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Miscellaneous Gear Alert: August 2022

Do you play bass, drums, or keyboards? Are you DJ, singer, sound engineer, or a studio aficionado? Then every third Monday of the month is "your day" here on Insounder—with a quick overview of gear and new releases that will be on the market in the current or upcoming period and that you shouldn't miss. A similarly conceived article is dedicated to technical equipment for guitarists every first Monday of the month. Some of the products introduced in this overview will be discussed in more detail in later posts here in the News section.

Bass guitar

Jackson CBXNT DX V—a five-string version of the popular model combining a modern concept with vintage elements referencing Rickenbacker basses. The 35-inch scale instrument features a poplar body, maple neck with a two-octave Laurel fingerboard and variable radius from 12 to 16 inches, a hockey stick headstock fitted with lightweight machines and a solid Jackson Bass Bacher V Hardtail headstock. It includes two proprietary pickups J-Style / P-Style and active electronics with shared volume, blend and three-band equaliser. Colours: Fireburst, Gloss Black, Snow White. Price: approx. 800 dollars.

Cort GB Modern 4 a 5—premium four and five-string basses score not only in sound but also in the light weight. The sandwich body consists of a central maple block, paulownia wings and white ash and walnut sheets, covered by an exotic-looking poplar top. The neck and the 400mm radius are made of heat-treated maple, luminescent dots are complementing the black rectangular markers. The instrument features top-quality hardware represented by Babicz FCH headstock and Hipshot Ultralite machines and two Nordstrand Big Single pickups are connected to a Markbass MB active preamp with separate volumes, three-band EQ and tone knob with push-pull passive mode activation. Colours: Vintage Natural, Charcoal Grey. GBM 4 approx. 1100 euros, GBM 5 approx. 1300 euros.

Markbass MB58R Series—an extensive collection of amplifiers, ultralight combo amps and cabinets, including a pair of new compact heads Little Mark 58R and 58R 300, eight combo amps and twenty boxes from series Pure, Energy and P in 2×10", 3×10", 4×10", 1×12", 2×12" and 1×15" configurations. You can choose between models with a one-inch top (Pure), Markbass hi-fi tweeter (Energy) or a piezo tweeter (P). For the 2x10 versions, there is also a choice between the standard design and the XL variant with diagonally placed speakers. Impedance and power ratings of each cabinet: 4/6/8 ohms, 400 to 800 W depending on the type.

Darkglass Microtubes B1K—the first pedal from the brand new Darkglass Mini compact edition in the form of a bass overdrive features not only a dual potentiometer with Level and Drive, but also controls hidden inside a small chassis. These are quite conveniently accessible thanks to the magnetic bottom, under which we find two Tone/Blend trimmers and six DIP switches for the Grunt—bass boost and MBoost—midrange boost of +6 dB between 300 Hz and 1 kHz. Dimensions: 50 x 100 x 45 mm, weight: 205 g, power supply: 9 V / 30 mA, price: approx. 160 euros.

Keys, synths, modules, etc.

AMSynths AM8102SH02—a hardware modular filter unit based on the Roland SH-2 analogue vintage synth offers four faders with Cutoff, Kybd, Mod and Env, potentiometers with Input Mix and Resonance functions, a pair of jack inputs, the same output and three jacks (Kybd, Mod and Env); the Env can switch between Normal and Inverted modes using a slide switch. AMSynths offers this model for around 125 pounds.

ESI XJam—a desktop lightweight portable USB MIDI controller equipped with 16 backlit RGB pads with polyphonic function aftertouch, capable of sending MIDI CC, Program Change or MMC messages. There are also six rotary encoders (MIDI CC, pitch, aftertouch, Program Change), power is supplied by a USB port (computer, adapter, etc.), MIDI connectivity is provided by a stereo minijack and there is also an input for a sustain pedal. A special application takes care of system configuration and contains 48 programmable presets. Price including Cubase LE, WaveLab LE and Bitwig Studio 8-Track software: approx. 150 euros.

Roland F107 and RP107—digital pianos with easy to place in the house thanks to their not very deep cabinet. It offers a high-quality PHA-4 keyboard (88 notes) and authentic sound, which is not commonplace in instruments of this price category. There is a streaming Bluetooth module, sostenuto, sustain and soft pedals, Twin Piano mode, auto accompaniment, recording unit, USB port and connectivity to the company app. Both the modern-looking F107 and the more classically styled RP107 are based on the engine with patented SuperNATURAL Piano technology, combining modelling and sampling, and of course various tutorials and other features. Prices: Both F107 and RP107 are approx. 1150 euros.


Meinl Cymbals Luke Holland Artist Concept Model 10/12″ Baby Stack—a dual, versatile effect cymbal from the Byzance edition.  Edge hits produce a massive sound, while classic strikes provide a fast response, staccato effect and wide dynamic response. The cymbals touch each other with their central bells, so they don't take up too much space within the kit. The model from the weight category Thin, made in Turkey from B12/B20 bronze alloy, costs around 270 euros.

Tama S.L.P. 14“ x 4.5“ G-Hickory—a limited edition drum from the Sound Lab Project series, offering a clear, precisely articulated sharper sound. The 11mm thick shell is glued from 10 layers of hickory wood and two outer-plies of distinctively grained elm. Cast rims with ten tuning screws and a snare wire Starclassic with carbon steel springs also contribute to the piercing attack. The snare, with the factory code LGH1445-GNE and strainer/butt number MCS70A/MCS70B is available in a Gloss Natural Elm transparent lacquer finish for a price of about 400 dollars.

Evans dB One—series of silent drumheads and cymbals for home practice use Evans ShockWeave Mesh in the first case, reinforced with Kinetic Transfer Foam (KTF), reducing the volume of the drum by up to 80% without losing authentic response, attack and pitch. Snare Sim technology delivers the typical timbre of a classic snare wire while maintaining low volume. The nano-coated stainless steel cymbals utilize the patented dBalance system with body perforations, allowing this product line to provide the same articulation as traditional cymbals. Prices start at around 45 euros and end at around 550 euros for a set of 5 x drumhead + 4 x cymbals. The available versions are as follows:

Evans dB One Tom: 10", 12", 14", 15", 16", 18"
Evans dB One Snare: 13", 14"
Evans dB One Bass Drum: 18", 20", 22", 24"
Evans dB One Cymbals: 20" Ride, 18" Crash, 16" Crash, 14" Crash


Pioneer DJ DJM-S5—a two-channel "scratch-style" mixer for use with turntables or record players and fully compatible with Serato DJ Pro and DVS software. There is a new Magvel Fader Pro feature, making scratching easier and allowing users to quickly find the perfect balance using the setting Feeling Adjust. There are also four performance pads on each channel (Hot Cue, Sampler, Scratch Bank etc. modes) and a Scratch Cutter system with 6 patterns, both channels have separate three-band EQ, TRIM, HP/LP filtering and Serato FX effect control. Inputs: 2 x RCA (Aux), 1 x TRS/XLR (microphone), 4 x RCA, outputs: 1x TRS (headphones), 2 x RCA, 2 x XLR, USB, dimensions: 364 x 245 x 108 mm, weight: 3.4 kg, price: approx. 1,475 euros including software and USB cable.


Kuassa Amplifikation Rectifor—guitar software, inspired by the well-known high-gain Mesa Boogie Rectifier amplifier, is built on the company's third generation of modelling with improved dynamic properties and a newly designed user interface. It supports both VST/VST3/AU/AAX plug-ins that are compatible with any DAW application, as well as Standalone Amplifikation 360 modules. There is a variety of presets, three channels Raw, Vintage and Modern—each with a trio of sub-modes, box emulation with adjustable microphones, Sag and Bias parameters, oversampling option, etc. Price: approx. 50 dollars.

t.akustik LF-D 60 Bass Trap—absorber optimizing the acoustics of studio rooms, designed to be installed in their corners and absorbing reflected or indirect low-band signals in the range of 80 to 500 Hz. The system uses high-quality polyester acoustic foam with a density of 45 kg/m³ and 3 mm thick HDF boards covered with CPL laminate. The bass trap, with a natural Halifax Oak finish and dimensions of 600 x 600 x 325 mm, is partially fire resistant (FMVSS 302 / <100 mm/min standard), priced at around 200 euros for two pieces.

Tagy gear alert Jackson Cort Markbass Darkglass AMSynths ESI Roland meinl tama evans Pioneer Kuassa Amplifikation t.akustik

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For Insounder, I am mainly responsible for the news section and articles covering the gear of well-known musicians. I have been playing guitar in various bands for years and I also teach this beautiful instrument.