#1
My premise is simple. I'll update this daily with a short review/series of comments on a different piece of gear each day, barring any complications. These reviews are meant to be in-depth enough to help anyone interested in a product, but not so in-depth that they would require a full form fill-out for the site's review section. Feel free to recommend pieces, and if they are available in the area, I'll check 'em out! Without further ado, enjoy.
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1/2/10

Digitech RP250: This is a nifty little multi-effects pedal, designed to emulate a variety of different amps. It comes with 60 presets, and another 60 slots which you can fill with custom presets. It is incredibly versatile when you get into the custom options (speaker choices, pedals, amps, etc. As well, you can download community user-designed presets from the digitech website, or edit presets in even more detail on an included CD program), but most of the stock choices are pretty weak. #3 (or 63), SOLDLY, is probably the best sounding, and it makes a pretty solid Lead tone, emulating a Soldano SLO100 with delay added on. It sounds quite good, and works effectively on most clean channels. Be warned, trying this over a distortion channel (particularly a solid-state one) may result in uncurable ear-bleeding. This pedal DOES cover almost every effect you can think of, from Wah to delay, reverb to auto-ya, Flanger to distortion, and chorus onward.

Pros: Well priced, Pretty good quality of sound, versatile, good for any beginner/intermediate players.

Cons: Stock sounds can be thin or even inaccurate, nothing "stands out" as a great skill of this pedal, you can only change sound numerically (IE, 3 to 4, 18 to 17, etc) meaning you can't go from, say, 47 to 3 for a solo
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The Rating system

1 - Why the **** did you even touch this?
2 - God awful, but probably has 1 redeeming quality, just not a good one.
3 - God awful, at least 2 redeeming qualities. One may even be... Average!
4 - Simply a mediocre product. Nothing outright good, but nothing bad. Probably over-priced
5 - Average. Reasonable price for a reasonable product. Probably low-range, though.
6 - Same a 5, but for mid-ranged prices (around 1,000). You oughta be getting more bang for your buck, honestly.
7 - Now we're getting good. Great value, or just an incredible product that's kinda expensive.
8 - You're in the clear. Buy it if it's on sale, it'll be worth it.
9 - Buy it even if it isn't on sale, it's still worth it.
10 - You likely know everything about this already, because you've been GASing for one of these for years.

I shall return... Soon. I am sick atm and can't really review/write rationally x,x
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Jan 14, 2010,
#2
Edit post.
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#3


Cool thread.
daytripper75

Bullieve


Quote by Amuro Jay
I'm gonna need specific instructions again on how to properly dance with my pants on my head.
Quote by lolmnt
First you put your pants on your head.
Second you dance.
Third you wipe off all the pussy.
#4
Quote by JayT44


Cool thread.


Seconded!

The Digitech RP 250 onwards are actually pretty decent MFX's.

But Line 6 MFX's have now begun to own all.
#5
Quote by unet
Seconded!

The Digitech RP 250 onwards are actually pretty decent MFX's.

But Line 6 MFX's have now begun to own all.


I haven't played any of 'em yet, but I did hear something about 'em... Probably on here though, I don't remember :P

The RP250 is a decent piece of gear, especially for beginners. If anything, it is very versatile. It's stock models for metal and blues are poor, but it has reasonably good Rock to hard rock models, and all the cleans are good (and varied). The wah pedal functions as both a Wah, and a volume control (except on a few, where it is set to other functions, like how much flanger or other things of a similar nature).
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#6
1/3/10

Epiphone Sheraton II: Before I begin, I have to warn you, I am a semi-hollow buff. My next guitar will be a semi-hollow, and an ES-335 style to boot, so I've been researching the hell outta this type of guitar. That said, the Sheraton II is a surprisingly high-quality guitar with an incredible price. It has all the fancy appointments; Special inlays (The one I played had Angled squares), Binding on the Fretboard and the Guitar itself, Humbuckers, and all the other usuals of an Epiphone or Gibson product. It DOES have gold hardware, which many say on epiphone products is easily rubbed off, but I did not notice anything while demoing.

The neck, first of all, is damn near unbeatable. It's set-neck, and place in at what, the 19th fret or so? There are no note you can't hit with this monster. The humbuckers on this thing actually changed my opinion of Epiphone's humbuckers; I previously disliked them (I hate the ones on my Epiphone Les Paul) but I now feel that these are a separate model or that the original run was designed for these semi-hollows; the muddiness was cleared up by the clarity that the body provided (which was NOT something I expected). The tuning (something I love about epiphones) pegs were very effective.

It comes in Ebony, sunburst, and natural. If you dig any of those, you'll like it. I actually odn't, though; I prefer Heritage Cherry, any kind of blue, or (actually) maybe ebony. I dunno, just not a sunburst kinda person.

Great guitar, and fantastic for the price. If you need a semi-hollow, I don't know why you'd even look further. It sounds better and (if you don't mind color) looks better than the famed epiphone dot, and it's similar in price.

Rating: 7.5 (for features in general), 9.4 (when factoring price into that)
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Jan 14, 2010,
#7
1/4/10

Epiphone Valve Junior: I wanted to do a small amp, and when I thought about it, the VJ is probably one of the least talked about 5 watt tube amps around right now (compared with the HT-5 or Class 5, or the Vox amp, etc). The Epi is simplicity, even more so than the Class 5. It has a single knob; Volue. You have to crank the volume to get distortion, and I assure you, it's gonna get loud! There is VERY little purely clean headroom; you begin to get thicker as by 9 o' clock! I decided to test this with an Epiphone Casino (Just felt right; Far as I remember, it had... P-90s?) and an Ibanez RG of some type with twin humbuckers.

With the RG, I could reach a mild blues tone around 2. I didn't bother fully cranking it, as I was in a music store, but around 10 was speaking volume, and 12 was probably about a loud TV. The Casino sounded much better on all counts (whether that speaks of the guitar or of the P-90s, I'll leave up to you). The sustain on this amp was almost unreal for how low the distortion was; I felt like I was playing a Les Paul! Actually, that's probably the thing about this amp; it made everything sound like an LP! The tone was thick and wooly, but warm (almost hot) and bluesy. It was lower gain than the Class 5, but it had a very good solo-blues tone.

This amp comes in head, combo, and has various larger amps in it's series (meaning you could go bigger). It's cheaper than the other amps in it's volume range (I think... $199 USD when new? You may be able to get under 100$ used for just the head.
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#8
1/5/10

Ebow: This is a new toy from Christmas, which, given the relative rarity in that most people don't care to own one, drew me to make a review of it. The Ebow is, for all intents and purposes, a 2-mode sustainer; it can do one mode (normal) wherein it makes noise by vibrating the string magnetically, which results in noise. In the other mode, it does the same thing, but it sounds more like feedback (IE, ultimately controllable feed back). It can only vibrate one string at a time, but this is rewarded by giving you the above mentioned rewards, as well as many more.

This is a no-frills device, but it's simple appearance hides the truth; this thing is hard as hell to learn. It is almost like an entirely different instrument, in how it makes you approach the guitar. This is NOT a sustainer pick-up. This is an entirely different (and in my opinion, superior) beast.

Doing damn near anything can change how the magnets interact with the strings/pickup, so feel free to try damn near everything. Even on day one, you'll be able to get some effective sounds (and of course, infinite sustain) if such is your prerogative. However, this device will be difficult to master. Because of how many different techniques can be performed with a piece of hard plastic that vibrates metal, you can easily get lost and not understand much of it at all. Infinite sustain is cool, but who wants to give up using a pick for an entire song for something so... odd?

I would. The Ebow, AT MINIMUM, makes a great solo tool. Just the infinite sustain is handy (Can't imagine how :P ). So is the insta-feedback end, for slightly more metal purposes. It produes a different sound than you may be used to, and this DOES show up in soloing; you'll stand out from others when using the device, ESPECIALLY to other guitarists (because god damn this thing is fun).

There is very little reason not to buy one of these. They're like 90$ new, and they're available in guitar centers, meaning you oughta find one or at least get the website. Just buy a used one for cheap, and go crazy! It's cheaper than an effect pedal, more versatile than one, more portable than one, doesn't need to go into your pedal chain, doesn't take a spot in your pedal case, and (if you want to really talk it up) can replace poor Violin/cellists in live performances (and I say that as a performing Cellist! Sometimes, you just won't wanna deal with us or, god forbid, violinists =P ).

Here's a video on one of these things, just to show the versatility (especially when mixed with your other effects).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwq0i6jP7dQ

Rating: 7.4
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Jan 14, 2010,
#9
1/6/10

AXL Medway Special 1GN: This little amp is quite a beauty on the ears, and (to be totally frank) could easily end up being the latest UG craze if the Valvepower train ever dies down. This is an 18 watter (yes, based on the style of Marshall) running on 1 12AX7 and 2 EL34s in the power amp. It features 2 channels (using the high or low input basically gives you clean or distorted) with a shared EQ. There is an onboard Accutronics Spring Reverb included, and it's all wrapped up inside a vintage looking, green-tolexed 1x12 combo with a Celestion G12M speaker to clean it all up.

This thing SOUNDS like a JTM45 from Marshall, but different. It sounds like an 18 watter, but different. Hell, depending on your guitar or gain, it sounds like a plexi, if a bit different. This thing is a god damn genie and your guitar is the one telling it the wish. It really does change a lot per guitar (and I say this, having plugged in 3 guitars; my Gibson SG classic, a USA standard strat, and a 1954 ((Real!)) Les Paul). Did it sound best through the Paul? Duh. Did it sound worse through the others? Not really. The Strat gave me one of the best clean tones I've EVER gotten, even better than my own amp's JTM model (which, while incredible, just had a different style to it).

This is not the most common of amps. You'll be lucky to find one in person. That said, if you do, you'll be astounded. I plugged this in side-by-side with a vintage JTM45 (same guitars, etc) on an A/B box, and god damn if this thin didn't keep paces as best as it could. The break-up wasn't AS high quality, and I COULD tell which was which, but not necessarily in a bad way. The AXL had a better clean tone, and the JTM had a slightly better overdrive. However, this thing costs 599 dollars, and a JTM reissue costs what, 1500? And lord knows what an actual vintage JTM would set you back. Not nearly enough for the variance, I know.

Pros: Cheap, high quality, beautiful tone
Cons: Low gain, not well known/low resale value, hard to find

Rating: 8.3
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Jan 14, 2010,
#10
Woah. This is fantastic.
Quote by SG_dave at #33549256
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If you are white, you are scum.
#11
Quote by CL/\SH
Woah. This is fantastic.


I've decided that I'm just gonna stick with this for as long as I possibly can. Who knows, it may actually help someone! Speaking of, how is the Jet city? I've been looking at it as a possible college amp, but I'm not quite sure... It would have to sound good enough to warrant the lack of head-phones =P
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#12
1/7/10

Randall RM100 combo (amp edition): This is my main amp. It's a 2x12 sporting Celestion G12T-75 speakers, 100 watts of 6L6 power, and a variety of other features. The chassis itself features a variety of options; bias-point help so that you never make a biasing mistake again, caster wheels, and a removable block in the back, allowing you to either have the experience of a closed-back combo, or a more vintage style open back. It FEELS like a tank, and it weighs like one too; about 80 pounds unloaded (I'll explained the loading in a moment). The onboard EQ includes a volume control for the Effects loop (another feature), and masters for density, presence, and volume. Where is the rest of the EQ though?

This amp has a "module" system designed by Randall and Bruce Egnater, which allows the preamps to be removed and replaced. Meaning, you can have a fender twin-based clean, Marshall JCM800 crunch, and Mesa High-gain solo tone, all in one. There are over 20 preamps available (and more coming out this NAMM; check them out!) for a variety amps, from Plexis, the Marshall JTM, JCM800s, to Twin reverbs, dual rectos, Randall's various high gain amps, and finally, a few modules based on signature tones (Dan Donegan from Disturbed, Kirk Hammet, from Metallica, George Lynch from Dokken and others). All amps feature (at minimum) gain, volume, and high/mid/low EQ, as well as a bright switch, though several others feature extras (like gain switches, voicing changes, etc). Finally, there is a huge community of incredible modders out there, who can really do a number on your modules to make them sound even better, or give them new tones!

This is THE most versatile amp on the market. It also sounds pretty damn good to boot. The only thing that should really stand between you and one of these is price (the 100 watt combo costs 1500 dollars BEFORE modules if you go new. As well, the modules cost around 250 to 299 (for sig models) new). However, if you go used, the sky is the limit for versatility. This IS a recording studio's best friend, easily.

Rating: 9.5
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Jan 14, 2010,
#13
1/8/10

Roland Cube 15x: God. Oh god. Why am I doing this? The fact that I bought this is one thing (It was my first amp, and I had no idea what to get). The fact that I'm reliving it by reviewing this for you is another entirely.

This amp is horrible. Plain and simple, there are no redeeming features about it. I don't even understand why; the Microcube sounds good, and the 60x sounds fantastic, but the 15x is a tremendous pile of shit, wrapped in body decay, and shoved in a shoddy chassis with the name Roland shoved on top.

The Cube features some kind of shitty 10" speaker, 15 watts of SS power, two channels (with shared treb/mid/low EQ) and 4 distortion models. There is no master volume, only a pair of channel volumes. There is a "power-squeezer" function which compresses the sound and gives you a slightly heavier tone at lower volume (this IS a nice feature). There is an MP3 input as well as a headphone input, though why you'd use it for those purposes instead of grabbing a POD is beyond me.

The distortion models are as follows (in order of drive): Overdrive, Distortion, Metal, and Metal stack. Overdrive has a little bit of drive on it (but sounds awful), distortion has more (and sounds awful), metal has even more (and sounds awful) and the Metal stack sounds like a metal amp (and actually is half decent). However these are all at low-volumes. This amp makes no recognizable musical notes when the volume goes past a certain point, and becomes incoherent shit pooling. It isn't even loud enough to be heard over a conservative drummer, damnit. Then again, who'd want to hear it?

The EQ is useless, the sound is unusable for gigs, and the tone isn't worth the use for private practice. The Clean channel isn't bad (it is incredible sterile, and works as a pedal platform) but in an amp that prides itself on it's modeling technology, the fact that none of the distortions sound good is a complete shame.

This is the odd duckling. Do not be put off from better models, the Cube series can sound wonderful. Unfortunately, this is not one of those various options. I can not warn you ENOUGH! This amp will sound bad, no matter WHAT guitar you're packing. Your only hope is to use it as a multi-fx pedal platform (and aside from practice, it's no good; remember, it doesn't DO loud well), and even that is tainted.

Don't do it. Please. I beg you.

Rating: 2.2
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Jan 14, 2010,
#14
1/9/10

Randall MTS Brown: This is a preamp in the Randall MTS series, which you can plug into any RM amps. I've decided to review this (and all other available modules) as part of my gear reviews (and subtle recommendations to GET THE DAMN RANDALL RM SERIES))! It comes with 5 knobs (Gain, low, mid, high, volume) and a bright switch, for particularly dark guitars (like my SG!). The tone is based on the brown sound made famous by Van Halen.

God damn it sounds amazing. This is my distortion, period. It does Marshall, but a bit thicker, more soloish, and of course, van halen based. The sound gives what I call a liquid crunch; the actual solo tone isn't incredible (though it's still good enough to use above many others), but the crunch really hits home. Actually, I oughta reword it. The crunch feels more modern (80s modern) than the solo tone (maybe early 80s or late 70s). However, it sounds great none the less (I just feel obligated to tell the truth on this one error).

Gain wise, I am constantly confused. Somtimes, I feel like it doesn't have enough gain, but I'm beginning to think it's more on line with needing a tiny bit of compression. In fact, I would venture to say that, after a compression and maybe a flanger, this would be the same tone as used on Panama, hot for teacher, and many other classic hits.

Of course, EVH isn't the only thing in stock. Lower the gain, and this'll nail both Angus OR Malcolm's tones from AC/DC. Even lower and with some hefty highs or the bright switch, and you get some ZZ top action going. Sweet child of mine is right around near max gain, along with the necessary guitar-based neck pickup shenanigans.

Actually, take back what I said earlier about needing a compression. That's with the P-90s I use in my preferred guitar. Since testing again with a super strat with humbuckers, it feels a lot tighter than it previously did. I still prefer the p90s for this, but it will NOT be an issue for most people.

The only issue with the brown (aside from that it only works in Randall amps!) is rarity. This module is out of production, and quite rare to find anywhere. If you see one (and own or plan to own an MTS amp) do yourself a favor and grab it immediately. It sounds beautiful, and, at least in my case, completely ended my GAS for a distorted tone. I have only one more item which I need to buy tonewise before I am completely happy (a Soldano mod from Pete at Gigmods) and aside from that, I can say with ease that this is THE module to go for.

Rating: 8.8
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Jan 14, 2010,
#15
1/10/10

Fender Jazz Bass Custom shop: I don't know the specs on this thing, and I won't pretend to. All I need to say is that, this BASS, made by fender (which, when you're Gibson bonehead like me, basically means that Satan rubbed his balls on it before it left shop) nearly converted me to both Fender AND to bolt-on necks.

Everything was amazing, so I won't bother with too much. The sound was great (deep and boomy, yet totally manageable. Very clear). The neck was ungodly, though. I wanted to rip it off the bass and try desperately to attach it to one of my guitars (which says something; I love the necks on all my guitars. This was just... Better).

It wasn't overtly heavy, it looked gorgeous (Fiesta Red), and it was quite a nice monster. I don't get to play with it very often (it belongs to a friend) but I look forward to each encounter. Did I actually pop a boner while playing this? Probably. Am I ashamed? Not really. Everyone else felt the same way.

Rating: 9.6
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
Last edited by Phantom123 at Jan 14, 2010,
#16
1/11/10

n/a

I didn't have time to right anything today =\ I'll edit something here tomorrow (or further on, if need be; very busy atm)
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#17
haha man i feel ya on the 'brown' module...for a while i thought i was the only person around to have one....and i traded an 'ultra' for it haha, i feel like i totally raped that guy's deal...oh well.

i love it...and i'm running EL34s in my RM50, so it's got the marshall flavor all throughout...now if i could just get someone to trade me something for that plain jane 'clean' module i'd be alright...maybe a 'top boost' would make for some nice vox like cleans....though i doubt i'll ever convince anyone to trade a good clean or cleanish module for it.

slash_edit: when i say i traded an ultra for it, i meant like a year ago i traded MY ultra and got the brown module in return lol. i love that thing, it really does all those styles so nicely like you said. though i think instead of maxing the gain, i like to push with an OD for GNR, at least leads anyway.
My MAIN Gear
____________
"They call him the 'Sand Spider.' -Why? -Probably because it sounds scary"
*Agile AL3000 Les Paul w/ Alnico IIs
*Randall RM50
*Dunlop CFH
*fellow LEO feel free to give a shout out
Last edited by slash_rocks2005 at Jan 12, 2010,
#18
You need to add in some kind of rating system, cause most of those are huge walls of text and me (and many other people) aren't going to bother reading them without some kind of rating. That being said, the few that I read were good reviews
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com