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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…




























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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
































































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Category: Artist News, Events



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.




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.




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



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?





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



Music evolves over time, and the needs of musicians change accordingly. Players develop new styles and techniques, and they need gear that adapts to their new sonic demands. Over the last few decades, this has been especially true for bass players. The modern pantheon of bass playing icons—from John Entwhistle and Geezer Butler to Jaco Pastorius to Larry Graham and Marcus Miller—is a testament to how dynamic the role of the electric bass player has become. Today’s bass players draw from a huge inventory of techniques, and they demand more control over their instrument and their sound.


Bass strings have been slow to adapt to this demand. Dunlop has had the more traditional rock and funk tones and techniques covered for years with our Nickel and Stainless Steel Bass Strings. But bass strings aren’t a one-size-fits-all piece of gear. Many of our bass playing comrades came to us asking for a different type of string to accommodate their more advanced, more complex playing techniques. They need every note to be crystal clear, and they need the ability to fly up and down the fretboard with ease and comfort. With these needs in mind, we created Super Bright™ Bass Strings.


Super Bright Strings put your sound front and center with a crisp, vibrant top end and a fat bottom with a focused fundamental. Each frequency has its own sonic space, allowing you to hear the full range of your instrument in high definition. And with lighter tension and a smoother feel, they won’t get in your way. You can get Super Bright Bass Strings in both Nickel and Stainless Steel.


Want to learn more? We asked four highly skilled and experienced pros, four guys who are in the trenches, to tell us how Super Bright Bass Strings have enhanced their playing and creative experience. Paul Turner currently plays for Jamiroquai as well as his own funk/soul band Shuffler, and he’s also played for many artists, including Bryan Ferry and Annie Lennox. Janek Gwizdala has recorded, toured, and otherwise worked with several artists including Peter Erskine and John Mayer. Steve Lawson is an accomplished solo bassist, clinician, and recording artist. Steve Jenkins has worked with Vernon Reid, the Roots, and jazz fusion guitarist David Gilmore. Read their answers below. After that, check out our new Super Bright Strings demo video to hear how they sound.


What was your initial impression playing right after you strung up the bass? Did you notice a difference right away, or were the differences more noticeable when playing in a band situation?


Paul Turner: The difference was immediately noticeable. They felt like a lighter gauge but still sounded thick.


Janek Gwizdala: I noticed a huge difference as soon as I strung up the bass for the first time. The touch and the feel were immediately enhanced, and this translated to both the stage and the studio. I’ve been discovering a new range of sounds I’m able to develop and control.


Steve Lawson: The difference was really big! Partly because I was switching from Nickels to Steels, but the tension, feel, and tone were all very different. Across the neck, the tension matched my bass better than any strings I’d put on it before. The sound had SO much more presence.


Steve Jenkins:I noticed a difference right away. The Super Brights have an evenness and consistency which was unmistakable.



Can you describe the sound of Super Bright Strings compared to what you’ve played before?


Turner: The Nickels have beautiful sweet highs and nice balanced tone, and both the Nickels and the Steels have more lows from them, yet the fundamental pitch is also stronger and clearer.


Gwizdala: Technically I’m afraid I can’t describe the difference, but I can tell you it’s enhancing my experience as a bass player and a musician in ways I didn’t think were possible.


Lawson: The sound has LOADS of presence without losing low end. The gauges are really well matched, and the volume is really consistent.


Jenkins: They are bright without being brittle, and they also settle in more quickly. I tend to like new strings better after the 3rd or 4th day, but the Super Brights got me to that point much quicker.



How does the tone of Super Bright Strings sit in the mix when playing with guitar and drums?


Turner: They sit perfectly with clear pitch and weight to the note.


Gwizdala: They sit in the mix great. The biggest thing for me is the added control I have over my sound now. I’ve always played my amp and bass completely flat, so all adjustments in my sound have come from the fingers. Super Bright Strings give me an extra range in my “finger EQ” that is priceless.


Lawson: It’s way more present than before and sits nicely under whoever I’m playing with, and cuts through when I’m playing melodies and chords. Very versatile.


Jenkins: They record great. I am currently working on two records that are very different from each other. Finding the right tone with Super Bright Strings is that much easier on both records.



What techniques, if any, have been made easier by using Super Bright Strings?


Turner: They encourage more expression as they respond so amazingly well. Vibrato, glisses, hammer-on, pull-off, variation in slaps and pops… Everything seems to be more rewarding.


Gwizdala: Dynamic range is the first thing that comes to mind. The tour with Peter Erskine for instance has been one of the most challenging of my career because of the dynamics of the band. I’m essentially taking the place of an acoustic instrument in a jazz trio, and in a number of places was the only musician plugged-in… Acoustic piano, acoustic drums, and no PA—that’s a dynamic challenge for any electric bass player. Halfway through the tour I finished a show and said to myself, “I have literally never been happier with my sound right now.” That’s due in large part to the Super Bright Strings.


Lawson: I can play WAY faster thanks to the lower tension, and also, since I was switching from Nickel to Stainless Steel, I have more grip on the strings. It’s actually made for more accuracy and speed. I don’t slide off the strings.


Jenkins: I play with my fingers, my thumb, sometimes a pick, and I also use some unorthodox right hand techniques, but no matter what I’m doing technically, when I want to really articulate something, it’s really easy to do with the Super Brights.  Even after the strings have been on for a while, it’s still easy to be expressive.



How do these strings feel compared to others you’ve played?


Turner: I love how soft the tension feels, which was a quality I liked on my previous favorite strings, but the Super Bright Strings are even more playable. Initially the Steels are more rough and sticky, but once played in they are infectious. The Nickels are the nicest feeling strings I’ve ever played.


Lawson: Really well-balanced, a lot lower tension.


Jenkins: They aren’t as abrasive in terms of how they feel on the fretting hand. Especially the Steels.



How do they respond to your attack?


Turner: Absolutely perfectly for what I want to express.


Gwizdala: I want a huge range of options when it comes to the how fast I strike a string, and Super Bright Strings have only added to my dynamic ability. I’ve found that with the 10’s of 1000’s of hours I’ve spent with my instrument that the margins for improvement in my playing, in my sound, and my movement forward with music are very small. But thanks to these strings, those margins have just widened greatly.


Lawson: I vary my attack ALL the time, and these strings keep up. I don’t feel like I’m chasing around the bass trying to find the right sound. It’s just there.


Jenkins: They are very responsive and they make expressive playing a breeze.



Why did you make the switch to Super Bright Strings?


Turner: They have all the qualities of my previous faves—playable tension and strong fundamental—but they have extra lows and amazing dynamics. I’d been looking for a good 5-string set, and the Super Bright B string is much clearer and more balanced, responding well to pizzicato and slapping.

Lawson: A lot of things about my sound and playing have been changing of late. I’ve been building towards a more aggressive sound, and the Super Bright Strings got me closer to my target.


Jenkins: I wasn’t necessarily looking to switch string brands. But I put a set of Super Brights on my passive J-bass, and it sang when it needed to and was funky when it needed to be. I immediately wanted them on all of my basses. Super Bright Strings have the exact qualities I need from a bass string at this time with the music I’m currently playing.


Gwizdala: When a company recognizes what you’re looking for, when they provide unwavering support for what you do, and when you can have confidence that when you’re halfway around the world and you reach into your gig bag for a set of fresh strings right before a gig, you’re reaching for a flawless product, you really have something special.



Check out our demo of Super Bright Bass Strings below, and read Bass Player’s review of them here.




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Category: Dunlop Strings


The wine has been poured and the dust has settled at the Napa Valley fairgrounds and the 2014 BottleRock Napa Valley has come to a close. In its second year of existence, the fledgling music festival showed that, even in the face of it’s first year’s adversity, Napa knows how to put on a show. BottleRock brought four stages showcasing everything from national touring acts to local youth choirs and enough gourmet food options to satiate any craving showgoers might have, and wash it all down with selections from some of the best wine and craft beer that Northern California has to offer.


New festival owner / organizer Latitude 38 CEO David Graham perfectly described the BottleRock experience: “BottleRock Napa Valley is all about blending great music, food and wine…It really is a feast for your senses. Fans will experience rock star on so many levels: top chefs and culinary superstars, world class winemakers and amazing musicians all rocking out together making BottleRock totally unique. There’s just no other music festival that matches the quality of wine and food offerings BottleRock provides.”


The musical lineup boasted more than 60 artists, bands and performers, including The Cure, Outkast, Eric Church, Weezer, The Fray, Heart, LL Cool J with DJ Z-Trip, Matt & Kim, Deerhunter, Matisyahu, Sublime with Rome, Gin Blossoms, Spin Doctors, Third Eye Blind and dozens more. On the culinary side, Morimoto, Angèle, The Thomas, Allegria, Ca’ Momi, La Condesa, Oakville Grocery, Tarla Grill, Whole Foods, Villa Corona, Eiko’s, Fume Bistro, Napkins Bar and Grill, Il Posto Trattoria, Nick’s Cove and food trucks like Bacon Bacon, Curry Up More and others were all on hand to keep the hunger at a minimum.


Dunlop was on site as well, and we captured some of the most interesting sights to be seen at the festival. Fore more photos from the event and info on next years festival, be sure to check out the BottleRock Napa Valley web site.


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Category: Events


We spent last weekend at Rock On The Range in Columbus, OH, hanging out with our friends from Crazy Dave’s Music, in their tent with a bunch of other gear manufacturers, and fans who stopped by to demo new gear, meet some of their favorite players at meet-and-greet events, and watch, or compete in, Crazy Dave’s 30 Seconds to Shred contest. Trivium guitarist Corey Beaulieu was the guest judge, and we provided the grand prize for the contest—an authentic, fully loaded and autographed Zakk Wylde pedal board featuring a Zakk Wylde Signature Cry Baby Wah Wah, Dunlop Rotovibe, Wylde Phase, Black Label Chorus and Berzerker Overdrive! Congrats to winner Dustin Thompson, who shredded above the other contenders to take the win!


Meanwhile, on stage at Rock On The Range, we caught a ton of great live music from awesome bands like Slayer, Mastodon, Trivium, Black Label Society, Avenged Sevenfold, Alter Bridge and lot more. And of course, we captured all the action in photos. Enjoy these shots from our 2014 Rock On The Range experience. Many thanks to all the fans, bands, crew members, and all the good folks at Crazy Dave’s for having us with them! See y’all next year!

























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Category: Events



Dunlop Bass Product Manager Darryl Anders spent several days with bass superman Marcus Miller during a recent weekend in the Bay Area. Marcus was in town rehearsing for and performing at the SF Jazz Center’s 2014 Gala with pianist Herbie Hancock, who was being honored with a lifetime achievement award for his artistic genius and groundbreaking musical contributions.


Marcus, armed with his famous ’77 Fender Jazz bass and a small but powerful arsenal of MXR Bass Innovation pedals, laid the foundation for the quintet’s three sold out performances. Whether supporting the soloist with tasty grooves or playing one of his signature thumb slinging bass solos, Marcus was the perfect addition to the stellar lineup of world class musicians which included Vinnie Caliuta (drums), Lionel Loueke (guitar) and Zakir Hussein (tablas and percussion).




According to Miller, his MXR Bass Octave Deluxe has been on stages around the world with him. “It always delivers with incredible tracking and huge sound that audiences always react to.”




For this tour Marcus’ pedalboard included the Bass Octave Deluxe as well as the M87 Bass Compressor, and M82 Bass Envelope Filter. While he was in town, he picked up the newly released M81 Bass Preamp to add to his board!


For more information on Marcus Miller go to



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Category: Artist News, MXR


When Scottish post-rock band Mogwai rolled their tour bus into the alley behind the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, CA on Friday April 18th, we were there to meet them. With enough gear to stock a mom-and-pop guitar shop—including MXR and Way Huge effects, Dunlop Strings, and Tortex Picks—Mogwai graciously showed us around their touring rigs, and then proceeded to get the job done in front of a packed house.














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Category: Artist News, Events

Last weekend, we traveled across the country from our HQ in Benicia, CA to Jacksonville, FL for the annual Welcome To Rockville festival. We joined up with our friends at Crazy Dave’s Music Shop, set up some demo stations in their awesome, giant tent, and hung out with a whole bunch of rabid rock fans and players. We gave away an autographed and fully loaded Zakk Wylde pedal board for Crazy Dave’s 30 Seconds To Shred contest. We also caught up with our friends in Dunlop bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Seether, Black Label Society and more!


Enjoy the photos below, and if you’re headed out to Carolina Rebellion this weekend—Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday, May 4th—we’ll be at it again with demos, giveaways, and more good times, so come find us in the Crazy Dave’s Music tent! If you can’t make it to the show, you can keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!





















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Category: Events