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Costa Mesa Recording Studios, New Syn Amp & Pedal, Album timeline

Ed Seith

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    How come the non US version'll be cheaper? I saw that light at a store here
    Typically for US-based companies, the USA-made version uses top components and is the premium version of a line of products. US labor is more expensive, and the higher price needs to be justified. Other companies outside the US do similar things. For instance, Japanese-made Ibanez are their top of the line models, with the most features, tightest tolerances and strictest QA.
     
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    Eric Kane

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    I tried making this a status but they can only have 800 characters, so here we are.

    I just got back from a somewhat unexpected trip to Costa Mesa Recording Studios, where Avenged is currently recording their new album and where they recorded their last few. I got the chance to sit down with their engineer and owner of the studio, Nick Fainbarg, who gave me a tour of the studio and showed me all of the rooms and the gear. I got to see the current setup for A7X's new album recording, pretty much everything was set up in away where they could just walk into the studio and start going at it. Unfortunately, I would've needed clearance from A7X's management to take pictures to share with the students since there was a lot to keep on the down low.

    I also got to play Syn's new SGS amplifier along with the new pedal coming out soon. Both are being used extensively on the new album. Needless to say, both are amazing. I got to see the probably final artwork/enclosure for the pedal, along with the name that I'm not sure has been revealed yet. I was told that it was NOT based off of the Hellwin, but is something of it's own. I also got to play a few of Syn's vintage Fender guitars and a Nash guitar. I saw all the heads and cabinets being used, along with the mics on each cabinet as well.

    I was also told how far along they are with recording, which I'm sure I shouldn't mention. I'll just say that Matt's words about it being out by their Summer 2022 tour makes sense with where they're at currently.

    Hopefully they don't stop telling me these things since I just post them on the school right away lol. I like to give the students some insider information as much as I can without giving away too much.
    Nice! That's cool that you got to go in and see and play some of that stuff. So, can you tell us who is producing the new amps/pedals? Are they Schecter branded? Some other manufacturer? I don't remember seeing that anywhere.
     
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    A.C.

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    That's awesome dude! Seems you got a pretty damn thorough tour! Since everyone's curious about the amps I think I'll ask about something else. How'd you like Syns Fenders? What all did he bring in of his vintage fender gear?
    He had his 1954 Fender Strat, I think a vintage telecaster, and a one off Nash telecaster. I played the 1954 Fender Strat and I think the Nash. The entire time I was just so grateful and careful and everything just kind of happened so fast that I didn't even process what I was playing. And as soon as someone hands me a guitar to try out, I forget everything I ever learned and I sound like I can't play lol.

    I don't own any Fender type guitars or even guitars with single coils, so I actually don't have a lot to compare these guitars to. But you just knew that they played and sounded great. The Strat was just thick and used and warm sounding. The telecaster was similar, but slightly easier to play. I used the strat through the new amp and pedal, along with the Visual Sound H20 pedal. Nick told me that they were using that combination for some leads, so he had me do some leads through it and it just sounded dirty and unique. I believe I was using both the pickups in the Tele, and it just sounded like nothing else that I've ever owned.
     
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    A.C.

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    How come the non US version'll be cheaper? I saw that light at a store here
    Ed already answered this one, but to add on to what he said, labor is usually much cheaper in a country such as China so they can sell it for a cheaper price to the consumer. A lot of people have a lot of opinions on USA vs elsewhere but Chinese quality has caught up greatly over the past decade or so, I wouldn't worry about getting the cheaper version. In fact, there are USA and Chinese version of the Hellwin (Hellwin USA vs Hellwin Stage) and PG's was the Chinese version.
     
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    A.C.

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    Thanks for the update! That's so cool you managed to do and see all that. My only question is, how on earth did you end up in that situation?!

    Keep the info coming 🤟
    I had sent Syn some birthday presents to the studio, but UPS couldn't deliver it because the no one was at the studio when they tried to drop it off. They sent the presents back to me so I figured I'd just drive them to the studio myself since I'm like 50 miles away. PG put in a good word for me with Nick Fainbarg and I got in touch with him, so we met up at the studio and he gave me a tour. Before I got in touch with him, I was just going to literally drop off the presents and leave, but thankfully Nick was extremely cool and offered to show me around.
     

    A.C.

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    Thanks for sharing! Can you comment about what kind of tones you were getting through the amp and the pedal?
    The amp is a "pedal platform" amp which means it's pretty smooth and clean on it's own. It's like a blank canvas to put pedals through and get some wild sounds. I'd say it's just warm and clean. The pedal is like a "preamp" pedal, almost like an amp in a box. Very similar to a distortion pedal, but is voiced more like an amp's preamp section and usually has amp-like controls. That thing is just a high gain monster, which pairs perfectly with a clean pedal platform amp. You could even think of the pedal as a second channel to the amp.

    Nick plugged me in to the amp, pedal, and the Visual Sound H20 pedal which is Chorus & Echo. It was a lead tone that just sounded really good and unique, especially with the H20. I think between the amp and pedal, there's a lot of versatility and ground that can be covered.
     

    A.C.

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    Nice! That's cool that you got to go in and see and play some of that stuff. So, can you tell us who is producing the new amps/pedals? Are they Schecter branded? Some other manufacturer? I don't remember seeing that anywhere.
    I asked Nick if he knew who was making the pedal, and he said he wasn't sure. I can pretty much guarantee that it's not Schecter related at all. The release of the Hellwin and Schecter's other amp did not go well at all which is why they were discontinued. Syn, along with Avenged as a whole, have gotten very hands on and independent and "in house" with a lot of their stuff in the past few years. Syn even buys his own guitars from Schecter at cost (the amount it takes to build it) and then sells it here on his shop and those profits keep this school afloat. It's much more personal this way.

    That being said, I'm sure Syn worked with an amp/pedal designer for these, found a company/factory to produce them, and will be selling them from his own brand. He has full control and can roll it out, market it, and sell it how he wants to.
     

    Steven Huth

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    The amp is a "pedal platform" amp which means it's pretty smooth and clean on it's own. It's like a blank canvas to put pedals through and get some wild sounds. I'd say it's just warm and clean. The pedal is like a "preamp" pedal, almost like an amp in a box. Very similar to a distortion pedal, but is voiced more like an amp's preamp section and usually has amp-like controls. That thing is just a high gain monster, which pairs perfectly with a clean pedal platform amp. You could even think of the pedal as a second channel to the amp.

    Nick plugged me in to the amp, pedal, and the Visual Sound H20 pedal which is Chorus & Echo. It was a lead tone that just sounded really good and unique, especially with the H20. I think between the amp and pedal, there's a lot of versatility and ground that can be covered.
    Ahh thanks for writing that up man. The hype on the pedal and amp is starting to escalate haha. Can't wait to try these things out myself. I think it could be a cool thing to add a lesson or three about getting both of these things set up and dialed in. Maybe a Syn TV idea?
     
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    Ed Seith

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    I asked Nick if he knew who was making the pedal, and he said he wasn't sure. I can pretty much guarantee that it's not Schecter related at all. The release of the Hellwin and Schecter's other amp did not go well at all which is why they were discontinued. Syn, along with Avenged as a whole, have gotten very hands on and independent and "in house" with a lot of their stuff in the past few years. Syn even buys his own guitars from Schecter at cost (the amount it takes to build it) and then sells it here on his shop and those profits keep this school afloat. It's much more personal this way.

    That being said, I'm sure Syn worked with an amp/pedal designer for these, found a company/factory to produce them, and will be selling them from his own brand. He has full control and can roll it out, market it, and sell it how he wants to.

    Agree. I've asked him several times if Schecter was making the amp, and if not them, then who, and he has fully and completely ignored the question entirely EVERY TIME :ROFLMAO:, which is his right, of course. Also the pics I've seen (and the pic AC posted here), there is no branding besides the Syn "$" logo on the front, and a brief message and "autograph" from Syn on the back.
     
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    Ed Seith

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    Ahh thanks for writing that up man. The hype on the pedal and amp is starting to escalate haha. Can't wait to try these things out myself. I think it could be a cool thing to add a lesson or three about getting both of these things set up and dialed in. Maybe a Syn TV idea?
    I won the naming contest for the amp, and Syn promised to send me one of the first ones as a prize, possibly pre-production, but who knows. I do plan to do a full video with it when it arrives, though I may not have his pedal to go along with it. I've got a Revv G3 (purple), a Klon clone, and for full retro, my old DOD Supra Distortion, which I'm anxious to resurrect, as well. I'll do some in-room stuff, and also straight into the board with a Torpedo X Captor from Two-Notes.
     
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    Chris Johnston

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    I had sent Syn some birthday presents to the studio, but UPS couldn't deliver it because the no one was at the studio when they tried to drop it off. They sent the presents back to me so I figured I'd just drive them to the studio myself since I'm like 50 miles away. PG put in a good word for me with Nick Fainbarg and I got in touch with him, so we met up at the studio and he gave me a tour. Before I got in touch with him, I was just going to literally drop off the presents and leave, but thankfully Nick was extremely cool and offered to show me around.
    That's so cool man! it must've been a great surprise to get the tour like that 😊
     
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    Steven Huth

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    I won the naming contest for the amp, and Syn promised to send me one of the first ones as a prize, possibly pre-production, but who knows. I do plan to do a full video with it when it arrives, though I may not have his pedal to go along with it. I've got a Revv G3 (purple), a Klon clone, and for full retro, my old DOD Supra Distortion, which I'm anxious to resurrect, as well. I'll do some in-room stuff, and also straight into the board with a Torpedo X Captor from Two-Notes.
    That's what I like to hear! I think doing a video without the pedal and stock sounds would be super helpful to really get a feel of what the amp sounds like just on its own. Then you could do another video adding the pedal....and another video with the rest of your setup and all of the above.

    I know when I go to Youtube to check out amps and what not, I really enjoy hearing the base sound of the amp to really give a clear picture on what the starting point will sound like.
     

    Ed Seith

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    That's what I like to hear! I think doing a video without the pedal and stock sounds would be super helpful to really get a feel of what the amp sounds like just on its own. Then you could do another video adding the pedal....and another video with the rest of your setup and all of the above.

    I know when I go to Youtube to check out amps and what not, I really enjoy hearing the base sound of the amp to really give a clear picture on what the starting point will sound like.
    Yeah, and I'd typically start with all settings in the middle, as well, for the "default" sound, then tweak to my taste.
     
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