France’s Vigier Guitars is renowned for
uniting evolutionary design with style that’s
at once individual and rooted in cherished
visual motifs. There’s certainly a whole lot
of Les Paul and PRS-style cues evident
in the G.V. Wood, yet this guitar is really
about the details and the sonic dividends
derived from attention paid to little things.
The slick, phenolic, resin-based fretboard is a string bender’s dream, even if it’s
a tad hyper at times. The amber body is
light and balanced, and the coil-tappable
Amber pickups pack tone options for days.
Reviewer Jordan Wagner remarked that
the G.V. Wood “feels like a guitar for every
occasion,” adding that “it yields a beautiful, full-spectrum signal that’s exceptionally
responsive to touch.” Given how this guitar
reminded all of us how you can still refine
the familiar into something spectacular, it
was a no-brainer to bestow the G.V. Wood
a Premier Guitar Award.
There could easily be a “Coolest Looking
Amp” award set aside for whatever
Tone King brings out in a given year, but
there isn’t. The reason the Galaxy received
a Premier Gear Award in 2011 is because
this swingin’ 60-watt, 6L6-powered bachelor pad fixture sounds crazy sweet on top
of looking fit for the Dean Martin Go-Go
combo that never was.
Premier Guitar found it capable of
everything from “surf-able cleans to biting
blues,” and was driven to qualify the output
as some of the cleanest, punchiest, most
harmonically rich tones we’ve ever encountered. The onboard attenuator makes it
truly usable as a sonic living-room fixture.
But we also found it “blisteringly loud” and
ready for the stage. It was just about impossible to find a flaw in construction anywhere. Did we mention it looks cool? Dang!
Z. VEX INSTANT
It gives us great faith to see how far Z. Vex
has come while indulging such sick pedal-design impulses. The Lo-Fi Loop Junky
was one of the most glorious symptoms of
the illness. And with the new Lo-Fi Junky
(which takes the looper, if not the loopy, out
of the equation), Z. Vex has consolidated
some of its more delightfully obscene tones.
We could talk tech about how compression and vibrato combine to create its real-ity-twisting sounds and more mellow and
unique textures. But what matters is that
this is a ticket to a truly new Tonelandia if
you’re willing to buy a ticket. From chorus
to wacky warble to a compression that
reviewer Jordan Wagner called “staggeringly
good,” this is one twisted genius of a pedal.