J.Rockett Pedals have been around for years and have a heap of pedals in their range, some of which I have previously featured here on Guitar Noize. What I really like about this video is the complete transparency and I guess because of their long lasting relationships with various partners they are willing to give away these trade secrets. Check out their latest pedal designed in collaboration with Pro Guitar Shop, the Archer Ikon, you can see a demo here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFr5hCaKyv4.
Toontrack have expanded their EZ Mix line of plugins with a new guitar pack called Indie Guitars EZMix. The EZMix packs provide a simple interface to create various sounds, I have reviewed and demonstrated some of these plugins in the past such as the Metal Guitar Gods expansion pack which offers a number of presets that have 2 controls that have predefined functionality. This makes it very easy to get sounds and effects without having to spend hours tinkering with various parameters which can often detract from recording ideas.
“The Indie Guitars EZmix Pack presents a creative palette of guitar tones inspired by indie pop and rock of the past two decades. It includes 50 unique settings based on amp and cab modulation, all saturated by various chains of effects. In total, it paints a vivid picture of guitar tones ranging all the way from out-of-this-world ambient down to candid, clean, dry and distorted.”
As you can see in the player above there are 5 categories, Ambient, Dirty, Modulated, Basic amps – clean, Basic amps – distorted. I think the Ambient and Modulated examples sound great and could definitely inspire some creative ideas. I don’t know if you can add any effects to the basic clean and distorted amps but with some reverb and delay I would definitely use some of these tones!
For more info: http://www.toontrack.com/product/indie-guitars-ezmix-pack/.
Black Cat Pedals is pleased to announce the Black Cat N-Fuzz, the latest legacy product from the original line created by Fred Bonte. The N-Fuzz is based on the Fuzz channel of the Black Cat OD-Fuzz, but has been modified to use Japanese components and features an extra wide ranging Bias control that allows you to dial in a sweeping array
of fuzz tones and timbres.
The original N-Fuzz was made in limited numbers between 2001 and 2003, and was only available in the Asian market. According to Fred Bonte, the letter N represented “N-Channel” to describe the type of transistors used. Like the names of most other Black Cat products, “N-Fuzz” was more short and to the point than “N-Channel Fuzz.”
Black Cat owner Tom Hughes states, “The new N-Fuzz also uses N-Channel (NPN) transistors. But we felt there was room for improvement with Fred Bonte’s original design. The toggle switch of the original N-Fuzz selected between two fixed bias points, which resulted in one position having a High output, and the other position having a Low output. We replaced the toggle switch with a variable bias control pot. This control makes the new N-Fuzz much more versatile.
“After discussion with our Japanese distributor about reintroducing the N-Fuzz to the Asian market, we decided to further redesign the N-Fuzz circuit to use Japanese electronic components. This gave a new meaning to the name, which now stands for ‘Nippon Fuzz.’
“In selecting transistors, we tried several different types before we found the perfect combination. We eventually decided on Toshiba 2SC1815 for Q1 and Panasonic 2SC1384 for Q2. A lot of experimentation was also needed to achieve the widest usable range for the Bias control. This allows the N-Fuzz to offer many different tones and timbres of fuzz.”
- Uses premium Japanese transistors and capacitors
- Extra wide range bias control offers many tones and timbres of fuzz
- Durable powder-coat “Holographic Sparkle” finish
- 3PDT true-bypass switch and Switchcraft jacks
- Uses 2.1mm Boss style power jack, or internal 9V battery
- Hand-wired, Boutique quality, Made in USA
The new Black Cat N-Fuzz retails for $165. Check out www.blackcatpedals.com for further information about the company and their products.
When TC Electronic released the PolyTune polyphonic tuner back in 2010 I was amazed, it was an incredible feat of technology. Not only does it allow you to tune all 6 strings at the same time but also there is no need to switch between polyphonic and monophonic mode the software just detects the incoming single automatically, magic! 2 years later TC Electronic managed to do the improbable and minify the pedal, the PolyTune Mini, this is the only pedal that has never been taken off my pedal board, why would I? It’s perfect. Small, functional and visible in any light thanks to the ultra bright LED screen.
The boffins at TC Electronic are not ones to rest on their laurels so they have gone one step further in the minification of the PolyTune and created a version that can be used by Acoustic guitarists who have probably been crying out for this, the PolyTune Clip, the world’s first polyphonic clip-on tuner. Who better to test this new product but one of the world’s finest acoustic guitar players Tommy Emmanuel who had this to say, “this is without doubt, the best clip-on tuner ever, it’s deadly accurate, easy to read, easy to use and well made… which is what I was expecting from TC.”
“Through a massive engineering feat we’ve not only managed to distill our innovative polytune technology into its smallest enclosure to date, we’ve actually managed to improve it while doing so. The polyphonic tuner is more accurate than ever, the chromatic tuner is faster than ever and the strobe tuner… oh man, the strobe tuner is a work of art on its own with its mind-blowing +/-0.02 cent accuracy. This enables you to tune and set up your instrument with a precision unheard of up until now. All of this is encapsulated in a gorgeous yet durable polycarbonate enclosure, outfitted with a super-bright adaptive display that’ll make sure you get a perfect read-out no matter where you place it on the headstock. With a high-end stainless steel clip that’ll keep PolyTune Clip in place even under the toughest gigging conditions, there’s no doubt that PolyTune Clip is the epitome of what every modern tuning device should strive to be!”
“Utilising the same annealed nickel plated steel blades and custom size ceramic magnets that made the Strat version so popular, the Cobra T features a larger, wider coil that we have voiced specifically for the Telecaster. As with all Bare Knuckle Tele pickups, the Cobra T is a true single coil and, whilst capable of producing a huge amount of power, it retains all of the extended frequency response you’d look for in a single coil. The bottom end is defined and focused, mids are rich and smooth and highs have plenty of solid bite; all whilst remaining dynamic and expressive to changes of the volume pot.”
So I’m a bit slow reporting on this but Line 6 snuck the news out of their next generation multi effects unit Helix a few days ago and I have to say it looks really nice. Line 6 have been updating their multi effects units for over 15 years from the “bean” Pod which was incredibly successful and evolved into the POD XT Live, POD X3, the POD HD series and finally the POD HD X series and of course all of these have also been available as rack mount units too. The amp models and effects that you can get from the POD HD X Series are world class which is why so many people use them both for live and studio use.
The Line 6 Helix is an evolution of the POD HD X into a super sleek floor and rack unit with a nice big 6.2″ colour display and 12 footswitches that you can individually assign a colour for the surrounding LEDs. A nice little additional feature are the customisable footswitch “labels”, a simple feature but it makes life so much easier. The footswitches are touch sensitive, you touch to select, hold to assign and press to engage a bank preset or effect.
The Helix will be available at the end of summer 2015 for $1,499, the Helix Rack will also be $1,499 with an optional Helix Control (floor controller) available for $499.
Check out this video from Sweetwater for an overview of the Line 6 Helix:
Ibanez are adding to their retro Roadcore series with a few new models featuring single coil pickups. The first is the RC430 which is the Candy Apple Red guitar above and below that features a Rosewood fretboard over a gloss Maple neck and Basswood body. This guitar is also available in Ivory white. The RC430M is essentially the same guitar with the same Core Tone S pickups but with a Maple fretboard and only available in a classic Sunburst finish.
The RH465HM is a semi-hollow body version with a Maple/Mahogany body, Maple neck and fretboard and a Core Tone CS neck pickup combined with a Core Tone CH humbucker. Again only available in a sunburst finish and features a 3 way toggle pickup selector rather than a 5 way like the RC430. You will also see in the photos above that this guitar features a flat back with no belly cut like the RC430 and also added binding.
“Continuing their 30th Anniversary celebration, PRS Guitars is offering a small batch of guitars with a new inlay pattern: the 30th Anniversary Vine. Inspired in part by the PRS Tree of Life inlay designs, the 30th Anniversary Vine is an elegant inlay made from Mother of Pearl, Paua, and Paua Heart. This special inlay is being offered on two electric guitar models: the Custom 22 and newly reintroduced McCarty.”
The two limited edition models available are the Vine Custom 22 and the Vine McCarty.
The “Vine” Custom 22 features an artist grade figured maple top, mahogany back, a 22-fret, 25” scale length ‘Pattern’ figured maple neck with rosewood fretboard, Mother of Pearl 30th Anniversary bird inlays with Paua/Paua Heart Vine, Phase III locking tuners, and PRS patented tremolo bridge (hybrid hardware). This model comes loaded with 57/08 treble and bass pickups which provide clarity with a distinctive, warm midrange. The control layout features one volume and one tone control and a PRS 5-way blade pickup selector.
The “Vine” McCarty features an artist grade figured maple top, thick mahogany back for increased resonance, a 22-fret, 25” scale length ‘Pattern’ figured maple neck with rosewood fretboard, Mother of Pearl 30th Anniversary bird inlays with Paua/Paua Heart Vine, Phase III locking tuners, and PRS stoptail with brass inserts (hybrid hardware). McCarty models feature 58/15 treble and bass pickups paired with one volume and one push/pull tone control and a PRS 3-way toggle pickup selector. 58/15 pickups provide a vintage style sound with exceptional clarity and a focused midrange.
I’ll be totally honest, as I was to inventor Robin Sukroso when he contacted me about ACPAD, I thought when I first saw what he had been working on for the past 5 years it looked a bit gimmicky and wasn’t expecting to be that impressed. Wow that sounds awful, I am a terrible person. Anyway then I saw the video below and was in fact really impressed! I could immediately see how useful the ACPAD would be to solo acoustic performers, just watch the video of Robin below and see what you think:
The ACPAD is going to launch on Kickstarter very soon so if you are interested head over to the website and subscribe to the newsletter for details: http://acpad.com/.