Following on from my recent review of the AC Plus (CLICK HERE to read it), I thought I'd write a quick article comparing Xotic's venerable AC Booster, RC Booster & BB Preamp models. These units have become modern classics & can be found on the pedalboards of many a tone-hound (from the likes of Eric Johnson to Greg Howe), yet you'd be forgiven if you found choosing between them a little confusing. In this article I shall attempt to clear up the differences & help make your choice a little easier...
Author Archives: James Hamer
Posted on October 8, 2013 by James Hamer
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, In-Depth Reviews, Product News and was tagged with Eric Johnson, greg howe, overdrive, overdrive pedal, scott henderson, xotic, xotic ac booster, xotic bb preamp, xotic rc booster
Posted on September 20, 2013 by James Hamer
Xotic effects have become synonymous with tonal quality & their range of boosters/ overdrives have been adopted by players such as Eric Johnson, Scott Henderson, Steve Stevens & Greg Howe (to name but a few). Models such as the AC Booster, RC Booster & BB Preamp all became instant classics shortly after their introduction & the range has continued to grow even more impressive with every release since. Xotic are a company that listen to their customers &, having found that a number of players were stacking their pedals together (e.g. a BB Preamp with an RC Booster, or an AC with an RC), it was in 2007 that they released their first dual pedal: the AC Plus.
The AC Plus is a dual overdrive/boost pedal that can be used in varying combinations to achieve a whole gamut of different drive related tones. Its adornment of knobs & switches offer true flexibility & its pedigree certainly sets the bar high. Why don't we dive in & see how it measures up...
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, In-Depth Reviews, Product News and was tagged with booster pedal, Eric Johnson, greg howe, scott henderson, steve stevens, xotic, xotic ac plus
Posted on September 13, 2013 by James Hamer
Whatever else may be said, Mike Fuller has certainly garnered a reputation for quality with his Fulltone brand of vintage-inspired effects pedals. In 2007 Mr. Fuller decided to update the self-proclaimed 'most popular boutique overdrive ever made' & the FullDrive 2 became the FullDrive 2-MOSFET. The inclusion of the MOSFET (Metal Oxide Field Effect Transistor) allows the pedal to achieve a more amp-like overdrive than its predecessor & the addition of a 'Flat Mids' mode adds an extra tonal option. These extra features helped the pedal to win Guitar Player magazine's 'Reader's Choice' award for Best Stompbox in the year of its release & it is with high-expectations that I begin this review...
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, In-Depth Reviews, Product News and was tagged with fulltone, fulltone full drive, fulltone full drive 2 mosfet, fulltone fulldrive, fulltone fulldrive 2, fulltone fulldrive 2- mosfet, fulltone fulldrive2, fulltone fulldrive2 mosfet, guitar effect pedal, overdrive pedal
Posted on August 23, 2013 by James Hamer
For those who are using a number of pedals, long cable runs, or even multiple amps, how exactly to rig all of these pieces of equipment together without suffering a loss in tonal quality can often be a cause of concern. To get a general overview on a good approach to take when piecing your rig together, please see my article entitled 'Signal Routing for Guitar & Bass - A Tone Chaser's Guide'; however, if you already know what you're looking for, but still need to find that ideal unit with which to achieve it, then please let me introduce you to Lehle Switchers!
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, In-Depth Reviews, Product News and was tagged with guitar switcher, lehle, lehle little dual, lehle little lehle, lehle little lehle 2, lehle little lehle ii, lehle p-split, lehle sunday driver, lehle swithcer, switcher
Posted on July 26, 2013 by James Hamer
If you've experienced using effects pedals within your signal chain then you'll be well aware of how these otherwise enjoyable little boxes can sometimes have quite a negative effect on your tone when disengaged. An instrument's signal is a sensitive thing for sure & I'm here to tell you that anything & EVERYTHING placed between your guitar & amp will have an influence regardless of how insignificant it may seem. In a world where buzzwords such as 'True Bypass' etc. are often misunderstood & acted upon incorrectly, obtaining a pure & transparent tone can sometimes seem like a mystical & unattainable thing to all but the most experienced & obsessive of tone seekers. If you're interested in demystifying the jargon that surrounds this issue & coming to a sound understanding of the basic principles for obtaining the best tone possible then please do read on...
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, How To Guides, Product News and was tagged with boss tu-3, guitar cable, jimi hendrix, lehle, lehle little lehle, lehle little lehle ii, lehle sunday driver, true bypass
Posted on June 14, 2013 by James Hamer
Back in 2000, a certain Swedish gentleman by the name of Björn began offering handmade stomp boxes to the wide world; his fabulous designs caught the attention of the fastidious boutique market almost instantly & he quickly cemented himself as one of the world's premier effects builders. Björn's handiwork was originally released under the moniker of BJFE (an abbreviation for Björn Juhl Forstarker Elektronik) & the units bearing this name are rare as hen's teeth (not to mention the simply eye-watering prices they command); however, the Mad Professor brand was launched shortly thereafter...
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, In-Depth Reviews, Product News and was tagged with mad professor, mad professor bluebird overdrive, mad professor forest green compressor, mad professor guitar pedal, mad professor little green wonder overdrive, mad professor mighty red distortion, mad professor pedal, mad professor stone grey distortion, mad professor sweet honey overdrive
Posted on June 7, 2013 by James Hamer
So, what are these strange-looking toasters you might ask? Well, they are in fact Yamaha's unique range of practice amps. They offer cutting-edge technology, ease-of-use, retro looks & a whole host of useful features. If you're looking for a strictly at-home amplification solution then do read on...
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, In-Depth Reviews, Product News and was tagged with amp head, guitar amp, guitar amp head, yamaha, yamaha thr10, yamaha thr10c, yamaha thr10x, yamaha thr5, yamaha thr5a
Posted on May 13, 2013 by James Hamer
With Absolute Music having recently added ESP guitars to its lineup, now would perhaps seem like a good time to write an article on this much revered Japanese brand. ESP are possibly best known to the Heavy Metal crowd as they are one of the most respected & lusted after brands within this genre. Following Fender's Jackson buyout, they are now one of the few remaining truly independent modern guitar brands & the loyalty of their fan base is fierce; however, their roots run deep & to get the full story we have to go back further than you would think...
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, In-Depth Reviews, Product News and was tagged with bass guitar, dokken, electric guitar, esp, esp guitars, george lynch, james hetfield, kirk hammett, living color, metallica, paul reed smith, ronnie wood, the rolling stones, vernon reid
Posted on May 3, 2013 by James Hamer
Back in November I wrote an article on the then new Mooer Micro Series line. Since then these diminutive little pedals have gone on to become very popular indeed & they now seem to be popping up all over the place! From newer players just beginning to dabble in the world of effects, through to the more seasoned on a tight budget (or with limited space), they've been a big hit for sure!
Anyway, with this (& a quickly expanding line) in mind, the guys in the store have asked me to do a follow up article...
This post was posted in Blog entries, General News, Guitars, In-Depth Reviews, Product News and was tagged with mooer, mooer anan echo, mooer funky monkey, mooer lofi machine, mooer micro pedal, mooer micro series, mooer repeater, mooer solo, mooer ultra drive
Posted on April 29, 2013 by James Hamer
Despite it still being a fairly new pedal in the scheme of things, you'd be forgiven if you were to already consider the Carbon Copy a 'classic' of sorts. It forms part of a strong lineage & has managed to successfully establish itself as the measuring stick for analogue delays right off the bat.
Back when Dunlop decided to reintroduce a delay pedal to the MXR line it was Jeorge Tripps of Way Huge fame that they decided to put at the helm. This was an inspired move as, with the Way Huge Aqua Puss & the Line 6 DL4 both to his name, Jeorge already had an impressive CV when it came to delay pedals. With this in mind, the Carbon Copy certainly had a lot to live up to when it was first released & I can happily say that it was 'mission accomplished' for Dunlop as they knocked it out of the park with this one!