World Music Supply | New and Improved Jackson 7 and 8 String Guitars

Hi everyone, it’s Brian with World Music Supply here to bring you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, and do I have a treat in store for you all today! Today I am going to be talking about some of the new Jacksons that came out at NAMM this year, more specifically their new line of entry level seven and eight string guitars. Now they won’t be out on the market until the end of the month, but I got a chance to sit down, and quickly give these guys a once over just for you guys.

Jackson JS32-7 Dinky 7 String Electric Guitar Satin Black

Jackson JS32-7 Dinky 7 String Electric Guitar Satin Black

First up on the block today is easily the nicest, cleanest looking entry level seven string I have ever seen, the Jackson JS32-7 Dinky. Sure, it is an entry level guitar so the appointments aren’t stellar by any means. You have some nice high output Jackson made pickups an arched basswood body covered in a satin black finish, a comfy 26.5” scale length maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard with a consistent 16” radius. You also have 24 Jumbo frets and those cool Piranha fin inlays they debuted on the Slat series not too long ago. The stamped hard tail bridge is simplistic, but it would easily get the job done, nothing too complex.

Strung up with some lighter strings, the clean tone was tight and punchy, with lots of bright strat-y tones on the high strings and thick growl on the lows. The neck was surprisingly fast, my issue with seven strings is simply, I don’t own one, and I don’t really get to review enough of them to really get used to the girth of the neck. This guitar however, didn’t feel hugely different from a six string, sure there was that chunky low B down at the bottom, but my hand still fit the guitar perfectly well. The pickups were high enough output that even uncompressed there wasn’t a world of volume difference between all seven strings, and the dynamic range of the guitar was surprisingly wide as well. Clean tones rang out with plenty of snap and sustain, and of course the distorted tones were just brutal.

Sure it doesn’t do everything, and it doesn’t have a dozen different pick up combinations or special add-ons that make it into some dream machine of a guitar, but what it does have is a solid sound, and a comfortable feel. This guitar could easily be someone’s work horse, an affordable, no nonsense guitar, with enough muscle to get the job done in almost any situation in which you would need a seven string (which is getting to be more and more common nowadays) so for all of that, I would have to be crazy to award the JS32-7 anything less than a 10 out of 10.

Jackson JS32-7 Q Dinky 7 String Electric Guitar

Jackson JS32-7 Q Dinky 7 String Electric Guitar

Next up is the JS32-7 Q which is very similar to our last guitar, except for the fact that its basswood body is topped with a stunning quilted maple top, and the inclusion of the HT-7 fully adjustable bridge. Play wise, this did a bit for the playability, the bridge felt a little more comfortable, and the strat style 3 way switch was a nice change too, sure it might just be a tiny change, but I’m just sort of biased towards the strat/tele style switch. Sound wise, the guitar had more spank to it, with a brighter, glassier top end, and a little tighter sounding low end. But what this really does for the guitar is make it look a thousand times nicer, sure the simple matte black finish might do it for some people, but some of us guitarists getting into the extended range territory aren’t always going to be metal heads, so its nice to see a guitar that appeals to my aesthetic senses as well.

I liked this guitar, and the addition of the quilted top and beefier bridge were nice touches, but I cant say I found a world of difference between it and its more cost friendly sibling, so I am afraid I can only award the JS32-7 Q an 8 out of 10.

Jackson JS32-8 Q Dinky Trans Red 8 String Electric Guitar

Jackson JS32-8 Q Dinky Trans Red 8 String Electric Guitar

Last up for the day is the JS32-8 Q which is officially the first 8 string I have ever personally held. Until now, I have had admittedly had very little experience with this range of guitar, with the only one I have ever seen in person being Charlie Hunters fan fretted Novax, although I’m sure this guitar wasn’t meant for his style of music, this guitar was designed for forward thinking metal. As I’ve said before, I’m not the most metal of guitarists, and I’ve discussed before at how weird I felt on a seven string, so an 8 string felt as unfamiliar to me as a 6 string bass. So please take this review with a grain of salt.

The quilted trans red top was stunning, very rich, and very heavily quilted. The guitar balanced surprisingly well on a strap, and it wasn’t too heavy which impressed me. The pickups ultra high output pickups had a very deep, very dark sound when I played on the lower register, and simply sang on the high strings. The clean tone had a wonderfully wide range across the guitar, with dark short scale style bass tones on the one hand, and quasi strat tones on the other, a wonderful all in one style instrument. Playing thunderous rhythm parts was sort of simple after my hand got adjusted to the width of the guitar neck, which was pretty comfortable all things considered. The dark metal tone was apparent as soon as I kicked in some distortion, and dropping the tuning a step resulted in down right awesome sounding riffs. Its no wonder these things are popular all of a sudden.

Playing tapping riffs was probably the best part of my experience with the eight string, as I got to enjoy the extended range, without having to stretch my hand out so much. All in all, it was a fun experiment, and I could see how someone could get used to an instrument like this, all those extra notes, and the ability to play in the same range as a standard bass guitar was pretty fun, if a little intimidating. For the price this is going at, I was down right amazed at how good it looked, and at how great it sounded. There is just nothing else on the market right now that has this kind of bang for your buck attitude, and for that the JS32-8 Q earns itself a well deserved 10 out of 10.

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World Music Supply | Takamine Guitars

Hey guys it’s Brian with World Music Supply again, here to bring you another dose of guitar and gear reviews. In today’s blog, I got to take a look at two great guitars from our friends over at Takamine. I always love Takamines, they make such consistently good guitars, that sometimes its easy to get caught up in the sound of one, and totally ignore how amazing they look, and how good their build quality is. Today however I got to play a few that just couldn’t be ignored, and the list begins with one of our best sellers right now, the EF340SCGN.

Takamine EF340SCGN Acoustic Electric Guitar

Takamine EF340SCGN Acoustic Electric Guitar

The very first thing you notice about this guitar, is that stunning vintage finished Cedar top, which is an almost caramel or cognac color and is down right beautiful. The workmanship is as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen, and the Nato back and sides are just as handsomely (although a little more subtlety) finished. The guitar also features a real bone nut, and real bone saddle to provide very clear, and resonant tones. Acoustically this guitar has a very vintage character to it, with lots of warm mid tones, sparkly high end, and a nice soft, almost jazzy low end. The neck is a very comfortable shape, and the Indian rosewood fingerboard is amazingly quick. Chords rung out with a distinctive boom, and single note lines had a very clear, defined character to them.

Amplified, this guitar was amazing. Acoustic guitar amplification has come leaps and bounds over the years, and the preamp technology always surprises me, how even with the same pickup, the guitars can sound miles apart based solely on their preamps. Sure, even low end instruments can have a pleasing character to them, but as you move up in quality, the quality of the sound changes dramatically. Sitting high atop the list of Takamines dozens of preamp designs is the Cool Tube series, which uses a small 12AU7 dual triode vacuum tube to help flesh out, and “warm up” the sound of the guitar.

The CT4BII pickup in the EF340SCGN is no different, and the second you hear this guitar, you understand just how important the cool tube is to the sound. The sound through a good acoustic guitar amp, or a good PA cabinet is just spectacular, with a sound that actually rivals the unamplified sound in beauty and clarity. The guitar was surprisingly resistant to feedback, and actually took quite a bit of volume to slide into that typical violent acoustic guitar feedback, and with a soundhole cover applied it took a ton of volume to switch into feedback mode. Tone wise the guitar has a lot like the actual acoustic tone, but with a bit fuller low end, and a slightly warmer sounding high end. Chords had a nice smooth character to them, with almost none of that usual piezo sizzle.

The sound of the EF340SCGN was amazing both amplified and unamplified, with tones that could cover anything you threw at it. For all of that, and its amazing looks, the EF340SCGN earns itself an easy 10 out of 10.

Takamine EF508K Noveau Series Acoustic Electric Guitar Koa

Takamine EF508K Noveau Series Acoustic Electric Guitar Koa

Next up is the Takamine EF508K which has the unusual appointment of having a Figured Koa top. I’ve seen Figured Koa as a back plate, and I’ve seen Figured Koa as sides on a guitar, but I’ve never seen it on a production guitar as a top wood. The reason its so rare as a top wood is because, first off its typically very expensive, as it is only grown in a few places around the world, and the cost tends to go up when it is as curly as the top on the EF508K. The sound of Koa is distinctive, with a lot of sparkly high end, some very warm mids, but not a whole ton of bass. This means it cuts through the mix very well, and helps to support the mix very well without overpowering it.

The feel of the NEXC body is nice, with its slightly smaller body, and a bit more even sound to the guitar, it really compliments all of the Koa in the guitar. Acoustically the EF508K has a pleasing, even sounding voice, with lots of note definition, and sustain. Chords ring out with almost piano like clarity, and they really do sustain for quite a while, far longer than almost any other acoustic I’ve had the pleasure to play thus far in my musical life. The only drawback is that Koa is hardwood, and as such is a slightly quieter wood, so the overall volume of the guitar is slightly quieter than say a spruce top guitar, although the fact it is an electric acoustic makes this point rather moot, as it can actually be as loud as your amplifier is.

The sound acoustically is remarkable, with tons of fantastic warmth and presence. The clarity of the guitar was also just dumbfounding, I was playing big jazz chords, full of 7ths and flat 5ths and there was never any overlay or woofy dissonance, just pure tone. The guitar was a tad bit quieter, athough no quieter than a smaller body size, like a mini jumbo or a parlor, and the guitar was still plenty loud enough to sing with as long as you aren’t really belting.

Amplified, this guitar is breathtaking, the definition and tone are just beyond anything I could have imagined. The sustain lasts far longer than a typical acoustic and the fact the top is made of a hardwood, the guitar is also very feedback resistant. Meaning I could play this guitar without a sound hole cover for quite some time, and at a pretty high volume without the body resonating to the speaker too much.

The EF508K was a downright magnificent guitar, with features well above your average acoustic. The figured Koa sounded like nothing else I had ever heard in an acoustic guitar, and the beauty of it was equally as profound. The EF508K easily earns itself a10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Washburn 12 String Guitars

Hey guys, it’s Brian again from World Music Supply. Sorry for the super long break between posts, what with the holiday shopping season, a lot of snow, and few other distractions, its been a little difficult to get back into the typical routine. But luckily for us all, I’m back and ready to bring you some brand new gear and guitar reviews just in time for the new year!

Washburn WJ45S12 Jumbo Acoustic 12 String Guitar

Washburn WJ45S12 Jumbo Acoustic 12 String Guitar

On Today’s agenda, I get to take a look at some new Washburn 12 Strings that just came in. First up is the WJ45S12, which is a 12 String version of the already popular WJ45. This guitar features a Solid Sitka Spruce top, and flamed maple back and sides, which greatly compliment its giant Jumbo style body. The first thing you notice about this guitar is just how good it looks. With all of the Abalone, the gold tuners, and of course the stunning flame on the maple back and sides, this guitar just looks amazing.

But looks aside, this is still a player’s guitar, with tones that just cant be beat. Twelve strings are a strange beast, with all of those octaves, and intonation abnormalities creating strange chorus effects, with almost piano like overtones, its amazing when you really think about it. This all comes at a cost though, as the guitar requires greater reinforcements to cope with the greater stresses, and occasionally this can lead to 12 strings sounding a little lifeless, and less organic then their 6 string counterparts. When it comes to the WJ45S12, this is just not the case at all.

Washburn WJ45S12 Jumbo Acoustic 12 String Guitar

Washburn WJ45S12 Jumbo Acoustic 12 String Guitar

This guitar sounds gigantic! It intonates surprisingly well, and the solid Spruce top has a very broad sound to it, with tons of highs and mid definition, but also a lot of very powerful low end to it too. The neck is surprisingly comfortable too, which while it is wider to accommodate the added strings, it is still thin enough to play comfortable chords, and even single note parts if you’re really careful with your picking technique. Trying to play quick lines on a 12 string is always a tricky affair, as the extra weight of the strings tends to get in the way of the speed of a fretboard, but thanks to the WJ45’s flat action, and its comfortable fingerboard radius, it is not only possible, but its also relatively easy on this guitar.

At the end of the day, the WJ45S12 is a simply amazing 12 string, even more so when you see just how little you have to pay to get these kinds of tones, and its because of that bang for your buck kind of power, that this guitar scores an easy 10 out of 10.

Washburn WD30S12 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Washburn WD30S12 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Next up is the WD30S12 and its sibling, the WD30SCE12. First off, the WD30S12 is a 12 string variant of the standard WD30, which features the unusual appointment of Tamo Ash back and sides, now why Tamo Ash is so rarely used is beyond me, because it looks and sounds amazing. The sound that Tamo Ash lends to a guitar is similar to Flamed Maple, but with a subtler, I would almost say softer high end to it, which really helps to even out the typically bright sound of a 12 String.

This guitar, like the last one, features an Alaskan Sitka Spruce top which has an amazingly clear and robust voice to the WD30, with plenty of clarity between all twelve of the strings. The bone saddle helped to improve this clarity as it was intonated surprisingly well, with very few of the typical intonation issues that plague 12 Strings. The neck on this one also had the same surprisingly thin and comfortable feel to it that the WJ45S12 had, which meant both easy chording, and even single note lines.

Washburn WD30S12 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Washburn WD30S12 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Far and apart, this guitar brought something new to the world of 12 String production guitars, it had a nice quality to it that we rarely see from others. The look and feel of it was astounding, and the handsome Tamo Ash back and sides was a nice touch as well. For all of this and more, the WD30S12 earns itself a deserved 10 out of 10.

Washburn WD30SCE12 Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar

Washburn WD30SCE12 Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar

Finally in today’s blog, is the WD30SCE12, which is an electric cutaway version of the WD30S12 we just looked at. I’ve always loved the idea of cut away 12 Strings, just the idea that you could climb all the way up to the 20th fret and enjoy that strange, mild chorusing that you can only get from a 12 string, especially from the octave strings, which have a very strange, and interesting sound to them up on the higher frets.

To these expectations, the WD30SCE12 did not disappoint. The Fishman Presys preamp had that tasty Fishman piezo tone, with lots of boom and low end, some nice midrange presence, and that nice sizzling piezo high end that I’ve come to love over the years. The sound of it through a good acoustic amp, or a PA cabinet is pretty close to the actual sound of the instrument, which even without EQ adjustments would cut through a band mix just fine, although I guarantee that you will need a sound hole cover as this guitar is very resonate, and very lively in front of a speaker.

Washburn WD30SCE12 Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar

Washburn WD30SCE12 Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar

The sound of this guitar on the upper frets is fantastic, with plenty of sparkle and jangle to keep your playing interesting and creative. The ability to play fingerstyle on this guitar is unmatched, as the added note definition thanks to the Fishman electronics and that perfect neck profile really lends themselves to that style of play. With the added harmonic content of the octave and doubled strings, the sound was just amazing, with an almost piano like texture.

Sure 12 Strings might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, and there is a little bit more to worry about than your average acoustic, what with all of those extra strings to tune, and that octave G string is always an issue for those who play lots of 12 string. But the rewards are worth it. That big, jangly sound of a 12 String guitar is something worth having at least once on every album, and it’s more than worth owning one or two just to keep around for color. When it comes to that kind of color instruments, with lots of wonderful tones to be pulled from them, the WD30SCE12 is definitely pretty high up on the list. For an instrument that many consider a one trick pony, the WD30SCE12 is wonderfully versatile. From Fingerstyle to Folk, and from classic rock, to modern, the WD30SCE12 easily won its rating of 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Washburn Electrics

Hey guys, Brian with World Music Supply here to bring you some much needed guitar and gear reviews for the weekend. This Saturday I got the chance to review two guitars that just came into the warehouse from our friends over at Washburn. One of the things we love about Washburn, is they cater to every price bracket, and every genre of guitarist, from Metal to country, from acoustics for singer songwriters to jazz cats with their arch top hollow bodies. Today I get to sample some of these instruments, one that is universal, one that is a little less…traditional. First up, let’s start off with that more universal guitar, the Washburn WINSTDWH.

The Washburn WINSTDWH Idol WIN Standard Series Electric Guitar

The Washburn WINSTDWH Idol WIN Standard Series Electric Guitar

I used the term “universal” for a reason, the single cutaway, mahogany body with maple top, and two humbuckers is a real universal combination. Worn on stages around the world by everyone from metal guitarists, who love the huge sound of the two hot humbuckers, to country guitarists who like its more conservative look, and its bright twangy tones, this guitar really has a universally loved design, and an equally loved sound. I picked the white finish, as I personally just love white Les Paul style guitars; call it a hold over from my teenage years of idolizing Randy Rhoads. The WINSTDWH comes pretty well armed when it comes to everything from tonewoods to it’s Duncan USM Alnico 5 pickups, and over all they make this guitar sound just amazing.

Running clean this guitar has a bright and strident tone, with lots of girth and body. The neck feels super comfortable, with plenty of body to it, so it didn’t feel super modern, but thin enough that you can still play fast without too much extra effort. The bridge pickup was a tad bright, with a warm vintage character. The neck humbucker is warm and fat sounding, without sounding muddy or bass heavy. The different control layout of the volume and tone controls makes doing pinky volume swells far easier than with the typical volume and tone layout, which is something I have had a problem with for years.

Running into a dirty amp, this guitar sounds massive! The sustain is fantastic thanks to its proven tone woods and set neck design, and the Alnico 5 pickups are hot, with a searing quality to them that is just delightful. I was able to coax everything out of this guitar, from classic 70’s style blues rock, to down tuned metal, to good old rock and roll grind. The sound is distinct, but familiar, with a sound that is both old and new. That’s what I love about this style of guitar, every generation has re-invented it, taken it in a new direction, and made it their own. You can play rock on it, metal, country, heck even jazz, this guy really does everything! You just cant go wrong with this guy, and that’s why the WINSTDWH earns itself a solid 10 out of 10.

The Washburn PS7000-HBK PAUL STANLEY Electric Guitar

The Washburn PS7000-HBK PAUL STANLEY Electric Guitar

Next up, is the Paul Stanley PS7000 series, and in today’s review specifically, the PS7000HBK. I labeled this guitar as untraditional earlier in the blog, and there is a definite reason why. From its weird drooping lower cutaway, its upper bout that looks far different than most, and its over all asymmetrical design, the PS7000 might look like a typical les paul from far away, up close it looks like one, but only in the surrealist sense of the word.  

As weird as this guitar might look, it sounds down right awesome. The clean tones are deep and rich, with perfect intonation all across the neck thanks to the inclusion of the Buzz Feiten tuning system. The action was smooth and clean, and try as I might I couldn’t find any lick that didn’t sound awesome on this guitar. All of the KISS songs I know also sounded just perfect on this guitar, as the tone was clearly designed from the ground up to compliment them.

Dirty, this guitar was a treat. The warm characteristic it leant to the overdriven amp was just to die for, it felt vintage, but it looks like it came from outer space. The sustain was tremendous, lasting on and on with a warm vocal quality. Overall this guitar is a great addition to the growing Paul Stanley family of Washburn guitars, and a great LP style guitar for anyone who wants one, but doesn’t want to look like everyone else. For its unusual looks, and super powered sounds, the PS7000HBK scores itself a solid 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Jackson Guitars

            Hi guys, it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, bringing you another dose of guitar and gear reviews, and today I have something for the metal head in all of us, today I get the chance to review some awesome guitars from none other than Jackson guitars. The formation of Jackson guitars is actually a pretty weird story of happenstance and hard work, the company was formed by Grover Jackson shortly after he acquired Charvel Guitars from Mr. Wayne Charvel. Jackson was initially a brand name applied to models that were so far from the standard California guitar formula of Stratocasters, and telecasters, that Grover Jackson decided to brand them with his own name. The First major guitar designed for the Jackson brand was the Concorde, which was designed in conjunction with Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhoads. This sleek revamp of the Flying V design was a radical departure for guitar design at the time (the very beginning of the 80s) the sleek revamp of older designs became a hallmark of Jackson guitars, and by association the majority of the guitar scene of the 1980s, with sleeker, more slender, and pointier versions of classic designs.

Today I will be reviewing some of these pointy guitars, the budget conscious JS23 Dinky, the JS32T Rhoads model, and the DK2S Pro model. So without further ado, first up is the JS23 which is a budget conscious version of the famous Jackson Dinky design. The Dinky is a smaller “dinkier” version of the equally famous soloist, by smaller I don’t mean scale lengh, I mean the size of the body, which has been slimmed down to help it feel more comfortable, and to help reduce weight. Even though it is only 7/8ths the size of a soloist, they really do feel like two different guitars. This one in particular, because this guitar is outfitted with an HSS setup, to help it have a much broader range of tones than your average two humbucker equipped metal guitars.

The Jackson JS23 Dinky Natural Finish Electric Guitar

The Jackson JS23 Dinky Natural Finish Electric Guitar

The body is a slab of beautifully figured Indian cedro wood, which has a nice smooth tone, but still has plenty of body to supply the right amount of bite and bark that heavier styles of guitar requires. The 2-point fulcrum trem unit is nice, and it works well although you do have to learn to work with it like you have to with most non-locking trem systems. Clean this guitar has a very strat style tone, which is to be expected, but it has a little bit of extra girth and body to it, giving it a fuller sound than your average strat arrangement. However, guitars like this wont spend much time on a clean channel, we all know that, even though its clean sound is sparkling and beautiful, but the point of a guitar with a big pointy headstock is to play fast, and loud.

So plugging into a Randall Rt503H, and cranking the OD1 channel this guitars speaking voice finally revealed itself, big, warm, and powerful. The bridge sound was great for big rythem tones, and dropping the tuning was no problem with this guitar, and it supplied all of the metal friendly tones that you would expect from a Jackson. The single coil tones were sparkly, and smooth, which is a great contrast to the big, barking humbucker at the bridge. This guitar would be a perfect first guitar, as it feels comfortable, and sounds great. The ability to play low down and dirty metal, all the way up to bright, jangly clean strat tones, is a fantastic ability that few guitars share nowadays, and its because of this that the Jackson JS23 gets a nice 8 out of 10, as it’s a great beginner guitar, or a nice guitar if you’re looking into getting into metal guitar.

The Jackson JS32T Rhoads Electric Guitar Black

The Jackson JS32T Rhoads Electric Guitar Black

Next up is the Jackson JS32T Rhoads, which is designed after the second Guitar that Randy Rhoads had built by Jackson guitars, he decided that his Concorde guitar wasn’t different enough from a normal flying V, so he had the top point elongated to make it look more like a shark fin, and he had his normal tremolo tailpiece replaced with a string through design instead, for improved tuning stability. This evolved version of the Rhoads shape features a full 24 fret neck, and a nice set of high output Jackson CVR2 pickups.

Playing this guitar clean is oddly a treat, this guitar really has a very pleasant clean tone, which has a very acoustic character, with a lot of cut and bite, but still plenty of body and boldness. This is the type of thing you don’t expect on a guitar that is this sharp and pointy looking, I would actually be able to play this guitar and comp a good country tone from this guitar, although I’m not so sure a country audience would appreciate the look of this guitar.

Playing this guitar through the OD1 channel of the Randall RT503H is exactly what you would expect it to be, amazing. Playing all of the Ozzy riffs I know on this guitar just felt right, sure it might be a little cliché to play them on this guitar, but I don’t care, this is (more or less) what they were written on, and this is how they should sound. Full of biting rhythm sounds, and screaming lead tones this guitar is exactly what I had always wanted it to be. Sure Jackson makes some more expensive versions, but that’s not the point, the point of this guitar is the aesthetic, the power and the brawn that comes from a shape like this. It’s the shape, and the power of the tone alone that makes you feel like you could shred the fretboard in half, and play so fast your hands should rip off. This guitar just has that power, and that’s why this guitar is cemented in history, and that’s why this guitar gets a 10 out of 10. Because no one ever feels like they cant play guitar when they’re holding a flying V, because you always feel like a rock star, just look at yourself in a mirror with it on, and try and not feel awesome.

The Jackson DK2S Dinky Electric Guitar

The Jackson DK2S Dinky Electric Guitar

Last up on the list, is the DK2S which is a lot like the JS model mentioned earlier, except that this one is armed to the teeth with technology. You get a massive Floyd Rose trem that is fantastic for doing, well what a floyd is perfect for, which is diving and sliding all over the place and staying perfectly in tune the whole time. Couple that to the fact that this guitar is equipped with a Sustainiac pickup, and this guitar suddenly takes on a totally different meaning. This guitar is loaded with both sweet singing sustain, and loud roaring distortion.

Clean it was a great experiment to ring out the harmonic sustain, running it through a delay pedal this guitar was suddenly great at creating big sound-scapes, full of body and shimmering glory. Chords ring out great thanks to the compound radius which was great for playing chords at one end of the neck, and soloing at the other, this was a great feeling and in all honestly I don’t get why more guitars don’t feature a neck like this.

Distorted this guitar has a voice all its own, sure it has all of the big Seymour Duncan tones which are great for everything from chugging rhythm work, or soaring sustain, but this guitar has a sustainiac pickup, and as such this guitar takes you to places that a normal guitar just cant. Suddenly I was doing volume swells that actually sounded like a violin, harmonic sustain can evoke almost organ like tones which are just fantastic when used correctly. Playing power chords with the harmonic sustainer on is a fun experiment and its clear that using this guitar as your main guitar would definitely rewrite the way you play guitar.  

For its ability to do everything a working metal guitarist needs, and for being everything an experimental guitarist needs the DK2S easily snags the 10 out of 10 spot. Be for warned though, a Sustainiac is a beat all its own, it’s not your average pickup, and its sustain isn’t even across all of the strings, so it takes some getting used to. Learning when a note will and wont sustain is a puzzle at first, but after using one for a week or so, you learn where your attack should move to as to not effect the singing tone of the guitar.

Randy Rhoads with his Concorde

Randy Rhoads with his Concorde

World Music Supply | The Digitech iStomp

Hey guys, it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, and today I want to talk to you guys about a really innovative new pedal from Digitech called the iStomp. The iStomp is a pedal that allows its entire effect framework to be swapped out via any iOS 4 or later device running the DigiTech® Stomp Shop™ App.

The Digitech iStomp

The Digitech iStomp

Digitech has already done something similar to this with their IPB10 pedalboard, which used the iPad as the guts of a whole multi-effect board. Now the idea behind the IPB10 is amazing, have all of the flexibility of a normal pedal board but all you have to deal with is your iPad. However this faced a few issues, mainly, many guitarists are sort of stuck in their way as far as their “tones” go, and as such they just dont like the idea of giving up their favorite ten or fifteen year old pedals for digital recreations of them on a touch screen.

The Digitech iStomp

The Digitech iStomp

       This is why pedals like the iStomp are invaluable for guitarists. You get all of the flexibility of a limitless number of pedals under your feet, but it only takes up as much room as a normal stomp box. This means that you can add a few new tonal colors into your chain without having to forgo your old favorites just to save space. The iStomp even comes preloaded with Digitechs infamous Redline Distortion from their RP series of multi effects, as well as the Total Recall delay available for free from the DigiTech® Stomp Shop™ App right from the get go.

The Digitech iStomp

The Digitech iStomp

       The most logical thing I could think to do was swap out certain pedals in my pedal chain with the iStomp and see how it functioned in their place, for example, taking out my main distortion pedal and swapping it  with the iStomp, or taking out my delay and using the iStomp in its place. This approach worked well, as the included Redline pedal has a great full sound, with plenty of ZZ top style swagger, and it cleaned up nicely with your volume knob, it actually sounded better then my road worn distortion box I’ve had for years now. The other available models sounded great too, with models of many famous pedals, like a Tube Screamer, a Dunlop style fuzz face, and of course Digitechs classic Deathmetal distortion. They all had a fresh feeling to them that always sounded spot on to what you hoped it would sound like. There were no digital artifacts or fake sounding cheapo models like you find on some lower priced multi-effect units.

       Testing it as a Delay pedal was equally satisfying, as there are more then enough pedals available to fill in the role of my little old bucket brigade delay pedal. With plenty of digital sounding delays for a nice bright repeat, and plenty of analog sounding delays that quickly became personal favorites. My favorite was not the Total Recall as I had hoped, as its repeats are just too “true” sounding to me, as you let the delay signal get longer and longer, you end up with what sounds like five hundred guitars, as opposed to one guitar with a long delay. My favorite delay actually ended up being the vintage tape delay, which had all of the nice warmth that analog delays tend to have. As well the Tape delay had a nice slightly overdriven tone, which was one of the things that was so iconic of early tape based delay devices.

The Digitech iStomp

The Digitech iStomp

       I tried out some of the more out there effects of the iStomp like the rotating speaker effect called the “Rotator”, a cool flanger called the “flanger affair”, the “sound-off” which acts like your toggle switch so you can do all kinds of Tom Morello style stuttering, and lastly the Octaver, all of which did their job splendidly. I was able to have a pedal board that was both expansive, and at the same time, familiar, which is a really cool feeling when you get right down to it. As it turns out what the iStomp really seems to be, is a trimmed down version of Digitechs much larger IPB10 interface, redesigned to work more as part of your signal chain, rather then the whole of your signal chain. The result is actually quite impressive, and really a lot cheaper then you would think as many of the pedals cost as little as 99 cents in the app store, so really you get a few dozen pedals for what one decent multi effect board would cost you, with all of the flexibility, and none of the fat.

       At the end of the day, the iStomp does its job, each of the individual sounds are powerful enough to stand on their own, even without the added gimmick of it being a multi-effect pedal with sounds downloaded from their app store, as many of the sounds are worth atleast the price tag of the app and the iStomp pedal. For its ability to do everything, and still occupy as little space as a Boss overdrive, the iStomp gets a solid 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Fender Basses

Hey guys it’s Brian here with World Music Supply, and today I’m here to talk to you about something that hasn’t been covered before in depth in this blog, and that is basses, specifically Fender basses. Fender basses have been the industry standard for bass guitars since the beginning, probably because Fender is the company that invented the modern electric bass guitar.

Clearly one of Leo Fender and the Fender company’s most illustrious achievements has to be the invention of  the Precision Bass, taking the musical range and sound of the upright bass, and making it a compact and easily transportable form. Fender also decided to add a fretted fingerboard, so that bassists could play in tune quickly and easily. Eventually, Fender also produced the Jazz bass, with its thinner faster neck profile, and its much mellower sound. So lets go through a brief rundown and review of some of the most popular Fender basses on the market today.

The Fender American Standard Precision Bass

The Fender American Standard Precision Bass

First and foremost, is the Fender American Standard Precision Bass. With a tone that is bold, punchy, and iconic, it’s widely understood that the P bass can fit in almost any situation. Sure, you would assume that one pickup doesn’t give you much versatility, but that has never stopped the P bass from playing in everything from rock and blues, to funk and R&B, all the way to shred metal, modern pop and hip hop. There is nothing that a P bass can’t do.

I sat down with the American Standard P Bass, and put it through its paces. I was able to get everything from thundering low growls, which were great for quick jazz runs, to bright sounding rock tones with nothing more then a quick roll of the tone knob. The neck felt smooth and comfortable, and the body shape fits you like an old friend. There is nothing I could dream of adding to, or changing about this lovely instrument, and I would give it a 10 out of 10, except it would be unfair of me to grade the P bass. As the P bass was the first real bass guitar, all other bass guitars are judged by the bar it set all of those years ago.

The Fender American Standard Jazz Bass

The Fender American Standard Jazz Bass

Next up, is the Fender American Standard Jazz bass. Invented as a part of the plan by fender to help bring jazz players into the electrified world, the Jazz bass was given a thinner neck, an offset body style, two redesigned pickups to help give it a darker, more mellow tone, and a different control scheme that gave it far more versatility tone wise. Yes, it was designed for jazz, but that has never stopped it from being played in everything from metal to country, and anything in-between. As with its brother the P bass, it seems that there is nothing the Jazz bass isn’t capable of.

Sitting down with the American Standard Jazz bass, I was impressed by how it all felt. Playing jazz lines, on a jazz bass will always just sound and feel right, because Fender really got this instrument right. The tones were delicate and bold at the same time, with punch and growl, but playing softly resulted in those classic soulful, yet whispery tones. Being able to zip from really bright tones on the bridge pickup, and then by a twist of the two volume controls, and a whirl of the tone, go bright bridge tones to the darkest neck tones imaginable is a testament to how versatile this instrument really is. Slapping and popping gave me all of those old tones, that would be more then at home on any old funk record ala Sly and the Family stones. Playing with the pads of my fingers gave me big open jazz tones, and switching to a pick gave me all of the big rock style tones I could ever need. It really just does it all, and does it all with style.

This is a bass that can do it all, easily a 10 out of 10, but like I said with the P bass, these two basses are the ones that started it all, without them the instrument as we know it would be far different indeed.

The Squier Vintage Modified Short Scale Jaguar Bass

The Squier Vintage Modified Short Scale Jaguar Bass

The next bass in the review is the Fender Squier Vintage Modified Short Scale Jaguar bass. Fender tends to use their Squier brand to produce one of two things, cheaper versions of their Fender made instruments, or they use them to create radically different instruments for markets that would be too expensive to fill with their higher dollar instruments. This is a good example of the latter.

The smaller scale length of this instrument seems fitting, as Fender has made many quirky short scale basses over the years, with models like the Bronco, or the Mustang bass, as Fender has always attempted to figure out a way to exploit that niche as much as possible. The neck on the Short Scale Jaguar felt comfortable, and after it was strung up with heavier strings, this thing came to life. The super versatile electronics of this guitar include a jazz bass style volume and tone layout, with both a Jazz bass pickup in the bridge, and a Precision bass pickup in the neck. Being able to have the punchy-ness of the P bass, and all of the mellow growl, and the ability to pan between pickups like a Jazz bass just gives this instrument way too much power.

The body feels strangely unlike a bass, and the short scale of the neck does make it feel a lot more like a guitar then a bass. This can lead the odd syndrome of wanting to play guitar style lines on a bass, with big huge jumps between notes, leading you away from the standard walk along the neck that bass players have done for so many decades. The only downside I can find about the Vintage Modified Short Scale Jaguar bass, is that they didn’t include the active bass circuit of the rest of the Jaguar bass models in the Vintage Modified line, a feature that would have given this already dark sounding bass a little extra edge . Overall though this little addition to the Fender family does exactly what it needs to, and is one amazing little bass at a really affordable price. For its versatility and cool short scale playability, the Fender Squier Vintage Modified Short Scale Jaguar bass gets an easy 9 out of 10, because while it’s not every bassist will like the short scale length, every bass player should own atleast one short scale bass, for their unique dark mellow tone.

The Squier Vintage Modified Five String Jazz Bass

The Squier Vintage Modified Five String Jazz Bass

The last guitar in this review is another Squier, and the bass in question is the Fender Squier Vintage Modified Five String Jazz bass. I’ve always loved the added versatility that a low B gives you, and with the big bold tone that Duncan designed pickups gives you, this bass definitely has a lot more power then anything in its price range. This is an amazingly high quality bass, not just a high quality Squier, but definitely a true high quality bass all around.

Sitting down with the bass, I loved the added body, and sustain that the extra wood and weight gives to the Jazz basses tone. Playing through standard jazz changes is far easier when you can shift down to that low B as you walk higher up the neck, as you can leap around within the changes much easier then on a standard four string. Dropping the low B to an A, I was able to play everything from some deep down funk, some bright rock, even some dark metal chugging, without the low A ever seeming unnecessary or misplaced. As far as bass guitars go, the Fender Squier Vintage Modified Five String Jazz Bass is miles above and beyond its competition, and nothing in its price bracket comes close to its power, and tone. The Vintage Modified Five String easily snags a 10 out of 10, for just being so practical, and affordable.

As you can see, even though Fenders range of basses isn’t that gigantic, and even though the design of said basses have rarely changed in sixty or so years, they are still just as important and revolutionary to modern music as they have ever been. So why don’t you start playing the same basses that revolutionized modern music all those years ago, and go pick up a Precision, a Jazz, or even the newer Jaguar basses over at Worldmusicsupply.com today!

World Music Supply | Washburn Guitars

Hey guys its Brian from World Music Supply here again, and today I’m here to talk to you about some great guitars from Washburn. Washburn has always been known for making fantastic guitars, at bargain basement prices, and these are no exception. These guitars all sound, and play like instruments that cost three or four times as much.

The Washburn WIN14FVSB

The Washburn WIN14FVSB

Lets start with the WIN14FVSB, a nice single cut style guitar. The WIN14FVSB fits you like an old friend, it just feels right. The WIN14FVSB has a classic tobacco burst finish, with a basswood body, a bolt on maple neck with a nice carved cutaway, making it easier for your hand to slide up to the top of the neck. The power of the WIN14FVSB comes from the Washburn designed humbuckers, the sound of them is quite meaty, and musical. It filled out lead lines well, with thick harmonic sustain, and when I sat back and just strummed some chords, it was bright and resilient sounding, almost kind of twangy when in the bridge position, and in the neck position it sounded nice and round with all of the body and warmth you would expect. The control layout is slightly rearranged then a standard singlecut guitar, which is nice, because it makes doing pinky volume swells a lot easier. Overall I really like the WIN14FVSB, probably because I’ve always loved double humbucker guitars with basswood bodies, I give the WIN14FVSB a 9 out of 10, because I know people usually want a set neck on a guitar like this, but I love this guitar nonetheless.

The Washburn WINSTDCB

The Washburn WINSTDCB

Then lets move onto the WINSTDCB, which is a lot more typical of what you expect in a guitar this shape, carved mahogany body, maple top, and a bound body and neck. However you also get the extended relief neck joint, which makes it easier to slide up the higher frets, it also features a graphtech graphite nut, meaning the tuning on this guitar is a lot more stable than your average guitar. The WINSTDCB sounds big and fat, with more than enough sustain on tap for anyone, it has that classic sound that you can only get from a guitar like this.

Seymour Duncan USM

Seymour Duncan USM

The WINSTDCB also features Seymour Duncan USM humbuckers, which sound amazing, running it through a slightly overdriven tube amp I got plenty of classic blues rock style leads, with that nice fluid tone, that kind of sound that just soars when you bend it up just right.

The Washburn WINSTDCB

The Washburn WINSTDCB

Adding in some more gain, I got some serious chunk, with enough punch so it never got muddy. Later on, I dropped the tuning a step or so, and the WINSTDCB just growled and grinded through some chunky metal riffs, I personally love how versatile guitars like this are, it has all the right sounds for all the right situations, from bone dry jazz licks, to searing metal riffing, the WINSTDCB has it all. I give it a 9 out of 10, only because just like most LP style guitars, the WINSTDCB is a little on the heavy side, but it’s thanks to that weight that the WINSTDCB sustains as well as it does.

Lastly there is the WINSTDLITEG, a classic gold top style guitar, with a slimmer LITE style body. The guitar is a bit thinner than the other two guitars in today’s round-up, which means it weighs a bit less, meaning the WINSTDLITEG is more comfortable if you have to carry it around all night.  The WINSTDLITEG features a smooth and rather comfortable feeling carved maple top, ontop of the mahogany body. The set mahogany neck features a nice slightly slimmer profile then the other two, its not too thick to where it feels awkward to play leads, but it’s not too thin to where it feels uncomfortable to play chords, and just like the other two, the WINSTDLITEG is comfortable enough to play for hours and hours. The WINSTDLITEG has the same searing tones as the WINSTDCB thanks to those Seymour Duncan USM Pickups, with the same versatility as the WINSTDCB, with tones that range from smooth, warm jazz licks, to shred runs, this guitar has all of the power to give you the tones you want. Overall the WINSTDLITEG feels comfortable, and its slimmer body meant I could keep playing it for hours without it ever feeling heavy. I give the WINSTDLITEG a 10 out of 10 easy, because it has all of the tonal power of the WINSTDCB in a unique slimmer style body.

The Washburn WINSTDLITEG

The Washburn WINSTDLITEG

The long and short of it is, these guitars are awesome. You get all of the classic LP style guitar tones, and at a fraction of the cost. So if you’re looking for a great guitar, at a fantastic price, why don’t you go and head on over to WorldMusicSupply, and look through our long list of Washburn guitars and pick yourself one up today!