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Staff Picks: July 2015

Well 2015 is halfway over and we have already seen some amazing gear drop. There have been some fabulous tone makers hitting the market since January, and we here at wanted to point a few out and let you all know what makes them so cool.     

  1. Walrus Audio Bellwether: Analog delay will never die, especially if companies like Walrus keep making such killer units! Short of being digital and colorless, the Bellwether is full of adjustment and hands-on sculptability. There's also an Expression jack and Tap Tempo buttion to help keep your whole body in the action too. But, what about modulation? got it! But, what about stereo output? got it! Ok fine, it has tap tempo. But what about when I need a dotted 8th or triplet? got it! Everything is at your fingertips. Of course, one thing that makes us happy is an analog delay with a tone knob! Everyone loves the soft pad-like response from analog repeats, but being able to turn the tone brighter to get rhythmic and cutting delays is a major plus.
  2. Jackson Mcfly: I love me some Tweed amps, but I also love me some Blackface Deluxe/Bandmaster tones too. Look no further! The Jackson Ampworks McFly is packed with all the classic chime you could ever need. 6v6’s AND/OR!!! 6l6’s make this box super versatile! Depending on setting, the McFly will run from 13-70 watts (6 different power amp configurations). If that wasn’t enough, quiet down for bedroom playing or smaller venues with Jackson’s “Power Scaling” feature. It can take you down to a watt of output power. The secret to the incredible, dynamic range of the McFLy lies in the two 6SN7 preamp and phase inverter tubes found inside. A nice tight low end with studio quality highs. Who could ask for more?
  3. Pedal Projects Growly OD/Booster: The Growly, along with the rest of the Pedal Projects’ line, are new to RGS and we are very stoked about them! Overdrive/Boosters are great tools for saving space while still providing multiple layers of tonal variance. This is not your typical drive, however. With the gain locked up inside the box, the focus is on tonal palate. The "Body" and "Comp" controls work together to provide a wide array of killer tones. On the other side of the box is the "Owly Booster." On par with such greats as the EP and the LPB1, the boost side of the Growly can either be left on to fill out your tone or accessed for a great transparent boost to your drive.
  4. Keeley Electronics 1962 Overdrive: Who says your drive pedal has to be transparent? Thick, present and defined, the 1962 from Keeley will rattle your teeth loose. Like Hendrix but fatter, like Mayer…with mids ;) This pedal is definitely a go-to for anyone wanting to literally rock the world. The early 60’s gave us some incredible tones out of Great Britain, and the 1962 holds nothing back. Turning the gain past 12, you begin to notice a lot more top end with super tight, singing highs. We think Jimi, and even Eric, would be proud to own one of these babies. 
  5. J. Rockett Pedals Boing: When concerning reverb, simplicity is key. whether that is coming from a cherry ’65 Deluxe reverb or this wonderfully compact box from JRAD. The Boing was designed and created to give any player out there that classic spring reverb we all know and love. Personally, I own a fabulous vintage Deluxe Reverb, and I spent a while A/B testing the Boing with my own amp's reverb. The amp definitely got wetter than the pedal, but I never get too wet with reverb, anyway. However, tonally, the Boing holds its own! I would even go as far to say that 75% of the players out there wouldn't know it was a pedal at all and would instead think it was simply 3 springs suspended in the back of your amp. This box is solid gold.


There are more pedals that have arrived since the beginning of the year, and we will be writing more reviews on them soon. For now, though, I hope this has given your mental taste buds a little something to chew on. Curious? Have more questions? Hit me up - I have a guitar and an amp at my desk and I will plug any pedal you desire into them and let you know my thoughts.


Keep rocking, world!