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NEW GEAR 14/24: Godin Lerxst, Mooer Prime S1, Drive EBS and Roland LX Pianos

Godin has launched production of superstrats Lerxst from the Rush guitarist, new EVH SA-126 semi-hollow-body models carry Wolfgang Van Halen's name, Zoom is bolstering its distortion pedal range with the MS 200D+ MultiStomp version, China's Mooer has introduced the Prime S1 compact processor and Seymour Duncan has launched the PowerStage 100 Stereo power amp. For bassists, there's the second generation of the EBS Black Haze overdrive, the Bergantino NXT410-C cabinet and the Sterling by Music Man SB14 Natural bass. We also recommend Roland's high-end LX series digital pianos and the budget-friendly Third Man Hardware x Donner Triple Threat multi-effect. Welcome to our regular review of new gear and interesting facts from the world of music.

Godin Lerxst Limelight: models by Alex Lifeson

The guitarist of the legendary Rush founded his own brand Lerxst in the past, under which the company Mojotone produces his signature amplifiers based on the older Marshall Silver Jubilee. The Lerxst logo now also appears on a pair of guitars from the Canadian Godin workshops, based on Alex's 1980s Hentor Sportscaster, which has become synonymous with Lifeson's sound and guitar style. The two models share a swamp ash body, maple neck, ebony fingerboard, two custom-wound Mojotone single coils, a Bill Lawrence L500 bridge rail humbucker and, last but not least, an inverted Stratocaster plate with an output jack. The guitars differ in hardware, one version is fitted with a Vega Trem tremolo and locking tuners, while the other has received a Floyd Rose system.

Hybrid guitars EVH SA-126 and SA-126 QM

EVH has added Wolfgang Van Halen's signature guitars in SA-126 and SA-126 Quilted Maple. The sonically very flexible models with a hybrid construction, combining the characteristics of a semi-hollow and solid body guitar, feature a mahogany chambered body with a maple top and a central block of linden, a mahogany neck with EVH Modified-C profile and an ebony fingerboard with variable radius and 22 jumbo frets. New EVH SA-126 humbuckers provide registers ranging from glassy-clean sounds to full crunch to a high-pitched sawing sound. Hardware in black, gold or silver chrome consists of a classic stop bar tailpiece, a solid bridge of the Harmonica type and reliable tulip tuners. The SA-126 comes in Matte Army Drab or Stealth Black lacquers, while the SA-126 Quilted Maple version gets Transparent Purple and Tobacco Sunburst finishes.

Multi-effect Third Man Hardware x Donner Triple Threat

The Chinese manufacturer Donner and the boutique brand Third Man Hardware, run by guitarist, singer and composer Jack White, have jointly launched a simply conceived multi-effect, reminiscent of Tech 21's FlyRig multi-effects pedal series. There's distortion, phaser and echo to choose from, with each section having a dedicated footswitch that can be adjusted via a trio of potentiometers. The electronics of the monophonic multi-effect is housed in a sturdy-looking chassis made from a bent steel plate, with power supplied by a 9V adapter. Catering to players who prefer straightforwardness instead of programming, the Triple Threat is offered in a Standard version in black lacquer ($99) or a yellow limited edition available on the Reverb website ($129).

Zoom MS 200D+ MultiStomp with a generous dose of drives

The MS 200D+ distortion pedal with main footswitch and four flat Cross Key switches for moving between effects and presets is dominated by an LCD display which changes colour according to the selected base section (Booster, Preamp, Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, Noise Gate) and contains additional items. The bank offers two hundred user presets and an equal number of different emulations, while two drives can be used simultaneously (e.g. boost + distortion). There are also four rotary encoders, the above-mentioned gate, a chromatic tuner and a USB-C port for communication with the Handy Guitar Lab app (iOS only for now), allowing more detailed editing, access to the sound library, etc. Power is handled by a 9V adapter, USB or two AA batteries. Price approx. 190 euros.

Mooer Prime S1: a guitar processor with the size of a footswitch

With a size of 24 x 7 x 3.2 cm, Mooer has managed to fit into the new small digital preamp/multi-effects of the Prime series an elongated LCD display, storage for 128 effects and simulations of various instruments, a Bluetooth 5.0 module, a USB card for direct recording and a rechargeable lithium battery with a capacity of 2 Ah and 4.5 hours of operation. Four footswitches allow you to change presets and banks, control the functions of the 80-second looper and the 40-pattern drum machine (both can be synchronised) or activate the tuner. Connectivity consists of input, stereo outputs, USB-C port and headphone jack. Of course, compatibility with the mobile editing app is a must. The price of the Mooer Prime S1 Intelligent Pedal Floor is around 180 euros.

Power amp Seymour Duncan PowerStage 100 Stereo

With Class-D circuitry and stereo jack inputs and outputs, the PowerStage 100 Stereo delivers up to 2 x 100 watts at 4 ohms. Featuring transparent expression, the compact power amp is ideal for amplifying the sound of modelling units and also offers an extended, switchable five-band EQ and balanced XLR line outputs with switchable analogue emulation TCC (True Cab Circuitry) of guitar cabinets for more authentic projection through any sound system. The official price is around 600 dollars.

Passive Sterling by Music Man SB14 Natural

Ernie Ball's subsidiary Music Man returns to the SB14 four-string bass model, a replica of the legendary Sterling, an upgraded version of the SB14 Natural, this time with a body made from swamp ash and a neck and fingerboard made from select hard maple. There are 22 medium frets, a solid corporate bridge, open-gear tuners and a ceramic H-1 passive humbucker complete with volume and tone potentiometers. The instrument, with a standard 34-inch scale, is offered in a limited edition priced at approximately 800 dollars.

EBS Black Haze 2: an upgraded drive for bass and guitar

The second generation of the Black Haze drive delivers harmonically rich, creamy distortion while maintaining clear, tight bass. Unlike its predecessor, the new drive has a Blend control, Tone and Volume potentiometers for a smooth adjustment of the ratio of the effects to the original signal, resulting in a more transparent tone. There's also a new small internal trimmer, located on the circuit board, which allows you to adjust the amount of gain and compensate for volume if the level drops during the required mix setting. The power supply circuit has also been upgraded and now handles voltages in the 9-18V range which allows for more projection and more responsive dynamics. In addition, the sound can be controlled by a lever switch with Deep, Normal and Thin voicing modes.

1000 Watt cabinet Bergantino NXT410-C

A professional bass cabinet extending the NXT series, the Bergantino NXT provides a precise 1000 Watt / 4 Ohm sound response with the ability to easily reach "bone breaking" levels thanks to four 10-inch patented Bergantino NXT neodymium magnet woofers and a HIRT tweeter. The tweeter is able to dial in the perfect balance between high and low frequencies to adapt to any space or sonic preference. It can also be turned off completely to achieve a classic vintage sound. The body is built from lightweight Italian poplar plywood complemented by a Baltic birch soundboard. The model NXT410-C, with a range of 40 Hz – 16 kHz and a sensitivity of 105 dB, is available in Graphite Bronco or Classic Black tolex and includes removable castors.

Premium Digital Pianos from Roland LX series

Three new models of luxury digital pianos, the LX-5, LX-6 and LX-9, combine the classic look of an upright piano, massive power, modern functionality and, above all, premium sound and playability that captures and conveys every sound nuance. All versions share a space-saving, elegant design and advanced engine with the company's PRM (Piano Reality Modeling) technology, which, unlike sampling, reconstructs the complex process of acoustic piano tone production at all levels, giving the player a harmonically rich sound, inspiring response and unrestricted expressionA multi-channel PA unit (4 to 9 speakers depending on the piano type) ensures a high-quality listening experience, while an authentic playing feel and a wide range of tonal colours are supported by intelligent algorithms with extremely fast key sensing. Prices start at approx. 2,800 euros (LX-5 with dynamic keyboard) and end at approx. 5, 230 euros for the flagship LX-9 PE with keyboard drive.

Tagy Godin EVH Third Man Hardware x Donner Zoom Mooer Seymour Duncan Sterling by Music Man EBS Bergantino Roland

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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.