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Call 1.800.460.8089 to speak with a guitar expert!

zZounds' Guitar Experts' Picks for May 2015

zZounds' Guitar Experts are on call Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm, offering expert advice, service and product recommendations for customers seeking professional insight into their own rigs. Every month, our guitar experts choose their favorite zZounds gear, and every month we bring you those selections here. Bookmark this page and check back regularly for our latest product picks!

If you have any questions, or need some additional assistance, simply give our Guitar Experts a call at 1.800.460.8089!

Follow the Experts on Twitter at @zZGuitarExperts!
Guitar Expert Product Picks: Bert (1.800.460.8089 x299)
Electro-Harmonix Super Pulsar Stereo Tap Tremolo Pedal
There's an expression I use pretty frequently when helping out our customers: "Too many chefs spoil the soup." This is great when folks are looking for suggestions and I can nail down a couple choices that do exactly what they want. Goes point A to point B, simple, really easy user interface, blah blah, et cetera. That's awesome, and it's cool when you know that a part of gear will in fact nail that tone that's bouncing around your head. Okay, drop that. Let's get complicated here. EHX pedals have pushed players into the experimental stratosphere for decades. Their track record has thousands of hits made with the ingenuity of the players using their tools. Look at this thing. The Electro-Harmonix Super Pulsar has more controls than the moon lander. Yep, it can totally do the old Silverface trem thing, and probably any vintage-y type of trem your heart desires. If that's all you want, the Super Pulsar Stereo Tremolo is gonna blow your mind with possibilities, and I'd stay away! This one's for the space-case tweakers staring at their shoes. For starters, we're talking about super-dreamy reverse tremolo swells, user-set rhythmic tremolos, insanely responsive and customizable touch sensitivity to your strum, expression pedal control, and legit stereo spread. Just about every parameter in between is tweakable, too. It's not over the top, it's EHX; they've always been ahead of the pack when it comes to pulling out all the stops. Necessity is the mother of invention, and if you need to craft a tone that takes it past Jupiter and beyond the Infinite, the EHX Super Pulsar needs some terra firma on your board. Space puns all day here. Check it out.

- Bert, zZounds Guitar Expert

 
 
 
Guitar Expert Product Picks: Justin (1.800.460.8089 x384)
PRS Paul Reed Smith S2 Vela Electric Guitar
The new S2 lineup has arguably been the very most PRS you can get for the money, and the Vela is no exception. With its offset body shape, solid mahogany body and neck construction, big brass saddles, and the unique combination of a Starla humbucker in the bridge and a Type-D single-coil in the neck, this guitar is an absolute joy to play. PRS knows that a quality neck is pivotal in making a guitar feel great, and the oily rosewood fingerboard offers even better comfort. It comes with a Pattern Regular neck, which sits just in the middle in terms of bulk -- not too small, but enough heft to make it feel substantial. I can't stress enough how easy to play this guitar is. I absolutely loved the low end and attack you get on the Starla bridge pickup, and it was able to play metal, rock, blues, and even some jazz with its Type D single-coil neck pickup on. This is one of my favorite S2 guitars -- I really bonded with it. Get it!

J. Rockett Audio Animal Overdrive Pedal
The J. Rockett Animal pedal was a pleasant surprise. Before plugging in, I already knew this was supposed to be a "Plexi-style" overdrive pedal, but the sheer number of usable overdrive tones put it in another league entirely. I was running it through a tube Fender combo, and it easily meshed well with the amp. The gain was tight and focused without the mushy lows or overly aggressive top end associated with some pedals. The gain felt malleable; it cleaned up nicely with my volume knob and crunched just like a Plexi. However, with the gain maxed, this thing was nothing less than an ANIMAL! Palm mutes sounded crushing (which is crazy on a Fender) and the lead tone was saturated just how I like it. This pedal will soon be the next addition in med/high-gain overdrives on my pedalboard.

- Justin, zZounds Guitar Expert

 
PRS Paul Reed Smith S2 Vela Electric Guitar, Dot ...
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Guitar Expert Product Picks: Martin (1.800.460.8089 x347)
Ampeg SCR-DI Bass DI Direct Box with Scrambler Overdrive
Bass players know how important a DI is. The Ampeg SCR-DI allows you to get the growly Ampeg bass tone, without carrying a 8x10 rig. It has the signature Ampeg "Ultra Hi" and "Ultra Lo" buttons for that scooped-mid tone. It also has the Ampeg "Scrambler" overdrive built in. The Ampeg SCR-DI is a great way to get some dirty Ampeg overdrive -- perfect for someone trying to a huge Ampeg sound out of any PA or studio setup.

Hofner HIBB Ignition Violin Electric Bass
The Hofner Violin bass is iconic, made famous by a certain bass-playing Beatle. The Hofner HIBB Ignition has the look and sound of the famous German bass at a more affordable price. Hofner sent a HIBB Ignition bass to our office. Out of the box, this bass was very easy to play. It was very light, and the small neck was easy to get around. The real magic of the Hofner Ignition bass is plugging it in -- it had that great round thumpy sound. For the look and sound of a classic bass at a great price, you can't beat the Hofner HIBB Ignition Bass.

- Martin, Bass Specialist, zZounds Guitar Expert Team

 
Ampeg SCR-DI Bass DI Direct Box with Scrambler ...
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Guitar Expert Product Picks: Dan (1.800.460.8089 x310)
Radial Headload Guitar Amp Load Box
The Headload from Radial really helps solve the loudness issue we sometimes come across, being both a load box and speaker attenuator. Insert this bad boy between your amp head and cabinet, and you'll have control over your decibels while still letting your amp drive hard. For those that are looking to reduce stage volume, or even rock out at home without waking up the whole neighborhood, you can dial in the perfect tone with this -- with pretty much every combination that you might need for your live setup. You can even turn off the output for direct recording. The added feature of the Radial Phazer allows you to blend the Headload's direct out with a mic on your cabinet to get fuller, thicker tones out of your amp -- or try phasing it way out to get some trippy effects. One thing that stuck out to me was the Headload's voicing switch, which gives you more options by providing cabinet emulations. Touring musicians: keep this weapon in your arsenal to help you dial in that perfect sound, even at low volumes.

TC Electronic Alter Ego X4 Vintage Echo and Delay Pedal
With this pedal, you get what you are looking for without having to get multiple individual pedals. Taking what you expect from TC Electronic, and upping the ante on variety of sounds, we have the Alter Ego X4 pedal. The effects that you get from this pedal are spot-on to vintage delay effects, with an added looper function. As always, TC's TonePrint technology brings a new layer into this, letting you dial in specific tones in a matter of seconds -- subtle delays, to very far-out ethereal/ambient tones, to spacey sounds. This is not just any delay pedal -- this is the one to get when you're looking for more effects than you can think of.

- Dan, zZounds Guitar Expert Team

 
Radial HeadLoad Guitar Amp Load Box
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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as You Pay installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as You Pay plans.

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2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

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3. zZounds gets you your gear fast

At zZounds, you‘ll get your gear fast and, usually, with free delivery. Because we have warehouses in New Jersey, Nevada and Mississippi, nearly 95 percent of Americans reside within our two-day shipping zones. Combine this with the fact that many of our best-selling products qualify for free two-day delivery and you get expedited shipping without the additional cost.

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4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

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5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

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close [x]
Available on
orders $249+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
on most orders $29+

Just $1.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
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Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!