Fender Color Restorer
Want to make a funky old guitar look good again? The Meguiar's Company-a well respected name in the automotive and furniture finish care business for 100 years-formulates Color Restorer ($10 retail/$8 street), which promises to quickly revive the luster of faded guitar finishes. Having built and painted guitars and motorcycles for years, I'm very familiar with the quality and ease of use of Meguiar's products.
My test subject, a '70s Yamaha FG-150 purchased at the local thrift store, looked like it had never seen the inside of a guitar case its entire life. Using the Fender/Meguiar's Foam Applicator Pads ($3 retail/pair), I squeezed out a smiley face of Color Restorer on the pad from the eight-ounce bottle and followed the instructions using a circular motion to work in the product. Upon buffing, the difference was immediately apparent. The finish was noticeably deeper and richer, and the neck suddenly had a slicker, faster feel. In short, if Color Restorer could make my beach-party beater look good, think what it could do for your nice old guitar.
G7th Performance Capo
Someone somewhere is always trying to design a better mousetrap or guitar pick, and, as proved by the innovative G7th Performance Capo ($49 retail/$39 street), there is more than one way to squeeze guitar strings. Place this capo over the neck, press its jaws together, and-thanks to a butter-smooth ratcheting mechanism-when you stop squeezing the capo magically remains clamped until the release switch is pressed.
Granted, spring-based capos are still the simplest to use, but they generally clamp at only one pressure. Place them high up the neck and they may squeeze too hard, causing the strings to go sharp. Fulcrum-based capos get around this problem, but require regular readjustment. The Performance Capo, though, is simple, quick, and adjustable. And it excels in the studio, because it presents almost zero risk of squeezing too hard, pulling the strings sharp, and stalling the session while you re-tune your guitar.
SKB PS-35 Pro Series Deluxe Pedalboard
Offering easy setup and excellent protection for your stompboxes, the PS-35 Deluxe Pedalboard ($329 retail/$200 street) is comprised of a large plastic board with a useable area of 27" x 15w" and a tight-fitting cover that attaches to the board via four twist-lock latches. The PS-35 sports a 500mA power supply that can accommodate nine 9-volt pedals, and comes with an assortment of 2.1mm, 3.5mm, and snap-on (battery style) power cables. The PS-35 also has four effects loops that can be used to add external effects processors, facilitate stereo amp setups, or route certain pedals-such as reverbs or compressors-through your amp's effects loop. The PS-35 comes with a supply of industrial-grade Velcro for securing the pedals, and the grip is strong enough to keep things in place even if the case takes a tumble-which mine did a number of times during gigs last summer. SKB also offers the PS-35-MV ($499 retail) which is capable of powering nine pedals with different voltage requirements (six 9-volt, two 18-volt, and one 11-12 volt).