REVIEWED: THE MATON EBG808C NASHVILLE ACOUSTIC
Famously, there are a few notable inventions in Australian history that put this country on the map. We all know how popular Vegemite is overseas and Hills Hoists make laundry day and Goon of Fortune possible for countless households around the world. Maton Guitars’ rich history has left an indelible impression on some of the most prestigious guitarists around including but not limited to Josh Homme, Eric Johnson and Paul Kelly. You’d be hard pressed to find a player who hasn’t at least picked up one of their builds and it’s nigh on impossible to say you’ve not heard one recorded thanks to their absolute trustworthiness and everyman tonality. It seems fitting then that the upper echelons of their design team should meld minds and come up with such a glorious instrument as the EBG808c Nashville acoustic.
REVIEWED: THE ERNIE BALL FLEXTUNE CLIP ON TUNER
Clip-on tuners are one of the staples of the gigging guitarist, particularly those with simple stage setups or who prefer playing acoustically. But in an increasingly crowded market and rapid developments in technology, what’s on offer has never been more competitive. Does Ernie Ball’s latest offering stack up to the rest? Thankfully, yes, but more than that, it also makes some impressive strides forward of its own.
FENDER AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL JAZZ BASS
Tried and trusted, Fender’s Jazz Bass is a living classic. From the outset its brighter tone, richer midrange and more prominent treble made it a much-loved point of difference to the Precision Bass, and an embraced constant in the ever-changing Fender range. It’s a bass guitar with style, with pizzazz, with oomph and versatility thanks to a couple of well-refined single coil pickups, added controls and a sleek offset body. Like any proven formula, it’s something that you don’t want to mess with too drastically, otherwise risk muddying the sonic personality and the aesthetic appeal of the instrument. With every new iteration of the bass model, it always begs the question: what can Fender do that hasn’t been done before? And after that, what is the impact of these changes and/or additions? With the release of the new American Professional Jazz Bass accompanied by a bunch of new features, it’s time to once again answer these pertinent questions.
TC ELECTRONIC RUSH BOOSTER PEDAL
As part of TC Electronics’ ‘Smorgasbord of Tone’ series, the Rush Booster Pedal, like its brothers and sisters in the range, is designed to offer a simple and classic sound and functionality. A good booster pedal is a tool that most guitarists will find a need for in their arsenal, helping to push your signal when needed, whether it be to control variation between songs, between sections, or simply for a desired tone.
GALLIEN KRUEGER PLEX BASS PREAMP
It is safe to say that bass players often get overlooked in the world of effects pedals and this probably has a lot to do with the fact that they don’t try to hide behind a wall of effects to improve their sound. But, at the same time, there is always going to be some good use for a pedal that brings a little extra life into a live performance or studio session, and that is what Gallien-Krueger have aimed to deliver with the Plex preamp pedal. It is the ideal offering for the player who wants some additional tonal character and control without totally changing their sound. When you want that extra push to bring your instrument forward in the mix, or some added subtlety to keep it casual, the Plex will help to find you place in the sound and make your instrument sound its best.
MARTINEZ MTT-15 MOP TRAVELLER GUITAR
Nothing ruins a holiday quicker than one of two things. The first, and most maligned, is dodgy street food, but we won’t go into that here, the other is homesickness. You could be anywhere in the world, surrounded by the most fascinating landscape on the face of the earth and something will remind you of any miniscule detail of where you came from and all of a sudden you’ll pine for home more than Dorothy clicking her heels together. For most intrepid travelers, a simple phone call or picture of a partner or pet is enough to keep them gazing back into the wild, blue yonder but what do you do if the thing you miss the most is your beloved six-string? Martinez Guitars think the answer lies in their extensive range of small-scale traveller guitars, particularly the MTT-15 Traveller.
MXL DX-2 DUAL DIAPHRAGM DYNAMIC MICROPHONE
I have always grumbled about guitarists who spend so much money on not only their guitar, but their amp, valves, speakers, effects, cables and haircuts all in an effort to chase that perfect tone. Funnily enough, so many of these players forget about this all important tone once it leaves their amp’s speakers and don’t concern themselves with how it gets to the audience. Why even bother if you are going to let it get ruined with the character of a beaten up old microphone that some engineer puts in front of your cabinet. Every guitarist should care about the microphone used on their guitar sound and so, it would make sense that every guitarist should get the right microphone to retain their tone.
MOOER DRUMMER MINI PEDAL
Mooer dropped into the world of pedal manufacture a few years ago without much hullabaloo at all. Their first wave of units, a checklist of super cheap clones of the most popular pedals on the market in tiny enclosures, caused shockwaves to tear throughout the industry on both sides of the exchange.