Archive for the ‘Gear Reviews’ Category

Line 6 Helix Archetype PRS Archon Demo

Monday, December 12th, 2016

What’s happenin everyone? I got a handful of requests to do a demo with the Archetype Models in the Line 6 Helix so I slammed something together real quick. Here is a quick ditty using the Archtype for cleans and dirtys.

If you would like to download the patches you can get them HERE……GearZombie Archon Patches

Line 6 Helix Rack High Gain Demo and Patch Download

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

helixrack-large

Here is my first quick recording with the Line 6 Helix Rack. All sounds were recorded with the Helix. If you dig it and want to try out the patches I used, click the link below and give them a shot. Included are the high gain patch I used, as well as the lead and clean. Make sure to subscribe on my YouTube and keep an eye out for my podcast on iTunes. I’m just getting ready to start posting some episodes talking more Helix stuff.

Line 6 Helix Patch Download Here!!!!

Ibanez Gio Mikro and Line 6 Spider IV 15 Toontrack Superior Drummer Demo Video

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

There is more to come with this as I am doing full reviews on both the guitar and the amp. But here is a quick ditty I put together using my Son’s 3/4 scale Ibanez Gio Mikro, a Line 6 Spider IV 15, Shure SM57 and drums with Superior 2.0.

EVH 5150 III 50 Watt Fender Head Demo And Short Review

Monday, November 25th, 2013

So I borrowed a buddies EVH 5150 III 50 Watt head a couple of weeks ago. I was excited, as a former original 5150 and 6505+ owner, I knew what I was getting into and pretty much expected it to be a variation of some of the same. I expected a mid-rangy tight sounding decent head. Think Soldano which if i’m not mistaken the earlier Peavey 5150’s were modeled around a Soldano. (PS I freaking love Soldano) Now being that this is a Fender product, I was interested for a few reasons. Mostly, they’re not known for high gain heads. They did have the old tone masters that could get up and rip, but not a head that i’m aware of that was a real melter.

When my buddy loaned it to me, he basically said don’t boost it in the front. Which is generally a must for a large amount of tube heads. Not because most tube heads don’t have enough gain, but I would say most don’t have enough usable gain. So you boost it in the front to keep it from getting messy. You still get gain but its tight. This head needs no boost. I ran the gain stage on the red channel around 4 and it was plenty. I ran nothing more than an iSP Decimator and not because it’s a noisy head but because I like tight gate separation when I play as a personal choice.

Anyway, I’m going to write up a full blurb about it when i’m done, I’m going to do a demo walk thru video and also an Axe Fx 2 Tone Matching vid. But again, I think this head is must have.

Later

GearZombiee

1964 Ears In Ear Monitor Review

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Soooo…. I needed some In Ear Monitors for my band. Rock N’ Roll Supergroup MySelfishMe if you’re not one of the 280ish lucky Facebook friends we have at the time of writing this post. The need to move to them was piloted by our desire to dump our cabs and make our rig lighter as well as move our band to a click. The big picture for us is eventual light automation, and such synced with our show. As you can imagine, going to something like this from just cab’s screaming up your arse is not only a bit of a culture shock but poses some technical challenges. While I will get through the front to back in later articles this is just to focus on the actual IEM portion.

When searching for what company to go to the choices are pretty overwhelming. I looked at several and in all price ranges. Starting out I was just using some of the higher end Skull Kandy which actually created a great seal and worked ok, but a little sweat and movement and I was fiddling with them incessantly. I never intended for these to be my solution but the need for professional molds was more intense.

A few of the companies I looked at were Alien Ears, Ultimate Ears, Future Sonics (which came highly recommended by some friends) and 1964 Ears. All of these companies provided the same technology except for Future Sonics, meaning they are all multiple drivers depending on how many you want. The drivers are generally split up in EQ frequencies. Like a single driver is full range, dual is high and low, triple is low-mid-high and it goes from there. The Future Sonics are a different tech as they are simply just like a tiny speaker in your ear. They have fantastic reviews but also have an intense price point. One that for me anyway was a bit out of my budget considering I didn’t know what I was getting myself into having never owned molds.

After talking with several of the companies I decided to go with 1964 Ears and their -V3 Triple Drivers with a base cost of $425. After downloading their instructions and seeing an audiologist ($35 for molds) I sent my impressions to 1964. From the start they were very helpful especially considering the fact that I was honestly a bit indecisive. I wanted artwork but I didn’t know what, things of that nature. I upgraded mine to recessed sockets and that was about it. On my order form I asked them to contact me for graphics when the time came as the projected turnaround time was 3-4 weeks.

After a couple of weeks I received an email from their graphics department asking for my artwork. I sent them a few quick samples of what I was thinking and asked the tech to decide what they think would show up best. The tech was super-fast, made some mockups and sent them over everything looked cool and away we went.
I received my molds in just a few days after that maybe a total of 3 weeks from start to finish. When they arrived I was totally impressed with just how cool they looked. They are visually impressive and come in a cool customized case with all the accessories. So I put them in and started listening to music that I was familiar with. The triple drivers are basically described as mid rangy and good for guitarists and I would agree with that. But I wouldn’t say too much midrange, but enough so that I don’t know that I would want to necessarily dial in my guitar patches without checking other sources (which anyone would do anyway) Other than that, you see many people that say they have a Zen sound moment listening on IEM’s, I didn’t really have that sort of an experience, while they sound great and high quality they at the time sounded just that to me. A good high quality set of ear molds. That however changed once I got to band practice.

Once I got to practice I realized some things, first “Holy crap, I wasn’t playing that solo for shit” and holy shit my other guitar player isn’t playing that for shit and (WHERE ARE THE DRUMS). This isolation was so intense where I didn’t really care how much of the drum mix was in my monitors with ear buds I now was totally cut off from the room with the custom molds. Also, this is where the triple drivers came in, I could hear my bass player and have him dialed in and away from me yet still totally audible, I could push my other guitar player away in my mix and still hear him and I could put me up the center where I wanted to hear me. Something that I could never do with even a $100 set of ear buds. Once I got everything dialed in for the 1964’s my mix was 10 fold better than what it was with buds.

One thing I was concerned about was comfort as they are a hard acrylic wedged in your ears. If you’ve wondered about that I can tell you this, I passed out with mine in. I was listening to some tunes and woke up about an hour later. I did notice some discomfort however using them when I was tracking our vocalist for the Super Mega Rock Group MySelfishMe. But that was after a 4 hour session. After having them in my ears for 4 hours I noticed the backs of my ears in the cartilage area was getting pretty sore. But anything that you’re going to have attached in, on or around your ears for that long is probably going to cause some discomfort.

All in all I can say the experience was incredible with them. I went with 1964 Ears because of the price point, the service and the advertised quality. When I started my search I emailed several of the companies (some a few times) and never got a response. 1964 took whatever time I needed to make my decisions and provided excellent service. I do want to mention that I didn’t get anything from 1964 for write this review. As I review a lot of gear I just wanted to put together a write up on what I considered a killer product and great experience. Visit their website below!!!

www.1964ears.com

Yamaha Stagepas 600i/400i Summer Namm Review

Sunday, July 21st, 2013


Yamaha Stagepas 600i

What’s happenin Zombiees?? It’s been a bit since I’ve been able to post but I’m back here with a ton of cool stuff after returning from Summer Namm 2013 In Nashville.

My first post comes from the Yamaha booth who always has great equipment. Here we checked out the Stagepass 600i personal PA. For starters this thing is KILLER. They demoed this for me while I was there and it is loud and clear. And in a small package that one man shows would love and 2 man shows would probably feel like they’re cheating. The entire package of the 600i weighs in at 56lbs for the mixer and speakers and the 400i is 39lbs. That weight is for both speakers, mixer and bag, stands are separate.

The powered mixer fits in the back of one of the speakers and can live there or be pulled out and stand mounted. The 600i has 10 mixing channels 4 mono mix/line + 6 mono / 3 stereo line analog inputs. It also includes a USB audio in for iPod and iPhone exclusive operation.

The mixer has a simple reverb that is adjustable depending on what you’re after and can be controlled by a foot-switch. It also has built in feedback suppressor, Phantom Power, Sub Out, High Z switch. Pretty much everything you could think of.

While looking at this, I first thought of all the people I know that do 1 or 2 man acoustic shows. The set up ease of just putting a couple of speakers on a pair of stands and plugging your stuff into the mixer and you’re off and running. Yamaha has done a great job of labeling the ports as well by thinking ahead of any possible connection you may need so you don’t have to have adapters floating around in cases.

Then you also have the iPad integration. Not only are people doing more and more acoustic shows they’re also doing a lot with backing tracks. With this ready to take an iOS device with it’s on-board USB port you’re ready to just hook up and go.

Other applications, a vocal PA for practice or small venues. This has more than enough gas for the practice PA and with feedback suppression, reverb and EQ the 680 watts of the 600i would be more than enough same with the 400i at 560w. I can also see jazz, or blues bands being able to utilize this with no BS sound for small shows. All in all it truly is a killer out of the box set up. Stands are sold separately and before you poo poo at that, have you ever purchased anything that included stands? They’re generally an after thought. So i’m actually proud of Yamaha for not trying to cram them in there. The speakers do include pole sockets with StageLok so you just order what is going to be best for you. Not that I think for a minute that Yamaha would skimp, but the amount of features they packed into this package I think the user will more than get their moneys worth from this rig alone.

All in all my opinion is this is great. Not just saying that because i’m doing a write up but really I think it’s a great product and a great price. I found it street prices for $899 for the 600i and $699 for the 400i with all your common online retailers. So depending on what your needs are either one is an affordable price point for a great Yamaha product. For more information, please visit the Yamaha Link Below.

Yamaha Stagepass Website

Fractal Audio Axe Fx 2 High Gain Demo Diezel VH4 Das Metall Ibanez RG Giger Demo

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Fractal Audio Axe Fx 2 High Gain Demo Diezel VH4 Das Metall Ibanez RG Giger Demo

So I’m starting a series for YouTube and this is going to be my first installment. I want to record all of the high gain amp models on my Axe Fx 2. Maybe I will expand to all models, I don’t really know yet. Something I would like to do but the net doesn’t seem to care about anything other than high gain which is too bad. I’m not going to be scientific about it, because lets face it, what you would do and what I would do are very different.

My lack of science will include things like, playing whatever guitar I want, whatever tuning I want. In the end I just want to make a series of kick ass Fractal videos since as of right now that is my rig and I love it. I’m also hoping to work with Kemper in the future as well as Line 6 and do the same with their products.  So we’ll see hopefully they will give a shot to a Lil guy in the sticks trying to make some Internet noise.

What will be consistent, I’ve decided to go the mic’d cab route for these videos. So the entire signal chain is Axe Fx 2 (cab sim’s off) – VHT 2/50/2 – Mesa Boogie 2/12 V30’s in an isolation box – Shure SM-58 into a Motu 8-pre – into Sonar X1. (I need to upgrade to X2) Very minimal post processing. Very slight eq bump if necessary. And I’m trying to record a brief solo section in each of the tunes, using the same model as the rhythm and adding a little delay.

The only thing I avoided was running the Avalon 737sp in this chain. I avoided it because in one of my other videos people kept picking on the fact that I used an Avalon which makes everything sound great. True, but i’m an idiot so it was easier to just run it in the motu and be done with it.

My plan is to also talk about each one of these experiences and give people a bit of a glimpse of what I do to create the sounds I create.

For this track named (Butthurt Fanboy Disorder) I went with the Das Metall amp sim. I actually left the power amp sim on, I went back and forth on it and to my ears I liked the response better with it on. The cab sim was bypassed. I also used a T808 sim in the drive block. The mic is pointed direct on the cone but moved off of the dust cap.

The guitar is an Ibanez Giger RG all stock nothing special. I hope you dig it and keep watching for more vids.

Hughes & Kettner Triamp MK II Demo

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Hughes & Kettner Triamp MK II Demo.

Initially I could have cared less what the thing actually sounded like because it is seriously the coolest looking head on the planet!! But I never really gave it a fair shake because I picked up a 6505+ about the same time and was using that live. I found that for heavier playing this head did much better with a drive pedal in the front. In this case a TS-9 as well as an ISP Decimator. Without it, the head breaks up well at higher gain but the sound tends to squish rather than tighten up. For some that may be the sound you’re looking for, I however prefer the high and tight sound. Higher gain but super fast response no lag or squish which adding the Ibanez TS-9 does.

If blues or mid gain sounds are your thing, this would be a killer head. Very warm and appealing sound and a tone of character. This really is a great head for whatever application if you take the time to figure it out.

Peavey 6534+ Orange 4×12 Demo

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a quick demo of the Peavey 6534+ played through an Orange 4×12. Good morning world of music type people. As I state in the video the 6534 is basically the 6505 but it uses El34’s instead of 6L6’s in the power section. Does it make a difference? I think so!! In many cases I think the difference between EL34’s and 6L6’s is very slight sonically. And more importantly I think that unless you’re cranking your amp to the sun you’re even farther away from telling a difference. But really in my opinion it’s the pre stage that really makes the amp. But in this case switching the power tubes made the head that much better.

I felt that the 6534+ maybe had a bit more bottom available than the 6505+ but it wasn’t huge. I also liked the clean just a bit more. While people always tend to gripe on forums about how crappy the 6505+ clean is, I personally didn’t mind it. And played it in a band that had a lot of clean parts. Again, the differences were very slight. That being said, I am a bit biased as I ran a 6505+ for a long time and is still to this day my favorite daily driver. And one that I regret selling every day!!

Why did I like it you may ask?? Well, a lot of heads that I also like require a lot of tweaking to get a sound that works for my ears. Take your average Mesa head. Everyone loves the recto sound but for me I always felt it was a bit too sloppy, squishy, fizzy sounding. Now the way to rectify that (no pun intended) is to toss an old trusty TS-9 in front of it and that sucks it all up in a nice tight package. Again, that’s just me personally. But I never ran anything tone effecting in front of the 6505+. I had Clean, Crunch and Dirty and it didn’t matter if I was playing metal or just hard rock that head just fit. And fit where in my mind a head should fit IN THE MID-RANGE!! And that’s really what guitar sound is about, sitting in the middle that’s what it’s designed to do.

Also, I think this is fairly low noise for a high gain head. Granted if you crank the gain to 10 it comes apart like any other head. But I probably ran mine between 6 and 7 and didn’t run a gate live. I really just didn’t need it. So in a nutshell, would I recommend this head?? 100%!! Sure you can get more features out of other heads, but really I think this a workhorse that everyone can play on. If you’re the classic rock cover band all the way to the death metal bands, this head will work and I don’t think you will be disappointed either way. But, what is a good head without a killer cab.

This video was shot through an Orange 4×12, which by the way, simply put the bad mamma jamma on the block. And it should be I think it weighs just as much as I do! Well, maybe 1/3 of me. I think they tip the scale at about 110lbs. Which is massive to lug around from gig to gig. But you know that really using the Orange cab you’re pretty much done with that part of your rig. I can honestly say I’ve never heard anyone say, “Man my Orange is ok but I sure wish I had a ….” That just doesn’t happen. As a matter of fact after playing on a couple of Orange cabs I can say that jumping to them would be a simple decision. Unless of course you’re not interested in a cab that sounds killer, is built like a tank and just looks dead sexy.

Below are some Guitar Center links for the 6534+ and Orange cabs. At least go test drive one!!

Peavey 6534+ Guitar Center HERE
Orange Cabs Guitar Center HERE