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Understanding Speakers for Guitar Software

If you are not familiar with the concept of modeling, here’s the quick lowdown. Modeling companies use sophisticated computerized tools to analyze the sound and behavior of the parts of the guitarists signal chain including amplifiers, effects, microphones and speaker cabinets. They then use the data to create software ‘models’ that allow musicians to emulate the sounds on various devices.… Read More »Understanding Speakers for Guitar Software

Pedal Power

Switching power supplies? Regulated outputs? Isolated grounds? Arrgh! All I want to do is to power my pedals without sounding like a can of bees or bursting into flames. What do all these terms mean? Do they make any difference for effects pedals? Let’s find out.  The job of the power supply is to convert the voltage from your wall… Read More »Pedal Power

Measuring Guitar Cables

There are plenty of exaggerated, and even outright fake claims about audio cables. I wanted to take a mixture of common factors that might impact a guitar cable, some based on sound engineering principles, and others that might be a bit more tenuous, to see which are measurable with commonly available lab equipment. The first stage was to list various… Read More »Measuring Guitar Cables

Speak to Me

Here’s a quick challenge: You want to make the most dramatic change possible in both the look and sound of a guitar rig, but can only change one item. What do you choose?   Hands up all those who said speaker cabinet? It may not have been the first thing that came to mind, but think about how much of… Read More »Speak to Me

Building Pedals for Fun and Profit

When I was a kid learning about engineering and electronics, the magazines that we read in the pre-internet days were full of articles, projects, and kits promising hours of enjoyment and even the proposition of making money from our favorite pastime. Electronics kit building kind of fell out of favor during the computer age as the home based technology enthusiasts… Read More »Building Pedals for Fun and Profit

The Science of Volume

    Volume is an odd concept. You would think it to be straightforward enough that a volume control makes things louder or quieter, and in the case of guitar amplifiers, one rated at a higher power should be louder. Of course, it’s a fair bit more complicated than that. Let’s first remind ourselves of a basic definition of sound.Sound starts with… Read More »The Science of Volume

    The Most Expensive Guitar Ever Sold

      It is certainly no secret that being a musician can be very expensive. From pedals to that shiny new guitar, everything begins to add up. It is, of course, worth it but it is a lot of money! However, there are definitely ways to make being a musician even more expensive. High quality guitars often come with high price tags,… Read More »The Most Expensive Guitar Ever Sold

      Wild and Weird Guitar Designs

        NAMM is a great show where you’ll get to see many different and interesting things in the music industry. If you love guitars in particular, then you’ll definitely want to check out a NAMM show, because the amount of guitars, pedals and other guitar-related items that you won’t see anywhere else will be sure to bring you a lot of… Read More »Wild and Weird Guitar Designs

        Unique Guitars: The Harp Guitar

          Have you ever wondered what a guitar with harp strings looks like? It is safe to say that most people probably haven’t. However, if you’re thinking about it now, wonder no more; it actually exists! The harp guitar is an instrument of many strings. It sounds very much like a typical guitar, but the excess of strings allow harp-style plucking.… Read More »Unique Guitars: The Harp Guitar

          Cigar Box Guitars

            Guitars of today, whether they are acoustic or electric, come in a multitude of different shapes and sizes that fit just about every need out there. However, needs (or wants) are sometimes extremely unique, and that is when creative people fill the gap in all kinds of interesting ways. This results in some very interesting guitars, like cigar box guitars.… Read More »Cigar Box Guitars