NEW GEAR 1/24: Slash SL-100 Head, Colletti Super Strats and PJB Bass Combo
Those who are ready are not caught off guard. Welcome to our next weekly roundup of new gear and trivia from the world of music, where we try to sum up everything essential that's currently hitting the market that we should know about. There's a new boutique brand in the guitar market – Colletti Guitars, Crazy Tube Circuits pedal brings David Gilmour's seventies sound, Epiphone has released the latest edition of Les Pauls from Adam Jones' design collection, PJB have unveiled the BE-17 small bass combo, Magnatone confirm their collaboration with Slash amp SL-100 and Arturia boast a limited edition KeyStep Pro Chroma sequencer/controller. We can also recommend AHEAD's drum stool, HeadRush's upgraded guitar monitors, Graph Tech's bass bridge and Stone Deaf FX's octave fuzz.
The last of the seven models in the Tool guitarist's special design edition has been given a "bee" graphic on a Silverburst lacquer base and, like other pieces in this collection, will be produced in an edition of 800. The traditional construction, combining a mahogany base with a maple top and an ebony fretboard fitted with 22 medium jumbo frets, is complemented by hardware consisting of LockTone mechanics (tune-o-matic bridge and stop bar tailpiece), 16:1 vintage tuners and PosiLock strap buttons. The sound is carried by a Seymour Duncan SH-6 bridge humbucker and an Epiphone ProBucker Custom reverse neck pickup, quality electronics (CTS pots, Orange Drop capacitors) are installed and a Protector case is included.
Speed of Sound Super Strats Series from Colletti Guitars
Tommy Colletti, owner of the American music store The Music Zoo, founded his brand, whose first Speed of Sound series includes a total of eight high-end superstrat variations, combining a concept inspired by vintage guitars from the 1950s to the 1970s and modern design elements. There are versions in ash, mahogany and pine, maple tops with different grain patterns, 24.75 or 25.5-inch scale lengths, Linda Fralin single-coils, OX4 humbuckers with reverse magnet neck pickups, maple, Indian and rare Brazilian rosewood fretboards, and a special Synchronized tremolo and Floyd Rose "1984" locking system. All models have a patented Reso-Link brass plate integrated into the body/neck joint to increase sustain and resonance of tone.
Drive CTC HI POWER: the sound of David Gilmour
Crazy Tube Circuits has introduced the HI POWER amp-in-a-box pedal, bringing back the typical sound of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour from the Wish You Were Here (1975) album, when he used Hiwatt heads and boxes. The two-channel model features a Boost section that replicates a vintage Colorsound Power Boost with BC184 transistors, a Baxandall-type two-band EQ, volume, gain and an Overdriver switch (step-up gain). The left side of the chassis is reserved for an analogue circuit reproducing the sound of Hiwatt amplifiers. In this case, you can use the four-band EQ, Volume, Master and BLN vocal mode switches or 103/504 modes emulating the behaviour of a 100 or 50 W head. The effect is powered by a 9V adapter and an effects loop is included.
Stone Deaf FX Rise & Shine: octave fuzz with modulation
The British brand returns to the market of digitally controlled analogue pedals with the Rise & Shine octave fuzz, describing it as "a harmonious blend of vintage tones and contemporary technology, opening up a world of new sonic possibilities and creativity". The effect has an integrated Octapulse rhythm function incorporating a tremolo/vibrato circuit with tap tempo, which, along with the pulsation rate, can be controlled externally (Exp input). In addition to a dynamically sensitive modulation and fuzz circuit with a Bright/Fat voicing pair and an added upper octave with a dedicated switch, there is a Mode button selecting a total of 5 modes. The main optical footswitch, tested to 10 million cycles, is wired in true bypass mode.
HeadRush FRFR-108 MKII / FRFR-112 MKII guitar monitors with Bluetooth
The second generation of active full-range monitors, designed for guitar systems built on complex modelling, have been upgraded and given a Bluetooth module providing wireless audio streaming from a mobile device. The more compact FRFR-108 MKII (only 9.53kg) offers 2000W of power, an eight-inch woofer and a compression driver, while the larger FRFR-112 MKII (15.7kg) variant with a 12-inch driver produces up to 2500W. Both monitors feature neutral response, a pair of combo XLR/jack inputs, HPF EQ functionality, independent instrument and Bluetooth channel volumes and XLR Mix Out.
Magnatone SL-100 Slash Signature 100-watt Head
In November last year, Magnatone welcomed guitarist Slash to its stable, and in a relatively short space of time, the company managed to design and build a new Magnatone SL-100 Signature all-tube amp. With a four-band equalizer, master and a pair of gain (Hi/Lo) switchable even with a footswitch, the amp adheres to the design and sound concept of the classic Marshall amps with which Slash continues to cooperate. The model in green snakeskin tolex is based on the Magnatone Super Fifty-Nine M-80 and inside we find four EL34 power tubes and the same number of 12AX7 preamp tubes. There is an eff. loop, a compensated line jack and a pair of main outputs with selectable 4/8/16 ohm impedance. You can also get a 4x12 cabinet made of Baltic birch with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers. The prices are not very pleasing: head – about USD 4900, box – USD 2700.
The compact bass combo from the renowned manufacturer offers 70 W RMS power and is equipped with one 7-inch woofer plus a 3-inch tweeter. The speakers used can transmit a signal in the frequency range of 31 Hz to 22 kHz, so the combo can be used for other instruments. The hybrid design combines a Class-D power amp with an analogue preamp for both passive and active bass, and there is a built-in stereo line input with custom volume, headphone jack, line output and mini-jack Aux In. The company has also equipped the unit with a Bluetooth module with the current highest-quality Qualcomm V5.1 codec (aptX HD) and a rear elliptical bass reflex. The new product is expected to appear in distribution in January.
Graph Tech HeliumX / Ghost Saddle bass bridge
Graph Tech's Guitar Labs division has launched a cutting-edge bridge for bass guitars and bass ukuleles, consisting of independent segments for each string, so players can build their version for a four- to eight-string instrument from these separately sold Mono Rail parts. Each segment is, of course, adjustable horizontally (octave tuning) and vertically, and is anchored by two angle-optimized set screws. In addition, the individual saddles have an integrated Ghost pickup that, in conjunction with the Bass Acousti-Phonic preamp, provides a wide dynamic range. The versatile system works with standard magnetic or active pickups and allows the strings to be anchored both through the body and top-load.
AHEAD SPG-HBL: drum throne with hydraulics
The brand with more than 30 years of tradition has added another drum throne to its Spinal Glide series. The SPG-HBL version is equipped with a hydraulic system that replaces the standard thread so that the player no longer has to stand up to adjust its height – just manipulate the lever on the underside while sitting. The split seat, typical of the manufacturer, also relieves the back and prevents spinal problems. The model uses a four-legged construction and thanks to its load capacity of up to 115 kg, it offers the necessary seating comfort even for heavier players. The height can be adjusted between 50 and 68 cm. The stool can be retrofitted with a matching backrest and a padded carrying bag is also available.
Limited edition of Arturia KeyStep Pro Chroma controller
Almost at the same time as the 2.5 update for the KeyStep Pro sequencer/MIDI controller, a special edition of this model, bearing the Chroma label, is coming to market, which, in addition to the revised design, has, of course, received the aforementioned updated software and adds several new features. Among the most important improvements is the ability to send program changes to the pattern and MIDI tracks, and the transpose section has also been changed and can now be locked. It is also possible to specify a Fixed Velocity for pressed keys or played notes. Editing is simplified by pressing the Shift key and track number, allowing quick changes to individual track settings. The official European price of the Arturia KeyStep Pro Chroma version is under 500 euros.
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