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Customer Kudos "I have built an entire home studio with gear from zZounds.com using their Play As You Pay plan and they've never disappointed. They are flexible on the payment dates and every person I've ever talked to has been super friendly and helpful. I really don't even consider buying gear from anywhere else." - customer on May 30, 2014
Call 1.800.460.8089 to speak with a guitar expert!

zZounds' Guitar Experts' Product Picks: August 2014

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!
Guitar Expert Product Picks: Bert (1.800.460.8089 x299)
Fishman TriplePlay Wireless Guitar Controller
Some purists may disagree when it comes to implementing MIDI into their otherwise pristine signal path. Hey, I get that, I'm the same way. If I'm modeling my tone, I'll go all out; if I'm tracking on a classic amp worth twice my life, I'll keep it all analog. That said, the Fishman TriplePlay Wireless Controller has really impressed me in so many different ways, starting from its ease of use to its foolproof note tracking while performing. This simple-to-mount pickup lives between your bridge and your bridge pickup, and sends those vibrating strings to a wireless transmitter out to your computer. That's the least impressive part about the Fishman TriplePlay system. Pull this up on your computer and the user-customizable fun begins. Want the bass strings to sound like a classic organ bass line with a little key click? Done. Treble side to be a baritone sax? Gotcha. These are just two simple examples that come included with this loaded package. You get literally hundreds upon hundreds of VST tones to be implemented in your DAW with the included software instrument bundle, from synthesis to drum sequencing, all the way to notation. This puts a staggering amount of control at your mouse click. Don't let those hokey MIDI tones of decades past put you off -- this MIDI controller really impressed me with its spot-on tracking, life-like synthesis and real-time versatility with triggering across a number of popular DAWs. Fishman is always on top of their pickup game -- see for yourself how the TriplePlay Wireless Controller stacks up with the rest of their line.

Reverend Mercalli 5 FM Electric Bass, 5-String
Some of our readers might recall how psyched we were a while back to start carrying Reverend Guitars. After our recent trip to NAMM in Nashville, we are just as psyched to be stocking a bunch of their basses after rocking out with them at the Reverend booth. When I pick up a five-string, my go-to licks are seldom going to be lightning-fast funk slaps like zZounds' resident bass expert, Martin; rather, I'm looking for some clank and grit. The rockers out there with the heavier jams will really dig this Mercalli 5-string, with its raw and aggressive "Split Brick" ceramic pickups and maple and walnut neck. This super-balanced frequency response across the strings renews my faith in five-strings by tightening up that floppy B that can sometimes be a deal breaker, and gives an even voice to the rest of the strings in the mix. Put some growl in the woofers and really move some air with this bass. The Reverend Mercalli 5 FM electric bass looks just as great as it sounds!

Gibson GCR05 Memory Cable
When you've got gear on the brain and can't turn it off, you know the creative juices get flowing. A new pedal and amp combination, dropping a new pickup in your guitar, or a nifty little lick that you need a 6-string to flesh out; these thoughts get can get inspiration to strike at any moment. When it comes to getting these ideas from the guitar to being able to share with the band, I've got interfaces, handheld recorders, and plenty of old tape decks around the house, but none compare to how easy the Gibson GCR05 Memory Cable makes it to take it from a melody in your mind to a sharable guitar track. Plug it in. Play. There you go, your ideas are saved to a compact MicroSD card in CD quality, 16-bit resolution. Sometimes, it doesn't have to be complicated to yield a great end result, and this Gibson Memory Cable takes the cake for the job. When you wake up with that killer lead in your head, you'll be glad it's as easy as clicking in a cable to get it down.

Martin GP14 14 Fret Custom Shop Acoustic Guitar
We Guitar Experts got the chance to check out this beauty last weekend at Summer NAMM. I'm not sure where to start with saying how amazing this Martin Grand Performance guitar is. The appointments are stunning: torrefied European spruce top with Guatemalan rosewood back and sides, a cocobolo wedge on the back, a side soundhole for the Fishman Aura VT electronics, and colorful inlays on the neck and back to pull everything together perfectly. And best part of this 50-piece limited run instrument, is that it truly plays like a dream. This is one collector-worthy acoustic that you won't be able to resist taking down and playing.

- Bert, zZounds Guitar Expert

  Gibson GCR05 Memory Cable
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Guitar Expert Product Picks: Justin (1.800.460.8089 x384)
Wampler Velvet Fuzz Pedal
The Wampler Velvet Fuzz is a unique fuzz pedal, in that it actually has customizable options to it! The mark of a good fuzz is always the ability to adjust the grittiness of your signal by rolling your volume knob up or down to taste, and this pedal does that in spades while simultaneously not losing any character. I was a big fan of the switch that changes between "Big" or "Tight" fuzz modes, because let's be honest, who doesn't love options? The Big mode was more of an old-school-sounding fuzz, with heavy compression to cater to lovers of saturated fuzz tones. The Tight mode was my favorite setting -- it reacts to your picking dynamics much differently than Big mode. It's less compressed and allows more subtleties to come through, letting me access more sounds that I'm likely to use regularly. The ability to change how the pedal's fuzz reacts to your playing is a huge plus for me, and with its easy learning curve, the Wampler Velvet is far and away a pedal worth checking out.

EarthQuaker Devices The Depths Vibrato Pedal
The EarthQuaker Devices "The Depths" Vibrato is a seriously cool pedal, proving that a vibrato pedal doesn't have to be the same old sound and design repeated ad nauseum. As a sucker for customizability, I loved how this pedal lets me alter the sound from a classic Uni-Vibe sound at slow Rate knob speeds, to an all-out stutter effect with the knob maxed out. At faster speeds with the Intensity knob cranked, this EarthQuaker stompbox gives you gorgeous washed-out underwater sounds -- after all, it is called The Depths. My favorite features, though, are this pedal's Throb and Voice knobs, which allow you to control a few key aspects of your vibrato sound. The Throb control changes how the low end pulses, which sounds insane when it is stacked with other effects. The Voice knob does exactly what it sounds like it should: it is a sort of EQ knob that either adds a darker tone when maxed out, or a much more mids-focused tone when the knob is dialed back, when you're going for brighter tones. I had a blast playing this pedal, and it's one of my favorites that Earthquaker Devices offers.

Xotic EP Booster Clean Boost Pedal
The Xotic EP Booster Clean Boost Pedal is an idiot-proof device, but contains one mysterious knob that no one quite knows the function of. In all seriousness, this pedal is outrageously awesome for boosting signals while preserving your tone. My top usage for this pedal is throwing it before a distortion or overdrive to get new levels of gain and response -- or inserting it after those pedals to more cleanly lift the signal up and above a band, for instance. Either way, even though the EP Booster only has one knob, it has the potential to take your pedal setup to new territory. The degree of tightness and lucidity achieved with this pedal make it a great way to subtly shape your sound.

Gibson Warren Haynes 1961 ES-335 Electric Guitar
The Gibson Warren Haynes 1961 ES-335 guitar is just a drop-dead gorgeous piece. If you can pull yourself away from just ogling at the Vintage Cherry finish, the guitar plays incredibly comfortably, too. It has an early '60s neck profile, with more narrow depth and shoulders to optimize comfort. The guitar has a few relic'd components, including the Vintage tuners, aged Gibson headstock logo, its bridge, and the aged cream binding. The guitar's tone is strikingly defined, and the guitar possesses great sustain and a bright quality to it that I really liked. If you roll off your tone knob, you can go from classic rock bite to jazz tones and everything in between. Gibson produces a staggering number of 335 artist models, but this one plays and looks so great that I feel it stands out among the crowd. Give the Warren Haynes 1961 ES-335 guitar some lovin'!

- Justin, zZounds Guitar Expert

  Wampler Velvet Fuzz Pedal
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  EarthQuaker Devices The Depths Vibrato Pedal
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Guitar Expert Product Picks: Martin (1.800.460.8089 x347)
Warwick Pro Series Streamer LX4 Electric Bass
I have been lucky enough to have a Warwick Pro Series Streamer LX4 floating around our zZounds Guitar Expert headquarters. This thing rarely leaves my hands. This Warwick bass is very comfortable to play -- very natural-feeling. Plugged in, the Pro Series Streamer LX4 is a slap machine: the brass frets, small body, and P/J pickup arrangements lends itself perfectly to slapping. It is bright and punchy, but didn't let me down in the low-end department. If you're looking for a beastly quality and punch that will knock you off your feet, the Warwick Pro Series Streamer LX4 is a great way to go.

NS Design CR5 RADIUS Electric Bass, 5-String
There are few basses that grab your eye as much as the NS Design Radius 5-string bass. Upon first glance, you think, "Where's the headstock?!" Then, when I picked it up, I said, "Whoa -- the body is curved." The Radius Bass features Hipshot special design tuners behind the bridge. Even though it has that eye-catching Ned Steinberger headless design, the Radius bass made to work with normal single-ball strings. I have seen this bass around the Internet, but didn't truly understand it until I had it in my hands. I found that the ease of playing is one of the strongest features of this Radius 5-string. The metallic bridge, nut, and maple body make for a bright-sounding bass. It's a great bass for someone aiming to look and sound like nobody else.

Eden EX112-4 Bass Speaker Cabinet (300 Watts)
There are many misconceptions that plague bass players. One prominent one is that to get enough low end, you need a big cabinet with a big speaker. The Eden EX112 proves that tall tale wrong. At 30 pounds, this little cabinet has a huge sound -- I was blown away by how much low end and clarity this little guy has. I was so impressed, I grabbed one for a jazz trio gig. My upright bass sounded beautifully natural and full running through the EX112. After playing it, I checked the price tag. $249.99!? You would be hard-pressed to find such a great-sounding cab at this price, with this portability, anywhere else. This is a affordable, portable steal of a bass cab that does it all.

Eden WTX500 Bass Amplifier Head (500 Watts)
Portability is the name of the game for a gigging musician, especially bass players. We have enough to haul around, especially if we double on upright. The last thing we need is a giant rig that breaks our back for some small background-music gig at a restaurant. The Eden WTX 500 is the perfect portable amp head. It has lots of power and features in a very small package, which Eden accomplished by making most of the knobs push/pull for secondary features. The "Enhance" knob provides very useful tone shaping on top of the three-band EQ. I found the WTX500 to have the Eden signature clarity. All told, the Eden WTX500 is a great portable amp head for a gigging upright or electric bass player.

- Martin, Bass Specialist, zZounds Guitar Expert Team

  Warwick Pro Series Streamer LX4 Electric Bass
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Guitar Expert Product Picks: Dan (1.800.460.8089 x310)
Pedaltrain JR HC Pedalboard with ATA Flight Case
From the great people at Pedaltrain comes the Junior model of their successful line of pedalboards. This is about as sturdy as you can get when it comes to pedalboards. With its included ATA flight case, you don't have to worry about taking it on a plane with you for that far-off gig. A few new upgraded features make the Pedaltrain Jr. stand out: it now includes brackets and even comes with instructions on how to mount a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2. This case has served me well in helping transport my pedals, and it's saved me plenty of worry over whether they will be damaged. The added bonus of being able to mount power supplies to the pedalboard, helps when I'm trying to avoid clutter when setting up my rig. This is a must-have for anyone who is always transporting their guitar pedals.

Power-All PA9B Basic Kit for 5 Pedals
Are you constantly getting all your power supplies all tangled up, due to the sheer number of them that you're schlepping around? Running out of space on your power strip because it's crowded with chunky wall-warts? In comes the Power-All Basic Kit. This power supply kit replaces pretty much every 9 VDC power adapter with a single power supply. The basic kit allows you to power up to five pedals, and comes with additional jumper cables if you need something aside from the typical 9-volt adapter. The Power-All PA9B kit definitely helped me save space while powering on all of my pedals. Best of all, I was not limited to just five pedals at a time -- this kit gives you the option to purchase more daisy-chain cables to increase your powering options. Power-All's PA9B kit is definitely a great add-on to anyone's basic pedal setup.

TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal
Another winner from the fine folks at TC Electronic, the Hall of Fame reverb is the Swiss Army knife of reverb pedals. With this bad boy in your loop, you can get pretty much all the types of reverb that you are looking for, and then some. The big attraction here is TC's TonePrint technology, which really helps when you want to achieve a tone like that of your favorite artists -- and with the list of artists in their TonePrint library always growing, you're bound to find the tone you're going for. If you're looking for one pedal that lets you customize and create numerous kinds of reverb effects, the Hall of Fame is the one to go with.

Gibson Limited-Edition 2014 Explorer 120 Electric Guitar (with Case)
The Gibson Explorer is back to celebrate 120 years of Gibson. This newly updated edition of the classic Explorer guitar truly stands out. As with the other models commemorating 12 decades of Gibson, we get the understated 120th Anniversary banner at the 12th fret, and another nice touch on this guitar is the neck binding. In addition to those cosmetic appointments, Gibson upgraded this Explorer's original humbuckers to Burstbuckers. These pickups definitely give you the type of sound you would expect from a Les Paul-style guitar in a classic Explorer body. This limited-edition model won't last, so if you see one, get a hold of it!

- Dan, zZounds Guitar Expert

  Pedaltrain JR HC Pedalboard with ATA Flight Case
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  TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal
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Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

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

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on most orders $49+

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