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Five Watt Class A with built in Tube Screamer

IMG_4080As NAMM ’14 fades away, we are left with nothing but sore feet, bags full of brochures, and a persistent buzz in our ears.  That convention center is loud, people. So keep that in mind, because none of us could actually hear how this new 5-watter from Ibanez sounded.

It’s called the TSA5TVR, and it takes stylistic cues from amps like the Tone King Falcon, or perhaps the Fender Vaporizer. There’s just something about those little legs that makes you want to buy one.

But it’s what is inside that counts, right? In this case, the TSA5VTR has an Ibanez Tube Screamer built in. You can access the controls on the amp, or with an optional foot switch. It also has an Accutronics spring reverb tank. Other details:

• Class A amp with 12AX7 preamp tube and 6V6GT power tube

• 8″ Jensen® C8R speaker

• Also features an External Speaker out, Headphone out and a direct Line out.


List is $533. Street price: $399. If you buy one, give us your full review.

A new volume pedal from Fender

Fender Volume PedalPerhaps you’ve mastered the Roy Buchanan volume swell*, but if your pinky can’t seem to reach the knob, don’t call your plastic surgeon. Perhaps a volume pedal is in order. Hey—if they’re good enough for pedal steelers, they’re good enough for you, right?

New for 2014, the Fender FVP-1 pedal is a passive volume foot pedal designed for guitar and bass. Here are the details, according to Fender:

• The input, output and tuner jacks are located on the front panel for easy access.

• The tuner jack allows silent tuning during live performances. The pedal motion is “smooth and predictable” with user-adjustable resistance.

• It’s compact.

• Made of heavy-duty die-cast aluminum with a durable “hammertone” powder-coat finish on the base.

• No batteries power sources are required.

MSRP is $99.99. Fender sells them direct for $79.99. So expect a price somewhere around there at your local mom & pop.

* Here’s some sweet vintage Roy. We think it’s swell.


New Fender Pickups for ’14

Fender PickupsWe guitarists spend an awful lot of time chasing tone, more often than not trying to replicate a classic sound from the past. In this search, you’ll likely come across pickups “inspired by” Fender, “improving upon” Fender, but not made by Fender.  Perhaps you could make it easier on yourself by going directly to the source.

Here is  Fender’s new lineup of pickups for 2014:

Fender Custom Shop Blackguard Tele Pickup

• Flush-mounted alnico 5 magnets in the bridge and alnico 3 magnets in the neck using enamel-coated magnet wire

• Made to reproduce the pickup set that was introduced in the early ‘50s version of the Broadcaster

• The Blackguard bridge pickup provides a hotter output and more mid-range growl than other vintage-style Fender pickups, and has a copper-plated base plate for vintage accuracy.

Fender Custom Shop Twisted Tele 

• Hot high-output Telecaster tone with a dash of sparkling Stratocaster character.

• Made with alnico 5 magnets, each pickup is tailored to its position (neck and bridge) to achieve its individual sonic character. The neck pickup has a nickel/silver cover for especially clear Telecaster tone, with Formvar magnet wire and a taller bobbin to accommodate more windings.

•  The bridge pickup has enamel-coated magnet wire and a slightly shorter bobbin with a higher number of windings to create darker, more full-bodied midrange.

Twin-Head Vintage Humbucking Neck and Bridge pickups deliver “moderate output and warm tone with greater headroom and harmonics.”

• The neck pickup is made with alnico 2 magnets for “sweetly musical tone”

• The bridge pickup is made with alnico 5 magnets “perfect for an aggressive HSS Stratocaster”

• They are both wound with specially coated Formvar wire, and feature a thick aluminum base plate for decreased magnetic-field interference. Their all-new three-pin solderless connections make for remarkably easy pickup replacement.

The Fender Deluxe Drive Stratocaster® and Telecasters pickups

• Supercharged with the highest output of all of Fender’s single-coil pickups, with over-wound design and alnico 3 magnets that make them ideal for high-gain amp settings.

• When used with clean settings, the Deluxe Drive Telecaster pickups still deliver classic Telecaster snap, and the Stratocaster pickups sparkle brilliantly.

• The middle Stratocaster pickup is reverse-wound/reverse-polarity for hum canceling in positions two and four.

Twin-Head Modern Humbucking Neck and Bridge

• High output and warm tone with greater headroom and harmonics.

• The neck pickup is made with ceramic magnets and is wound with specially coated Formvar wire.

• The bridge pickup is made with alnico 5 magnets, is “perfect for an aggressive sound,” and is wound with special enamel-coated wire.

• Both pickups feature a thick aluminum base plate for decreased magnetic-field interference and all-new three-pin solderless connections make for remarkably easy pickup replacement. Mounting hardware is included with all pickup sets.

Just think: in all of those years searching for the mojo, the solution has been right under your nose. Or ears.

Meet the New Fender Deluxe(s) for ’14

NAMM“What is the meaning of life?” “Why are we here?” Philosophers have pondered the great questions for millennia, and none have the same answer.  But ask “If you only had one amp, what would it be?” and you might get a similar response over and over: a Fender Deluxe.

Mic it on stage? Use it in the studio? Play it in the bedroom? Yep, yep, and yep. (Un)fortunately, our friends at Fender have made your decision more difficult with two new Deluxes for ’14

’65 Deluxe Reverb Head

• 22 watts

• Two 6V6 Groove Tubes output tubes, one 5AR4 rectifier tube, four 12AX7 preamp tubes, two 12AT7 tubes

• Tube reverb/Tube Vibrato

• Dual channels (normal and vibrato)

• Two button foot switch.

'65 Deluxe Reverb Head

’57 Deluxe Head

• 12 watts

• Late ’50s 5E3 circuit, 5Y3 rectifier tube

• Pre-amp: Groove Tubes® – (2 x 12AX7). Power amp: Groove Tubes® – (2 x 6V6)

• Hand wired with premium components

'57 Deluxe Head


These amps are great. So how about a new philosophy on life? Grab ‘em all!

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