6-String Web Roundup, May 2014 Edition

It’s been a while since I posted a roundup. May was kind of a slow month for guitars on the net, but there were a few gems…

2014 is proving an epic year for celebrity guitar auctions. George Harrison’s refinished 1962 Rickenbacker 425, the jangly tones of which can be heard on “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” sold for $657,000.

Led Zeppelin is being sued for allegedly stealing the iconic opening guitar riff from “Stairway to Heaven.” No word on whether the final verdict will affect the continued butchering of said riff in guitar shops worldwide.

Seems that everyone is trying to reinvent the electric guitar pickup this year. The folks at Dialtone Pickups — a company founded by a PhD plasma physicist — are rolling out a new design with tone-tweaking wheels built into the pickup cover. Plasma!

Fender Musical Instrument Corporation finally let go of the Guild brand, which has been on life support for some years now. The company rolled out some cool retro-inspired models this past year; hopefully Cordoba Music Group maintains the positive trend.

It was a good month for lost guitar reunions. Fretboard Journal has a nice article (with video and gorgeous pictures) about Bill Frisell reuniting with an ES-175 he foolishly sold in his youth, while Zakk Wylde recovered a favorite bullseye Les Paul from a Chicago pawn shop.

Step aside Esteban! Keith Urban is apparently the new king of HSN television guitar retail. 22,000 guitar packages sold in 8 hours. Yes, 22 with three zeroes. Guess we’ll be hearing a lot more of the “Stairway to Heaven” riff…

Ah, hometown Albuquerque. Where car thieves and cops duel with electric guitars. WAAANTED…Dead or Aliiive!

 

Pick Quest, Part 2

Wegen and Red Bear Picks Reviewed

Picks are a simple, comparatively cheap, and surprisingly effective way to tweak one’s guitar tone, whether acoustic or electric. In Part 1, I compared several budget picks that meet my basic criteria — thick, triangular, and tortoise-inspired. In this post, I put a pair of “boutique” picks through their paces. Are they worth the additional cash?

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Noise Boxes

My friend and former acoustic collaborator Jana Pochop has been on the road recently with Susan Gibson. Jana recently picked up an uber-cool Epiphone Riviera and has been brushing up on her electric chops. That includes dusting off her collection of effects pedals, which inspired me to do the same. As discussed in a previous post, I went through a slightly unhealthy effects acquisition phase in college. I’ve been studying jazz mostly for the past couple years, which means my pedals haven’t seen much action.

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