Sunday, February 28, 2010

Top Finds of 2009 / R&M Tone Technology

"Dynamic tone innovators" is damn right! R&M Tone Technology is the one of the few gear companies today that is thinking outside box. You look around today and see just about every major gear company building or designing something that will take things to next level. To be honest most of these gadgets are down right ridiculous! With R&M they have not only found a way to take things to the next level, but also found a simple way for it to work for us. It was a few months back that the R&M name was first planted in my head. One of my buddy's had heard of a guitar cable capable of taking your tone and boosting it into a 808 type overdrive. "What a killer idea!" I thought. How had someone not thought about this before? The first info I found on the cable was a video demo that Guitar World Magazine had done, they were featuring it as one of their Gear Spotlight's. The curious bug in me got the best of me and I went ahead and contacted R&M Tone Tech, I had to try one of these cables for myself. The cable went far and beyond my expectations, taking my tone into one of the thickest and creamiest overdrive tones to come from my amp. This cable did this all on it's own straight from the guitar to the amp, no effects, no nothing. Talk about instant gratification.

R&M Tone Technology
Sandy, UT
Builder: Michael Harney
Years in the Game: 4

Power Wire
Effect Cable

* Embedded low-noise amplifier in cable
* TS09 style soft-clip distortion
* Overall 3db of gain
* Other gain options include 0db and 6db
* 20hz - 20Khz Bandwidth w/0.5db flatness across spectrum
* THD is less than 0.05%
* Solid-strain relief and long life batteries


I thought I'd seen it all. In all my time playing music, recording, gigging, going on the road, and hunting down gear, never have I seen a product like this one. The Power Wire from R&M Tone Technology takes the overdrive concept and directly injects it into to your sound via a guitar cable. This has to be one of the quickest and easiest tools for achieving dirt'n'grit you will ever find. The Power Wire is a 20, 30, or 40 foot long guitar cable sporting a low-noise internal amplifier which is capable of producing any number of different boosts. R&M offers cables with clean 3db boost, clean 6db boost, TS09 style distortion w/6db gain, and clean no boost cables. We got to try out one of the 20 ft TS09 style cables. We were able to get everything from mild distortion, smooth overdrive, mild overdrive, semi-clean tones, and clean guitar tones. The Power Wire works great with other dirt pedals such as boost, overdrive, distortion , and fuzz boxes. The Power Wire gives your existing sound an extra edge and pushes it further creating a wider range of usable guitar tones. The cable runs on two mini long lasting batteries which deliver a clean untainted boost. We tried the cable with handful of different amps and guitars, pickups and pedals. We were able to get great results from everything we plugged it into, and found it much easier to achieve different guitar tones on the fly.

We started out by plugging the Power Wire directly into the amp and guitar without any other effects. Guitar of choice was Lady, my beautiful custom Telecaster, and amplifier was my modified 4x10 Deville. I dialed the amp into a sparkling, spanking clean tone, with lots of bass, mids, and enough treble to really let things shine. First I knocked out some bluesy licks and classic rock chords, the cable added a beefy mass of great sounding overdrive that enhanced and gave life to the overall sound. I have played many different versions of the Tube Screamer pedal, from vintage boxes and hand wired versions, to reissues and modern takes of it. R&M's TS09 style Power Wire is by far one of the best reincarnations of the TS sound I have ever heard. All of the good qualities you're able to get from a sweet sounding TS I got from this cable and much more. With my pick attack and touch I was able to easily control the crunch and dirt output. Getting lush/thick dirt when digging hard and light semi-clean tones when holding back. For playing blues, funk, country, and other styles of music that rely heavy on feel and dynamics the Power Wire works beautifully. Adding a little natural tube grit from the amp and thickening up the sound with bass and mids really made for some rockin' good classic rock tones. By rolling my Telecaster's volume down and switching to the neck humbucker I was able to dial in some super sweet rhythm guitar tones. The grit still being present only laid back, subtle, and warm. Then by rolling things back up and switching into the Tele's bridge pickup I was able to get a heavier, and harder biting tone which made for a killer lead tone. This is the type of tool which is perfect for the seasoned player, those of us who flip our tones on the fly, and cats looking to beef up their sound without difficulty, time or space. Talk about saving space on your pedalboard. Here you can get your overdrive sound and control it from your guitar's volume knob all without an actual dirt box. Things get even more interesting once you start adding clean boosters and other overdrive circuits into the signal chain. I swapped the cable into a lower watt amp, 15 watts to be exact, and added a clean booster for further power and size. The 15 watter was rolled up to a nice/fat natural overdrive with plenty of bass, mids, and treble. One thing I must say about the Power Wire before I forget is that it takes beautifully to whatever eq you push through it. The cable doesn't eat or degrade any of the root tone's character, instead it blends with it creating a very desirable guitar tone. Along with the 15 watts of grit the Power Wire produced a smooth but aggressive overdrive sound, stunning for classic rock and vintage guitar tones. It reminded me of an overdriven Plexi sound only much quieter, perfect for recording if you ask me. Next I pushed everything with a beast of a clean booster and got some pretty awesome sounding distortion tones. The booster clung to Power Wire and amp's drive and handed the lows boom, gave the mids thickness, and highs brightness and clarity. It was really cool being able to get a badass sounding distortion tone without the need of an actual distortion pedal. With overdrive pedals, distortion pedals, and fuzz boxes I also got great results, always able to produce usable and epic guitar tones. My favorite tones though were definitely the ones I got from the cable, amp, and guitar alone. Another great use for this cable is using it to keep your signal smooth and strong when chaining up long cable runs, lots of pedals, and other situation that can harm your natural tone. R&M Tone Technology has definitely hit a home room with this creation. I highly suggest you cats get your hands on one of these rare and stunning guitar cables. The Power Wire makes for one splendid and useful tone tool, having one of these pups around the studio or stage will hand you handfuls of pro quality guitar tones. R&M offers this cable in a handful of different styles and also produces a tone enhancing stompbox known as the Super Sizzle. We will try and get our hands on some more gadgets from our friends at R&M and keep ya'll up to date on any happenings. You can do a search of this product in our Analog War Cry Youtube search engine to check out a demo of the pedal. Dig it!


For more info on R&M Tone Technology go to There's a bunch of cool info and audio demos on the website for you to check out. We will keep you guys up to date on more from R&M in the near future.

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