• 65 Amps Soho Summary – Super-versatile amp with LOTS of balls. Goes from AC30-like tones to cranked vintage Plexi. While definitely British-style in tone, it has a tone all its own.Pros – One of the very few amps Ive ever played that REALLY responds to guitar volume knob changes. The Soho, while very versatile is also VERY

  • Alexander Pedals?product arc has undergone an interesting evolution since its 2015 launch. Initial offerings were midsized single-effectors like the Princess Clang Royal Overdrive and F.13 flanger. Then 2016 saw larger, more ambitious boxes like the Super Radical Delay and Oblivion Vintage Delay, which featured more knobs, modes, and LEDs, and the ability to tweak extra parameters via MIDI. The company now aims for a middle ground. Double-wide enclosures bedecked with bells and whistles are gone. But while the entirety of Alexanders 12-pedal line (now . . .

  • Aracom Amplifiers Vintage Rox 22 Watt Amplifier (a.k.a. VRX22) Summary – This brand-new 22 watter is the newest in the Aracom low-wattage amp series now called the Vintage Rox or VRX series, which includes the original RoxBox 18 (now called the VRX18). Loaded with a pair of 6V6 power tubes, this amp oozes vintage American clean

  • Ive always maintained that the single most important swap that makes a clear and notable difference in tone is changing the speaker in your amplifier or cabinet.I know the very idea of changing a speaker seems so elaborate because most guitarists are conditioned (or swayed) to constantly change simpler components such as pickups and cables, strings, hardware and bridges, amps and even effect pedals in order to upgrade their tone. Butperhaps naivelyguitarists often woefully neglect the only audible voice of their tone – the guitar speaker.Dont get me wrong, finding the right speaker can be an elusive and somewhat expensive journey, but I can tell you Ive recently come across two 12-inch guitar speakers from Celestion, the Cream and the Neo Creamback, which have dynamically supercharged my tone for the better. Both speakers are sonically different, with the Cream having more of a vintage-focused character and the Neo Creamback having a punchier and highly detailed voice thats tailor made for rock and metal. Depending upon your application, both are outstanding replacements speakers if you want to take charge of your tone.FEATURES The newer of the two is the Neo Creamback, which is available in eight- or 16-ohm impedance, has a 65-watt power rating and covers the 75-to-5,000 Hz frequency range. Its most noticeable feature is its employment of a neodymium magnet, making it super lightweight at 4.2 pounds, but preserving all the tonal characteristics of the Celestion G12M Creamback, which its based upon and which is almost four pounds heavier because of its ceramic magnet.The Cream is a beautiful 12inch speaker with a creamy retro paint job, but its tonal magic comes from its pure Alnico magnet. The speaker is available in eight- or 16-ohm impedance, has a whopping 90-watt power rating for incredible headroom and also covers the 75-to-5,000 Hz frequency range like the Neo Creamback. However, for all its good tone, it is a heavier speaker clocking in at 9.3 pounds.PERFORMANCE I spent a lot of time swapping both speakers in my open-back, custom Baltic birch ply cabinet, which has incredible musicality and a huge sound that belies its 1×12 stature. I began with the Neo Creamback, only because the speaker I had been using up until this point was a Celestion G12M Creamback (which I love), so this made the most sense in hearing whether the Neo sounds similar at half the weight and with a different magnet. Using a Les Paul and a Tele, and Marshall and Vox heads, the Neo came very close to replicating the growl and focused vocal-like midrange of the ceramic Creamback. I would venture to say the sound is more transparent, with a high-definition top end that is sweetly compressed. It handles low end with remarkable clarity and fullness, especially if you use a lot of amp distortion or high-gain pedals.Theres little doubt the Cream is the more vintage-styled speaker but with so much more application and responsiveness. I found that the Cream loves pedal-based rigs, and because of its expansive headroom and higher wattage, it adds spacious dimension with delays and reverbs. With some overdrive, it responds with warm bell-like highs, articulately sweet midrange and a firmer bottom end that is structured rather than being mushy, which an Alnico magnet is sometimes guilty of. The Cream is by far Celestions most organic and expressive Alnico speaker that sounds like its been broken in for decades.STREET PRICES – Neo Creamback, $169.99; Cream, $299 MANUFACTURER – Celestion,

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