PRODUCT REVIEW: Chord CG2 Mini Guitar Amplifier

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I’ve never had one of these before. So now the Chord CG2 Mini Guitar Amplifier is my favoritist new toy. It’s only 2 watts but I did not know what 2 watts is supposed to sound like. Fact is that it’s surprisingly loud and clear. It isn’t going to blow the roof off the building but it was loud enough for pick n pay. Yeah they loved me. OK fine- one person loved me….ok it was my friend and he said my playing was ‘ok’. But I knew it was a risk from the start. I mean – Slayer? In the frozen foods section? The freezers made my fingers all friggin cold man. I played like a spaz. But it wasn’t the amps fault, the overdrive was firm ,competent and crispy. I WISH I could blame the amp but it was my fault. Still when the floor manager escorted me out of there I held my head high, I did my best and that’s all the matters at the end of the day.

Next I tested it at the pharmacy. See I had something wrong with my stomach for the last few days because I ate 4 day old potjie kos at my friends house – so I went to one of those big pharmacy’s in the mall. I literally pretended to look for 30 secs and then switched the amp on and started raking a little Stevie Ray, the clean tones were bright enough to cut through the shelfs and within moments I had someone there to assist me.

This thing is awesome you can take it anywhere (I’m going to the dentist next week it’s gonna rule) and the sound is really not that bad. It’s perfect for travel or grocery shopping and its got a head phone jack juuuuust in-case you wanna practice some of those more private, intimate licks if you know what I mean (I don’t know what I mean). Love this thing. It really works. Unlike the diarrhea medicine. I’m still barking chocolate monsters, I been on this toilet for 3 days now but at least I had this little amp to keep me company and the acoustics in my bathroom are great! Buy this thing and you’ll see what I mean.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Joyo JF-01 Vintage Overdrive

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This is a very simple and obvious clone of a Tube Screamer it’s even got the same  JRC4588 chip. This pedal has three knobs: tone, volume, and drive. The pedal also has the classic latch switch that turns it on and off upon depression. It’s a very simple and straightforward pedal that can be powered by battery or standard DC plug and has a red LED letting you know when it is engaged or not as well as your standard In and Out for 1/4 cables.  If you need something to fill in your basic and classic tubescreamer needs, this is just as good, if not better taking into consideration the price, than any of the competitors out there.

PRODUCT REVIEW : JOYO JF-02 Ultimate Drive

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The JOYO JF-02 Ultimate Drive Overdrive Guitar Effect is another bullseye from Joyo. Essentially it’s a copy of a Fulltone OCD but don’t be deceived by the brand name- Joyo have pulled out of all the stops on this bugger. The sound of the pedal is not just competent, it is formidable. You looking for that perfect classic rock, everything from AC/DC to Zepplin (get it? Like A to Z? fine I’m lame whatever moving on…)

In addition to the standard Gain, Level, and Tone controls, the High and Low switch which can take the pedal from a creamy smooth cleans to frantic, shrieking distortion. Also it’s not noisy, and another plus is that it is a “true bypass”, which means that you don’t have to stress that this pedal is going to spaz out on you.

Contrary to the artwork on the housing, you aren’t going to be using this amp to convert any souls to the Dark Lord’s service, but if you are looking for a straight shooting hard rock crunch this is THE pedal for you. It’ll give you crisp tight solo’s, rich bombastic chords and tasty tasty tone. You are getting the quality and benefits of a prominent high end pedal for a fraction of the cost. Joyo is capturing more and more ground from the big guys and the more of their gear I get my hands on the more I’m impressed with them. A classic pedal for some classic rock n’ roll that costs next to nothing.

4 and a half banana stickers out of 5 – whatever I dunno, I just know it’s a sick pedal that you have to get your hands on. Check it out below.

PRODUCT REVIEW : Blackstar HT Stage 60W 2×12 Tube Combo

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Blackstar Amps rule. Founded by in 2004 by some ex Marshall R&D guys, the brand has quickly dominated the industry and when we look at the Blackstar HT Stage 60 60W 2×12 Tube Combo it’s easy to see why. It’s great for home or the stage. However you’re going to need to be able to crank it up a little to give the tubes room to do their magic, so I hope your neighbours are cool. This amp means business. It’s jacked up with 2 x 12′ celestion speakers and 60 watts of mighty tube power.

The 3 footswitchable channels are great, 2 over drive channels and one clean, plus a 4 fourth to activate the reverb. The Enhanced tone controls and Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) Presence ,Resonance , Digital reverb with (dark/bright switch) make this amp a formidable and versatile animal. From diabolical menacing overdrive, to the most sparkling brights and warmest warms you could ask for. It’s awesome how many sounds you can pull out of this amp. All with very little coaxing, this amp has a firecracker up it’s bum.

I know the phrase “a tornado of laser panthers” is thrown around a lot these days, but make no mistake this amp is without a doubt a tornado of laser panthers. No jokes folks, I’m biased because I bought it but it really really is sensational. All pro’s – no cons. Check out the video below to see it in action.

PRODUCT REVIEW : AMPEG BA210V2 450 Watt Bass Combo

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This combo amp is a staunch favorite among a wide number of bass players. That’s because it’s loud enough to go toe to toe with a full band but also compact enough to be dragged around in a medium sized hatchback – All without faltering from that signature Ampeg sound. Like the label says it’s driven by a 450 watt Ampeg dual speaker configuration and features the 3 band Ampeg Ultra Hi/Lo tone shaping EQ and an HF mute. So it’s going to be very versatile when you’re busy carving out your own sound. For those times when you want more bite with your bark you can crank the Bass Scrambler overdrive to give your tone more fire power.

The other super duper impressive thing about this amp is it’s construction. Aside from it’s rugged quality and I mean RUGGED (it has the build of a bomb shelter), it’s wedge shaped so it makes gigging a dream.

So it’s got power and versatility plus it could probably withstand a kick from a donkey who knows kung-fu, how much is it going to cost? Not as much as you think, you’ll be getting the power of a stack with the portability of a combo – but also consider this… When all life on Planet Earth is extinct and not even a tree still stands, only this amp will remain. It’s a complete badass and the recent popularity and demand for it mean bass players have taken notice. Check it out below.

PRODUCT REVIEW : THE MAXWELL CUTAWAY DREADNOUGHT

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The Maxwell Cutaway Dreadnought Guitar is our entry level guitar. Ideal if you have a kid who wants to learn to play guitar but you aren’t quite sure whether it’s just another phase or not – but also good enough for your middle of the road casual player. Maxwell guitars are made in China specifically for the South African market.
It comes in black or natural, has covered machine heads, black pick guard, truss rod and 4 band EQ. The body has Maxwell’s sleeker take on the classic Martin Dreadnought shape with a single cutaway to help you fret in hard to reach places. Personally I think this guitar is great as more of a mobile axe. The kind of guitar you wouldn’t mind stuffing in the boot of your car and taking off to a music festival. Then for it to be passed around and played by hippies of questionable hygiene all night. Then be up early and ready on Sunday morning to strum out some liedjies in Kerk. The actions good, there’s no fret buzz and it will last.

You won’t be recording any albums with it but the build and sound quality more than fit the requirement of the average garage guitarist. I call my Maxwell my “side ho” because I do things to it and take it to places that I would never do with my main guitar. This is a sweet, easy and surprisingly sturdy guitar that costs next to nothing. It’s a great deal anyway you look at it.

PRODUCT REVIEW : IBANEZ AF55 ARTCORE

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When the Ibanez Artcore series first hit the market in 2002 they set the new standard for hollow body guitars. They gave us a reliable, hard working and great sounding guitar that didn’t rip a chunk out of your wallet. Over a decade later and little has changed. In the interest of full disclosure I wasn’t expecting much, but The Ibanez AF55 Artcore Hollowbody Electric Guitar blew me away.

It’s construction keeps ease of use and reliability firmly in mind.

The set mahogany neck features Artcore profile and rosewood fingerboard. 22 frets, dot inlays, 24-3/4″ scale, chrome hardware, 12″ fingerboard radius and Ibanez tuners. It’s fitted with a simple bridge (an Ibanez take on a tune-o-matic), the niftiest little tale piece and one tone / one volume control. The AF55 is fully hollow-bodied without any solid wood blocks within the body cavity. NOW let me stop quoting stats here to say that I especially love the arched maple top, arch tops always just give that little extra touch of class.

Mechanics and aesthetics aside – the SOUND of this guitar must be heard to believed. It’s subtle and melodious and flows like warm scorpion honey, then, with just the slightest nudging it can howl and weep all night. The clean is too good to be believed – it’s incredibly warm but also extremely bright and articulate. Add a little gain and you can get loud, sexy and dirty with the best of them. Plus the vintage finish is just plain cool. Even if you aren’t a “hollow body guy” I would still tell you to pick up this guitar. You are getting more than what you are paying for. This is a spectacular guitar for a spectacular price.

PRODUCT REVIEW : NUX MG-100 (Multi effects Processor)

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When it comes to versatility and value for money few multi pedals match up to the NUX MG-100. Nux pedals started off relatively unknown but they have been surprising a lot of guitarists for a while now with both their performance and their price, and the NUX MG-100 is no different. It comes armed to the teeth! It has so many features trying to talk about them all at once would do the pedal a disservice. With 58 classic and popular effects settings (any 8 of which can be used simultaneously), 13 classic amp models, 6-band graphic EQ, drum machine, Tap tempo, AC, DC, AUX in- it has everything. It’s construction is of surprising quality as well, the steel housing and mechanical quality of the interface and switches rival any other of the big names in the business. If you know what you’re doing you can do anything with this pedal. When you get to basics it’s not top of the line but for what you’re paying you cannot loose on this tenacious pedal. It’s a gem.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octave Fuzz Effect Pedal

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This pedal is two in one with both Fuzz and Octave and the ability to select between the two. The standard Fuzz distortion is a very close copy of the EHX Big Muff but updated with modern advancements. When you really open it up it conjures an immortal sustain. The second half of the Voodoo is the otherworldly octave sound that you can switch on to wash over the fuzz.

The sound is hard to describe, a cross between dramatic cosmic horror and the creeping menace of a rattle snake slithering over a dusty skeleton. The mid cut knob lets you scoop your mids if that tickles your fancy. Tone allows you to aim it from thick, ear stomping lows through to screaming super sonic highs. If you want subtle lead tones or a lunatic soundgasm, this will sort you out. It was not what I was expecting, it was better. Really for the price- this pedal is not worth NOT buying.

PRODUCT REVIEW : NUX Loop Core Effects Pedal

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The Nu-X Loop Core is basically a clone of the Boss RC-3 Loop Station only with much lighter price tag. It has everything you look for in a looper including a built-in drum machine, tap tempo, the ability to store multiple phrases, USB connectivity, stereo ins/outs, and the option to add external footswitches. It’s versatile and isn’t heavy on the pocket. A great pedal.