Qwik Summer Reviews

Summer’s seen some some serious shopping. Blog blabbing boring begets quick concise comments:

  1. Xotic SP Compressor: Awesome on my G&L, less effective with my Ibanez GB-10 in spite of all the dip switch settings. The three-way switch and blend knob on the top can go from very subtle compression, to nice squash, and even overdrive an amp nicely. Sounded amazing with a little Fender SD-15 practice amp. Still not ready to get rid of my limited edition sparkle-red Barber Tonepress, though.
  2. AMT WH-1 “Japanese Girl”:  Smaller and lighter than a Boss Pedal, this pedal makes my pedal case a lot easier to carry, saving my shoulder for the gig but better suited to my 8-year old son’s foot than mine. It has a very chewy sound more like an envelop filter compared the hollow funkiness of the Budwah, but I love filters, so I’m totally satisfied with the sound (but not selling my black-label Budwah.) Some adjustment to my heel-toe technique is required, adjustable pedal tension with a hex wrench helped. Being op-amp based, there are no issues in front of a fuzz.  The switch and LED make using it easier to use live, too.
  3. Fusion F1 Gigbag + F2 Attachement Bag: This gig bag provides plenty of protection for the guitar, lots of pockets for stuff and support for my back and shoulders. However the killer selling point are the attachment bags that I can use to stow a small pedal board (about five devices), leaving both hands free. The attachment bags is also a great stand-alone laptop backpack, and I now use it everyday on my commute.
  4. Korg Nanopad 2: Cheap and compact, but not user friendly. The pads are touch sensitive, but just barely. They only seem to be capable of three levels, and sometimes don’t trigger at all. The advanced features like scale/key for the XY-pad are not intuitive, but I’m having a lot of fun after read the brief manual several times. I was getting confused by the buttons for Scale/Key/Octave/Range, etc. which only affect XY pad. The editing software can help manage velocity, tempo, scales and opens up some new creative possibilities like toggling pads to hold notes and triggering multiple events, like chords.
  5. Planet Waves PW-GR-01 Guitar Rest: As soon as I saw one of these, I knew I had to have it. Only $10 and made in the USA, this is one of those accessories that should have been made decades ago. It’s not perfect, but does really make reaching for my guitar and picks a lot easier, and again when I put them down.