The Music Zoo's Blog Your destination for the best guitars on the internet. Sat, 23 May 2015 19:43:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Guitarists To Know: Scott Mishoe Sat, 23 May 2015 18:07:21 +0000 Scott Mishoe Main

Written by Walter Bryant

As many of us know, Larry Graham is the pioneer of the “slapping” technique, so it isn’t unusual for us to see this style of playing from other bass players0. However, this technique isn’t something we ordinarily associate with the electric-guitar. Well, no-one told that to Scott Mishoe, a player who has pushed the boundaries of the electric-guitar ever since he was handed one at the ripe old age of 5. Inspired by the musical talents of his father and brother, Scott sunk deeper into his guitar-obsession with every passing year. Scott would eventually, and somewhat inevitably, find his way to the musical stylings of Eddie Van Halen, opening an entirely new window for his style to expand upon. He would also latch on to the style of players such as Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambale, and Yngwie Malmsteen, whohqdefault he claims taught him the importance of developing his own voice on the guitar; a quality Scott values the most in guitar playing. Scott later landed his first live performance at the age of 8, and landed his first major gig at 13 with Pat Travers; a popular Canadian guitarist of the 80’s and 90’s. At 18 he got an endorsement with Fender. He was featured in Mike Varneys “Spotlight” column in the August 1990 issue and a number of other magazine features soon followed.

In 1992 his mind-blowing two-handed arpeggio techniques caught the eye of shred-purveyor Mike Varney, landing him a place on the Shrapnel “Ominous Guitarist from the Unknown” release. He was also featured on Mark Varney’s “Guitar On The Edge” series.

Scott began writing and recording his first instrumental ScottMishoe-Omnidirectional-1995_zps529bb424album with Ray Riendeau on bass, who along with Victor Wooten, inspired Scott to apply the infamous slap-technique to the guitar. Scott began creating a variety of licks around the slap-technique, developing an even more refreshing style. With the addition of this new technique, Scott developed what we think to be one of the most creative playing styles we’ve heard. Using a technique that can now be seen from players of late like Tosin Abasi, Scott can make a 5 second lick the most interesting 5 seconds of your life. But amidst all of the powerful slaps, Scott still manages to slip in some legato runs, chords, sweeps, with some fries on the side. But don’t get us wrong, Scott Mishoe ain’t no one-trick-pony. Scott’s impeccable tapping runs, alternate picking, and arpeggios give any modern day shredder a run for their money. Scott attests this seemingly flawless playing style to hours and hours of practicing during his free-time, claiming he also became “hooked” to the slap-technique, inspiring him to push even more boundaries with his expert-level guitar chops.

Unfortunately, the guitar community didn’t hear much from Scott Mishoe after his first album, leaving us guitar-nerds with very little to tide us over after 1995. Nonetheless, Scott hasn’t put down the guitar. As far as we can see and hear, the man has somehow managed to improve on his already amazing skills. Video surfacing on YouTube featuring Scott in recent years proved the super-tight and funky slap technique that Mr. Mishoe was known for is still alive and well. Recent interviews reveal that Scott is in the process of writing another album, and hopes to work with players like Ray Riendeau, Keith Horne, and Victor Wooten in the near future. We don’t know about you, but this is reason enough for us to keep an eye out. You can keep up with Scott’s playing by subscribe to his YouTube channelScott is also actively giving lessons via Skype for those who are interested. In addition, he offers lesson packets, illustrating his approach to legato, tapping and sweep picking. In the meantime, watch Scott tear things up with a few slapping and tapping runs! The guy is insane!

You can purchase Scott Mishoe’s lesson packets, CD’s, and inquire about Skype lessons by emailing him directly at!





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The 10 Best Rackmount Preamps Of All-Time Fri, 22 May 2015 15:24:17 +0000

Rack-mount gear has become somewhat of a lost art for guitar players since the late 90’s. Nonetheless, rack gear is great for people who want programmability of preset tones, the ability to interchange components, and those who love seeing bright lights flicker as all of your gear goes to work! So for the rack-gear heads that still exist on this earth, we’ve compiled what we think are the 10 best rackmount pre-amplifiers of all time.

Have a look through the list below and let us know what you think! 



The ADA MP-1 was a legend for it’s superior versatility at the time of it’s release. Since first becoming available during the 80’s, players vied after it for it’s midi switching capability via footswitch. Paul Gilbert is most famous for his loyalty to the amp during the spawn of his career.  It runs on two 12AX7 preamp tubes and has three main voicings — Solid State, Clean and Distortion. One downfall of this amp stems from it’s lack of an input volume control, but thanks to a host of mods available nowadays for this thing, one can look really look past this minor flaw. On top of that, you can find them used for around $250! A steal for 80’s tone-in-a-box.


Line 6 POD HD Pro




A comparable alternative at a fraction of the price to the Axe-Fx (which also made the list), the Line 6 Pod HD Pro offers a ton of amp models and effects within it’s 2U rack interface. With over 100+ premium effects, 16 different cabinet models, and even eight microphone models, the Pod HD Pro gives you complete control over every aspect of your tone. All of this is complimented by an intricate display that lets you know exactly what your virtual signal path is. Add the ability to use a mic, bass, or your Line 6 Variax guitar for recording or live scenarios, and you’ve got the best of every realm of music-making at your fingertips. Oh, and to answer the most important question: Does it djent? Yes.


Mesa Boogie Studio Preamp




A now affordable alternative to the Tri-Axis and other Mesa Boogie Amps, the Studio Preamp contained all of the versatility one would expect from a Boogie. This 2-space machine is based on the classic Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ amplifier, but in the popular rack-mountable form of the late 1980s. It features 5 preamp tubes and a blackface circuit, so it’s perfect for those chasing after a Fender-esque clean or 90’s mid-gain lead tone. And like most Mesa’s, you’ll get a convenient EQ for those final tweaks.


Mesa Boogie Racktifier




Making their second appearance on our list, Mesa Boogie delivers with the Dual Rectifier Rackmount (appropriately nicknamed the “Racktifier”). This 3-U behemoth is simply a Dual Rectifier Head, and is one of the very few rackmounts to contain a pre-amp and power-amp all-in-one.  The Racktifier is made for those who simply want the dual rectifier sound, but have the “rack-gear bug”.


Mesa Boogie Tri-Axis


Made famous by Dream Theater guitarist and loyal Mesa Boogie endorsee John Petrucci, the Tri-Axis presents the absolute best of modern rock and metal tone with a touch of that signature Mesa Boogie character. If you scoured the Petrucci forums in the 90’s and early 2000’s, you’d be the first to know John had quite a few of these, both live and in the studio. It was the Tri-Axis that contributed to the now legendary sweet singing tone he achieved on countless DT albums. The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Tri-Axis is it’s unusual interface, which features digital numbers and arrow buttons instead of knobs.  The Tri-Axis also boasts five 12AX7’s into one rack space. Furthermore, you can achieve tones from Mesa amps like the Mark I, Mark IIC+, Mark IV™ and much more.


Soldano/Caswell X99



The x99 is as Soldano as an amp can get; its purple! The X99 (a step above the 3-channel X88) is a unique MIDI-controlled preamp, featuring Tim Caswell’s innovative system of real-time-controllable motorized knobs. Modeled after the SLO, the X99 has got the Soldano character that everyone’s grown to love. If you find one, let us know! Like most discontinued Soldano’s, the X99 is virtually impossible to track down.


Custom Audio Electronics 3+/3+ SE


Originally designed by John Suhr and Bob Bradshaw (a legend in rack-gear rig building), it can be assumed that this machine was built with superior quality and a ton of tone in mind. Well, boy did it deliver all of that and then some! The first and only CAE rackmounted guitar preamp to ever have been produced was a 2-spacer, featuring 3 independent channels for clean, crunch, and lead. One of the notorious drawbacks with preamps has always been the loss of pick attack. However, the CAE never had this issue, providing a wealth of clarity through every channel, and even cleaning up when you rolled back the volume on your guitar to get those classic tones.


Bogner Fish

As successor to the Bogner Triple Giant, the Fish is a pre-amp with a legendary status, due to it’s unique character and it’s 4-channel configuration. Originally introduced in 1990, the unit was limited to 250 pieces, and is a rare find now-a-days. But thankfully, Bogner decided to reintroduce the Fish, featuring a “Country”, “Shark”, “Strato”, and “Brown” channel. Just like the original, this amp can take on just about any style you throw at it!


Axe-Fx II


The weapon of choice for today’s modern recording musician, the Axe-Fx is as good as it gets in terms of modeling amps. Used by countless musician both live and in the studio, this machine has proven to deliver for just about every musical style under the sun. Notable users of the Axe Fx include Alex Lifeson, Steve Vai, Misha Mansoor, and many others famous musicians. The Axe-Fx II features a high resolution speaker simulator with 150+ “Factory” models and room for 512 “User” cab locations.  It contains a vast virtual inventory of hundreds of vintage and modern guitar amps, speaker cabinets, guitar stompbox and studio effects, and more. The options are pretty much endless.


Soldano SLO-100 Rackmount



The godfather of all that is sought after in rack gear; behold, the Soldano SLO Rackmount Amplifier. Those of you that have heard of the SLO (Super Lead Overdrive) already know that this thing can be brutal when it comes to lead tones. Possessing one of the tightest crunch and overdrive channels known to man, the SLO Rackmount is hailed as a grail piece of gear for many guitar players. The SLO-100 offers two channels, Normal and Overdrive, each with independent Preamp gain and Master Volume controls.  A footswitch is also provided for effortless noise-free switching between the two channels.  The Normal channel has a Bright switch and a Clean / Crunch gain selector switch.  Standard features include a tube-buffered effects loop and a slave output.  Bass, Middle, Treble, and Presence controls provide the tone shaping.  From Clapton to Van Halen, from Warren DeMartini to Lou Reed – and from you to Mike Soldano himself, the SLO is simply the player’s choice.


“Honorable Mention”

Langner DCP-1 Creator



Designed by Todd Langner (who also engineered the ADA MP-1), the Langner DCP-1 possesses somewhat of an infamous reputation. Very few know about it, but everyone who does, swears by it’s greatness. Built with much of the same blueprint as the Bogner Fish, the Langner features two independent channels with fully adjustable boost functions. Using five 12ax7a tubes, it’ll produce the glassiest cleans to the highest of high gain tones. Presets can be front panel selected or footswitched. If you’re into rare gear, this is the amp for you. Good luck finding one!


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Article: How Eddie Van Halen Hacks a Guitar Thu, 21 May 2015 14:25:39 +0000 landscape-1431985244-eddie-van-halen

EVH has always had a unique way of approaching the guitar. Popularizing the tapping technique, creating wild sounds with the whammy bar, and incorporating effects to make some entirely new sounds, Eddie Van Halen is an innovator to say the least. Withal, EVH often experimented with amps, guitars, and pedals, disassembling them and reconstructing them to suit his unique style. In a recent article by Popular Mechanics, the story behind Eddie’s self-tailored guitar building is explained; with a few entertaining stories from EVH himself.

“My playing style really grew from the fact that I couldn’t afford a distortion pedal. I had to try to squeeze those sounds out of my guitar. The first real work I did was in my bedroom. I added pickups, because I didn’t like the sound of the originals. I couldn’t afford a router—I didn’t even know what a router was—so I started hammering away with a screwdriver. That didn’t work at all. Chunks of wood flew off and there was sawdust flying all over the place. But I was on a mission. I knew what I wanted and I just kept at it until I finally got there…. “

Read the entire article at!



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The Music Zoo Is A 2015 NAMM Top 100 Dealer Wed, 20 May 2015 15:13:02 +0000 Print

We’re honored to once again be considered one of the Top 100 Dealers by NAMM! “The music retailers honored with NAMM’s Top 100 Dealer status are those working hard to create positive musical experiences for everyone from those just learning to experienced musicians.” – Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM

The Top 100 designation recognizes:

  • A demonstrated commitment to exceptional customer service
  • Proven community advocacy and support for for music education
  • An exemplary retail experience worth returning for and recommending to others
  • Merchandising and marketing tactics that encourage repeat sales
  • Sound planning for future success, employing marketing and training initiatives
  • Engaging and effective use of web and social media

The Music Zoo is also under consideration to receive the Dealer of the Year award, NAMM’s highest honor for retailers, and seven other “Best of” awards including: Best Store Design, Best Marketing and Sales Promotion, Best Online Engagement, Music Makes a Difference Award, Best Emerging Dealer, Best Store Turnaround and Best Customer Service.


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2015 Fender Custom Shop American Custom Guitars Sat, 16 May 2015 18:19:33 +0000 american-custom


All new for 2015, the American Custom is the Fender of modern times—and then some. With figured woods and striking finishes combined with contemporary performance features and detailed craftsmanship, new American Custom Telecaster® and Stratocaster® models are not only beautiful to behold, but also highly functional in pure Fender fashion.

American Custom Stratocaster

The Fender Custom Shop 2015 Flame Maple Top American Custom Stratocaster® takes the quintessential Fender electric guitar and decks it out with knockout appointments that make it a dazzling performer. The two-piece lightweight ash body is sculpted with deep ’57-style contours for remarkable playing comfort, with a gorgeous two-piece book-matched AAA flame maple top. The guitar comes in Violin Burst and Honey Burst finishes with an NOS treatment that evokes the look of a brand-new instrument in its original model year. Singing Strat sparkle comes from hand-wired ’69 Stratocaster single-coil neck and middle pickups (middle pickup is reverse wound/reverse polarity) and a hand-wired Texas Special™ single-coil bridge pickup.


American Custom Telecaster

The telecaster will of course get it’s scorching Telecaster snap comes from a pair of hand-wired Twisted Tele® single-coil pickups and Fender’s Greasebucket™ tone circuit, which rolls off highs without reducing gain. Other premium features include an AAA flame maple neck with “large C” profile, fast compound-radius (9.5″-12″) maple or dark rosewood “slab” fingerboard with bone nut and 22 narrow jumbo frets, three-way pickup switch with black “top hat” tip, three-ply eight-hole parchment pickguard, custom deluxe Telecaster bridge, and Elite chrome tuners with pearl buttons. Includes black textured vinyl hard-shell case.

Watch the demos above and below to hear these guitars in action! If your interested in ordering either of these guitars, feel free to contact our sales staff through the link below, or call 516-626-9292!

Click here to order button


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The Music Zoo Remembers B.B. King Fri, 15 May 2015 19:17:33 +0000 BBKing_02092010_7670

All of us at The Zoo are very saddened by the news of the passing of B.B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)

Music has no expiration, and as far as we are concerned, neither does B.B. King. All you need to do is put on any one of his classic hits to realize he’s still right here with us. As a man that has built a legacy around his soulful guitar phrasing and powerful vocals, B.B. King is simply, the definition of blues. Furthermore, no one expressed themselves quite like the King himself. With a colorful career spanning over 50 years, and a lengthy list of unforgettable hits, B.B. King represents all that is good about blues music. But from his chart-topping songs to his collection of prestigious awards over the years, King has remained as humble as ever. Inspiring artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Santana, it’s safe to say a piece of King lives in a lot of the music we hear everyday, and will continue to inspire many generations to come. All of us here at The Music Zoo have at some point felt something special from King’s illustrious career, and extend our deepest regards to his family and friends. His legacy shall live on forever.

Watch the video below to have a look at what made B.B. King so special…R.I.P.


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2015 Gibson Custom Shop True Historic Guitars Fri, 15 May 2015 14:56:24 +0000  GIBSON TRUE HISTORICS MAIN


The Music Zoo is proud to present the most accurate vintage production model to ever release from Gibson; the True Historic. With the True Historic range, Gibson Custom commits to a fanatic level of detail accuracy to bring you as close as possible to owning an original Gibson Les Paul. The True Historic line will replicate the 56′ thru 60′ Les Paul. A double-carved and hand-sanded top and neck, hand wet-sanded finish, hand-filed rolled fingerboard binding, and plastics replicated from molecular-level analysis of original vintage parts headline only a few of the extensive and obsessive details found in each of the very limited number of True Historic Les Pauls offered. Add a pair of superbly accurate Custom Bucker pickups, re-created from precise study and measurement of original PAFs, and that legendary Burst tone is all there. You simply can’t get closer to the real thing… than the real thing.
If you have any questions about these guitars, feel free to contact our sales staff at or call 516-626-9292!



 True Historic 1956 Les Paul Goldtop


 Click here for complete specifications at!


True Historic 1957 Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty”




True Historic 1958 Les Paul




True Historic 1959 Les Paul




True Historic 1960 Les Paul




New in 2015


  • True Historic Plastics: Molecular level analysis delivers authentic vintage design
  • True Historic Pickup Covers: Designed and engineered based on the originals
  • Double-Carved Top: Authentic vintage dish profile
  • Double-Carved Neck: Hand sanded for ideal playability and accurate profile
  • “Broken” Peghead Edges, Smoother Edges: Vintage Looks and Feel
  • Thinner Peghead Veneer: A testament to obsession with detail
  • Thinner True Historic Wet-Sanded Finish: More work, more authentic
  • Hide Glue Top Construction: A real vintage spec on the most “original” Reissue yet
  • Rolled Fingerboard Binding: It’s all about feel and playability


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Fender American Deluxe Dimension™ Basses At The Zoo Thu, 14 May 2015 14:13:33 +0000 electric-basses-platforms-dimension-bass-deluxe-bottom-feature

For the pro four or five-string bassist, Dimension basses present the modern pinnacle of Fender style, power, performance and personality. With an original body style, powerful pickups and electronics, and other fine features, they let you sculpt your tone with unparalleled bass artistry. The American Deluxe Dimension Basses are a phenomenal instrument, available in both four and five string versions, with one or two powerful humbucking pickups, delivering an elegant modern look and remarkable tonal versatility with any degree of muscle and finesse. With other features including a natural-feeling asymmetrical neck profile, a compound-radius fingerboard and much more, it’s a remarkable new Dimension in Fender bass. Specs listed below!

These basses are available now on our site! Click here!


  • Ash body with asymmetrical neck heel
  • Maple neck with asymmetrical “C” profile
  • Compound-radius (9.5”-14”) maple or rosewood fingerboard
  • 18-volt onboard preamp with active three-band EQ
  • Fender High-Mass bridge
  • Stealth A-string retainer



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John Petrucci Demos The Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty Wed, 13 May 2015 20:56:33 +0000

The Music Man Majesty 6 is the product of years of collaboration between the builders at Ernie Ball, and legendary guitarist John Petrucci. A seemless representation of form and function, the Music Man Majesty is a guitar built for performance. Here’s what Mr. Petrucci himself had to say about developing the Majesty…

“The Majesty guitar symbolizes the very reason why I am so proud to be a Music Man artist. I had the idea for this guitar a couple of years ago but it is because of their innovative spirit and dedication to the art of guitar building that it is now a reality. I am so grateful that I am able to collaborate with the best guitar company on the planet and so incredibly proud that together we have created what is to me, the perfect musical instrument for guitar players. I really hope you get a chance to play one and am confident that you will feel the same!” – John Petrucci

Watch the video above to get a closer look at this super-car inspired guitar from Ernie Ball! If you have any questions or inquiries about this axe, contact our sales staff by clicking here, or call us at 516-626-9292!

The Music Man Majesty is available on our site now! Click here!



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Suhr PT-100 Pete Thorne Signature Amplifier Sat, 09 May 2015 19:48:25 +0000


World renown guitarist Peter Thorn, is not only known for his touring/session work with legendary artists such as, Chris Cornell and Melissa Etheridge, but he is also considered by the guitarist community to be one of the foremost authorities on tone.

After five years of extensive road testing and countless hours spent modifying his original PT-100 amplifier, we have created the ultimate, no compromise, multi-channel amp – now MIDI switchable.

Unmistakable in appearance and dressed to thrill, the PT-100 Signature Edition is draped in a modern black carbon fiber tolex, appointed with silver knobs and a sophisticated anodized face plate.

The Suhr PT-100 Signature Edition features a 100 watt, three-channel tube amplifier head loaded with a custom “Plexi-style” output transformer, four EL-34 power tubes and six 12AX7 preamp tubes, a solid-state series/parallel effects loop, 4-button programmable footswitch.

The PT-100 is available on our site right now! Click here!

pt-100-signature-stack-main-img-front (1)




Output: 100 Watts RMS
Tubes: PT-100: 4xEL34 & 6x12AX7
Front Panel: Input, (CH1) Crunch Switch, Bright Switch, Gain 1, Bass, Middle, Treble, Level 1, (CH 2/3): Bright 2/3 Switch, Gain 2, Gain 3, Bass, Middle, Treble, Level 2, Level 3, Boost Switch, Channel Select Switch
Back Panel: Power Select Switch, Fuse / Power Entry Module, Standback/Standby Switch, H.T. Fuse, Speaker Outputs, (16Ω, 8Ω, & 4Ω), Feedback, Presence, Depth Switch, Effects Loop Return Level, In/Active Switch, In Inst. Switch, Send and Return Jacks, Series/Mix Switch, MIDI IN, MIDI THRU
Footswitch Dimensions: 11.5” (L) x 3.26” (W) x 1.72” (H)
Weight: 55 lbs.



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