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The Hot-Rodded Evolution

By Fletch Whipp

CEO of RockStarzUSA.com

For or as long as I have been reading guitar magazines, I often read articles that devoted a portion of the interview to the guitar heroe’s equipment of choice. Many times, special focus would be given to a particular piece of gear that the artist had ‘modded’ Essentially the artist would tweak or modify the equipment to better capture a sound that otherwise would not be achieved using the equipment in it’s standard form. Some of these mods, as they are called, are simple, some are very complex, requiring professionals who specialize in that niche area to work with the artist in getting the sound vision the artist has in mind.

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Some of our hot rodded pedals available at rockStarzUSA.com

Countless signature rock n’ roll sounds have come about through this method of having the equipment evolve into something truly personal-but at times, instantly recognizeable. Jimi Hendrix, played a right handed guitar back to front, which in addition to his use of groundbreaking effects at that time in history gave him a signature sound, that hundreds of thousands of guitar players today try and re-capture that same magic.

The Who achieved their huge sound (by those days standards) by having a young amplifier maker called Jim Marshall build these colossal speaker cabinets (Marshall stacks) Fast forward to modern day heavyweight rock artists, MUSE, who use a lot of custom gear including Mansen guitars, that are a truly unique blend of DJ and rock ideas rolled into a tele style guitar.

Just 5 years ago, I played almost completely stock equipment, however as I have grown more passionate about my craft and sound that I create, I now find myself playing mostly modified equipment.

In addition to modding our equipment, another way to sculpt an individual sound as unique as our own playing style is to add custom pedals-small metal boxes that deliver certain types of sounds for the player that can add things like delays, reverbs, eq’s, overdrives & distortions, and make unusual soundscapes like choruses, tremolo’s & rotating speaker simulations.

Todays newer pedals are essentially, hot-riodded versions of the effects of yester-year, while other seek to recreate the magic without alteration at all. The designs are mostly improvements and subtle alterations of existing equipment  In most cases I have been able to ‘build a better hamburger’ for my purposes. My amplifier is a modded design on a famous vintage british Marshall amplifier. My effects pedals are most redesigns and improvements upon vintage Boss, Roland and Electro Harmonix pedals from the 60’s-80’s. My guitars are modified versions of the Fender Stratocaster & Gibson Les Paul.

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