I’ve been known to say that the best way to
describe Premier Guitar is to take a look at the
last 12 front covers of our magazine. We tend
to cover a lot a ground from month to month
and collectively those images say an awful lot
about who we are. If there were ever a single
image that achieves the same thing, it would
be this month’s cover depicting a single tone
knob. Don’t worry about the make and model
of the guitar that the tone knob is from—that
doesn’t matter. The idea is that there’s this
mysterious thing called “tone.” We love it. We
want it. We’ll do anything to get it, but we’re
very picky about it. An actual tone knob is just a
small part of what we’re after (sometimes)—the
actual tone we want is in our ears but we’re told
it’s really in our fingers. We also tend to believe
it’s in some well-crafted piece of gear that we
haven’t bought yet. Ultimately, it’s in our heads.
Think about it. We are not born knowing what
A440, timbre, EL84s, PAFs and Freddie King
vibrato are, or any of the other myriad elements
that can shape a guitar sound, but we eventually
settle on a few distinct tones that basically everyone agrees are better than all the other tones
out there. Why is that? That’s a tough question
to answer but we’re giving it a shot, beginning
with our first installment of a three-part series
that explores the raw elements of tone.
Our interviews this month are with two veterans
who have golden tone to spare—Joe Perry and
Jim Campilongo. Perry has been engraving his
sound into your head for decades now as few
A-list players are able to, constantly coming up
with riffs that are as rockin’ as they are hooky.
They simply stand the test of time. Campilongo
might be a new name to many of you and that’s
why we wanted to feature him. What he does
with a Telecaster is just… well, read our inter-
view, listen to his music and then write us to let
us know what you think.
Pantera fans are in for a treat this month as we
reveal some secrets from the original master
tapes of “Walk.” We also review two guitars by
Buddy Blaze, the legendary luthier who modded
and painted the Dean ML that would become
Dimebag Darrell’s most celebrated axe. We
check out his collaboration with Dean as well
as a K2 Model 2 from his shop in Hawaii. Other
reviews this month include the single-channel
Quidley 22 amp, Skinpimp’s tribute to the Vox
Tonebender, the spring reverb-equipped PRS 30
amp, the Music Man by Sterling AX40, a retro-cool Kay bass, and the mighty-but-small Electro-Harmonix 22 Caliber Power Amp that can
actually fit into you*r pocket. We also test-drive
the Morpheus Drop Tune pedal that everyone
has been talking about, Stellartone’s 16-position
Micro Pedal, and the ergonomic Badaple Hydra
True Bypass Pedalboard.
Many of you will notice that we’re delaying the
first full appearance of a new feature called
“Go Ahead and Ask,” which was announced
last month. The interview series puts you in the
driver’s seat with a different gear manufacturer
or artist each month. We’ve decided to give
your first interviewee, Henry Juszkiewicz of
Gibson Guitars, a little more time to respond to
your questions. If you haven’t submitted your
questions yet, you can do so at premierguitar.
com/goaheadandask. We’ll be picking questions
and giving Mr. Juszkiewicz the opportunity to
answer them in our magazine.
Making its first appearance in this issue is our
“Noodling” activity page that is designed to
help you waste even more time on the topic of
gear. Think you know your stuff? We’re thinking
that our activity page will stump you.
Also in this issue: don’t miss our Partial-Capo
Roundup and Rich Tozzoli’s Strat soul infusion.
There simply comes a time when a standard
capo or a pretty good Strat could use a little
tweaking, ya know? Every issue of Premier
Guitar is proof that, ultimately, we enjoy doing
whatever it takes to get one step closer to
those heavenly tones.
Oh, and by the way, the tone knob on the
cover? Maybe the make and model of the guitar do matter. It’s from a Fender Custom Shop
Eric Clapton “Blackie” Strat. Jus’ sayin’.