Speed Rating June 2013: Four mini-reviews

The world has long clamored for the classic rock tones of a 25-watt Greenback, but with higher power handling, and Celestion has finally delivered.
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$159 street (per speaker)
The world has long clamored for the classic rock tones of a 25-watt Greenback, but with higher power handling, and Celestion has finally delivered. I tested the new G12M-65 Creamback speakers (capable of handling 65 watts each) with a Matchless HC-30 into a 2x12 cab and a Bogner Goldfinger 45 into a 1x12, with a variety of guitars, and loved what I heard from all variations. This UK-made speaker retains the Greenback’s sweetly gritty midrange texture and crispy highs, which all goes gloriously creamy when pushed hard. And the extra power handling brings thumpingly bigger lows along as a plus. celestion.com —DAVE HUNTER

$60 retail
Power Pins retrofit into the existing holes of your acoustic guitar’s bridge to provide a tighter coupling between the strings and the bridge. Installation is straightforward: Remove the stock pins, push the Power Pins into the openings, secure them from the underside of the bridge with the provided screws and height-adjusting washers, and place the strings’ ball ends into the gauged slots in the sides of the Pins. Installed in a mid-’90s Martin D-28 to compare between the stock pins, the Power Pins didn’t increase volume (at least not according to a dB meter app on my iPhone), but the guitar sounded a little more resonant and its playing feel was a bit easier, perhaps due to the Power Pins creating a shallower break angle of the strings over the saddle. Worth trying if you’re looking to squeeze a bit more vibe from your flat-top. f1pick.com —ART THOMPSON

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$69 (100 picks)

I’m a sucker for D.I.Y. promotions, so how can I resist a website that lets me effortlessly design my own picks? In just four steps, I chose a gauge, uploaded a jpg, settled on a pick color (200+ options), and added text (28 fonts). Orders of up to 1,000 picks are allowed at one time (with quantity discounts along the way) and shipping is free. More than just stage-tossed giveaways for fans, these picks deliver balanced tone, a solid attack, decent grip, and average wear. buildapick.com —MICHAEL MOLENDA

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The latest in EHX’s Next Step series, the Talking Pedal uses a motion sensor instead of a pot or optical circuit to sweep its dual-bandpass analog filter. The vocal effect it produces when you rock the housing back and forth reminds me of the old Schaller Bow Wow Yoy Yoy pedal, but the TP goes far beyond that into voices that can even sound like Tuvan throat singing. The TP toggles on and off by pressing forward on the rocker, and there’s a Fuzz Level dial for emphasizing the vocal effect and a Calibration function that readjusts the motion sensor for use on slanted pedalboard surfaces. Just freaky enough to be a great alternative to wah. ehx.com —ART THOMPSON

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