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Gigbag: July/August 2002

The Enhancer

Your open-back combo amp is leaking sound. Precious tone is escaping from the backside. But if you place that amp on the Enhancer, those once lost sounds pull a 180 as the sound waves are rerouted through the hollow amp stand and pushed out the front to blend with the sound coming from the speakers. Your tone becomes richer-much richer. Louder, too-up to four times as loud! Sturdily built from three-ply Baltic birch, steel fasteners and powerful adhesives, it’s much lighter than it looks. Such a logical design, how come nobody thought of this before?

eMedia Guitar Method

An alternative to private guitar lessons or traditional instruction books, beginning guitarists can start getting their chops in order with eMedia’s Guitar Method CD-ROM. Included in this comprehensive learning tool are an animated fretboard that reveals fingerings as an audio track plays; variable-speed MIDI tracks for playing along at any pace; a tuner; a metronome; and a 250-chord dictionary. There are also over 30 videos and more than 3 hours of audio instruction on the disc, which works on both PCs and Macs.

JPS Labs Superconductor FX Guitar/Instrument Cable

Purple is the color of royalty, and JPS Lab’s purple instrument cable is fit for a king. A length of JPS Lab’s proprietary Aluminoy wire with 24-karat gold connectors at each end will bring out the true sound of your prized archtop, solid body or any other instrument you own with a 1/4-inch phono jack. Engineered to rid the signal of noise, the cable supplies clear, incredibly detailed sound with balanced tone throughout all frequencies regardless of length.


Speed, dexterity, endurance and control: these are what every musician wants out of his or her hands. Except for singers. They have it easy. But guitarists, pianists and saxophonists looking to strengthen their hands might want to slip on a set of FingerWeights. The weights come with a booklet detailing a series of daily hand exercises to condition the muscles and tendons in the fingers. After your workout, leave ’em on for five to 10 minutes while you practice. Results come quickly.

Maxon Nine Series Effects

All analog and all-too-familiar looking (Tube Screamer, anyone?), Maxon’s Nine Series brings two distortion pedals and an auto-filter to its growing stable of stomp boxes. The OD-9 uses the JRC4558 integrated circuit for ultrasmooth overdrive, which might have more jazz applications than the SD-9’s edgier, transistorlike distortion-but hey, sometimes you have to get your Nels Cline on, or your Marc Ribot, for which the shimmering, watery sound of the AF-9 auto filter might come in handy. All three pedals feature true bypass switching.

Traynor 80-Watt Custom Valve Amps

These new Traynor amps should make an even bigger splash than the Traynor Custom Valve 40 all-tube combo did when it debuted in 2000. After all, the 2×12-inch Custom Valve 80 and the 4×10-inch Custom Valve 80Q (both outfitted with Celestion speakers) are physically bigger than their 40-watt sibling. The new amps feature sturdy Traynor build quality (black vinyl covering over a sturdy, plywood cabinet), but offer more power, a new set of tone-shaping controls and a parallel effects loop. And the new DynaSound direct output sounds much more like a miked cabinet.

Bach Interactive Series CD-ROMs

The fugues from Bach’s “Well Tempered Clavier” don’t swing or shuffle, but to master their intervals is to gain a deep knowledge of harmony. A player of any musical genre can use that kind of knowledge. Each of these interactive CD-ROMs (for PC and Mac) features a J.S. Bach fugue arranged for three guitars. Print the parts, practice along to MP3s or time-variable MIDI files and make Johann proud. The discs play in regular old CD players, too. The woodshed is calling.

Originally Published