Marshall Custom JTM Offset – review

Marshall Custom JTM Offset

Marshall Custom JTM Offset head (click for larger image)

I’m a big fan of Fender amps. I own a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III, which has been my amp of choice for several years. So why did I buy a 1-Watt Marshall Custom JTM Offset? Quite simply, it looks beautiful, sounds glorious and can be cranked at home without blowing the windows out. What’s not to love?
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Fender releases ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb

Fender '68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb

Fender ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb (click for larger image)

Hot on the heels of the popular ’68 Custom Twin Reverb, ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and ’68 Custom Princeton Reverb amps, Fender has just announced a new addition to the Vintage Modified Series: a 35-watt, 2×10 Silverface combo –  the ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb.
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Little Hurricane: a sonic tour de force

Little Hurricane: Anthony “Tone” Catalano and Celeste “CC” Spina

Little Hurricane: Anthony “Tone” Catalano and Celeste “CC” Spina (click for larger image)

Little Hurricane is a “dirty blues” duo from San Diego, California. Formed in 2010, the band consists of Anthony “Tone” Catalano, on lead vocals and guitar, and Celeste “C.C.” Spina, on drums and backing vocals. Their songwriting is faultless, their hooks are catchy and their sound is exquisite.
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Dan Auerbach’s guitars and gear

Guitar tech Dan Johnson gives a fascinating insight into the guitars and rig used by Black Keys’ frontman Dan Auerbach – courtesy of Premier Guitar.

Bias setting for 6L6GC power tubes in a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Ruby 6L6GCMSTR Power Tubes

Ruby 6L6GCMSTR Power Tubes

I recently fitted the power stage of my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with a pair of Ruby 6L6GCMSTR tubes. I gave a full review of the Ruby tubes in an earlier blog post. What I want to discuss here is the bias setting for the power stage in a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.
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How to diagnose and fix tube rattle on a guitar amplifier

Ruby 6L6 valves in my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Ruby 6L6 valves in my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

My Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III recently developed a glassy rattle. It was only evident at certain frequencies – prevalent when I strummed low chords or struck low notes. At first the rattle was faint and only occurred occasionally. But over a number of weeks the rattle grew in prominence and occurred almost every time I played a low chord or note.
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Cortez The Killer by Neil Young with Crazy Horse – simplicity and tone are everything

In recent weeks, I have become obsessed with Cortez The Killer from the 1975 album Zuma by Neil Young with Crazy Horse. So much so, that I’ve started pestering my son to jam it with me and have ordered multiple copies of the album from Amazon, so I can share the masterpiece with friends who I think will appreciate it. Read more…

3 Monkeys Amplifiers

3 monkeys amplifier

3 Monkeys amplifier

One night, a few weeks ago, I was lounging on the sofa with a whisky in hand watching Jools Holland’s “Later” on TV when I spotted an amp I didn’t recognise. Ooooh! I sat up and took note. It was being used by Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and he was getting great tone from it. Read more…

I was happily married until I met a Matchless DC-30

Matchless DC-30 amplifier and SVL Supernatural guitar

Matchless DC-30 amplifier and SVL Supernatural guitar

I recently bought a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III and was perfectly happy with my fabulous new amplifier. Me, my amp and Daphne Blue Fender Stratocaster were enjoying a love triangle. We made wonderful music together.

Then one night at rehearsal in rocked Neil lugging something very heavy – a Matchless DC-30 amplifier. When I saw the Matchless I was speechless. Neil is a drummer that I play with occasionally. An incredibly good drummer. He says he doesn’t play guitar, but he owns some wonderful guitars and amps. I suspect he’s a bit of a collector. The DC-30  is generally regarded as one of the best amplifiers ever made and is as rare as rocking horse shit. As far as I know, only one dealer in the UK stocks Matchless, World Guitars in Gloucestershire. Read more…