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GEARBOX

XOTIC SP COMPRESSOR EFFECTS PEDAL

Based on what many guitar players consider the best compressor ever, the Ross Compressor, the new Xotic SP Compressor offers the same operational transconductance amplifier technology to deliver a compression effect that is finding widespread support in the guitar community, including support from such heavyweights as Toto’s Steve Lukather. Essentially a compressor serves to smooth out and boost signal, creating a more powerful, even tone, whilst highlighting certain aspects of the overall sound.

The SP Compressor features impressive tone quality with a wide variety of compressor tones from vintage sounds to subtle nuances and right through to modern compression effects. Amongst the simple controls are a dry blend knob with which players can dial in how much of their original signal gets through the effects chain, up to +15dB of signal boost, and a high/mid/low switch for overall tonality. For more adjustments the unit can be opened up via the back plate where an internal dipswitch for attack control can be adjusted for further fine-tuning.

Like many currently popular effects pedal brands, the SP Compressor features a super-compact design (around the size of a packet of Tic-Tacs), which has proven very popular with working musicians who are conscious of the physical size of their rigs, particularly in touring situations.

True bypass switching for eliminating any signal interference when disengaged, with optional AC adaptor operation, the Xotic SP Compressor is a serious contender for any guitarist’s pedal board space.

The Xotic SP Compressor retails for $179.

 

Xotic SP Compressor Effects Pedal
Xotic SP Compressor Effects Pedal

 

 

FENDER AMERCIAN SPECIAL STRATOCASTER

 

Akin to the early 2000s’ Highway One series of Fender guitars, the American Special series aims to put genuine U.S-made Fender quality into the hands of players at a reasonably affordable price. The American Special Stratocaster is great-looking guitar that will particularly appeal to fans of 1970s Stratocasters, largely due to the similarly designed large headstock. Featuring a lightweight alder body with gloss urethane finish which is available in three colours – red, surf green, and sunburst – these guitars certainly look the part. A maple neck with 9.5-inch radius fingerboard and 22 jumbo frets provide the feel that only a Fender guitar can deliver.

From blues to country, funk to soul, and even rock to metal, there aren’t many genres of music that the Stratocaster has not driven at one point or another, and a genuine Fender Stratocaster seems to eventually find its way into every guitarist’s collection. Indeed there have been many copies and models or brands ‘inspired by’ the Stratocaster (some of which come very close to the mark), but there simply is no substitute for the real deal. Single coil Custom Shop Texas Special single coil pickups in all three positions provide the powerful Texas tone, while a vintage-style synchronized tremolo finishes off what is essentially an impressive throwback to simpler times with better tones.

At a retail of around $1699, the Fender American Special Stratocaster is hard to put down.

 

Fender American Special Stratocaster
Fender American Special Stratocaster

 

CHRIS GIBBS

All gear reviewed at The Rock Inn, Mt. Lawley.

 

 

 

 

 

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