Saturday, July 31, 2010

VHT Special 6 Review

Have you noticed lately? Ice cream costs the same but the container is smaller, a cereal box is the same size but the contents weigh less, cans of tomato sauce have changed the volume (which really messes with some recipes) that do not list the actual mass or volume but simply state 'can'" but the price is the same! The point I am trying to make is that we consumers are being chiseled as my grandpa would say....

However, fear not VHT has a nice little surprise for us and it is a nice value - The Special 6 is a 6 watt class A amp that really has some cool tones. Naw, VHT didn't try to reinvent the wheel but simply make the spokes better so to say.

VHT is an American company that outsources some of it's work to China. The eyelet board is plugged in China. Nice work and it's easy for someone like me to fix but I shouldn't have to deal with that since it has a 5 year warranty and is build like a Patton Tank save for the weight. The eyelet board is easy to modify if you are into tinkering - just be careful of to discharge the capacitors. What I like is the simplicity of the design, two knobs (volume and tone), two inputs (high and low), two power modes (high and low), and the volume switch doubles as a boost if you pull up on the potentiometer.

$200 dollars and I can carry it in one hand and my guitar in the other. Bliss....

The nice thing about this amp is that you can get a nice distortion by cranking up the volume. Humbuckers really get nasty while my Single coils have a nice jangle even without the reverb.

There are two power modes: high and low, with the low being fine with humbuckers and the high giving a little more power behind the single coils.

Another nice feature is the foot switch. Albeit the switch could be a little more rugged it still serves the purpose. Pull the volume switch up and you get an added boost. The foot switch lets you toggle between a over driven tone or a cleaner tone but the clean still remains a little distorted at volume. I expected this since this is a low volume amplifier. I think most users will like this feature.

I think this VHT Special 6 would be a nice addition to apartment dwellers, new parents, home studios that want differing tones. Really cool guys - thanks!

Here is more information!

VHT Special 6 Combo

Boutique amp players will love the Special 6’s combination of handwired tube goodness, unique features and unparalleled value. The mod-friendly Special 6 is easy to customize for home amp builders and tube amp enthusiasts.

The Special 6 gets its powerful tube sound from one 12AX7 preamp tube and one 6V6 output tube. It boasts a footswitchable Gain Boost feature that significantly expands its range of tones -- it's the only amp in its class that excels at both clean and overdriven tones, and it's the only amp in its class to offer a footswitchable boost. With the Gain Boost, players can instantly toggle between clean rhythm tones and overdriven leads, essentially duplicating the footswitchable functions of a 2-channel amp in an all-tube, handwired, simple, 2-knob package.

To further expand its range of tones, the Special 6 also features a High/Low power switch that enhances low-volume tones with extra-smooth richness (when in half-power mode). It's a great feature for recording, or for low-volume "bedroom" players. In high-power mode, it's one of the few amps in its class that is loud enough to compete with a strong drummer. The Special 6 combo is outfitted with a special high sensitivity 10" VHT Special Design speaker.

6 Watts
One 6V6 Output Tube
One 12AX7 Preamp Tube
Volume and Tone Controls
Footswitchable Boost Mode
High/Low Power Switch
10” VHT High-Sensitivity Speaker
4, 8, and 16 Ohm Speaker Jacks
Mod-Friendly Eyelet-Type Board
Hand-wired In China
Model: AV-SP1-6

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jonny Lang Brings His Own Blues, Michael Ross

Jonny Lang Brings His Own Blues, Michael Ross



Ride for Dime - Charity Event

Ride For Dime, a 501c3 charitable organization, memorializes guitar hero and friend, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott along with Jeff Thompson, Nathan Bray, and Erin Halk. Ride for Dime proudly gives back to the charities that were of interest to Dime during his life as well as charities he would have been proud to be a part of, like Little Kids Rock. Check out the video below for more information.

Click here for extensive information.

Ride for Dime be starting again this year at:

Longhorn Harley Davidson
2830 W Interstate 20
Grand Prairie, Texas

Bikes will start staging at 1:30 pm and the ride will leave out at 3:15 pm.

Event Start Time: Saturday July 31, 2010 at 4:00pm
Event End Time: Sunday August 1, 2010 at 2:00am
Location: Dreamworld Music Complex 3102 W. Division St. Arlington, TX.

RIDE FOR DIME 2010 Lineup
Conviction (Rockin Kids Cover Band) 4pm
Souless Intent
100 Proof Hatred
Whiskey Dick
Threat Level
White Collar Ghetto
Texas Hippie Coalition
Cowboys From Hell Paso
Doors open at 4pm)
RIDE FOR DIME 2010, c'mon!

Get more information at

San Jose Jazz Festival -

The Jazz Festival should be interesting this year. Among the many performers attending this year will be George Clinton.

George Clinton is an American musician and the principal architect of P-Funk. He was the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and has been a solo funk artist since 1981. He has been called one of the most important innovators of funk music, next to James Brown and Sly Stone. Clinton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.

In 1982, Clinton signed to Capitol Records as a solo artist and as the P-Funk All-Stars, releasing Computer Games that same year. Loopzillahit the Top 20 R&B charts, followed by Atomic Dog, which reached #1 R&B, but peaked at #101 on the pop chart. In 1985, he was recruited by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to produce their album Freaky Styley.l. In 1989, Clinton released The Cinderella Theory on Paisley Park, on Prince's record label. This was followed by Hey Man, Smell My Finger. Clinton then signed with Sony 550 and released The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership in 1996. Clinton founded a record label called The C Kunspyruhzy in 2005.

In 2008, George appeared on the reality show Gone County 3, where seven celebrities moved into a Nashville mansion and competed to cross over into the country music scene. With his Gone Country experience, George wrote his country song; Time Is. In 2008, he also released his solo album George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love.. Largely a covers album, Gangsters featured guest appearances by Sly Stone, El DeBarge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, RZA, Carlos Santana, and gospel singer Kim Burrell.
George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic: George Clinton, Belita Woods, Bennie Cowan, Cardwell "Boogie" Mosson, Carlos McMurray, Danny Dedrosian, Dewayne "Blackbyrd" McKinght, Frankie "Kash" Waddy, Garry "Starchild" Shider, Gene Anderson, Greg Thomas, Jerome Rogers, Kim Manning, Lige Curry, Louie Kabbabie, Michael "Clip" Payne, Michael "Kid Funkadelic" Hampton, Paul Hill, Rico Lewis, Robert "Peanut" Johnson, Ron Sperman, Steven Boyd & Tracey Lewis.

George Clinton
He has been called one of the most important innovators of funk music, next to James Brown and Sly Stone.
Main Stage, Friday, August 13 at 7:30pm

Maceo Parker is world-famous funk and soul jazz saxophone player, best known for his contributions to James Brown's distinct sound.
Main Stage, Saturday, August 14 at 2:00pm

Irma Thomas
The best kept secret from New-Orleans. A soul queen in the tradition of Aretha Franklin and Etta James.
Main Stage, Saturday, August 14 at 6:00pm

about the performers

Aaron Lington Quintet
Altered Roots Quartet
Amina Figarova Sextet
Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans
Anthony Blea y su Charanga
Bill Noteman and the Rockets
Bobby Matos and his Afro Latin Ensemble
Carolyn Wonderland
Coto Pincheira & the Sonido Moderno Project
Crystal Monee Hall
Dani Paige Band
Dara Tucker
DeJazz Vu
Fatum Brothers' Jazz Orchestra
Ford Blues Band with Robben Ford
George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic
Gretchen Parlato Band
Grover Washington Tribute
Grupo Falso Baiano
Harold Fethe Trio
Harvey Wainapel's Alegritude
Irma Thomas Soul Queen of New Orleans
Jazz Mafia's Brass, Bows and Beats
JC Smith Band
Jeff Hamilton Trio
Jessica Johnson
Jesus Diaz Y Su QBA
Joe Bagale
John Ellis & Double-Wide
John Handy
Kat Parra
La Marraqueta Jazz Fusion Criolla
Latin Rhythm Boys
Let's Play Jazz
Los Gatos / Saratoga Big Band
Louie Romero y su Mazacote
Lucy Woodward
Maceo Parker
Marcus Miller Tutu Revisited
Mia Borders
Michelle Pollace's Jazz Y Clave
Midnight Sol
MILK & JADE by Dana Leong
Montuno Swing
Ms.Taylor P. Collins
Nnenna Freelon
Orquesta Borinquen
Pellejo Seco
Pete Christlieb
Pete Yellin Quintet Featuring Barry Finnerty
Poblano Project
Ray Obiedo & Mambo Caribe
Razin' the Bar
Round Midnight
Ruthie Foster
SJJ High School Big Band
SJJ High School Latin Band
Stephanie Nakasian with the San Jose Jazz Orchestra
Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums
Sylvia Cuenca Latin Jazz Project
The Tamburr / Vitchev Project
Tony Johns and the Street Lucy Project
Tony Lindsay
Tower of Power
Vijay Iyer Trio
VW Brothers
Wally Schnalle & Idiot Fish
Yoshiaki Miyanoue Tokyo Quartet

Monday, July 12, 2010

Carlos Santana Is Engaged to Drummer Cindy Blackman

"Being in love is a gift from the universe, and the spirit and vibrations that come with it are infinitely powerful. I look forward to expressing that incredible energy through my music, and in helping to tip the balance toward more love in the world with what Cindy and I share."

Carlos Santana Is Engaged to Drummer Cindy Blackman

DBZ Guitars Awarded “Best In Show” at 2010 Summer NAMM

From GuitarEdge

DBZ Guitars wins Best in Show Award at this year’s National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show held in Nashville, TN.

“We are honored. It is very rewarding to be able to build guitars to the level of quality I expect from an instrument again. It’s even more rewarding to give the industry instruments they are so satisfied with. I wanted to take guitar building out of the dark ages and deliver guitars that players would get excited about”, says Dean B. Zelinsky, CEO of DBZ Guitars. “Watching their excitement makes it all worthwhile,” Zelinsky continued.

Legendary guitar designer Dean B. Zelinsky well earned his reputation of taking guitar making to the next level. In 2008, Zelinsky severed ties from his previous company and established DBZ Guitars, which was a continuation of his pursuit to doing just that.

The Best In Show award is based on a six panelist group in the musical instrument business. Each of whom represent single store operations, small to mid size chains and one of the industry’s top trade magazines, Music Inc. The six individuals are selected each year and remain anonymous during the show insuring a fresh perspective.

Brian Reardon was one of the panelists chosen this year. He owns Monster Music in Levittown, New York and had this to say about the DBZ line: “Modern computer technology is combined with arguably the trade’s most imaginative guitar builder, Dean B. Zelinsky, the founder of Dean Guitars. Watch out! The carvings on these guitars would have been an impossibility in an earlier time. Zelinsky seems to have a knack for intuiting what the public will want to buy before they want to buy it. The Imperial is like nothing you have ever seen before and, with its wafer-thin body, begs the question why no one had thought of it before.”

Link to Dean's guitar catalog.

To learn more about DBZ guitars, visit

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How do I correctly change the strings on my guitar?

First, turn the tuning key until the hole in the string post is in line with the nut
slot. Next, pass the string through the hole pulling it up so there's about 2" between the finger board and the string keeping the string taught at the bridge end. This should allow for about 2½ or 3 windings on the string post once you’re done. You don't want any more than that - excessive windings can cause the string to slip continuously when tuning!
Now you will pull the string toward the center of the headstock and loop it underneath and over itself up against the string post. Next, start turning the tuning key winding the string on the post. Be sure the windings go from the top down thus creating a greater angle from the string post to the nut. This puts more downward pressure in the nut and increases your sustain. By installing the string in this manner it will have wound around itself once giving it something to “hang onto”, and once properly stretched should stay in tune great!
Next we'll talk about stringing a guitar with vintage style Kluson tuners which have a split post (these are found on many Fender Strats and Telecasters). What you do is pass the string through the bridge end and pull it tight. Measure about 2" past the tuning post of the string you’re changing (I use the handle of my plastic string winder which is just about 2" long) and cut the string. Now stick the cut string end down the center hole of the post and start winding. Cutting the string like this you’ll have about 3 windings on the string post and once again be sure to wind from the top down! Properly installed strings always stay in tune better, have greater sustain and take much less stretching to become stable.

Former Kiss Guitarist Loses Bankruptcy Appeal

By Patrick Fitzgerald
Former Kiss guitarist Vinnie “Wiz” Vincent has lost his bankruptcy appeal, paving the way for his former band mates to sell his Kiss songwriting copyrights for payment of a judgment they won against him.

A three-judge bankruptcy panel for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a ruling by a Tennessee bankruptcy judge that Vincent filed his most recent bankruptcy — his third Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing in three years — in bad faith and barred him from seeking Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection for two years.

Vincent, whose real is Vincent John Cusano, is trying to block Kiss from selling his copyrights in such songs as “Lick It Up” and “Young and Wasted” to pay off an $82,000, according to a judgment in a separate California lawsuit.

That judgment is the result of attorneys’ fees due to Kiss members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and others after Vincent unsuccessfully sued them for unpaid royalties and defamation. The band members want to sell Vincent’s copyrights to pay off the judgment.

Last year, Vincent’s lawyer at the time argued such a sale would “absolutely” leave the musician “destitute, as the property sought to be sold constitutes the debtor’s life’s work.”

The appellate panel also shot down Vincent’s argument that any mistakes made in his case were inadvertent and because of the facts that he fired his bankruptcy lawyer and was representing himself pro se, a legal term meaning representing yourself.

“We cannot excuse a lack of good faith based on debtor’s pro se status, particularly when the debtor was in fact represented by counsel or had retained counsel during the vast majority of his time in the bankruptcy court but failed to follow counsel’s advice,” the panel said in court papers.

In 1982 Vincent, a onetime staff writer for the TV show “Happy Days,” was hired by Kiss for $2,000 a week to replace original guitarist Ace Frehley. He served as the lead guitarist for the band from 1982 to 1984, playing on the “Creatures of the Night” and “Lick It Up” albums.

Dubbed the “Ankh Warrior” for his Egyptian-style face paint during the end of Kiss’s original makeup-wearing days, Vincent was also part of the band’s first nonmakeup lineup. But within a year of taking off the makeup, Vincent was out of the band, reportedly fired for “unethical” behavior.

After Kiss, Vincent, formed the over-the-top glam-metal outfit Vinnie Vincent Invasion, which released a pair of albums in the late 1980s. According to court papers Vincent, 56, now lives in the Nashville area. He couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kickoff to Summer NAMM 2010

Namn it!

Kickoff to Summer NAMM 2010

Carl Verheyen: Changing Sounds to Fit the Gig

Never heard of Carl Verheyen? You should open up your mind and clean your ears as this man can play! S/

Carl Verheyen: Changing Sounds to Fit the Gig

How To Restring a Classical Guitar

Stringing a classical guitar well is important for good tone, reduced string slippage, and technique. I don't like ball end nylon strings as they damage the bridge and ultimately ruin the bridge material. Shy from the ball ends even though they apply quickly and easily. If it's too good to be true then is usually isn't true!

How To Restring a Classical Guitar

Joe Bonamassa: on Non-Boring Blues Chording, Part 2, Matt Blackett

Joe Bonamassa: on Non-Boring Blues Chording, Part 2, Matt Blackett

10 Things You Gotta Do to Play Like Mike Bloomfield, Jesse Gress

10 Things You Gotta Do to Play Like Mike Bloomfield, Jesse Gress

Jesse Gress shows us how. Jesse is an awesome player and music transcriber. S/


Cool.... Though I take crap from people for liking them because of the parallels to California Guitar Trio. CGT was good but made me laugh when it was supposed to be serious. This lead to all of my friends laughing as well. Being in the front row, laughing is rude - Therefore, I had to extricate myself from the audience with friends boisterously following.


Bob Brozman on Open-G Around the World, Matt Blackett

Bob Brozman on Open-G Around the World, Matt Blackett

Kendrick Bad Ass Man, Art Thompson

Kendrick Bad Ass Man, Art Thompson

Sunday, July 4, 2010

JImmy Vaughan Interview - GuitarEdge's Jason Shadrick

Oh man you have got to be kidding me! Listen, Jimmy is too cool for school. First, he digs classic cars and hot rods. Second, has learned how to hit one note on the guitar and make us all wish we could play like him, and furthermore he's Stevie's older brother. I wouldn't know where to start when it comes to conversation with Jimmy Vaughan. Cars, guitars,boats and music in general.... Guitar Edge's Jason Shadrick asks Jimmy who his influences might be and Jimmy gives us the run down. If it was me interviewing, the interview would have not ended until we covered hot rods, guitars and the all encompassing music of the blues.

Jimmy Vaughan's put in his time, you can hear it and see it. In addition, he isn't finished learning about the guitar or music theory and openly admits he is still learning. Jimmy is honest about where his licks originate. The interview is great and has more depth than meets the ear. Lastly, we are all students of the guitar, music theory, being ignorant is not cool. The education ends when our hearts stop beating. Above all, keep practicing and never say you know it all! Stay at home and practice or stay at home!