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  1. Brian Johnston

    REACTOR - 5W Reactive Load (demo/review)

    Leave it to Hagerman Amplification to design a boutique Reactive Load so small it fits on a pedalboard (or next to/on top of whatever small amp you’re using), ingeniously designed to provide a reactive load for small tube amps. In essence, the REACTOR is meant to take the load of amps 5 watts or...
  2. Brian Johnston

    Guitar Flatter (fretless in minutes)

    Not sure what you mean? Fretless is more difficult to play than regular (you have to be more exacting), which is not good for a beginner. Now, if you're suggesting a real fretless guitar is better and that only someone dabbling in fretless would want this, I get that. For how much a regular...
  3. Brian Johnston

    Virtual Jeff (new add-on pedal!) +interview

    There is an awesome add-on for the Virtual Jeff... a volume pedal/boost in a whammy! If you don't want to watch the entire interview, and just see the new product, jump to 35:30
  4. Brian Johnston

    In Conversation with Driftwood Amps

    Have you ever tried disconnecting an amp/cab sim from your Katana, and then going from there into your Carvin (or through its FX return)? Maybe you don't have to disconnect the amp part... use it as a preamp from the Katana, but the amp sag, etc., from the Carvin. Could sound like shit... curious.
  5. Brian Johnston

    In Conversation with Driftwood Amps

    I find the cleaner the music, the more it makes a difference. With really heavy stuff, and particularly in a mix, you can get away with modeling, solid-state, etc., which some groups do (Fractal, etc.). I suspect that's more important in concert (less gear to lug around), particularly with all...
  6. Brian Johnston

    Christmas Gifts 2023

    I did a demo on this, but the Guitar Flatter should be added, since it's under $100 and would slip into a stocking nicely. Easy way to create a fretless guitar. The only thing over $100 in the video is the vertical pedal rack, but that vendor does have some for $100 (I wanted it wider, so it...
  7. Brian Johnston

    In Conversation with Driftwood Amps

    The notes bloom or flower... they sound fuller and more organic to my ears. Having said that, I have a few solid state preamps, including the KSR VESTA. The Nightmare is fatter sounding... it has that 'amp' sound more so than the VESTA, but the VESTA is very tight and cuts nicely. I had a...
  8. Brian Johnston

    Christmas Gifts 2023

    I put together a short video of nifty and useful gifts for guitarists. My focus was on things not guitar-pedal-amp related, but 'things' that a guitarist would appreciate that don't cost a lot. I focused on ETSY for this collection, and did include a few non-musical items after each focused...
  9. Brian Johnston

    Wylde Audio NOMAD guitar

    I saw a used Wylde Audio The 24.625” (625.5mm) scale NOMAD for sale, at a very good price, and had to nab it. I’ve been curious about Zakk’s guitars for some time, and I liked the NOMAD’s body shape. And so, here goes. Made in South Korea, with the RedRum color combination, the body is made of...
  10. Brian Johnston

    MATRIBOX - multi-effects processor (demo/review)

    Sorry, not sure of the connection.
  11. Brian Johnston

    KSR VESTA Preamp

    One-hundred percent made in the USA, KSR’s VESTA preamp brings forward incredible amp tones that only require a cab or IR to sound fantastic. I’ll address the sound more, and later on (also check out the included demo), but let’s look at what the VESTA offers first. VESTA has three-channels...
  12. Brian Johnston

    Guitar Flatter (fretless in minutes)

    So, what good is recycled plastic (actually, clear scratch-resistant polycarbonate)? Well, you can create a light and inexpensive way to transform a bass or 6-string guitar into a fretless instrument. The Guitar Flatter has been around for about a year, and I finally got around to getting one...
  13. Brian Johnston

    Virtual Jeff Pro (virtual whammy/tremolo)

    Do you have a favorite guitar and wished it had a tremolo bridge? Do you have a guitar with such a bridge, but you find you are always tuning it after some whammy escapades? How about an instrument that does not have such a device, including a bass or acoustic guitar, or perhaps another stringed...
  14. Brian Johnston

    In Conversation with Driftwood Amps

  15. Brian Johnston

    BearAss - Fuzz, Compressor & Sustainer

    BearAss works for rhythm, lead, and bass guitars, primarily (e.g., certainly you can use the Compressor for vocals or the Fuzz for instruments). There are three aspects to this pedal, including Fuzz, Compressor, and Sustainer; and with this being a two-channel pedal, there are a few options...
  16. Brian Johnston

    What’s your favourite Amp?

    I'm all over the place, depending on the genre of music. For heavier stuff, I like my Amp 1 Iridium or Driftwood's Purple Nightmare. I also have a Diezel Herbert pedal that I run through a clean amp (often the UA Ruby) for heavy stuff. For cleaner stuff, I like some of the low-watt stuff by...
  17. Brian Johnston

    Alex Lifeson/Epiphone: Thoughts?

    Not a FR fan myself. I have a Music Man Majesty, and that is an excellent floating bridge... no locking nut and stays in tune longer.
  18. Brian Johnston

    DALGONA Switcher/Router/Junction Box

    Dalgona is a mind-blower for gigging musicians. It is not just a true-bypass router, but also a switcher, which seems simple enough on the surface. However, it is amazing how much can switch/re-route with one footswitch, and this is in part to the Auto Loop connections under the hood. 5...
  19. Brian Johnston

    Tsar Face fuzz (Hagerman)

    For those who dislike fuzz or may be looking for an alternative, the TSAR FACE is an option. This is a low-gain germanium PNP transistor-based fuzz with a unique circuit design. Using two Soviet-era transistors, Hagerman Amplification engineered this pedal with an output bias stabilization...
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