Best Bedroom Amp Review: Orange Rocker 15 and Henriksen Bud

It’s been awhile since I posted a “Boles Blues” review of guitars, guitar amps and other musical gear. Two things were conspiring against me over that time. One, I injured my left wrist. That’s my “fretting” hand, so playing was difficult. The second conspiracy came in two parts, a couple of years apart: Floods! The first flood that hit my apartment came from three flights above and ruined half of my guitar collection. The second flood, two years later, arrived from the same burst pipe in the same apartment on the third floor, and ruined every single guitar amp I owned. The water damage ruined my musical collection and — because I pay for my own gear — I knew it was going to take awhile to get musically re-established.


Continue reading → Best Bedroom Amp Review: Orange Rocker 15 and Henriksen Bud

The Right-Angle Monster Cable Studio Pro 1000 Review

I have written a lot of instrument cable reviews.  I love Evidence Audio.  Mogami make high-quality cables.  Many guitars you buy include free cables.  Some people don’t think you can hear a difference between brands of cable, but I can.  An Evidence Audio cable always sounds better and deeper and brighter than a Fender cable.  I can also hear how a cable changes my guitar tone from amp to amp — so I’m a big believer in your gear making a difference in your sound.  As well, guitar picks also influence your overall vibe.

When I received my fantabulous Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno guitar, I was frustrated that, for the first time in my guitar acquisition syndrome career, I did not have the right cable in hand to effectively and comfortably play that guitar.

I was delighted when expert luthier Roger Sadowsky commented on my Boles Blues review of his guitar to suggest the following:

Thanks for the nice review, David. Glad you a happy with your guitar.

Regarding the location of the jack, may I suggest a right angle plug. Structurally, this is the best and safest location for a side jack. I have repaired too many broken ribs in my career from side jacks in their normal locations.

I promise you I will check for strings sticking in the nut slots more closely from now on!

Best,

Roger

I was on a mission to find a right-angle guitar cable and, to my grateful surprise, Monster Cable read my review and offered to send me the right cable from their Studio Pro line:

Continue reading → The Right-Angle Monster Cable Studio Pro 1000 Review

The Electro-Harmonix Hum Debugger Review

We live in an electrically noisy place.  Phantom hums and radio stations and static are commonplace when I plug in my guitars to my amps and begin to wail.  I’ve tried noise decimators in the past, but they sucked tone out of the chain, and so I’ve just had to live with turning down the Gain and putting up with that humming and noise.

Then, the other day, a friend of mine recommended the Hum Debugger from Electro-Harmonix.  The purpose of the pedal is dead nut simple:

Every musician battles hum in their signal chain. The Hum Debugger turns it into dead silence, courtesy of a little EHX magic. Not a noise gate, and not a noise suppressor — but a real hum extractor. Silence is golden.

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Happy Birthday to Boles Blues!

One year ago today, we published the first BolesBlues.com article called, rightly enough — “What is BolesBlues.com?” — and that article was quickly followed by, “From Old Cooter to Boles Blues” to help explain the provenance of who we are and what we hoped to become in time.

Continue reading → Happy Birthday to Boles Blues!

The Evidence Audio Forte Guitar Cable Review

On November 10, 2009, I wrote an article — The Evidence Audio Cables Review — in Scientific Aesthetic and, to this day, that review is still one of the most read posts on that Boles Blogs Network blog!  There’s a reason for the popularity.  Tony Farinella at Evidence Audio makes outstanding audio and guitar cables.

When I recently reviewed my new Jimmy Bruno guitar — crafted by expert luthier Roger Sadowsky — I lamented the fact that the guitar pretty much required a right-angle guitar cable and that I didn’t have one, even though I have mounds of really keen Evidence Audio cables I’d purchased in the past.

In the comments stream for my guitar review, Roger Sadowsky offered the following thought:

David,

Tony Farinella at Evidence is a great guy. Why not ask him if you could send him some of your cables and have a right angle plug added to one end? Tell him I sent you!

Roger

Shazam!  Roger was right!

As I reflected on my original Evidence audio review in 2009, I remembered Tony wrote a kind note in email and offered to send me his — at that time — “in development” Forte cable for review, with no strings attached, when the cable actually went public.

I looked up his original offer and wrote Tony a note and pointed him to the commentary thread with Roger and, last week, a beautiful right-angle Evidence Audio Forte cable arrived in the mail!

Continue reading → The Evidence Audio Forte Guitar Cable Review

Bobby the Wannabe Blues Reviewer: Ten Sentence Story #155

Bobby had only one dream in life.

He wanted to be a “Blues Reviewer” — and he’d sell his soul to the Devil if he could only write about musical things he loved online.

Continue reading → Bobby the Wannabe Blues Reviewer: Ten Sentence Story #155

The Home Amps Review

If you decide to play an electric guitar, realize right now the sound you make isn’t just in the wood, strings and your fingertips.  You’re going to have to buy a proper amp to bring alive that sound in your head.  Finding “that sound” can quickly become an expensive and lifelong test of your yearning to create that warm, overdriven, rich and lush musicality that defines your spirit and cultures a generation.

Continue reading → The Home Amps Review