate every aspect of the sound and feel of the unit. It’s important to know that the Bonsai is not a “box of mods,” it is exact replications of these nine units all house in one box! The Bonsai is exact replication, not emulation. When you choose a mode on the Bonsai rotary, you are actually activating components specific to each mode and playing the unit that Josh choose along with all the quirks, drift, vintage mojo, and individuality that a vintage pedal has.

The world doesn’t exactly need another Tube Screamer clone, but at least JHS took an interesting approach to it by cloning specific TS pedals and including 9 different TS variants in one pedal. Check out Josh from JHS talking about it and Andy from Reverb showing the different modes:

Victory Amplifiers Launches the V30 Countess MkII and the VX100 Super Kraken


England, UK (January 24, 2018) — Victory Amplification from the UK proudly announces V30 The Countess MkII a 42-watt, two-channel, three-mode, all-valve guitar amplifier. V30MkII is evolved from – and replaces – Victory’s first ever Compact Series head that
was developed with the help of Guthrie Govan in 2013. Guthrie has of course had input to this one too!

The original V30 has very distinct clean and overdrive channels. There is massive headroom and clarity in the former, with a ton of heavy rocking overdrive in the latter. With V30MKII, we’ve added an extra footswitchable crunch mode to the clean channel – developed for V130 The Super Countess – that offers a whole new palette of pushed clean, crunch and light overdrive tones. In addition, the power section now features a footswitchable ‘Nomod’ function to tighten up the bass resonance that some V30 users found a little thick at times. However, Guthrie Govan loves the sound of the original voicing, so the ‘Nomod’ switch – geddit, ‘no modification’ – enables you to choose either option: original or tight. We made ‘Nomod’ footswitchable to further increase the V30MkII’s versatility.

V30MkII has also been updated with external bias test and adjustment points which means no more fiddling around inside the amp when changing power valves. The skeletonised metal chassis is now finished in a super cool black chrome powder coat, protected by an included padded carry bag. Like its predecessor there is a low-power mode accessible from the front-panel power switch that drops the output to around 7 watts RMS. You can choose to run either two 6L6 or two EL34 power valves for subtle differences in tone and response, and of course there is a series effects loop too.

Victory V30 The Countess MKII sets a whole new standard as a versatile and portable – yet thoroughly professional – lunchbox guitar amp head. Please visit our YouTube Channel youtube.com/VictoryAmps to hear it in action.

Other key spec & info

  • Valves: 4 x 12AX7, 2 x 6L6 or EL34
  • Size: 342(w) x 185(h) x 185mm(d)
  • Weight: 8.2kg (18.1lbs)
  • Footswitches (channel change/crunch and Nomod) and padded carry bag included
  • Available at dealers: From February 2018
  • SRP/MAP: UK: Head £999 / EU: Head €1,129 / USA: Head $1,239

Victory Amplification from the UK proudly announces VX100 The Super Kraken a 100-watt, dual-channel, three-mode all-valve guitar amplifier. VX100 is evolved from the award-winning Compact Series VX The Kraken (Guitarist Magazine Gear Of The Year 2016) developed with Dorje/Toska guitarist, Rabea Massaad.

Our Compact Series VX The Kraken defined a new standard in hard rock, metal, progressive and extended range tones when it launched in 2016. Half hot-rodded British drive machine and half mid-pushed American grind monster, it’s diminutive stature belies the giant tones that now fill stages the world over, not least via the music of Rabea Massaad, our great friend and collaborator who helped bring it to life.

For 2018 however, The Kraken morphs into an even more powerful beast via 100 massive watts of 6L6 power. You still get the Brit-inspired Gain I channel. You still get the colossal smack of Gain II’s US grind… but now there’s a whole new footswitchable clean mode, plus a footswitchable Preamp Focus function to add a little juice and cut to any and all modes. Think of it like a TS-style boost/EQ shaper. There’s also a preset Bass Focus option in the power section, footswitchable FX loop, assignable/ footswitchable dual masters, full MIDI switching capability (not shown in these images), plus a useful 30-watt low-power mode.

VX100 has external bias test and adjustment points which means no more fiddling around inside the amp when changing power valves. It’s swathed in grey vinyl to match the V212VG cabinet with which it forms an imposing yet portable half stack.

Legend has it that VX The Kraken is easily enough guitar amp for most mortals. Yet there are those who seek extra versatility, even more headroom and truly the power to stop all beasts, mythical or otherwise. Release VX100 The Super Kraken, say we! (And to hear it in action, please head to our YouTube Channel: youtube.com/VictoryAmps)

Other key spec & info

  • Valves: 4 x 12AX7, 4 x 6L6
  • Size: 480(w) x 235(h) x 235mm(d)
  • Weight: 12.5kg (27.5lbs)
  • Standard footswitch (Gain I/II, Clean/Crunch, Master I/II, Preamp Focus, FX Loop, Solo Master) and slip cover included
  • SRP/MAP: UK: Head £1,399 / EU: Head €1,579 / USA: Head $1,699

For more information:
Victory Amps

Les Paul Custom Abalone Sparkle GH


Gibson Custom Shop has created small batches of sparkle-finish guitars in the past, but never before have the finishes so perfectly matched the inlay colors like in this limited-edition Les Paul Custom Abalone Sparkle series. All the gleaming, vibrant colors of Abalone come alive through these five coordinated metal flake finishes. Under the hood, all the classic Les Paul tone and Custom Shop construction you expect is present, making it every bit the pro-level instrument as it is a museum-caliber statement piece.

Four New Joe Gore Pedals at NAMM 2018


Happy new year, all. Sorry I’ve been so scarce — mostly, I’ve been practicing guitar! I’m trying out lots of challenging new things (for me, anyway) and I’ll share some of them as videos very soon. I’ve also been finalizing the four new Joe Gore pedals I’m debuting at NAMM 2018. Lookit!

[L-R]: Screech Octave Fuzz, Porkolator Distortion, Cult Germanium Channel, Purr Vibrato

They’ve already gone into the production, and they’ll be available via Vintage King very soon. I have yet to make demo videos and detailed spec sheets, and we still haven’t finalized the prices. (It depends how much the damn germanium transistors in Cult Germanium Channel and Porkolator wind up costing.)

In the meantime, here’s the info sheet I’m distributing at NAMM. Also, Premier Guitar is scheduled to record a demo video at the show and post it on their site. (I’ll share the details when that happens.) I hope I sound less like a squirrel on meth than I did for last year’s show-floor video.

If you’re attending the show in Anaheim, please visit me at booth #15517. (It’s a huge booth run by my distributors, M1. I’ll be crammed behind a tabletop somewhere within.) I’d love to say hi.

Melo Audio Introduces the Tone Shifter Mega


Los Angeles, CA (January 23, 2018) — Tone Shifter Mega (TS Mega) is two accessories in one: a guitar pedal-style
MIDI controller and a studio quality audio interface for iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC. With the Tone Shifter Mega audio interface, guitar player can transform their iPhone/iPad, computer into a powerful guitar amp and effects rig, and control their favorite guitar APP or software on stage and in the studio with the foot switches.

Armed with 192kHz/24-bit audio quality and innovative connectivity, the Tone Shifter Mega aims to be a flexible solution for guitar players to record or play live with the incredible software or APP such as Bias, JamUp, Garageband and so on. TS Mega adopts a high-performance audio codec that can realize 192kHz/24-bit sampling. The dynamic range can reach 112 dB and the THD+N can be as low as -100dB.

TS Mega has eight foot switches and two expression pedal jacks. TS Mega will send out MIDI CC signal to control the software effect while guitar player stomping the foot switches. TS Mega can also work as USB MIDI controller or Stand alone MIDI controller. TS Mega has some default Host Configuration for popular software or racks such as Bias FX, JamUp, KPA, AXE. The users can also custom assign the foot switch in the learning mode. Two expression pedal jacks to control wah, volume or other effects at the same time.

TS Mega has L Input for guitar/bass, R Input for dynamic microphone and one XLR Input for condenser microphone. The L Input has integrated an analog guitar boost module, the module helps to improve the tone of guitar. The R Input is designed for dynamic microphone. The XLR Input is perfect for condenser microphone. It can provide 12V low noise phantom power for the condenser microphone.

TS Mega has fully balanced L and R Output and one XLR Output. Besides TS Mega has integrated 200mW earphone amplifier for earphone output. So guitar player can easy monitor by avoiding annoying neighbor or family.

Tone Shifter Mega can be powered by all. No batteries or external power required for any of the above features. To charge your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (or reduce power consumption for compatible Android devices) while you play, add a standard mobile phone adapter for power supply.


  • 192kHz / 24bit audio interface and guitar-pedal- style controller
  • 112 dB Dynamic Range; Lowest -100 dB THD + N
  • USB MIDI controller / Stand alone MIDI controller
  • 8 foot switches with easy-to- use Host configuration
  • Integrated 200mW Hi-Fi earphone amplifier
  • Low noise phantom power for condenser microphone Input(Dynamic microphone compatible)
  • Two Expression pedal jacks to control Wah, volume, or other effects
  • Integrated analog guitar input booster module
  • Fully balanced L and R outputs and one XLR Output
  • Device powered; To charge your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch while you play, add a standard mobile phone adaptor for power supply

TS Mega will mass production by the end of the first quarter in 2018. Melo Audio will update the progress weekly. If you are interested in this product, visit their NAMM Booth(1828 Hall E) and have a try on site.

For more information:
Melo Audio

Outlaw Effects Launches the Palomino 4HP Power Supply and Four New Pedals


Montreal, CA (January 22, 2018) — Montreal-based micro effect pedal company Outlaw Effects will introduce a foursome of new guitar pedals at the 2018 NAMM Show.

Cactus Juice Overdrive: One dose of this tonic for your tone will cure all that ails your overdrive sound. Two distinct modes offer a wide array of classic, screamer-inspired crunch: Normal Mode gives you that traditionally warm and creamy breakup, while Juiced Mode ups the gain dosage to extra strength, and lets you tear through even the densest of mixes. Level, Gain and Tone knobs give you complete control over your sound.

USA Street Price: $49.00

Wrangler Compressor: This compression cowboy herds in extremes to smooth out your tone while maintaining its character. With the Sensitivity control, you can dial in subtle, transparent compression, or opt for a more pronounced effect with prolonged sustain. The Tone control gives you the option of adding some color to your sound, while the Normal/Hi Cut toggle switch lets you reduce unwanted brightness with a flick of a switch.

USA Street Price: $49.00

Eldorado Echo: Like the clangs of prospectors’ picks that ricocheted through the canyons of the Old West, this golden nugget delivers precise digital repeats that can your tone from rags to riches. Eldorado features three echo effect variations: Normal Mode provides crisp, clean repeats; Dark Mode removes some of the highs from the repeats and adds some grit; and Reverse Mode inverts your delays for trippy, mind-expanding sounds. Additionally, a Saved Mode feature allows you to call up a favorite setting with a quick double-tap of the footswitch, regardless of how the controls are set.

USA Street Price: $69.00

The Wye ABY Box: This versatile, 2-way signal routing tool allows you to instantly switch between two inputs or two outputs, or to use two inputs or two outputs simultaneously. For example, you can easily alternate between two different amps or amp channels, or quickly switch between two guitars going into one amp.

USA Street Price: $49.00

Like all Outlaw Effects, these new pedals feature true bypass switching to maintain the purity of the player’s clean tone. Each is housed in a micro-sized durable aluminum alloy chassis, and features a staggered input/output design for a minimum footprint.

Availability February 2018

Montreal-based micro effect pedal company Outlaw Effects just introduced the Palomino 4HP, an ultra-compact power supply featuring isolated high-current outputs and multiple output voltage options, capable of handling a wide range of effects pedals.

This convenient, one-stop solution for fueling your pedal board delivers up to 2000 mA of stable, noiseless DC power via four fully-isolated outputs, each supplying 500 mA of current . Three outputs provide 9V DC voltage, and a fourth offers selectable 9V/12V/18V DC voltage options.

Measuring just 80mm x 80mm x 25m (3.15″ x 3.15″ x 1″), the Palomino 4HP’s slim profile fits discreetly under or on most pedal boards, and at 130g, extra weight is kept to a minimum. Its durable housing is road-ready, and the unit features a foldback current limiting circuit (FCLC), which safeguards the Palomino 4HP against shorts and overloads.

USA Street Price: $79.00

Availability: February 2018

For more information:
Outlaw Effects

Balaguer Guitars Releases the Astra


Phoenixville, PA (January 19, 2018) — Balaguer Guitars has just unveiled The Astra, their take on a classic singlecut design but with modern construction and appointments. The body shape is slightly offset which lends added comfort when playing, and unlike the norm, this singlecut comes stock with a 25.5” scale length. Fusing modern and classic aesthetics, this model boasts 22 medium-jumbo stainless steel frets, 16” fingerboard radius, and an all access set-neck joint allows unbridled access to the higher register. Having two trim levels via their Production Series (Standard & Deluxe), you can choose from different finishes and specs to suit your needs. You can also opt to go for their Semi-Custom Series, which will allow you to choose your woods, scale length, and much more (starting at $999).

The Astra Deluxe features:

  • Body: Mahogany (Satin Rustic Black or Gloss Silverburst) – bound with Triple Black Binding
  • Neck: Set-neck Mahogany
  • Pickups: Fishman Modern Fluence Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Tonepros Tuneomatic w/ Stop Tailpiece
  • Controls: 2 volume, 2 tone (both push pull to active Fishman voicings), 3-way switch
  • Tuners: 18:1 Locking Tuners
  • Fret Dots: Black Blocks
  • Fretboard: Roasted Birdseye Maple
  • Nut: Graphite 1 11/16”
  • Frets: 22 medium-jumbo stainless steel
  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Neck thickness: @ 1st Fret- .800” / @ 12th Fret- .880”
  • Fretboard radius: 16″
  • Neck Shape: Comfy C
  • Truss Rod: 2-way adjustable

The Astra Standard features:

  • Body: Mahogany (Satin Trans Black or Satin 2-Tone Burst)
  • Neck: Set-neck Mahogany
  • Pickups: Balaguer Evergreen Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Tuneomatic w/ Stop Tailpiece
  • Controls: 2 volume, 2 tone (both push pull for coil split), 3-way switch
  • Tuners: 18:1 Locking Tuners
  • Fret Dots: Pearloid Dots
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Nut: Graphite 1 11/16”
  • Frets: 22 medium-jumbo stainless steel
  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Neck thickness: @ 1st Fret- .800” / @ 12th Fret- .880”
  • Fretboard radius: 16″
  • Neck Shape: Comfy C
  • Truss Rod: 2-way adjustable

Pre-order now available:

The Astra Deluxe – $1,349 pre-order price

The Astra Standard – $899 pre-order price

For more information:
Balaguer Guitars

Fishman Releases the Loudbox Mini Charge


Anaheim, CA (January 15, 2018) — The new Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge battery-powered acoustic instrument amplifier reproduces the sound of acoustic instruments with absolute fidelity and sonic impact –wherever it takes you and your music.

Lightweight, portable and equipped with a rechargeable battery, the Loudbox Mini Charge has dedicated Instrument and Mic channels with Input Gain controls. In addition to battery life of 12 hours at average volume, it includes Bluetooth wireless connectivity that lets you easily and seamlessly add a variety of backing tracks and vocal or recorded accompaniments to your performances and jams on the go.

With the unmatched tone and sound quality of music’s most popular acoustic amp line, the Loudbox Mini Charge includes Digital Reverb & Chorus, Mic and 1/8” Aux Inputs, Master Volume and Phase controls and a Balanced XLR D.I. Output.

A full line of Loudbox Mini Charge accessories includes a Deluxe Carry Bag, 12V Car Charger, and US and International wall chargers.

For more information about Fishman and the Loudbox Mini Charge, please see us at Booth #4810, Hall D or visit www.fishman.com.

For more information: