Events

TRAYNOR YGL1 GUITAR AMPLIFIER

TRAYNOR YGL1 GUITAR AMPLIFIER All tube, all the time FOR: Classic guitar tones. Traynor has been making classic tube amps since the early ’60s, and the YGL1 clearly demonstrates the company still has its mojo. The player-friendly design incorporates a number of smart features that immediately jumped at us. The front panel features the traditional array of controls augmented by a three-way switch toggling among the USA, Pure (tone stack bypass)... 

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M50 STUDIO HEADPHONES

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M50 STUDIO HEADPHONES When clarity matters FOR: Critical listening. Audio-Technica’s flagship ATH-M50 headphones are turning the recording community on its ear, earning kudos from noted producers, engineers and artists thanks to their accuracy and comfort during arduous recording and mix sessions. In the era of earbuds, getting your mixes to translate properly to that in-ear environment is increasingly crucial—and the ATH-M50s... 

CASIO WK-7500 WORKSTATION

CASIO WK-7500 WORKSTATION Keys to instant inspiration FOR: Songcraft and more. The Casio WK-7500 Workstation delivers a wealth of features at a price that won’t break the bank. The WK-7500 boasts 800 sounds including pianos from Casio’s award-winning Privia series and a rich offering of drawbar organs. The onboard 17-track song sequencer is perfect for documenting and editing ideas, plus there are quarter-inch mic and instrument inputs. The Song... 

COLLINGS I-35 LC

COLLINGS I-35 LC Sweet sounds for the open road  FOR: A vintage semi-hollow tone. The Collings I-35 LC is a small-bodied semi-hollow electric filled with tones that sing a song of exceptional craftsmanship. From the moment we opened the case, the faded cherry laminate top, sides and back caught our attention and promised to take us on a unique musical journey. The Lollar Imperial pickups flawlessly translated what was happening acoustically with... 

RAPCOHORIZON DOMINATOR SILVERFLEX INSTRUMENT CABLE

RAPCOHORIZON DOMINATOR SILVERFLEX INSTRUMENT CABLE Cables that dominate FOR: A straight line to tone. The Dominator SilverFlex Instrument Cable takes RapcoHorizon’s expertise for crafting stage- and road-worthy cables, snakes and boxes, and wraps it in the highest-conducting metal on the planet, silver. Right down the line, from the Neutrik Valor Chromium jacks to the silver-plated copper conductors and braid, this cable is all about carrying... 

Dean Markley CD60 Guitar Amplifier

Dean Markley CD60 Guitar Amplifier Amped again. For: Classic tube tone. Famed string maker Dean Markley first released the CD60 in the mid-1980s, earning accolades from tone masters like Eric Clapton, Andy Summers, and Alex Lifeson. This newly reissued 60 watt combo clearly demonstrates that a great design can stand the test of time. Powered by a pair of 6L6s, the CD60 features hi and low inputs, a 12” Celestion speaker, and two footswitchable... 

LEVY’S MC8PG STRAP

LEVY’S MC8PG STRAP Kick-axe straps FOR: The player with more guitars than straps. Sooner or later most players end up with this dilemma, and fortunately the folks at Levy’s Leathers were thinking ahead. Adorn your axes with the MC8PG straps and you can rock the house in comfort and style. The six original designs are printed on two-inch cotton webbing straps adorned with antique brass eyelets and grommets. Where nylon straps tend to slip and... 

ELECTRO-VOICE RE320 DYNAMIC CARDIOID MIC

ELECTRO-VOICE RE320 DYNAMIC CARDIOID MIC Big mic for big sounds FOR: Studio and sound reinforcement applications. The Electro-Voice RE20 has become a mainstay broadcast mic, and the RE320 builds on those strengths to capture high-output audio sources primarily in a studio environment. While the RE320 picks up the dynamic nuances of quieter instruments, it excels in capturing loud sources like cranked guitar amps, kick drums and electric bass. We... 

DIGITECH JAMMAN DELAY

DIGITECH JAMMAN DELAY Back at you FOR: Great-sounding guitar-driven loops and delays. The JamMan Delay makes it easy to create, overdub, store and archive loops via USB, and has become the pedal of choice for numerous loopheads. In the ’70s King Crimson’s Robert Fripp tethered two tape machines together to create endless guitar loops—could he have imagined that someday 35 minutes of loop memory, nine rhythmic backing tracks and beat-synched... 

BEARFOOT GUITAR EFFECTS DYNA RED DISTORTION

BEARFOOT GUITAR EFFECTS DYNA RED DISTORTION Honey-sweet tone FOR: Ample distortion in a box. BearFoot FX blends pedal guru Bjorn Juhl’s inspired designs with DonnerBox’s craftsmanship for a range of pedals more accessible and affordable to the U.S. market. The Dyna Red succeeds where all too many distortion pedals have failed—creating amp-like distortion in a box. We were impressed with the depth, warmth and amp-like qualities of this pedal.... 

CASIO PRIVIA PX-3

CASIO PRIVIA PX-3 A piano on the go FOR: A great stage piano that won’t break your back—or the bank. Weighing in at roughly half the weight of the competition, the 23.8-pound Casio Privia PX-3 packs a serious punch. The 88 scale-hammered keys, 250 tones and 128 layers of polyphony make the PX-3 the most feature-rich offering in its class. Push buttons on the face of the unit make it a snap to split the keyboard into two zones, each capable of... 

ORANGE DARK TERROR

ORANGE DARK TERROR Scary good tone FOR: Metal and more. Add in-your-face metal tones to Orange’s famously successful Tiny Terror line and you end up with the Dark Terror. The Tiny Terror launched the lunchbox amp craze and became the studio darling of numerous producers. The Dark Terror takes the Tiny Terror’s ability to manipulate the headroom of the pre-amp and power amp to a new level. The clean tones remain crisp and clear, while the overdriven... 

EVENTIDE SPACE

EVENTIDE SPACE The outer limits of reverb FOR: Timeless reverbs in a space-age box. Space puts 12 of Eventide’s most celebrated reverbs at the feet of guitar players. Building upon the solid architecture of its predecessors, Space can get as far out as your imagination. Tweaking the 10 encoders allows you to shape the already outrageous presets into the best reverbs you’ve ever heard. Dual attenuation switches enable you to run Space at instrument... 

DANGEROUS MUSIC D-BOX

DANGEROUS MUSIC D-BOX Get sum of this FOR: Analog summing and monitor control. If you’re mixing in the box, you definitely need to check out the Dangerous Music D-Box. We were amazed at the analog warmth, track separation and spatial dimension the D-Box brought to our mixes. The mono button allowed us to quickly check for phase issues during the mixing process, invaluable when mixing stereo guitars. The D-Box is also a world-class monitor control... 

EARTHWORKS SR40V MIC

EARTHWORKS SR40V MIC Pick one up FOR: High-definition vocals. Earthworks is best known for its stellar piano, drum and choir microphones—and the SR40V channels that expertise into a vocal mic with remarkably wide frequency response requiring little or no EQ. In the studio and onstage, we were thoroughly impressed with the intimate yet powerful presence this mic delivered. The hypercardioid pattern delivers great polar response and excels at... 

YAMAHA DSR112 ACTIVE LOUDSPEAKERS

YAMAHA DSR112 ACTIVE LOUDSPEAKERS Powered for the people FOR: Highly defined mains and monitors. Over the past several decades Yamaha has made its mark with high quality PA gear. With smart design elements like interlocking AC plugs and receptacles and a whopping 1,300 watts of Class D power, the DSR112s demonstrate that Yamaha still delivers the goods. With the Mic/Line switch set to Mic, the HPF (high pass filter) button cuts all frequencies below... 

PETERSON STOMP CLASSIC STROBOTUNER

PETERSON STOMP CLASSIC STROBOTUNER Finely tuned FOR: Tuning, and so much more. From design to build, the Peterson Stomp Classic is feet down one of the most impressive products we’ve seen—or heard. The Stomp Classic picks up where Peterson, the world’s oldest tuner manufacturer, left off with the immensely popular StroboStomp line. While the buttery smooth Virtual Strobe tuning is fast and accurate, Peterson has gone to town extending the feature... 

AURALEX PEAK PYRAMID & WAVEPRISM SOUND DIFFUSION PANELS

AURALEX PEAK PYRAMID & WAVEPRISM SOUND DIFFUSION PANELS Sound worth reflecting upon FOR: Colorful sounds. Auralex has been in the business of creating acoustic treatments since 1977. The new Sustain line of bamboo sound diffusors is sonically lush, environmentally conscious and an excellent tool for treating your room to a sound makeover. Imagine setting up your DAW in the middle of a high school gym and you’ll understand how important room... 

TOONTRACK MUSIC EZ DRUMMER PLUG-IN

TOONTRACK MUSIC EZ DRUMMER PLUG-IN Drums on demand FOR: Drama-free drums. While some plug-ins are one-trick ponies, Toontrack’s EZ Drummer is anything but. Expandable via an ever-increasing library of EZX sound packs and MIDI loop packs, EZ Drummer has something for everyone. EZ Drummer ships with the Toontrack Solo player, allowing you to run EZ Drummer as a stand-alone application, perfect for jumping in and getting your groove on. The MIDI-driven... 

SONIC EDGE TUMBLEWEED COMPRESSOR BOOST PEDAL

SONIC EDGE TUMBLEWEED COMPRESSOR BOOST PEDAL Step into serious country FOR: Twang with a bang. Renowned for his amp work for the likes of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, Sonic Edge’s Ben Fargen also makes one mean pedal. Built with the modern rocking country player in mind, Tumbleweed blew us away with the massive range of dynamics and tones. The independent compressor and boost circuits sound impressive alone and even better together. The compressor’s... 

AEA R92 BIG RIBBON STUDIO MICROPHONE

AEA R92 BIG RIBBON STUDIO MICROPHONE Amped up sounds FOR: One hundred and eighty degrees of separation. With fans as diverse as Kevin Bacon and the late Les Paul, AEA mics are deservedly known for their outstanding design and tone. The R92 studio mic excels in its ability to be placed in the path of a blaring guitar amp and deliver a remarkably accurate sonic snapshot. It captured the purr and bite of a Victoria 20112 while performing an equally... 

WCR AMERICAN STEELE PICKUPS

WCR AMERICAN STEELE PICKUPS Mean tone machines FOR: Rocking guitar tones. WCR founder and designer Jim Wagner knows great tone and how to create it, crafting boutique gear that answers to his own demanding ears. We tested the American Steele on an Ibanez Les Paul copy cursed with bum pickups—and if we were to say that the American Steele radically transformed this guitar into a wicked tone machine we’d be grossly understating the fact. The Steeles... 

FISHMAN SA220 SOLO PERFORMANCE SYSTEM

FISHMAN SA220 SOLO PERFORMANCE SYSTEM Take yours to go FOR: Electrifying acoustics. For the past 30 years Fishman has been making its mark with an ever-increasing line of products supporting acoustic instruments onstage and in the studio. The SA220 packs that experience into a smart all-in-one PA and monitoring system for singer-songwriters. Weighing in at a mere 25 pounds, the SA220 makes for easy load-in with the included rolling bag. Sporting... 

CELESTION ALNICO G10 GOLD SPEAKERS

CELESTION ALNICO G10 GOLD SPEAKERS A precious element FOR: Electrifying guitar tone. Since most guitar cabinets are designed for 12-inch speakers, many players have not spent a lot of time playing through 10s. While iconic Fender amps like the Super Reverb and the Vibrolux Reverb are shining examples of the beauty of what a 10-inch speaker can do, there are few higher-gain examples to which one can point. The 40-watt G10 puts everything we love... 

THE SWIPE GUITAR CLEANING KIT

THE SWIPE GUITAR CLEANING KIT Clean up your axe FOR: The post-grunge era. The Swipe takes a stab at the age-old problem of grungy strings and the murky tone they create—and comes out shining. The Swipe kit includes a micro-fiber coated “swiper” the size of a credit card and a polish cloth. One end of the Swipe tool is raised about 45 degrees, enabling easy access under strings. A good Swiping along the entire bottom side of each string quickly... 

TECH 21 BOOST CHORUS PEDAL

TECH 21 BOOST CHORUS PEDAL Chorus you can step into FOR: Preaching to the choir. Tech 21 pioneered tube amp emulation with their legendary Sans Amp. Since then they’ve rolled out a series of smart products, which now includes the Boost Chorus. In classic Tech 21 style, the Boost Chorus does a brilliant job of emulating a number of the most significant chorus pedals of yesteryear, while also providing a wide range of features to craft your own sounds.... 

UNIVERSAL AUDIO UAD-2 SATELLITE

UNIVERSAL AUDIO UAD-2 SATELLITE Out-of-this-world plug-ins FOR: Getting UA’s vaunted self-powered plug-ins via a sleek FireWire-driven box. Previous incarnations of the UAD required a PCI or PCIe slot, locking iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini users out of the plug-in party. The FireWire-driven UAD-2 Satellite is available in two footprints—the QUAD, which features four SHARC DSP chips, and the DUO, which features two. By offloading plug-in processing,... 

SONOMA WIRE WORKS DRUMCORE v.3.0

SONOMA WIRE WORKS DRUMCORE v.3.0 Serious beat downs FOR: A great collection of audio loops, sampled kits and MIDI loops played by a host of killer drummers. In a word, DrumCore v.3.0 is flexible. You have your choice of dragging audio loops or MIDI files onto the timeline in your favorite recording application. The latter affords you some incredible options, like hearing Terry Bozzio laying down a fat 5/4 groove played back through Matt Sorum’s... 

PLANET WAVES MODULAR SNAKE

PLANET WAVES MODULAR SNAKE Get wired without getting bitten FOR: Modular solutions to age-old studio cabling issues. From the quality of the build to the number of challenges it solves, we were thoroughly impressed with the Planet Waves Modular Snake. The eight-channel Core cable is available in multiple lengths, with each end terminating in a male DB25 connector. Attach the female DB25 connector of the desired “Breakout” to the Core and you... 

SKB R106 RACK CONSOLE & AV–8 19″ AV RETRACTABLE AV SHELF

SKB R106 RACK CONSOLE & AV–8 19″ AV RETRACTABLE AV SHELF Your screen saver FOR: Saving space and keeping your laptop safe. The R106’s 10U slanted top rails are perfect for a rack-mounted mixer, while the 6U front facing rails are ideal for your power conditioner, signal processors and rack-mounted wireless units. Dual side-access cable ports make for speedy set-ups and the TSA-approved locks keep your gear safe under lock and key.... 

AVID ELEVEN RACK EXPANSION PACK

AVID ELEVEN RACK EXPANSION PACK Déjà vu all over again FOR: Fans craving new additions to this wildly successful guitar-centric Pro Tools interface. Whether you’re already using Eleven or are considering taking the plunge into the “11R” universe, there’s plenty to love about this update. Perfectly complementing the 13 amp, eight cabinet and six effects model additions, the speaker breakup emulation also takes the original models to a whole... 

RADIAL PROD2 STEREO DIRECT BOX

RADIAL PROD2 STEREO DIRECT BOX Dual injection FOR: Studio rats and sound hogs. The Radial ProD2 is a passive stereo DI box that can be used for a number of key functions. In most cases DI (direct injection) boxes are used to convert a hi-Z unbalanced signal from a guitar, bass or keyboard to a low-Z balanced signal for a PA or DAW for long cable runs that won’t kill your tone along the way. Conveniently, you can also use the ProD2 in the opposite... 

PEAVEY REVALVER MK III.V

PEAVEY REVALVER MK III.V Big tones in a small package FOR: Component-based modeling software. We’d heard about Peavey’s component-driven approach to modeling, but closer inspection leaves no doubt the company has done an excellent job of recreating amplifier dynamics in a way that modeling software has often failed to deliver. The ability to mix and match pre-amps, power amps, tubes and more provides a wide range of tone-shaping options. The... 

FOCUSRITE OCTOPRE MKII DYNAMIC

FOCUSRITE OCTOPRE MKII DYNAMIC Eight the easy way FOR: Anyone in need of an eight-channel mic pre with a great feature set. One of the common challenges recording enthusiasts face today is how to get enough mic inputs to track a live band or full drum kit. The Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic leverages the ADAT light pipe protocol to deliver eight simultaneous tracks of lush audio. Each channel features independent level and compression controls as... 

DUNLOP JBF3 JOE BONAMASSA SIGNATURE FUZZ FACE

DUNLOP JBF3 JOE BONAMASSA SIGNATURE FUZZ FACE Peachy fuzz FOR: In-your-face tone. The Fuzz Face has become nearly as much a tradition among rock’s most iconic guitarists as the wah-wah itself. Now you can add blues master Joe Bonamassa to an impressive list of Fuzz aficionados that includes the likes of Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Eric Johnson. A slight departure from the typical reissues of this famed fuzz box, the JBF3 was specially tuned... 

CRUZTOOLS GROOVETECH GUITAR PLAYER TECH KIT

CRUZTOOLS GROOVETECH GUITAR PLAYER TECH KIT Road-worthy tools FOR: Fine-tuning. Whether you do your own setups or the occasional string change, this is one indispensable kit. The GTGTR1 Tech Kit comes with everything needed to perform a complete setup, including a convenient how-to guide. The tidy pouch conveniently holds the tools in place, has a pocket for strings and will fit in the cubby of your gig bag. What especially impressed us was the... 

M-AUDIO GSR-12 PA SPEAKERS

M-AUDIO GSR-12 PA SPEAKERS Now hear these FOR: Playing small- to medium-sized venues. Whether you are a performer, DJ or venue owner, finding the right speakers is a unique challenge. The M-Audio GSR-12s are all-around excellent performers, blending versatility, footprint, price point and quality. Using them as front-of-house speakers, we were impressed with the four EQ presets and off-axis definition, and found the sound to be well balanced. Used... 

TAYLOR V-CABLE

TAYLOR V-CABLE Precision volume control FOR: Acoustic-electric guitar aficionados. Playing an acoustic-electric in a live setting is fraught with hazards—particularly a constant danger of feedback. The smart folks at Taylor guitars have partnered with RapcoHorizon to produce the V-Cable, which features a patented in-line volume control to avoid such landmines. We found the taper on the pot (as opposed to the slider-style volume control found on... 

LINE 6 DT50

LINE 6 DT50 Totally tubular amplification FOR: Tube tones. Whether you’re a fan of modeling technology or not, you have to tip your hat to the folks at Line 6 for adding tube amplifiers to their array of sounds. Line 6 has been working with tube amp guru Reinhold Bogner for some time, and the resulting DT50 series amps are definitely going to turn heads. Powered by a pair of EL34 tubes, either of the DT50’s two channels can be configured on the... 

AWESOME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS PICKUP TONE MULTIPLIER

AWESOME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS PICKUP TONE MULTIPLIER Find yourself a few new tones FOR: Tone junkies. The Pickup Tone Multiplier allows you to dial up a whopping range of 35 tones from a standard set of Strat pickups. It’s a great-sounding addition that will coax tones you’ve probably never heard from your instrument. At the heart of the design are mixing and matching phase, series and parallel functions for each of your pickups. The unit we tried... 

AVID PRO TOOLS 9

AVID PRO TOOLS 9 Music for the masses FOR: At last, everyone. Pro Tools 9 is not only chock-full of improvements, it also marks a massive departure in strategy for Avid. For the first time one does not have to use an Avid interface to run Pro Tools—unlocking the world of Pro Tools to virtually every kind of recording enthusiast. Armed with just an iLok you can move from studio to studio, machine to machine, and can even open and mix a session without... 

SONY VEGAS PRO 10

SONY VEGAS PRO 10 Video and audio production suite FOR: Video that rocks. Whether it’s guerilla marketing or full-fledged video production, artists are coming to grips with the vital role that video is playing in getting out their music and message. Sony Vegas Pro is a fully featured video, DVD and Blu-ray production suite that’s all-in-one fun. Vegas Pro makes importing, editing and dragging clips onto the timeline a snap. While most other applications... 

KYSER KLASSICS QUICK-CHANGE PARTIAL CAPOS

KYSER KLASSICS QUICK-CHANGE PARTIAL CAPOS Change your tune FOR: Altered tunings without drama. From Black Mountain Side to Brown Sugar, altered tunings have inspired generations of both acoustic and electric guitarists. Each of the four Kyser Klassics Partial Capos allows you to get those classic sounds without the hassle of retuning your instrument. Partial capos are designed to be placed at specific locations on the neck where they allow a blend... 

TC-HELICON VOICETONE PEDALS

TC-HELICON VOICETONE PEDALS Vocal control and effects at your feet FOR: Singers who want to take control. TC-Helicon has introduced single stomp-sized pedals, firmly rooted in the world’s top pro studios and patterned on guitar players’ pedal boards, for vocalists who want more of a say in the way they sound. What you might not expect from this series of stompboxes is the amount of stuff that’s under the hood. Studio quality mic pre-amps and... 

FISHMAN LOUDBOX MINI

FISHMAN LOUDBOX MINI Let your acoustic guitar be heard FOR: Electrifying acoustic tones. Although Fishman is best known for its outstanding acoustic guitar pickups, over the past decade it has also been crafting a serious line of sound reinforcement products for acoustic instruments. Primarily designed to amplify acoustic guitars, the Loudbox Mini’s 60 watts pack a serious punch. Plug your guitar cable into the instrument channel and the three-band... 

COLLINGS 290

COLLINGS 290 An acoustic specialist plugs in at last FOR: Tone aficionados. After 32 years of building some of the most highly regarded acoustic instruments on the planet, luthier Bill Collings decided to turn up the volume. Just like its namesake (the highway that leads to Collings’ shop on the outskirts of Austin), the electric Collings 290 is going to take you to a place filled with inspiration and musical diversity. The craftsmanship is outstanding... 

BLUE MICROPHONES SPARK

BLUE MICROPHONES SPARK Beauty is in the ear of the beholder FOR: Smoking tones in an attractive package. If you could fall in love with a mic based on appearances alone, get ready to elope with Spark—and it sounds just as good as it looks. In tracking guitars and vocals, we got the feeling that this cardioid condenser mic would sound great no matter what we put in front of it. Inserting the Focus button allows you to roll off some low end in a... 

KEITH MCMILLEN SOFTSTEP

KEITH MCMILLEN SOFTSTEP Put your best foot forward FOR: Control freaks. The Keith McMillen SoftStep is one of the most intriguing devices we’ve come across in a long time. Simply calling it a USB controller doesn’t suffice—McMillen has dubbed the SoftStep a mouse for your feet, and we’re inclined to agree. The idea of being able to arm tracks and control the transport in Pro Tools with your hands otherwise occupied is appealing enough, but... 

ART TUBEOPTO 8

ART TUBEOPTO 8 Light up your audio interface with this input/output expander FOR: Tube-driven input/output (I/O). If you’re looking to expand the I/O on your ADAT-compliant interface, ART’s TubeOpto 8 features eight channels of top-class tube-driven mojo sure to cure what’s ailing you. Each of the Opto 8’s channels feature gain and output controls as well as pad, low cut and phase switches for lots of useful functionality. You can dial in... 

SEYMOUR DUNCAN DEJA VU TAP DELAY

SEYMOUR DUNCAN DEJA VU TAP DELAY Tap tempo delay with bucket brigade tone FOR: Button pushers. Over the past several years, veteran pickup manufacturer Seymour Duncan has been rolling out an impressive line of boutique-flavored guitar effects. The Deja Vu Tap Delay blends a bevy of modern features with analog bucket brigade circuitry to create a pedal that has something for just about every delay fanatic. The D/A Blend control allows you to dial... 
Copyright © 2011 M Music & Musicians Magazine ·