Guitar World has come through with another great guitar gear walk through featuring Zach Blair of Rise Against. Zach joined Rise Against for the recording and touring support of the “Appeal to Reason” album. It’s loaded with amazing song writing and catchy guitar riffs, and their live performances are a must-see. This also marks the first time I’ve seen a punk guitarist using a Rivera Knucklehead amp in their live setup and it sounds pretty amazing. No big surprises in the guitar catalog, the standard Les Paul with Seymour Duncan pickups. Overall a great video specifically focusing on the bands guitar gear.
I’ve been recieving a lot of questions from the Online Guitar Tuner page asking about my opinion on the best guitar tuners on the market today. Rather than make up reviews for the thousands I haven’t used, I opted to show my favorites based on the price range.
Top of the Line Guitar Tuner – Peterson Strobe Tuners
Peterson Strobe Tuners are the most accurate and reliable tuners I’ve ever used. For the record, I’ve never been able to afford one so the only time I’ve seen them in action is at established guitar shops and on the racks of major touring bands. It’s hard to beat a strobe tuner for exact tuning, which is a very important part to performing the perfect guitar setup. Be prepared to fork over big bucks for a Peterson Tuner, the pro editions can easily run $500 – $1200 US. Luckily for the the less fortunate, Peterson makes pedal and handheld units that are much more affordable.
Rackmount Guitar Tuner – Korg DTR-1000 Digital Tuner
Every good guitar rack needs a trustworthy tuner that can be seen from a distance and be a precise as possible. My favorite has been the Korg DTR-1000 for some time now. Korg has newer models available now with new features like metronomes, strobes and alternate tuning modes but I’ve always been a low-maintanence guitarist. The DTR-1000 locks on to a note and doesn’t jump around like a lot of tuners I’ve used and I can see the note I’m at from 20 feet away on a dimly lit stage. For a little under $200 US, you can pick one of these up brand new and you’ll be glad you did.
Pedal Guitar Tuner – Boss TU-2
When it comes to affordablility, quality and durablity it’s hard to beat Boss pedals. So in the great tradition of indestructable guitar pedals, Boss gave us the TU-2 a few years back. This pedal is built like a tank with the internal workings of a laser guided missile. It has incredibly accurate tuning, super-bright LED’s, multiple tuning modes and it works as a great guitar signal mute when the footswitch is pushed. I’ve seen plenty of guitarists use these in combonation with a rack tuner to get quick tuning updates done in the middle of the stage rather than walking to their backline. Most stores sell for around $90 US and they’re worth every penny. Honorable mention goes to the Planet Waves PW-CT-04 Chromatic Pedal Stage Tuner. It’s new to the market, but a direct competitor that’s worthy of challenging Boss.
It’s always good to have a cheap chromatic tuner around for jam sessions or lonely songwriting in the bedroom. There’s a lot of competition in the $25 or less market for guitar tuners. Korg’s have always treated me well and have the basics that I need. Accurate, long battery life and quick note detection make the Korg GA-30 my pick. I’ve had one for years and it’s never failed me, and it’s cheap enough that I don’t have to hunt down my friends that borrow and forget to return them to me.
I’ve noticed a trend growing among bands I’ve seen in person and online lately that has me fairly excited. Mixed in amongst the Mesa Rectifiers and Marshall DSL’s and TSL’s were some boldly colored and amazing sounding amplifiers. Orange amps have finally started reaching the younger crowd and aren’t being considered an earlier generation’s boutique amp (all thought the price tag still reflects that they are). It’s usually hard to tell from off stage, but I have confirmed sightings of the Orange Rockerverb and the Orange Thunderverb amps with matching 4×12 cabinets. Both are geared toward a player looking for much more gain saturation than Orange amps of past provided, and boy do they deliver by the ton. For you’re listening pleasure, or to fire up your GAS, Guitar World has provided us with yet another useful video showing the wide tonal range of the Orange Thunderverb 50 head:
If you’re like me and into modern hard rock, you should be familiar with Alkaline Trio (If you’re not, get your ass to their Myspace page and never admit that you didn’t recognize them). All kidding aside, guitarist Matt Skiba is a very influential songwriter and one hell of a guitar player for Alkaline Trio. His tone is quite unique so I was very happy to see this video posted on Guitar World’s YouTube channel allowing him to show off his guitar gear. You’ll see his live guitar setup which is as sweet as anyone could ask for. Enjoy.
Update – It looks like Matt Skiba is a big fan of the new Fender Jaguar HH in Surf Green and the Fender SuperSonic line of amplifiers: