The SANYO Pedal Juice KBC-9V3U

The Pedal Juice is a rechargeable 9V Lithium-Ion battery for analog, digital and multi-effect pedals. It is made by SANYO North America Corporation, a leader in rechargeable battery technology. With a list price of $199, it can be purchased in stores or online for approximately $149. The Pedal Juice can also be used to power other devices like multi-track recorders, synthesizers, mini amps (think Roland Micro Cube), and electronic drum kits.

It is very easy to use out of the box. It has one single ON/OFF button and two 9V DC outputs, fully recharges in 3.5 hours and can be recharged hundreds of times. When in use, the remaining charge/discharge power is shown via a 3-stage LED indicator. The unit feels and looks pretty durable and is water and shock resistant.

These are the standard usage times for effects (may vary depending on connected devices and usage conditions):

– 1 Analog effects unit (10mA): Approx. 50 hours.
– 1 Digital effects unit (50mA): Approx. 27 hours.
– 1 Digital multi-effects unit (100mA): Approx. 17 hours.

If you only use 3 analog pedals or one multi-effect unit, then you’ll be good for 17-20 hours or so. Plenty of time for rehearsals, jams and gigs.

Now, let’s say we have a basic 6 pedal setup (with both analog and digital effects):

1 Wah Wah + 2 Analog Distortions + 1 EQ + 1 Digital Delay + 1 Digital Reverb

Give and take, the Pedal Juice should be able to last about 5-6 hours with a setup like this. Still plenty of power for a rehearsal, jam or a 3 set gig. It’s also ideal for the recording studio since it eliminates noise interference created by electrical outlets. Probably not the best option if you have a much bigger pedalboard, specially if you own several digital effects.

All in all, the KBC-9V3U SANYO Pedal Juice is a great device, a very useful and handy addition to any guitarist’s setup.

PROS:

  • Battery saver. If you are the kind of player that buys a battery for every gig, then this device will pay for itself in a matter of a few months.
  • Design. The same footprint as standard effects pedal, it will fit perfectly in your pedalboard. It’s also very light.
  • Wireless. No need for extension chords or plugin in your effects to the wall, which also eliminates issues that result in unwanted noise (AC ground loops, spurious noise, hum, etc.).
  • Ideal for smaller-medium size boards. A great option for the studio, rehearsals or gigs where 1-6 pedals are needed. Could work great as a backup to bring to gigs as well.

CONS:

  • Price. Although it will pay for itself in the long run, the $149 price will make some players hesitate about trying it (or getting a regular power supply instead). Not for everybody in this price range, but a good investment if you have the money.
  • No extra cables. It only has two DC 9V ports, which keeps the unit small and portable, but it also means that daisy chain cables will need to be purchased separately if you want to plug more than two devices at a time (comes with only 2 DC output cables).

Best Electric Guitar for Beginners Under $200

UPDATED 2015. One of the first decisions a beginner guitarist needs to make is which guitar to purchase. As a guitar teacher, I’ve been asked this question a lot and have found that the answer depends on both your musical taste and your budget. For this reason, I have compiled a list of electric guitars under $200. They are listed in no particular order.

10 Great Electric Guitars for Beginners Under $200

  1. Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS
  2. Squier Affinity Telecaster
  3. Squier Bullet Strat (HSS or SSS)
  4. Yamaha Pacifica PAC 112
  5. Epiphone Les Paul Special II
  6. Epiphone SG Special
  7. Ibanez GRX20 (GIO Series)
  8. Jackson JS22 Dinky
  9. Dean Vendetta XM
  10. Dean EVO XM

If you want more specific tips on buying your first electric guitar, check out “A Guide to Buying Your First Electric Guitar“. If you have any questions or comments, I’ll be happy to answer them on our new forum section.

Model Descriptions

1. Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS. Squier is Fender’s entry level brand and one of the most popular choices today for beginners. Along with the Les Paul design (discussed below), the Stratocaster is one of the most often copied electric guitar shapes. The list of Strat players is long, and includes names like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck and John Frusciante. Squiers are known to be solid instruments and a great value.

2. The Squier Affinity Telecaster model is also a good option and a popular design. Keith Richards, Jeff Buckley, Tom Morello, Jonny Greenwood and country music players like Brad Paisley use or have used Telecasters. If you are expecting twang from your guitar, look no further! The maple fretboard on these Squier Teles looks great and the butterscotch blonde is the classic finish.

3. Squier Bullet Strat (SSS or HSS). The Squire Bullet is a great guitar at a very affordable price. For around $120, you have a variety of colors and two different pickup configurations to choose from. SSS stands for single-single-single and HSS stands for humbucker-single-single (the pickups on a guitar are basically the microphones that pick up the sound). There is also a more modern looking Squier Bullet Telecaster model in metallic black (not pictured). This Tele features a humbucker-single coil pickup configuration and black hardware. It would make a great rock guitar.

squier-bullet

Squier Starter Value Packs

Squier offers a Strat Value Pack that includes the HSS Affinity Strat, an amplifier, and accessories (instructional DVD, gig bag, cable, strap and picks). Pretty much everything you need to get started. This starter pack currently sells for around $349, but if you are on a budget you can get a Similar Strat Value Pack with the same guitar and a more affordable amp for $249. There is also a Starter Pack Under $200, with an SSS Affinity Strat and a cheaper Fender amp.

4. Yamaha PAC 112. The Pacifica is a solidly built Stratocaster style guitar and an excellent choice for beginners. Not a lot of stores carry them, so buying online will most likely be your only option. The pickups sound good and the guitar is usually well set up out of the box. Yamaha has been in the musical instrument business for a long time and their guitars are known for their quality and value. Yamaha makes excellent entry level acoustic guitars as well. One known Yamaha player is jazz fusion guitarist Mike Stern.

5. Epiphone Les Paul Special II. Fender and Gibson are the two best known manufacturers of electric guitars in the world, and Squier and Epiphone are their entry level, more affordable brands. A different looking and sounding beast than the Strat or the Tele, the Epiphone Les Paul is a great option if you are into Jimmy Page, Bob Marley, Joe Perry, Slash or Zakk Wylde.

6. Epiphone SG Special. Another popular model is the SG. With its pointy double cutaway design, the SG offers a wilder and heavier look and it will do everything from metal to blues. Frank Zappa, Angus Young, Tommy Iommi, Derek Trucks and Thom Yorke have been known to play SG’s.

Epiphone Starter Value Packs

Just like Squier, Epiphone offers a Les Paul Value Pack that includes the guitar, an amp and accessories for $199. I haven’t tried the amp in this pack but overall, it looks like a good deal. In general, I’m really not a fan of the amps that are included in these packs as they tend to be low quality, but to start out they’ll do the trick.

7. Ibanez GRX20 (GIO Series). In the 1960’s Ibanez, a Japanese company, started copying Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker guitars. Soon after, they started designing electric guitars of their own and Ibanez grew to be one of the top guitar companies in the world. If you listen to metal or like shred guitar (rapid soloing), an Ibanez guitar could be what you are looking for. The GIO guitars are a “budget” model line similar to Fender’s Squier guitars and Gibson’s Epiphone line. The GRX20 comes with two humbucker pickups and in a variety of lively colors (from jewel blue to all white). Ibanez guitars are known for having thinner necks and bodies. Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman and James “Munky” Shaffer are a few artists that play Ibanez guitars.

8. Jackson JS22 Dinky. Jackson Guitars originated in 1980 when Ozzy Osborne guitarist Randy Rhoads asked Charvel’s (another guitar manufacturer) Grover Jackson for a custom “Flying V” style guitar. Charvel and Jackson guitars were very popular in the 80’s and 90’s, and are starting to make a comeback. Ironically, both Charvel and Jackson guitars are now owned by Fender. These guitars are great for (glam) rock, metal and shredding. There is also a 7-string version of this model, also under $200.

jackson-js22-dinky

9. Dean Vendetta XM. A company that has been around since the late 70’s, Dean is a well known brand between metalheads. Players like Diamond Darrel, Dave Mustaine and Michael Amott use or have used Dean guitars. With a string-through-body design, dual humbuckers, a maple neck with 24 frets, the Vendetta XM definitely stands out from the rest of the bunch. It is not your typical Strat or Les Paul copy.

dean-vendetta-xm

10. Dean EVO XM. Last but not least is the Dean EVO. This Dean model gets a lot of good reviews for being a solid low budget guitar. A “Les Paul” style guitar with one cutaway, the EVO is a blend of vintage design with modern features. It has dual humbuckers, 24 frets, a satin finish and an angular neck joint. Great looks, quality build and excellent tone for your money.

dean-evo-xm

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a solid starting point. Any of these models would make a great guitar for a beginner, just choose the one that suits your musical preference or guitar style. If you have your own list of models, feel free to post them on the comments below.

Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator

If you are into feedback devices, whether it’s a pedal, eBow or sustainer pickups, then you are probably going to be interested in checking out this one. The Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator is a feedback device for electric guitar or electric instruments with steel strings (including acoustic guitars with piezo pickups).

The guitar strings are agitated by a driver mounted on a stand that can reproduce feedback at any volume level. This means that it can be used in any playing situation: on stage, recording, in your room, even with headphones. Unlike the Ebow, which can only drive one string, the Vibesware GR-1 can drive multiple strings at the same time. It is also not hand-held, so it can be applied while playing normally with both hands. And unlike sustainer pickups, you don’t need to modify your guitar.

It is powered by an external supply resulting in a strong magnetic field driving the strings. Feedback can be controlled by the players technique and by phase switching. Feedback harmonics can be controlled by a foot pedal similar to a wah wah (sold separately).

Price: 339 euros (approx. $420). For more information on the GR-1 Guitar Resonator including videos visit vibesware.com.

A Guide to Buying Your First Electric Guitar

If you are reading this article, you are most likely a beginner looking to buy your first electric guitar or a guitar player looking to purchase a low budget axe. This article is aimed at the beginner guitarist. For a list of recommended low budget guitars, check out Best Electric Guitar for Beginners.

There are five basic things you need to remember. No matter which guitar brand you end up getting, if you want your music journey to last more than a few weeks, you will need an instrument that:

1. Stays In Tune: A guitar that constantly goes out of tune is pretty much useless. You will not be able to practice effectively with an out of tune guitar and will get frustrated very quickly.

2. Is Easy To Play: The closer the strings are to the fretboard (in guitar slang: low action), the easier they are to hold. Guitars can be adjusted by a guitar tech to have low action, but this can be expensive. Ideally, you want a guitar that’s playable out of the box, unless you are willing to pay for a set up.

3. Is of Good Quality: Purchasing your first guitar is similar to buying your first car. You want a solid ride from the start without breaking the bank. If you are on a budget, you also want a guitar you’ll be able to resell once you outgrow it. Brands to look for: Squier, Epiphone, Yamaha, Ibanez, among a few others. Sure, that guitar at Walmart with the funky name looks just like the one Eric Clapton plays, but looks can be deceiving. Not only you will have a hard time playing it, but you will have even a harder time getting rid of it once you realize it’s no good.

4. Sounds and Looks Good: Having a decent tone from the start will put you on the right track. A good sounding, playing and looking guitar that stays in tune will make you want to practice more without a doubt!

5. Ask for Advice: If you don’t know what you are doing, talk to someone that can point you in the right direction. If you have family or a friend that plays the guitar, ask for help. If you are starting lessons, ask your teacher for advice before buying a guitar. If you don’t know anybody, or even if you do, it’s always a good idea to check out some reviews on amazon.com or musiciansfriend.com.

Buying Tips:

– Buying the guitar, amp and accessories separately is ideal as you can purchase better equipment.
– The amps included in starter packs are usually low quality. I recommend buying a practice amp like the Roland Micro Cube or the Line 6 Spider.
– Visit your local music store and try a few guitars in person to get a better idea of what you’re buying, you can always buy online later.
– The input jack on entry level guitars tends to brake/fall off easily. Replace it with a metal upgrade when or if this happens.
– If a string breaks, it does not mean your guitar is of bad quality. Strings need to be changed every 3 months or so. Consider getting a couple of sets along with your guitar.
– Having your new guitar setup by a professional will cost money but if you can afford it, it’s probably worth it. Some guitars are not playable out of the box and need some adjustment.
– If buying new, buy from a store that has a return policy in case your guitar is defective or you change your mind and want to get a different one.
– For even better deals, buy used from craigslist or eBay, but ask your guitar player friend for advice. You don’t want to get ripped off.
– And last but not least, DO NOT buy guitars from Walmart, Target, Costco or any store where you buy gorceries or clothes. These are just expensive toys!

Pat Martino to Host Exclusive ICMP Masterclass

PRESS RELEASE: March 2009. One of the world’s greatest jazz guitarists, Pat Martino, will follow Scott Henderson as the next legendary player to headline a series of masterclasses hosted by the Guitar Institute in London in association with Guitar Getaways Awaydays.

After being involved in the early rock scene in Philadelphia alongside stars like Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker and Bobby Darin, Pat Martino was recruited by bandleader Lloyd Price to play on-stage with musicians such as Slide Hampton and Red Holloway. He made a move to Harlem and was signed as a leader for Prestige Records when he was just twenty, leading to the creation of his classic albums ‘Strings!’, ‘Desperado’, ‘El Hombre’ and ‘Baiyina (The Clear Evidence)’, one of jazz’s first successful ventures into psychedelia. After suffering a brain aneurysm causing him to lose all memory of guitar and his career, Pat made a remarkable recovery by studying his own historic recordings and returned to form on his instrument. With a distinctive, fat sound and gut-wrenching performances, he represents the best not just in jazz, but in music, embodying thoughtful energy and soul.

This exclusive event, to be held at the Bedford in Balham, London, on the evening of Wednesday April 8th, will feature an interactive clinic delivered by Guitar Institute teachers Phil Capone (guitar), Holger Skepeneit (piano), Terry Gregory (bass) and Darren Ashford (drums). This will be followed by the headline guitar masterclass with Pat.

This is a unique opportunity to hear legendary Pat Martino talk, play and demonstrate his craft which should not be missed. To book a place at the masterclass, contact Guitar Getaways on:

– awaydays@guitargetaways.com
– www.guitargetaways.com
– 01326 211945,

For further information on this and future ICMP events, contact the ICMP on:

– enquiries@icmp.co.uk
www.icmp.co.uk
– 020 7328 0222

Orange Amplification launches “Dual Terror”

Press Release – February 2009. British amplifier manufacturer, Orange Amps launched the Tiny Terror amp in 2006 and has already sold over 30,000 units, making it one of the most in-demand amps in the world. The concept of the Tiny Terror was simple: squeeze every drop of Orange’s unique signature tone into a lunch-box sized amp to create 15 watts of unmistakable Orange Class A Tone weighing only a few kilos – and at a price every guitarist can afford.

Orange can now announce the next generation of the Tiny Terror concept – the ‘Dual Terror’: a twin channel, 30-watt head, switchable from 30 to 15 or 7 watts giving more choice and options shrunk into a size that belies its power!

The 30 watt Class A dual channel amp incorporates the unique Tiny Terror channel and a new ‘Fat Channel’ bringing a new ‘fatter’ chunkier sound, whilst keeping the classic Tiny Terror sound.

The power options make this a truly versatile amp, capable of dominating at bigger venues and subtle enough to be perfect for recording, studio work and home playing. Switchable between 30, 15 and 7 watts and switchable between 4 and 2 output valves, the combinations of options provide for unmatched levels of performance and flexibility.

The Dual Terror OS-DT30-H is built to the usual Orange high quality standards, using top quality components and its roadworthy rugged construction (supplied with padded gig bag ) is everything you’d expect from an Orange amp. The proven ‘Orange Terror’ concept of combining portability, versatility and delivering most importantly a great sound, is all here.

The original Tiny Terror has legions of fans, with users including Gary Moore, Mark Knopfler, Steve Jones, Eddie Van Halen, Andy Dunlop, Kaiser Chiefs and Eddie Kramer. The new Dual Terror will have even wider appeal to professional users and enthusiasts alike.

For further information contact:
USA info@orangeusa.com or outside USA info@omec.com

http://www.orangeamps.com/
Tel ; +44 208 905 2828
Fax ; +44 208 905 2868

Scott Henderson to Host Exclusive ICMP Master Class

PRESS RELEASE: January 2009. Outstanding jazz, blues and fusion guitarist Scott Henderson is to be the next legendary player to headline in a series of masterclasses hosted by the Guitar Institute in London in association with Guitar Getaways Awaydays. This follows the hugely successful event featuring Larry Carlton at the end of last year.

Scott Henderson’s impressive work over the years as co-leader of the group Tribal Tech, and as sideman for Chick Corea, Jean Luc Ponty and Joe Zawinul has elevated him to the front ranks of both jazz and blues. Scott’s trademark today, apart from being a world class player and premier composer, is his unique sound and striking ability to switch from wonderful, soulful blues to incredible, technical jazz.

The event, to be held at the Bedford in Balham, London, on the afternoon of Sunday March 29th, will feature an interactive clinic delivered by members of the Guitar Institute teaching faculty (part of London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, www.icmp.co.uk), including Gianluca Corona on guitar, Dave Marks on bass and Justin Scott on drums. This will be followed by the headline guitar masterclass with Scott.

This is an unmissable event; Scott Henderson rarely visits the UK and this is his only UK masterclass date. To book a place at the masterclass, contact Guitar Getaways on:

– awaydays@guitargetaways.com
www.guitargetaways.com
– 01326 211945,

For further information on this and future ICMP events, contact the ICMP on:

– enquiries@icmp.co.uk
www.icmp.co.uk
– 020 7328 0222

About the Guitar Institute:
The Guitar Institute is part of London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, widely recognised as one of Europe’s leading schools of modern music. Established almost a quarter of a century ago, the Institute has been developing and delivering cutting-edge courses to students of contemporary music for longer than any other UK-based school. The school has built its reputation on providing world class teaching using the very best teachers and state-of-the-art facilities. It now offers a range of professional courses including a 3-year Degree (BMus), a fully-funded one year Diploma, a specialist one year Higher Diploma, plus a wide portfolio of part-time courses designed to meet a variety of training needs for guitarists, bass players, drummers and vocalists. Past or present Institute students can be found everywhere, touring with the likes of Katie Melua and Moby, playing with bands like Radiohead and Babyshambles and artists like K. T. Tunstall and Beverley Knight, and also working as teachers all over the world.

About Guitar Getaways:
Guitar Getaways run events and Guitar Holidays that are suitable for anyone who loves playing their guitar. Activities range from half-day events focused around master classes with top players, to residential week long guitar playing holidays in the UK and Europe. Guitar Getaways let you spend some quality time focusing on your guitar playing, a chance to escape from day to day distractions. Guitar Getaways events are designed to help even the busiest among us liberate their guitar playing.

Steve Vai: Naked Tracks

“Naked Tracks”, a series of play-along CD’s designed for aspiring guitarists is now available for download on iTunes, Amazon, Napster and other mp3 sites. In Vai’s own words, “this series of CD’s is designed for the jammers – those who crave playing their instruments along with a band, but don’t have the band to back them up.” The series consist of a mix of Vai’s songs without the lead guitar so guitar players or instrumentalists alike can play along with the track or make loops to jam to. Albums available as naked tracks include: Passion & Warfare, Sex and Religion, Fire Garden, Alive in the Ultra World and The Ultra Zone. For the most part, the tracks are presented in their original form with the lead guitar removed. In some cases, some solo sections have been looped to give an opportunity to stretch out. You can download the full albums as well as individual tracks (ex. Passion & Warfare’s tracks are $0.89 each or $7.99 for the full album at amazon.com).

“One way to play along with these tracks is to learn the original guitar parts that are on the album versions of the songs, but I would encourage you to take a more active role in using these tracks as a bed to lay your own creative interpretation over. There are really no rules. So sit back, flip on a naked track and dress it up with your own artistic musical apparel.”

For more information visit Steve Vai’s website here

Adam Rogers Launches New Website

Adam RogersJazz guitarist Adam Rogers has recently launched his new website www.adamrogersmusic.com.
For eleven years Rogers has co-led the critically acclaimed Lost Tribe, which has toured nationally and internationally, releasing three albums. However, he has recently been focusing more on recording and performing with his own groups. Since 2002 Adam Rogers has released 4 albums as a leader, his most recent one, “Time and the Infinite”, with Scott Colley and Bill Stewart, was released in February 2007.

Check out Adam Rogers’ equipment here.

Velvet Revolver: Back in the Studio & Looking for New Vocalist

Velvet Revolver founding members Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner announced last April 1, 2008 that they were parting ways with singer Scott Weiland: “This band is all about its fans and its music and Scott Weiland isn’t 100% committed to either,” said Slash. “Among other things, his increasingly erratic on-stage behavior and personal problems have forced us to move on.”

Billboard recently reported that Scott Weiland will announce a full set of tour dates with his old band, Stone Temple Pilots. With Scott Weiland officially out as singer, Velvet Revolver has returned to the studio to record some new material. Bassist Duff McKagan reported on the website for his side project, Loaded: “I just left Matt’s where we laid down 12 new jams.”

Velvet Revolver has not yet introduced a Weiland replacement, however Slash mentioned the band has some people in mind, but he didn’t want to start “naming names.”