Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Behringer celebrates 20 years

2009 marks the 20th Anniversary for BEHRINGER. To mark the occasion, Chairman and CMO Uli Behringer and CEO Michael Deeb hosted a lavish birthday party Wednesday evening at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel.

With the theme of "20 @ 20", twenty new products were unveiled including new compact, live and recording mixers, studio monitors, computer audio interfaces, power amplifiers, loudspeaker systems, commercial speakers and a new DJ mixer.

In addition, two new tube guitar amplifier heads and two revolutionary bass amp heads were debuted under the BUGERA brand.

To rock the anniversary party into overdrive, BEHRINGER invited the All Star Band from their new partners at Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp. Mark Hudson, producer of Aerosmith, Earl Slick from David Bowie and John Lennon, Bruce Kulick from Kiss, Kip Winger from Winger and Chris Slade from AC/DC laid down a solid night of classic rock. Uli Behringer sat in for a few songs on keys and was immediately drafted into the band for the rest of the evening.

The NAMM Show itself was an unqualified success; 50% more booth space and three performance venues. "We hit the show like a ton of bricks", stated Corporate Communications Manager, Scott Garside. "For the first time, BEHRINGER had a performance-oriented presentation, with stages operating pretty much at all times. We featured our endorsers for all BEHRINGER and BUGERA products and were extremely proud of the roster of artists with which we have the pleasure of working. These are all world-class musicians. We are grateful to them all for the generosity of their time and talent."

But there was more. Frequent appearances by members of Gwar and Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp celeb counselors, plus surprise guests, kept the booth crowded for autographs and photos. "I was also blown away by the pro guys who stopped by to tell us how much they use and appreciate our products", added Garside. "We have some amazing friends!"

Next Up
The next event in BEHRINGER's 20th Anniversary celebration is a visit by trade press and key dealers to BEHRINGER City in Zhongshan, China in February, 2009 to celebrate the 7th anniversary of the massive factory-city. Following that, Uli Behringer will be making a tour of North America to visit with dealers, salespeople and customers; very much looking forward to meeting them all.

For more information, visit their web site at

Friday, January 30, 2009

Manuel Rodriguez passes on

Manuel Rodríguez, Jr., President Jimmy Carter and Manuel Rodríguez, Sr., at a recent meeting to strengthen a reciprocal charitable relationship among Guitar Center, the Carter Center and Manuel Rodríguez & Sons S.L. Señor Rodríguez passed away on December 25, 2008.

-- Legendary Spanish guitar maker passed away on December 25, 2008 --

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, January 30, 2009 -- Guitar Center mourns the loss of legendary classical guitar manufacturer Manuel Rodríguez, Sr., who passed away on Christmas Day, 2008, in Madrid. At the time of his passing, Rodríguez's family was nearby, and his son, Manuel Jr., recounts being able to personally sense his soul cross over. Señor Rodríguez is renowned as one of the finest guitar makers of the Madrid school, and his beloved company, Manuel Rodríguez & Sons S.L. - a key GC partner - will continue carrying on his legacy in bringing to market the very finest classical guitars, preserving the design and quality of the master himself.

Sr. Rodríguez was born in Madrid in 1926. As a young man, he learned the craft of constructing flamenco and classical guitars from such key names as Santos Hernandez, Modesto Borreguero, Marcelo Barbero, Jose Ramirez and Sr. Rodríguez's own father. Under these figures' tutelage, Sr. Rodríguez grew a deep appreciation for flamenco music and instruments that are strong and balanced in sound while being visually beautiful. As he started building his own guitars, he made a point of continuously striving to innovate and improve the instrument. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1959, where he constructed instruments for the lively local music scene and did research with engineers from UCLA to radically improve guitars' design, including enhancements to bracings, frets, the bridge and more. He also established a family, as his wife Emilia gave birth to their sons, Manuel Jr. and Norman.

Sr. Rodríguez relocated to Spain in the mid-1970s and developed a dual approach, constructing fully-handmade concert guitars while also utilizing a specialized workforce, machines and meticulous quality control to manufacture student guitars with unprecedented standards. His sons eventually learned their craft from their father, and to this day Rodríguez & Sons is in large part a family enterprise, fully run by Manuel Jr., Norman and Emilia. Manuel Sr. was still working in the shop until a few weeks before his death.

Although Rodríguez called himself "simply a luthier and guitar maker, neither a good nor a bad one," that would be a severe understatement. His guitars have been praised by many top guitarists and composers, and his book The Art and Craft of Making Classical Guitars is available in three languages and is regarded as a definitive work on the subject. Today, Rodríguez guitars are the gift bestowed by the Federation of Entrepreneurs and the Chamber of Commerce on presidents and chiefs of state visiting Spain.

In recent years, Sr. Rodríguez was engaged in many charitable activities, notably partnering with the Guitar Center Music Foundation and the Carter Center in 2008 to donate one guitar per year for auction by the Carter Center. The company also hosted former President Jimmy Carter and GC's Eric Spitzer in Madrid for a tour of the Rodríguez & Sons workshop.

"Manuel was a giant in his field, influencing scores of guitar makers and luthiers that came after him," stated David Angress of Guitar Center. "He had a remarkable passion for guitars, and an intense drive to innovate and fine-tune the craft, while also being very modest. He was a truly kind, generous and humble man, and he will continue to inspire the whole M.I. industry long after he's gone. I feel blessed to have known him personally and call him my friend and a friend of Guitar Center's. The entire GC family sends its condolences to the Rodríguez family as we mourn Manuel's passing."

An Eddie Van Halen story

Here’s an interesting story about meeting Eddie Van Halen, sent by VHND reader, Edward B. Fohrman, M.D. We hope you enjoy it.

It’s been almost ten years since my encounter with Eddie, but I remember it like it was yesterday…

I was “moonlighting” in an 8 bed ER in “the valley” while still a resident at UCLA. It started out a quiet, but steady night. The nurse handed me the chart for the next patient I needed to see. I looked at the name and saw that it read “Edward Van Halen”!!! I looked back at the nurse and she nodded and smiled…”Yeah, it’s him.”

Living in Los Angeles, I wasn’t much for being star struck, but Eddie was someone who I really had trouble hiding my excitement about. I was a keyboard player in high school in the late 80’s. Keyboards weren’t exactly the coolest instrument around, but when 1984 came out that all changed for me. I played by ear and learned every part. Eddie’s new exploration into synthesizers made me far more excited to be the keyboardist in my band…the solo in “Jump” and “I’ll Wait” were my favorites…

So, I walked into the room and met my patient while maintaining all sense of professionalism I could muster, trying not to give away the fact that I was treating one of my childhood heroes. Due to the strict rules (HIPAA), I can’t say what he was treated for, other than the fact that he needed to be treated for a minor injury.

I remember ordering a million dollar work-up including a CT scan just to be sure everything was okay…I was sure my medical career would be quite short if I ended up discharging Edward Van Halen only to read some crazy headline about how I missed a diagnosis and he ended up dead or something!!! Eddie was walking with a cane after having hip surgery. I asked him what happened…his answer was classic - “Thirty years of Rock ‘n’ Roll, man.”

While awaiting the official report from the radiologist, Eddie asked if I had a smoke. I laughed and said, “You know those things will kill you.” At this point I couldn’t hold back any longer. I mentioned that I was a huge fan and that back in high school my band played a ton of Van Halen tunes. I said that I had just bought a Fender strat and mentioned that I was from Chicago originally and was on a blues guitar kick playing a lot of Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

He said that he had tweaked a guitar that was being mass produced by Peavey - the first model of the “Wolfgang,” and he said that if I gave him my contact info he would make sure to get me one.

I’m thinking to myself…yeah right - another L.A. moment - “I’ll have my people call your people”…and I’ll likely never hear from him again. One can only hope, so I gave him my info and discharged him with follow-up instructions.

After I was done with Eddie, I was suturing up a patient’s hand laceration. Eddie, on his way out of the ER, entered the room, all smiles, and reiterated his thanks and stated he’d call me when he had the guitar, and then he was gone. My new patient’s jaw dropped and he sat there frozen. I just smiled and said,”Yeah, it’s him”.

My shift ended and I met my girlfriend for breakfast. She was a celebrity make-up artist at the time and had done a lot of MTV and VH-1 shows, including “Behind The Music” and Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly away” video. Ironically, she was on her way to meet Lenny and brought me with. When I mentioned my story of meeting Eddie Van Halen, Lenny was very positive about things…he said that if Eddie said that he was going to get me a guitar, then he probably would. But I was still skeptical.

Needless to say, about a week later I got a call on my cell phone. The voice on the phone asked, “Eddie?”

“Yes?,” I said.

“Hey, it’s the other Eddie, and I got that guitar I told you about.”


We made plans for him to swing by my house, which at the time was a little apartment I was renting on 3rd and Robertson. I hung up with him and started calling everyone I could. No one would believe this if I didn’t have a witness!!! Luckily my girlfriend (now my wife) came over and as she was walking in, she smiled and said, “He’s here… just drove up in his custom Porsche blasting some music.” She said it was Tori Amos’s “Jaurez,” off her To Venus and Back album.”

He soon arrived, walking in with his cane in one hand and a guitar case in the other. As he opened the case I laid my eyes on a gorgeous sunburst Wolfgang with pull pin for dropped D tuning and the works. The neck was amazing. It played so easily, like nothing I’d ever really felt. I sat there as Eddie basically gave a guitar clinic for me and my girlfriend. I kept peeking at her in the corner of my eye as if to say, “This is surreal! I can’t fucking believe this is happening right now!!!”

I hopped on the keyboards and we jammed together, trading off between Eddie on guitar and me on keys, then switching to Eddie on keys and me on guitar, but most of the first hour was spent watching Eddie do his thing. He took a few requests too. It was simply incredible.

I had friends who returned my call while Eddie was there, asking if I could just put the phone down and leave it so they could listen in.

He ended up hanging out for almost two hours. I only took ONE picture of him the entire time…I was too embarrassed to ask him to autograph the guitar or even get in the picture with him. But then I thought…I’m never going to sell this guitar to anyone, so who cares? The experience itself and my memory of those two hours is worth more than any autographed guitar, anyway. Plus, I still play the guitar frequently…I figured Eddie would have preferred that instead of me putting it in some vacuum-sealed case for display.

At the end of the evening, I invited him to dinner, as I was meeting some friends out, which he declined. He never asked me for anything. He just made good on his promise. We actually hugged it out before he took off…I was pinching myself and giddy as hell. I thanked him for the gift…it’s priceless.

Edward B. Fohrman M.D.
Department of Anesthesiology
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago

P.S. I’m so glad to share my story with the Van Halen News Desk’s readers. Ed is such an amazing talent, who was a man of his word and expressed tremendous gratitude and generosity. And, he was really just a cool dude! I feel so fortunate to have met him and for the time he spent jamming with me.

By the way, I’m currently working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, but in my spare time I play in a local band…we’re playing this weekend and for the first time I am NOT playing the keyboards…I’m the guitar player!!! Rock ON!!!

as printed on the VH news desk

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Build your own Looper by Keith Vonderhulls

Understanding the 3PDT Switch and Building a True Bypass Double Looper

Most people who own a true bypass boutique pedal are familiar with what the little blue 3PDT switch looks like, but very few are actually aware of what is going on when they step on it aside from the fact that it turns the pedal on or off. Let’s take a look at how the switch does what it does and then go a step further and actually build a simple true bypass looper with 2 loops.

3PDT stands for “triple pole double throw”. The 3PDT switch that is a standard in most pedals is also what is called an “ON-ON” switch. This means that the poles are always connected to one of their throws. In this case there are 3 poles and each pole has 2 throws that it can switch between. The number of throws each pole has will tell you how many positions a switch has. So the 3PDT will only have 2 positions. In the diagram below, the red arrows indicate where a connection is made. You can see there is no “OFF”.

Here we have an example of the 3PDT wired for true bypass with an LED status light. The pole on the left is connected to the signal from your guitar, the pole in the center is connected to the signal going to your amp, and the pole on the right is connected to the -9v power supply (more commonly referred to as “ground”). In the “engaged” position, signal travels from your guitar to the pole on the left. The pole on the left is now connected to the top left throw. The signal now travels to the circuit…let’s say a fuzz circuit. The fuzz does it’s thing and now it’s sending the newly distorted signal to the top center throw. The top center throw is now connected to the center throw, which is connected to your amp. The right pole is now connected to the top right throw which send negative current to the LED. Since the LED’s positive terminal is already connected to +9v, the circuit is now complete and it lights up.

Here we have an example of the 3PDT wired for true bypass in the “bypass” position. The poles are still connected to the same things as before, but now the throws have changed so the guitar signal does not go to the fuzz circuit anymore and there is no longer any negative current going to the LED. Since there is a jumper from the bottom left throw to the bottom center throw, the signal from your guitar is passed directly to your amp with out any alterations made to your original tone. Since the bottom right throw is connected to nothing, nothing is what happens in the bypass position and the LED status light turns off.

Ok. So now that we understand how the 3PDT footswitch works. Let’s build a true bypass double looper. Here’s the layout. You’ll need:

1 enclosure (125b or larger)
5 ¼” mono jacks
1 ¼” stereo jack
3 LED’s with bezels
1 battery snap
3 4.7k resistors
2 3PDT footswitches

First connect all the Ground connections. These are the black wires in the diagram below. Connect the black battery wire to the “ring” of the in jack. This will create a master power on/off switch when you plug in your instrument cable. Connect 4.7k resistors to the anodes (positive ends) of each of the LEDs. You can use a pair of needle nose pliers to bend the leads into circles to give you something to solder to. Then bend the other end of the 4.7k resistors into circles and connect them to the red battery wire.

Now connect the negative ends of the LEDs to the lugs of the footswitch as shown in the diagram below. Now you can see how the LED circuits will be completed to or broken from ground when you step on the switches.

Now we begin the tricky part - routing the instrument signal. The green wire shows the direct “bypassed” route that goes straight from the tip of the in jack to the tip of the out jack. When the on/bypass switch is turned on, the signal is sent down the brown wire to the A/B switch where it will be routed to one of the “send” jacks. When the signal comes back from one of the “return” jacks it will be routed to the purple wire which goes back to the green wire that runs to the out jack.

Now when we wire the send/return jacks to the A/B switch, we can see that when the switch is in the “A” position, the signal will loop through the brown wires and when the switch is in the “B” position, the signal will loop through the purple wires.

There ya go. Take your time. If you need to trouble shoot, use the “continuity” setting on your meter and trace out the signal paths. Thanks for reading.

Keith Vonderhulls

musicgearsource.comBuild your own with Keith Vonderhulls

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Guest Column : Adam Reiver from Floyd Rose

Welcome to the first installment of Trem Talk! Having been a dedicated Floyd Rose Tremolo user for the past twenty-five years, owner of D-Tuner Inc. (EVH D-tuna) and now work full time with the Floyd Rose Marketing team I have had my share of experience working with all types players from iconic guitar legends to young kids that have never changed a string on a locking tremolo and everything in between. It never ceases to amaze me how something so simple can get so complex and frustrating just from lack of basic knowledge.

Floyd Rose has grown over the years and has many products available from tremolos: Original, Pro, Seven String, Speedloader (even a Speedloader fixed bridge – yes, fixed bridge as in non-tremolo!), every individual bridge part imaginable, to a complete line of guitars. Over the next few articles for I will touch on all of these areas in detail with some tips and tricks that will take the mystery out of your Floyd Rose Bridge.

I figured that I would do my first article on two topics that I am asked about the most: A basic string change and how to “float” your bridge properly.

Note: I have used several different guitars in the photos – this is for demo purposes only – but you already knew that!

Basic String Change

Step 1:
Unlock the three clamps at the nut with the 3mm Allen wrench provided with the guitar or bridge. Note: You can remove them or just leave them loose.

Step 2:
Set the fine-tuners on the bridge to the middle of there tuning range. Note: A good way to find the middle of the range is to turn the low E string fine tuner all the way in, turn the D string fine tuner all the way out, use the A string fine tuner to find the center between the E and D fine tuners – Now, adjust all fine tuners to the same height at the A string fine tuner.

Step 3:
Change one string at a time (starting at either E string) by first loosening the string and unclamping it at the saddle with the 3mm Allen wrench.

Step 4:
Cut the ball end off the replacement string with a pair of wire cutters.

Note: I sometimes run the strings from the headstock leaving the ball-ends in the tuning pegs then trim the string above the fine tuners – this is just a matter of taste.

Step 5:
Place the freshly cut string end into the center of the saddle and tighten the clamping screw until it is difficult to turn.

Step 6:
Thread the other end of the string under its nut clamp and under the string hold down bar, then to the tuning key and tune the string. [Pull on the string until it is tight around the tuning key and retune.]

Step 7:
Repeat 2 through 5 until all strings are replaced.

Step 8:
Check your tuning on all strings once again.

Step 9:
Re-clamp the three nut clamps.

Step 10:
Check your tuning once again making any adjustments this time with your fine-tuners only.

Floating Your Bridge:

Or should I say re-floating your bridge? This seems to be one of the biggest problem areas for a lot of the consumer (and pro) customer service calls that I receive. “Hey man, I can’t get my bridge in tune and it is tilted forward – I have been working on it for hours! This thing sucks!” I would be frustrated too if I was trying to tune my guitar for hours. Once I show people how easy this is they can’t believe it, I hear this a lot – “I have been setting up Floyd’s for twenty-five years, I wish that I knew this back then!”

OK – Here we go.

Step 1:

Block your bridge.

There are several ways to do this: The best way is to use the Floyd Rose tremolo stopper (available direct from Floyd Rose).

Roll the Allen screw on the stopper down until it touches the block of the tremolo.


If you do not have a tremolo stopper, I like to use a couple of guitar picks or any flat stable material wedged into the cavity.

Step 2:

Increase the spring tension.

You can either add an additional spring or just tighten the 2 spring tension claw screws. This will insure that you have a nice tight solid block and give you a stable tuning environment to work in.

Step 3:

Set the fine tuners to 50%.

Tip – to find 50% easily, turn the low E string fine tuner all the way in, turn the D string fine tuner all the way out, use the A string fine tuner to find the center between the E and D fine tuners – Now, adjust all fine tuners to the same height at the A string fine tuner.

Step 4:

Tune your guitar and lock the nut (make sure that you are locked and in tune – if you have a Speedloader, use the range tuners in the saddles to do the tuning at this point).

Step 5:

Remove the extra spring and unblock the bridge so that it can go up and down – your guitar will go out of tune – don’t panic…. Just go to the next step.

Step 6:

Ok Skippy, this is the part where you are going to say “oh snap!”

Reset the spring tension.

TUNE THE A STRING ONLY BY ADJUSTING THE 2 SPRING TENSION CLAW SCREWS. Once the A string is in tune all of the strings will be in tune and your bridge will be floating.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at:

To order any Floyd Rose Tremolos or Parts direct from Floyd Rose call: 732-918-7001.

For more information go to:

Photos by Lauren Reiver (Yes- My 12 year old daughter!)

Thanks for reading!

Adam Reiver

Trem Talk with Adam Reiver

Namm 2009 in review

Paul Reed Smith glistening. Nice.

St. Blues NAMM 2009

Eastwood guitars NAMM 2009

See more amazing Winter NAMM 2009 coverage by Harmony Central here

Feature Interview : Reverend's Joe Naylor Pt.2

MGS - Hi Joe! Good to talk again!

JN- Hey Tony. Nice to hear from the 'source again!

MGS - How are things at Reverend these days? Looks like you have a whole new line of guitars out.

JN - Things are going great. We introduced the Set-Neck series in January, and added several new models to the Bolt-On series. Now we have a a total of 22 models, 11 in each series. Something for everybody.
MGS - Did you go to NAMM this year? How did that go?

JN - Yes, we had the best NAMM show and best month (January) in company history. NAMM '07 coincided with the release of the Set-Necks, and our 10th anniversary, so we hit big. We tripled production quantities for 2007, but we are now backordered again. We'll increase quantities again shortly. I don't like to be too far backordered, but it is a positive reflection on the product... demand is high for a reason.

MGS - Tell us about the new guitars out. Alot of them look familiar. What made you decide to go that route?

JN - Well, the influences for the Set-Necks are obvious. We wanted to offer something that has some familiarity. But these are not copies. If you take a close look at the specs. and descriptions, you'll see that every model addresses issues, and is a well thought out, unique design in it's own right. You'll also notice that every model has the Bass Contour control, which takes the versatility to a new level.

MGS - What was the biggest challenge with bringing these new guitars to life?

JN - The long design process. I worked on the drawings for over a year. When you finish a design, you have to back away from it for a while. Even if you think it's great, you need to show it to people you trust, get some opinions, let it stew for a while. If you look at it six weeks later, and you still think it's great, and everyone in the office still thinks it's great, then you probably have a keeper. But more often than not, it goes through several revisions before it reaches that final level of approval.

MGS - Tell us about the pickups in these guitars. I see some interesting combinations in the Buckshot and Gil Parris Signature model.

JN - We're still using the same pickup designs we used in the discontinued USA series. The same humbuckers and P-90's have been in service for about 8 years, and have stood the test of time. The Revtron is our take on the late 1950's Filtertron, and we've been using it for about 3 years now. It's interesting, because we use the same pickups in the different models, but people play them and swear they're different pickups. What they're really hearing is the difference in body design and overall construction.
The Buckshot features a tele-style bridge pickup and the aformentioned Revtron in the neck The bridge pickup is the same one we used in the old USA Hitman and Avenger TL models. It's an overwound single-coil, and has the classic upper-mid twang, but with more drive and a thicker tone. The Buckshot is for the tele player who wants more beef. But the cool thing is you can still thin out the tone with the Bass Contour control, if you want a more traditional sound.

The Gil Parris features two humbuckers and a Lace Sensor Burgundy in the middle position. The Lace is a high output, hum-cancelling single-coil, and it matches up really well with the humbuckers. With the 5-way pickup selector and Bass Contour, you can easily move between rock, jazz, and country tones. Gil covers all that in one song!.. he's very happy with the end result. It's now one of our top sellers.

MGS- What made you decide to discontinue the amp line?

JN - We were getting screwed by our main supplier in China. They raised prices but did not raise the quality control procedures. So we ended up doing a lot more work here than we planned on doing. The amps were fine after we were done with them, but we weren't making money. We dropped the amp program, and decided to focus on guitars only.
MGS - I just saw them in a major retailers online shop. This is pretty big for you guys, its got to be exciting.

JN - We are now aggressively pursuing dealers. The dealer list has doubled in the last two months. I hired a full time sales director, Ken Haas. He's main job is signing on dealers. Give him a call if you are an interested dealer, or if you know a shop that would be a good match for Reverend!