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11 Common Cross Browser Compatibility Issues



Cross browser testing helps the developers to verify the compatibility of the web application across various browsers. With the help of this test, developers can ensure that the web application retains its functionality irrespective of the browser or browser version. However, it is a complex process and might cause errors at certain times.  Some of these issues can often throw the developer off track and delay the web app production process. This process can drastically harm the reputation of a company. So, in this article, we are going to discuss the most common cross browser compatibility issues that a developer might encounter. We will also try to find possible solutions that can help the developers to overcome this obstacle. However, before discussing the problems, we need to understand the basics of cross-browser compatibility testing.

The Basics of Cross Browser Compatibility Testing

During the earlier years of the internet, people mostly used Internet Explorer to access the web. However, with the advancement of technology new browsers have been introduced for the Web industry. These browsers have successfully dominated the industry with the help of attractive features. For instance, Google Chrome dominates more than 50% of the modern web browsing industry. Therefore, the developers must ensure that their web application performs smoothly on all browsers that are available in the market. This is because a company cannot afford to alienate any segment of the industry due to browser incompatibility. Moreover, they must also ensure that their web application retains its functionality on the older functions of the browser as well.

Cross-browser compatibility testing helps the developers to achieve this goal by testing it on thousands of different browsers and browser versions. This test also ensures that all the visual elements of the web application stay in the correct location irrespective of the screen size or resolution. Now let us look at some of the common issues that the developers might encounter while performing cross-browser compatibility testing.

The Most Common Cross Browser Compatibility Issues

1.Performing Validation for HTML and CSS Codes

Performing the validation of HTML and CSS codes can become tricky depending on the browser. This is because various browsers have different methods for detecting and interpreting these codes. So even a small error like a missing bracket can cause drastic outcomes in these browsers. Whereas certain browsers can automatically fix these errors and run the code smoothly. The best way to fix these errors is to increase the vigilance of all web developers and testers. They must analyze all these HTML and CSS codes properly before executing them. There are also various CSS and HTML validation tools that can help the developers in this process.

2.Missing the CSS Reset Options

Ordinarily, every browser has its design layout that is automatically applied to every website. However certain websites have their unique design. To utilize this design the developers have to override the default browser design layout. In case the developers fail to conduct this, the website will be rendered differently depending on different browsers. To solve this issue the developers have to use CSS reset style sheets to override the default web design layout. Normalise.css is one of the most commonly used CSS style sheets in the web development industry.

3.Detection of the Doctype Error

Doctype is considered one of the basic lines for the web development core framework. However, if the developers failed to include this line, it can cause some major errors during the rendering process. Commonly, a browser runs into different modes like strict mode and quirks mode. Most of the modern browsers don’t perform the test for Doctype. However certain old browsers such as internet explorer version 8 still perform this check. So, these older browsers still use strict mode and perform all the checks including the Doctype error checking. The quickest solution to this problem is to mention the doctype at the top of the source code. This will help the developers to display the webpage as intended.

4.Various JavaScript Compatibility Issues

JavaScript compatibility issues often occur when developers try to use modern JavaScript functions with older versions of a browser. For instance, this error can occur if the developer tries to use ECMAScript in Internet Explorer 11. Proper research on JavaScript compatibility is the only way to solve this error. The developers need to find out all the features that will be compatible with the browser on which they are working. Various tools help the developers to convert JavaScript into the latest compatible versions. All these features can help the developers avoid various errors related to JavaScript compatibility. Various other third-party JavaScript functions work similarly to the default JavaScript library.

5.Issues Related to the Layout Compatibility

In the earlier part of this article, we discussed the process of performing CSS reset. However, this process can cause layout compatibility issues in certain situations. This issue is mostly caused due to non-compatibility of a website layout. In certain cases, a non-responsive web application can also cause this error. However, it is quite simple to fix this issue. Developers can use various tools like Flexbox while working with modern web layouts.

6.The Use of Untrusted CSS Libraries

The conventional web layouts can never provide a customized experience for a web application. Therefore, the developers often use third-party CSS libraries for providing customization, scalability, and security to a web app. However, the use of untrusted CSS libraries can have dramatic outcomes in the web development life-cycle. These outcomes include the improper working of CSS libraries or the crash of the entire framework. To avoid these errors the developers must use trusted and well-known libraries like angular JS. They should also check the documentation of a CSS library before integrating them into the development framework.

7.Unavailability of Separate Stylesheets for Different Types of Browsers

Most of the common cross-browser compatibility issues are related to the stylesheets. These issues mostly occur when the older browser versions do not support the modern style elements of a web application. The use of different CSS fixes for various browsers can also trigger this compatibility issue. The easiest way to solve this error is to implement different style sheets for different browsers.  To verify this process the developers can use conditional spreadsheets. This process will help them to link the stylesheets with the respective browser or Browser version.

8.Improper Choice of Testing Tools and Platforms

A web tester can’t conduct all the testing processes single-handedly. Therefore, he will require the assistance of certain tools and platforms to complete this process. Many web developers believe that the choice of tools is completely random and does not have any significant impact. In reality, a proper tool can help to increase the development potential of any web development company. To make the correct choice, the Testers should perform thorough research on the business requirements and project needs. This data will also help them to get an idea about the needs of their users. Lastly, web developers should also consider the recent market trends and developing strategies to make the perfect decision. Let us consider the example of LambdaTest to understand the potential of a Cross browser testing tool.

LambdaTest is a platform to perform automated cross browser testing on multiple browsers and devices simultaneously. This platform uses a safe and secure online Selenium Grid to perform all the testing processes. The cloud-based server helps the developers to perform all the testing applications from anywhere in the world.

Using this platform, the developers can also verify the functionality of the locally hosted web applications. The developers can reuse the LambdaTest test scripts in various other developing projects as well. LambdaTest also helps a tester to perform automated visual testing on the UI elements of a web application. LambdaTest maintains an activity log to store all the final test reports during the web application development life-cycle. Lastly, it provides various attractive plans to support the growth of small web developing companies.

9.Ignoring the Functions for Vender Specific Tasks

As we already discussed earlier, all web applications are not created with the same intentions. For instance, a company can create a web application for conducting business, storing data or displaying some vital information. Depending on the purpose of the web application, the developers have to customize the designing and development process. For instance, developers have to arrange all the visual elements properly to avoid any compatibility issues. The primary goal of a vendor-specific web application should be to maintain user satisfaction.

10.Old Systems for Browser Detection

To optimize a web application for a browser, the developers need to understand which browser the end-users are using. The conventional way of completing this process was using a simple browser detection system. However, with the advancement in technology, these systems have failed to deliver the correct results. To solve this problem, the developers have to get rid of the conventional browser detection system. Instead, they can use modern technologies such as a modernizer which conducts a series of super-fast tests. These tests will reveal all the browser features. The developers can use this data to provide a seamless experience.

11.Insufficient Testing on Real Devices

In this modern generation, most companies try to complete the testing process with the help of an emulator or virtual machine. Many web testers have the misconceptions that an emulator can completely substitute a physical device testing process. In reality, there are certain factors that a virtual machine or an emulator can never simulate. For instance, it cannot perform testing for human interaction on various web applications. It is also impossible to use emulators to perform visual element testing. To solve this issue, the developers can use various online cloud platforms to perform remote testing on physical devices. There are various platforms like LambdaTest that can help the developers to achieve this goal.

Wrapping Up!

So, we can conclude that cross-browser compatibility testing is an important process to ensure the proper functioning of a web application. The developers must perform this test to ensure that they can provide the ultimate user experience to their end-users. In this article, we discussed various obstacles that might occur during the cross-browser compatibility testing phase. However, with the help of innovation and work experience, the testers can easily overcome these hurdles.

Lastly, we would like to recommend the testers seriously consider the tool and platform selection process. During this phase, they can consider the project requirements and their company ideals to make a perfect choice. This process will help the testers to use the full potential of the testing environment. The primary goal of a web developer should always be to quickly provide high-quality web applications to the end-users.

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Silvertone Fastback Electric Guitar




The Silvertone Fastback Electric Guitar is a cool looking blue guitar that is a single cutaway solid body guitar. It is loaded with features but only weighs a light 14 pounds. Not bad for a full sized guitar.

This musical instrument stands out with its beautiful quilt maple neck, maple top, and maple 22 fret finger board. It is stunning and made of good quality considering the price. The guitar produces warm and bold sound because of its dual humpback pickups.

The instrument comes with vintage tremolo and die cast tuners. This guitar is perfect for both beginners and seasoned guitar players.


A number of users said that the unit is a good alternative to much more expensive “big brand” guitars. Many people say that it is as good as typical expensive guitars in the market but will only cost a fraction of the price. Some reviews say that the Silvertone Fastback Electric Guitar is good as is, without any upgrades and works out of the box. It is mainly problem free and can be used as soon as you get it in the mail. Many people said that the solid material makes it look even better. The neck is comfortable to use for most people. Some reviews mentioned that the stock humpbuckers were great, the tremolo is also good as is. Some users said that they did not have to tune the guitar often unlike some cheaper models that constantly need to be tuned. The price is a big plus factor aside from it being a very usable guitar. At the price of under $140, your heart won’t break if the unit breaks.


A few users mentioned that there is a problem with the narrow neck because they have fat fingers; and they say that they wished that the neck was wider to accommodate bigger fingers and hands. Some reviews said that the Silvertone Fastback Electric Guitar felt cheap (especially once they find out the guitar is made in China). Users suggest that you should be knowledgeable about electric guitars before purchasing this model. Some say it is not ideal for serious guitar player and is better suited for beginners or hobbyists. Some reviews from expert electric guitar players said that, it may have inconsistencies and buyers should inspect the unit carefully before buying it. There are some users who prefer to buy more expensive guitars from well-known companies and find this model more ideal for older kids and beginners rather than for serious electric guitar players.

Generally, the Silvertone Fastback Electric Guitar is good enough for most buyers who find it to be a good guitar for the price. It is perfect for casual players and beginners as well. The cool looking design in blue is also an added benefit. For under $140, it is not bad for a full sized electric guitar that plays fine out of the box. It is a good gift for those who want to experiment with learning how to play an electric guitar.

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Esteban Guitar Lessons – Instructional DVDs For Guitarists




Esteban’s biggest claim to fame is that the classical guitar legend, Andres Segovia, who refused most students, agreed to give Esteban guitar lessons. While this claim cannot be verified, Esteban certainly did something right to become one of the most competent contemporary guitarists in America. Chances are you have seen the bolero hat and sunglasses wearing Esteban on TV infomercials advertising his DVDs and books teaching guitar lessons and techniques.

Guitar students need to learn the fundamentals of guitar technique in an effective way. One-on-one guitar lessons, online lessons, and instructional DVDs can all provide this for a beginner guitarist.

Furthermore, students interested in learning guitar need to learn guitar technique from an instructor that is not only a great player, but also a great teacher. Without this combination, lessons can never involve much more than mimicking style and technique. Without proper explanations, a guitarist’s understanding of music can be negatively affected. The importance of correct finger positions and basic chord patterns needs to be emphasized. Following from this, more advanced techniques such as free-form improvisation can be taught.

While the ability to improvise and produce impromptu guitar solos is an advance technique, it can be introduced to even a beginner guitarist. Esteban guitar lessons on DVD introduce these types of more advanced techniques at a beginner level.

One advantage of learning guitar online or via instructional DVDs is that a beginner guitarist can learn at their own speed, and even repeat sections and lessons if they feel they need to revisit a technique or instruction.

Using instructional DVDs can be used as a student’s exclusive method of learning guitar, or it can used in combination with other methods of learning guitar, such as a online lessons, a one-on-one guitar tutor, or self-directed study. This method allows for a lot of flexibility on the part of the beginner guitarist.

Since instructional DVDs such as Estaben’s guitar lessons come in different volumes, it is not only absolute beginners that can benefit from these guitar lessons. Novice guitarists can pick up on the lessons at a higher level, and can even benefit from reviewing the basic guitar techniques taught in earlier lessons.

New students might have trouble learning how to change chords quickly, understanding different kinds of picking techniques, or learning scales. Thankfully, there are techniques to ease students’ guitar playing troubles. It is through years of firsthand experience of playing and teaching that guitar teachers are able to show their students easy tips and tricks for becoming a great guitarist as quickly and painlessly as possible.

That Esteban guitar lessons on DVD typically receive favorable reviews shows that DVD-based guitar lessons can be very successful in terms of helping new guitarists learn effectively, quickly, and at a pace which suits them.

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Memory Improvement – Tips to Improve Memory




Tip 1: Memory Games

Memory improvement is not that difficult. One of my favorite tips is playing memory games. If you like computer games or play board games, I advise you sticking to games that require logical thinking and analytical skills not just games of luck. I would strongly advise chess, checkers, sudoku and word games. By improving your logic you will improve your memory, so try some logic games which can be found online. A good one is where you have to push crates in specific places and not get stuck.

Tip 2: Training Your Memory’s Perception

Another great tip for memory improvement is taking up the habit of noticing things and paying attention. Try to notice small details around you and then recall them. This can be done anytime and anywhere, and it will greatly boost your perception and memory skills. I must also add that this skill is essential if you are working in the security field.

Tip 3: Improve Your Overall Fitness

Staying fit and healthy is not only great for your body but also for your brain. Your mind, and the memory that comes with it, all need to be fit as well. I advise you to do cardio exercises which would deliver more oxygen to your brain. Such exercises would be jogging, swimming, cycling. If you favor something heavier, hit a gym and try weight lifting.

Tip 4: Engage Subjects That Involve Thinking

Whether you are reading a book or watching TV, my advice is to focus on topics that involve thinking. Get your memory recall involved. These could be detective, romance, and movies or various psychological, religious related literature and shows. Don’t just watch it, try to figure out the answer to the puzzle yourself.

These are just some tips to improve your memory. Just getting you mind, body and soul involved in something, helps your memory improvement, you feel good and relaxed, and your natural brain flow will work to perfection. And before you know it, your memory doesn’t even have to think about why it even needs to improve, you are already there.

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Martin DX1 Guitar Review




The Martin DX1 range consists of the Martin DX1-AE, DX1-E, DX1-KAE and DX1-RAE model guitars. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these soundly crafted guitars. They are really high quality dreadnought acoustic-electric guitars that are designed for a low price.

These Martin dreadnaught guitars have no cutaways and their body dimensions make them feel comfortable to sit and play with. These precision instruments come with a Fishman type Pickups and utilize Solid Sitka 5/16 Spruce for their top braces in A-Frame “X-1” patterns.

This design gives them a fuller, bassy sound when played. Not only do these guitars look beautiful, they sound amazing with their projection of clear bright tones and excellent sustain.

The Body Of The Martin DX1-AE, DX1-E, DX1-KAE and DX1-RAE Guitars

The body design of the Martin DX1 range is known as D-14 Fret and is based on their butterfly shaped designed tops. The neck is connected to the body of the guitar by a mortise and tenon neck joint. This type of joining is what makes these guitars strong and durable. The simplicity of these Martin dreadnaught guitars makes them a beautiful guitar to play.

The tops of these Martin dreadnaught guitars are made of solid Sitka Spruce. The top has a hand rubbed urethane light satin finish. The rosette around the sound hole is of multiple black and white Boltaron rings with red fibre in middle. Next to the rosette is the tortoise coloured pick guard. These two features make the Sitka Spruce top very distinctive and appealing.

These guitars have a belly style bridge, which is made of Morado on the DX1-E model guitar and black Richlite on the other models. The bridge string spacing is 2-1/8” and the bridge endpins are white with black dots. The saddle is of a compensated 16” radius and is of white Micarta on the DX1-E model guitar and of white TUSQ on the models.

The side panelling on the DX1-AE and DX1-E Martin guitars are of a Java Mahogany pattern HPL textured finish. The DX1-KAE Martin guitar has a Koa pattern HPL textured finish and the DX1-RAE Martin guitar has an Indian Rosewood pattern HPL textured finish.

The backboard of the DX1-AE and DX1-E Martin guitars is of a Java Mahogany pattern HPL textured finish. Whilst the DX1-KAE Martin guitar has a Koa pattern HPL textured finish and the DX1-RAE Martin guitar has an Indian Rosewood pattern HPL textured finish.

These Martin dreadnought guitars use Fishman type Pickups. The DX1-E Martin guitar has a Fishman Classic 4 Sonicore Pickup. The other models use Fishman Sonitone Pickups.

The Neck Of The Martin DX1-AE, DX1-E, DX1-KAE and DX1-RAE Guitars

The Martin DX1 range of dreadnought acoustic-electric guitars use a Stratabond type neck. The neck material of DX1-AE and DX1-E Martin guitars is a Rust Stratabond, whist the other two models have a natural Stratabond. The Stratabond neck shape is referred to as a modified low oval. The neck width is 1 11/16″ at the nut and the scale length is the typical 25.4″.

The fingerboard material used on the DX1-E Martin guitar is called Morado. The other models use black Richlite. The fingerboard width at the nut is 1-11/16” and width at the 12th fret is 2-1/8”. The fingerboard has 20 frets and 14 are clear. There are 6 fret dots at the top of the fingerboard.

The fingerboard and head is separated by a white Corian synthetic nut.

The headstocks are designed for 6 strings. The headstock of the DX1-E Martin guitar has a square tapper and the other models have a solid standard taper.

The headplates of the DX1-AE and DX1-E Martin guitars are made from a Mahogany pattern HPL. The headplate of the DX1-KAE Martin guitar is made from a Koa pattern HPL. The Martin DX1-RAE guitar has a headplate made from an Indian Rosewood pattern HPL.

All of these Martin dreadnought acoustic-electric guitars use Martin type tuners, which are chrome enclosed with small buttons. They seem to work very well and are quite responsive. Martin Studio Performance Light Phosphor Bronze (msp4100) strings are recommended to used with these guitars. However, other players find that D’addario EXP 11-52 strings sound better.

The Sound Of The Martin DX1-AE, DX1-E, DX1-KAE and DX1-RAE Guitars

The fairly deep butterfly shape body and the tonal woods used within the sound box and on the back and sides of these guitars create such unique acoustics. These Martin dreadnaught guitars seem to make every note sound beautiful. These Martin dreadnaught acoustic-electric guitars will produce rich and crisp tones, with a great bass response and cutting treble. You’ll be blown away by the sound quality.

The Martin DX1 range of dreadnaught acoustic-electric guitars may be the cheaper model styles of the Martin guitar range, but they sound like a professional’s guitar. You can gig with them and play almost any style of music on them, such as blues, pop, folk, country, rock and jazz. You could play acoustic hippie, chord strum or just pick a little solo.

For the quality and cost you can’t beat these Martin DX1-AE, DX1-E, DX1-KAE and DX1-RAE model guitars. You can get them to suite both Right and Left handed players. They are beautifully crafted and incredible sounding guitars.

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Trampoline Timeline – Jumping Through History




Have you recently discovered how easy it is to get a daily cardiovascular workout while bouncing on a trampoline? Doctors and exercise experts have known for many years that the rebounding motion of the trampoline is as good for your body as it is fun for your spirit. If you’ve ever wondered how the modern full size trampoline came to be, it’s always helpful to know a little bit about the history and the inventor. The trampoline was officially invented by George Nissan in the 1930’s, but there is anthropological evidence that humans were finding ways to bounce up and down in the air long before the traditional trampoline parts came into existence.

Studies have found that Inuit people (also known as Eskimos) were some of the first to ever use swaths of walrus skin to toss people up into the air during celebrations and rites of passage ceremonies. It’s also rumored that there was a circus performer named Du Trampoline that was one of the first to show trapeze artists that they could fall into the emergency net in a strategic fashion, and that the force of their fall would allow them to bounce up into the air again for one last flip or trick.

No one knows whether Du Trampoline really existed or not, but we do know that the modern trampoline was created and patented by a man named George Nissan in the early 1930’s. Nissan was inspired by the way the trapeze artists were aided by the elasticity of the net below, and thought that he could put together the right trampoline parts to form a device that would allow them to replicate this bounce over and over again. He devised a metal frame on which a canvas trampoline mat would be stretched between many metal trampoline springs.

Even though trampolines were an essential part of soldier training during World War II, and have been recommended by doctors and exercise experts for many years as a low impact way to lose weight and strengthen core muscles, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that the Olympic Committee officially recognized trampoline jumping as a sport. It’s also interesting to note that the bouncing action of the trampoline has also given birth to two other non-official sports, Slamball and Bossaball. These sports are based loosely on basketball and volleyball, except they are performed on the bouncing surface of a trampoline mat.

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The Health Benefits of Scrabble




Scrabble is a popular family game for all ages, this article looks at the benefits of scrabble for kids and adults alike.

Scrabble was invented by Alfred Mosher Butts back in nineteen forty-eight, and since then it’s been a favorite game for generations of families. Not only is Scrabble a great educational tool to build word ability and comprehension, but it aids in lateral thinking and vocabulary enhancement.

Scrabble has surpassed several other competing word games in popularity over the years, and has found a new life in online word game such as Words with Friends for entirely new generations of people. With the advent of the internet, a whole range of additional tutorial, tip, and tricks have found their way into common availability. There are several experts who devote their time to producing a scrabble dictionary, word lists or cheat hints to develop players from beginners into advanced gamers who can compete in tournaments and online competitions.

The health benefits for children are numerous, from developing an excellent vocabulary to the ability to critically weigh different strategies. It’s a great skill to teach a child to think beyond the immediate gratification of creating a word now, versus holding your letters in order to play a longer and higher scoring word later. In addition to these benefits, the ability to patiently see a game through to the end is an invaluable asset which will help a child in life in general.

The mental concentration required to puzzle through different word options in Scrabble also puts the brain into a meditative state much like taking a class of yoga or meditating. Taking this time to deliberately relax and engage in some mental exercise is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Although this is great for general relaxation in the evening, one recommendation that has been made is that you should not play scrabble too soon before retiring for the night, as it’ll leave your brain in a ‘puzzle’ state for an hour or two and make it more difficult to sleep. Scrabble is a very analytical game which is similar to solving a Sudoku puzzle or playing a pen and paper game such as hangman. Gradually absorbing the rules, and knowing when to consult the Scrabble dictionary builds confidence and vocabulary.

In addition to these benefits, it’s a great social outlet for older people who club together to play Scrabble. A lot of friendships have been forged by people who have met while playing Scrabble, be it in a home for the elderly or a youth group for teenagers. Taking the time to share some competitive play with another person is a wonderful ice breaker, and by carefully looking at the type of words a person makes you can determine their interests and viewpoints on the world. If you get really good you can enter tournaments, and extend your competition beyond just playing each other into the realm of expert play.

If you’re having trouble with your scrabble game, be sure to check online resources which can enhance your abilities with easy to remember word lists, articles and scrabble cheats to help you get a quick advantage over your opponent.

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The Ultimate Tone – A Book Review of the Best DIY Guitar Tube Amplifier Series




This article is a book review on a series of six books that is the most comprehensive and lucid explanation of guitar tube amp architecture, circuits, tone, components and construction technique for DIYers I have ever found. The review deals with each book separately and recommends purchasing them in a specific order to grow your knowledge in step with your building experience.

Kevin O’Connor of London Power has created a series of books under the main title of “The Ultimate Tone.” These books are truly unique and carefully tailored for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) guitar tube amp hobbyist and boutique amplifier builder. The books have a home-made ‘feel’ as well… all the illustrations are done by hand and the books are photocopy-printed on 8.5″x11″ paper and bound with plastic spines and clear plastic covers. There are six books in the series now with the most recent being released in the late spring of 2008. You may want to buy the entire series all at once and get a modest savings, but I think you should consider buying them one at a time and digest as you go, building projects along the way. A key point though… you don’t necessarily want to buy them in numerical order. I recommend the following sequence:

  1. The Ultimate Tone Volume 3 – Generations of Tone
  2. The Ultimate Tone Volume 5 – Tone Capture
  3. The Ultimate Tone Volume 2 – Systems Approach to Stage Sound Nirvana
  4. The Ultimate Tone Volume 4 – Advanced Techniques for Modern Guitar Amp Design
  5. The Ultimate Tone – Modifying and Custom Building Tube Guitar Amps
  6. The Ultimate Tone Volume 6 – Timeless Tone Built for the Future Today

The Ultimate Tone Volume 3 – Generations of Tone

This is the most important book in the series for the beginning tube amp builder.

Chapters 2 through 4 lay down the foundation of good DIY tube amp construction, filling you in on good electrical connections, grounding technique, lead dress and other wiring techniques, and mechanical layout including assembly methods like terminal strips, turret and eyelet boards.

The subsequent chapters each pick a particular ‘iconic’ amplifier, each iconic amplifier being a prototypical example of amplifiers of its class, and they are examined in detail as to the circuit topology, peculiar tonal characteristics that result and fatal flaws that the product is notorious for. Kevin provides the original schematics and then shows how you can apply the techniques detailed in the earlier chapters to improve the performance and reliability of the icon without harming the tone. The schematics are redrawn, layouts are provided and mechanical solutions are worked out to make each chapter a complete, self-contained, build-it-yourself amp project.

This process is repeated for several variations of the Champ in chapter 5 (this chapter greatly influenced my own single-ended amp project), then in quick succession: the Bassman, Plexi, 800, Bull Dog, AC-30, Portaflex, SVT, Bass Master, Custom Special, Guitar Mate, Herzog and Laney amplifiers are dealt with.

If you can only buy one book for your DIY guitar amp hobby I’d heartily recommend this one.

The Ultimate Tone Volume 5 – Tone Capture

Volume 5 picks up where Volume 3 left off, with a project-oriented approach and some sophisticated DIY tube amp solutions for guitar and bass.

The book starts off with a chapter overviewing vacuum tube operation called ‘tube tone,’ followed up by a chapter on guitar electronics and pickup characteristics.

The next two chapters are small projects: Sigma for effects switching and Triple-X for amplifier switching.

Chapters 5 & 6 are on transformers… important components but it made me yawn, sorry.

Starting with chapter 7, all the stops are pulled out and you are in project heaven… Major (200W), Soma 84 (EL84 amp), Standard (the London Power Standard Preamp from 1995 coupled to a 50W amp using four power tubes), Doppelsonde (mixing power tube types), AX84 (discussion on the original goal of a very low output power amp), Kelly (50W from 4 6V6s), and several other projects of lesser scope.

One favorite project I did was based on Kevin’s reworking of the HotBox tube preamp pedal from Matchless in chapter 16. I built this pedal in a truly “true point-to-point style” (meaning terminal strips) in a tube pedal enclosure from Doug Hoffman, substituting a Baxandall tone stack and reworking the preamp values to be more Dumble-esqe (non-HRM type).

What would you do to match an amplifier to Yngwie Malmsteen’s style? See chapter 18, ‘Swede.’

The Ultimate Tone Volume 2 – Systems Approach to Stage Sound Nirvana

Volume 2 is not project oriented. The bulk of the book, chapters 2 through 5, deals with power supply tricks and a comprehensive overview of power amplifiers, including tube, solid-state and hybrid power amps. Chapter 3, on tube power amplifiers, has some very practical information on mods and fixes to Marshall and Fender bias circuits.

I like the 1st and last chapters of Volume 2 the best. The first chapter is a short discussion of sound stages and how you might setup your gear on stage for the best audience/band experience. The last, chapter 6, is called “Pillars of Tone” and in this chapter the major contributors tone at the block-level of a guitar tube amplifier system design are discussed one by one and Kevin provides some very valuable insight into tone shaping throughout the preamp/amplifier.

The Ultimate Tone Volume 4 – Advanced Techniques for Modern Guitar Amp Design

This is the book you’ll want to buy if you feel the need to get deeply involved with the power scaling technology that Kevin has developed. Power Scaling, coined and trademarked by Kevin, is the way you can get aspects of power amp distortion (as opposed to preamp distortion) into your tone at bedroom volume levels. Volume 4 is not DIY project oriented but explores the issues, including attenuation, power scaling (both down and up), sag, and power management, tackled by modern guitar tube amp designers.

That said, the second-to-last chapter in Volume 4 might be important for a broader group of enthusiast builders… design philosophy. In this chapter Kevin provides a hierarchical design process that could be used to make key decisions on how you approach your next project.

The Ultimate Tone – Modifying and Custom Building Tube Guitar Amps

There is no volume number in the title of this book, it was the 1st. Personally, I bought it for completeness. I specifically wanted to have the ‘perfect effects loop’ information, although the loop itself is incorporated into a project in Volume 5. TUT also has some excellent material on reverbs and signal switching methods that is not explained in the other volumes. The first half of TUT introduces/overviews tube amp systems, power supplies & grounds then focuses on preamp and power amp modifications to commercial amplifiers (e.g. Marshall / Fender)… if you are totally new to tube electronics you may want to buy this 1st volume at the same time as Volume 3.

The Ultimate Tone Volume 6 – Timeless Tone Built for the Future Today

In many ways, Volume 6 is a continuation and extension of the material in Volume 4, where Power Scaling is introduced.  In Volume 6 a new ‘direct control’ version of Powerscaling is featured which was introduced in Vol 4 but flushed out with comprehensive circuits and applied to ‘sag’ and sustain control as well in Vol 6.  The new scaling circuits have many advantages for a DIY builder like greater noise immunity and less sensitivity to layout, etc.

I applied the new DC Power Scaling to a Trainwreck clone project and was really impressed with the improvement in ‘playability’ at lower volumes… the unmodified Trainwreck Express circuit is just too loud for domestic use, needing to be cranked to get the sweet tones it is renowned for.

One of the chapters in Volume 6 is dedicated to the Dumble amplifiers… something I was really looking forward to since many of my hobby projects focus on those circuits.  I found this short chapter to be a good introduction to the overall architecture of the Dumble amps, written from the point of view of the evolution from the early modified standard amps that Alexander Dumble started out doing, but I felt the chapter fell short in discussing some of the more important subtleties of the later Dumble models.

Volume 6 also has lots of other material in it, including a great tutorial on designing really high output power amplifiers and a great chapter on high gain amplifier designs with real-world circuits referenced and detailed.

In Summary…

Kevin’s books have a very empirical approach. He encourages you to set aside convention in some instances or not be afraid to try combinations of tubes or even pulling tubes and in all cases clearly explains why it is o.k. and points out any reasons why it wouldn’t be o.k. All the examples in the books are very practical and he certainly has the DIYer in mind as he is writing.

Kevin’s body of work is truly encyclopedic in nature, and considering that, one feature sorely lacking from his books is any kind of indexing… this is aggravated by the fact that Kevin constantly refers to previous writings rather than repeat himself in a new volume, and it is very difficult to put your finger on the reference even with the other book in hand. Perhaps search engine technology, like Google’s ability to search protected content, could be put to good use in this case and provide a kind of ‘auto-index’ on the web of all of Kevin’s books without actually giving away the book itself. Or better yet, how about an e-book format of Kevin’s entire collection of TUT books… I think all of the e-book readers include searching capabilities… and Kevin’s hand-drawn schematics would probably scale adequately and be very readable on the e-paper displays these devices feature.

Meanwhile, how do you get Kevin’s books today? The best way to get the books is to directly order them from London Power Press. They now have a shopping cart on

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Today’s Cheerleaders Aren’t Like They Used to Be – Best Knee Brace For Cheerleading




Gone are the days when cheerleaders just clapped their hands and maybe did the occasional cartwheel. Today’s cheerleaders are performing very elaborate routines including gymnastics tumbling and gravity-defying stunts. For some, cheerleading is just as important as the athletes being cheered on, and many cheerleading teams are more focused on performing competitive routines than just rooting for their teams. These days, cheerleading is more of a sport in itself, with the participants performing gymnastic and dance routines with plenty of running and jumping. More and more males are becoming involved with cheerleading, and they are often the ones who do the tossing and catching, due to their strength. But you will also find plenty of females doing these same stunts, often displaying great strength, agility and flexibility.

Cheerleaders Need the Same Knee Protection as Athletes

Athletes are not the only people who are at risk for knee injuries. Because cheerleaders are doing moves that involve lots of running, jumping and some pretty hard landings, they risk a number of injuries to their legs, particularly in the knees. Cheerleaders can often be seen wearing knee braces or sleeves, which give them the protection they require, while allowing them a full range of movement, and the ability to remain extremely flexible. In the past, many wore Neoprene knee sleeves, which although they do the trick, are often hot, and therefore can get pretty uncomfortable. Also, many people report having allergies to Neoprene, which makes them unable to wear this type of knee brace. So, do people who do not like wearing Neoprene have any alternatives? They do when they use the DonJoy Elastic Knee Sleeve.

The DonJoy Elastic Knee Sleeve is Flexible and Lightweight, Making it Ideal for Cheerleaders

Because cheerleaders need knee braces that will allow them to perform their routines uninhibited, they need braces that are lightweight, but can still provide enough protection and pain relief for knees. The DonJoy Elastic Knee Sleeve is the ideal choice for cheerleaders, as well as athletes, because it is made from lightweight, breathable elastic cotton, which keeps the knees from getting too hot and sweaty beneath the braces. Also, it is a wonderful alternative for those who are allergic to Neoprene, the material that knee sleeves are commonly made from. Because it is made from cotton, the DonJoy Elastic Knee Sleeve is ideal for those who live in warm climates.

Not only is the DonJoy Elastic Knee Sleeve lightweight and breathable while still providing great protection against mild to moderate knee injuries, it also offers wearers a silicone donut that stabilizes and protects the patella (kneecap). It is available in sizes from small to extra large, and at less than $40 each, these braces are a great deal.

Anyone who is looking for a great knee brace that provides protection and patella stability while being lightweight and breathable should take a good look at the DonJoy Elastic Knee Sleeve.

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Posture and Gymnastics




For athletes participating in sports like swimming and gymnastics, there is a need to assume a totally different body posture compared to other sports to be able to complete well. This posture can carry over to their personal lives as well, and one can easily identify a swimmer or gymnast by the particular way they stand, walk or carry themselves. While football and basketball are “leg based” sports, swimmers and gymnasts have assimilated a decidedly hunchbacked posture because of the “hand based” orientation of their particular athletic activities. The hunchbacked posture in gymnastics is part of the sport’s proper form and is known as “hollowing out”. Constant training in this posture can lead to the athlete’s assuming the same form in the daily course of his or her life, which is potentially a cause for serious injuries in the knee, shoulder, neck and lower back.

The Fundamental Athletic position in most land-based sports requires the athlete to assume a medium stance with the hips back, and the chest and head aligned with the spinal curves. This posture enables swift movement forward, backward or sideways. It is the basic position assumed for squatting, deadlifting and executing Olympic lifts, as well as to maximize leg, hip and back power during leaps and jumps.

A gymnast assuming the proper position hollows out the chest, push the head forward, tucks the hips in and contracts the spine. The only instance when a gymnast takes on the fundamental athletic position is during landings or dismounts.

Athletes beginning their gymnastics training at a very young age while their bones are still undergoing growth and development will encounter problems with the gymnastic posture. This is especially true when they reach puberty and the end of their growth cycle. The “hollowing out” posture, and even the specific manner gymnasts are required to run, can become a fixed poste for young gymnasts, and this can cause serious and long-lasting side effects when they are older.

Most gymnastics programs aggressively cultivate this peculiar posturing in young gymnasts. Strength and conditioning exercises have been geared to develop exactly that: training gymnasts in the required stance, thereby generating imbalance. This is a great disadvantage for female gymnasts who are made to forgo upper body conditioning altogether.

Former parallel bars gymnast, Mark Alexander, having worked with fellow athletes for more than 30 years, has observed that most female gymnasts from the Elite level are unable to perform push-ups or maintain a sturdy handstand. Most gymnastics clubs have misguidedly neglected to encourage flexibility exercises among their gymnasts, instead leaving them to fend for themselves.

Alexander’s first sport was gymnastics, and at the age of 14 started a mostly skill-based training. He remembers having experienced mastering tricks before being aware of any inherent weakness, and without even attempting to develop basic strength. The sport principles require that a gymnast lands and remains grounded, or “stuck” in the same landing position. For this reason, most gymnasts executed landings with rigidly straight legs, bending only at the hips to establish balance. The result of this is an L5 – S1 fusion that could go undetected for a great number of years. Because of a lack of leg strength or proper lumbar curve positioning, dislocated knees were a frequent occurrence during attempts to “stick” a full twisting back.

As an analogy, consider gymnastics training as jumping off a roof and landing motionless with legs straight. Jump over and over, dozens of times each day, six days a week, over a period of several years. The impact generated by these landings are way beyond the gymnast’s body weight. And the higher the altitude of the jump, the more force is involved. Landing mats are a mere token, and seldom help. Floors in gymnasiums act as mini-trampolines, allowing young athletes to soar to ill-recommended heights. Although there are foam pits available to cushion landings, they prevent the athlete from actually learning how to steady their bodies for actual competition.

Without the needed leg, hip and back conditioning allowing a gymnast to assume the correct position during landing, instead of diffusing, the impact is centered into the joints and bones. This is the explanation behind the never-ending injuries sustained by Elite and lower-ranked gymnasts. Most of these injuries last long into retirement.

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A Review of the Revival RG-27 Acoustic Guitar




In the quest for an all solid wood dreadnought size guitar, The Revival RG-27 is well worth some strong consideration, given the quick response that mahogany wood provides along with a solid Engleman spruce top; This guitar is a proven combination that guitar players can rely on to deliver their sound.

The Revival RG-27 is the big dog, this dreadnought size guitar is designed for going to battle with; (hence the name dreadnought). This guitar is versatile enough for finger style playing, but it really excels at flat picking and is primarily designed for that style in mind.

This model was one of the first guitars I received from Revival Acoustics, my first impression was a good one, the quality of woods utilized, the fit and finish and the overall appearance were very good and this guitar was not overbuilt, but was light in weight simple by design yet complimented with a nice abalone inlay around the sound hole; which really makes it stand out in the crowd!

I do prefer a D-18 style guitar, because with this combination of woods and the big dog (dreadnought) size body you get just the right sound for my ears! The Engelman spruce makes for a slightly brighter tone, which I believe is well suited for finger style players, it is stiffer than Sitka spruce but breaks in quicker than Adirondack (red spruce); so it delivers the power needed for flat picking without having to wait for the guitar/top to mature (which with red spruce can take five years or more depending on the amount of play time invested)! Therefore, this guitar plays in quick and is satisfying right out of the box and doesn’t require a heavy handed approach; as it responds well to any style the player chooses. I think it’s important to point out here, that because it’s an all solid wood instrument the overall sound or tone of the guitar will continue to develop as it’s played in and ages over time and after a decade the guitar will have settled into it’s own and really sound great!

It is important to consider the size of the guitar you want/need because a lot of people own a dreadnought size guitar without realizing that it may be too much for them and swinging ones arm around a big D sized body and sides may be a real chore unless your endowed with long arms or a large frame!

First consider your own body size/frame before you choose this large bodied instrument! I am a medium size guy, but I have long arms and like to flat pick enough so that I need a dreadnought. However, I really like an OM size guitar perhaps because it is more my body size, and it feels more comfortable and it generates a different sound but I need the big D size guitar for bluegrass flat picking and hard driving rhythmic patterns etc.

Suffice it to say here that if you have been searching for an affordable all solid wood mahogany dreadnought style guitar with these features, than The RG-27 is definitely well worth your consideration!

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