Travelling with the guitar or bass gear

Lasts innovations on musical world seem to focus on mobility, like cellular phones or Wifi networks, and this portable amp is dessigned on that. DragonFly released the Personal Powerless Stethoscope Amp, an amp that can be carried around and does not need external power supply or instrument cables thanks to his patent-pending acoustic stethoscope engineering.

This amp is attached to the back of almost any guitar or bass and has a headset for private listening. The price is extreme low, only $24.95 (free shipping included). Here are some photos of the gadget in use.

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Gig-fx Mega-Wah Pedal

Gig-fx Mega-Wah PedalGig-fx has launched a MegaWah pedal, they manage the Gig-fx Mega-Wah sound taking a classic wah and widening the bass sweep and boosting the resonant peaks. The pedal is all analog and provides stereo in and out channels and can be also used as volume or gain pedal.

Features 4 wah sounds: the Mega-Wah, classic wah, auto-wah, synth-wah (envelope filter). The Gig-fx Mega-Wah was mentioned before, the classic wah is the classical wah sound, the auto-wah provides a wah at a frequency controlled by the rate control and synth-wah is perfect for funky sounds and/or adding percussive texture to rythm.

Professional sound at home recording?

Ux2Line 6 launched in January a very interesting home recording gadget. The TonePort UX2 is a USB-powered recording tool for guitar, bass and vocals with Stereo Digital Output S/PDIF via RCA, Stereo Line Outputs via balanced 1/4-inch and headphone output with independent volume knob. Inputs are: 2 for mic with +48v Phantom Power, 2 for Guitar/Bass and 1 stereo line input for line out level gear. Footswitch can send MIDI commands to TonePort.

“Pro Tone for your desktop”, Line 6 says it is “like a rack full premium tube recording equipment, plus a perfectly engineered recording room for guitar and bass”.

TonePort UX2 costs $199. Also available TonePort UX1 with less features at $129.

Here we can see a connection diagram for TonePort UX2.

Ux2input

USB Turntable

Ittusb_overview

ION Audio released the perfect gadget for die-hard computer fan DJs and for vinyl collectors. A USB turntable that can convert, without special drivers and, with the included software all your vinyl collection to MP3 or CD.

As it works with any sofctware which supports USB audio input, it can be the perfect tool for DJs to prepare his sessions with the loved vinyls at home or studio and avoid the danger of carrying them to pub or disco.

A gadget that allows you not to separate from that vinyl collection because of the broken needle in you turntable. $139 at Amazon

The Dimebag Darrell Art Tribute

HetfieldAt The Dallas Market Hall in Dallas, Texas from April 21th to 23th, took place the SIX-STRING MASTERPIECES where artists and rock stars reunited to pay tribute to Dimebag Darrell, the late axeman from Pantera and Damage Plan.

Musicians like Zakk Wylde, Kirk Hammet, James Hetfield, Marylin Manson, Rob Zombie, Dave Grohl, Kerry King, Joe Satriani and more, hand-painted 50 Dean ML Guitars. The Dean ML was choosed because it was the preferred guitar of Dimebag Darrell. The SIX-STRING MASTERPIECES started at NAMM and will end in an auction in NYC at the end of the summer. The funds will be donated to a foundation that supports Music Education at schools.

Image on the right shows James Hetfield designing his tribute Dean ML.

The world’s smallest amp?

Little-amp

ZVEX has possibily the smallest guitar amp in the world, the Nano Head is a tube guitar head amp with a classic rock sound. ZVEX recommends it for recording because has 20dB less than a 50 watt amp, and also recommends a Marshall or Orange 4×12 cabinet for managing a real good tone.

Amp controls include: Bright switch, Volume, Thickness, and Mellow control. Also includes a little fan (1 inch) but be careful, noise may bleed into guitar pickups. Including a internal speaker, ZVEX only recommends it if you really don’t have the possibility of using a cabinet. Output impedance: 8–16 ohms, but recommended is a 16 ohm cabinet.

ZVEX also has the smallest vacuum tube stereo studio amplifier, the iMPAMP with an input suitable for iPods, laptops, mini-disc/cd players, etc. Perfect for home recording and for combining with bookshelf speakers to create a tube hi-fi speaker.

BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator

Boss-ac3Some artists don’t want to be all the show changing their guitar for different songs. Some gadgets like POD or V-Amp are trying to solve that, some guitars like Slash Gibson Les Paul Signature (features an built-in acoustic simulator) are doing it too .

BOSS launched an acoustic simulator pedal. With the signature-shape BOSS pedal can simulate Standard, Jumbo, Enhanced and Piezo-equipped and has built-in reverb optimized for acoustic-guitar simulation. Knobs will help us finding precisely our favourite acoustic tone.

Also features two set of outputs to connect it to a standard guitar amp and a PA, recorder or an acoustic-guitar amp.

Fender Jaguar Bass VI Custom

Fender-jaguar

Taking Axl's words, half man, half beast, I don’t know what it is but it’s weird and it’s pissed off and calls itself Fender Jaguar Bass VI Custom. An strange instrument that mixes a Jaguar guitar and a Fender Bass and features 2 Special Design MIJ Single-Coil Jaguar Pickups and Adjusto-Matic Bridge with Anchored-Tailpiece.

At Fender's website they say it is an instrument loved by a wide range of artists from The Beatles to Aerosmith. Electric Guitar Review Weblog is commenting that this could be an instrument John Lennon used in Let It Be and White Album sessions.

It looks like an strange instrument, but we would like to play it to check if it is as good as Fender promotes it.

Optical Pickups in HOAG Guitars

K-max-25In 1968 Ron Hoag invented a new pickup system for any string instrument (patented in 1970), the optical pickup. The system works with LEDs that emit a flickering light, transmitted to a photo transistor that converts it to electric signal and send it to the built-in instrument preamp. The last step before the amplifier is a mode selector-power supply module. The string is between the LED and the photo transistor and the system captures its vibrations. This new concept of pickup might change a lot the actual electric guitar, bass, violin,… factoring process. According to Hoag: “you don’t need exotic woods to create the proper sound”, maybe some day we might purchase high-quality sound guitars with inexpensive prices.

Recently, Ron Hoag presented two hand-made string instruments featuring the optical pickups, Kinetic-MAX and Kinetic-MAX-b, electric guitar and bass respectively. Advantatges of this system are: playing until 36th fret, can use any kind of strings (steel, nylon, etc.), instrument can be made to sound like any other instrument directly on instrument, and many others we can’t imagine now.