Mercuriall Audio SS-11X Review

Mercuriall Audio SS-11X Review

Mercuriall Audio are probably best known for their Reaxis and Spark plugins, now they’ve turned their attention to recreating the AMT SS-11 preamp pedal. The AMT-SS11 has developed a strong reputation for providing great amp tones in a stompbox format. Have Mercuriall managed to capture that magic in VST form? Let’s find out. Continue reading →

Posted by Mark Smith in Gear
Album Review: Paradise Lost – Believe In Nothing Remixed/Remastered Re-Release

Album Review: Paradise Lost – Believe In Nothing Remixed/Remastered Re-Release

Believe In Nothing was one of those rare albums which managed to be a disappointment and also be underrated at the same time. When it was originally released in 2001 I don’t think anyone was happy with it. Paradise Lost fans either wanted the band to return to their goth metal roots or take the band’s newer electro inspired sound to another level. The record label wanted them to become more mainstream. I don’t think the band really knew what they wanted but they weren’t allowed an opinion if the rumours surrounding the album are correct. Having said that Continue reading →

Posted by Mark Smith in Album Reviews
Shining Set To Release Animal On The 19th Of October

Shining Set To Release Animal On The 19th Of October

Shining who recently announced their intention to BLOW THE DOORS OFF with new album Animal, have shared a lyric video for the title track alongside a huge run of European dates. 

Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist & songwriter, frontman Jørgen Munkeby comments, “while writing these songs we always thought about how we could make sure they would sound awesome in a live setting. Now we finally get to play them there! In club somewhere in Europe, with a sweaty and excited audience screaming along! Can’t wait to see you all there!” Continue reading →

Posted by Mark Smith
Solar Guitars A1.6ET WHM Review

Solar Guitars A1.6ET WHM Review

Solar Guitars have been making a bit of a splash recently. The man behind them, Ola Englund, will be known to many of you as the guitarist from The Haunted, Feared and a YouTube sensation. Having split from Washburn in 2017 he created his own brand, Solar Guitars and put his years of experience into creating to the perfect guitars for modern metal.

Has he been successful? There’s only one way to find out… Continue reading →

Posted by Mark Smith in Gear
How Many Guitars Do I Need?

How Many Guitars Do I Need?

It’s an age-old question. Is there such a thing as too many guitars?

I’ll be honest, I find it a tough question to answer. Mainly because I always seem to want another. I’ll be feeling pretty happy with the guitars I have, then I’ll suddenly start visiting guitar websites and looking at different models.

Continue reading →

Posted by Mark Smith in Guitar Discussion
Do Gibson Really Make Bad Guitars?

Do Gibson Really Make Bad Guitars?

Do Gibson Really Make Bad Guitars?

It seems like a debate which has been going on for a long time now. Not a day goes by where I don’t see people commenting on the poor quality control at Gibson. But is it really justified?

Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz called accusations that the guitar builder’s quality control has declined in recent years “Fake news”. Continue reading →

Posted by Mark Smith in Guitar Discussion
What Kind Of Guitar Tuner Should I Buy?

What Kind Of Guitar Tuner Should I Buy?

Whether you're just starting out, or have been gigging for 30 years, a guitar tuner is one of the most essential bits of kit you can own.

There are different kinds of tuners available and they all suit different setups and budgets so let's take a look at the main kinds.

korg tuner

The Standard Chromatic Tuner

There doesn't seem to be a name for this kind form of tuner other than a chromatic tuner. This is the basic kind of tuner many beginners buy as their first tuner.

Simply plug in, or use the microphone if you're tuning your acoustic guitar and tune.

The [amazon_textlink asin='B01NCIYQEV|B01NCIYQEV' text='Korg GA-2' template='ProductLink' store='uk125|us125' marketplace='UK|US' link_id='32ab1ae3-707c-11e8-8451-e546b825b5e5'] is a great example of this kind of tuner. Simple and it gets the job done accuratley.

This kind of guitar tuner is great to use at home.

clip on guitar tuner

The Clip-On

Now I Must admit, I was sceptical about clip-on tuners for a long time. I thought they were a bit of a gimmick. Then someone gave me one as a gift and it totally changed my mind. They simply clip on to the guitar's headstock and have a small display to show everything you need to tune correctly. Some of the cheaper ones aren't so great but a decent version is still far from expensive and they work really well.

I actually have a few of these now and keep them in different rooms so I always have one around if I'm going to play unplugged. I also keep one in my guitar case as a backup for gigging.

[amazon_textlink asin='B004VVFZHW|B004VVFZHW' text='Korg clip-on guitar tuner' template='ProductLink' store='uk125|us125' marketplace='UK|US' link_id='0c053c4c-707e-11e8-a6e0-e3416fcf1b65']

 

pedal-tuner

Pedal Tuners

If you are a gigging guitarist then there's a good chance a pedal tuner is the first part of your pedalboard. This is one pedal you really don't want to skimp on. Buy a good one and it will last for many years and you'll never have an excuse for being out of tune at a gig.

The [amazon_textlink asin='B004D8KX7K|B004D8KX7K' text='Boss pedal tuners' template='ProductLink' store='uk125|us125' marketplace='UK|US' link_id='49b5aac0-707f-11e8-b686-5f93584f4b08'] have been the industry standard for years. They are robust and work well. More recently, pedals such as the [amazon_textlink asin='B0015RIN6U|B0015RIN6U' text='Korg Pitchblack' template='ProductLink' store='uk125|us125' marketplace='UK|US' link_id='aa143b4c-707f-11e8-925a-e793491647e1'] and [amazon_textlink asin='B06Y4G7NQD|B06Y4G7NQD' text='TC Electronics Polytune' template='ProductLink' store='uk125|us125' marketplace='UK|US' link_id='908717e1-707f-11e8-8daa-e7e5088c06f8'] have become well used alternatives. Check them all out and see which one fits your needs best.

rack mount tuner

Rack Mount Tuners

The other option for the gigging or studio guitarist is the rack mounted tuner. They have a bigger display so they can show how well in tune you are more accurately. Obviously, the main reason for choosing a rack mounted tuner is if you use a rack for other effects or your pre and power amp.

The [amazon_textlink asin='B00F0GPTRS|B00F0GPTRS' text='Korg Pitchblack Pro' template='ProductLink' store='uk125|us125' marketplace='UK|US' link_id='3dca4c05-7081-11e8-9705-e9e5ae3f3485'] is a very good choice but if you have the budget you should look at [amazon_textlink asin='B000MSWT22|B000MSWT22' text='Peterson Strobe Tuners' template='ProductLink' store='uk125|us125' marketplace='UK|US' link_id='4d33c2c8-7081-11e8-bc6c-e31ec1c14217'] for the ultimate accuracy.

Posted by Mark Smith in Gear
5 Ways Your Social Life Will Improve By Learning To Play The Guitar

5 Ways Your Social Life Will Improve By Learning To Play The Guitar

Playing the guitar has huge social benefits.

Don't believe me? Read on

Jam Time

If your social life is lacking then turning up at a jam night is the perfect antidote. You'll find yourself in a room full of like-minded people who will become instant friends. Nothing brings people together like music so a room full of strangers instantly become buddies.

Form A Band

Forming a band takes things a step further. If you find the right people you

Read More

Posted by Mark Smith in Guitar Discussion