The Secret is Out…

Last winter I tried an odd experiment: a website where players were encouraged to post their best tone secrets — the kinds of tricks and techniques that are almost too good to share. But in order to get, you had to give: The site was password-protected, and the password was only sent to […]

Behold the Synyster Kitty!

Kitty power!!!

Okay, as promised: One more quick video featuring the Hello Kitty Strat, this time with one of those new Duncan Synyster Gates Invader pickups. I’m told the ceramic-magnet Invader is literally the hottest possible non-active pickup. I’m inclined to believe it.

Take this one with a grain […]

The World Just Got a Lot Quieter

Sad news: Jim Marshall of Marshall Amplification has passed away at age 88. More info here.

He was a nice guy. I once ran into him, of all places, in a elevator in Tokyo.

Amped-Up Acoustic Guitars

What could possibly go wrong?

There are two ways to approach amplifying an acoustic guitar: trying to duplicate the natural sound, only louder, and NOT trying to sound naturalistic at all. This post is about the second approach.

I love playing acoustic through an electric guitar amp (as opposed to […]

ReAmps: Cooler and CHEAPER Than Ever!

The latest version of the ReAmp, the Radial PRO RMP Studio Re-Amper, lists for a recession-friendly US$115, which means you can probably snag one for under a C-note.

Teisco amp not included. Pity.

The device, created by engineer John Cuniberti (best known as Joe Satriani’s studio wiz), is […]

We Have a Mutant Winner!

Not a turkey: Dave Wetherby's eye-catching Colorcaster

The contestants were formidable. The competition was fierce. But by the time yesterday’s deadline arrived, one mutant stood triumphant — so triumphant that we are spared the interminable silliness responsibility of a run-off round.

And the winner is Dave Wetherby’s kaleidoscopic Colorcaster. Congrats […]

Mutant Beauty Pageant:
Choose the “Winner!”

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

At the moment, I’m particularly thankful that, despite being a jaded old musician, I can still encounter instruments that, um, take my breath away. And if you can view all the Mutant Beauty Pageant contestants without spewing your beverage all over your computer, you’re made of […]

Mutant Beauty Pageant Update!

The end is nigh! But maybe not as nigh as originally planned…

Thanksgiving Day (that’s Nov. 24th to you non-U.S. residents) was the original deadline, but I’m going to extend it through the holiday weekend, till midnight, PST, on the 27th) for one simple reason: We want to HEAR some of these […]

Mutant Beauty Pageant: The Photo Gallery

Well, um, the entires in our Mutant Beauty Contest are certainly . . . something. Click the MORE button to open the slideshow. New beauties added daily!

Post your images to comments via a photo-sharing site, or email them to me. I’ll add each new mutant to the slideshow so […]

Mutant Beauty Pageant: Enter and “Win!”

It’s time for another contest!

I hereby announce the first Tonefiend Mutant Beauty Pageant.

I know many deadbeats with too much time on their hands musicians, and most of them have a thing for weird gear. I’m talking real freak-show stuff, the items that make anyone who walks into your music room […]