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Miscellaneous Gear Alert: October 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

Music Man StingRay Special 4 HH Slugger – as part of The Ball Family Reserve's autumn premium collection, the Californian manufacturer also offers a collectible four-string model with an ash body, figured maple neck and a fretboard made of select, heat-treated flame maple. The Satin Natural instrument features black lacquered company hardware, rectangular fretboard markers in the same colour, and a pair of humbuckers with neodymium magnets, tied to an active preamp (18V) with volume control, three-band EQ, and potentiometer caps made of rare tiger ebony. A limited edition of 105 units will be released. Price: approx. 3200 dollars.

Orange O-Bass 2022 – after seven years, the British brand returns to the retro Les Paul-style bass model, which has been given a body made of lightweight African okoume wood lined with white inlays; a bolt-on maple neck with an updated profile is now combined with a fretboard made of durable purpleheart fitted with 20 frets. A passive custom split-coil humbucker, volume, tone pot, topload bridge and nickel-plated tuners with three-blade rondelles are installed. Colours: Orange, Black (both with a black lacquered headstock). Price: approx 540 dollars including a gig bag and spare pickguard in black or tortoiseshell finish.

Trace Elliot Pro Series 4x10 and 2x12 – professional bass boxes with 1000 W RMS power and 8 ohms impedance are made of 15 mm thick poplar plywood coated with waterproof epoxy and equipped with massive locking casters, front panel with magnetic retainers, two parallel connected Neutrik Speakon and newly designed crossover. The TE Pro 4x10 features four neodymium magnet changers and a single compression tweeter, while the Pro 2x12 variant offers a coaxial 12" speaker complemented by a woofer of the same diameter. The new products are expected to hit the market during November. Price: identically about 1600 dollars.

Boss Dual Cube Bass LX – a compact, but well-equipped stereo modelling combo with a total output of 10 W, a pair of 5-inch speakers, an effects section, five emulations (Super Flat, Flat, Vintage, Modern, Rock), memory for 15 presets, looper, Loopback function, rhythm unit, etc. Connectivity includes a minijack i-CUBE Link/Aux In, 2 x line + rec outputs, footswitch connector, USB-B port and a BT-Dual Bluetooth MIDI adapter slot. The combo is compatible with the Dual Cube Bass LX Editor app, power is provided by a 9V adapter or 8 AA batteries. Price: approx. 360 euros.

Darkglass Microtubes Infinity – the newest representative of bass distortion pedals so far – this time combining a multi-band compressor with a trio of the company's distortion pedals (B3K, Vintage, X) with the possibility of adjusting the drive/dry signal path ratio and also featuring an integrated four-channel USB card. In addition to preset storage and five diode-ring potentiometers, there's a six-band EQ controlled by touch faders, three footswitches, five IR slots, MIDI In, DI XLR output, two stereo TRS outputs, Aux In, headphone jack and the aforementioned USB port. Price: about 600 dollars.


AKAI LPK25 MKII and LPD8 MKII – second generation of popular compact USB MIDI controllers with a more modern design and several modifications. The LPK25 MKII gets an upgraded mini keyboard with 25 strike velocity-sensitive keys, and the integrated arpeggiator now has a Swing function adjustable in five steps. For the LPD8 MKII, the manufacturer replaced the original monochrome pads with eight backlit RGB pads taken from the MPC X edition. Communication is also MIDI CC or Program Change based and, as with the LPK 25, the controller can be edited using the company's software. Prices: both LPK25 MKII and LPD8 MKII 60 euros.

Erica Synths LXR Eurorack Drum Module – four days ago, the Lithuanian manufacturer started distributing a new percussion synthesizer based on the LXR-02 drum machine sound engine. The CV-controlled module (5 x CV input, 4 x output, 7 x trigger input) for Eurorack systems features six voices, each with up to 30 parameters, while three voices can also be used for bass lines thanks to the 1V/oct tuning option. Of course, there is an insert FX section and also an SD card slot (kits + firmware). Price: approx. 420 euros.

Korg Liano – an affordable digital PCM piano featuring a premium light-touch keyboard with 88 keys (range A0 to C8), 120-voice polyphony, a 2 x 8 W stereo sound system with bassreflexes, and simple controls that include a rotary switch for selecting from eight sounds, a volume potentiometer, and reverb, chorus, and metronome buttons. There are 8 demo tracks, transposition, headphone/line out, USB-B port, damper pedal input, etc. Power: 12V adapter or 6 AA batteries; dimensions: 1282 x 290 x 73 mm; weight: approx. 6.2 kg; price: approx. 400 USD.


Istanbul Mehmet Tomy Sainz Signature Stack – the signature model for the Argentine player and producer consists of four stacked cymbals in sizes 14", 16", 18" and 20", which can be freely combined or used as separate thinner crashes. A soft case is also included. Price: approx. 680 euros.

Istanbul Cristobal Orozco Signature Stack – a signature model for the flexible Chilean drummer whose genre range extends from jazz to funk, Latin to metal. The three-piece stack consists of two 12" and 14" crashes and a 16" Dark Crash, and again comes with a carrying case. The variant in question has a sound with a shorter sustain that can be modified by different combinations of individual cymbals and precisely adapted to the respective musical situation. Price: approx. 420 euros.

Roland SPD-SX PRO – the flagship of sampling pads, taking the capabilities of the previous SPD-S and SPD-SX versions to the next level. Featuring up to 32-voice polyphony with a total of nine pads with increased sensitivity and custom assignable colour elongated diodes, the system features a 4.3-inch colour LCD display, generous 32GB storage, 1550 samples and 200 kits. Files can be loaded in WAV, AIFF, MP3 formats, which the module automatically converts to its native format (16-bit/48kHz), there's the ability to layer two sounds, sample searching using tags, an effects section, an 8-channel USB card, wide connectivity and plenty of practical features. Price: approx. CZK 30,000.

Zultan AEON – a series of more than twenty B25 bronze alloy cymbals, divided into Crash, Ride, Hi-Hat and FX categories, complete with a set containing a 15" hi-hat, 18" crash, 22" ride and a soft carrying case. The edition is hand-hammered in Turkish workshops and the manufacturer describes its sound as "bright and shimmering with earthy tones and longer decay, suitable for all musical styles". Available versions: Thin Crash – 18", 19", 20"; Crash – 17", 18", 19", 20"; Light Ride – 20", 21", 22"; Ride – 20", 21", 22"; Splash – 10", FX Stack – 14", 16"; FX Crash – 14", 16", 18"; Hi-hat – 14", 15". Prices start at about 100 euros.


Universal Audio Volt 4 and Volt 476p – four-channel sound cards from a respected brand. Version 4 features a pair of combo mic/inst inputs with preamps, phantom power and Vintage mode, the same number of jack line inputs, MIDI In/Out DIN jacks, 4 outputs, 2 monitoring outputs, a headphone jack and a USB-C port. The 476p version has four XLR/TRS inputs, each with an analogue compressor (3 x preset) based on the iconic UREI 1176. A second headphone output has also been added. Prices: UA Volt 4 approx. 260 euros, UA Volt 476p approx. 470 euros, including an extensive software package.

Neumann KH 150 – dual-band professional reference monitors equipped with a 6.5-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter, a dual 145 + 100 W (LF/HF) amplifier and a DSP engine providing linear phase response and facilitating calibration via the company's MA 1 system. There is a three-band equalizer adjustable via four-position switches, SPL selection (94, 100, 108, 114 dB), input sensitivity potentiometer, Local/Network function, detachable ground or choice of four input mods (Mono, S-PDIF L/R, Analog). Price: approx. 1,650 euros.

Mercuriall Dual Rectofire – plug-in in VST, AU, AAX, Standalone formats powered by Neural Hybrid Engine v2.0 is part of the acclaimed Mercuriall Ampbox platform. Emulating the sound of an older, sought-after variant of the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier "Blackface" rev. G from the 1990s, the new software also allows you to use the popular gain potentiometer modification (1 megaohm) selectable for each channel. Power Link technology is also implemented, affecting the interaction between the preamp and the end section. Price: approx. 90 dollars.

Tagy gear alert Ernie Ball Music Man Trace Elliot Orange boss Darkglass Erica synths AKAI korg Istanbul Mehmet Roland Zultan Universal Audio Neumann Mercuriall Audio

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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.