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Call 1.800.460.8089 to speak with a guitar expert!

zZounds' Guitar Experts' Picks for June 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)
I am so stoked that we're now carrying a heaping helping of Catalinbread stompboxes! These pedals have been on my board for years, but not available from zZ 'til now. I can't praise these pedals enough with our customers and my local pedal junkies here in our scene. Chances are they've got a flavor for you, from soft-clipping '60s fuzz, to super-psyched-out delay trails, to gnarly noisemakers for the avant tweakers. Their engineers know what's up. Here are a few of my top recommendations for starters -- well worth the wait!

Catalinbread Merkin Fuzz Pedal
This guy does the super-zappy, almost square-wavey, blown-out fuzz that modern, aggressive rock players and throwback tone aficionados alike will love on guitar, bass, or hey, even your mono synth. Think super-fuzzy Big Brother and the Holding Company thickness that totally saturates and sustains a 12- or 15-inch speaker to that sweet spot just short of an explosion. While not a terribly bright fuzz, the Merkin won't gobble up your leads -- it does a real smooth compression for lead playing that pops out without shrill harshness.

Catalinbread Belle Epoch EP-3 Tape Echo Recreation Pedal
I am the type of player who loads up the front end of my amp with all my pedals. Multiple delays, modulation pedals, you name it -- all before the preamp section. The Belle Epoch has been slamming the front end of my tube combos and solid-state heads for some time now, and this ain't leaving my setup any time soon. Some folks like a real clean delay trail, and those folks will throw a time-based box in the effects loop. I'd say this one shines in the front end mainly because of its preamp boost that dirties up the front end oh-so-nicely, adding a thickness for slapback, double-track grit, all the way to super-long trails with ambient dirt in your repeats. Totally does the clickety-clacking tape oscillations and tape-warbley modulations for the noisy folks too! Are you really going to keep bringing your precious Echoplex on the road every night?

Catalinbread Montavillian Ambient Echo Pedal
Alrighty, let's talk about a different delay flavor now. The Montavillian was one of the first time-based effects from Catalinbread I had a chance to play with, and my first impression was that dub-reggae type of echo you've heard on snares, for the 6-string players! I've since ditched my old tweakable digital delay for the Montavillian. This pedal delivers those high-feedback-rate trails that stick around and pile up, creating a huge maelstrom out of your once-smooth jazzy lick. Drop your guitar's volume down a bit, and you've got some crystal-clear resolution in your trails, without the sterility of phony-bologna digi-delays. Cue dub-reggae snare...

Catalinbread RAH Royal Albert Hall Overdrive Pedal
I sure can't do the speedy and sloppy Page shredding, but now you can nail that tone without dropping, well...a lot on the real thing. Breathe some life into your trusty old combo with the RAH. CB's has put out some really cool emulations of old-school rigs and O.G. rock star tones, but this one stands out amongst the Zep fans and classic rockers with its amazing touch sensitivity. While there aren't many, if any, bells and whistles on this one, you have a good idea of what to expect if you're familiar with this specific Zep performance where Mr. Page lights up a full stack. I mean, they went for it, and they nailed it -- check out their full band demo on YouTube. This one's not for the for the "rip it and grip it" crowd, but for the soft-touch player that can really slam it down when the song calls for it.

- Bert, zZounds Guitar Expert

Catalinbread Merkin Fuzz Pedal
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
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Catalinbread Belle Epoch EP-3 Tape Echo Recreation ...
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
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Catalinbread Montavillian Ambient Echo Pedal
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
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Catalinbread RAH Royal Albert Hall Overdrive Pedal
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
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Guitar Expert Product Picks: Justin (1.800.460.8089 x384)
Fender Limited Edition USA Stratocaster Sandblast Electric Guitar, Maple Fretboard (with Gig Bag)
This year, Fender has been releasing tons of new limited products, but the Sandblasted Strat is particularly unique. The sandblasting is partly responsible -- no two finishes will look and feel the same way. Aside from the finish, this is a solid USA-made guitar with your time-approved specs: 9.5" fretboard radius, 25.5" scale length, American Standard Strat pickups and more. The neck is a good size, not too large and not too small, which made it comfy in any register of the fretboard and allowed me to navigate easily. Overall, it's a solid Strat at a solid price, and the most distinctive Stratocaster released in quite a while.

Wampler Plexi-Drive Deluxe Effects Pedal
This pedal is an awesome update to the already superb Plexi-Drive pedal. My favorite addition was the Pre-Gain switch that acts as a boost to help saturate your drive tone even more. Best of all, it operates independently from the main Post-Gain section and therefore can be used on its own. The Bass switch beefs up your lows and really does work well to combat the thinner tone you get out of running some amps at lower volumes. The Bright switch really makes a difference in sound; it's sharp and cutting -- perfect for darker amps or when your tone needs a push out in front of a band. It really does sound like a Marshall, but most importantly, it even responds like a Marshall, and because of that, I think this pedal really hits the mark.

- Justin, zZounds Guitar Expert

 
Wampler Plexi-Drive Deluxe Effects Pedal
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
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Guitar Expert Product Picks: Martin (1.800.460.8089 x347)
Warwick GPS German Pro Series Streamer Stage I 4 Electric Bass
As a Warwick fan, I've been eagerly awaiting the new Pro Series line. I was not disappointed in the German Pro Series basses -- they are made in the same factory in Germany as Warwick's higher-end basses, using the same high-quality woods and manufacturing techniques. I was really excited to see the GPS Streamer we got was neck-thru -- you can't beat the sustain of neck-through construction! This Streamer also has the beautiful, super-comfortable wenge fingerboard we have come to expect from Warwick, the Warwick 3D bridge, and Just-A-Nut III. Overall, the Warwick German Pro Series Streamer Stage I is a excellent, high-quality, German-made bass with the signature Warwick sound and feel -- at a more affordable price.

Radial Tonebone Bassbone V2 Bass Guitar Preamp Pedal
I love my Radial Bassbone pedal -- it's one of my most useful pieces of gear. At NAMM 2015, I was able to swing by the Radial booth, and was delighted to see this new version of the classic Bassbone preamp pedal. Radial kept the same basic design, and added some excellent new features. The one I am most excited about is the PZB boost -- a variable boost for piezo pickups, which are often used on upright bass pickups. This feature makes doubling on upright and electric bass even easier than this pedal did before. The Radial Bassbone V2 has all the usefulness and quality of the original Bassbone, with added features that make it perfect for a working bass player.

- Martin, Bass Specialist, zZounds Guitar Expert Team

 
 
Guitar Expert Product Picks: Dan (1.800.460.8089 x310)
BeatBuddy Pedal Drum Machine
When you think of drum machines, you think one type of sound at a time, with not much on-the-fly usage. The great thing about the BeatBuddy pedal is its ability to add in fills while playing, and even transition to other parts with just a simple tap of the foot. Plus, the BeatBuddy comes loaded with seemingly endless genres and styles of drums. Just when you think you're done checking out all the drums, the included software lets you come up with more. Along with this, you get access to the online BeatBuddy community, where you can share and find more user-created drums. With the pedal's color-changing screen, it's easy to see which part of the song you are in -- keeping you more focused on what you're playing. This pedal brings years of innovation into a portable companion suited for any gigging musician on the go. Learn more about the BeatBuddy on our Fresh Pick of the Month page!

Vox AC10C1 Guitar Combo Amplifier
Looking to get the classic Vox tone without the extra weight and volume? Check out the Vox AC10C1. As players with higher-wattage amplifiers know, to get a nice crunch from a big amp, you will have to run it pretty loud. With this lower-wattage amp, you can really get serious grit without having to increase the volume. Being a smaller amplifier, the AC10 is much more travel-friendly, too. This lightweight Vox amp is great for those who aren't necessarily looking to go big with the AC15, but prefer something beefier than an AC4. The AC10C1's addition of digital reverb really adds to the classic tones that you know and love from Vox. This is a great buy for those that are constantly gigging, or looking for a portable amplifier for recording.

- Dan, zZounds Guitar Expert

 
BeatBuddy Pedal Drum Machine
or 4 payments of $74.75
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Vox AC10C1 Guitar Combo Amplifier
or 4 payments of $112.50
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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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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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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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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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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!