These 5 easy upgrades will supercharge your Strat – and they’re all on sale for Amazon Prime Day

Take your Stratocaster to the next level with these 5 essential mods

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PRS Vs. Gibson Trademark Dispute Ends

PRS Guitars yesterday announced that it has withdrawn its objection to Gibson’s registration of the “Theodore” trademark. In a press release, PRS stated it continues to hold dear and protect its long-standing agreement with Ted McCarty and the McCarty family regarding the exclusive rights to the “McCarty” trademark and to McCarty’s name and persona, first developed directly with Ted himself more than 25 years ago. After a series of private negotiations, Gibson has also agreed to drop its opposition to PRS’s “594” and “Silver Sky Nebula” trademarks and trademark applications.Gibson responded to the PRS announcement, countering that it still holds the position that “we are within our rights to reference and promote Mr. McCarty’s extraordinary legacy as a Gibson employee. Gibson is proud of its well-known history with Mr. Ted McCarty. Although Mr. McCarty was a resident of a state which does not recognize post-mortem rights of publicity, Gibson chose to use the name Theodore, a mark which is different from the PRS McCarty mark.”PRS says it concluded that in this instance its resources were better spent on crafting high quality musical instruments rather than fighting with Gibson at a regulatory agency. In PRS’s release, the company’s COO Jack Higginbotham stated, “We believe the story of Ted and PRS is well understood in the guitar community. Ted personally chose to align with PRS and had a deep respect and appreciation for Paul [Reed Smith] and our mission to build quality guitars. We honor the man and the relationship we had with him and the relationship we have with his family to this day. While this agreement may not preclude Gibson from releasing future products under the ‘Theodore’ trademark, PRS will focus on honoring Ted McCarty with innovations and instruments that reflect positively on his legacy.”Gibson adds that, “During Mr. McCarty’s tenure as President, Gibson developed some of the most iconic guitar models to date, including the Gibson Les Paul, the ES-335, the Flying V and Explorer, the SG, Firebird, the Gibson Hummingbird and Dove, and many more. These are immeasurable and are woven into the fabric of Gibson’s history. We will continue to celebrate our heritage and iconic past, paying tribute to Mr. McCarty, celebrating his contributions and the Gibson Golden Era by producing designs created during that time, some of which have never been released.“Ted McCarty was the President of Gibson from 1950 through 1966,” Gibson’s also notes. “He was a legend and was at Gibson for almost two decades. At the height of his creative output at Gibson, around 1957, Ted officially designed the Theodore guitar and Gibson owns this trademark. Gibson believed it would be received in a positive way as we have been honoring the legacy of our President during that time.”Via PRS, Sue Davis, the sole surviving child of Ted McCarty and family member responsible for the interests of the family on this matter, offers her view on Gibson’s adoption of the ‘Theodore’ mark: “Our decision not to fight an expensive battle does not mean that the McCarty family appreciates Gibson’s conduct. No one from Gibson ever contacted me or any of my family to ask permission to use my father’s given name in promoting new Gibson products. Had Gibson sought our permission, we would have declined for several reasons. After the Theodore trademark was registered, the McCarty family joined PRS in seeking to cancel the trademark and asking Gibson to stop using the trademark ‘Theodore’ in association with my father. I would strongly prefer that Gibson respect the family’s wishes and stop using my father’s name as a trademark in promoting products— products that to my knowledge he never approved of for production. Meanwhile, we look forward to continuing the relationship with PRS and its well-regarded McCarty branded products.”PRS says it has been working for on a documentary video to commemorate the relationship it has enjoyed with Ted and his family and plans to release that video this fall as a kick-off to PRS’s upcoming 40th Anniversary.

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Watch: BEHEMOTH Performs With Touring Drummer JON RICE In Malmö, Sweden

Fan-filmed video of BEHEMOTH’s July 15 performance at Slagthuset in Malmö, Sweden can be seen below (courtesy of Niclas Johansson).
As previously reported, BEHEMOTH has tapped UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS drummer Jon Rice for the Polish extreme metallers summer 2024 European tour. Rice is temporar…

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Danelectro Nichols 1966 Review

The Danelectro Nichols 1966, in spite of its simplicity, feels and sounds like a stompbox people will use in about a million different ways. Its creator, Steve Ridinger, who built the first version as an industrious Angeleno teen in 1966, modestly calls the China-made Nichols 1966 a cross between a fuzz and a distortion. And, at many settings, it is most certainly that. But it can also be fuzzier than you expect. And calling it a distortion sells short its fine overdrive and boost qualities, as well as its responsiveness to guitar volume and tone variations, and picking dynamics. It interacts with amps spanning the Fender- and English-sound templates as though it has a very individual relationship with each. It rarely sounds generic. And its tone range makes it a potential problem-solver in backline situations or studio sessions where you’re looking for something predictable or altogether weird—which is reassuring if, like me, looking at 10 different gain devices gives you a nervous sense of decision fatigue. The Nichols 1966 may not always be precisely the gain unit you’re looking for, but can also produce scads of tones you may not have known you needed.Exponential Possibilities, Many PersonalitiesWhen the knob count on a pedal goes up, that doesn’t always make the device more effective or complex-sounding. But when controls work as interactively as they do on the Nichols 1966, four knobs and a mid-cut switch can make for a very broad palette, indeed. You don’t often see fuzz and drive controls together on a pedal. Usually, the two terms are interchangeable. Here though, the fuzz and drive knobs have a very different effect on the Nichols 1966 output. They also react very differently to single-coils, humbuckers, and American- and British-style amps.At its maximum, the drive control’s distortion can sound and feel comparatively midrange-y, not too saturated, and sometimes brittle—requiring careful attention from the tone control. In general, advanced drive settings (with low fuzz) favor slightly attenuated and bassier tone-control positions and the stock EQ toggle setting. At their best, these combinations evoke small vintage amps cranked to their nastiest or larger amps with more sag. Advanced drive control settings with toppier tone settings and/or a mid-cut EQ setting are much less flattering, particularly with single-coils and/or high-mid-focused, British-voiced amps. Introduce humbuckers though—especially neck PAFs with less aggressive tone profiles—and you can coax muscular, hazy gain with tough tenor-saxophone tonalities, which are fatty and delectable. The drive control can also help shape great clean-boost sounds and treble booster-stye distortion. There are discoveries aplenty you can make with the right guitar-and-amp recipe.The fuzz control is the hotter of the two, in terms of gain. At maximum levels, it’s scorching and buzzy, and, if you like really burning fuzz, it’s actually quite forgiving of trebly settings and mid-gain scoops, even with single-coils. A great technique for creating nasty, mid-’60s fuzz colors is to set the fuzz tone to maximum, scoop the mids, add a fair bit of treble, and add drive to taste.“It’s plenty loud, and with the volume, fuzz, and drive all the way up, it’s positively brutish.”Danelectro may allude to the Nichols 1966 being something less than a full-on fuzz, but I just spent the weekend listening to Davie Allan and the Arrows Cycle-Delic Sounds, and if this isn’t fuzz—as in getting-jumped-by-a-gang-of-leather-clad-mace-wielding-wasps kind of fuzz—then I’m Tony Bennett. There may be fuzzes that are silkier, smoother, or sound more like classic fuzz X or guitar-hero Z. But if you regard fuzz as an attitude more than a sonic commandment etched in granite, you’ll be tickled by how unique the Nichols 1966 sounds in that capacity. It’s plenty loud, and with the volume fuzz and drive all the way up, it’s positively brutish.But it’s the playful use of the interrelationship between fuzz, drive, and tone together that showcase the Nichols 1966’s real strengths. Used actively, intentionally, and with an attentive ear, you can fashion high-gain distortion and fuzz sounds as well as varied, unique overdrive colors that you can fit to single-coils or humbuckers and that summon unique textures from each. The pedal responds effectively to guitar tone and volume attenuation without sacrificing much in the way of dynamic sensitivity. And, at less trebly and cutting settings, it still works as a vehicle for funky David Hidalgo/Tchad Blake Latin Playboys fuzz or Stacy Sutherland’s 13th Floor Elevators drive sounds that are distinctive in a mix in spite of their low-midrange emphasis.Fuzzy FinishThough generally sturdy, the Nichols 1966 isn’t a flawlessly executed pedal. The three circuit boards—one for the I/O jacks and DC 9-volt jack, another for the footswitch and LED, and a third for the drive and tone circuitry—are affixed to the enclosure independently of each other, which conceivably makes the pedal less susceptible to cataclysmic failure and more conducive to repair. On the other hand, some of the finishing work around some solders looks less than pretty and irregular. I’m not sure this affects pedal longevity. I’ve seen decades-old fuzzes with solders light-years uglier than these that work perfectly. At $199, you do like to see slightly tidier finishing work. Then again, I suspect most of what looks sloppy here is only superficial. The pots and switches all feel sturdy and smooth.The VerdictIf you’re non-dogmatic about how much your fuzz, overdrive, or distortion sound like a certain template—and if you have the time and presence of mind to tinker with the Nichols 1966’s interactive controls to learn how they work with each other and different guitar and amp pairings—you’ll find the Nichols 1966 a pedal of power, great utility, copious surprises, nuance, and happy weirdness.Danelectro Nichols 1966 “Fuzzy Drive” Pedal Demo | First LookDanelectro Nichols 1966 Fuzz Pedal

Nichols 1966 Fuzz Pedal

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Visioning

An ongoing collaboration between New Jersey thrash legend Dan Lorenzo (HADES) and former TYPE O NEGATIVE drummer Johnny Kelly, PATRIARCHS IN BLACK have been one of the most reliable sources of flagrant SABBATH-ian riff worship over the last few years. Their first two albums were loose-limbed riots,…

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Lastelle release new music video for ‘Changes With The Seasons’

LASTELLE have released a new music video! The new music video, for the track Changes With The Seasons, is the brand new single from the Oxford-based post-hardcore band and follows on from…

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DEEP PURPLE’s SIMON MCBRIDE Names ‘Most Difficult’ RITCHIE BLACKMORE Lick To Play

In a new interview with Greg Prato of Ultimate Guitar, DEEP PURPLE guitarist Simon McBride was asked to name the most difficult part to play that was originally written and recorded by founding PURPLE guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. He responded: “Most of it is actually not too bad. There’s one little…

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New JANE’S ADDICTION Song ‘Imminent Redemption’ To Be Released Next Week

A studio recording of JANE’S ADDICTION’s new song “Imminent Redemption” will be officially released on Wednesday, July 24. The track was first performed live when JANE’S ADDICTION’s classic lineup played its first show in 14 years on May 23 at London, United Kingdom’s Bush Hall.
At the London gig, g…

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HIGHLY SUSPECT Announces September/October 2024 North American Tour

In May, HIGHLY SUSPECT, the trailblazing rock outfit comprised of Johnny Stevens (vocals, guitar), Ryan Meyer (drums, vocals), Rich Meyer (bass, vocals), Matt Kofos (guitar) and Mark Schwartz (keyboards/guitars), announced their latest opus, “As Above, So Below”, due out July 19 via Roadrunner/300/E…

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Chat Pile announce new album ‘Cool World’

CHAT PILE have announced a new album! Titled Cool World, the upcoming album from the Oklahoma City-based noise/sludge metal band is the follow-up to 2022’s God’s Country, and is scheduled to be released…

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