The Week In Guitar: Slash gets with Magnatone, the RV-200 is finally here and Download ditches the dad-rock

It’s been a busy week in guitar culture, but here are the most notable news stories, trends and weird stuff we’ve seen over the last seven days.

Boss RV-200

Credit: Boss

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Welcome to the Week In Guitar, your rundown of the last seven days of guitar news! There’s been a lot happening, so let’s just dive right into it, shall we? First up, of course:

Slash is now endorsing Magnatone amps

Magnatone Starlight
Image: Magnatone

Well this was unexpected. ­I mean, this is Slash we’re talking about here. The guy’s brand is entirely based on a Gibson Les Paul, a top hat and a big ol’ wall of Marshall cabs. He probably sees that script logo, repeating forever on endless 4x12s, when he closes his eyes at this point.

Which makes it all the more interesting that he’s decided that he wants a bit of Magnatone in his life.

The contrast cannot be overstated: Magnatone is a very different amp company to Marshall in terms of scale. Put it this way: one of these brands’ logos is on fridges and bluetooth speakers, and one isn’t. That’s not to say they aren’t awesome amps, because they absolutely are, and they’ve seen a great roster of artists play them over the years, including Jeff Beck and Billy Gibbons.

Of course it won’t mean the end of Slash and his wall of Marshalls – despite leaving the assumption hanging there for 24 hours, he’s now confirmed that he’s still committed to Marshall AND Magnatone.

Quite how that will work in practice is tbd of course – we know Slash is already developing a signature 100-watt version of the M-80, and there’ll be a matching 4×12 cabinet to boot. Will the two be sharing GNR backline space from now on? We shall see.

Boss FINALLY launches the long-awaited RV-200

Oh wow, you say, rolling your eyes. A reverb pedal was released! Is the sky still blue? Is that notable news too? But look, this ain’t just another reverb – people have been asking Boss to do this for years, ever since the first 200 series pedals launched all the way back in 2019. The format gives the pedal expansive I/O, digital capabilities like MIDI and preset recall and – most importantly – a shedload of reverb algorithms, with loads of ways of controlling them.

While Boss took its time on this one, it looks like the wait was worth it, as early demo sounds are pretty damn good. Of particular note is the new Arpverp, a kind of arpeggiated shimmer verb, which the ambient players should be excited about because it seems to take a single chord and turn it into an entire Aphex Twin record. But there’s of course a lot of more standard sounds there if you need them alongside all the ambient gubbins.

Download ditches the dad-rock with 2024 lineup

Download 2024
Credit: Download Festival

When you think of Download headliners, you probably think of at least some classic rock and heavy metal. And with good reason – Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Metallica and Kiss have all headlined the fest multiple times, and basically every year’s headliners have features representation from rock’s elder statesmen. Emphasis on the ‘men’, by the way.

And while the upper billings of the 2024 lineup don’t address the gender imbalance, Download is now being headlined by three bands who’s biggest period of relevance wasn’t the 70s – or the 80s, or even the 90s! Heading it up next year will be Queens Of The Stone Age, Fall Out Boy, and Avenged Sevenfold.

It’s all led to, well, ‘mixed’ reactions from festival fans: some have decried it as either far too pop-punk (Sum 41 and Billy Talent also make an appearance on the billing) or just not heavy enough: comparisons to a mid-2000s Reading and Leeds bill have been made. But others have of course welcomed the fact that the combined age of the three headliners isn’t about 2 million years. And really, given that a lot of the bands further down the bill are basking gleefully in the pop-punk revival, isn’t it better that the headliners reflect that?

Quick Riffs

Quote Of The Week

“Dudes, please stop saying favourite ‘female player’… all that means is we’re not your favourite guitar player”

Joanne Shaw Taylor is tired. Tired of people in comments sections saying that she’s their favourite female player, as she explained on Instagram: “It’s a gender-neutral instrument. All that means is we’re not your favourite guitar player. Just say that. We’re big girls, we can take it. Say, I like your music or tone etc, but ‘favourite female’ just means you’re not my favourite guitar player and my favourite guitar player is a dude.”

The Encore

Are you a bit bored of being recommended endless Fender and Gibson guitars? Luckily Reverb has your back – check out its great list of guitars that won’t break the back, and just won’t break in general, as these are all roadworthy instruments, but off the beaten path.

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