Category Archives: Instruments

Dubreq Stylophone Beatbox

Beatbox(09)B2Dubreq presented their new and really interesting product the Stylophone Beatbox.

Stylophone Beatbox is the portable electronic beats machine that retains all the retro cool of its predecesor – however, the future is here with all new electro sounds including samples from the UK’s beatbox champion MC Zani. Grab your nylon tracksuit, Adidas kicks, and whatever bling you can find and get ready to lay down some dope beatbox beats.

Features 3 all new exclusive sounds – beatbox with MC Zani, percusssion, and steel drums. Also new is the record and scratch functions that allow you to playback loops of your work. Another feature is the tempo adjust switch for beat pitch control during loop playback.

The MP3 input feature means it is also possible to syncopate your scratches along with your favourite tracks. Plug in your device and lay down some dope style to your favourites.

Stylophone Beatbox Features:

Three new sounds: Beatbox, Percussion and Steel Drums

Record Loop and Playback function

Tempo Adjust

Volume control

MP3 function – play along to any music – includes two way adapter

Product Details:

For ages 7+

Requires 3x AA batteries – not supplied

Original features

Packaging (approx) 27cm(W) x 15cm(D) x 6cm(H)

Product (approx) 15.5cm(W) x 10cm(D) x 4cm(H)

Headphone socket

The Stylophone  Beatbox will be available in the UK from all good Stylophone stockists online and on the high street for the price of £19.99 (rrp).

Source: http://100milligrams.com

Bass and guitar CruzTOOLS GrooveTech tool kits from The Music Link

large-CRU-GTGTR1The Music Link is presenting its latest products – the CruzTOOLS GrooveTech tool kits for both guitar and bass setups.

The guitar and bass GrooveTech kits are designed to help musicians become more comfortable at doing their own basic setups. For the price of a typical professional setup, players can purchase a GrooveTech tool kit and keep their guitar or bass in top playing shape.

Included is a 6-in-1 screwdriver, five metric and six fractional hex (“Allen”) keys, 15-blade thickness gauge, six-inch steel ruler, diagonal cutters, capo, 3-LED flashlight, and string winder (string winder in the guitar kit only). The screwdriver includes two Phillips tips (#1 and #2), two slotted tips (1/4″ and 3mm tip for vintage-style bridge saddles), and two nut drivers (1/4″ and 3/16″ to handle Gibson and other brand truss rods nuts). Hex keys are long pattern, color coded gold for metric and black for fractional, with all truss rod sizes having a ball-end on the long side for easy access.

A key component of the kit is its Easy Setup Guide, which is designed to educate the average guitar player about basic setup and maintenance, with a tutorial on neck and bridge adjustment, pickup height, and intonation.

Tools are stored in a tough 600-denier PVC-backed polyester pouch with woven elastic and a clear vinyl front. A compartment is provided for the Easy Setup Guide, guitar owner’s manual, and spare strings. A pick storage pocket is also provided.

The GrooveTech Guitar Player Tech Kit is available for $61.95, and the Bass Player Tech Kit for about $59.95.

More information about the products: http://www.themusiclink.net/

Grover Percussion Shakes New Tambourine Models

groverToday Grover Pro Percussion Inc. heralded the release of their new tambourine models. The new tambourines feature REMO Renaissance heads that can help outdoor musicians with performing in warm, humid conditions, which could otherwise prove to be quite the problem.

Designed for use in such moist conditions, the new Grover tambourines purportedly are nearly unperturbed altogether by humidity. President and Founder Neil Grover complimented his product, saying, “The new models are terrific; really great for playing at outdoor venues. I can’t wait to use this model on the Esplanade during our big July 4th concert,” commented Grover, a member of the Boston Pops. “It will work out perfectly.”

The three new tambourine models all feature a strong hardwood shell, dual-width double row jingle slots, double row hand-hammered jingles, and captive pins. The T2/GS-X German Silver jingles model carries a price of $184. The T2/GsPh Silver/Bronze combo lists at $189, and the T2/BC-X Beryllium Copper model comes in at $208. So, why not get shaking with these today? If you’re interested, the website is here with further information.

Source: Harmony-Central

Lucida Unveils Three Bajo Quinto Models

banjoThree new Bajo Quinto models from Lucida have been revealed today following the Memorial Day weekend in America, and each boast a classic mariachi sound devoid of some of the “muddiness” derived from the low E-strings of a Bajo Sexto, quotes the company. Built from the tonewoods that comprise the Lucida Bajo Sexto, the Bajo Quinto comes in three configurations. The three models are: the acoustic model (LG-BQ1), thin-body electric model (LG-BQ2-E), and acoustic-electric model (LG-BQ1-E). All three sport solid spruce tops, rosewood fretboards and bridges, mahogany backs, necks and sides, and 3-ply body binding. Cutaway designs allow for more convenient access to the upper frets of the guitars, as well.

Each of the Bajo Quintos with 4-band EQ pickups retail for $399.99, while the base Bajo Quinto comes in at just $329.99, making these fairly affordable. All three of the Bajo Quinto models are currently available, so consumers will have the option of getting their mitts on any of these three intriguing designs in short order.

For more information, check out the website here.

Source: Harmony-Central

Loar Reveals Black Gloss LH-600 Acoustic

blackguitarLoar’s LH-600 archtop guitar is a design the company takes pride in, with a classic look derived from early 1900s American guitars. The archtop is a hard-carved affair featuring graduated wood, and now Loar is announcing that the LH-600 is coming with a fresh coat of paint.

The LH-600 from Loar now features a black gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish and a design heralding straight out of the Roaring 20s. The sides and back of the LH-600 are made from solid maple, and the top is made from graduated spruce. The black lacquer finish enables the acoustic guitar a heightened level of acoustic projection. Also featured on the guitar is an adjustable ebony bridge and ebony fretboard, and a one-piece mahogany neck.

Loar’s LH-600 also comes in the vintage sunburst design. Both carry a list price of $1,199.99 and come with a featherweight case. Needless to say, these designs are not for the novice guitarist! However, if you are willing to devote a paycheck to one of these beauties, you can find the official site here. Availability has not yet been determined, aside from “coming soon”.

Source: Theloar.com

Freshman Apollo 1DC Dreadnought

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Looking to spend more than a modest amount on an acoustic Dread? Look no further than the Apollo 1DC

This Martin-styled cutaway dread is a smartly satin-lacquered instrument. It sports a solid sitka top partnered by laminated mahogany back and sides. Binding is white with herringbone purfling around the front and around the soundhole. This binding also continues along the rosewood fingerboard. In fact, the only thing that is a little naff about this guitar is its tuners. The colour is a little on the wrong side of Deco for me personally, but as long as they hold their pitch, and they do, it doesn’t really matter.

Moving away from typical cutaway dread territory, the neck is surprisingly girthier at the body compared to the headstock end. This makes for a folkier feel than that of a competing Yamaha or Ovation. Something that the Apollo 1DC has that many others are looking do include in the package now, a chromatic tuner. As well as this uncomplicated unit comes a phase switch and EQ, which simply comprises of a Contour button. This launches the Freshman into a happy-go-lucky mind set to give the tonality that brighter feel, should you need to.

This isn’t the punchiest dread around, sadly. There are a lot of other things going for it though, the EQ for one. You may miss being able to tweak a three-band EQ but this Ion 301 system does it justice, alleviating squashed headroom and brightening high end frequencies.

This is a good guitar but there are better instruments out there for better money.

The Freshman Apollo 1DC retails at £299.

Sandberg Panther Special Bass Review

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The undeniable appeal of Sandberg has always been it’s wallet-friendly pricing compared to its vintage counterparts. So how special is this Special Panther? …

When looking straight at it, while keeping Music Man’s back catalogue at the forefront of your mind, it does take a lot of its styling from the Stingray. This Panther Special version has an exotic wood body with a walnut top, a mahogany back and added layers of maple and more walnut. The bolt-on neck is slim and fast, and arguably by the means of a nice rosewood, really feels great to play.

The bypassable active electronics are powered by a PP3 housed in a quick release chamber. The pickups are fantastically elaborate, parallelogramically shaped, designed by Sandberg themselves and encased by Delano. But don’t think that their both the same spec… A Power Humbucker hugs the neck while a Split Coil sits on the bridge. To further pursue tonal perfection and reach that ‘unique’ stature, Sandberg run both pickups through a three-band EQ, before sending relays to the player via tone and volume pots.

The Panther is as clean as a whistle in the twin-pickup mode. A lot of low end grunt is apparent in the bridge split coil whereas the Humbucker is reserved for fashioning funk. Increasing bass EQ adds a silky sheen to the bridge pickup, ideal for slaps and pops; the twin-pickup setting does make the overall tone lose its flick and speed though.

Sandberg’s build quality is simply marvellous. Splicing materials the way this company has, while carefully and accurately considering the electrical hardware, has given Sandberg the edge. For a handmade forefrontal company flagship of a bass guitar, the price questions logic.

The Sandberg Panther Special retails at £1299.

Yamaha CPX500

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Making your way through the low-end semi-acoustic spectrum can be hard – especially with Yamaha because of their massive product range. Is this cheap and cheerful CPX500 mini-jumbo a hit?

When looking at this you get the impression that Yamaha have probably had to cut a few corners to get to where they are with the price tag. The solid body is slowly being ousted with the replacement of laminated spruce, taking its place. Does this affect the playability? No. Yamaha is renown for building excellent instruments and this is no exception.

By closely examining the craftsmanship that went into the making of this guitar, lots says to the trained eye, ‘melody player.’ The mini-jumbo shape, for instance. This in itself makes for a great reach-around action, thanks to the neck joining the body at the 14th fret. You can really get up to that rarefied area, especially in the acoustic world, and utilise all you want.

When playing it, all the build features make sense. A top nut that has been properly cut and neatly fitted helps to smooth the action and cancel any fret buzz. The six, rather plain looking, machine heads are strong and sturdy, holding everything in place from gentle fingerwork to Verve strumming. Additionally, the pickguard is transparent, implying that Yamaha are happy with their finish – not to mention diverting too much attention from the inlaid rosette on the headstock.

The sounds are never going to be as best as a Gibson J-200 or anything from Martin at this price. There is a distinct lack in bass tone, mainly due to the body shape and materials used. Also, when pressing on above the 12th fret, it does tend to lose that projection it had somewhere around the 3rd – headroom is constrictive. Retrospectively, you have to judge this guitar on its merits.

If you are thinking of going cheap, the Yamaha CPX500 is the best in its class.

The Yamaha CPX500 retails at £384.

Larrivee OM-09 Acoustic Guitar

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Very well made, lush tones and beautiful presence – just some of the endearing qualities of the Larrivee OM-09

Canadian luthier Jean Larrivee began making his guitars back in early 1970’s. Since then he has adopted the classic X-bracing, something that is at home to the infamous Martin guitars. Today the refined version can be found in Larrivee guitars and this instrument is a shining example of not only this build technique but fantastic playability.

The soundboard is an integral part to this guitar. Even Larrivee themselves think so:

“Over 20,000 steel-string guitars have proven conclusively that this design has great structural integrity. With the bracing design problems such as bulging of the top behind the bridge or sinking around the soundhole can be eliminated.”

It’s back and sides are constructed from Indian rosewood, while the soundboard is built from bookmatched Canadian sitka spruce with a tight, straight grain. Other build cares include using a tinted lacquer to give that classic aged look and a clear polyester finish that shows off spruce’s pale, creamy colour.

So, the sounds. Because of the low playing action, the Larrivee OM-09 is very easy to play. The combination of an attentive fret construction and a realistic bridge height makes for accurate intonation and a zero fret-buzz. With a definite dreadnought feel to it, the Larrivee OM-09 is very responsive in the mid-high and treble tones when strumming. It is somewhat lacking in warmth so it could be suggested that this guitar is made for a melody work, and it shows/sounds. The maple body gives great sustain in the runs and in longer augmented notes.

If you like elegant unstated looks and fantastic fingerpicking tones you need to try one of these!

The Larrivee OM-09 retails at £1,999.

(Quote source: Guitar Buyer).

Rob Williams Set Neck Standard

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A pioneering standard… The best of the British peak.

Rob Williams has put in time with Jaydee Guitars, as a warranty repair technician for many of the major USA brands and with Patrick Eggle Guitars before eventually forming his own company.

Much of the British market hasn’t come into contact with this type of brands before. Many independent companies like this go into liquidation after a few years, due to not moving enough stock. Rob Williams however have taken the characterists of Ibanez in it’s styling and combined this with their own hardware and electrics. The fingerboard is Indian rosewood and the neck itself Brazillian mahogany.The playability results are staggering.

When strumming the guitar acoustically the feel gives the impression it is one solid piece. It is hugely resonant. When plugging in the RLW pickups immediately represent the guitar in it’s purpose. The result is a bright and light sound around the top end. However if you like a lot of warmth out of your guitar you should consider an MXR pedal to hook up between amp and guitar. Because the body is so thin there isn’t really much depth. This does mean though that sustain is preserved in the mix and when pushing the boundaries with distortion settings, the attack proves to be blistering, to say the very least.

The price is considerable, but high quality materials don’t come cheap! This is a fantastically well made instrument.

The Rob Williams Set Neck Standard retails at £2,336.