Friday, November 13, 2009

...and then there was rock

What is it that makes certain pieces of gear so special? I know a lot of it has to do with what they're made of, their components, and their designs. But there's more to it than this. I believe it takes passion, drive, and a love for music to really create something unique. There are a handful of cats out there that take it to this level and for this we gear junkies are all greatful. Without these people we would not have our rhythm tones, lead tones, and most important the signature tones that give us our own voice and style. Look at any of your favorite guitar players and you will always find that one piece of gear that is crucial to their sound. I'd like to introduce you to GuitarSlinger, a handmade custom effects pedal company with some really amazing tone tools. Their goal? To make sure you find your signature sound.

Handmade Custom Effects
proudly presents

high gain treble booster

* Signal processing (like best tube amps)
* True bypass
* Alpha pots w/metal shafts
* Status LED for battery check
* Best selected condenser & resistance
* High quality op amps & silicon transistors
* Heavy-Duty enclosure
* Handcrafted in Japan

Right from the get-go there was no mistaking this was a 100% high quality effects pedal. My favorite guitar amp was being serviced when the Stormbringer arrived in our studio, this meant I had to run it through one of my older, 2nd choice amps. The only amp that was available that day? A solid state Fender Ultra Chorus, which is actually not a bad amplifier for a solid state but it's no tube amp. We sometimes use the Ultra Chorus's clean channel with dirt pedals for layering guitar tracks, when we can find a pedal willing to play nice. So I went right ahead plugged the Stormbringer into the amp and low and behold, a real decent sound. It didn't matter that the amp was solid state, the pedal still sounded amazing, and most important it made the amp sonud much better than it would on it's own. Things only got better when my amp came back from the shop, my Deville's eq was modified, gain reduced a bit, and replaced two of the speakers for alnico. All it took to get a great rockin sound was a pair of my best guitar cables, the Stormbringer, and the amps knobs all set at about noon. A few cables and a good amp is always the best way to see if a pedal will stand up to the test, this way you get all pedal and no filler. We started with the pedal's level at noon and the gain at about 15%, this got us a nice cleanish, grouchy tone. The kind of tone that barks when you dig in and lightens up when back off, absolutely beautiful. The sound became sweeter and sweeter as I rolled up the gain, like the characteristics of a great broken-in tube amp. The more I dug in into the strings the longer the notes hung in the air, kind of like having the perfect amount of compression in the mix. Then I went right ahead and blasted the gain 100%, and just like I expected the sound was unbelievable! There was one sound in particular that I heard coming from this pedal, Tony Iommi. By setting my amp to a slight gritty overdrive, rolling back my guitar's tone knob, and slamming the gain of the Stormbringer all the way I got the baddest Black Sabbath sound. This pedal also works great for blues settings. Simply dime-out the gain, roll back your volume, and you're in. Then roll your volume back up for leads runs and solos. One thing that treble boosters can sometimes tend to have is too much highs, they can sound piercing or too sharp. This pedal is able to cut through any mix without sounding like an ice pick, which makes it a perfect pedal for lead or rhythm guitarists. I also found that the Stormbringer didn't discriminate between single coil and humbuckers, the sound was different but each one usable and appealing. What makes this pedal so awesome is it's ability to get both classic treble boost and modern drive settings, something you won't get from just any old treble booster. With this pedal you have a Gain and Level control and that's it! It's very easy to use and more importantly very easy to get a good sound out of it. This tells you a few things, that the Stormbringer's components are really something special, and that the work put into it came from cats that either play music themselves or from someone with lots of experience in the game. This is a downright no frills overdrive machine that will keep you playing and drive you to want to write killer tunes. I know it's pushed me to dig down and pull out some of my classic rock licks. GuitarSlinger is most definitely one of our best finds. We are stoked to have the chance introduce them to you for those of you who haven't heard of them. Now if you will excuse me I have some more playing I'd like to do. Till next time.

For more info on GuitarSlinger Custom Handmade Effects go to They have solid line of pedals for just about every rock and roll sound you might need. Make sure to stay tunes for some news and updates on GuitarSlinger and future reviews to come in the bear future. Keep it real and pull out your guns!



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