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NEW GEAR 17/24: PRS S2 Upgrade, Roland Keyboards, Fodera Bass and Nux Power Supply

PRS has decided to upgrade the S2 series models, Schecter has come up with another signature guitar from the guitarist of Avenged Sevenfold, Seymour Duncan introduces Joe Bonamassa's "The Blonde Dot" pickups, and Asia's Nux features a new ZEUS power supply. For bassists, there is Ryan Martinie's five-string Fodera, a quartet of effects from Trickfish Amplification and Ashdown 1x12 combo amp while for drummers, there is Yamaha's premium hi-hat rack. We also recommend Roland GO:KEYS 3/5 and the fifth generation of KRK Rokit studio monitors. Welcome to our regular review of new gear and interesting news from the world of music.

Upgrade of PRS S2 guitars of the 2024 series

The PRS S2 (Stevensville 2) 2024 Series guitars have undergone an upgrade that includes, among other things, a nitrocellulose finish, which allows the wood to breathe and age naturally, improving its resonant qualities. Until now, the S2 collection has had imported pickups, which PRS decided to change by equipping the guitars with higher-quality pickups and electronics from American production, bringing the collection closer to the flagship Core edition. The PRS S2 includes models such as the Custom 24, McCarty 594, Vela, Standard 22 and McCarty 594 Thinline, which are now fitted with the company's 85/15, 58/15 LT, Narrowfield and TCI pickups.

Signature Schecter Synyster Custom-S DSB

Synyster Gates, guitarist of the metal band Avenged Sevenfold, and the Schecter brand are responsible for a new version of the Synyster Custom-S six-string, this time in a distinctive Distressed Satin Black finish. The all-mahogany body with glued neck offering a subtle Ultra Thin-C profile and comfortable access to the highest positions is complemented by an ebony fingerboard fitted with 24 stainless steel X-Jumbo frets, special inlays and luminescent dots. On the locking Floyd Rose 1500 tremolo, there is a signature company humbucker with an ornate cover and the neck position has been taken by an active Sustainiac system linked to a pair of small switches. The official price hits the 2000 dollar mark.

Schecter Synyster Custom-S DSB

Humbuckers Seymour Duncan Joe Bonamassa „The Blonde Dot“ 1960 ES-335

This pickup set features copies of vintage PAF humbuckers from the 1960 semi-hollow Gibson ES-335 from the collection of guitarist Joe Bonamassa. According to this blues-rock legend, they are among the most sonically balanced PAF models in his arsenal. The bridge version (8.11 kOhm resistance) from Seymour Duncan uses an Alnico 4 magnet, which gives the pickup a punchy tone with a darker timbre, just like the original. The neck humbucker (7.55 kOhm) has an Alnico 2 magnet and produces a strat-clear, transparent sound. Set price with two-conductor cables and nickel-plated covers: 375 dollars. The first 800 pairs are included in a limited edition with Bonamassa signatures.

Isolated power supply Nux ZEUS NIP-Z10

The Asian brand introduced a high-quality pedalboard power supply, equipped with ultra-low impedance circuitry and featuring ten dually isolated outputs and a toroidal transformer, which together eliminate noise and ground loops. The ZEUS NIP-Z10 features six 9V outputs of 500 mA each, three switchable outputs – each with selectable levels of 9V (500 mA), 12V (300 mA) or 18V (200 mA), one continuously adjustable output between 6 and 12V with 500 mA (5W) and a 5V USB-A port (1.5 A). The power supply is powered directly from the mains, with the automatic circuitry handling voltages of 100 – 240 V and 50 – 60 Hz. The package includes the following cables: 5x 50 cm / 2.1 mm connector, 5x 30 cm / 2.1 mm connector, 1x reverse polarity, 1x minijack and 1x cable (10 cm) optimized for Line 6 HX Stomp and similar multi-effects.

Fodera Ryan Martinie “Black Beauty” Standard

Like the other signature models of bassist Ryan Martinie, the five-string "Black Beauty" Standard has a 34" long scale, 26 frets and a 16.5mm fingerboard. The body, made from korina, received a flame maple top in a transparent black lacquer and is paired with a three-piece maple neck and ebony fingerboard. This combination offers a solid, harmonically rich tone with strong mids and responsive dynamics. An ergonomic joint between the neck and the Monarch-style body facilitates access to higher positions, and the sound is carried by a pair of angled EMG J/J 5 pickups tied to a Fodera/Pope Standard active three-band preamp. The version in question retains Fodera's characteristic features while meeting the demands of this technically advanced player, best known for his involvement with the band Mudvayne.

Ashdown Original-EVO-C112T bass combo amp: compact size and ample power

With dimensions of 47 x 60 x 38 cm, a weight of just 13.5 kg and a power output of 300 W, the Original-EVO-C112T is the ideal helper for concert and studio work. The body with a bevelled back allows the EVO to be positioned also as a classic stage monitor, which is an advantage, for example, when playing in smaller clubs. The single-channel unit is equipped with a five-band equaliser, master and input sensitivity potentiometers, Shape voicing function, passive/active switch, 12" bass woofer and treble top. An effects loop, headphone jack, DI XLR line jack and external box jack output are provided.

Four new bass effects from Trickfish Amplification

"The new pedals represent what I consider to be a 'bass toolbox' that can enhance the experience of any bass player in a live situation," says Ryan Owens, head of Trickfish. "We love how this first offering has turned out and there’s more to come!" The quartet of debut products consists of the VCA Compressor, Overdrive Preamp, External Preamp, and Signal Filter pedals, whose common denominators are carefully designed circuitry fitted with quality components, a solid angled steel chassis, front-mounted connectors, a power circuit for a standard 9V adapter, 150 mA current draw, and an American pedigree. Official prices start at around 220 dollars.

Premium hi-hat stand and pedal Yamaha HHS9D

The HHSD9 version has been given a mirror-smooth pedal surface, allowing for a variety of playing techniques, and emphasis has been placed on an exceptionally versatile setup. Movement is transmitted via a Direct Link mechanism with high-quality ball bearings, to allow individual placement among other pedals, the stand has only two feet that can be rotated as required, the infinitely adjustable spring tension is displayed on the scale and, of course, the pedal angle is also adjustable. The system also has a modified cymbal seat, which makes changing the top cymbal very quick and prevents the cymbal from coming loose when playing harder. The Yamaha HHS9D continues a long tradition of high-end hardware components where sophisticated technology meets innovative design and maximum functionality. Estimated European price: approx. 550 euros.

Roland GO:KEYS 3 and GO:KEYS 5 keyboards with ZEN-Core engine

It's not very often that a manufacturer equips an affordable keyboard with their most advanced technology. One of the exceptions is the GO:KEYS 3 and GO:KEYS 5 keyboards, where Roland has implemented the premium ZEN-Core engine, reserved for instruments in a much higher price rangeThe models, which can appeal to players who have no experience with similar types of keyboards, offer more than a thousand high-quality sounds, and there is also a range of features providing varying levels of musical assistance, including automatic dynamic accompaniment controlled by one or two fingers of the left hand, while the right hand can play melodies or other chords. In addition to the 61-piece keyboard, Bluetooth, MIDI and Roland Cloud support, both versions have a sound system, with version 5 offering improved bass response, vocal effects, microphone connectivity and more.

Studio Monitors KRK Rokit Generation Five

Described by KRK Systems as "the most advanced professional monitors in their class", the fifth generation of Rokit active nearfields includes a trio of KRK Rokit RP5 G5, RP7 G5 and RP8 G5 models, which now feature a trio of optional vocal modes, Mix, Focus and Create, optimised for a variety of monitoring applications. In addition, the built-in DSP unit provides 25 EQ combinations to help minimise and eliminate problems in the acoustic environment. Separate Class-D power amplifiers, custom-designed for the Kevlar woofer and upgraded tweeter (range up to 40 kHz), provide better sound integrity and lower operating temperature. Prices start at approx. 150 euros for a single Rokit RP5 G5, including a removable front cover and isolation pad with magnetic attachment.

Tagy PRS Schecter Seymour Duncan NUX EFX Ashdown Yamaha Roland KRK Fodera Trickfish

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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.