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Phase90_Box-Header

 

Here it is—the little orange phase shifter that started it all.

 

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve been celebrating MXR’s 40th anniversary this year with blog and video content to provide players with an informative, inside look at one of the most iconic stompbox brands in history. The crown jewels of our celebration have been our vintage MXR pedal giveaways. You see, we tracked down each of MXR’s four original core pedals—the Phase 90, the Distortion +, the Dyna Comp Compressor, and the Blue Box Fuzz—in vintage form and had one of our engineers give them a close inspection. Last month, we put up the Blue Box Fuzz. Now it’s time for our final vintage MXR giveaway: the Phase 90.

 

The Phase 90 was first designed by engineer Keith Barr in 1972, revolutionizing the entire guitar pedal industry and launching MXR with a phase shifter that sounded amazing, looked cool, and was built like a tank—the three pillars of  MXR’s operating philosophy. This little orange box went on to become the sole iconic example of its effect category, and it has been used by the world’s greatest guitar players—such as Eddie Van Halen and David Gilmour—to record some of the most iconic songs ever cut to vinyl.

 

How would you like to own a genuine vintage example of this iconic phaser? Take a gander at it below. We want YOU to have it. Turns out this particular example was built the same year MXR was officially incorporated.

 

 

 

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This particular pedal has been inspected, tested, and approved by Dunlop Senior Engineer Bob Cedro, our resident Phase 90 guru—our ’74 Script Phase 90 reissue is based on his own pedal, and he worked tirelessly to design the EVH90 to Eddie Van Halen’s specs. After a bias trim adjustment for proper phase modulation and a PCB foam replacement, this pedal is in proper working order. Bob dated it using the serial numbers inscribed on its potentiometer. We took a few shots of the inspection process, which included the removal of decades old foam on the inside of the bottom plate.

 

Phase90-closeup

 

Phase90-inspectHeader

 

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Getting your hands on this piece of history is as simple as answering three questions in the comment section below. You see, we recently asked many of our official Dunlop Artists about their connections, as players and creators of music, to MXR and its effects. We also want to hear about your connection to MXR. All you have to do is answer the following three questions, and we’ll choose one of you at random to receive this pedal. We will also use our favorite responses in an upcoming blog post.

 

Now for the questions…

 

When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on?

 

What was your first MXR effect?

 

What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why?

 

Use the comments section below to answer these three questions. Again, we’ll include our favorite answers in an upcoming blog post, and choose one winner at random to win this vintage 1974 MXR Phase 90! Make sure to provide an email address that you will actually check.

 

While you think about your answers, check out our latest MXR 40th Anniversary video content as well as our Phase 90 White Room demo.

 

 

 

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Category: MXR

TipofTheWeek

 

There’s a ton of different capos out there. How do you know which one is right for you? The first thing to consider is whether or not your guitar’s fingerboard is flat, because some capos—though not all—are designed for one or the other. Second, what’s your playing situation? Playing live? Recording? And how much experience do you have using capos?

 

Answer those questions, and you’re halfway there. Let’s break down the three major capo types so you can choose which capo is right for you.

 

 

Spring-Clamp Capos

 

 

ElectricTriggerregCapos-11

 

 

These capos are excellent for live situations where quickness is key. They’re designed for fast positioning and removal, which is crucial on stage, and they can be placed on your headstock for quick access when not in use. The Dunlop Trigger® Capo is a great example of this type of capo.

 

 

Screw-On Capos

 

VictorregCapo-11

 

Recording? You want a screw-on capo. Maintaining proper intonation is a must, and screw-on capos feature adjustable tension so you can set just the right amount of pressure without bending your strings too sharp or too flat. This type of capo can even be used on higher frets. The Victor® Capo is an example.

 

 

Elastic and Toggle capos

 

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Elastic capos and toggle capos are inexpensive and easy to use. If you’ve never used a capo before, this is a good place to start. May be difficult to use on higher frets. The Elastic Regular Capo is a great example, and it was one of the first products Dunlop ever made.

 

 

Alright, now you can make an informed decision. In the comment section below, tell us which type of capo is right for you. After that, check out our other Tips of the Week, including our most recent about how to place your capo.

 

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground-up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

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Category: Accessories, Tip of the Week

TipofTheWeek

 

Don’t put your capo smack dab between two frets. Place it just behind the fret just as you would with your finger when fretting a note, and for the same reason: to reduce fret buzz and maintain proper intonation. Try to get the capo as close to the fret as possible, and you should be good to go.

 

Check out this handy capo key chart to see where to place your capo for a specific key, and keep your eyes out for more Tips of the Week brought to you by Dunlop Strings.

 

Capo-Chart

 

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground- up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

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Category: Accessories, Tip of the Week

AkessonBlog

 

 

Swedish pioneer prog death metal act Opeth is set to release Pale Communion, its highly anticipated eleventh album, on August 26th. We sat down with lead guitar player Fredrik Åkesson to talk about the making of the record.

Catch Opeth on the road in December with fellow Dunlop artists In Flames and Red Fang—see below for dates.

 

What are the similarities and differences between Pale Communion and your last album, Heritage?

Pale Communion is more early ’80s sounding in comparison. It also has more melodies, and the drums are more prominent in the mix. Each song is very different from the others, I think. Pale Communion is, in a way, a continuation of Heritage. Some stuff is heavier, and some is more spaced out.

 

What gear did you mostly use on the recording of “Pale Communion”? Guitars, picks, strings, pedals, effects, amps, etc…?

We tried a lot of different amps, guitars, and pedals. In the studio, having the cabs mic’d up and phased right, that’s when you really can tell the difference between gear. For guitars, we used a PRS p22 , a PRS Tremonti, a Gibson junior 55, and a PRS Angelus acoustic. For amps, we used a Marshall YJM plexi 50w mode bridged over and all knobs pretty much on full. We used the MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay and the Phase 90. For leads, I used an MXR Micro Amp + to get extra juice, and we also did a lot of experimenting with the Way Huge Supa-Puss Delay, which lets you distort the feedback. That created some really cool psychedelic stuff. For strings, I used Dunlop Electric 10-52s, and for picks, I used 1.5mm Tortex Sharps.

 

What was the working dynamic like recording this record? Does Mikael Åkerfeldt dictate the parts, or do you have poetic license to create your parts?

I do have a lot of freedom when it comes to solos, and Mike usually likes my ideas. If he thinks I should go somewhere else, I don’t have a problem trying something different out.

 

How did you approach the pre-production of this record? Were all of you hashing it out in the rehearsal studio? Or at home on individual home recording systems?

I went down to our rehearsal space during the writing process, and Mike played me ideas, and I recorded some solos and riffs. We never rehearsed as a group apart from Martin Axenroth and Martin Mendez, who rehearsed for a week in Barcelona. Mike makes great demos, so everyone just did their home work. Some stuff came about in the Studio though. Recording at Rockfield in Wales was really inspiring and affective.

 

How is working in Opeth different than in your other bands like Talisman, Krux, or Arch Enemy?

Opeth covers a wider musical span. Its been a great experience playing with those bands who are quite different from each other. Also Opeth is the hardest working band I’ve played in.

 

 

Opeth / In Flames / Red Fang North American Tour

Dec. 03 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
Dec. 04 – Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights
Dec. 05 – Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium
Dec. 06 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Dec. 08 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre
Dec. 09 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
Dec. 10 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
Dec. 12 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live Ballroom
Dec. 13 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live
Dec. 15 – Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle
Dec. 17 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Dec. 18 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
Dec. 19 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Dec. 20 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis
Dec. 21 – Toronto, ON – Kool Haus

 

Want a taste of what’s to come August 26? Check out “Cusp of Eternity,” the single from Pale Communion, below:

 

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Category: Artist News, Dunlop Electronics, Dunlop Strings, Events, MXR, Picks, Way Huge

TipofTheWeek

 

 

A well-oiled fingerboard doesn’t just look nice—it keeps your guitar or bass healthy and sounding its best. During a dry season or any time you use a lot of indoor heating, keeping your fingerboard oiled is particularly important.

 

In dry environments, any wood that isn’t protected by a finish—such as a rosewood fingerboard—will gradually lose moisture. As your fingerboard loses moisture, the wood shrinks, becoming lighter and more brittle. The first thing you’ll notice as this happens is a thinner, weaker sound. If you allow your instrument’s fingerboard to stay dry and keep drying, you may end up with with sprouting frets or even cracks in the wood. With finished maple fingerboards, this tends to be less of an issue.

 

 

How do you know when your fingerboard is too dry? Look for a dull, lifeless color. If you want to be on the safe side, just make sure you do it three or four times throughout the year. Here’s a really dry fingerboard:

 

dryfingerboard

 

Good news is, keeping a fingerboard moisturized is very easy. All you need to do is apply a fingerboard oil—we happily recommend Formula 65 System options such as Lemon Oil and Fingerboard Deep Conditioner—wait a minute or two for the oils to soak in, and wipe off the excess. We recommend removing the strings from the instrument before you do this. It’s just easier that way.

 

Want to see the magic of the Formula 65 in action? Check out our Hamer guitar restoration article. When your done, check out our other Tips of the Week.

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground- up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

 

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Category: Dunlop Strings, Tip of the Week

BlueBox_Box-Header

 

As you might have heard, 2014 marks MXR’s 40th anniversary. To celebrate, we’ve been releasing blog and video content—see the end of this post for the latest MXR mini doc release—providing players with an informative, inside look at one of the most iconic stompbox brands in history. As part of this celebration, we tracked down each of MXR’s four original core pedals in vintage form, and we’re giving them away. Last time around, we put up the Dyna Comp® Compressor, and before that we gave away a Distortion+. This time, we’re giving you the chance to win a vintage Blue Box™ Octave Fuzz.

 

The Blue Box Octave Fuzz was first released in 1972, around the same time as the Phase 90, the Distortion+, and the Dyna Comp Compressor. The Blue Box Octave Fuzz adds a cutting fuzz tone to your guitar signal and then duplicates it two octaves down to add a burly, subterranean second signal. You can then use the Blend knob to control the mix of the two signals. Jimmy Page made this effect legendary when he recorded the solo for Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” from In Through the Out Door.

 

We’ve got a a genuine vintage example of this iconic octave fuzz—from 1974 no less—and we want YOU to have it. Take a gander at it below.

 

BlueBox_Angle

 

 

This particular pedal has been inspected, tested, and approved by Dunlop Senior Engineer Bob Cedro. He dated the pedal using the serial numbers inscribed on its potentiometers. Bob scraped out all the old deteriorated foam gunk from the circuit board and replaced it with a new foam wrap. He also replaced a broken battery clip. Now, everything is in perfect working order. You’ll get an inspection card signed by Bob for verification. We took a few shots of the whole process.

 

BlueBox-inspectHeader

 

BlueBox-inspect1

 

BlueBox-closeup

 

BlueBox-waveform

 

Getting your hands on this piece of history is as simple as answering three questions in the comment section below. You see, we recently asked many of our official Dunlop Artists about their connections, as players and creators of music, to MXR and its effects. Well, we also want to hear about YOUR connection to MXR. All you have to do is answer the following three questions, and we’ll choose one of you at random to receive this pedal. We will also use our favorite responses in an upcoming blog post.

 

Now for the questions…

 

When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on?

 

What was your first MXR effect?

 

What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why?

 

Use the comments section below to answer these three questions. Again, we’ll include our favorite answers in an upcoming blog post, and choose one winner at random to win this vintage 1974 MXR Blue Box Octave Fuzz! Make sure to provide an email address that you will actually check.

 

While you think about your answers, we have a couple videos for you to check out below. First, watch our interview with Richard Neatrour, one of MXR’s original engineers and the man who co-designed the Dyna Comp Compresor with founder Keith Barr. After that, check out our sweet MXR white room demo of the Dyna Comp Compressor. – See more at: http://www.jimdunlop.com/blog/mxr-40th-anniversary-vintage-dyna-comp-compressor-giveaway/#sthash.6KMgqbA3.dpuf
While you think about your answers, we have a couple videos for you to check out below. First, watch our interview with Richard Neatrour, one of MXR’s original engineers and the man who co-designed the Dyna Comp Compresor with founder Keith Barr. After that, check out our sweet MXR white room demo of the Dyna Comp Compressor. – See more at: http://www.jimdunlop.com/blog/mxr-40th-anniversary-vintage-dyna-comp-compressor-giveaway/#sthash.6KMgqbA3.dpuf

While you think about your answers, we have a couple videos for you to check out below. First, watch our interview with Marcus Miller, one of the world’s most distinguished bass players, as he discusses his musical journey and the his deep connection with MXR pedals.  After that, check out our sweet MXR white room demo of the Blue Box Octave Fuzz in all its subterranean chainsaw glory.

 

 

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Category: MXR

A7X_Stage

 

We headed down to San Bernardino, CA for the kickoff the 2014 Mayhem Festival, where we caught up with our friends and Dunlop artists Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, Trivium, King 810, Miss May, Body Count, Suicide Silence, and Texas Hippie Coalition. The following photos are how we experienced the show.

 

Mayhem will be on the road in the U.S. through August 10th. Check the Mayhem Festival web site for tour dates and more info, and get out to a show near you…

 

A7X_SynGear

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Category: Artist News, Events

The Van’s Warped Tour rolled into the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA on Saturday June 21st, and we were there. With 10 stages set up around the venue, there was music at every turn from the minute the gates opened throughout the day and into the evening. This year’s Warped Tour line up boasts a diversity that is seldom seen in any other music festival, and we got a chance to catch up with a few of our friends on the tour, knock back a few Monster Tour Waters and talk gear and life on the road. We were there for sets by Anberlin, The Devil Wears Prada, Less Than Jake, Lionize, Bayside, Saves the Day and a whole lot more. Check out the action below…

 

Learn more about the Vans Warped Tour, and get upcoming dates near you at vanswarpedtour.com.

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Category: Artist News, Events

DynaComp_Box-Header

 

As you might have heard, 2014 marks MXR’s 40th anniversary. To celebrate, we’ve been releasing blog and video content—see the end of this post for the latest MXR mini doc release—providing players with an informative, inside look at one of the most iconic stompbox brands in history. As part of this celebration, we tracked down each of MXR’s four original core pedals in vintage form, and we’re giving them away. Last time, we put up the Distortion+. Now, you have the chance to win a vintage Dyna Comp® Compressor.

 

The Dyna Comp Compressor was first released in 1972, around the same time as the Phase 90, the Distortion+, and the Blue Box ™ Octave Fuzz. While the Dyna Comp is widely hailed for its ease of use—evening out your volume or adding sustain is a cinch—this pedal is just as famous for the punchy, percussive quality it gives your clean tones. Players who are familiar with its sound can instantly pick it out on the countless hits it has appeared on since its release. A definitive component of the Nashville sound, the Dyna Comp has been used by a huge range of guitar players from every other genre, from David Gilmour and Sonny Landreth to Mark Knopfler and Andy Summers.

 

How would you like to own a genuine 1976 example of this classic compressor? Take a gander at it below. We want YOU to have it.

 

DynaComp_Angle

 

This particular pedal has been inspected, tested, and approved by Dunlop New Electronics Director and Way Huge founder Jeorge Tripps. He dated the pedal using the serial numbers inscribed on its potentiometers. It’s in proper working condition—Jeorge had to replace a broken battery clip with a NOS part—and you’ll get an inspection card signed by the man himself for verification. We took a few shots of the inspection process, which included the removal of decades old foam on the inside of the bottom plate.

 

DynaCompOpen
DynaCompInspect

 

Getting your hands on this piece of history is as simple as answering three questions in the comment section below. You see, we recently asked many of our official Dunlop Artists about their connections, as players and creators of music, to MXR and its effects. We also want to hear about your connection to MXR. All you have to do is answer the following three questions, and we’ll choose one of you at random to receive this pedal. We will also use our favorite responses in an upcoming blog post.

 

Now for the questions…

 

When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on?

 

What was your first MXR effect?

 

What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why?

 

Use the comments section below to answer these three questions. Again, we’ll include our favorite answers in an upcoming blog post, and choose one winner at random to win this vintage 1976 MXR Dyna Comp Compressor! Make sure to provide an email address that you will actually check.

 

While you think about your answers, we have a couple videos for you to check out below. First, watch our interview with Richard Neatrour, one of MXR’s original engineers and the man who co-designed the Dyna Comp Compresor with founder Keith Barr. After that, check out our sweet MXR white room demo of the Dyna Comp Compressor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Category: MXR

Preamp-header

 

If you’re a bass player, and you want proper control over your sound whether on stage or in the studio, you need a preamp/DI box in your gig bag if not on your pedalboard. We’re not talking about the kind of control you get from a 45-band parametric EQ rack piece. We’re talking about maintaining sonic integrity and being able to fine-tune your way through various situations with little fuss. Stuff that every bass player needs to understand about playing outside of the bedroom or the garage. Let’s get right down to it.

 

On stage.

If you’ve played at least a handful of gigs, you know that sound guys like to run the bass signal straight to the mixing board rather than mic’ing your speaker cabinet. So you need to go through a DI (Direct Input) box, a device that lets your signal play nice with a mixing board via an XLR output. The sound guy probably has one, so you’re good. Right?

 

Wrong. The only thing going from his DI box to the mixing board will be the pure signal from your bass pickups. All that external tone shaping from your amp and pedals? Gone. So what do you do? You get a pedal that combines high quality DI functionality with a preamp so you can actually control your sound before it even gets to the sound guy.

 

“But my amp already has a DI output, and I can use my amp’s EQ to shape my sound,” you say. Some amps have great DI capability, yes, but sound guys don’t trust them because they tend to run way too hot for the mixing board. So there goes that EQ option if he doesn’t want to use your amp’s Direct Out. An external preamp is the only sure thing in this scenario.

 

That preamp section will come in handy in other situations as well. You can EQ your way around poor room acoustics and low quality backline gear. Do you use two basses with very different sonic profiles during your set, such as a P Bass and a J Bass? The preamp pedal can also be used as a second channel so you don’t have to go back and forth tweaking the settings on your amp.

 

The keister-saving doesn’t end with live situations, though…

 

In the studio.

Passive pickups tend to put out high impedance signals. Mixing boards are generally built for low impedance signals. So when you run a 1/4″ inch cable straight into the mixing board to record a bass track, there’s a good chance your signal will sound very thin and weak. A Direct Out will convert your signal into a low impedance one so that it plays nicely with the mixing board and keeps the sound of your bass intact. From there, you can use the preamp section to shape the sound to your liking.

 

So now the question is, which DI/preamp box to get?

 

 

Bass_Preamp_Blog_Header

 

The MXR Bass Preamp.

You knew we had you covered, right? Get the MXR Bass Preamp and you won’t look back. It’s got a three band EQ with sweepable midrange for some pretty fine tonal shaping, separate INPUT and OUTPUT level controls that work with both passive and active pickups, and a studio quality DI output with PRE/POST and GROUND LIFT switches. This pedal serves up crystal clear, undistorted bass tone and is housed in a standard MXR box, so you don’t need to sacrifice precious pedalboard space, and it will fit easily into your gig bag. Wanna see this thing in action? Watch the demo below. For more information, visit the product page.

 

 

 

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Category: MXR, Tech Tips